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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Listen Up: What's the Deal with Solar Distributors?

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 07:00

There are hundreds of companies that offer various types of solar equipment for sale in the U.S. — panels, inverters, racks, fasteners, wiring components, etc. Most of these manufacturers do not have the bandwidth or the marketing horsepower to sell to solar installers all over the country. So as in many other industries, the way solar equipment get from manufacturers to customers is via solar distributors.

US Appeals to WTO: Stop India's Solar Domestic Content Provisions

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 14:36

Almost exactly one year to the day after launching an initial probe into India's solar energy policies, the U.S. yesterday officially followed through by filing a petition with the World Trade Organization challenging domestic content provisions within India's "Phase II" of its National Solar Mission (NSM). Technically, as a formal first step the U.S. has requested for the WTO to help find common ground with dispute settlement consultations; if no resolution happens within 60 days the U.S. may press for a formal WTO panel to settle the issue.

Mapping the United States' Wind Turbines

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 14:07

Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors of renewable energy in the United States. About 3% of the total electricity in the United States was generated by wind turbines in 2012 (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), which is equivalent to the annual electricity use for about 12 million households. The amount of electricity generated by wind has increased from about 6 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) in 2000 to 140 billion kwh in 2012.

EPRI Begins Work on Three-phase Initiative for Central, Distributed Energy Resources

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:54

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) said on Feb. 10 that it has begun work on a three-phase initiative involving central and distributed energy resources (DER) to provide stakeholders with information and tools that will be integral to four identified areas of collaboration, which include interconnection rules and communications technologies and standards.

Scottish Power Mulls Doubling Size of Hydro Energy-Storage Plant

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:45

Scottish Power Ltd. may double the size of a hydro plant that stores energy by pumping water up to a mountain reservoir when supply of power exceeds demand as it boosts reliance on volatile renewable generation.

End Draws Near for Suntech, Shareholders

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 09:53

The month of February could mark the final sunset for solar panel maker Suntech (OTC: STPFQ), with 2 major events on the calendar that look like the swansong for this former solar energy pioneer. If the ending does indeed come, it would be almost a year after Suntech first was forced into bankruptcy in a Chinese court in its home city of Wuxi, kick

Renewable Energy Outlook for 2014 Is Decidedly Optimistic

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 08:03

Financial analysts are decidedly optimistic about the year ahead in clean energy. In conducting interviews with experts in venture capital deployments, project finance and other investment markets, the one resounding theme I heard was a high level of confidence in the sector.

Latin America Report: How Chile Is Shepherding Its Renewable Energy Expansion

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 07:01

Chile's renewable energy capacity soared 40 percent in 2013 to 1.1 GW, approximately 6.3 percent of total capacity in the central (SIC) and northern (SING) grids, according to figures from the Centro de Energías Renovables (CER) of the Ministerio de Energía. Renewable energy generation was just shy of 4 TWh, a 26 percent jump from the prior year and representing 5.85 percent of overall electricity generation.

Move Over Silicon Valley: Cleantech Companies Are Finding Their Home on the Range

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 07:00

Most people in the cleantech community recognize that Santa Clara Valley is a unique and beautiful place with world-class universities, piles of venture capital and an entrepreneurial history second to none, but recent trends indicate that cleantech companies are beginning to consider a new home base on Colorado’s Front Range. According to the Milken Institute’s “Best Performing Cities 2013”, four of the top 25 large cities in the U.S., were from Colorado’s Front Range (Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins and Greeley). The Institute cited “[t]echnology and energy were the forces powering this year’s top performers, even more than in 2012,” and the report noted that Denver, for instance, had a very strong business climate, skilled work force and strong international links. These assets have led to Denver’s high-tech gross domestic product concentration exceeding the national average by 60 percent.

Plans Submitted for 320-MW Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 01:00

Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd. has submitted an application for the first phase of its proposed 320-MW Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon plant. The $1.2-billion tidal project will be set off the shores of Wales and is set to span six miles.

Change of Plans: Deepwater Swaps Offshore Wind Turbine Partners for Block Island Project

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 13:21

Updated: Deepwater Wind New England today announced it is partnering with European turbine supplier Alstom for its 30-MW Block Island wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island -- a change in turbine suppliers from its original plans.

Renewables Provide 15% of Supply During California Emergency — Time to Go 100% Renewable?

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:48

California’s over reliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity, notably natural gas, led the state’s electricity system operator to call an emergency on Thursday, 6 February. The move called on Californians throughout the state to conserve electricity and natural gas.

Can We Achieve A Smoother and More Secure Grid with Energy Storage?

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:17

At, we’ve had our eye on energy storage for some time. For years we told you that if the industry could solve the energy storage problem, it would unlock gigawatts of renewable energy capacity all over the world.  About a year ago, progress started really picking up.  At Intersolar in Munich in 2013, more than 200 energy st

Solar Water Pumps Wean India Farmers From Grid

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 07:58

India has a novel idea: Wean farmers from archaic power lines and expensive diesel fuel to run their water pumps with solar energy.

Help Them Help You: IKEA to Donate Solar Lighting to Refugees with Each LED Bulb Purchase

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 07:56

For the 10.5 million refugees around the globe, much of their lives are spent in the dark. This presents a major threat to refugees (half of which are children), and makes daily survival activities such as gathering food and water extremely dangerous. And the situation is only getting worse. In 2013 alone, more than 2 million people became refugees

As Goes January? What the Pullback in Green Mutual Funds Means

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 07:51

Alternative energy mutual funds and ETFs have pulled back from some of the fantastic gains seen in 2013. There is a saying in the investment world that “as goes January, so goes the year.” Is it time to bail on this sector, or on stocks in general? Perhaps, but wise long-term alternative energy investors should avoid rash steps at this juncture.

Baltics’ Estonia Ramps Up Wind Power Generation

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 07:00

There has long been much rivalry between the three small Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. When it comes to offshore wind power development, Estonia got off to an impressive start with plans add 1,500 megawatts (MW) of installed wind capacity by 2015 with two offshore wind parks in the Baltic Sea.

Goin' Fishing: Two Crowdfunding Campaigns for Ocean Energy

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 06:46

We don't get to cover ocean/tidal energy as often as some of our other renewable energy topics, so imagine our surprise when we got word of not one but two updates this week -- and both of them involving the hot topic of crowdfunding. Read on and if you like what you see, you can help contribute to their future success. Berkeley's Seafloor Carpet U

Race to Beat Wind Power Subsidy Cuts Drives Poland Project Push

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 08:22

Poland, where 90 percent of power comes from coal, may be an unlikely clean-energy hub. Yet wind capacity that almost doubled in two years is set to grow further as developers rush to start projects before subsidies change.

Creating Climate Wealth: The Road to Renewable Energy Islands

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 08:00

Last year more than 25 million tourists visited the Caribbean’s islands, drawn in part to the region’s sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets. Though many consider it a tropical paradise, the Caribbean’s 40 million residents know that such positives also come at great cost: dependence on expensive, imported fossil fuel for energy generation. It aff