Posts Tagged ‘fossil fuel’

20 July

Update on FIT (Feed-In-Tariffs)


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Please click on red links below.

Thanks to our Wind-friend Paul Gipe for the links below. Yes, we’re still keeping track of the progress with FIT (Feed-In-Tariffs)!

Sun Above Cloud (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

News on Feed-in Tariffs

July 13, 2013,   by Jorge AlcauzaSpain’s government has announced the end of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system for renewable energy. – See more at:

July 12, 2013,The tariff levels have been set at 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal.

July 12, 2013,CSI-II will precede two additional clean energy projects to be released before year end 2013. In one, LIPA staff is developing another feed-in tariff to allow for wind, fuel cells and other renewable resources to fill an additional 20MW block of renewable energy. In the other, LIPA is preparing a Request for Proposals for up-to-280 MW of renewable energy.

July 3, 2013,   by Department of Energy & Climate Change

Aspiring communities across the nation will be able to receive Feed-in Tariff (FITs) payments for the clean green energy generated by larger community energy projects, under new plans set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today. Projects such as solar PV on school roofs or panels on libraries, community owned wind turbines and hydro power from local streams could all benefit under the proposed new rules.


Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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6 April

A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kauai/Residents of Kauai Are Blessed With Sunshine And KIUC


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

Remember the Island of Kauai (Kaua’i) of Hawaii featured in two of our posts in 2012 (March 29, March 30) where more than seventy Hollywood movies and  TV shows had been filmed ? I want to take you to this Garden Isle again not just for its idyllic scenery and laid back pace of life, but to learn from the experience of this island’s utility cooperative, KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative), in integrating solar into their grid.

The day we arrived, during our drive to the hotel, I’ve noticed that there had been significant increase in residential and commercial solar PV and solar thermal on the island compared to previous year.

Residential solar installations across the street from Kaua’i Community College, 2013

More residential solar at Kauai (Kaua’i)

More Residential/Commercial solar at Kauai (Kaua’i) 2013

Commercial solar at a dentist’s office at Kauai (Kaua’i), 2013




















Thanks to Jim Kelly, the Communications Manager of KIUC, for introducing us to Mr. Brad Rockwell. Below is an interview with power supply manager, Mr. Brad Rockwell, of KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative).

As of March, 2013, the Island of Kaua’i (of Hawaii) is one of the world’s leaders in per capita Solar PV (soon to be the #1 after the completion of its next solar installation project). In the past few years, several important renewable energy projects moved from the planning and permitting stage to  construction and installation. Alexander & Baldwin began construction on its 6-megawatt photovoltaic system at Port Allen, coupled with a new 3-megawatt battery storage system installed by KIUC. A 1.5-megawatt battery storage system was installed in Koloa to capture power generated by PV systems.


6-MW solar PV system at Port Allen

In Anahola, KIUC and the Homestead Community Development Corporation were awarded the contract to build Kauai’s largest photovoltaic system, a 12-megawatt photovoltaic project currently under reviewing process and is scheduled to begin this year.

Even though during recent decades, Kauai (Kaua’i) had been heavily dependent on fossil fuel for its energy use; record shows that in 2007, 95% of its energy use came from oil and 5% from renewables (no utility scale solar). The beautiful island of Kauai had a history of using biomass and hydropower for its energy consumption. As early as of 1980’s, about 50% of Kauai island’s energy/electricity use was through renewables by burning bagasse (residues of sugar cane). As sugar cane ran out and oil became cheaper, burning fossil fuel/oil became the main source of energy on the island. As the cost of oil becomes more and more expensive, with the plentiful sunshine on this tropical island, and the desire to preserve the island environment as clean and pristine as possible for future generations, incorporating solar energy seems to be the natural choice. There has been significant progress/incorporation made toward renewable/solar energy;currently 85% of energy use on the island is from oil and 15% from renewables. KIUC has a large solar plant under construction by the end of year 2013 and another biomass plant currently under construction. Within two years, KIUC is projecting to be at 60% from oil/40% from renewables level. Specifically for solar, about 2% of KIUC’s current energy supply comes from solar (whereas CA has about 0.3% of its supply from solar). On any given day, about 20-25% of the energy demand at Kauai is met by solar. KIUC has about 14.5-15 MW of solar on the grid right now during normal daytime demand of 60 MW (peak demand is about 72 MW after the sun goes down).  In 2015, after completion of the two 12 MW solar plants, KIUC will be expecting to meet more than 50% of its energy daytime load (any day) by solar.

There had been dramatically more solar installations (residential and commercial) on Kauai island in recent years because of the incentives from Federal Tax Credit (residential/commercial) of 30% of the total expenses, State Tax Credit for solar thermal system (lesser of 35% of overall costs or $2250, $350/unit, $250,000 depending on if it is single family residency/multi-family residency/commercial), and solar water heating loan and rebate program with KIUC (teamed up with Kauai Community Federal Credit Union and Kauai County Housing Agency offering a 0% interest loan, repayment on a 60 monthly payback schedule). More detailed information on various incentives available to Kauai island or Hawaii may be found at: The capping on state tax credit is around $5000 per system, with 5 KW as the defining cap (2 systems with one being 2 KW and another being 3 KW is defined as one system) per system to avoid confusion. Lastly, I also found out about the Schedule Q (equivalent of the FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)) available to any energy producer at Kauai in selling excess energy to KIUC.

Customer generated power (Schedule Q or FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) is in effect!)

On the large-scale, utility side, the initial motive force driving KIUC into action in developing the first utility scale solar project was due to  Section 1603, Tax Grant at the federal level (, qualifying for the Safe Harbor provision where 5% of the project value had to be spent by end of 2011.

Some of the concerns regarding integrating solar into the grid were discussed:

  1. Firstly, the concern for solar penetration per circuit: where some mainland utility may set a 15% threshold penetration for/in solar, KIUC at Kauai has a circuit with 100% penetration on clear days. There does not appear to be any need to set a limit on solar penetration. This fact appears to be supported by another research result on High Penetration Projects in the US, by Ben Kroposki, PhD., PE of NREL at Another good source via US Department of Energy for high solar penetration through Sunshot Initiative
  2. Second concern is regarding the ramp rates: for example, a Puerto Rico utility with 0.5 MW per  minute movement limit would translate into requiring solar developer to have the appropriately sized battery storage capacity to meet that ramp rate. KIUC, with 60 MW demand during the day, has been able to handle 8-9 MW per minute without significant impact on frequency.

For a closer look at KIUC’s “On the Road to Renewables” 2011 Annual Report (<-click).

With the quadrupled cost of oil and the fact that KIUC is a cooperative welcoming renewables, in addition to federal and state incentives and Schedule Q (equivalent of Feed-In-Tariff), these are all reasons driving residents and KIUC toward the renewable/solar energy. We will look forward to 2015, the day when KIUC will be meeting 50% of its day time energy demand via solar, and to 2023 when KIUC will be meeting 50% of all of its energy demand via solar. Residents at Kauai are fortunate to have such a wonderful utility cooperative looking out for their interest. Let the sun shine upon this beautiful garden isle, forever be benefiting from trade wind and remaining pristine, free from pollution….

~have a bright and sunny day~

interviewed, written, photographed and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, video filmed by Michael Nunamaker

any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at


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31 July

Why Should We Power The World With Wind-Water-Sunlight Quickly


If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

It is an exciting time to be alive.  We earthlings may have many problems to deal with, but we are also equipped with many tools, terrific minds, and fantastic ways of communications.  My thirst for solutions for earth’s energy problem combined with my online teaching jobs permitted me to travel to various places from time to time to search for answer…to seek lessons learned and wisdom gathered…. Yes, I’ve attended many lectures by many scholars who have studied the energy issue.

Today, I want to share with you a talk by Mark Z. Jacobson, Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Professor Jacobson started the talk by explaining what the problem we earthlings are facing today and why is there such an urgency in needing to deal with it quickly:

  • temperatures are rising quickly
  • Arctic sea ice area is decreasing quickly
  • air pollution mortality is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and higher temperature contributes to deaths
  • higher population and growing energy demand will lead to worsening air pollution and climate problems over time

This part of the talk helped me to realize that black carbon (main component of the soot particles) is also a very important factor for causing global warming, in addition to CO2 emission.  Annual premature earthlings’ deaths due to particulates is about 2.5-3 million (in U.S. that is translated into 50,000-100,000 and in Europe, 300,000-350,000 annual premature deaths due to air pollution).

As any good engineer/scholar would approach a problem, Professor Jacobson did not just  alarm us with problems but also evaluated possible solutions both with and without cost considerations.  From reviewing and ranking major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security, his talk also considered various impacts of the proposed solutions such as water supply, land use, resource availability, reliability, wildlife, and  risk of cancer and nuclear proliferation.  Some data I was not aware of in the past was presented, such as the dramatic increase of organic gases (formaldehyde, 200% and  acetaldehyde, 4500%) and increased ozone generated from using ethanol.  In the final analysis, with consideration of materials, transmission infrastructure, costs, and politics, Professor Jacobson concludes that the best way to power the world is with Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) technologies.



By 2030, the cost of using fossil fuel (13.5c/kWh) will be higher than using WWS (8-13 c/kWh) technologies.  Using WWS technologies will also eliminate 2.5-3 million air pollution premature deaths/year and global warming and provides energy stability.  Furthermore, converting to WWS and electricity/H2 will reduce global power demand by 30%.  The greatest concern regarding use of WWS is its variability;this is also addressed by Jacobson’s study by: ( 1.) interconnecting geographically-dispersed WWS;(2.) bundling WWS and using hydro to fill in gaps;(3.) demand-response (provide incentive to discourage use during peak/high demand period);(4.) oversizing peak capacity and producing hydrogen with excess for industry, vehicles;(5.)on-site storage;(6.)better forecasting.



The study concludes that the best way to power planet earth in the future is with Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) technologies.  It is feasible both technically and economically.  Its potential barriers are up-front costs, transmission needs, lobbying, and politics.

Relevant papers can be found at

Dear Readers, this is exactly why I have written the series on Feed-In-Tariff, trying to urge all of our local and federal governments (not just the Floridians or residents of USA, but residents of planet earth) to give all of us the  incentive to participate  in our move toward the Renewable WWS age.  We, as individual home or business owners, may not be spending multiple millions of dollars for lobbying, but we are just as concerned with the future of energy use and welfare of our planet earth as any large utility companies.  We earthlings are all connected. The particulate matters from China or India or radiation material from Fukushima will impact all of us earthlings.  So as  individual earthlings, let’s start by calling attention and action for our immediate communities.  I, here in Florida, will try my very best in asking my community and local government to consider Feed-In-Tariff (discussions available by going to the search box at right and type in “feed in tariff”). Feed-In-Tariff, now rebranded as CLEAN program, may be utilized by individual home owners, small businesses, organizations such as schools, Y’s, hospitals, libraries, local McDonald’s, WalMart, police stations, and large power/utility companies/plant (refer to the piece I wrote on July 13, 2011, Answer For The Future Is In Hybrid Marriage-Solar And Fossil Fuel at alike. I hope you, readers from 85 countries (esp. for those who resides in countries not yet with Feed-In-Tariff), will do the same.  I will try to find a way to set up a petition page within few days.  Please feel free to email me at if you have any suggestions.  Any of your input will be welcomed.

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,



BIO  for Mark Z. Jacobson (taken from Stanford University web site for energy seminar:

Professor/Director Jacobson currently sits on the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Federal Advisory Committee (ERAC) to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.  He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering with distinction, an A.B. in Economics with distinction, and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, in 1988, an M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences in 1991 and a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences in 1994 from UCLA and has been on the faculty at Stanford since 1994.  His work relates to the development and application of numerical models to understand better the effects of energy systems and vehicles on climate and air pollution and the analysis of renewable energy resources. He has published two textbooks and 110 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. His 2000 finding that black carbon, the main component of soot particles, may be the second-leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide provided the original scientific basis for five recent U.S. proposed laws on black carbon. He received the 2005 American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award for “significant contributions to modeling aerosol chemistry and to understanding the role of soot and other carbon particles on climate.” In 2005, his group developed the first wind map of the world from data at the height of modern turbines. He recently co-authored a cover article in Scientific American with Dr. Mark DeLucchi of U.C. Davis and two more detailed analyses in Energy Policy on how to power the world with renewable energy.

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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