Solar Today July/August 2013 : Page 11

viewpoint B y TOM PLANT F o ll o w S t a te Ene r g y Legisl a ti o n with AEL T ra cke r A AEE Tom Plant is vice pr esi -d ent, st a te po lic y , a t AEE a n d seni or po lic y ad vi -s or a t the Cente r. Be for e se r ving C o l orado G o v . Bill Ritte r a s he ad of the st a te’s ene r g y o ffice, P l a nt se r ve d in the C o l orado st a te legis -l a tu r e for eight y e ar s . This is a valuable resource for advocates of all stripes. s a for me r legisl a t or , I kn o w th a t when yo u’ r e c raf ting legisl a ti o n, s o metimes yo u f eel like yo u’ r e r e -inventing the wheel . We a ll w a nt t o pro m o te legisl a ti o n th a t will a chieve o u r o bjectives, but d ete r mining the m o st effective mech a nism for do-ing s o is a da unting ch a llenge . S u r el y , s o me o ne must h a ve int rod uce d legisl a ti o n o n this t op ic be for e, r ight? Ente r the A d v a nce d Ene r g y Legisl a ti o n T ra cke r , or AEL T ra cke r for sh or t ( a elt ra cke r.or g) . The AEL T ra cke r is a new, fr ee se r vice s p e ar he ad e d b y C o l orado S t a te Unive r sit y ’s Cente r for the New Ene r g y Ec o n o m y (the Cente r ) a n d b y the A d v a nce d Ene r g y Ec o n o m y Institute (AEE) . Fin a ll y , the r e is a r es o u r ce t o i d enti fy a ll ene r g y legisl a ti o n int rod uce d aro un d the c o unt ry using a n e a s y a n d adap t a ble inte rfa ce . F or me r C o l orado G o v . Bill Ritte r est a blishe d the Cen -te r for the New Ene r g y Ec o n o m y a t C S U when he le f t o ffice in 20 11 . G o v . Ritte r is n a ti o n a ll y r ec o gnize d a s a visi o n ary le ad e r o n ene r g y po lic y , signing 5 7 bills th a t m o ve d C o l orado int o its cu rr ent le ad e r shi p po siti o n in ad v a nce d ene r g y. I w a s for tun a te t o se r ve a s G o v . Ritte r ’s ene r g y o ffice d i r ect or for fo u r y e ar s, a n d t oday I w or k for b o th the Cente r a n d for the AEE, pro m o ting g ood st a te ene r g y po lic y aro un d the c o unt ry. I c a n tell yo u, I use this t oo l o n a da il y b a sis . The AEL T ra cke r is use f ul t o legisl a t or s a n d thei r st a ff t o i d enti fy legisl a ti o n a n d then link t o the l a ngu a ge of the bill . But it a ls o c o nt a ins a ro bust set of c apa bilities th a t m a kes it a n in d is p ensible t oo l for a n yo ne w or king o n or r ese ar ching st a te a ctivit y o n ene r g y po lic y. Let’s t a ke a n ex a m p le . I f yo u w a nt t o fin d a ll legisl a-ti o n int rod uce d in the c o unt ry c o nce r ning s o l ar ene r g y , yo u will fin d 333 bills : 48. 5 p e r cent of these d e a l d i r ectl y with elect r icit y gene ra ti o n, while 44.4 p e r cent d e a l with fin a ncing . Fin d ing th a t in for m a ti o n t oo k ex a ctl y 7 sec -o n d s . The r e’s a ls o a ge o g rap hic d ist r ibuti o n m ap t o sh o w the numbe r of bills meeting th o se c r ite r i a in e a ch st a te . Let’s dr ill do wn f u r the r. May be I w a nt t o limit th a t se ar ch t o just New Y or k . So me 5 2 bills meet th o se c r i -te r i a. I see o ne, A5 060 , for which I’ d like a little m or e in -for m a ti o n . When I click o n the bill, I fin d th a t it h a s h ad five a cti o ns t a ken o n it since being int rod uce d o n Feb . 15, 20 1 3. F o u r ve r si o ns of the bill ar e a v a il a ble th ro ugh the AEL T ra cke r , inclu d ing the l a test ve r si o n . The r e’s a ls o a link t o a n ar ticle w r itten a t Fie r ce Ene r g y a b o ut the bill, entitle d “NY S en a te c o mmits t o a ten y e ar s o l ar pro-g ra m extensi o n . ” Fu r the r m or e, I see th a t the legisl a ti o n h a s 63 s po n -s or s . I c a n click o n a n y of them a n d see thei r d ist r ict in for m a ti o n, p lus a link t o em a il the legisl a t or d i r ectl y. All of this in for m a ti o n t oo k less th a n o ne minute t o d isc o ve r. Pr evi o usl y , this kin d of in for m a ti o n w o ul d h a ve t a ken day s of se ar ching . But the Cente r a n d AEE h a ve m ad e the AEL T ra cke r a v a il a ble t o a n yo ne, fr ee of ch ar ge, a t a elt ra cke r.or g . This is n o t o nl y a v a lu a ble r es o u r ce for legisl a t or s, but a ls o for ad v o c a tes of a ll st r i p es . Rese ar che r s will fin d the in for m a ti o n inv a lu a ble . J o u r n a lists c a n use the t ra cke r t o i d enti fy t r en d s a n d fo ll o w a ctivit y o n legisl a ti o n . Businesses c a n use the in for m a ti o n t o i d enti fy m ar ket oppor tunities a n d legisl a ti o n w or th y of su ppor t . I f the Cente r pro vi d e d o nl y this t oo l, it w o ul d be a r ev -o luti o n ary ste p for w ard for th o se fo ll o wing, r ese ar ching, su ppor ting a n d w r iting legisl a ti o n . But a s a d e d ic a te d r ese ar ch cente r , the y d ive int o the da t a , pro vi d ing a n a l y-sis a n d i d entific a ti o n of po lic y t r en d s . S ince l a unching the T ra cke r in May , the Cente r h a s p ublishe d a pap e r o n ene r g y-efficienc y legisl a tive t r en d s, a n d o ne o n the m or e th a n 55 0 bills t o d evel op fin a ncing mech a nisms for ene r g y efficienc y a n d cle a n ene r g y techn o l o gies . Using the l a test in app lic a ti o n pro g ra mming inte rfa ce c apa bilities, mining the web for c r itic a l in for m a ti o n o n ene r g y po lic y a n d then d istilling this in for m a ti o n int o a r es o u r ce a n yo ne c a n use, T ra cke r op ens the door for a fr ee a n d un f ette r e d exch a nge of po lic y in for m a ti o n a n d the sh ar ing of best pra ctices th ro ugh o ut the c o unt ry. As a for me r pro secut or , G o v . Ritte r likes t o s ay , “It isn’t l ar cen y i f it’s a g ood i d e a. ” The AEL T ra cke r is the r e t o m a ke prod uctive thieves of us a ll . ST Lithium -I o n B a tte r ies Achieve 1 0 , 000 Ch ar ge C y cles A team at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, in Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany, has demonstrated lithium-ion cells that can achieve more than 10,000 full charge/discharge cycles, retaining better than 85 percent of initial capacity at the end of the run. The Center has created a manufacturing process and run a sample series in the 18650 format; the process can be applied to large pouch and prismatic cells, specifically for EV and PV-storage use. The new cells have an industry-standard power density of 1,100 watts per kilogram. Research was funded by agencies of the German federal government. solartoday.org SOLAR TODAY July/August 2013 11 Copyright © 2013 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.

Follow State Energy Legislation with AEL Tracker

Tom Plant

<br /> Tom Plant is vice president, state policy, at AEE and senior policy advisor at the Center. Before serving Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter as head of the state’s energy office, Plant served in the Colorado state legislature for eight years.<br /> <br /> As a former legislator, I know that when you’re crafting legislation, sometimes you feel like you’re re-inventing the wheel. We all want to promote legislation that will achieve our objectives, but determining the most effective mechanism for doing so is a daunting challenge. Surely, someone must have introduced legislation on this topic before, right?<br /> <br /> Enter the Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, or AEL Tracker for short (aeltracker.org). The AEL Tracker is a new, free service spearheaded by Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (the Center) and by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE). Finally, there is a resource to identify all energy legislation introduced around the country using an easy and adaptable interface.<br /> <br /> Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter established the Center for the New Energy Economy at CSU when he left office in 2011. Gov. Ritter is nationally recognized as a visionary leader on energy policy, signing 57 bills that moved Colorado into its current leadership position in advanced energy.<br /> <br /> I was fortunate to serve as Gov. Ritter’s energy office director for four years, and today I work for both the Center and for the AEE, promoting good state energy policy around the country. I can tell you, I use this tool on a daily basis.<br /> <br /> The AEL Tracker is useful to legislators and their staff to identify legislation and then link to the language of the bill. But it also contains a robust set of capabilities that makes it an indispensible tool for anyone working on or researching state activity on energy policy.<br /> <br /> Let’s take an example. If you want to find all legislation introduced in the country concerning solar energy, you will find 333 bills: 48.5 percent of these deal directly with electricity generation, while 44.4 percent deal with financing. Finding that information took exactly 7 seconds. There’s also a geographic distribution map to show the number of bills meeting those criteria in each state.<br /> <br /> Let’s drill down further. Maybe I want to limit that search to just New York. Some 52 bills meet those criteria. I see one, A5060, for which I’d like a little more information. When I click on the bill, I find that it has had five actions taken on it since being introduced on Feb. 15, 2013. Four versions of the bill are available through the AEL Tracker, including the latest version. There’s also a link to an article written at Fierce Energy about the bill, entitled “NY Senate commits to a ten year solar program extension.”<br /> <br /> Furthermore, I see that the legislation has 63 sponsors. I can click on any of them and see their district information, plus a link to email the legislator directly.<br /> <br /> All of this information took less than one minute to discover. Previously, this kind of information would have taken days of searching. But the Center and AEE have made the AEL Tracker available to anyone, free of charge, at aeltracker.org.<br /> <br /> This is not only a valuable resource for legislators, but also for advocates of all stripes. Researchers will find the information invaluable. Journalists can use the tracker to identify trends and follow activity on legislation. Businesses can use the information to identify market opportunities and legislation worthy of support.<br /> <br /> If the Center provided only this tool, it would be a revolutionary step forward for those following, researching, supporting and writing legislation. But as a dedicated research center, they dive into the data, providing analysis and identification of policy trends. Since launching the Tracker in May, the Center has published a paper on energy-efficiency legislative trends, and one on the more than 550 bills to develop financing mechanisms for energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.<br /> <br /> Using the latest in application programming interface capabilities, mining the web for critical information on energy policy and then distilling this information into a resource anyone can use, Tracker opens the door for a free and unfettered exchange of policy information and the sharing of best practices throughout the country.<br /> <br /> As a former prosecutor, Gov. Ritter likes to say, “It isn’t larceny if it’s a good idea.” The AEL Tracker is there to make productive thieves of us all.

Lithium-Ion Batteries Achieve 10,000 Charge Cycles

A team at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, in Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany, has demonstrated lithium-ion cells that can achieve more than 10,000 full charge/discharge cycles, retaining better than 85 percent of initial capacity at the end of the run. The Center has created a manufacturing process and run a sample series in the 18650 format; the process can be applied to large pouch and prismatic cells, specifically for EV and PV-storage use. The new cells have an industry-standard power density of 1,100 watts per kilogram. Research was funded by agencies of the German federal government.<br />

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