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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 1 hour 31 min ago

Exploding the Myth that Government Can’t Innovate for Energy

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:02

Government should not pick winners and losers. Public-sector bureaucracy strangles entrepreneurship and innovation. Government can establish broad policy framework, but then should get out of the way.

China Solar: New EU Trade Settlement, Defaults Loom

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 05:09

China and the European Union have reached a new settlement that should formally end their ongoing dispute over solar panels, contrasting sharply from a more confrontational tack taken by the U.S. in a similar spat. Meantime in other solar news, a looming new bond default by a mid-sized panel maker has become the latest sign that Beijing is prepared

Minnesota May Reward Solar Producers for Climate Change Reduction

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 05:01

How can utilities account for the climate and financial benefits of solar power? For years, Minnesota has been considering this question. And on Mar. 12, the state authorized a value-of-solar tariff that utilities can use to credit solar power producers for the benefits they are providing to utilities and society.

AMSC Consolidates US Wind Operations, Focuses on Europe

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 14:12

Massachusetts-based American Superconductor (AMSC), which supplies power electronics for wind turbines, said yesterday that it would be consolidating its U.S.-based operations and focus on expansion in Europe.

Solar Fred’s 7 Golden Rules of Solar Marketing

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:07

While sitting at a coffee shop the other day, I saw a young mother try to explain the Golden Rule to her 4-year-old daughter, and it struck me that solar marketing has its own set of commonsense golden rules that we should all keep in mind. You might have a few more, but here are my top seven to get you started: 1. Thou shalt give before getting. S

SolarCity Freezes Energy Storage Program as Utilities Resist Grid Connections

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:16

SolarCity Corp., the biggest developer of U.S. rooftop solar panels, halted efforts to install and connect systems that include batteries for power storage because California’s utilities are reluctant to link them to the electric grid.

BP Scraps Renewable Energy Goal After Investing $8.3 Billion

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:08

BP Plc, recovering from an oil spill that may cost it as much as $42 billion, said it hasn’t set a new target for investing in renewable energy after investing $8.3 billion in the business.

Will the US Choose the Right Road to a New Energy Future?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 07:49

The United States is currently facing a very unique situation — the first of its kind — as we decide how to upgrade and expand our energy infrastructure. Many are afraid that investing in a new energy system is too expensive and would cost trillions of dollars. The truth is that the investment choices we make today will determine whether we build a resilient, reliable energy system. What we need is a modern system that will maximize economic benefits, put the consumer in control, and utilize innovation and technology all while attaining steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Navigating the Winding Road of Geothermal Project Financing, Part II

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 05:08

In Part I, we discussed proven financing strategies for the drilling and construction phases of geothermal energy projects. The next stage of financing a geothermal project is the “permanent financing” phase, which is generally attempted once the project has achieved Commercial Operations (COD).

Spurred by Japan, Steady Growth Predicted for Energy Storage Market

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:21

On March 17, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced that it would begin accepting applications for a generous subsidy that it is awarding to consumers who install lithium-ion battery storage systems along with renewable energy systems on their homes or businesses. The subsidy will spark nearly 100 MW of energy storage capacity to be installed in 2014, according to an energy analyst with IHS.

Transmission Line To Carry Wind Power Across the US Midwest Sparks Controversy

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:48

The windy plains of Kansas could be a treasure trove in the nation's effort to harness clean energy, but a major proposal to move wind-generated electricity eastward is running into a roadblock: Farmers who don't want high-power transmission lines on their land.

German Chancellor Merkel Lobbied to Ease Renewable Aid Cuts

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:42

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned revamp of the German energy industry may crimp the onshore wind expansion that’s key to her unprecedented switch from nuclear to renewable power sources, the country’s top wind state said.

Will UK Carbon Emission Rules Lead to Energy Shortages?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:27

The U.K. risks power shortages because utilities may react to Europe’s toughest carbon emissions rules by closing plants without replacing them.

What’s Powering the Future of Clean Tech?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:18

Population growth, pollution, and limited natural resources have created an urgent need for innovative clean tech solutions that are smarter, cleaner, and more efficient. However, energy storage’s high cost and technical limitations have kept renewable energy providers from achieving large-scale, low-cost parity with traditional energy suppliers.

Energy Storage Offers Tailored Grid Solutions, But at What Cost?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:11

The grid must maintain a full balance between generation (supply) and load (demand) at all times. In small-scale networks, imbalances occur more often and are generally more difficult to manage when compared to large-scale networks that often incorporate interconnector links.

Is Sustainability Talk a Distraction from What Really Matters?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 06:56

Most talk of "energy efficiency" and “sustainability” is insidious or naïve, or even misdirected. We all should switch off the lights when we leave a room, use efficient, gas-fired tankless water heaters (even when they are uneconomical), and work in LEED certified buildings. Intelligent thermostats — Nest, for instance — may regulate our air-conditioning to assure comfort while generating savings, and shaving “peak” load on the electricity grid. Using LED lamps and star rated appliances is admirable too. These solutions and behaviors, while praiseworthy, are beside the point; we should rather favor “supply action” before demand response.

Minnesota Paves the Way for Solar Advocates Nationwide

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 11:37

The solar battle between utilities, stakeholders, solar customers and other rate payers is coming to an end—at least in Minnesota. Last Wednesday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted in favor of the nation’s first statewide formula for calculating the value of customer-generated solar power. Minnesota is the first state to calcula

The Hunt Is On for Next-Generation Battery Storage Technology

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 08:44

Researchers are on the lookout for new materials to be used in the next generation of batteries that may one day replace current lithium ion batteries. Today, the latter are commonplace and provide a reliable power source for smartphones, laptops and many other portable electrical devices.

First Solar Seeking Growth as Desert Power Plant Market Dries Up

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 08:01

The biggest U.S. solar panel maker is preparing to set out its strategy for growth as sales lag for its large-scale power projects in the deserts of the southwest.

Wind Energy Investment: Where Should the Effort Go?

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 05:39

The global economy may be growing but, when it comes to wind, we are increasingly operating in a two-speed economy.