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Updated: 2 days 21 hours ago

Chile Attracts $7 Billion in Renewable Energy Investment

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:03
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pChile, the wealthiest nation in Latin America, is attracting $7 billion of renewable investments from Abengoa SA to SunEdison Inc. as the government seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels to supply cheaper power to the mining industry, which provides a third of the world’s copper. /p

The Proof of Interconnection Reform is in the…Data

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:42
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pInterconnection reform is the hottest new dish on the regulatory menu. Discussions are currently ongoing in Illinois and North Carolina, following the path-charting decisions in Hawaii, California, Massachusetts and Ohio over the past two years. It’s no surprise either; reforming interconnection procedures that are no longer suitable for today’s ra/p

Hanwha Q CELLS Completes 13.3 MW Solar Power Plant in Portugal

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:27
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pHanwha Q CELLS announced that it has completed its first solar park in Portugal as engineering, procurement and construction provider (EPC). The installation in the municipality of Montijo (South-East of Lisbon) features around 51,000 of Q CELLS modules and was fully connected to the grid as of May 2014. /p

Expert Interview: Utilities Should Take Advantage of the Transformation

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 09:49
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pPerry Stoneman (pictured below), Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Sectors and Utilities at Capgemini, who will be speaking at this year's European Utility Week, says that it is not clear whether enough utilities have their digital roadmap in place. He suggests that utilities have the opportunity to be a part of this change but that they will need to plan ahead. /p

Could Africa be the Global Epicenter of Renewable Energy by 2030?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 09:18
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pToday, headlines like “Africa Rising” and “Africa Ascending” are often used around the world to describe the unprecedented transformation and steady economic growth on the continent. Over the past 12 months, I have attended several conferences in Africa and other parts of the world where this theme has been sounded. The promising economic prospects for sub-Saharan Africa is also highlighted in the Africa Progress Panel 2014 report titled, Grain, Fish Money – Financing Africa’s Green and Blue Revolutions./p

Disruptive Innovation Alert: Regulated Utilities Vie for a Piece of the DG Solar Pie

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:44
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAfter gaining a reputation for being one of solar’s most outspoken naysayers, Arizona Public Service (APS) shocked the industry by announcing its intent to get into the residential solar market. This is not the first time a regulated utility has attempted to catch up to a disruptive innovation by owning solar in its own territories, and it likely w/p

Brazil to Encourage Local Solar Equipment With Cheaper Loans

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:35
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pBrazil will offer cheaper funding to solar projects that use locally made equipment and parts in a bid to spur a national manufacturing industry as the country prepares to ban solar-cell imports by the end of the decade./p

Building Renewable Energy in the Developing World, Brick by BRICS

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:28
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pA group of five powerful nations has just created a new financial institution that may very well have a major influence on the growth of renewable energy in the developing world. At their sixth annual summit in July at the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) officially established, as they had promised during last year’s summit, a new financial institution, the New Development Bank (NDB), to be based in Shanghai. The NDB’s purpose is to provide loans, guarantees and technical assistance to developing countries. In that respect, it is not at all different from the World Bank and similar institutions./p

More "Made in the USA" Solar Modules Coming Soon

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:42
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSuniva Inc., a manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and modules, announced that construction of its second U.S. solar manufacturing facility has begun. The new facility, located in Saginaw Township, Michigan, will provide up to 200 MW of additional capacity of its American-made modules, as a supplement to its existing manufacturing facility at its headquarters, in Norcross, Georgia./p

Global Renewable Energy Status Uncovered

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:27
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pMore than a fifth of the world's electrical power production now comes from renewable sources and in 2013 renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of all net additions to global power capacity. These remarkable conclusions come from this year’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) from REN21. This highly-regarded annual analysis — the 2014 edition was released this summer — concludes that renewable electricity capacity jumped by more than 8 percent overall in 2013, to produce some 22 percent of all global power production. Total global installed renewable electricity capacity reached a staggering 1,560 GW in 2013. /p

New Micro-Parallel Inverters Aim to Reduce System Costs, Improve Performance

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 07:07
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pTraditionally, there have been two main options for solar installation designers and engineers to convert DC to AC power: string inverters or micro inverters. Both present significantly different advantages and disadvantages for installers, with installation expenses varying up to 20 percent depending on the inverter selection. Either solution had drawbacks: what one would gain in convenience, it would sacrifice in performance and maintenance and vice versa. But a new class of inverter is entering the market that combines the installation simplicity of a string inverter with the intelligence and energy harvest advantages of a micro inverter. /p

Can Your Solar Company Pass the Bumper Sticker Brand Equity Test?

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 04:00
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThese days, applying a bumper sticker to your car is mostly reserved for two things: Bragging about your kid being an honor student and for presidential election years. While I’d never say that bumper stickers alone are a must-have solar marketing tool, what I will say is that when a customer voluntarily pastes your bumper sticker onto their vehicl/p

US State Breaks Ground on a "Perfect" Solar + Storage Microgrid that Can Provide Resilient Power

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 17:06
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pToday Green Mountain Power (GMP) broke ground on a solar plus energy storage microgrid in Rutland, Vermont with one expert calling it a "perfect" project. The 2.5-MW Stafford Hill solar project is being developed in conjunction with Dynapower and GroSolar and includes 4 MW of battery storage, both lithium ion and lead acid, to integrate the solar generation into the local grid, and to provide resilient power in case of a grid outage./p

A Few Weeds in Minnesota Decision to Allow Community Solar Gardens to Grow

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 16:16
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pLate last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Public Utilities Commission decision also highlighted the shortcomings of the legislature's distributed solar policy adopted in 2013.   What was missing? Minnesota/p

Chinese Offshore Wind Market Stagnating, Disappointing Investors

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:26
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe Chinese offshore wind market has scarcely grown since Siemens opened a 35 million-euro [US $47 million] blade manufacturing facility in Lingang, China, in 2010, said Michael Hannibal, the head of Siemens’s offshore wind power unit. /p

IRS Clarifies Beginning of Construction Rules for Renewable Energy Projects

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:05
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 2014-46 (the Notice), which provides further clarification about how a taxpayer can satisfy the requirement that construction of a renewable energy project began before January 1, 2014. The Notice, released on August 8, 2014, is welcome news for the renewable energy industry, which has been anxiously awaiting further guidance with respect to two aspects of the so-called “begin construction” requirement. The Notice addresses those two aspects and modifies a third aspect of the requirement./p

Value-of-Solar is Delayed; Minnesota Community Solar Gardens Move Forward

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:01
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pYesterday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“MPUC”) approved Xcel Energy’s first Minnesota-based Community Solar Garden (CSG) program. After Xcel’s initial program filing was rejected by the MPUC in April, Xcel filed a revised CSG tariff with the MPUC in June. In a related filing, Xcel also argued that a  value of solar (“VOS”) rate for C/p

Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Nigeria Piloting Waste-To-Energy Power Plant

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 09:23
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pA unique program in Nigeria, a country located on the southwest coast of Africa by the Gulf of Guinea, seeks to solve two pressing problems with one solution. The country needs power, and the country suffers from too much garbage. Take a look at the innovative new project that is being piloted there in order to kill two birds with just one stone./p

China, Brazil Consider Publicity Blitz to Steer Climate Debate

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:19
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pChina and Brazil are looking for ways to redirect a global climate debate, which they say unfairly accuses developing nations of delaying limits on fossil-fuel pollution./p