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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 52 min 33 sec ago

Predicting PV Plant Power Fluctuations and Optimising Energy Storage

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 06:53

The ability to accurately predict and prevent power fluctuations is of considerable importance to Solar PV (photovoltaic) plant operators in terms of sustaining profitability, estimating revenue returns and ensuring customer quality of service. Variations in solar irradiance can cause rapid fluctuations in power generation, reducing the quality and reliability of the power generated by large grid-connected PV plants.

Energy Efficiency Ain't Got No Respect

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 06:08

While politicians and planners focus on energy generation and fuels, it is energy efficiency that should be the first winner. As I tell my students as well as members of Congress — it is ALWAYS less expensive to save energy than generate any type of energy.

India Suspends Wind Forecasting Fines Due to Data Inaccuracy

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 05:41

An Indian rule requiring wind farms to predict output or face fines has been temporarily suspended as the regulator reconsiders the best way to ensure stability of the grid, which suffered the world’s biggest outage in 2012.

Transmission Tweak Promises Big Cost Benefits for Offshore Wind

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 11:37

Offshore wind development is being pushed further out into deeper waters, emphasizing longer, higher-capacity transmission systems. Most newer offshore wind farms from Europe to the U.S. are looking at hundreds of kilometers of transmission lines: the U.K. Crown Estate's Round 3 allocations, interconnection systems from Germany's North Sea to the U.K.'s National Grid Western Link, and the proposed Atlantic Wind Connector in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic.

Liquid Metal Batteries May Be the Answer for Cheap Energy Storage

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:59

A 40-foot trailer loaded with 25 tons of liquid metals may be the solution to the renewable energy industry’s biggest challenge: making sure electricity is available whenever it’s needed.

Defining an Industry: Solar PV Operations & Maintenance versus Asset Management

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 09:16

There are more solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the U.S. than ever before and more of them are aging out of warranty coverage. The need to manage this portfolio of residential, commercial and utility-scale solar assets is accelerating a relatively new industry sector, solar PV operations and maintenance (O&M).

Hawaii Senator Blasts Agencies for Geothermal Project Standstill

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 08:14

Attorneys and a state Senator are getting involved in a still-unawarded geothermal contract Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) had originally said would be awarded before the end of 2013. The RFP was posted in early 2013 and asked for a 50-MW influx of geothermal power development on the Big Island of Hawaii. Disruptions caused by the continuing delay include losses of the companies that submitted proposals, and a breach of public trust lawsuit has been brought against the State of Hawaii; Governor Neil Abercrombie; the Public Utilities Commission (PUC); Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO); Maui Electric Company; Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO); and Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI).

Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2014: March Update

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 08:06

After a rough January, the stock market recovered in February, while clean energy stocks partied like it was 2013.

Can Solar Power Help Marijuana Growers?

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 08:00

The sun has been around for a long time. So has marijuana. Legal pot in the U.S. hasn’t been around for a long time. In fact, earlier this year Colorado became the first state to sell legal marijuana in the U.S. With the country’s—if not the world’s—eyes on Colorado’s new policy, growers are looking for opportunities to better use their profits whi

Navigating the Winding Road of Geothermal Project Financing, Part I

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 06:35

It is no secret that renewable energy project development cycles present many unique challenges — as well as promising opportunities — for developers, investors and power users alike. Geothermal energy project development in particular can be a challenging endeavor, based on the extended timelines involved in successfully proving a resource, mitigating drilling risk and managing the subsurface reservoir on an ongoing basis. These are unique “geo sector-specific” issues that must be managed, in addition to the typical power plant development and construction issues inherent in any energy project endeavor. Due to these challenges, the corresponding financing of geothermal projects must be carefully tailored to match these specific features.

Renewable Energy in MENA Area to Double Next Year, Desertec Says

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 05:47

Clean energy assets in the Middle East and North Africa will more than double in capacity by the end of next year, the Dii GmbH industry association said.

Japan May Set Higher Offshore Wind Subsidy, Reduce Solar Tariff

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 05:03

Japan plans to reduce incentives for solar power and introduce a higher tariff for offshore wind than onshore turbines to encourage installations.

US States Boosting Wind Energy Output, Pipeline Filling Up

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:52

Wind energy continues to improve its standing in the U.S. energy footprint, generating over 167 million MWh in 2013 and accounting for more than four percent of electricity generation, according to the latest information from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Wind energy also has represented 30 percent of all new generating capacity over the last five years.

Battery Storage May Vie with US Oil Boom as Energy Game Changer, Says Moniz

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:58

The rapid development of rooftop solar and battery storage technology could be as transformative to the economy and modern life as the U.S. oil and gas boom, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

Energy Price Concerns Resonate in EU Talks on 2030 Climate Goals

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:53

The European Union should ensure that future climate and energy policies do not undermine the competitiveness of its industry, already weakened by a price gap with the U.S., the bloc’s member states said.

It’s Now Official: U.S. Solar Industry Has Record-Shattering Year in 2013

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:50

  What would Alexandre Edmond Becquerel be thinking now? In 1839, at the age of just 19, Becquerel built the world’s first photovoltaic panel, later inspiring the imaginations of millions of people worldwide, including legendary scientist Albert Einstein.  Still, it took another 115 years before Bell Labs invented the first modern silicon solar cel

How the Military Is (Indirectly) Fueling the Solar Industry

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:48

If ever there was a champion of efficiency, the military would be it. Energy efficiency is no exception to this generalization. As The Solar Foundation (TSF) and Operation Free tell us in a recent Veterans in Solar report, the U.S. military has scaled up its use of distributed renewable energy technologies, at home and in combat zones, to strengthe

Listen Up: Let's Talk Rooftop Solar Safety with Fire Captain Matt Paiss

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:27

Fires in homes are generally caused by kitchen mishaps, heating system fires or electrical malfunctions. When it comes to fire safety, the solar industry's track record is excellent — with only a few documented cases in which the solar system actually caused a fire (generally due to improper wiring or equipment malfunctions).

Smart Grid Evolution: A New Generation of Intelligent Electronic Devices

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:00

The idea of a “smart grid” has taken center stage — an evolution of advanced technologies that make the availability of a smarter, more efficient electrical power grid possible. These technologies aim to address the complex challenges facing grid systems today, which stem largely from its aging infrastructure and a use case model that has evolved over the years. With power systems over a century old, the field instrumentation on the grid is quickly reaching its life cycle limit, which adversely affects overall grid reliability and efficiency.

Will the Electricity Grid Become Optional?

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 04:25

For years, low-cost solar-plus-battery systems were seen as a distant possibility at best, a fringe technology not likely to be a threat to mainstream electricity delivery any time soon. By far, the limiting factor has been battery costs. But thanks to a confluence of factors playing out across the energy industry, the reality is that affordable battery storage is coming much sooner than most people realize. That approaching day of cheaper battery storage, when combined with solar PV, has the potential to fundamentally alter the electricity landscape.