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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 47 min 25 sec ago

EPA Abandons Renewable Fuel Standard Rulemaking for 2014

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:23

In Washington, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is delaying finalization of the long-awaited 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Renewable Volume Obligations until 2015.

Cheap Electricity Trumps Solar in India's Rural Communities

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 09:13

The villagers of Dharnai in northern India had been living without electricity for more than 30 years when Greenpeace installed a microgrid to supply reliable, low-cost solar power.

Sunnova Raises $250 Million to Expand Residential Solar in U.S. and Overseas

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:59

Sunnova Energy Corp. closed a $250 million funding round, bringing the total amount it has raised this year to almost half a billion dollars as it seeks to add U.S. customers and expand overseas as soon as next year, its chief executive officer said.

Biogas at Home: A Renewable No-Brainer

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:13

Germany is the leading producer of biogas in the developed world, with 8,700 biogas plants with 3,400 MW of installed electric generation capacity. The United States lags far behind with less than 450 plants with 175 MW of capacity. Sweden has an even smaller number of plants, less than 200, but the most per capita and most prominent national bioga

Top Five Things People Can't Seem to Remember about the Ivanpah CSP Plant

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:09

It’s been nine months since Ivanpah celebrated its grand opening in February, 2014. Since that time, the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant has continued to receive accolades from around the globe, including being named Plant of the Year by Power Magazine, the first time a renewable energy project has ever received that honor in in more than 40 years.

Listen Up: Improving Solar Panel Output with Optimizers

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 04:32

Solar panels keep getting more efficient. That's a great thing. But they can't communicate, can't adjust to environmental circumstances, and don't have automatic shutdown capabilities. Fortunately — and with apologies to the Farrelly brothers (who seem to have similar limitations) — solar panels aren't getting any dumber. Many of the newest solar panels are equipped with optimizers, either built into the junction box or attached as a separate component to the back of the panel. Microinverters (which convert the DC output of a panel to AC) provide the same basic benefits at similar costs; however, unlike microinverters, optimizers operate on the DC side of the system and are always connected to a central or string inverter.

Brazil Hydropower Company Advances Major Solar Manufacturing Project

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 10:56

Brazil’s nascent solar industry may finally have found the Green Knight it needs to develop domestic cradle-to-grave manufacturing capability that can supply the country’s growing demand: Itaipu, the world’s largest hydroelectric generator.

China Curtails Less Wind Energy in 2014

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 08:09

Latest data from China's National Energy Administration shows that 8.85 GW of new wind power capacity was installed in the first nine months of 2014, bringing its total capacity to nearly 85 GW, a year-on-year increase of 22 percent. Accounting for 6.6 percent of China's total installed power capacity, wind exceeds nuclear power in installed capacity and electricity production, has become the third major power source following coal and hydro.

Green Benefits: Companies Now Offer Solar Energy Programs for Employees

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:38

Vote Solar may be best known for our work advocating for state-level policy, but we've also been hard at work helping tackle solar soft costs head on through our GroupEnergy program. Our take on the solarize community purchasing model focuses on helping existing groups — think coworkers, clubs or congregations — pool their collective buying power to go solar at home.

California’s Reserve Fund Won’t Lift the Financing Boot from PACE’s Neck

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:38

Earlier this year, the state of California announced a $10 million loan-loss reserve to solve the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s severe restrictions on using property-tax based financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy on residential property. It’s a great concept, but evidence from on of California’s best property assessed clean energ

Shining a Light on Women Leaders in the Power Industry

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 05:00

In early 2013, a group of women, dubbed the Women in Power committee, assembled in Orlando, Florida to figure out how to honor women who have dedicated their careers to the power industry. The industry is male-dominated with men making up more than 75 percent of the workforce, according to estimates.

Why Geothermal Heat Pumps Should be a Carbon Reduction Tool for Coal Plants

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:17

The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) is seeking a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut pollution that degrades our health and contributes to climate change. On Nov. 4, GEO submitted comments to EPA urging that renewable thermal energy and geothermal heat pumps be recognized in its proposed rulemaking under Section 111(d) of the U.S. Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. The proposed rule allows flexibility in meeting the agency’s desired emissions reductions across the nation, including renewable energy and energy efficiency.

A Small Town in Germany Becomes a Testing Ground for a Smart Grid

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 09:03

A small German town in southern Bavaria is participating in an interesting experiment proving that a high-renewables future is viable. Wildpoldsried (pop. 2,600) currently produces 500 percent more energy than it needs through renewable energy systems, and sells the surplus power back to the grid.

Australia Residents Protest Wind Turbines as Government Upholds Fossil Use

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:49

Tony Hill moved from inner-city Canberra to a tree-filled valley five years ago to find serenity in the nearby Australian bush. Now he fears his idyllic vista will soon be marred by 50-storey-high wind turbines.

Solar Fred Marketing Tip: Clarity Trumps Everything, Even Brevity and Typos

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:36

According to a recent survey of consumers, clarity trumps everything when it comes to company communications, and that’s very important information for solar marketers. Take a look at this graphic below. Regardless of age and demographic, clearly communicating beats brevity, design, spelling and grammar, and the customer’s ability to interact/comme

New Coalition Looks to Expand Massachusetts Solar Market

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:28

Under the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick, who leaves office in early January, Massachusetts has become a national leader in the deployment of solar energy. From about 3 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity in 2007, Governor Patrick set a very ambitious target of installing 400 MW of solar – and, amazingly, reached that goal four years early.

SunEdison/TerraForm Power Buy First Wind For $2.4 Billion To Achieve Renewable Energy Dominance

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:15

In a surprising diversification move, SunEdison has launched into the wind sector and positioned itself to be the world’s largest renewable energy development company. Yesterday morning, SunEdison announced that it is joining with its indirect subsidiary TerraForm Power to purchase First Wind for US $2.4 billion, in a “very complex but very value added deal,” said Ahmad Chatila, the president and chief executive officer of SunEdison, based in Maryland Heights, Mo.

Energy Storage Emerges as an All-Purpose Grid Asset

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 05:12

A long time in coming, advanced energy storage solutions are beginning to make their mark on the U.S. power grid and energy supplies — not only in terms of their capacity to store energy, but as “all-purpose” power grid assets.

The 51st State Forum Is Now Open — Share Your Ideal Energy Market

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 14:57

Innovators are, almost by nature, impatient people. What’s here and now is never good enough; they must tinker with it, always looking ahead to how they would do it differently or better.  So, when the first articles appeared about the Solar Electric Power Association’s 51st State Initiative on clean tech websites, including

Inflatable Offshore Wind Turbine Service Habitat Launched

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 12:15

An inflatable habitat that attaches to platforms for servicing the blades of wind turbines has been launched by GEV Wind Power.