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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 4 min 58 sec ago

SolarCity Introduces New Zep Mounting Technology in Commercial Solar Space

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:06

Nearly one year after SolarCity acquired Zep Solar and its rackless mounting design for $158 million — a move that cut both cost and time for residential solar installations — the installer announced today that it is whetting its appetite in untapped areas of the commercial market with a new Zep product line.

Get in Line and Get Creative: How to Deal with Module Price Changes

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 08:10

The solar tariff dispute is leading to longer procurement times and altering module selection. Now, as developers build out their initial design specs with a specific module in mind, we are finding that as a project approaches NTP, the modules may become unavailable or too costly. In other words, both developers and investors are finding themselves

Why Lease Solar Panels When You Can Own Them?

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 06:13

Now more than ever, it makes sense to own a solar power system instead of leasing one. The savings are significant, since purchasing a system presently pencils out to about 50 percent less than leasing over the long term and the payback period is now as low as three years. As prices continue to drop, more builders and developers are offering solar as standard in their new communities and we expect the trend to continue. Around the country, many solar rebate programs administered by states and utilities have begun to expire or at least are being overhauled. This does not mean that solar is going to die. It’s actually stronger than ever. Even without rebates, solar is now cheaper than the electric utilities in many areas, with grid prices typically rising 5 percent each year.

Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage: Fantasy or Reality?

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 05:45

Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage (UW-CAES) — a step beyond underground energy storage in caverns — may soon offer conventional utilities a means of long-duration load shifting for their large-scale electrical grids, and niche microgrid operators a means of reducing their fossil-fuel dependence, say its advocates.

Duke Energy Invests Heavily in Solar

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:49

An RFP issued in February 2014 is paying off in spades for the solar industry with Duke Energy today announcing that it is making a $500 million commitment to solar power in North Carolina. Duke said that the announcement furthers its commitment to renewable energy, helps diversify its energy portfolio and helps it meet North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS).

German Clean Energy Shift Can Ignore Storage for Now, Study Says

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 09:22

Germany’s shift toward renewable energy can do without new storage infrastructure in the next two decades as it’s too expensive, according to a new study.

Jatropha Biofuel Around the World: A 13-country Tour of Development Activity

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 09:07

In California, SGB announced an $11 million Series C financing to drive commercial rollout, after reducing the time to maturity from 5 years to 1-2 years in its latest generation of Jatropha hybrids.

India’s Tamil Nadu Sets Solar Power Price as Program Stalls

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 06:39

The electricity regulator for India’s Tamil Nadu set a price for solar-power producers after failing for the past two years to attract investments to a state that gets about 300 days of sun a year.

A Marriage Between Solar and Forest: Japan Promotes Wooden PV Racking Systems

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 06:25

In the midst of the rapid growth in its solar photovoltaic (PV) market, Japan is looking into its local resources — forests — to provide racking for PV systems. Several firms in Japan are turning domestic cypress or cedar trees into PV racks, which are traditionally made of metal such as aluminum and steel. A 150-kW PV system owner in Mie prefecture stated that it came naturally to choose wood as racking for environmentally friendly solar energy. The company used cedar wood, which was harvested locally.

Exploring Finance Options: Yield-cos Don’t Fit the Bill for Many Renewable Energy Companies

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 11:34

Yield-cos have been grabbing headlines lately. Typically, large utilities spin off their high-yield alternative energy operations into separate smaller companies called yield-cos. These new companies are then taken public to attract individual and institutional investors.

Trina and Other Solar Manufacturers Racing To Keep Up with Demand

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:48

Trina Solar Ltd., China’s second- biggest maker of solar panels, said its factories are working at full strength and it can’t meet customer demand.

India Makes Plans To Spur More Renewable Energy Development

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:37

India plans to ask power generators to invest in clean-energy projects as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to accelerate the nation’s shift away from the troubled coal industry.

Trapped in the Down Elevator? A New Perspective on the Net Metering Debate

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:21

Given the endless blog articles rehashing the same old net metering arguments, perhaps it can be helpful to examine the experience of another industry.   Specifically, what is probably, after solar, the renewable energy and smart grid storage device with by far the highest market penetration.  I refer of course to the biomass-aerobic-respiration-as

Preventing Bird Deaths at Solar Power Plants, Part 2

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 06:54

Part 1 of this article lays out the problem of bird deaths at some CSP power plants and begins to offer some solutions. Part 2 gives more solutions and explains how some of the companies involved plan to solve the problem.

2030 Outlook: A Trillion Dollar Taxpayer Bailout for Electrical Utilities

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:00

After bailing out Wall Street in 2008, are Americans ready to provide a one trillion dollar bailout to our electric utilities in 2030?  Even though worldwide demand for energy is estimated to rise 41 percent by 2035, Barclays recently downgraded their outlook for utilities.  The question we should ask ourselves is what does it mean when you downgra

1366 Technologies: We Can Sell Solar Wafers Below Market Costs

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:48

1366 Technologies Inc. says it can produce silicon wafers for solar cells for less than competitors, an advantage it hopes to use to expand market share.

Siemens Tidal Energy Project Suspended

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:31

Marine Current Turbines (MCT), the tidal energy company owned by German engineering giant Siemens has announced that it has suspended development of a planned 10 MW tidal array in Wales.

California Encourages West-facing Solar Panels

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 09:31

Rooftop solar panels in North America face south. That’s just the way we do it. But California recently began to incentivize west-facing panels over south-facing solar. New guidelines from the California Energy Commission call for a 15 percent higher rebates for west-facing solar arrays than for south-facing solar panels. While solar panels collect

RusHydro Considers Renewable Energy Fund IPO with PowerChina

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 06:37

RusHydro JSC, Russia’s biggest hydropower company, is considering selling shares in a clean energy fund it plans to create with Power Construction Corp. of China Ltd. to gain from a new subsidy program.

Preventing Bird Deaths at Solar Power Plants, Part 1

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 04:51

In the aviation industry alone, there have been over 117,000 bird strikes in the 20 years from 1990 and 2010, according to the FAA. These pose a flight risk to pilots and passengers on planes. In the 1980s, attempting to prevent bird strikes at JFK Airport, the USDA killed 28,000 gulls.