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  • In Addition to Being Cost-Ineffective, Xcel’s Solar*Rewards Subsidy Is Regressive0

    • March 7, 2011

    In addition to being cost-effective—even by solar power’s expensive standards—Xcel’s controversial Solar*Rewards subsidy program is also regressive. That is, it’s a subsidy for the rich, borne disproportionately by the poor. Elsewhere, I discuss how Solar*Rewards program, a far-too-generous subsidy for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels, became a political hot potato in Colorado (for a

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  • Where is Xcel Hiding the Cost of Wind Power?0

    • March 4, 2011

    Under Colorado’s Renewable Electricity Standard, investor-owned utilities in Colorado must generate 12 percent of their electricity from renewable energy this year. The requirement was 5 percent last year. By 2020, it is 30 percent. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar cost more than conventional energy sources like coal and gas, but Colorado lawmakers sought

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  • Preview of PUC Deliberations on Solar*Rewards Program0

    • March 4, 2011

    At 11:00 AM this morning, the PUC will take up Docket No. 11A-135E, “In the Matter of the Application of Public Service Company of Colorado for Approval of a Reduction in the Standard Rebate Offer.” In less lawyerly terms, the hearing is on Xcel’s request to lower solar subsidies. The issue is a political hot-potato

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  • How Xcel Avoids the Rate Cap on Green Energy0

    • March 1, 2011

    The problem with “green” energy is that it costs more than conventional energy. We can all agree that a solar powered future would be great, but most of us also agree that we’re not willing to pay five to ten times what we pay now for energy in order to try to achieve that future.

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  • Primer on Colorado’s Solar Mess0

    • March 1, 2011

    On February 16, Xcel filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reduce its Solar*Rewards payment, a subsidy for on-site solar photovoltaic installations, from $2.35/watt installed electricity generating capacity, to $1.25/watt. The next day, Xcel suspended the program, pending the PUC’s decision on its request. Last Friday, solar industry supporters descended on the

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  • Xcel getting even fatter off Colorado ratepayers0

    • January 28, 2011

    Xcel Energy just announced its 2010 earnings and the Minnesota based energy company did very well this year: We had another very successful year in 2010, said Richard C. Kelly, chairman and chief executive officer. We delivered earnings in the upper half of our guidance range. This represents the sixth consecutive year in which we

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