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Renewable Energy News

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Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

Putin Strengthening China-Russia Ties for Renewable Energy Development

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 03:52

China has encroached so strongly into Russia this year — a shift meant mainly to mollify the U.S. impact on the countries’ economic interests and the world stage — that the dominance made even prominent Russians fearful of the Asian giant.

Germany’s Clean Electricity Costs Decline for First Time

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:51

German electricity consumers will for the first time see a drop in the fee added to their bills to fund renewables, a boost for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has pledged to curb the cost for voters.

SolarCity at It Again, Offers $200 Million in Bonds to Investors

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:46

SolarCity Corp. is offering retail investors as much as $200 million in bonds that will be paid through revenue the company receives for selling electricity.

Offshore Wind Power Can Save US Billions On Electricity, Recent DOE Study Finds

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 07:43

Offshore wind power isn’t usually associated with lower-cost energy, at least not in the public imagination. But it turns out that installing 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power off America’s coasts can cut the cost of electricity in the U.S. by an astounding $7.68 billion a year. That’s right: $7.68 billion annually. (If utilities and grid operators pass those savings onto consumers, that’s about $100 a year per family of four.)

Analyst: US Residential Demand Could Approach 1 GW Annually

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 05:53

The outlook for the residential solar market in the United States remains strong, with policymakers looking to reduce the regulatory burden for new installations and major downstream players focusing on continued installed system cost reduction.

We Can Do Better: The Unintended Consequences of EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 05:22

Most people agree that it is time to seriously reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).  EPA is actually required by law to reduce power and industrial GHG emissions in the U.S., and they certainly deserve an “E” for effort so far.  But effort without good outcomes doesn’t really count.  Sadly, the EPA’s rule as proposed would create unin

We Can Do Better: The Unintended Consequences of EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 05:22

Most people agree that it is time to seriously reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).  EPA is actually required by law to reduce power and industrial GHG emissions in the U.S., and they certainly deserve an “E” for effort so far.  But effort without good outcomes doesn’t really count.  Sadly, the EPA’s rule as proposed would create unin

Giant Energy Storage Project Aims at Renewable Energy's Holy Grail

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 04:50

At a windy mountain pass on the edge of the Mojave Desert, North America’s most potent collection of batteries used for storing unused power is humming its way toward an electricity revolution.

Transforming the Utility Sector with New Business Models

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 03:21

The “utility death spiral” is a term that is becoming all too familiar as distributed energy technologies expand. But how real is it? Are regulated utilities going way — or are they on their way to new business models? According to a new study by Berkeley Lab, distributed solar photovoltaics (PV) are the most immediate threat to investor-owned util

5 Common Twitter Solar Marketing Mistakes and Fixes for SPI

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 03:18

Next week is Solar Power International in Vegas, and I’ve been watching the Twittersphere for how solar manufacturers are communicating about their SPI plans and promotions, and I’m seeing several common mistakes that can be quickly fixed. Here they are: Mistake #1: You’re not even Tweeting about SPI. Oops... Many solar manufacturers still don’t ha

Grab the Low-hanging Fruit: Use Solar Forecasting Before Storage to Stabilize the Grid

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 06:27

Okay, so we all know that the output of solar photovoltaic systems vary with the available resource by the season, month, day, and hour. This so-called variability of solar, like wind, creates challenges for grid operators who are accustomed to turning up and down power plants to balance the grid.

India Should Move Solar to Fixed Tariffs, Yes Bank Says

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 21:29

India should move its solar industry to a fixed-pricing model like the one used in Germany, said one of the nation’s biggest clean-energy lenders, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to expand renewable targets.

New Report Sheds Light on the Old "Food Vs. Fuel" Bioenergy Debate

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 21:09

It was an abundant year for corn growers in the U.S. This year’s corn crop is going to be substantially higher than any year on record. According to the monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that is released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, total production is now projected at 14.475 billion bushels, 550 million bushels over the 2013 record. Yields, also a record, are projected at 172.4 bushels per acre. In fact corn yields have been growing substantially over time.

Renewables to Drive Power Generation Growth in Africa, IEA Says

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 09:44

Renewable energy will satisfy much of Africa’s expanding power needs by 2040 as the continent unlocks vast hydropower resources, the International Energy Agency said.

Earth to Cellulosic Ethanol: Glad You’re Here, Buddy, What Took so Long? Part I

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 09:42

There’s a gigantic disconnect between two sections in the country as to whether the United States should be celebrating the success or the failure of cellulosic biofuels — biofuels made from crop residues, energy crops, and other feedstocks including municipal solid waste, and which feature a 60 percent or greater full-lifecycle reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional gasoline.

Norway Approves First Direct Electricity Link to Germany

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:36

Norway approved the construction of the first direct electricity cable to Germany and granted a license for a link to the U.K. to aid power trading between the nations.

City Poised to Adopt First-in-the-Nation Partnership with Energy Utilities

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:06

Ever wonder what happened to the notion last August that the city of Minneapolis (MN) would take over its energy utilities? While it may seem like the issue vanished, last Monday the Minneapolis City Council held a hearing on another way forward to a better energy future. On the table is a novel partnership between the city and Xcel Energy and Cent

China Finally Acknowledges Unfair Pricing, To Sharply Lower Renewable Tariffs by 2020

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 06:25

Lofty targets contained in a new report show that China intends to push ahead with ambitious plans to build up its renewable energy sector. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this new report is word that Beijing finally intends to sharply reduce the inflated state-set fees now paid for solar and wind-produced power, in one of the sharpest

Listen Up: Let's Talk Solar Chips and How They Can Reduce Costs, Improve Efficiency

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 03:14

Solar modules started out as fairly simple moisture-proof sandwiches of glass, silicon cells, glue and backsheets — with a junction box that contains a few diodes to bypass defective or shaded cells. No fancy electronics in the early days. Then power electronics circuitry crept into early inverters — to the point now where all inverters contain hundreds of electronics chips to provide various optimization, communications and safety functions. Now that many installations use microinverters or optimizers, every single solar panel has its own collection of electronics chips.

Prost! 5 Breweries Embracing Renewable Energy

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:31

Love it or hate it, summer is gone and cold weather is creeping its way into our lives. Here in New England, fall brings all sorts of activities, from apple picking to pumpkin patches to football. But at REW, we’re most excited for one quintessential fall event: Oktoberfest. The changing leaves also bring about changing brews, so we decided to high