Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation, Distributed Generation, Regulation, Solar  -  October 14, 2017

Weekend reads: Paris to ban gas cars; 'solar tube' heat; coal, nuke bailouts are 'the cost of freedom' & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads:

Anti-Coal Effort Aided by $64 Million From Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg News): The Sierra Club and other environmental groups are expanding a campaign to retire U.S. coal power plants with a $64 million contribution from former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as the the environmental group aims to blunt efforts by the Trump administration to rescue coal. The announcement Wednesday came a day after the Trump administration began a formal effort to repeal Obama-era curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Compared to other sources of electricity, including natural gas, wind, solar and nuclear power, coal generates more carbon dioxide for each unit of electricity generated.

Hotel’s focus on green is clear: Glass walls put style in sustainability (San Francisco Chronicle): The days are long gone when "sustainable design" conjured up images of buildings with straw-bale walls or roof lines blurred by tall clumps of grass rustling in the wind. Ideas have evolved to the point where sustainability can be high architectural style, and there’s a good chance that by 2021 the shower water in San Francisco’s newest ultra-luxe hotel will be heated by tall solar tubes embedded within the building’s glass walls.

Perry to Congress: Price Tag on DOE Proposal to Prop Up Coal; Nuclear Is the ‘Cost of Freedom’ (Greentech Media): Perry’s prepared statement called the notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) "just the first step," although he left that phrase out of his opening remarks. Instead, he repeatedly called the proposal “a way to kick-start a national discussion about resiliency and reliability about the national grid,” with a "very robust and open conversation" between parties his primary goal. This does not sound like a description of the NOPR that DOE filed with FERC, however. 

Paris wants to ban gas-powered vehicles by 2030 (The Hill): Paris wants to get gasoline-powered cars off the city’s roads by 2030, the latest bet by officials that electric vehicles are the cars of the future. "We have planned the end of thermic vehicle use, and therefore of fossil energies, by 2030," Paris deputy mayor in charge of transport Christophe Nadjovski said Thursday on France Info radio, according to The Associated Press.

This Solar-Powered Development Will Be The Largest Virtual Power Plant In The U.S.  (Fast Company): If you live in Frankfurt, Germany and have solar panels on your roof, you might be able to generate enough energy to power your whole home throughout the day. But if you pull in too much energy for your needs, or not enough, you can trade power with another solar-powered home in Hamburg, or Berlin, or anywhere in the country. That’s the principle behind sonnenCommunity, a nationwide, cloud-based virtual power plant launched around three years ago and made up of around 8,000 homes equipped with solar panels and an interconnected SonnenBatterie—an energy storage unit developed in 2010 by the German company Sonnen. 

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