AUSenergy News Update 07/02/2015
Jul 2, 2015

In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Low oil prices can benefit wind and solar, NY regulators approve DR program but stall community solar, and Clean Power Plan could slash coal use.

How wind & solar could benefit from low oil prices

Summary: According to global corporate consultant Nexant, the volatility of oil pricing highlights just how removed wind and solar generation are from fuel price fluctuations, making renewables a safer, more appealing option for investors.

AUS Comment: The energy market has always been a place filled with extremes. How refreshing it would be to have an energy source that provides a more stable environment. People need to understand that despite a greater capital investment upfront, the rewards from renewable energy resources are greater in the long term, including total removal from the risk of pricing fluctuations.

NY regulators approve Central Hudson DR program, stall community solar proposal

Summary: ​The New York Public Service Commission approved a demand response program proposed by Central Hudson, targeting 11 MW of load reductions by 2019. At the same time, they put the brakes on a proposal for a community solar facility that critics said violated rules on utilities owning distributed energy resources.

AUS Comment:  We applaud the NY Public Service Commission and their decisions to approve a DR program, but hold back on a utility model for community solar.  We believe that when utilities own community solar, the principal benefits go to the utility and NOT to the community. We support Community Solar programs that benefit the entire community, not just big business/utilities.

Clean Power Plan could halve coal burn

Summary: The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan could slash coal use on the nation’s second largest power grid, the Midcontinent ISO, by more than half by 2030. Gas would be the immediate benefactor, rising from about 20% of generation under a base case to as high as 47%.

AUS Comment: Hallelujah! It’s about time. However, the goal is not cutting use of coal in half – the goal is 100 percent! And the good news is that reports show that, even with 14 GW of coal generation cut, there should be no issues of grid reliability.

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