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Energy Scout, Issue 3 - Dec.21 2012

Season's greetings to all! This is the last issue of 2012, next one will be in 2013.

General Energy

Clean Energy

  • The big picture(s) on renewable energy in two infographic-packed articles, part 1 and 2. Main themes: solar power's tremendously improving economics and retail-level competitiveness; wind power's competitiveness; EU leadership; German vs. US solar; energy subsidies; nation-scale economic wins of large-scale renewable energy; and new energy storage technologies entering the market (not just sitting on a lab-bench).
  • The fourth edition of the Energy Revolution report by Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Council, and the Global Wind Energy Council was re-released with some updates. Free, comprehensive, and has nice layouts.

Finance

Smart Grid (SG)

  • The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) just released a new report, Assessment of Demand Response & Advanced Metering; demand response is (automatic) responsiveness to a changing electricity price and is approaching 10% of US peak electricity demand; smart meters installation are close to a quarter of the nation's meters, but backlash is growing and not without reason.
  • If you're new to the SG, an important bit of background is the ongoing standardization work. As this article makes clear, the standards effort is still plodding on.

Regional Notes

Africa

Americas

Asia

Europe

  • A UK poll on solar power found that most people significantly underestimate the financial returns of solar photovoltaic power. Even in the cloudy UK, solar's typical ROI is 7-10%.
  • Was Germany's 2011 commitment to phase out all nuclear power just an exercise in Fukushima panic-politics? Many commentators like to parrot that idea, but as the latest issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists explains, German energy policy/history tells otherwise: the shutdown was long in the making, and may be net-positive economically.
  • The World Wind Energy Association just released a study on wind power in the Commonwealth of Independent States (aka former Soviet states). Huge potential and hardly any development yet, but it's starting, w/ Ukraine in the lead.

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