Friday, July 20, 2018

EIA Report: Renewable Energy Still Dominates Energy Subsidies

At the request of the Secretary of Energy, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, evaluated the subsidies that the federal government provided energy producers for fiscal year 2016, updating a study that it did for fiscal years 2013 and 2010. Federal subsidies to support renewable energy in fiscal year 2016 totaled $6.682 billion (2016 dollars), while those for fossil energy totaled $489 million—renewables subsidies were higher by almost a factor of 14. The EIA noted that those subsidies do not include state and local subsidies, mandates, or incentives that in many cases are quite substantial, especially for renewable energy sources.

EIA found that most federal subsidies in FY 2016 support renewable energy supplies (primarily biofuels, wind, and solar) and reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency. In FY 2016, 45 percent of federal energy subsidies were associated with renewable energy and 42 percent were associated with energy end uses (e.g., Low Income Heating Assistance and other such programs). Energy end-use and conservation subsidies declined from $7.7 billion in FY 2013 to $7.2 billion in FY 2016.

Despite renewable energy receiving almost half the federal subsidies, EIA reported that fossil energy in the form of coal, oil, natural gas and natural gas plant liquids made up 78.1 percent of primary energy production in FY 2016. Nuclear power contributed 10 percent, followed by biomass at 5.9 percent, hydroelectric at 2.9 percent, wind at 2.4 percent, solar at 0.6 percent, and geothermal at 0.2 percent.

Total federal subsidies declined from $29.3 billion in FY 2013 to $15 billion in FY 2016. Federal renewable energy subsidies declined from $15.3 billion in FY 2013 to $6.7 billion in FY 2016. The decline in federal renewable energy subsidies was due mainly to a decrease in direct expenditures, which reflects an expired government program that allowed subsidy applicants to receive grants in lieu of tax credits. These grants (Section 1603 grants) were created by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. While the application period for this temporary program ended, the outlays for some projects continued into FY 2016.

Quantified energy specific subsidies and support by category (FY 2013 and 2016)

Source: EIA

 

The Section 1603 grants decreased by $7.7 billion between FY 2013 and FY 2016. Wind subsidies decreased the most, declining from $6.2 billion in FY 2013 to $1.3 billion in FY 2016. Solar subsidies also decreased, from $5.8 billion in FY 2013 to $2.2 billion in FY 2016. Both wind and solar continue to be eligible for tax credits—production tax credit for wind and the investment tax credit for solar.

Federal subsidies and support for fossil fuels decreased from about $3.9 billion in FY 2013 to $489 million in FY 2016. Subsidies for coal slightly increased, while subsidies for natural gas and petroleum liquids decreased. In FY 2016, certain tax provisions related to oil and natural gas yielded positive revenue flow for the government, resulting in a negative net subsidy of $773 million for oil and natural gas, based on estimates from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Federal subsidies and support for nuclear energy also declined from $1.4 billion in FY 2013 to $0.4 billion in FY 2016.

Federal Subsidy and Support for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy (including biofuels) comprised 52 percent of total energy subsidies in FY 2013 and 45 percent in FY 2016. In FY 2016, tax expenditures accounted for 80 percent of total renewable energy subsidies. Direct expenditures for renewable energy decreased by 90 percent between FY 2013 and FY 2016 due mainly to the expiration of the Section 1603 grant program mentioned above. Renewable energy tax expenditures declined by $367 million between FY 2013 and FY 2016 due mostly to lower outlays for the production tax credit. In FY 2016, biofuels represented 42 percent of total subsidies for renewable energy while renewable energy used in electricity production represented the other 58 percent.

Among renewable technologies, biofuels received the only incremental increase in FY 2016 subsidy support because of greater U.S. biomass-based diesel production and foreign imports of these products that resulted in an approximately $1 billion increase in tax credits from FY 2013 levels.

Quantified renewable related energy specefic subsidies and support by type, FY 2010, FY 2013, and FY 2016

Source: EIA

 

In fiscal year 2016, total federal electricity-related subsidies declined from their FY 2013 value. The amount of the decline is unknown because EIA did not provide a table of electricity related subsidies for FY 2016. However, the largest electricity-related federal energy subsidies were for renewable energy since subsidies for wind and solar each exceeded subsidies for coal and natural gas and petroleum. Wind and solar combined represented 90 percent of the federal renewable energy-related subsidies in FY 2016.

 

While EIA did not calculate the subsidies per unit of energy produced in FY 2016, the Institute for Energy Research calculated the federal subsidies and support per unit of electricity production from the information provided in EIA’s report for renewable technologies and nuclear power. Because EIA did not break out the electricity-related subsidies for coal, natural gas, and petroleum from their total subsidies, the subsidy per unit of energy produced could not be calculated for these sources of electricity. However, if one assumed that all of coal’s subsidies that EIA calculated were for electricity production, the subsidy cost per unit of production for coal would be $1.04 per megawatt hour. However, it is more likely to be about 80 percent of that value. The figure below provides the subsidy costs per unit of production for those technologies that EIA provided relevant data.

On a per dollar basis, government policies have led to solar generation being subsidized by over 95 times more than nuclear electricity production, and wind being subsidized over 12 times more than nuclear power on a unit of production basis.

 

Conclusion

EIA’s report shows that on a total dollar basis and on a unit of production basis, solar energy had the highest federal electricity-related subsidy in FY 2016. In terms of all subsidies and sources, renewable energy and end-uses had the largest subsidies. In general, total federal subsidies for energy declined by almost 50 percent between FY 2013 and FY 2016.

The post EIA Report: Renewable Energy Still Dominates Energy Subsidies appeared first on IER.

Reputation Management SEO: How to Own Your Branded Keywords in Google - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

A searcher's first experience with your brand happens on Google's SERPs — not your website. Having the ability to influence their organic first impression can go a long way toward improving both customer perception of your brand and conversion rates. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand takes us through the inherent challenges of reputation management SEO and tactics for doing it effectively.

Reputation management SEO: How to Own Your Branded Keywords in Google

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are chatting about reputation management SEO.

So it turns out I've been having a number of conversations with many of you in the Moz community and many friends of mine in the startup and entrepreneurship worlds about this problem that happens pretty consistently, which is essentially that folks who are searching for your brand in Google experience their first touch before they ever get to your site, their first experience with your brand is through Google's search result page. This SERP, controlling what appears here, what it says, how it says it, who is ranking, where they're ranking, all of those kinds of things, can have a strong input on a bunch of things.

The challenge

We know that the search results' content can impact...
  • Your conversion rate. People see that the reviews are generally poor or the wording is confusing or it creates questions in their mind that your content doesn't answer. That can hurt your conversion rate.
  • It can hurt amplification. People who see you in here, who think that there is something bad or negative about you, might be less likely to link to you or share or talk about you.
  • It can impact customer satisfaction. Customers who are going to buy from you but see something negative in the search results might be more likely to complain about it. Or if they see that you have a lower review or ranking or whatnot, they may be more likely to contribute a negative one than if they had seen that you had stellar ones. Their expectations are being biased by what's in these search results. A lot of times it is totally unfair.

So many of the conversations I've been having, for example with folks in the startup space, are like, "Hey, people are reviewing my product. We barely exist yet. We don't have these people as customers. We feel like maybe we're getting astroturfed by competitors, or someone is just jumping in here and trying to profit off the fact that we have a bunch of brand search now." So pretty frustrating.

How can we influence this page to maximize positive impact for our brand?

There are, however, some ways to address it. In order to change these results, make them better, Minted, for example, of which I should mention I used to be on Minted's Board of Directors, and so I believe my wife and I still have some stock in that company. So full disclosure there. But Minted, they're selling holiday cards. The holiday card market is about to heat up before November and December here in the United States, which is the Christmas holiday season, and that's when they sell a lot of these cards. So we can do a few things.

I. Change who ranks. So potentially remove some and add some new ones in here, give Google some different options. We could change the ranking order. So we could say, "Hey, we prefer this be lower down and this other one be higher up." We can change that through SEO.

II. Change the content of the ranking pages. If you have poor reviews or if someone has written about you in a particular way and you wish to change that, there are ways to influence that as well.

III. Change the SERP features. So we may be able to get images, for example, of Minted's cards up top, which would maybe make people more likely to purchase them, especially if they're exceptionally beautiful.

IV. Add in top stories. If Minted has some great press about them, we could try and nudge Google to use stuff from Google News in here. Maybe we could change what's in related searches, those types of things.

V. Shift search demand. So if it's the case that you're finding that people start typing "Minted" and then maybe are search suggested "Minted versus competitor X" or "Minted card problems" or whatever it is, I don't think either of those are actually in the suggest, but there are plenty of companies who do have that issue. When that's the case, you can also shift the search demand.

Reputation management tactics

Here are a number of tactics that I actually worked on with the help of Moz's Head of SEO, Britney Muller. Britney and I came up with a bunch of tactics, so many that they won't entirely fit on here, but we can describe a few more for you in the comments.

A. Directing link to URLs off your site (Helps with 1 & 2). First off, links are still a big influencer of a lot of the content that you see here. So it is the case that because Yelp is a powerful domain and they have lots of links, potentially even have lots of links to this page about Minted, it's the case that changing up those links, redirecting some of them, adding new links to places, linking out from your own site, linking from articles you contribute to, linking from, for example, the CEO's bio or a prominent influencer on the team's bio when they go and speak at events or contribute to sources, or when Minted makes donations, or when they support public causes, or when they're written about in the press, changing those links and where they point to can have a positive impact.

One of the problems that we see is that a lot of brands think, "All my links about my brand should always go to my homepage." That's not actually the case. It could be the case that you actually want to find, hey, maybe we would like our Facebook page to rank higher. Or hey, we wrote a great piece on Medium about our engineering practices or our diversity practices or how we give back to our community. Let's see if we can point some of our links to that.

B. Pitching journalists or bloggers or editors or content creators on the web (Helps with 1, 4, a little 3), of any kind, to write about you and your products with brand titled pieces. This is on e of the biggest elements that gets missing. For example, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle might write a piece about Minted and say something like, "At this startup, it's not unusual to find blah, blah, blah." What you want to do is go, "Come on, man, just put the word 'Minted' in the title of the piece." If they do, you've got a much better shot of having that piece potentially rank in here. So that's something that whoever you're working with on that content creation side, and maybe a reporter at the Chronicle would be much more difficult to do this, but a blogger who's writing about you or a reviewer, someone who's friendly to you, that type of a pitch would be much more likely to have some opportunity in there. It can get into the top stories SERP feature as well.

C. Crafting your own content (Helps with 1, a little 3). If they're not going to do it for you, you can craft your own content. You can do this in two kinds of ways. One is for open platforms like Medium.com or Huffington Post or Forbes or Inc. or LinkedIn, these places that accept those, or guest accepting publications that are much pickier, that are much more rarely taking input, but that rank well in your field. You don't have to think about this exclusively from a link building perspective. In fact, you don't care if the links are nofollow. You don't care if they give you no links at all. What you're trying to do is get your name, your title, your keywords into the title element of the post that's being put up.

D. You can influence reviews (Helps with 3 & 5). Depending on the site, it's different from site to site. So I'm putting TOS acceptable, terms of service acceptable nudges to your happy customers and prompt diligent support to the unhappy ones. So Yelp, for example, says, "Don't solicit directly reviews, but you are allowed to say, 'Our business is featured on Yelp.'" For someone like Minted, Yelp is mostly physical places, and while Minted technically has a location in San Francisco, their offices, it's kind of odd that this is what's ranking here. In fact, I wouldn't expect this to be. I think this is a strange result to have for an online-focused company, to have their physical location in there. So certainly by nudging folks who are using Minted to rather than contribute to their Facebook reviews or their Google reviews to actually say, "Hey, we're also on Yelp. If you've been happy with us, you can check us out there." Not go leave us a review there, but we have a presence.

E. Filing trademark violations (Helps with 1 & 3). So this is a legal path and legal angle, but it works in a couple of different ways. You can do a letter or an email from your attorney's office, and oftentimes that will shut things down. In fact, brief story, a friend of mine, who has a company, found that their product was featured on Amazon's website. They don't sell on Amazon. No one is reselling on Amazon. In fact, the product mostly hasn't even shipped yet. When they looked at the reviews, because they haven't sold very many of their product, it's an expensive product, none of the people who had left reviews were actually their customers. So they went, "What is going on here?" Well, it turns out Amazon, in order to list your product, needs your trademark permission. So they can send an attorney's note to Amazon saying, "Hey, you are using our product, our trademark, our brand name, our visuals, our photos without permission. You need to take that down."

The other way you can go about this is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protocols. You can do this directly through Google, where you file and say basically, "Hey, they've taken copyrighted content from us and they're using it on their website, and that's illegal." Google will actually remove them from the search results.
This is not necessarily a legal angle, but I bet you didn't know this. A few years ago I had an article on Wikipedia about me, Rand Fishkin. There was like a Wikipedia piece. I don't like that. Wikipedia, it's uncontrollable. Because I'm in the SEO world, I don't have a very good relationship with Wikipedia's editors. So I actually lobbied them, on the talk page of the article about me, to have it removed. There are a number of conditions that Wikipedia has where a page can be removed. I believe I got mine removed under the not notable enough category, which I think probably still applies. That was very successful. So wonderfully, now, Wikipedia doesn't rank for my name anymore, which means I can control the SERPs much more easily. So a potential there too.

F. Using brand advertising and/or influencer marketing to nudge searchers towards different phrases (Helps with 5). So what you call your products, how you market yourself is often how people will search for you. If Minted wanted to change this from Minted cards to minted photo cards, and they really like the results from minted photo cards and those had better conversion rates, they could start branding that through their advertising and their influencer marketing.

G. Surrounding your brand name, a similar way, with common text, anchor phrases, and links to help create or reinforce an association that Google builds around language (Helps with 4 & 5). In that example I said before, having Minted plus a link to their photo cards page or Minted photo cards appearing on the web, not only their own website but everywhere else out there more commonly than Minted cards will bias related searches and search suggest. We've tested this. You can actually use anchor text and surrounding text to sort of bias, in addition to how people search, how Google shows it.

H. Leverage some platforms that rank well and influence SERP features (Helps with 2 & 4). So rather than just trying to get into the normal organic results, we might say, "Hey, I want some images here. Aha, Pinterest is doing phenomenal work at image SEO. If I put up a bunch of pictures from Minted, of Minted's cards or photo cards on Pinterest, I have a much better shot at ranking in and triggering the image results." You can do the same thing with YouTube for videos. You can do the same thing with new sites and for what's called the top stories feature. The same thing with local and local review sites for the maps and local results feature. So all kinds of ways to do that.

More...

Four final topics before we wrap up.

  • Registering and using separate domains? Should I register and use a separate domain, like MintedCardReviews, that's owned by Minted? Generally not. It's not impossible to do reputation management SEO through that, but it can be difficult. I'm not saying you might not want to give it a spin now and then, but generally that's sort of like creating your own reviews, your own site. Google often recognizes those and looks behind the domain registration wall, and potentially you have very little opportunity to rank for those, plus you're doing a ton of link building and that kind of stuff. Better to leverage someone's platform, who can already rank, usually.
  • Negative SEO attacks. You might remember the story from a couple weeks ago, in Fast Company, where Casper, the mattress brand, was basically accused of and found mostly to be generally guilty of going after and buying negative links to a review site that was giving them poor reviews, giving their mattresses poor reviews, and to minimal effect. I think, especially nowadays, this is much less effective than it was a few years ago following Google's last Penguin update. But certainly I would not recommend it. If you get found out for it, you can be sued too.
  • What about buying reviewers and review sites? This is what Casper ended up doing. So that site they were buying negative links against, they ended up just making an offer and buying out the person who owned it. Certainly it is a way to go. I don't know if it's the most ethical or honest thing to do, but it is a possibility.
  • Monitoring brand and rankings. Finally, I would urge you to, if you're not experiencing these today, but you're worried about them, definitely monitor your brand. You could use something like a Fresh Web Explorer or Mention.com or Talkwalker. And your rankings too. You want to be tracking your rankings so that you can see who's popping in there and who's not. Obviously, there are lots of SEO tools to do that.
All right, everyone, thanks for joining us, and we'll see again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Businesses Should Avoid Global Warming Politics

Kinder-Morgan, the nation’s largest midstream energy company, just announced a multi-billion-dollar pipeline project to move two billion cubic feet of natural gas each day from West Texas to Gulf Coast consumers. At the same time, on the other side of the country, a federal judge threw out a climate-related lawsuit against some of the largest oil and gas companies in world.

All this brings to mind two non-binding shareholder resolutions instructing Kinder-Morgan to issue an environmental sustainability report and to assess the risk of climate change policy on its operations.

Amid a booming wellhead-to-burner-tip fossil-fuel market, and with clear judicial protection, should energy companies like Kinder-Morgan wade into the climate issue?

No, free market adherents argue. To economist Milton Friedman, profit-maximization best serves consumers and investors so long as the firm engages in “open and free competition without deception or fraud,” while respecting ethical norms.

In Just Business: Business Ethics in Action, Elaine Sternberg warned business to steer clear of shifting, subjective, emotional issues. A firm is not political debating society, much less a government, charity, church, or club. A firm creates long-term value for its owners, which then can use their wealth for philanthropic ends (such as Richard Kinder’s greening Houston initiative.)

So, Friedman/Sternberg would say: do not be distracted by stakeholder politics—and refrain from issuing specialized reports on social issues, such as global warming politics.

What about the basic ethics of its operations? Here, Kinder-Morgan can defer to the existing literature about the efficacy of the midstream energy business. Pipelines are a safer alternative than truck or rail transportation. Storage related to transportation (another major Kinder-Morgan function) ensures the reliability of energy deliveries to countless consumers.

Say that an outside party were to write, gratis, an environmental sustainability report for Kinder-Morgan. What might it say?

At a minimum, opposing viewpoints would have to be summarized. Take the famous global warming Senate hearing that just turned thirty years old. As summarized by the New York Times, climate models then predicted a temperature increase between 3 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2025–2050. Yet today, the recorded global increase is south of one degree. And temperatures have been relatively flat since the late 1990s (the much-discussed “pause” or “warming hiatus”).

Given global lukewarming, the benefits of carbon dioxide come into play, beginning with accelerated plant growth via the CO2 fertilization effect.

An environmental sustainability report should also highlight the utilitarian case for affordable, plentiful, reliable energy. As Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, natural gas, coal, and oil have dramatically improved and protected life. “We don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous,” he states. “We take a dangerous climate and make it safe.” Climate-related deaths, in fact, have dramatically declined in the last century, as much as 99 percent. The protective nature of mineral energy and the wealth creation thereof are causal in this regard.

Dense hydrocarbons, in fact, have environmental advantages relative to dilute, intermittent renewables. “The greenest fuels are the ones that contain the most energy per pound of material that must be mined, trucked, pumped, piped, and burnt,” noted Peter Huber in his book Hard Green. “Extracting comparable amounts of energy from the surface would entail truly monstrous environmental disruption.”

His conclusion? “The greenest possible strategy is to mine and to bury, to fly and to tunnel, to search high and low, where the life mostly isn’t, and so to leave the edge, the space in the middle, living and green.”

Kinder-Morgan, as other energy companies, should leave the sustainability and climate debates to scientists, public-policy wonks, and government bodies. Focus on serving consumers in the marketplace. And in this company’s and founder’s case, stay profitable so Houston can be greener too.

The post Businesses Should Avoid Global Warming Politics appeared first on IER.

The one thing industry experts say you must do before growing your solar business

The solar industry is growing faster than ever. Maybe you own a solar business that has been booming, or you’re looking to expand into more local markets. We sat down with Will White, Solar Energy International (SEI) curriculum developer and instructor of PVOL206: Solar Training-Solar Business and Technical Sales, to get his expert insight on the most important things to consider before growing your solar business.

Know your market

It is crucial to do your research before entering a new market. Here are some of the most important considerations:

  • What competition is out there?
  • How big is the potential client base?
  • Are there any utility, state, or local restrictions?
  • What’s an average return on investment?
  • What financing options are there?

Don’t sell systems for less than cost

It might be tempting to offer ultra-competitive pricing, but selling systems at negative margins to get more jobs could easily lead to running out of funds and going bankrupt.

Don’t just grow for growth’s sake

A note of caution, it may be tempting to move into a new area or market segment, but often it’s more profitable to stick to what you know. Many companies start out small with low overhead and grow to a point where the overhead becomes unsustainable and then the business fails. Be weary of growing for growth’s sake and use your discretion on how beneficial it will be to your business.

Remember to keep your focus on top-notch customer service and quality installs

Treating your customers right and providing quality installs will lead to better and more referrals. Referrals are the best leads because they close at much higher rates and they’re less expensive to obtain. Provide great customer service by communicating often and setting realistic expectations. For example, if it’s going to take 9 months from contract signing to install make sure the customer understands that timeline.

 

Train your team at SEI!  SEI offers discounts and contract trainings for businesses interested in having their employees complete SEI trainings. Learn more about SEI’s contract training offerings here: https://www.solarenergy.org/contract-training/

Learn more from Will in SEI’s PVOL206: Solar Training-Solar Business and Technical Sales.

Full class description:

There are many opportunities for different careers in the residential PV industry, including the business and sales side of it. Addressing the topics in the NABCEP PV Technical Sales job task analysis, PVOL206 focuses on technical details for sales professionals, financial analysis, and system financing. This course is geared toward students who are interested in, or who already are working in, the business or sales side of the residential PV industry and are looking to improve their knowledge and sales techniques or are working towards the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification.

The post The one thing industry experts say you must do before growing your solar business appeared first on Solar Training - Solar Installer Training - Solar PV Installation Training - Solar Energy Courses - Renewable Energy Education - NABCEP - Solar Energy International (SEI).

5 strategies for improving your solar sales game

Are you looking for a job in solar sales, or simply trying to improve your everyday sales strategies? We asked Solar Energy International (SEI) Instructor and Curriculum Developer Will White to share some exclusive insight on the dos and don’ts of solar sales.

Know your client

Who are you selling to? Try to understand what their limitations are in going solar. Some potential limitations could be budget, space, or how much energy they wish to offset.

What is their motivation in going solar? Maybe they are in it for the environment, financial benefits, energy independence, or even a combination of all three. Knowing your clients limitations and motivations can help you best tailor a sales pitch to fit their needs.

Be an expert on your utility, state, incentive programs and parameters

It is imperative to know any limitations the utility might pose on photovoltaic (PV) systems or if there are any specific requirements in your local area that might impact the install (think building, zoning and permitting requirements). Additionally, how does the incentive program work for their utility, do they have net metering? Let your client know you aren’t just selling them solar, you’re also an expert resource on local policies and incentive programs.

Have the right tools to turn around a proposal and a preliminary design quickly

Whether it’s developed in-house or by a subscription service, a salesperson should be able to provide a proposal with a preliminary design for the client quickly. While talking to the customer would be best to give a proposal, but aim for within 24 hours at least if that is not possible.

Follow up!

While talking to the customer, set the expectation for when they will hear from you next. Be sure to return calls, messages, and emails quickly, the more responsive you are the higher the chance of closing the sale.

Know the details of a financial analysis

You should be prepared to compare the details of your financial analysis to a competitor’s. It is important to keep in mind that different companies use different factors in a financial analysis and you should be able to justify your choices and explain why they’re the most accurate.

Interested in learning more about solar business and technical sales? Take a deep dive into the field with Will as an instructor in SEI’s PV206: Solar Training- Solar Business and Technical Sales- Online. The next class session is filling up fast!

Full class description:

There are many opportunities for different careers in the residential PV industry, including the business and sales side of it. Addressing the topics in the NABCEP PV Technical Sales job task analysis, PVOL206 focuses on technical details for sales professionals, financial analysis, and system financing. This course is geared toward students who are interested in, or who already are working in, the business or sales side of the residential PV industry and are looking to improve their knowledge and sales techniques or are working towards the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification.

The post 5 strategies for improving your solar sales game appeared first on Solar Training - Solar Installer Training - Solar PV Installation Training - Solar Energy Courses - Renewable Energy Education - NABCEP - Solar Energy International (SEI).

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The SEI Solar Sisters String Band rocks out at Solar Battle of the Bands! And other Intersolar updates

In case you missed it… The SEI Solar Sisters String Band made their public debut performing at the 2018 Solar Battle of the Bands! This was a very historical moment for Solar Energy International (SEI). The Solar Sisters String Band proudly represented the SEI Team and our 60,000+ students and alumni from all over the world. What a night!

Check out this video of our SEI ladies warming up at sound check before the big show:

SEI Solar Sisters String Band Sound Check #4 – Solar Battle of the Bands 2018

Check out some video clips from the SEI Solar Sisters String Band sound check for Solar Battle of the Bands 2018! Stay tuned to SEI's Facebook page and eNewsletter to hear about future musical events!

Posted by Solar Energy International (SEI) on Thursday, July 12, 2018

We’re so proud of the solar sisters! Stay tuned for future performances.

Intersolar North America

SEI represented last week at Intersolar North America in San Francisco with a team of 12 at our booth and conducting trainings. Training topics included: PV Systems and the National Electric Code, Large-Scale PV: Considerations and Installation Case Studies, and Practicas Recomendadas por Expertos en la Industria y el NEC 2014. If you missed us at Intersolar, check out our online class schedule and enroll in an online training to start your solar education anywhere, self-paced.

 

The post The SEI Solar Sisters String Band rocks out at Solar Battle of the Bands! And other Intersolar updates appeared first on Solar Training - Solar Installer Training - Solar PV Installation Training - Solar Energy Courses - Renewable Energy Education - NABCEP - Solar Energy International (SEI).

IER Sues Treasury Department for Public Records of Immediate Public Interest

 

WASHINGTON – Today the Institute for Energy Research filed an open records lawsuit against the Department of the Treasury relating to continuing efforts in Washington to quietly advance the “climate” industry. This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks certain, specific records relating to the “climate risk disclosure” campaign begun in 2012 by various activist groups including Ceres and Rockefeller Financial Asset Management and led by disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. That agenda, if implemented, would have immense economic and legal consequences.

In order to educate the public on this matter IER requested correspondence of the Director of the Office of Energy & Environment Peter Wisner over two specified periods during 2017 and 2018, which mention particular terms including “Bloomberg task force,” “G20,” “Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosure,” “climate risk disclosure,” and/or “climate financial disclosure.”

As IER noted in the FOIA request, “This request is made to inform the public about an issue of great public interest, particularly the effort of government employees and outside activist networks’ coordination to advance a government policy — ‘climate risk disclosure’ — that would have tremendous economic and legal consequences.”

Treasury was required by law to demonstrate by June 28 that it intends to process the requests, yet failed to do so even after invoking a ten-day extension. Chiefly, Treasury has failed to provide any responsive records and otherwise has failed to meet its statutory obligation under FOIA. Instead, the agency merely acknowledged receipt of the request.

IER President Thomas J. Pyle stated, “Thanks to previous open records requests, we know that the campaign for ‘climate risk disclosure’ began in 2012 by pressure groups, Wall Street interests, and activist politicians led by Mr. Schneiderman. Now we understand that senior Trump administration officials are possibly working to advance this campaign.

“IER intends to educate the public on what role Treasury officials are playing in assisting the move to impose activist-demanded ‘confessions’ by publicly traded companies of their causation of serious, man-made global warming, seeking penance at the hands of a ‘climate’ securities tort bar, and elected officials eager for large settlement funds to politically distribute.”

Attorney Chris Horner, of the public interest law firm Government Accountability & Oversight (GAO), filed the suit on behalf of IER, and has written extensively on the issue, including earlier this year in a Wall Street Journal letter:

“The effective goal [of the climate risk disclosure campaign] is to coerce ‘confessions’ in energy-related interests’ public filings that catastrophic man-made global warming is a real problem of which they constitute a significant part, that their reserves are in fact worth little to nothing and their previous filings and other statements constitute actionable misdeeds, possibly fraud.”

IER looks forward to resolving the Treasury Department’s public obligations sooner rather than later but intends to fully pursue its rights to review these records in an effort to educate the public about the role of public officials in this ideological campaign with implications for the United States economy.

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For media inquiries, please contact Erin Amsberry
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