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Renewable Energy News

The latest renewable energy news and information from our partners at RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

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Renewable Energy News Headlines provided by RenewableEnergyWorld.com - the leading online publisher of renewable energy news and information world-wide.
Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Global Renewable Energy Status Uncovered

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 07:27

More than a fifth of the world's electrical power production now comes from renewable sources and in 2013 renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of all net additions to global power capacity. These remarkable conclusions come from this year’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) from REN21. This highly-regarded annual analysis — the 2014 edition was released this summer — concludes that renewable electricity capacity jumped by more than 8 percent overall in 2013, to produce some 22 percent of all global power production. Total global installed renewable electricity capacity reached a staggering 1,560 GW in 2013.

New Micro-Parallel Inverters Aim to Reduce System Costs, Improve Performance

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 05:07

Traditionally, there have been two main options for solar installation designers and engineers to convert DC to AC power: string inverters or micro inverters. Both present significantly different advantages and disadvantages for installers, with installation expenses varying up to 20 percent depending on the inverter selection. Either solution had drawbacks: what one would gain in convenience, it would sacrifice in performance and maintenance and vice versa. But a new class of inverter is entering the market that combines the installation simplicity of a string inverter with the intelligence and energy harvest advantages of a micro inverter.

Can Your Solar Company Pass the Bumper Sticker Brand Equity Test?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 02:00

These days, applying a bumper sticker to your car is mostly reserved for two things: Bragging about your kid being an honor student and for presidential election years. While I’d never say that bumper stickers alone are a must-have solar marketing tool, what I will say is that when a customer voluntarily pastes your bumper sticker onto their vehicl

US State Breaks Ground on a "Perfect" Solar + Storage Microgrid that Can Provide Resilient Power

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 15:06

Today Green Mountain Power (GMP) broke ground on a solar plus energy storage microgrid in Rutland, Vermont with one expert calling it a "perfect" project. The 2.5-MW Stafford Hill solar project is being developed in conjunction with Dynapower and GroSolar and includes 4 MW of battery storage, both lithium ion and lead acid, to integrate the solar generation into the local grid, and to provide resilient power in case of a grid outage.

A Few Weeds in Minnesota Decision to Allow Community Solar Gardens to Grow

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 14:16

Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Public Utilities Commission decision also highlighted the shortcomings of the legislature's distributed solar policy adopted in 2013.   What was missing? Minnesota

Chinese Offshore Wind Market Stagnating, Disappointing Investors

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 08:26

The Chinese offshore wind market has scarcely grown since Siemens opened a 35 million-euro [US $47 million] blade manufacturing facility in Lingang, China, in 2010, said Michael Hannibal, the head of Siemens’s offshore wind power unit.

IRS Clarifies Beginning of Construction Rules for Renewable Energy Projects

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 08:05

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 2014-46 (the Notice), which provides further clarification about how a taxpayer can satisfy the requirement that construction of a renewable energy project began before January 1, 2014. The Notice, released on August 8, 2014, is welcome news for the renewable energy industry, which has been anxiously awaiting further guidance with respect to two aspects of the so-called “begin construction” requirement. The Notice addresses those two aspects and modifies a third aspect of the requirement.

Value-of-Solar is Delayed; Minnesota Community Solar Gardens Move Forward

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 08:01

Yesterday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“MPUC”) approved Xcel Energy’s first Minnesota-based Community Solar Garden (CSG) program. After Xcel’s initial program filing was rejected by the MPUC in April, Xcel filed a revised CSG tariff with the MPUC in June. In a related filing, Xcel also argued that a  value of solar (“VOS”) rate for C

Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Nigeria Piloting Waste-To-Energy Power Plant

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 07:23

A unique program in Nigeria, a country located on the southwest coast of Africa by the Gulf of Guinea, seeks to solve two pressing problems with one solution. The country needs power, and the country suffers from too much garbage. Take a look at the innovative new project that is being piloted there in order to kill two birds with just one stone.

China, Brazil Consider Publicity Blitz to Steer Climate Debate

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 08:19

China and Brazil are looking for ways to redirect a global climate debate, which they say unfairly accuses developing nations of delaying limits on fossil-fuel pollution.

Solar Cells Just Need To Be Layered Like A Cake?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:58

Thin film solar cells, old-fashioned standby silicon solar cells, CIGS, CadTel (see First Solar), multi-junction cells....the list goes on as solar cell materials get more exotic. There was the circle of solar cells known to the world as Solyndra.  Prism Solar divided light up into different wave lengths and Solaria uses advanced optics with strips

Big Companies, Big Renewable Investments

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:35

The world’s largest enterprises are realizing the benefits of renewable energy, motivating many top-tier companies to set up voluntary corporate renewable energy programs that scale up their use of on-site solar and wind power systems. Many factors have influenced Fortune 500 companies and other leading enterprises to adopt these targets, including an attractive economic return on investment, the worsening effects of climate change, and a deep concern from their customer base about environmental sustainability. Corporations are fighting to bring about public policy that facilitates renewable energy installations on commercial buildings. Twenty-four companies from the Fortune 100 and Global Fortune 100 have set specific targets for percentage of renewable energy generated, capacity (MW) or level of investment in renewable energy for their own operations.

The Future of Energy Storage: Perspectives from the Copper Industry

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 06:00

As director of the Copper Development Association’s Sustainable Energy Division, I am often tasked with examining emerging trends for copper in U.S. electricity generation and infrastructure, as well as in other important energy markets.

China's Shunfeng Continues Grand Solar Plans, Buys 30% Stake in US Energy Storage Company

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:23

Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd., a Hong Kong-based maker of solar products, said its unit SF Suntech Inc. will buy a 30 percent stake in U.S. energy storage company Powin Energy Corp. for $25 million.

MA Action Significantly Improves Interconnection

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:16

Last week, Massachusetts formally adopted improvements to its interconnection procedures that make it easier for small renewable energy systems to connect to the distribution grid, without compromising safety or power quality. MA joins a handful of other leading states, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), adopting use of a 100 perc

Chill from Ohio RPS Freeze Extends to Neighboring Solar Markets

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:12

On June 13, Ohio made history by becoming the first state to “freeze” its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The passage of SB310 was a major setback for the renewable industry in Ohio, but who knew what happened in the Buckeye State could affect solar in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and even Kentucky? Ohio’s legislative change froze not only the RPS,

Avoiding Explosive Consequences: Five Lessons from the Offshore Wind Sector

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 05:27

The emergence of a U.S. offshore wind sector presents a great opportunity for would-be project developers looking to exploit 4,000 GW of generation potential off the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico. If and when the sector can overcome regulatory, financial and political hurdles, early project lease winners on the East Coast will soon be joined by countless others in building North America’s first offshore wind farms.

U.S. Solar Industry Waiting for SolarWorld to ‘Show Its Hand’

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:19

As the old proverb goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”  But convincing some people of that isn't easy.  In hopes of ending the long-running and costly U.S.-China solar trade dispute, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has urged SolarWorld Americas LLC to step forward and offer a specific proposal that could serve as the ba

China Installs Equivalent of Australia's Total Solar Capacity — In Six Months

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:03

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, accelerated solar power installations in the first half, adding enough capacity in the period to equal Australia’s entire supply of power from sunlight at the end of last year.