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Updated: 7 months 2 weeks ago

Listen Up: Electricity from Nuclear Too Cheap to Meter — Or Not

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:24
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIt's the environmentalist's third rail question: "Should we promote nuclear power as an expedient way to reduce CO2 emissions?" On the one hand, nuclear power generates electricity with almost negligible CO2 emissions — potentially a good way for our society to reverse the current global warming trends. On the other hand, nuclear power is...well...nuclear. Problems related to waste disposal, proliferation and high costs have not been solved, and we still have the occasional disaster./p

Simulation Models Optimize Hydropower Potential

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:24
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pResearchers at the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB in Ilmenau are developing information technology to make water power generation systems more efficient. The Advanced System Technology (AST) department is creating simulation and optimization models that consolidate external factors such as weather data, water levels and market prices with system infrastructure and generate optimized plans for operational facilities, such as the opening and closing of sluice gates, reservoir water level regulation and hydro turbine operation. /p

Is the US Geothermal Industry Back on Track?

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 16:29
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe U.S. geothermal industry has limped its way through the past few years with little growth, leading many companies to abandon plans and shift their business elsewhere./p

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2014: August Update

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 14:31
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pJuly was a hard month for the stock market and clean energy stocks in particular. My broad market benchmark of small cap stocks, IWM, fell 7 percent and is down 2.7 percent for the year, while my clean energy benchmark PBW fell 9% and has slid into the red for the first time. It is down 0.1 percent for the year to date. /p

An Open Letter from SolarWorld to SEIA

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 09:51
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pI am writing to address troubling comments and positions that you and SEIA have made and taken in regard to the anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases which SolarWorld has filed on behalf of U.S. solar manufacturers to counter the unfair trade practices of Chinese and Taiwanese solar manufacturers.  Editor's note: Find SEIA's response to this l/p

The SfunCube Solar Incubator: Helping the Solar Industry Get Beyond “Start-up”

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 09:41
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIn one sense, every company in the solar industry is a “start-up.” Even if you’ve been in the solar business for a decade or more, the public and the press still commonly refer to solar as “alternative energy,” and despite the U.S. having more solar jobs than coal miners, we’re still less than 2 percent of the grid. To get beyond being a global ene/p

SunPower Offers Solar and Storage Packages to Hybrid Car Customers

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 09:26
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pBuyers of Volkswagen or Audi hybrids will find themselves getting yet another sales pitch as they leave a U.S. dealership next year -- to buy a home power network that allows them to charge their new cars using only solar power./p

How the Don Quixote Principle Drives Solar

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 06:37
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pFor decades the photovoltaic industry has been driven by its beliefs, hopes, the availability of incentives, and what it is willing to ignore in terms of market realities and technological barriers. The apparent achievement of grid parity, even at drastically low margins, was hailed a victory. Continued deployment of multi-megawatt installations in the face of low margins for developers and likely gigawatts of poor quality installations has been regarded as proof of the inevitability of the industry’s success. /p

Renewable Heating and Cooling Now Mandated in Massachusetts

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 12:45
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIn the Northeast United States, homeowners and businesses use a lot of energy to heat (and cool, but mostly heat) their buildings and a new bill, waiting for Massachusetts Governor Patrick’s signature, means that more renewable energy technologies will be used to do that heating and cooling./p

Siemens $25 Billion Financing Arm Helps Promote Renewable Energy Technologies

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 10:17
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSiemens AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser is leaning on the manufacturer’s 19 billion-euro ($25 billion) financial services division as a tool to help fund nascent technologies and promote them with customers./p

South Carolina Solar is Rising

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 09:41
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAfter two years of negotiations, the South Carolina House of Representatives voted unanimously on new legislation to promote solar in the Palmetto State. As a result of the South Carolina Distributed Energy Resource Act (S.B. 1189), Sol Systems expects the South Carolina solar market to expand from a mere 8 MW to 300 MW or more by 2021. Here’s how./p

Gevo CEO Sees Minnesota Biofuels Plant Breaking Even This Year

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 09:35
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pGevo Inc.’s biofuels plant in Minnesota, which has suffered production delays because of contamination, may break even by the end of 2014 as output of ethanol and isobutanol from agricultural waste increase./p

Sharp Lightens Solar Business, Shifts Focus to Energy Storage Systems

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:26
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSharp Corp., the Japanese company that stopped making solar panels in the U.S. and the U.K., is betting power users in the U.S. will benefit from a device to store energy and control demand when it’s needed the most./p

Phasing Out Fossils: Big Companies Using Thermal Storage to Meet Carbon Rules

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 07:09
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pClustered deep beneath the trading floors of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Manhattan headquarters are 92 tanks with enough ice for 3.4 million margaritas./p

SunPower Planning New 700-MW Factory as Demand Swells

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 13:22
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. solar manufacturer, is planning a new factory that will expand production capacity by more than 50 percent from current levels, in an effort to increase market share./p

Tesla Breaks Ground for Its Gigafactory in Nevada

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 13:13
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pTesla Motors Inc. said it’s broken ground near Reno for a $5 billion battery plant, signaling Nevada has vaulted to the lead of five states vying for the so-called gigafactory and its promise of 6,500 jobs./p

New China Solar Storm Brewing in the EU

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:10
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe war of words against Chinese solar panel makers is heating up from both sides of the Atlantic, with growing signs that Europe may reconsider anti-dumping duties as the U.S. moves closer to imposing its own new duties on the beleaguered manufacturers. Meantime, two of the biggest Chinese victims of the sector’s recent turmoil have risen from the/p

Arizona Public Service Performs 180, Decides to Install Rooftop Solar

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:00
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pArizona Public Service (APS) decided this week that they would like to get into the rooftop solar business. I think they should too, but not like this. Their proposal is terrible for customers. After spending over $10 million in an attempt to impose a $50-100 monthly fee on solar customers, APS has decided to pay you $30 per month for 20 years if y/p

Geothermal Visual: Comparing the Geothermal Permitting Process to Other Technologies

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:15
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe visual below, prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), shows the average length of time for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for geothermal projects as compared to the timelines for average solar and wind development, as well as for oil and gas. The longer lead time for geothermal projects is something that re/p

Can Small Islands Show the World How To Fight Climate Change?

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:11
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIsland populations may bear the brunt of climate change more than other populations, so it should be no surprise that some islands have ramped up efforts to convert to non-fossil fuel energy sources. In the brief span of five years, the U.S. Virgin Islands have cut their oil consumption by 20 percent. /p