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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Japan FIT Changes Reflect End of Residential PV Program and Delay in Non-residential Projects

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 07:00

Changing government policies may cast a shadow over growth of the Japanese PV market. With the strong national government-supported residential rebate and feed-in tariff (FIT) programs, the Japanese PV market has accelerated its growth and is re-emerging as one of the world’s top markets. Past performance, however, is not a guarantee of future success as has often happened in the PV market.

SunEdison Launches Yieldco to Unearth, Leverage Solar Asset Values

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:33

Six weeks into the new year and we're already seeing another example of anticipated innovations in renewable energy finance: SunEdison's planned "yieldco" IPO aimed at unlocking the true value of its solar energy assets, and using them to tap into the power of big capital markets.

U.K. Wind Expansion Scrapped on Concern Birds May Be Harmed

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 09:50

Three utilities scrapped plans to extend the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, saying they had doubts they could satisfy concerns about how the facility would affect the habitat of a bird in the estuary east of London.

Postcard From the Future of Energy: Hawaii as a Solar Laboratory

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 08:31

From an energy perspective, Hawaii is unique. Located in the middle of the Pacific, the Aloha State runs on imported oil. But its island environment -- from sunny days to active volcanoes -- also holds the keys to a future powered by renewable energy. Oil powers Hawaii’s cars, trucks, planes and boats, and generates 72 percent of the state’s electr

The #1 Solar Utility Is in…Iowa?

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 07:59

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this 21st century energy source. Upon completion of a new solar array, the 640-member cooperative will have over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer on their system, nearly

Global Renewable Energy Grid Project: Integrating Renewables via HVDC and Centralized Storage

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 07:30

The global energy and environment challenges cannot be addressed through a local, regional, or even a national approach. They require a global outlook and a much broader vision, a Global Renewable Energy Grid [GREG]. A high voltage direct current [HVDC] transmission system must be built to serve as the bulk electrical power transport medium, with centralized energy storage facilities placed within GREG as needed. And perhaps most importantly, the set of socio-political overseeing institutions from each of the world’s nations needs to network together and administer just as seamlessly as the physical grid.

Listen Up: Let's Talk Solar and Home Energy Management

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 07:22

Lately, downstream is the place to be in the solar value chain. Unlike the manufacturing side of the industry, installer margins have been positive and revenues are growing — leading to relatively easy access to the debt and equity investments needed for rapid growth.

How You Can Help Save Australia’s Renewable Energy Target

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 06:10

Australia's Renewable Energy Target is currently the subject of an inordinate attack. However, when you look at the facts it’s clear that this is completely unwarranted.

Vestas’s Biggest Turbine Picked by Dong for UK Offshore Farm

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 11:26

Dong Energy A/S will install Vestas Wind Systems A/S’s biggest wind turbines at an offshore power generation plant in U.K. waters in what would be the first order for the 8-megawatt machine.

What's a Utility Demand Charge and How Commercial Solar Can Help

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 08:33

If you’re an operations manager of a commercial building or industrial facility, then you probably know that a major portion of your monthly bill can come from so-called “demand charges.” The good news is that installing solar can bite a good chunk off those charges, and combining solar with new energy storage technology can deliver even more savin

Geothermal 2014 Outlook: As US Market Slows, A Global Focus Grows

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 07:00

Following another year of modest growth, the geothermal industry will continue to fight the good fight in 2014 by focusing on key issues that have hindered its massive global potential.

Asia Report: US-Taiwan Solar Trade Dispute Forges On

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:18

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted — unanimously — to move ahead in its investigation of Taiwanese imports of solar PV products, continuing the latest storyline in the broad U.S.-vs.-China solar trade war.

Solar Trade War Flares Up, Trina Drives Consolidation

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 08:54

As if the solar trade war between the U.S. and China wasn’t bad enough, tensions just got worse with a preliminary ruling in Washington aimed at closing a loophole to a previous ruling imposing anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels. I’ll admit I was a bit surprised by the preliminary ruling just announced by the U.S. International Trade Comm

Lucrative Retirement Planning Includes Solar Energy

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 08:53

Today’s life expectancy in America is eight years longer than it was in 1970. That’s eight more years to enjoy retirement; and eight more years of savings to put away. In a challenging economy, there are various factors that can threaten a comfortable retirement, such as declining property values and interest rates, higher living and health care ex

Supercomputer Exposes Biofuel Enzyme's Secrets

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 08:30

Thanks to newer and faster supercomputers, today's computer simulations are opening hidden vistas to researchers in all areas of science. These powerful machines are used for everything from understanding how proteins work to answering questions about how galaxies began. Sometimes the data they create manage to surprise the very researchers staring back at the computer screen—that's what recently happened to a researcher at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

FERC Grants New Permit for 240-MW Alaska Tidal Energy Project

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 08:18

On Feb. 12, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a successive preliminary permit for Turnagain Arm Tidal Energy Corp. for a tidal energy project in Alaska.

EU Leaders Said to Delay Decision on 2030 Targets for Emissions

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 04:08

European Union leaders intend next month to agree on a timeline for developing energy and climate targets for 2030, delaying a final decision on the polices, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Early Solar Energy Giant Bill Yerkes Passes On

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 14:04

We all have been informed of the passing of actress and ambassador Shirley Temple Black and comedian Sid Ceaser this week, but the passing of “Bill” Yerkes, one of the modern solar pioneers, is worth notice.

Solar, Will You Marry Me? (For a Contract Period of 20 Years)

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:57

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) released an extensive proposal for a value of solar (VOS) methodology, as required by 2013 legislation. Under this new state energy law (HF 729), utilities will be able to apply with the public utility commission (PUC) to replace net metering with a contracted, 20-year VOS

The Solar Energy Outlook for 2014

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 07:07

For decades, solar has been like the Rodney Dangerfield of renewable energy. Rarely has it received the respect it has deserved. But by all accounts, 2013 was a watershed year in that respect. In Q3 alone, 930 megawatts of PV were installed in the United States — and in the last two and a half years, total global PV capacity grew from 50 gigawatts to over 100. Sure, 2013 saw its share of failures and disappointments. But according to some of the best and brightest minds in the solar industry, the coming year may play itself out as the dividing line between past and future.