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Private Sector Investment in Solar Poised to Explode

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:50
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pTalk about the perfect Mother’s Day present for Mother Earth. Today, President Obama announced at a Walmart in California that 300 leading U.S. companies have taken the “solar pledge,” committing to install nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of new solar as part of their business plans. That’s a huge increase in the use of solar in the commercial sector. For A/p

Unzipping Poplars' Biofuel Potential

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:33
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pWhat began 20 years ago as an innovation to improve paper industry processes and dairy forage digestibility may now open the door to a much more energy- and cost-efficient way to convert biomass into fuel./p

Denmark District Heating and CHP a Model for the World

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 10:32
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe Danish government are blazing a trail in pursuing a renewable energy future and is hoping its success will rub off on others./p

Wind Manufacturers Surge with Unexpected Profit After Turnaround, Seek Expansion Plans

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 10:22
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pVestas Wind Systems A/S rose to its highest in more than three years after unexpectedly posting a profit in the first quarter, building on a turnaround that the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker completed last year. /p

Cashing In on Solar's Hidden Value

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 10:18
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe solar value proposition remains very attractive to homeowners and facility managers across the United States. However, the industry sells itself with one arm tied behind its back. From a consumer’s perspective, there are two key pieces of energy demand — capacity and cumulative usage. Many utility bills are comprised by 1) a demand charge, set /p

Can India Convert to 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050?

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 09:31
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIn the coming years, India will face seemingly insurmountable challenges to its economy, environment and energy security. To overcome these challenges India needs to shift to non-polluting sources of energy. As Jeremy Rifkin, an economist and activist, said in New Delhi in January 2012, "India is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy sources and, if properly utilized, India can realize its place in the world as a great power,” and adding “but political will is required for the eventual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.” The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also has recommended that the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions and climate change./p

Listen Up: Buying an EV and Charging with Solar

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 06:18
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe combination of rooftop solar and electric vehicles (EVs) is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of the renewable industry. Although EVs started off slowly the second time around (the first time was in the early 1900s), in some areas EVs are becoming ubiquitous. Whether it's a combination of tax credits, car pool lane preferences, expensive gas or concern about the environment, the trend seems unstoppable. /p

Tesla’s Battery Plant Boosted as Panasonic Signs Letter of Intent

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 10:29
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pElon Musk’s plans for a battery plant so big it will cut the cost of lithium-ion cells for Tesla Motors Inc. electric cars by 30 percent are advancing as Panasonic Corp. signed a letter of intent to join the project./p

New England Offshore Wind Developer Announces Protections for Whales

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 10:03
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pWe need look no further than the ocean to understand the urgent need to drastically reduce the carbon pollution caused by our addiction to fossil fuels. It is fueling ocean acidification, which is threatening the ability of some plankton, shellfish and coral to form skeletons — all of which form the base of the underwater food chain or provide important habitat for many species. Meanwhile, it is also contributing to climate change, which is raising ocean temperatures — bleaching coral reefs, displacing and even killing off sea life. It’s a one-two punch that is hitting the world’s oceans hard./p

Mexico’s Newly Opened Energy Market Attracts Renewables

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 08:12
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIt is a good time to be in the renewable energy business in Mexico since landmark energy reform opened up the electricity market and prioritized renewables. The government has an ambitious 12-year goal for renewable energy production, and private equity funds and development banks have millions of dollars ready to allocate to clean energy./p

How to Phase Out Incentives and Grow Solar Energy

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 07:35
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pOver the next decade, solar electricity will let consumers get cheaper energy from their rooftop than from their utility. Among the upheaval in the electricity system, the coming of solar "grid parity" means re-thinking incentives for solar energy. The success of solar is remarkable, no less because the amount of federal subsidy in absolute terms h/p

A US Wind Energy Boom? Don't Bet On It

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 07:30
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pFor all the talk of boom and bust in the U.S. market, it’s apt that AWEA 2014 opened in Las Vegas this week./p

Solar Making Big Strides to Power the Developing World

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 15:21
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAs we go about our daily lives using smartphones, computers and other technologies, it’s hard to believe that more than 2 billion people globally still live without electricity. According to the International Finance Corporation $37 billion is spent on fossil fuels to power the developing world each year. However, much of this population lives in areas where it is quite sunny, making solar energy an ideal solution. Several solar companies have developed affordable technology and essential financing mechanisms to bring renewable energy to those who need it most, and are now celebrating significant milestones./p

DOE Picks Winners for US Offshore Wind Development

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 13:45
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the three pilot projects that will continue to receive DOE funding to design, develop, and deploy their offshore wind technologies and processes. Each will receive up to another $47 million over the next four years to push their projects to fruition and commercial operation by 2017./p

Congress Must Act on Clean Energy Incentives Before Time EXPIREs

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 12:17
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pCongress failed to act last year and let a set of critical clean energy tax credits expire—putting clean air and clean energy jobs at risk. The good news is that earlier this month, the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Wyden (D-OR) took the first step in putting these critical tax credits back in place by reporting a bipartisan bill out of his committee: the EXPIRE Act. /p

Solar Industry Uniquely Poised to Help Fight Climate Change

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 08:54
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pDo you remember the old Midas TV commercial, “You can pay me now or pay me later?”  Well, I was reminded of that today when reading the latest evidence of climate change.  It carried the same kind of blunt warning:  Cut pollution now or face enormous consequences down the road. As expected, a non-partisan committee of experts released its 148-page /p

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2014: May Update

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 08:28
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pApril showers fell on both the broad market and clean energy stocks last month, but my picks weathered the storm relatively well. My clean energy benchmark (PBW) was down 5.9 percent since the last update, and my broad market benchmark (IWM) fell 1.7 percent./p

Solar 1603 Grant Data Lifts the Veil On PV System Performance

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 07:54
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIn the world of photovoltaic (PV) finance, historical performance data — or the lack thereof — stands as an obstacle to the risk assessment and credit evaluation of solar installations. Investors eyeing solar-backed securities or other investment vehicles might view the asset class cautiously without a firm, data-driven understanding of how solar assets perform (i.e., generate power) in the field and how this affects the cash flows that would ultimately backstop their investment./p

Judge Has Harsh Words for Cape Wind Foes

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 07:52
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pA federal court judge had harsh words last week for Cape Wind foes as he handed down the 26th legal win for the Massachusetts offshore wind farm project./p

Winds Steady but Calm for Windpower 2014

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 16:20
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe U.S. wind industry has its work cut out for it. That was the message put forth today at the start of Windpower 2014, an annual event taking place in Las Vegas this week. Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) opened the show with a keynote speech that reviewed steps that the industry had taken over the past year in order to reach its goals. In 2013, the industry set goals of doubling the amount of installed wind power capacity by 2020 and increasing it to 20 percent of the U.S. energy mix by 2030. Wind power currently makes up about 4 percent of the U.S. energy mix./p