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More Regional Cap & Trade on the Way?

If you don't like regional carbon cap and trade schemes look out because there is another one on the way. Ten northeastern coastal states created the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in 2007 to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10% from electric generators. Electric generators buy permits at auction and the cost is passed on in your electric bills. So far, permits have added $28 million to Delaware electric bills and the bill could go as high as $100 million by 2018 when the program ends. The same states, plus Pennsylvania, agreed in 2009 to develop a similar plan for liquid fuels including gasoline, diesel, and heating oil and one recent study estimates gasoline prices could double. [read more]

The Bloom Prophecy

A visit to Siem Reap in 2000, the second largest city in Cambodia, found one poorly paved two lane roadway in the entire city but lots of cell phones. The developing world skipped the expensive infrastructure cost to develop land line based phone service and went directly to less capital intense cell phone technology. Developing countries may follow a similar path by deploying more distributed electric generation power to dramatically reduce investment in electric transmission infrastructure. CRI expects this trend, in part, to cause Bloom Energy to abandon plans to build a fuel cell manufacturing plant in Newark, DE. [read more]

Green Jobs Still Elusive

Investments in "green" jobs have yet to pay off nationally or in Delaware. The Obama Administration has invested $9 billion in wind and solar projects between 2009 and 2011 creating just 911 direct jobs according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. That's $9.8 million a job. A typical investment in private industry is about $20,000 a job. Vice President Joe Biden promised 772,000 "green" jobs would be created by the stimulus bill. The money is about gone and we are 771,090 jobs short. [read more]

Legislative Session Winding Down

The budget is passed and the House and Senate have gotten through their first "Must Have" lists. CRI is watching two bills: [read more]

Last Minute Attempt to Expand Solar Hurts the Poor

Proponents of Senate bill 263 say the law will help the poor put solar panels on their homes. The real purpose of the law is to sell more solar panels at premium prices. Electric ratepayers, including the poor, will pay $750 million more for electricity over the next dozen years to pay for this new solar requirement. Each job created in the solar industry will cost about two jobs elsewhere. At the same time, the bill manages to violate the U. S. Constitution and a legislative deal cut just a year ago. Delaware already has a solar mandate 10 times higher than the average state east of the Mississippi and we are only one fifth of the way toward meeting it. We don't need an expansion of this mandate. [read more]

Fracking: An Answer to Concerns

Every article on natural gas generates complaint problems with fracking that have not been adequately discussed. Usually we don't have the space. [read more]

UD Teaches Wrong Message on "Green" Roof

A recent $60,000 University of Delaware project has left students with the wrong impression the expenditure will "lower energy use, clean the air, and teach sustainable environmental practices". In fact, a more thoughtful approach would have yielded similar results for a tenth the price. [read more]

Important Bloom Energy Issue Update

Delaware electric ratepayers may pay an extra half billion dollars for electricity to support a thirty megawatt fuel cell generating facility. A state sponsored contract between Bloom and Delmarva Power guarantees a 30 MW fuel cell project $1.1 billion in revenues over 25 years. Because of the negative economic impact that will result from this contract, the Caesar Rodney Institute (CRI) is continuing its assessment of the viability and legality of this agreement. [read more]

Case to Change Delaware's Energy Policy

Delaware electricity consumers will pay an extra $34 million this year for subsidies for expensive renewable power. This cost could rise to $300 million by 2025. For example, the subsidies reimburse the affluent who can afford $40,000 solar installations. The extra cost raises electric bills for the poor and middle class. Proponents consistently push for the most expensive renewable solutions such as small scale solar, offshore wind, and fuel cells. Half the subsidy is sent overseas along with American jobs as most solar panels are imported. This results in a "green" war on the poor and middle class. [read more]

East Coast Refinery Closings Could move Gas prices Even Higher

The East Coast will lose 50% of its gasoline refinery capacity by July and this will likely lead to higher and more volatile prices according to the US Energy Information Agency. ConocoPhillips has already closed the Trainer Refinery as has Sunoco with its Marcus Hook plant. [read more]

Time to Review Delaware's Renewable Energy Program

Delaware's electrical power rates are not competitive. Delaware electricity consumers will pay an extra $38 million this year because of state mandates which force the use of expensive solar, fuel cell, and wind power. This cost could rise to $300 million by 2025 adding $275 a year to residential electric bills. [read more]

Delaware Onshore Wind Power Potential Poor

The latest wind resource maps show Delaware has very limited potential for commercial wind farms. It is generally accepted an average annual wind speed of 6.5 mph at 80 meters above the ground is needed for economically viable wind farms. Those speeds are only available at the tip of Cape Henlopen State Park and along the coastline surrounding the Inland Bays where the only open space is in Delaware Seashore State Park. Slightly lower wind speeds are available all along Delaware's protected coastal zone. Is anyone ready to build in these protected areas? New onshore wind farms are currently producing electricity for about 10 cents/kilowatt-hour while offshore wind farms yield electricity at about 24 cents/kilowatt-hour. New natural gas powered generators can produce power at about 6 cents/kilowatt-hour. The maps were developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [read more]

Delaware Air Quality Improving

Nine air monitoring stations across Delaware have been measuring air quality for seven pollutants for decades. Only one pollutant, ozone, is slightly higher than the national standard about 1% of the time. Missing the standard has meant the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has forced the state to require ethanol/gasoline blends that reduce ozone by a small amount. Adding ethanol will raise the price of gasoline four to five cents a gallon. This will add about $20 million to the cost of gasoline in Delaware this year. Delaware is close enough to the standard it would make sense to apply for an ethanol waiver. [read more]

The Clean Energy Trojan Horse

Big Green, made up of powerful environmental lobbying groups along with elected and appointed officials, now rules Delaware. Legislation that could not be passed nationally is now routinely approved here. [read more]

What the Dover Sun Park Will Really Cost You

It is astonishing you are not allowed to know what the Dover Sun Park is costing you. The total added cost of the Sun Park compared to using conventional power over the twenty year contract will be $93 million or almost $5 million a year! [read more]

How to Rebuild DE's Electric Generation Capacity

Delaware imports 60% of its electric power. We get penalized for causing grid congestion and are missing out on 1000 direct jobs at generating facilities. This is a major reason our manufacturers pay 50% more for electricity than the average state and why residential customers pay an extra $400 a year. [read more]

Governor's Shale Gas Delay Costly and Baseless

Natural gas production is the real deal for job creation. Seventy-two thousand new jobs have been created in Pennsylvania alone. Now Delaware, with no direct job potential, wants to slow economic development to placate powerful environmental lobbyist. Once again, the poor and middle class will pay the bill. [read more]

The Green War on the Poor and Middle Class

"Well, I don't care what it costs, we need to save my grandchildren", said the avid environmentalist with an agitated voice in response to someone who dared to say an offshore wind farm was too expensive. Never mind that there are other ways to lower pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emission, and actually lower electric cost. She could afford higher rates and didn't care if it was a burden to the poor, the retired on a fixed income, or the unemployed. [read more]

Bluewater Wind Collapse: Liars Lose

The demise of the Bluewater Wind offshore wind project was inevitable. The final approved contract simply didn't provide adequate returns to justify the massive investment required to build it. The assumptions used for Public Service Commission July, 2008, approval were lies. Honest information was presented and ignored including the comparative cost of power produced by offshore wind to conventional sources and about how those higher costs would eliminate more jobs than the wind farm created. [read more]

NRG Dover Power Plant Conversion to Natural Gas Mostly a Plus

NRG will convert an eighteen megawatt capacity coal fired electric generating plant to natural gas. The project will cost $26.5 million in total and will create seventy-five construction jobs for a year. It will reduce air pollution, increase efficiency, and will save money in the long run. Overall this is a win for Delaware, NRG, and hopefully a portent of future added electric generation in the state. [read more]

New Solar Subsidy Program Will Hurt Ratepayers and the Solar Industry

A new solar subsidy program approved by the Public Service Commission could cost ratepayers $70 million through 2025 and could cost homeowners with solar panels on their homes several thousand dollars a year. [read more]

Delaware Should Approve Natural Gas Fracking Rules

Plentiful natural gas coming from new wells in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are key to lower manufacturing cost, lower electricity prices, lower heating costs, and may possibly replace expensive foreign oil in our vehicle fleet. [read more]

CRI Defends Delmarva Ratepayers in New Rate Case

A new Delmarva Power rate case could eventually cost rate payers tens of millions of dollars on top of the recently approved Bloom Energy Tariff. We at CRI are troubled by the PSC's apparent stance that subsidizing high cost solar projects trumps the needs of Delaware's families and businesses for affordable energy. [read more]

Stop Another Hit on Your Electric Bills!

While public attention has been focused on the proposed Bloom Energy Tariff another hit on your electric bills has begun moving through the Public Service Commission. The price of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) has recently fallen from about $300 to $100. This is good news for electric ratepayers as your utility company has to buy these credits and the cost is passed onto you in higher electric rates. Lower SREC prices save you money. It is bad news for solar installers who are having more trouble selling expensive solar panels to a wary public. [read more]

Reject the Fuel Cell Tariff

The Markell Administration would like you to become a high risk venture capitalist to support an expensive "green" jobs agenda. You get to bet about $1250. [read more]

Intervener Comments on Delmarva Power Docket 11-362, Qualified Fuel Cell Provide

The proposed Fuel Cell Tariff fails to meet the intent of its enabling legislation and should be rejected by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The Tariff guarantees Bloom Energy and Delmarva Power over one billion dollars in revenue over the next twenty-one years. [read more]

Nuclear Energy as Part of Delaware's Energy Future

A single third generation nuclear reactor could meet Delaware's electricity generation shortfall with clean, reliable, affordable power for the next sixty years. Read all about it. [read more]

Global Warming Debate Status

What you don't know could cost you thousands of dollars a year. An increasing number of scientists and policy professionals have declared public policies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are based on uncertain science. Yet, national and global policies are being promoted to reduce emissions and the result could be trillions in misspent funds. The most likely outcomes of the debate can be found in this article. [read more]

Exaggerated Health Cost Claims Used to Attack Fossil Fuels

Environmental groups have run into a wall of legislative resistance to tougher controls on greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions. Air pollution levels have been drastically reduced, climate change claims have lost their charm, and Americans are simply not convinced expensive new controls are necessary. Now environmental groups hope they can use the regulatory process instead and one of their key tools is the supposed health cost of air pollution. Close examination shows the claims are exaggerated. [read more]

What's the Problem with Solar Subsidies

The default response to criticism of solar subsidies is that the oil industry receives subsidies. So, for the record, accelerated depreciation on drilling equipment and oil depletion allowances that made sense to encourage drilling when oil was at $30 a barrel do not make sense at $100 a barrel and they should end. But some perspective is needed. [read more]

The Economic Benefits of Lower Electric Rates

The first city in Delaware to significantly lower electricity rates will see an economic boom. America is seeing an industrial renaissance as companies move operations back from overseas to realize lower transportation costs, better quality, and to escape rising labor costs elsewhere. There are more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. now than before the recession began. Delaware is still losing jobs as companies bypass us and existing companies leave, partially because electricity rates are 50% higher than the national average. [read more]

Solar Credit Pricing Plan Too High

A plan to offer a guaranteed price for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) to purchasers of solar panels is way off course. A homeowner or small business who buys a solar panel can sell one SREC for each megawatt-hour of power produced by the panel. A typical home unit might generate 7 to 12 SREC's a year. This is on top of state and federal tax credits that offset the purchase price of a solar panel by almost half the first year. The total value of all the subsidies is worth more than the purchase price of the system and is on top of the actual energy savings. That is the equivalent of stopping for gasoline and instead of paying $4 a gallon for gas the station pays you sixty cents. [read more]

Upgrade the Electric Grid with Clean Technology

We can upgrade our electricity grid to improve efficiency and reliability at very low cost. A new book by John A. Moore and Toby Shute titled "The Hidden Cleantech Revolution" explains how. The authors present practical solutions and have developed a scale1 to rate effectiveness of different approaches to solving our electricity problems. Most people have never heard of these technological breakthroughs. You may also be surprised that two technologies you hear about all the time are not very useful near term; Smart Meters and Energy Storage. [read more]

More Cleantech Energy Solutions You Have Never Heard About

We should be using America's incredibly large fossil fuel storehouse such as our 200 year supply of coal and 110 year supply of natural gas. However, we should also be using them more effectively with smart technology solutions. These solutions are well summarized in a recent book by John A. Moore and Toby Shute titled "The Hidden Cleantech Revolution". We can reach previously unavailable resources and do it cleaner, safer, more reliably and cheaper. [read more]

Electricity Price Shock Headed Our Way, and It Is Avoidable

Electric industry analysts were shocked when recent capacity auction prices quintupled current levels. Combined with expected increases in cap and trade auction prices and the higher cost from expanded use of expensive and unreliable wind and solar power, we can expect prices to soar. [read more]

SEU Impact

Find out the impact of your money being spread around. [read more]

SEU and Stimulus Money

How much Stimulus Money did the SEU receive? [read more]

Financial Statements for the SEU 2010

Want to know how the Cap and Trade windfall is being spent? [read more]

What is the SEU

This document answers the question "What is the SEU". Complete Strategic Plan and Overview of Objectives. [read more]

Lessons from Japan on nuclear waste

Safe storage solutions are available - if Congress will act [read more]

Delaware's Renewable Portfolio Standard and It's Consequences

A report, written in conjunction with the American Traditions Institute, that examines the cost and economic impact of Delaware's renewable Portfolio standard [read more]

Wind Bad for the Environment

We know wind power is not reliable and raises the cost of electricity, it puts a drag on our economy. But now it appears it also may be bad for the environment. [read more]

CHESSER: Renewable-energy standards are unconstitutional

State mandates run afoul of Commerce Clause [read more]

Wind Power is a Mature Industry, Time to End Subsidies

How long should government subsidies last for an emerging industry? The best answer is they should never start. [read more]

Sussex County Solar Farm Will Cost us a Fortune

Our county elected officials may want to cut the celebration short on the new solar farm at the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center in Georgetown. The solar panels will save the county $345,000 in electricity over the twenty-five year expected life of the panels. However, it will cost us, the tax payers and electricity rate payers, $2.3 million! [read more]
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