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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 35 min 18 sec ago

China Takes a Hands-off Approach to Solar Market Recovery

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 08:00

China sent an important message to the struggling solar panel sector last week when one of the country’s major manufacturers was forced to turn to global capital markets to raise new funds, hinting that it couldn’t receive the money from state-backed domestic sources. The move sparked a sell-off for New York-listed shares of Yingli Green Energy (NY

NREL Unlocking Secrets of New Solar Material

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 06:48

A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before—and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet's future.

China Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Relies on Government Support

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:30

I gave quite a bit of attention a few days ago to U.S. electric vehicle (EV) sensation Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA), so it’s only fair that I follow up by writing about China’s homegrown EV superstar BYD (OTC: BYDDF; HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594), which has just released quarterly results that look quite disappointing. The only things that look slightly en

France: Wind Energy Is a Solution in Energy Transition

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:23

France may be the world’s most nuclear energy dependent country, but times are changing. When French President François Hollande took the reins of power in 2012 he pledged to reduce the country’s nuclear dependency from 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025. Today, France has a goal of reaching 19 GW of wind energy by 2020, up from its current level of

Why Is Alstom Such a Hot Commodity?

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:08

The Americans and the French have been getting on well of late. President Francois Hollande’s successful visit to the White House in February is a case in point — despite the backdrop of his high-profile sex scandal.

SEPA 2013 Utility Solar Rankings Uncovers New Urban and Rural Representation

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:04

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released its seventh annual Utility Solar Rankings report, a summary of U.S. utilities that added the greatest amount of solar capacity in 2013. As in years past, familiar names cropped up at the top of the list. But there were also a number of newcomers who made the grade — including two from previously unrepresented states — that reflect a growing diversity of geographies spanning urban and rural areas alike.

Siemens Proposes Technology Swap Deal with Alstom to Rival GE's Offer

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 08:27

Siemens AG proposed French rival Alstom SA a deal to swap train and energy assets to beat an offer from General Electric Co., according to people familiar with the matter.

Nice Grid Offers a Glimpse into the Future for Solar PV Plus Energy Storage

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 07:00

On a sunny winter day in Nice, France, 40 journalists from all over the world boarded busses to tour what serves as one possible example of a future networked electricity grid. Alstom Energy, the 9th largest electrical equipment supplier in the world, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, had put together a media tour in order to showcase what steps it is doing to understand the grid of the future.

GE Invests $24 Million in India’s Biggest Solar Power Plant

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 05:39

General Electric Co. is investing $24 million in India’s largest solar-power plant, drawn by what it called the technology’s “incredible potential” in the nation.

Solar Fred PR Lesson: Deconstructing Xcel Energy’s “Doing Solar Right” Commercial

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 13:19

Public relations really is an art, and I have to hand it to Xcel Energy for creating a very nice looking commercial that — on the surface — seems to be a big luv hug to solar power! Yay!  And it is — for utility scale solar. At the same time, the video subtly poo-poos little home solar, implying that it’s an “unfair and unequal” way to go solar. If

Rooftops, Empty Lots Offer Japan Space for Solar Panels

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 08:02

Developers of solar projects in Japan are looking to rooftops, empty lots and industrial parks in response to constraints limiting connections to the grid and difficulties finding suitable land.

How to Use Cheap Sensors and Mobile Phones to Make People Care about Energy Waste

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 07:34

Visibility of energy use is not enough to get people to change their actions, we still need to find a way to make people care and compel them to act. At last week’s Cleanweb Hackathon in Boston, teams focused on combining hardware, software, and mobile devices to figure out how to make people care about regular energy issues. There were two pitches

Listen Up: A Roofer's Perspective on Solar

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 07:28

The most cost-effective place to install solar — thermal systems, pool systems or PV — is on a home's rooftop. Whether it's on an existing home or new construction, it's critical to make sure that the equipment is installed securely (so it won't blow away in high winds), and that the roof mounts will not cause any leaks. Unfortunately, these two goals are not easy to achieve over the 25+ year lifespan of common rooftop materials — including composition shingles, tiles, wood shakes, metal and rolled-out roofing.

US DOE's $15 Million Push to Expand Affordable, Community Solar

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 05:57

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) wants to increase access to affordable solar energy for communities across the nation — and it’s using $15 million to do so. The Obama administration announced on April 17 a funding opportunity through Solar Market Pathways, which aims to increase solar deployment by “making it simpler and easier for residents an

Google, SunPower Form Solar Lease Program as Rooftop Demand Drives Profit

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 04:07

SunPower Corp. (SPWR), the second-largest U.S. solar manufacturer, and Google Inc. (GOOG) are creating a $250 million program to finance residential solar systems.

GE Reportedly in Talks to Buy France’s Alstom for $13 Billion

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 09:01

General Electric Co. is in talks to buy Alstom SA, the French builder of trains and power plants, people with knowledge of the matter said, in what would be GE’s biggest acquisition ever.

UK Onshore Wind Power Will Lose Subsidies, Conservatives Say

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 06:58

The U.K. Conservative Party will end all subsidies to onshore wind power if they win the next election, a move that the industry said would end deployment of the country’s cheapest form of renewable energy.

Tesla Makes Smooth Drive Into China

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 05:21

I have to give my congratulations to new energy car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) for creating the kind of buzz and excitement this week that only names like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and smartphone sensation Xiaomi have typically been able to muster. In the last 2 days, the company and its charismatic founder Elon Musk were all over the Chinese headlines

UK Awards First Guaranteed Power Price Contracts to Biomass, Offshore Wind Projects

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 04:58

Drax Group Plc, Dong Energy A/S and SSE Plc will get guaranteed power prices for U.K. biomass and offshore wind plants, the first renewable energy projects to benefit from a new aid program.

Unlocking Solar Energy's Value as an Asset Class

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 04:30

Not all options are ready to step into the spotlight, though. Master limited partnerships (MLP) and real estate investment trusts (REIT) promise more attractive tax treatment than securitizations or yieldcos, but they require some heavy lifting and difficult decisions at the highest levels: MLPs need an act of Congress even for an infinitesimal language tweak to remove a legislative exclusion to solar and wind, while REITs involve a touchy reclassification of assets from the IRS that could have broader and undesirable tax consequences. Yet another model gaining traction is a more institutionalized version of crowdfunding, led by Mosaic (technically they call it "crowdsourcing"), but crowdfunding is awaiting more clarity from the Securities and Exchange Commission about what rules must apply.