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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 44 min 44 sec ago

The Climate Group, SEIA Launch Plan to Help Reduce Pollution

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 07:54

In 1970, the first Earth Day was held to demonstrate broad global support for environmental protection.  At the time, the world’s population stood at 3.63 billion. Today, that number has more than doubled.  Well, guess what? Greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since then, too. Simply put, the world is in real danger, locked in on a collision cour

Ethanol from Energy Beets: A Viable Option?

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 07:14

Corn remains the undisputed ethanol king. But a growing number of U.S. sugar beet farmers, in part, exasperated by the heavily-regulated sugar industry, are now hoping to give corn a run for its bioenergy money.

The Opportunity to Overturn Three Costly Values in Our Energy System

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:03

Earlier this year I worked as an election judge for the city of Minneapolis.  It was the city’s second experience with ranked choice voting, a system where instead of voting for a single candidate, you get to pick your top three choices.  If your first choice candidate is mathematically eliminated from winning, your vote is reallocated to your seco

German Utilities Fight Renewable Energy Shift

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 05:59

Germany’s biggest utilities face dwindling market shares as the shift torenewable energy spurs regional power generation and storage technology, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said.

Solar Disruption? Yes. Utility Death Spiral? Not Necessarily

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 05:41

Suddenly, we have seen a spate of “death spiral” talk about electric utilities. Grid parity — through lowered costs — is supposedly triggering this decline. Homes are expected to defect from the grid, or maintain a limited link with it for reliability, thanks to solar panels backed up by batteries and gas-generators.

Making Corn Stover Biofuel May Not Be Better than Gas, Says Report

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 08:04

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

China Reiterates Plans to Boost Clean Energy

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 07:26

China, the world’s biggest investor in renewable energy, reiterated plans to boost construction of solar and wind power plants along with projects to transmit electricity from the clean sources.

How a Small County in California Went Grid Positive

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 06:06

California is known for being a leader in solar energy, but a small county in Northern California has taken things a step further. It has become the first county government in the state to not only zero-out its electric bill with renewable energy, but also to become grid positive. Yolo County (population 200,000), just west of Sacramento County, now produces 152 percent more energy from solar panels than it uses.

A Molecular Approach to Solar Power

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 04:56

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine.

The Big Wind Energy Drive Train Technology Debate

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 04:50

In the wind power industry, the debate on which generator and converter option makes for the best modern wind turbine drive trains is still raging. Numerous technology experts and industry commentators promote the use of the double-fed induction generator technology, whilst expressing doubts about the advantages of the permanent magnet generator (PMG) approach. The Switch wants to set the record straight and explain why PMG with a full-power converter (FPC) is by far the best technology, regardless of which key decision-making criteria you use.

Renewable Energy May Help Ukraine Abandon Russian Gas

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 03:37

Despite political instability and economical problems, Ukraine is pursuing the development of renewable energy in order to reduce dependence on gas supplies and economic pressures from Russia.

Top 10 Trends in Brazil Biofuels for 2014

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:00

Brazil’s on the move on a number of fronts — sales, diversification of products and feedstocks, and even in engine development. Let’s look at the Top 10 Trends.

Ukraine Seeks Renewable Energy Investors to Loosen Russia’s Grip

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:41

Ukrainian officials say they’ve found a way to protect the nation from Russia: Go green.

10 Charts that Reveal the Potential ROI for Solar Blogging

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 09:47

I know I write a lot about how solar companies can blog effectively, but I still see few companies truly embracing blogging. Perhaps that’s because solar marketers want to show their CEOs some objective stats that show how blogging can be effective and not a waste of time and resources. And that’s where HubSpot, a popular inbound (content) marketin

Listen Up: What Legal Issues Do Solar Contractors Face?

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 23:00

As in most industries, attorneys are an indispensable part of doing business. We have the usual host of "ordinary course of business" legal issues such as contracts, employment law, financing and M&A. But we also must comply with a blizzard of regulatory and incentives requirements — as well as more specialized transaction issues related to solar leases and PPAs, warranties, insurance, licensing and manufacturing.

Building-Integrated Solar Air Heating Systems Proving Popular

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 08:02

For some parts of the United States, such as Upper Michigan, the winter of 2013-14 was the coldest in recorded history. In Marquette, for example, the average temperature was a tundra-like 7.5 degrees. Well, what if I told you that it’s possible to cut your building’s energy use (in some cases by up to half), while protecting the environment, too?

China Solar: New Yingli Fund Evokes Shades of Suntech Failings

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 07:52

I wrote earlier this week about troublesome signs for the solar panel sector’s fledgling recovery after a revenue warning from Trina (NYSE: TSL), and now we’re seeing another worrisome signal with news that Yingli (NYSE: YGE) is launching a new fund to build solar power plants. This kind of scheme looks eerily similar to one that kicked off the dow

SolarCity Resumes Storage Applications After California Decision

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 05:55

SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. solar-power provider by market value, will resume applications to connect energy-storage systems in California after regulators said they’re exempt from utility fees.

Examining the Challenges Faced by the CSP Industry

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 05:41

Pragmatic discussions about the financial viability of concentrated solar power (CSP) abound. The oft-dismissed redheaded step child of the solar industry, CSP’s relegation to the recycle heap of history is seen by many to be a foregone conclusion due to its inherently high cost. But is CSP destined to play Betamax to PV’s VHS? Or will foreign countries like Spain — which presently boasts one of the highest numbers of CSP plants in the world — demonstrate that CSP’s ability to be coupled with storage makes it an alternative energy worth pursuing? Let’s examine some of the inherent challenges faced by the proverbial underdog of the renewable energy world.

Crowdfunding Solar with a Twist — A Revolving Fund to Serve Communities

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 04:49

  According to Bloomberg News last week, crowdfunding solar could become a $5 billion investment vehicle in the next 5 years. This exciting development will connect people who want to invest their money responsibly with solar projects that need financing. SolarCity, the biggest U.S. solar power provider by market value, is getting into the space pr