Renewables lead new generation this year, but prepare for big decline in new wind in 2013

By Bill Opalka, Guest Contributor Renewable energy generation grabbed a 46% share of new capacity in the first 10 months of the year, easily outpacing natural gas, coal, nuclear and oil. That’s according to the latest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Energy Infrastructure update, which covers the January-October time frame. The 46% renewable share includes new […]

U.S. carbon tax talk on the rebound: enough for both parties to dislike . . . and pass?

It might only apply to industry emissions and nary a Republican would dare admit to seriously considering it, but talk of a possible carbon tax is making the rounds in political Washington and elsewhere. Think about it. A carbon tax does not lack for support among mainstream energy and fiscal policy experts; it has drawn […]

Dark clouds portend challenging 2012 and beyond for America’s renewable energy industries

Be sure to gauge the tall hurdles American renewable energy industries face in 2012 and beyond here which I wrote for my colleagues and friends at and their daily e-newsletter at

Japan joins Germany, Italy, China, Ontario with new feed-in tariffs for 30 gigawatts of renewables; 50¢ per kWh for solar

Pinning its hopes on a sustainable recovery from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan’s Upper House of the Diet has enacted feed-in tariffs that take effect July 1, 2012 requiring utilities to purchase electricity generated by commercially available sources of renewable energy for a set price and period. Reuters reports a ruling party lawmakers “expects” the […]

Projecting renewable energy costs should be easier and more accurate

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a tool  to help state regulators, energy officials and project developers analyze renewable energy project costs, develop cost-based incentives (e.g., feed-in tariffs), and evaluate the impact of tax incentives or other support structures. The Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST) was developed for NREL by Sustainable […]