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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

Reform of the Electricity Paradigm in Mexico: The Importance of Perspective

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 05:08

Politics, as with almost everything else, is all about perspective. Perspective is often used as a verb to describe spatial relationships in a photograph or by an astronomer to define the size of objects in space. The word is designed to remind us that we need to be aware of the relative nature of things. Without perspective, we wouldn’t know what is large or small, heavy or light, fast or slow, expensive or cheap, or even up or down. Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Prize winner, used to have an image of the Earth in his office with the South Hemisphere on top of the map — making the point that even one’s perspective of our planet in the cosmos depends upon from where the analysis is conducted.

South Africa Is Primed for Major Solar Development

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 04:03

South Africa enjoys some of the best sunshine in the world all year round and its electricity is among the most expensive on the planet. The country’s lofty solar ambitions therefore come as little surprise: Forty-two percent of South Africa’s newly-installed energy capacity should be renewable by 2030. Its solar power generation is expected to reach 1,050 MW by 2015 in contrast with just 25 MW in 2012. The country is also expected to have installed over four million solar panels and have the capacity to set up 1.6 million more by the same date. South Africa’s solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity should also reach 8.4 GW by 2030.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company Seeks More Solar Power

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 03:33

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company is planning to add more solar power, a move to limit domestic fossil-fuel consumption in the world’s biggest exporter of crude.

GE Said to Seek Partners on Alstom Assets to Appease France

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 03:02

General Electric Co., seeking approval from France’s government for its $17 billion Alstom SA energy bid, is in early-stage talks with nuclear-plant maker Areva SA and other French companies about asset sales or partnerships, people familiar with the matter said.

Three Key US Commercial Solar Tax Incentives Fighting for 2014 Extension

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 07:49

You can never truly predict what legislation will actually pass through Congress and get signed by the President. Nevertheless, there are several expiring solar tax benefits in the EXPIRE Act of 2014 that we hope will get extended and continue to benefit commercial solar installations. The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPI

When Solar Property Taxes Get Personal

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 07:47

On the long and winding road of solar project development, property taxes are frequently an afterthought. Yet, the presence, or lack, of a property tax on a solar energy system has significant implications for a project’s profitability. According to SEIA, 38 states in the U.S. have property tax exemptions for solar, and there are more states that a

Indian Government to Bring Solar Lighting to Every Home by 2019

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 07:34

India’s new government led by Narendra Modi plans to harness solar power to enable every home to run at least one light bulb by 2019, a party official said.

Australia Renewable Target Cuts Would Deter Investment, Say Manufacturers

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 07:17

Vestas Wind Systems A/S said scaling back Australia’s renewable energy target would cut the value of more than A$10 billion ($9.4 billion) in large projects across the industry and discourage international investors.

Renewable Energy Stocks by the kWh

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 06:42

I recently sized up five renewable energy power producers using the metric that’s most often used for solar panels: Dollars per Watt ($/W). It’s an intuitive metric, but has serious flaws both for evaluating solar installations and stocks. Slightly better is Watts per Dollar (or W/$100 to make the numbers look nice) as shown in the chart from that article below.

Fukushima, Japan Rebuilding Communities with Solar, Commits to 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2040

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 06:37

Fukushima experienced the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit three years ago. Now, the region is trying to turn the “lost landscape” into massive renewable energy fields. The prefecture has declared “zero dependency on nuclear energy” and created a goal to meet 100 percent of its electricity needs with renewable energy, such as solar, by 2040. The prefectures also believes that investing in renewable energy will spur economic development and create jobs to help its recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Obama Bid to Cut Greenhouse Gases Divides Utility, Coal Industries

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 05:24

Bracing for greenhouse-gas rules from the Obama administration, two industries are staking out different positions. Coal companies are pledging to sue. Electric utilities are ready to talk.

As Companies Jockey to be Number One, Global Solar PV Pipeline is Exploding

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 10:33

Last year Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar vowed that it would be the number one solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider in the global PV industry. The company delivered on that promise, installing 1.1 GW of solar capacity in 2013, up from 516 MW the year before. But 2014 will have a different frontrunner according to new data. Chinese EPC TBEA SunOasis, the number two installer in 2013, is set to install more solar capacity in 2014 than First Solar. All of this is contained in a new report out from IHS Technology.

UK Moves to Cut Support for Large Scale Solar PV

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 09:55

DECC, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, has unveiled proposals for further reform of the country’s renewable energy support program. The measures include plans for the closure of the Renewables Obligation scheme to new solar PV capacity above 5 MW from 1st April 2015.

Why New Nuclear Technology Hurts the Case for Renewables

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 08:48

Does nuclear energy deserve a seat at the table alongside renewable energy technologies in weaning us off of fossil fuels and transitioning into a cleaner energy world? A new report published yesterday suggests not only will newer small modular reactor (SMR) technology be at least as expensive as larger reactors, it won't fit the needs of a more flexible grid system, and its development will siphon away funding from the truly renewable energy options that need it.

Obama May Consider Power Plant Rule That Tests Clean Air Act

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 07:54

The Obama administration is considering cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants by reaching beyond the plants themselves — an unusual approach that could run afoul of anti-pollution laws.

Offshore Wind Implications for Proposed GE Acquisition of Alstom

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 07:20

GE’s proposal to acquire French power engineering group Alstom’s power generation business for $13 billion is not a done deal – the French government has said it is conducting a review of the purchase, and may push for Alstom's wind assets to be acquired by state-owned Areva. Germany’s Siemens has also provided a counter-bid while it conducts due d

Listen Up: What Is the Future of Solar Distribution?

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 07:06

The most conspicuous driver of the residential solar industry's growth has been large, national-scale solar installers. Their market share has been increasing, primarily because they offer attractive financing to homeowners. Although all solar installers large and small pretty much install the same equipment, for someone who wants solar on their roof, a "no money down" lease is compelling. But there are thousands of smaller, local residential installers who are also thriving in this era of lower equipment prices, higher utility rates and improved awareness of the benefits and reliability of rooftop solar.

China Targets 70 Gigawatts of Solar Power to Cut Coal Reliance

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 04:59

China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, plans to speed up solar power development, targeting a more than tripling of installed capacity to 70 gigawatts by 2017 to cut its reliance on coal.

New York Launches New Incentive Round for Large Solar Projects

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 03:37

New York is in a solar state of mind. On the heels of the recent announcement to commit an additional $1 billion to New York solar incentives over the next decade, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) unveiled the next anticipated funding program for large solar systems, over 200 kW in size. This round of funding c

Mr. Harris Goes to Washington: Hydropower's Exciting Progress

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 08:32

It was said that when the State of Oklahoma asked its favorite son, Will Rogers, if they might sculpt his likeness for inclusion in the United States Capitol's statuary, the cowboy from Oolagah gave his consent only on the condition that his statue face the House chamber so he could "keep an eye on Congress." Indeed, Rogers' is the only of the 100