Report Projects DOE Coal, Nuclear Bailout Costs Could Top $34 Billion

Analysis out this week&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brattle.com/news-and-knowledge/news/report-by-brattle-economists-assesses-potential-costs-associated-with-administration-policy-designed-to-prevent-the-retirement-of-all-coal-and-nuclear-plants" >from The Brattle Group</a> estimates the Trump administration&rsquo;s coal and nuclear support plan could cost between $9.7 billion and $17.2 billion annually.


Working off of the light details presented in a draft memorandum <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-01/trump-said-to-grant-lifeline-to-money-losing-coal-power-plants-jhv94ghl" >released by Bloomberg</a> in May, The Brattle Group analyzed several scenarios the administration might utilize to support nuclear and coal-fired power plants.&nbsp;


One assumes the government would pay an average $50 per kilowatt flat-rate to all plants, costing $16.7 billion a year. In another, facilities experiencing shortfalls would be compensated directly at a customized level between $43 to $58 per kilowatt, costing between $9.7 and $17.2 billion each year. The draft memo suggested facilities receive payments for two years, putting high-end cost estimates north of $34 billion for the duration.


If the administration moves forward with a plan that pays facilities back for capital already invested in <div class="post-limited-image"><img alt="" class="modal" src="http://feeds.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/FIGURE_1_CAPACITY.png" style="max-width: 100%;" /></div>
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To Unleash Wholesale Distributed Generation, We Must Streamline Interconnection

California has been making good progress toward its ambitious clean energy goals, and now the state may aim to get <a href="https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2018/07/03/california-100-renewable-energy-bill-heads-to-assembly/" >100 percent of its electricity</a> from renewable energy and zero-carbon sources by 2045.&nbsp;


But some challenges remain. An often-overlooked hurdle is interconnecting <a href="http://www.clean-coalition.org/our-work/renewable-utility-programs/wholesale-distributed-generation/" >wholesale distributed generation</a> (wholesale DG, or WDG) projects to the grid. WDG refers to distributed energy resources, often commercial-scale solar projects, that connect to the distribution grid and sell the electricity they produce to the local utility to serve local energy demand.


Interconnecting a WDG project in California is an unpredictable process that can be arduous and expensive, and can extend over years &mdash; adding uncertainty and extra costs to project development, and discouraging many projects from getting off the ground or even being considered. Fixing the WDG interconnection process will result in significantly more clean, local energy in the state.

Why California needs more wholesale distributed
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Will Natural Disasters Boost the Case for Grid Defection?

Grid defection is a very controversial topic in energy. Utilities think it&#39;s an absurd, uneconomic idea. Many distributed energy companies say it&#39;s inevitable. Analysts are conflicted.


The debate started in 2014, when the Rocky Mountain Institute wrote a&nbsp;<a href="https://rmi.org/insight/economics-grid-defection/">report</a> warning of a &ldquo;spiral of falling sales and rising electricity prices&rdquo; from grid defectors using solar and batteries. It later changed the term to "load defection" &mdash; acknowledging that customers didn&#39;t need to fully cut themselves off from the grid to destroy electricity sales.


In 2017, a Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957178716300066">study highlighted</a>&nbsp;the economic limitations of grid defection, noting that an off-grid system in an average U.S. location would cost nearly double that of a grid-tied solar system. RMI struck back in a piece for Greentech Media, <a href="https://rmi.org/still-need-discuss-grid-defection/">arguing</a> the RIT study didn&rsquo;t consider future cost declines or additional benefits like consumer empowerment.&nbsp;


Extreme weather is now influencing <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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Nest Merges With Google Home Division as CEO Steps Down

Nest has a new home within Google&nbsp;&mdash; and a new boss.


Employees were notified Tuesday that Marwan Fawaz is stepping down as CEO of Nest Labs, and that the smart thermostat maker will now be combined with Google&rsquo;s home devices unit.


The shift, <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/nest-ceo-steps-down-after-employees-pushed-for-his-exit/" >first reported by CNET</a>, comes five months after Nest <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/google-nest-in-house#gs.G87nrXU">reintegrated with the search giant</a>. Nest had been operating independently as an Alphabet subsidiary, listed as one of its &ldquo;other bets.&rdquo; In February, Nest was brought into Google&rsquo;s hardware division to leverage the tech firm&rsquo;s artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities, and to begin co-developing products for the future smart home.


The merger with Google&rsquo;s home devices unit this week is expected to enhance collaboration between the two businesses, as the Nest team looks to accelerate growth across its hardware, software and services offerings.&nbsp;&nbsp;


With Fawaz&rsquo;s departure, the Nest unit will report to Rishi Chandra, vice <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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Another Study Argues Electric Cars Are Bad for the Environment. It’s Demonstrably False

In a recent&nbsp;<a href="https://www.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/R-JL-0518-v2.pdf" >report</a>&nbsp;and a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2018/05/15/are-electric-cars-worse-for-the-environment-000660" >Politico&nbsp;op-ed</a>, Jonathan Lesser of the Manhattan Institute purports to demonstrate that replacing internal combustion vehicles with zero emissions vehicles will increase air pollution while having a negligible effect on climate change.


This has sparked controversy among many within the electric vehicle industry &mdash; and the energy industry more broadly &mdash; because the research is demonstrably false.


Conclusions are reached through misrepresentation and reliance on projections that are known to be consistently inaccurate. The same substandard methods are applied to the economics of electric vehicles and to questions about the profitability of, and public investment in, EV charging infrastructure. Nonpartisan institutions, including the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2015/11/Cleaner-Cars-from-Cradle-to-Grave-full-report.pdf" >Union of Concerned Scientists</a>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eenews.net/assets/2015/09/18/document_cw_01.pdf" >Electric Power Research Institute</a>, have published accurate and reliable studies of these questions that found the opposite of what Lesser concludes, as have others&nbsp;<a href="http://www.energyandpolicy.org/lesser-climate-denier-attacks-electric-vehicles/" >cited</a>&nbsp;by the Energy and Policy Institute.


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