August 30, 2010 - Cape Wind; German solar to beat wind?

Monday, August 30, 2010

The dome at the Maine State House - currently netted for construction.
The Boston Globe editorial team has come out in qualified support of utility National Grid's proposed long-term contract with Cape Wind.  The editors note that consumers are correct to consider whether it is appropriate for them to be required pay more than 25% more for energy from renewable sources than for energy as a commodity.  They do note that because the Cape Wind contract represents about 3.5% of National Grid's load, the impact on ratepayers will be diluted -- about $1.24 per month for the average residential consumer.  After a close examination, should the Department of Public Utilities approve the deal?  The editors' answer: "no if the goal is simply to keep utility costs as low as possible in 2010 — but yes if Massachusetts wants to be a future leader in renewable technology."

Meanwhile, Germany has announced that its solar PV capacity may exceed its wind capacity by 2020.  A state energy adviser has projected that Germany will have 42 GW of installed capacity from solar photovoltaics by 2020 -- just enough to topple wind power, which is projected to reach 41.9 GW installed capacity.  Germany produces more electricity than any other nation in Europe.

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