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.


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





  • 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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