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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 33 min 3 sec ago

Vertical Integration Continues: SolarCity Buys Silevo for $200 Million, Plans GW Factory in NY

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:50

In an effort to further streamline its solar business and lower the overall cost of solar energy, SolarCity announced today that it would acquire high-efficiency cell manufacturer Silevo for $200 million. In an effort to scale up the technology, SolarCity plans to construct a 1-GW manufacturing facility located in Buffalo, New York within the next two years.

Delta Signs with Carbon War Room to Advance Renewable Jet Fuel

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:52

The Digest has learned that Delta Air Lines is partnering with the Carbon War Room, a nonprofit organization founded by Sir Richard Branson, in an effort to accelerate low-carbon jet fuel production worldwide.

Utility Profits Linked to Gender Diversity

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:47

If utilities want to succeed during these transformative times, they will need to promote more women to board positions. That is the message offered in new report released last week by EY.

SunPower Partners with Admirals Bank for $200 Million Residential Solar Loan Program

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:33

SunPower and Admirals Bank announced a $200 million loan program for residential solar projects. Available over the next two years in all 50 U.S. states, the program allows residents to borrow up to $60,000 for a SunPower system.

Research Continues on Solar with Molten Salt Storage

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:59

A soaring structure on the south side of the Department of Energy’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) combines two cutting-edge technologies in concentrating solar energy: Compact Linear Fresnel Reflectors and molten salt thermal storage. Using them together is a pioneering concept.

How One Town Keeps Fighting for Control of Its Energy Future

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 10:35

How can a community take control of its energy future from a 100-year monopoly electric utility?  Citizens of Boulder, CO, are testing answers to that question, trying to discover how a single city can do more for its economy and the environment with more power over its energy system. At the core of their efforts is a grassroots campaign to form a

New England Clean Power Link Will Generate Nearly $400 Million Annually, Says Analysis

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 08:08

TDI New England’s proposed New England Clean Power Link will generate nearly $400 million annually in new economic activity for the New England region as a whole during the first 10 years of commercial operations, according to a new report by London Economics International.

Wind Farms, Power Grids Pose Political Risks for EU Insurers

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 07:45

Insurance regulators in Europe won’t relax rules designed to protect customers from risks to investments in structures like wind parks and power grids, the head of the industry’s watchdog said.

Los Angeles Ready to Add 300 MW of New Solar Energy Capacity

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 05:54

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is moving forward with multiple agreements for a large 250-MW solar array in Kern County while also spurring development of another 50 MW of solar power within the city of Los Angeles.

Don't Count It Out: Biofuels Industry Holds Much Promise

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 04:53

The verdict on biofuels is in, and the catchphrase seems to be over-promised and under-delivered. Biofuels have been in public use in some form or the other for a long time (remember the Ford Model T that ran on hemp-derived fuel?). However, in reality, innovation in biofuels for widespread use is much more recent. First generation biofuels made out of sugar, starch and edible oils still occupy a major share of the total market.

Climate Change Shifts Focus for Energy System

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 04:47

The U.S. National Climate Assessment report states bluntly that streets in coastal cities are flooding more readily, that hotter and drier weather in the West means earlier starts to wildfire seasons, and that every region of the nation already is seeing real effects of climate change.

Solar Power’s Impact on Rural Exodus

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 04:17

Our biggest cities are facing increasing pressure on their infrastructure. Rural migration to urban locations has been a constant since the industrial revolution where the rural population comes to Urbania looking for better opportunities. But what must be high on the agenda is to take these opportunities to wherever they are, no matter how remote.

New EPA Rule Is Good Start, But Will Take Years to Create Change

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 05:44

Now that the air has cleared after a media blizzard about the significance of the proposed EPA ruling, let’s step back and take a look at what this really means. First, if you are in the renewable energy, coal mining, or utility business, don’t get too worked up. The new EPA rules will take several years to effect any change in your business.  In a

China Solar Update: EU Trade Dispute Brewing Again, New Storage Venture Forms

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:07

Let’s end the week with a couple of new energy developments, led by word that China and the European Union could be heading for a new showdown after the pair narrowly avoided a trade war last year over dumping accusations towards Chinese solar panels. The news looks quite disappointing and bodes poorly for the broader solar sector, where protection

Solar “Freakin’” Roadways Reveals How the Solar Industry Has Failed to Inspire America

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:00

Ladies and gentlemen, the solar industry has failed to communicate, and there’s no better example of how we’ve failed than the “Solar Freakin Roadways” crowd-funding project that’s raised over $2 million for a solar technology that will never become as utilized or as inexpensive as our good ol’ conventional solar PV panels. I say this not to dispar

New Financing Vehicle for Mekong Solar and Wind Energy

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 05:45

Armstrong Asset Management has forged a new partnership agreement with The Blue Circle for wind and solar project financing in the Mekong Region of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. With Armstrong agreeing to commit up to US $40 million in equity to fund the construction of wind and solar projects, it will also take a minority equity stake in The Blue Circle - a vertically integrated renewable energy developer operating in the region.

Fuel Cell Storage for the Home

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 05:43

Fuel cells convert natural gas directly into electrical energy. They are many times more efficient than are combustion engines, such as the car engine. These require an intermediate step. First, they convert chemical energy into thermal energy (heat) and mechanical energy (force). With this force, they drive a generator, which only then generates the electric power. In the process, a large portion of the originally available energy is lost.

Energy Infrastructure Development in East Africa: Big Potential Meets Big Roadblocks

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 05:20

Power infrastructure in the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda is inherently connected to their economic growth. As urbanisation and industrialisation fuel the need for electricity in cities, the demand for electricity in East Africa is expected to grow at approximately 5.3 percent per year until 2020. To meet these requirements, generation capacity would have to increase by 37.7 percent in Uganda, 96.4 percent in Kenya, 75.3 percent in Tanzania and 115 percent in Rwanda. The government, in conjunction with development partners, must build a more favourable business environment to facilitate growth.

Shift to Solar Power Raises Incomes for Salt-mining Families in India

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 03:15

Every year, whole families in the rural Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat await the end of the rainy season, when they make their trek to the salt-rich Thar desert. Tens of thousands of men, women and children migrate there for eight months a year during which they dig wells that fill with groundwater brackish enough to produce tons of salt. They pump the water into flat pans spread out in the hot sun, where it evaporates, leaving behind heaps of salt crystals. It's a livelihood of hard labor and low returns.

Community Solar Complements Rooftop as Residential Market Booms

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 14:08

The first three months of 2014 marked the first quarter in recent U.S. history that more residential solar electric systems were installed than commercial solar arrays. GTM researchers, who collected the Q1 data, believe the residential market will continue its upward trend and outpace the non-residential market on an annual basis as soon as 2016.