Archive for Events

ARRA Symposium notes, March 10 2009

I’ll be referencing these notes in an article to be published on AltEnergyStocks.com as What the ARRA Means for Clean Energy: One State’s Example on March 15th.

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Climate Denial: Past Peak

RealClimate has an article outing "The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change" as a publicity event to generate reports in the press of a lack of consensus in the scientific community about anthropogenic Climate Change.

I was struck by this quote:

they are offering $1,000 to those willing to give a talk. This reminds us of the American Enterprise Institute last year offering
a honorarium of $10,000
for articles by scientists disputing anthropogenic climate change. So this appear to be the current market prices for calling global warming into question: $1000 for a lecture and $10,000 for a written paper.

That’s a high price, since serious scientists usually happy to deliver lectures on their scientific work for free.  I can only conclude that we have passed "Peak Climate Denial" and that, because demand for "scientific" papers continues to be funded by industry lobbies such as the Heartland Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, the price has had to rise in the face of diminishing supply (i.e. scientists willing to destroy their reputations for money.)

Unfortunately, accurate data on the Climate Denial Reserves and Prices are scarce, but these prices make me think we’re well past peak (or at least on an undulating plateau.)   Fortunately, society will continue to function (and most likely run better) when Denial Depletion reduces Denial Reserves to a few crazy bloggers in dark corners of the Internet.

 

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Matt Baker appointed to Colorado Public Utilites Commission

I had just written an articles for the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s e-newsletter CRES Clips about goings on at the Colorado Public Utilites Comission (PUC), when a piece of big piece of PUC related news came out:

Governor Ritter appointed the current Executive Director of Environment Colorado to fill a recently vacated seat on the PUC.

Why should every advocate in Colorado care? Because it’s great to have another sympathetic ear!

What follows is the article I wrote for CRES Clips, to give readers unfamiliar with the PUC an idea of why I think this is so important:

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission: Where Energy Policy is Implemented

 2007 was a banner year for the

Colorado

lawmakers when it comes to energy policy, and with all the successes.  While it would be tempting for clean energy advocates to declare victory and go home, getting good laws passed is only the beginning. When it comes to implementing laws that pertain to investor-owned utilities, the responsibility falls on the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to interpret the legislation and ensure that our state’s public utilities comply with that interpretation.  Here, “public utilities” means Xcel and Aquila , since rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are generally exempt from PUC regulation.

 The PUC accomplishes its business in a series of “dockets” in which various “interveners” submit testimony (and respond to other interveners’ testimony) for the PUC to consider.  Individuals can become interveners, but it is time consuming and requires
knowledge of PUC procedure.  Public interest groups with an attorney can also intervene, with various expert witnesses submitting testimony on behalf of that group.

 CRES is not currently intervening in any dockets, although several members of the Policy Committee (including myself) are involved in one way or another.  Given those inherent conflicts of interest, CRES is not currently endorsing any particular intervening group. 

 What follows is a quick summary of some of the most important dockets before the PUC this year, and the groups who support Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency who are intervening, and whom you can support or contact for more information about their activities. Also, it is possible that the PUC will combine some of these dockets. 

07A-447E Xcel Resource Plan.  These dockets will determine the mix of new generation and energy efficiency resources with which Xcel plans to meet our anticipated electricity needs in the coming years.  Anticipated/ current interveners: EEBC, IEA, RUC, SWEEP, WRA.

07A-420E—Xcel
DSM Plan
in which the PUC will review Xcel’s proposals for electricity DSM policy including energy savings and DSM budget goals, DSM program cost recovery, and incentive to the utility for implementing effective DSM programs. This docket was initiated in response to DSM legislation enacted last year, HB 07-1037.

07A-462E—Xcel
Renewable Energy Plan
in which the PUC will review Xcel’s plans for complying with the recently doubled Renewable Energy Standard.  Interveners: CoSEIA, WRA.

07M-446E—Xcel
Plan on Transmission
.  Transmission is essential to bringing the power from renewable energy sources to population centers.  This docket will determine much of when and where transmission is upgraded or built, and so will have a long term impact on what Renewables can be developed. Current Interveners: IEA, WRA.

07R-371G—Gas
DSM Rules.
This docket will determine the key policies governing gas utility energy efficiency programs, including energy savings goals and how utilities will be compensated and rewarded for reductions in natural gas usage.  Current Interveners: EEBC, RUC, SWEEP.

 

Key
to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advocacy Groups intervening at
the Public Utilities Commission (alphabetical.)

Note:
CRES has not reviewed the testimony of any of these parties, and their
opinions are their own.  Their
information is included because they are known to be aligned with CRES’s
mission of promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in

Colorado

.

Abbr.

Name

Contact

Description/
website

CoSEIA

Colorado

Solar Energy Industries Association

Lynn Hirshman, Executive Director

lynn at coseia dot org

 

www.coseia.org

Trade association for the Solar industries in

Colorado

.

EEBC

Energy Efficiency Business Coalition of

Colorado

Paul Kriescher, President

PaulK at lightlytreading dot com

 

Industry Association of Energy Efficiency Businesses,
dedicated to promoting Energy Efficiency in

Colorado

IEA

Interwest Energy

Alliance

Craig Cox, Executive Director

cox at interwest dot org

 

www.interwest.org 
Group of RE businesses and advocacy groups promoting RE project
development in the West.

 

RUC

Ratepayers United

Colorado

Gina Hardin, Attorney

ginahardin at msn dot com

 

www.ratepayersunited.org

Nonprofit advocating for responsible and accountable
energy at the PUC.

SWEEP

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

Howard Geller, Executive Director

hgeller at swenergy dot
org

 

www.swenergy.org

Promotes Energy Efficiency in Southwestern States

WRA

Western Resource Advocates

John Nielsen, Energy Project Director jnielsen at westernresources dot org  


 

www.westernresourceadvocates.org

Nonprofit dedicated to protecting and restoring the
natural resources of the states of the interior west.

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Top Five Environmental Stocks for Gifts

For the Shopping season, I’ve just publised an article on a gift that’s greener than just giving more “stuff.” Help your young ones prepare for their future (and the future of the planet) with my Top Five Stocks to Give as Gifts this Holiday Season.
Green Gift

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Five Free (or nearly free) Ways to Learn about Alternative Energy near Denver

I’m often aghast at the price conference organizers ask for people looking to
learn about alternative energy, when there are so may great inexpensive
opportunities available, sponsored by nonprofits a and other organizations
whose mission is to get the word out about our energy options.  Here are
three monthly events that Denver area residents can go to… I go to most of
these regularly.

  1. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Brown Bag Analysis seminar … Free, but make sure to bring photo-ID.
  2. The Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s Monthly Meetings. ($5 or $40 annual membership – snacks usually served afterwards.)
  3. The Colorado Cleantech Initiative monthly meeting. ($10 with RSVP – you get dinner & free beer.)
  4. Smart Energy Living Workshops (Usually about $10-15, lower with membership)
  5. Clean Energy Action monthly meetings (Boulder)

Please leave comments if I forgot (or don’t know about) your regular free
or almost-free event.

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Denver Tour of Solar Homes Sneak Peak; links to National Tour

Preview the Denver Tour of Solar Homes Online


The Denver area Tour of Solar Homes takes place in less than a month, and this year you can preview some of the buildings involved online. 
Check out the Sneak Preview on the right-hand side of the
Tour of Solar Homes page on the CRES Web site

.

 

The 2007 Tour of Solar Homes will take place on Saturday, October 6 in Denver and most locations around the state.  However, some of the activities are slightly different. 
The Boulder tour will take place on Saturday, September 30. 
And the tour in Pueblo will span two days: October 6 – 7. 
See a complete listing of solar home tours in Colorado on the American Solar Energy Society Web site.

 

National Solar Tour

 

Outside of Colorado, people you can find tour in your own community by visiting the National Solar Home Tour website.

 

Volunteers Needed for the Tour of Solar Homes October 6

CRES needs volunteers to help with the Denver Metro-Area Tour of Solar Homes on Saturday, October 6.  If you step forward, you will assist homeowner with visitors.   

There are two shifts: morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and afternoon from noon to 4 p.m.  

Volunteers are welcome to spend the half-day they are not working touring homes themselves. Volunteers are also invited to attend a workshop free of charge from 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 titled "Solar Photovoltaics and Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Program" and presented by Jeff Scott of SolSource and Juliea Gauthier of Xcel Energy.  The
workshops take place at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Visitor’s Center at 15013 Denver West Parkway in Golden, which is two blocks west of the Denver West Marriott at I-70 and Denver West.

Following the workshop, veteran volunteer John Avenson will give a brief orientation for volunteers about the duties the day of the
Tour of Solar Homes
. To volunteer, contact Patty Roberts via email at: patty at pacificmillimeter dot com

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CSP for Dictators

When I heard
France had offered to provide a nuclear reactor
to power a desalinization
plant in Libya, it knocked me for a loop.  I do believe in carrots to show
countries that we don’t always get along with that there is some reason to be on
our good side, but I fail to see any circumstances under which adding one more
batch of radioactive material (even if not bomb-making grade) in a troubled
region of the world is going to aid our long term security.

If we want to help Gaddafi (or
perhaps pay him off for returning hostages
,) wouldn’t it make more sense to
give him something just a little less dangerous?  Concentrating Solar Power
(CSP) is ideally suited for Libya’s hat and dry climate, and it works well for
desalinization… why not use this opportunity to advance CSP technology, and
not have to worry about proliferation to boot?

That’s the question I ask in my most recent Alternative
Energy Stocks
article.  And while I’m at it, I ask similar questions
about our relations with Iran and North Korea. 

Click
here to read the entire article.

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