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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 18 min 29 sec ago

Mexico’s Newly Opened Energy Market Attracts Renewables

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 06:12

It is a good time to be in the renewable energy business in Mexico since landmark energy reform opened up the electricity market and prioritized renewables. The government has an ambitious 12-year goal for renewable energy production, and private equity funds and development banks have millions of dollars ready to allocate to clean energy.

How to Phase Out Incentives and Grow Solar Energy

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 05:35

Over the next decade, solar electricity will let consumers get cheaper energy from their rooftop than from their utility. Among the upheaval in the electricity system, the coming of solar "grid parity" means re-thinking incentives for solar energy. The success of solar is remarkable, no less because the amount of federal subsidy in absolute terms h

A US Wind Energy Boom? Don't Bet On It

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 05:30

For all the talk of boom and bust in the U.S. market, it’s apt that AWEA 2014 opened in Las Vegas this week.

Solar Making Big Strides to Power the Developing World

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 13:21

As we go about our daily lives using smartphones, computers and other technologies, it’s hard to believe that more than 2 billion people globally still live without electricity. According to the International Finance Corporation $37 billion is spent on fossil fuels to power the developing world each year. However, much of this population lives in areas where it is quite sunny, making solar energy an ideal solution. Several solar companies have developed affordable technology and essential financing mechanisms to bring renewable energy to those who need it most, and are now celebrating significant milestones.

DOE Picks Winners for US Offshore Wind Development

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 11:45

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the three pilot projects that will continue to receive DOE funding to design, develop, and deploy their offshore wind technologies and processes. Each will receive up to another $47 million over the next four years to push their projects to fruition and commercial operation by 2017.

Congress Must Act on Clean Energy Incentives Before Time EXPIREs

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 10:17

Congress failed to act last year and let a set of critical clean energy tax credits expire—putting clean air and clean energy jobs at risk. The good news is that earlier this month, the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Wyden (D-OR) took the first step in putting these critical tax credits back in place by reporting a bipartisan bill out of his committee: the EXPIRE Act.

Solar Industry Uniquely Poised to Help Fight Climate Change

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 06:54

Do you remember the old Midas TV commercial, “You can pay me now or pay me later?”  Well, I was reminded of that today when reading the latest evidence of climate change.  It carried the same kind of blunt warning:  Cut pollution now or face enormous consequences down the road. As expected, a non-partisan committee of experts released its 148-page 

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2014: May Update

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 06:28

April showers fell on both the broad market and clean energy stocks last month, but my picks weathered the storm relatively well. My clean energy benchmark (PBW) was down 5.9 percent since the last update, and my broad market benchmark (IWM) fell 1.7 percent.

Solar 1603 Grant Data Lifts the Veil On PV System Performance

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 05:54

In the world of photovoltaic (PV) finance, historical performance data — or the lack thereof — stands as an obstacle to the risk assessment and credit evaluation of solar installations. Investors eyeing solar-backed securities or other investment vehicles might view the asset class cautiously without a firm, data-driven understanding of how solar assets perform (i.e., generate power) in the field and how this affects the cash flows that would ultimately backstop their investment.

Judge Has Harsh Words for Cape Wind Foes

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 05:52

A federal court judge had harsh words last week for Cape Wind foes as he handed down the 26th legal win for the Massachusetts offshore wind farm project.

Winds Steady but Calm for Windpower 2014

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 14:20

The U.S. wind industry has its work cut out for it. That was the message put forth today at the start of Windpower 2014, an annual event taking place in Las Vegas this week. Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) opened the show with a keynote speech that reviewed steps that the industry had taken over the past year in order to reach its goals. In 2013, the industry set goals of doubling the amount of installed wind power capacity by 2020 and increasing it to 20 percent of the U.S. energy mix by 2030. Wind power currently makes up about 4 percent of the U.S. energy mix.

Geothermal Visual: Total US Nameplate Geothermal Capacity

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 13:34

This geothermal visual gives the total nameplate capacity of geothermal energy in megawatts as counted in the U.S. from 1971 through 2013, and the timeline is marked where enacted policies coincided with periods of sector growth. Coordination between government, regulatory policy, and the geothermal industry was a key factor that helped the total r

Scientists Discover Method to Reduce Solar Panel Glare

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 09:11

Researchers have developed a multi-layer anti-reflection (AR) coating for glass surfaces, which reduces the sun’s reflection from photovoltaic panels while at the same time improving their efficiency.

Why a Vermont Utility CEO Is Embracing Solar and Net Metering

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 09:04

While many utilities are producing slick commercials that devalue distributed solar, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power is completely embracing big and small solar with a giant Vermont bear hug. Representing 75 percent of Vermont’s utility customers, GMP recently worked with legislators to nearly quadruple the state’s net metering cap to 15 percent of

US DOE to Issue Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Renewable Transmission Project, Says Northeast Utilities

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:48

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has posted a target date of December on its website to issue its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Northern Pass transmission project, Leon Olivier, executive vice president and COO of Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU) said on May 2 during the company’s 1Q14 earnings call.

China Enters UK Solar Boom

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:29

China’s plan to add up to 35 gigawatts of new solar power capacity by 2015 may be getting off to a slow start, but the nation looks quite happy to fund new plants in other countries to help its struggling solar panel makers. That’s my initial assessment, following reports that state-run giant Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) plans to build up

Africa to Quadruple Renewables on ‘Huge Potential,’ Irena Says

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:10

Africa’s renewable energy capacity is expected to quadruple to about 120 gigawatts by 2030 if investors dedicate “substantial flows” of funds to the region, the InternationalRenewable Energy Agency said.

Solving the Biofuels Debt Crisis Part I

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 07:52

A reader this week sent along a copy of the latest Department of Energy funding announcement — the $25-35 million solicitation for “Environmentally-Prudent Unconventional Resource Development” (DE-FOA-0001076), noting:

Can Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and ETFs Continue to Beat the Market?

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 06:52

Alternative energy mutual funds (MF) have proven to be an excellent investment over the past year or more, but those gains have flattened out as of late. MFs are up 33 percent on average with even the lowest returning fund, Gabelli SRI Green AAA (SRIGX), up 15 percent for the year.

Renewable Energy Subsidies Are the Most Transparent and Visible

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:42

From direct government support to tax breaks and the cost of negative externalities like pollution, subsidies to the power sector take many different — and often hidden — forms. In fact, the exact definition of a subsidy was the crux of an at times heated debate “subsidies to the power sector: Europe’s best kept secret?” hosted by the European Wind