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Articles by Stephen Lacey

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New solar capacity beats natural gas in US in first half of 2014

New solar capacity beats natural gas in US in first half of 2014

But EIA data is leaving out a critical piece of solar: distributed generation.

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US city passes law making solar 'default’ generation resource

US city passes law making solar ‘default’ generation resource

Austin Energy’s recent 5-cent solar contract was a big deal. Now it makes solar “default” generation to hedge against rising fossil fuel costs.

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Can new small wind companies duplicate success of solar industry?

Can new small wind companies duplicate success of solar industry?

While solar has exploded in the U.S., small wind has struggled to grow. Two startups are hoping to change that.

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Why utilities should give up operational control of distribution grid

Why utilities should give up operational control of distribution grid

Regulators in New York are about to make one of the most important changes to the modern electric grid. But is it enough?

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Morgan Stanley: fixed charges on solar may cause ‘tipping point’ for grid defection

Morgan Stanley: fixed charges on solar may cause ‘tipping point’ for grid defection

Could adding fixed grid charges to the bills of solar customers encourage more people to ditch their utility?

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Utility industry wants to promote EVs to ‘remain viable’

Utility industry wants to promote EVs to ‘remain viable’

Facing flat or declining electricity sales, electric vehicles are a path to growth for power companies.

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Arizona public service enters the rooftop solar business

Arizona public service enters the rooftop solar business

After a long fight with the solar industry, APS now wants to get into the solar business itself. Industry reactions are mixed.

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Here’s what utilities really think about microgrids

Here’s what utilities really think about microgrids

If utilities can fully or partially own microgrids, they might be more interested in seeing the market succeed.

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Rise of prosumer: Will homeowners be more important than power plants?

Rise of prosumer: Will homeowners be more important than power plants?

A new report concludes that policymakers and regulators are not prepared for consumer empowerment on the grid.

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SolarCity plans 1GW solar factory as solar costs plunge

SolarCity plans 1GW solar factory as solar costs plunge

An insight into why Elon Musk and Lyndon Rive have committed to 1GW solar factory – unsubsidised solar competing with fossil fuels.

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Will batteries and PV create unstoppable hybrid force?

Will batteries and PV create unstoppable hybrid force?

Once a dominant force in solar, batteries were pushed aside in favor of grid-tied systems. But that dynamic may be changing.