News

  • CSP Eyes Strong Growth with Thermal Energy Storage to Compete Against PV

    Concentrating solar power (CSP) has existed since 1866, but for the last couple of decades, photovoltaic (PV) has been the dominant solar technology. Now with technological advancements and energy storage, CSP is poised to make a significant comeback. 

    Posted at 26 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Now Third Largest Renewable Source of Electricity in US

    In April, solar reached a new milestone, providing more than 2.3 percent of U.S. electrical supply, according to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information's (EIA) Electric Power Monthly, with data through April 30, 2017. Consequently, solar has now moved into third place among renewable sources — behind hydropower and wind but ahead of biomass and geothermal.

    Posted at 26 June, 2017 | Read more
  • New York Moves to Establish Energy Storage Procurement Target for 2030

    The New York State Legislature has sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo companion bills that would lead to the development of an energy storage procurement target for the state.

    Posted at 26 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar LCOE, a Data Mining and Fact Driven Challenge

    Fully identifying and understanding real life cycle solar PV costs creates a challenge; while not addressing those costs in detail accurately and dramatically, increases project risk. The probability that one can effectively cut costs without clearly understanding what the underlying costs are, is exceptionally low.

    Posted at 23 June, 2017 | Read more
  • NY Green Bank’s Clean Tech Investments Reach $346 Million

    NY Green Bank’s investment portfolio reached $346.1 million in 1Q17, an achievement that is expected to ensure a total investment of about $1 billion into New York’s clean energy market, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

     

    Posted at 23 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Panel Makers Surge After Trump Proposes Solar on Border Wall

    Shares of solar manufacturers rose sharply Thursday after President Donald Trump told supporters that mounting solar PV panels atop his proposed Mexican border wall would allow the project to pay for itself.

    Posted at 23 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Researchers Win DOE Grant for Solar Communications Security System

    A three-year study to develop a generic cybersecurity system for monitoring communications between distributed resource energy generators — including solar — and the grid is being developed by the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under a $900,000 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant.

     

    Posted at 22 June, 2017 | Read more
  • The Many Fates of Former Solar Decathlon Houses

    Compelling. That’s what the stories behind the Solar Decathlon represent to me. Normally, I am focused on the current competition — working with the university teams and our partners to host the Energy Department’s largest public event showcasing student-built solar houses. 

    Posted at 22 June, 2017 | Read more
  • The Global Transition to Renewable Energy — Can the Caribbean Lead the Way? Part 2: The Challenges

    With the confluence of positive factors described in Part 1 of this article, why has the pace of adoption of renewables not been more rapid Indeed, there has been progress, but it has been slow and uneven, depending on the island. There are several reasons for this.

    Posted at 21 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Australian Firm Issues Tender for 640 MWh of Energy Storage Services

    Brisbane, Australia-based Lyon Group yesterday said it is seeking interest for contracts to cover up to 640 MWh of storage capacity across Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

    Posted at 21 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Changing How Solar Power Rolls

    Traditional solar panels used to power satellites can be bulky with heavy panels folded together using mechanical hinges. An experiment that recently arrived at the International Space Station will test a new solar array design that rolls up to form a compact cylinder for launch with significantly less mass and volume.

    Posted at 20 June, 2017 | Read more
  • India Solar Tariffs: Part 2 — Dude, Where's My Return?

    Any analysis of solar returns has to be first de-linked from return expectations for thermal. Rather than chip away at a thermal derived returns benchmark

    Posted at 20 June, 2017 | Read more
  • The Global Transition to Renewable Energy — Can the Caribbean Lead the Way? Part 1: The Potential

    The Caribbean depends on imported oil for approximately 90 percent of its energy needs; the exception is Trinidad and Tobago, which has its own source of oil and natural gas. Although the world currently is benefitting from a relatively low cost of oil, 

    Posted at 20 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: Tesla Solar Roof Tiles — Customer and Installer Perspectives

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the home of the future will be solar powered. Intuitively it would be great if the roofing material provided that solar power.

    Posted at 20 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Nevada RPS, Community Solar Bills Vetoed; Net Metering Reinstated

    Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed two bills last week that would have increased the state’s renewable energy standard and promoted community solar programs.

    Posted at 19 June, 2017 | Read more
  • European Energy Trading Firms to Test Blockchain Technology

    A trial of blockchain-based peer-to-peer trading will be undertaken this year in the European wholesale energy market. Swedish power company Vattenfall on June 7 said that its Business Area Markets unit has joined 22 other European energy trading firms to conduct the trial.

    Posted at 19 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Pakistan’s Renewables Industry — Net Metering, Grid Stability, and Active Actions

    The renewable energy industry in Pakistan is surviving and evolving every day without any major government support in form of policies, such as tax rebates and subsidies.

    Posted at 19 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Apple Issues a Second Green Bond to Finance Clean Energy

    Apple Inc., which issued the biggest green bond ever sold by a U.S. corporation last year to finance projects fighting global warming, is doing it again.

    Posted at 19 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Notes from the Solar Underground: At the Intersection of Innovation, Technology and Market, the Market Decides

    Whether the market makes a flawed decision or not, the market is always the decider, and whether its decisions are based on price, personal beliefs

    Posted at 16 June, 2017 | Read more
  • The Future of Energy Services Highlighted on 2017 Technology Pioneers List

    Companies with product offerings that will drive the future of energy services were among the 30 start-ups and scale-ups featured on the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Technology Pioneers list released this week.

    Posted at 16 June, 2017 | Read more
  • US Paris Pull-Out Sparks Discord and Dialogue for G7 Environment Ministers

    The environment ministers of the world’s seven most powerful industrialized economies met in Bologna this week. This was the first G7 gathering since U.S. President Donald Trump announced his plan to pull out of the Paris Agreement. 

    Posted at 15 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Australia Considers Draft Standard for Onsite Energy Storage

    The nonprofit Standards Australia this week released for consultation a draft voluntary standard for onsite battery systems. The standard, which was prepared jointly by Australian and New Zealand stakeholders, includes provisions for

    Posted at 15 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Renewables to Grab $7 Trillion of Global Power Investment, Says BNEF

    Renewables will account for almost three quarters of global investment in power generation between now and 2040, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    Posted at 15 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Posted at 15 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Recently Passed Legislation to Open Up PACE Financing in Illinois

    Illinois could get a PACE program for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy in commercial, industrial and multi-family buildings if the governor signs a bill passed overwhelmingly by the state legislature last month.

    Posted at 14 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Tokyo May Soon Get Wind Power From Asia Super Grids

    The lights of the high-end boutiques and bars of Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood may someday be powered by wind farms or coal burned more than 1,700 miles away (2,700 kilometers) in Mongolia, electricity zipping over ultra-high voltage lines across deserts and under seas.

    Posted at 13 June, 2017 | Read more
  • May's Bid to Keep UK Lights on Harder After Election Loss

    The U.K.’s search for 100 billion pounds (US$127 billion) to maintain electricity supplies is likely to become tougher after the Conservative government lost its parliamentary majority in an election last week.

    Posted at 13 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Associations Urge Congress to Oppose $1.7BN DOE Budget Cut

    A letter signed today by five renewable energy associations urges Congress to oppose the $1.7 billion cut to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) FY18 budget proposed by the Trump Administration.

    Posted at 13 June, 2017 | Read more
  • India Solar Tariffs — Irrational or Misunderstood?

    I recently came across an article highlighting subdued M&A activity in the Indian solar space as it appears buyers are now reluctant to acquire older projects with high tariffs due to perceived curtailment and/or tariff revision risk! I guess this means the latest solar tariffs may not be so irrational after all.

    Posted at 13 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: The Solar Coaster

    Energy and environmental trends are our friends when it comes to the long-term future of the solar industry. For more about the next dip on the Solar Coaster, Listen Up to the Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

    Posted at 12 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Decathlon Teams Enter Construction Phase; Readying for October Competition

    The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 is coming to Denver in October, and teams are building their entries to be ready for the competition.

    Posted at 12 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Hawaii Enacts Law Expanding Climate Strategies in Alignment with Paris Agreement

    In a first for U.S. states, Hawaii Gov. David Ige last week signed two bills that codify commitments and goals of the Paris Agreement.

    Posted at 12 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Cooking Microgrids: The Case for Application-specific Power Networks

    Thanks to the virtuous confluence of technical and business forces, and driven by entrepreneurial startups, application-specific microgrids are coming. In common understanding, a microgrid is a smaller version of the existing macro-grid, and it delivers the same electricity as the latter does.

    Posted at 09 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Nevada Governor Signs Bill Providing Legal Recognition of Blockchain

    Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval this week signed a billed that provides legal recognition of blockchain in satisfying the requirements for written records, specifically contracts.

    Posted at 09 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Active Network Management Enables Addition of 8.5 MW of Renewables to Shetland Islands Grid

    A five-year trial on Scotland’s Shetland Islands has shown that a system of demand-side management, large-scale energy storage and monitoring and control systems — together called active network management (ANM) — has allowed the addition of about 8.5 MW of renewables to the islands’ grid.

    Posted at 09 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Recycled EV Batteries Will Be Paired with Residential Solar in UK Trial

    A new trial in the UK will explore the performance of recycled EV batteries in residential solar+storage systems. U.K.-based Powervault this week said it reached an agreement to reuse Renault’s EV batteries in 50 trail units at homes of customers who already have solar installed. 

    Posted at 09 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Net Metering Poised for Comeback in Nevada; Solar Providers Look to Return to State

    Following passage earlier this week of a bill to restore net metering in Nevada, Sunrun said it will re-enter the state’s solar market. AB 405 passed Nevada’s Assembly and Senate and now is awaiting Gov. Brian Sandoval’s signature.

    Posted at 08 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2017: First Quarter Earnings

    In the two months since the last update, most of the stocks in my Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio have reported first quarter earnings. There were few surprises, and those were mostly pleasant ones, allowing the model portfolio to add to its gains, and pull a little farther ahead of its benchmark.

    Posted at 08 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Vietnam Conglomerate Plans $1 Billion Solar Parks Project

    Vietnam’s TTC Group, a sugar, energy, real estate and tourism conglomerate, is planning to spend as much as $1 billion on an ambitious plan to build one of the country’s largest portfolios of solar projects in an effort to capitalize on the nation’s growing power needs.

    Posted at 08 June, 2017 | Read more
  • 3@3 on Solar PV: Trade Case, Paris Agreement, Climate Change

    Jenn Runyon, Chief Editor of Renewable Energy World and Paula Mints, Chief Market Research Analyst with SPV Market Research discuss three hot topics in the global solar industry for three minutes each.

    Posted at 07 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Letter from the Editor: Innovation in Renewables

    I’ve been thinking a lot about innovation this month. I wrote about how wind construction companies are innovating to lower costs in our cover story and talked about that in my video above.

    But I’m also thinking about BIG innovation — the world-changing kind. In April, I attended the Powering Progress Together (PPT) forum, hosted by Shell and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Visionaries from both organizations presented their views of the future of energy.

    Cho Khong, Chief Political Analyst for Shell, described two views of the future: one shows gas as the primary energy source with wind and solar also supplying large shares of energy while another shows solar power is the primary energy source by the 2030s.

    Amory Lovins, Chief Scientist with RMI sees only an all-renewable future, dominated by distributed solar and wind.

    Each visionary began his presentation with photos taken in the early 1900s. In only 13 years, the Easter Parade in New York City went from one filled with horses and buggies to one in which there were no horses of any kind. That means that those buggy manufacturers had only a short time to abandon their business as usual scenarios, retool and become automakers. If they waited too long, they were beat but if they jumped in too early, the market may not have been ready for them.

    As Lovins stated, the pioneers have the arrows in their backs, the settlers get the land. It may be time for major fossil fuel companies to start ensuring their companies are ready for a future with wind and solar as a primary energy source and EVs dominating the transportation sector. If they are not already doing that, it may be too late.

     

    Posted at 07 June, 2017 | Read more
  • The Opportunity of the Commons

    The theory of the tragedy of the commons holds that those driven solely by self-interest will act to the detriment of the common good. One simple illustration is the depletion of fisheries by unregulated overfishing. Our industrial history also demonstrates the principle. Capitalism’s quest for maximized profit made industry race to the bottom, seeking places that allowed production at its lowest immediate cost. Now, those economies that prospered from that race are recovering from its impacts. The opportunity in the commons is global recognition of the competitive advantage in efficiency. 

    Posted at 07 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Energy Empowers Villagers and Saves Wildlife in Nepal

    This fall, rangers protecting rhinos, tigers and other endangered wildlife in Nepal's famous Chitwan National Park will get a solar energy system that will light and power an isolated ranger outpost deep in the jungle.

    Posted at 07 June, 2017 | Read more
  • The Race to the Bottom — Accelerating PV Insolvency

    The myth of solar PV competition is both subtle and blatant. “Competition is good for the PV industry” rings hollow based on today’s market. If that is true, then what are the reasons and can something be done about it. There just may be a difference between good healthy competition and organizational consuming unhealthy competition.

    Posted at 07 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Greensmith, E.On, Tucson Electric Power Complete Energy Storage Project

    Energy storage software and services company Greensmith Energy, E.On Climate and Renewables, and Tucson Electric Power inaugurated the Iron Horse Battery Energy Storage Project

    Posted at 06 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Making Sense of Demand Charges: What Are They and How Do They Work?

    Two commercial buildings, a factory and an aerospace research facility, both consumed 40,000 kWh of energy in January 2017. However, their energy consumption patterns were very different. The factory maintained a uniform energy consumption of 1,333 kWh per day, and for no given period did their power draw exceed 56 kW.

    Posted at 06 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Guam Power Authority Looks to Energy Storage to Reduce Power Outages

    Guam Power Authority (GPA) has chosen to install two energy storage systems that will help reduce intermittent power outages that Guam has been experiencing from net metering penetration and utility-scale renewable energy projects.

     

    Posted at 05 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Technical Masking in Solar PV — What Is Really Behind the Curtain?

    One of the most vexing issues in the PV industry today is that of technical masking. Masking is all about accurately identifying technical issues, finding what is behind the curtain, the unseen, what is real but not being measured, and what is taking place that is not being accounted for.

    Posted at 05 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Italy Switches on Five New Subsidy-Free Solar Power Plants

    Octopus Investments Ltd. started generating power from five subsidy-free solar plants in Italy in the latest sign that clean-energy can be profitable without government support.

    Posted at 05 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: Remember the EPA

    In a world full of alternative facts, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) no-longer stands for Protecting the Environment. On Jan. 20, only a day before millions of Americans took to the streets to march in support of climate action, the EPA made major changes to its website.

    Posted at 05 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Austin Energy Chooses Stem for Aggregated Energy Storage

    Energy storage services firm Stem Inc. is developing an aggregated fleet of customer-sited energy storage operating in Texas.

    Posted at 02 June, 2017 | Read more
  • California Senate Approves Bill for Energy Storage Rebate Program

    The California Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would create a 10-year rebate program for the state’s local energy storage market. According to a bill analysis from the California legislature, SB 700 directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), by Dec. 1, 2018, to establish a program called the Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) to provide rebates to customers of California’s investor-owned utilites for the installation of customer-sited energy storage systems that are dispatch capable to achieve market transformation.

    Posted at 02 June, 2017 | Read more
  • US Residential Solar Market Slides for the First Time in 16 Years

    The U.S. residential solar market is projected to contract in 2017 after at least 16 straight years of growth, reflecting a shift in sales strategies by some major installers and increasing pressure from utilities to adjust incentives.

    Posted at 02 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Trump Says US Is ‘Getting Out’ of Paris Agreement, But Will Negotiate a Fair Deal

    In a statement today from the White House, President Donald Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. “We’re getting out, but we’ll start to negotiate, and we’ll see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” he said.

     

    Posted at 01 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Are Multilateral Development Banks Supporting a Low-Carbon Future?

    More than 190 countries committed under the Paris Agreement on climate change to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The multilateral development banks (MDBs) will play a crucial role in enabling countries to finance the infrastructure and energy systems of the future. 

    Posted at 01 June, 2017 | Read more
  • Musk Joins CEOs Calling for US to Stay in Paris Climate Deal

    As President Donald Trump nears a final decision on the Paris climate agreement, top corporate executives are mounting a last-minute push aimed at persuading the president that the U.S. has more to lose from abandoning the accord.

    Posted at 31 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Smart Solar Ensures Services at Remote Communities across the World

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as one of the hottest topics, covering home security systems to refrigerators that tell you when to buy milk. The technology, which extends connectivity and computing capability to devices that are not normally considered computers and allows these devices to generate and exchange data with minimal human intervention, is now integrated into off-grid solar, creating “smart” solar.

    Posted at 30 May, 2017 | Read more
  • UK Breaks Solar Record; Generates 24 Percent of Power from Solar

    On Friday, May 26, on what was expected to be one of the hottest days of the year, solar panels in the UK generated a record amount of power, enough to meet almost 25 percent of demand. This is according to data compiled by National Grid Plc and Sheffield University.

    At noon London-time, 8.75 GW of power was being generated by the solar PV, breaking a previous record of 8.49 GW, overtaking nuclear power in the country.  

    Posted at 26 May, 2017 | Read more
  • SolarWorld Joins Case Seeking U.S. Duties on Cheap Solar Imports

    SolarWorld AG’s U.S. unit joined a trade case asking the federal government to impose duties on low-cost imports that have fueled a nationwide boom in solar installations.

    The company, which filed a separate trade complaint that led to U.S. tariffs on Chinese panels in 2012, become a co-petitioner Thursday in Suniva Inc.’s case before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Suniva, a bankrupt Georgia manufacturer, initiated the complaint in April, saying it’s impossible to compete with cheap imports, predominately from Asia.

    Posted at 26 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Trina IBC Solar Cell Record 'Significant'

    The recent announcement by Trina Solar that it had reached a new solar conversion efficiency record of 24.13 percent in a Changzhou, China laboratory for an interdigitated back contact (IBC) mono-crystalline silicon cell, is a “significant achievement,” according to a U.S. laboratory analyst.

    “The efficiency is significant given the size of the cell at six inches,” says Abasifreke Ebong, a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

    Posted at 26 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Neoen Picks Schneider Electric To Support 750 MW of Solar on Three Continents

    French IPP Neoen, and energy management company Schneider Electric last week signed a 750 MW Conext SmartGen multi-year framework agreement that covers solar assets on three continents.  The scope includes: conversion stations composed of 1500V inverters, medium voltage switchgear, transformers, and complete monitoring and control system, as well as lifecycle maintenance services.

     

    Posted at 26 May, 2017 | Read more
  • A Tiny Island Off Singapore May Hold Keys to Energy's Future

    On a small island off the southern coast of Singapore, a French energy company is experimenting with what it hopes will be the future of renewable power storage.

    Engie SA is helping build a small, self-contained power grid on Semakau Island to demonstrate the usefulness of hydrogen gas in converting intermittent power from solar panels and wind turbines into stored fuel that can generate electricity days or even months later, when the need is higher.

    Posted at 26 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Are Solar and Wind Really Killing Coal, Nuclear and Grid Reliability?

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April requested a study to assess the effect of renewable energy policies on nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Some energy analysts responded with confusion, as the subject has been extensively studied by grid operators and the Department of Energy’s own national labs. Others were more critical, saying the intent of the review is to favor the use of nuclear and coal over renewable sources.

    Posted at 25 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Arizona Utility Buys Solar Power at ‘Historically Low Price’

    Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) said this week that it will buy solar energy at a historically low price from a new local system large enough to power 21,000 homes.

    Posted at 25 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Cracking the PPA: Renewable Energy Projects and Energy Storage

    Colocating energy storage with renewable generation resources seems like a natural partnership to reduce the intermittency of renewable generators. Several projects have been built across the country combining storage with wind or solar projects. While the co-location of such facilities can yield many benefits, there are a number of legal and practical issues that need to be considered when deciding to acquire and co-locate storage facilities (particularly battery projects) with existing or new renewable generation. 

    Posted at 25 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Idling Wind Power Facilities: A Serious Issue Facing China’s Wind Sector

    The average curtailment rate among wind power facilities across China remains a serious issue, at 17 percent, while full-year capacity of the idling facilities stood at 49.7 billion kWh for 2016, according to data from the China National Energy Administration. 

    Posted at 25 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Stable Growth Ahead for China’s PV Industry in Second Half of 2017

    China’s solar PV industry maintained rapid growth during 1Q17. Insiders said that the sustained and steady growth could be expected to continue during the second half of this year, on the heels of increasingly improved technologies and an acceleration of the transformation already underway across the industry.

    Posted at 24 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Illinois Housing Project to Host Unique Community Solar Effort

    The central mission of Over The Rainbow (OTR), a nonprofit that provides housing across northern Illinois for adults with physical disabilities, has nothing to do with producing cleaner, more efficient energy. And yet, if all goes according to plan, its Hill Arboretum Apartments in Evanston, Ill., will be home to an innovative foray into community solar.

    Posted at 24 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Storage and Solar Finance: Programs for the Rising Behind-the-meter Markets in the US, EU

    The global energy storage industry will expand rapidly in the next few years, as it moves to support solar and other infrastructure that is growing more and more complex.

    Posted at 24 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Move Over Tesla, Europe's Building Its Own Battery Gigafactories

    Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a 500 million-euro ($543 million) plant to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units for Daimler AG, which produces Mercedes-Benz and Maybach luxury cars.

     

    Posted at 24 May, 2017 | Read more
  • 6 Graphics Show How US Utilities Are Turning Corporate Demand into Renewables Growth

    Utilities are breaking away from traditional electricity products to offer customers access to large-scale renewable energy. Until very recently, utilities did not differentiate the sort of power they offered customers. With very few exceptions, everyone shared in the cost and used electricity from the same fleet of power generating stations.

    Posted at 24 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar team up to bring automotive battery innovation to the U.S. residential solar market

    The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar's expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

    Posted at 23 May, 2017 | Read more
  • CEO: WINDPOWER 2017 Has “A Brand-new Attitude”

    Wind energy professionals are gathering in California this week to showcase new products and services, network and discuss the issues relevant to the growth of wind energy at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA’s) annual WINDPOWER 2017 event.

    Renewable Energy World asked exhibitors and companies attending the event to tell us what they will be showing on the tradeshow floor. Here are just some of the announcements we received.

    Posted at 23 May, 2017 | Read more
  • SolarCity, SunRun Win Arizona Tax Suit Over Exemption

    SolarCity Corp. and rival SunRun Inc. persuaded an Arizona appeals court that certain tax exemptions for solar panels don’t violate the state constitution, according to an opinion released May 18.

    The Arizona Court of Appeals rejected the state Department of Revenue’s contention that solar panels leased to residents and businesses generate electricity just as traditional electricity providers do, subjecting them to the same taxes (Solarcity Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue , 2017 BL 165607, Ariz. Ct. App., Div. 1, No. 1 CA-TX 15-0008, 5/17/17 ).

     

    Posted at 22 May, 2017 | Read more
  • As 100 Percent Renewables Become the New Norm, a New Role for Utilities Emerges

    Portland, Ore., is one of the most recent municipalities to join dozens of cities and states across the U.S. in pledges to run on 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades. Portland is taking a two-step approach toward its goal.

    Posted at 22 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: What Home Owners Need To Know About Battery Storage Systems

    Since the sun does not shine at night we need a way to store daytime-generated solar energy. Net metering is an elegant and 100% efficient way to shift excess solar power, but that system will not work at high solar penetration levels. Never mind the fact that utilities are loath to allow their customers to generate electricity for less than it costs them to deliver this power. 

    As a result, battery storage is on the minds of almost all new solar customers. Storage technology, incentives, favorable electric rates and control software are all evolving rapidly. There are currently about a dozen companies with battery storage systems designed for use with rooftop solar. Like peanut butter and chocolate, many solar companies are starting to offer battery storage systems along with their solar systems.

    My advice is to proceed with caution. Even though off-grid battery storage systems have been available for years, we are at the very early stages of grid-tied solar combined with battery storage. From a hardware standpoint, battery storage costs are plummeting, and new inverters/charge controllers are being developed. Perhaps more importantly, software that will efficiently interact with solar, batteries, the grid and your home energy consumption still has limited functionality. For more about the practicalities of home battery storage, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

     

    Posted at 22 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Interconnectors — Moving Clean Power Around a Continent

    In the U.K., National Grid is the utility that owns the high voltage electricity network in England and Wales. It is also one of four British gas distribution companies. It’s a big player — “joining everything up” — within the UK’s overall energy system.

    Posted at 22 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Ameren Unveils Advanced Distributed Energy Microgrid

    Ameren Corp. has completed an advanced utility-scale microgrid. The $5 million facility, located at Ameren's Technology Applications Center (TAC) adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois, is capable of serving paying customer loads on a utility distribution feeder.

    Posted at 19 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Decathlon: Real World Solar Projects for Hardworking Students

    What is the best design for a livable home powered entirely by the sun that can be transported anywhere in the world and assembled in just a few days? Solar Decathlon competitions worldwide have netted 274 different-yet-correct answers to this question since it was first posed in 2002.

    Posted at 19 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Grid Parity? The Real Story Behind the Concept and Why It Relates to Diesel Generators

    There’s been a decade of talk about if solar (or wind) has reached grid parity. And now, with the increased use of batteries and storage, the question becomes more relevant, as renewables can supply electricity beyond the generation time. 

    Posted at 18 May, 2017 | Read more
  • 3@3 on Solar PV: US Manufacturing, Module Pricing, Tesla

    Today's topics include the slow and steady downfall of U.S. solar manufacturing and how that could effect PV module pricing. We'll also talk Tesla's new solar roof tile and consider how the planned manufacturing facility in Buffalo, NY is progressing.

    Posted at 17 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Women of Wind Energy Rebrands as WRISE to Serve Greater Renewable Energy Space

    Answering a call for representation for women across all sectors of renewable energy, the nonprofit organization Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) has formally changed its name to Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE).

    Posted at 17 May, 2017 | Read more
  • As Utility Solar Grows in Virginia, So Do Tensions with Rooftop Installers

    Advocates for small solar say Virginia’s progress on utility-scale solar has been largely at the expense of rooftop and community-owned installations.

    Posted at 17 May, 2017 | Read more
  • ENGIE to Complete Its First Energy Storage Project in Northern Chile This Year

    ENGIE group unit ENGIE Energia Chile will install a 2MW/2MWh energy storage system in Arica, Chile, later this year.

    Posted at 17 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Spain Seeks $4.3BN Investment to Meet EU Clean Energy Goal

    Spain is seeking to lure investment of as much as 3.9 billion euros ($4.3 billion) through its biggest auction yet for contracts to supply electricity from clean-energy sources, part of an effort to meet European Union targets.

    Posted at 17 May, 2017 | Read more
  • How Smart Contracts [Could] Simplify Clean Energy Distribution

    On Tuesday May 9, Rocky Mountain Institute announced that ten energy companies from nine nations, including Sempra and Royal Dutch Shell, had joined the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a nonprofit comprising of Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, with a mission to accelerate the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy sector. The foundation also announced $2.5 million in funding.

    This is big news. Why? Because if the vision of what blockchain can do comes true, it could eliminate a lot of the complexities around managing distributed energy resources. And the fact that major energy companies are allocating resources to understand it is evidence that blockchain is worth paying attention to.

    Posted at 15 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Why the Future of Africa Lies in Solar Power

    Over R130 billion (roughly US$10 billion) is spent on energy products such as charcoal, kerosene and candles across Africa annually. However, the work being done in South Africa with solar power means that number could drop drastically over the next decade or two.

     

    Posted at 15 May, 2017 | Read more
  • The Storage Scoop-up Continues: Wärtsilä Acquires Greensmith Energy Management Systems

    As the storage industry matures, larger companies are starting to purchase some of the original start-ups. Earlier this year, Enel Green Power scooped up Demand Energy and Ormat purchased Viridity and in 2016, GE Ventures bought a stake in Sonnen.

    This week news that Finland-based Wärtsilä agreed to acquire the California-based start-up Greensmith Energy Management Systems is another sign of the energy storage sector’s promise for the future.

    Posted at 15 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Installing Solar to Combat National Security Risks in the Power Grid

    Vulnerabilities in the power grid are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community has called for building up the resiliency of the grid using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization. 

    Posted at 15 May, 2017 | Read more
  • SoftBank, Foxconn Deliver Some of World's Cheapest Solar in India

    Companies led by SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd. are bringing India some of the cheapest solar power in the world, helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi reach his ambitious clean-energy goals.

    Posted at 15 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Renewable Energy: ESCO acquires Renewable NRG Systems

    ESCO Technologies Inc. has acquired NRG Systems, Inc. (NRG), doing business as Renewable NRG Systems, located in Hinesburg, Vt. NRG, founded in 1982, provides design and manufacture of decision support tools for the renewable energy industry, primarily wind.

     

    Posted at 12 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Stranded Utility Renewables — A Competitive Challenge for Early Adopters

    Figures for the deployment of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the U.S. over the past decade are truly breathtaking. Installed utility-scale wind power capacity in the U.S. has increased nearly sevenfold since 2007, reaching a cumulative level of more than 80,000 MW in 2016. Deployment of utility-scale solar has been even more impressive, reaching a cumulative level of more than 10,000 MW in 2016 from less than 160 MW in 2007.

    Posted at 11 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: Commercial PACE Financing — With Brandon Deno

    PACE financing, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, started out about 10 years ago as a financing mechanism for residential solar. Basically, the cost of the solar system is repaid over a 5- to 20-year timeframe as a part of the building’s property taxes. 

    Posted at 11 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Module Maker SolarWorld Files for Insolvency

    Amidst harsh price wars in the solar module maker space, Germany-based SolarWorld AG said in a statement that the company is bankrupt. The company statement said that “ongoing price erosion” and mounting debts have resulted in a negative prognosis for the company and that the board members will immediately file for insolvency.

    It is unclear what will happen to the company’s affiliates, including the US-based operation based in Oregon. 

    Posted at 10 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Tesla’s Solar Roof Is Finally Available to Buy

    Tesla is opening up its online store for its solar roof tiles Wednesday, Elon Musk said in a message on Twitter. More details—presumably including pricing—will be disclosed shortly.

    Posted at 10 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Seraphim Solar Increases Module Production Capacity to 360 MW To Meet Growing PV Demand

    US-based solar PV module manufacturer, Seraphim Solar, announced last month that it is on target for its planned Phase 2 expansion, which would add 200 MW of manufacturing capacity to its existing 160-MW facility.

    In addition, the company said that its high-efficiency, 60-cell solar modules, designed for the residential distributed generation market, are available for purchase in addition to its 72-cell module offering.

    The company’s rapid growth rate significantly contributes to the local and national economy, and continues to provide more jobs for Americans, said Seraphim. The company is partnered with the city of Jackson, Mississippi to recruit employees and local companies.

    Posted at 10 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Now is the Time to Establish Partnerships that Advance Storage Battery Technology

    As the debate over use of fossil fuels vs. renewables to generate electric power ratchets up, we can only hope that Washington will continue to support storage battery technologies. Budget cuts to groups like the U.S. Department of Energy — especially its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy — could be devastating.

    Posted at 10 May, 2017 | Read more
  • 5 of the Fastest Growing Jobs in Clean Energy

    Finding a new job can be tough. One way to maximize your odds is to look for opportunities in clean energy. It’s one of the fastest-growing, most innovative sectors of our economy.

    Posted at 10 May, 2017 | Read more
  • New Virginia Law Expands Solar Energy Development Authority to Include Energy Storage

    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe yesterday signed a bill authorizing the expansion of the state’s Solar Energy Development Authority to include energy storage.

    Posted at 09 May, 2017 | Read more
  • The Green Bank — Government Contractors Will Want to Watch This Trend Carefully!

    A bank located in the U.S. Northeast has drawn the attention of state officials nationwide. The three-year-old bank, however, is not your typical loans, checking account and cash services bank.

    Posted at 08 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Pro-Solar Bill Heads to Florida Governor’s Desk for Signature

    The Florida Senate last week passed SB 90, a bill to implement the ballot initiative Amendment 4 approved by voters on the state’s August 2016 primary ballot, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

    Posted at 08 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar on Former Strip Mines? It’s Not as Simple as It Sounds

    Developers of a solar farm atop a former Kentucky coal mining site hope their work will inspire similar projects — putting abandoned land to use and helping revive the Appalachian economy.

    Posted at 08 May, 2017 | Read more
  • China's Solar Output Increased 80 Percent in 1Q17

    China electricity output from solar PV plants rose 80 percent in 1Q17 after the world’s biggest solar power market increased installed capacity.

     

    Posted at 08 May, 2017 | Read more
  • USTDA and Power Africa Initiative Award $1.1M for Solar Energy Storage in Africa

    Africa’s first utility-scale battery storage installation has been agreed upon this week thanks to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.

    Posted at 08 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Top Five Reasons Fossil Fuel Companies Should Diversify into Renewables Now

    According to Amory Lovins a consultant to Shell Oil for the past 45 years and Chief Scientist and Co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, little attention is being paid to the work that traditional energy companies are doing in the renewable energy industry.

    “I think a lot of groups promoting efficiency and renewables are so busy working with innovation and insurgency in the business world that they don’t pay enough attention to the incumbents,” he said during an interview at Shell’s Powering Progress Together forum in Detroit, Michigan at the end of April. 

    “It's like a yin-yang balance,” he said, jokingly adding that if you aren’t part of the problem, how can you be part of the solution?

    However, fossil fuel companies are well-equipped with the skills and expertise to transition into new business lines, he said.

    “These are companies with immense and unique skills, some of which will be useful for a long time.”

    Posted at 08 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Blowback Seen for Wind and Other Renewables In Event of a Le Pen Victory in French Runoff Elections

    Much has been said about the differences of the two candidates in the upcoming French Presidential runoff elections this Sunday, May 7. The candidate of extreme right National Front Party, Marine Le Pen, and centrist Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! Party have starkly different worldviews.

    Posted at 06 May, 2017 | Read more
  • New Solar Plane Completes First Test Flight in Switzerland

    The team behind the SolarStratos solar airplane project had a successful test flight today.

    Posted at 05 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: How Often Should I Clean My Solar Panels

    When someone gets a new rooftop solar installation, the second question they always ask is “how often do I need to clean my solar panels.” We’ll answer that question on this week’s show — taking into account the different effects of rain, dust and electric rates (BTW, the first question people always ask is “how do I read my electric bill,” but that’s a topic for another show).

    Posted at 05 May, 2017 | Read more
  • The Solar PV Life Cycle Dilemma

    Historically and in essence, electric utilities simply do not buy 20- to 25-year energy generation technologies. In fact, utilities and public works organizations seldom if ever build on such a short time schedule. It is simply not practical or profitable to build a 25-year coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro project. 

    Posted at 05 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Jobs: State of the States

    With a variety of different careers to choose from in the solar industry, it should come as no surprise that there are now more than 260,000 people working in it.

    Posted at 04 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Lifeline for Nuclear Plants Is Threatening Wind and Solar Power

    The push to save U.S. nuclear plants for the sake of fighting climate change is threatening support for the bread and butter of clean power: wind and solar.

    Posted at 04 May, 2017 | Read more
  • North Carolina Solar Company Seeks Veterans for Virginia Expansion

    North Carolina-based Strata Solar is diving into Virginia’s blossoming utility-scale market with a significant hiring goal and a twist: they’re striving to fill about 125 of the 400 job openings with military veterans.

    Posted at 03 May, 2017 | Read more
  • PG&E to Administer $240M for Energy Storage, Renewables Under Self Generation Program

    San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company on Monday said it will administer about $240 million under California’s self-generation incentive program to help customers install energy storage, renewables and other energy technologies.

    Posted at 03 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Social Movement in Action: Putting More Women in STEM Careers

    Encouraging women to join the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce has become an important social movement that many hope will bring about significant change in STEM fields, where women are underrepresented.

    Posted at 03 May, 2017 | Read more
  • E.ON Looks to UK for New Solar and Storage Operations

    Germany-based energy supply company E.ON is looking to move into the U.K. and enter the energy storage and solar energy markets. The company unveiled their available solar and storage system technologies to U.K. customers this week.

    Posted at 03 May, 2017 | Read more
  • California Utility Tops List for Most New Energy Storage in the US for 2016

    Imperial Irrigation District, a public power and water utility in Southern California, took the No. 1 spot on the Smart Electric Power Alliance’s new Storage Top 10 megawatt list, by adding 30 MW of new storage in 2016.

    Posted at 02 May, 2017 | Read more
  • 3@3 on Solar PV: Unprofitability, Failure and Economically Challenged Business Models

    Jenn Runyon, Chief Editor of Renewable Energy World and Paula Mints, Chief Market Research Analyst with SPV Market Research discuss three hot topics in the global solar industry for three minutes each. Today’s topics explore the fallacy of unbridled optimism in the solar industry and why these past two weeks have been fraught with company failures. Check it out!

    Posted at 02 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Tesla Halts Door-to-Door Sales for SolarCity Amid Slowdown

    Tesla Inc. is doing away with SolarCity Corp.’s door-to-door sales business as it works to integrate the rooftop solar company it bought for $2 billion last year.

    Posted at 01 May, 2017 | Read more
  • New Solar Study Examines Data From 200 Ground Stations on Six Continents

    Finland-based Vaisala last week released a paper that compares observational data from nearly 200 ground stations across six continents with satellite-derived irradiance records from five different versions of the company’s global solar dataset.

     

    Posted at 01 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Electricity from Renewables in US Up 6.6 Percent in Jan, Feb

    According to the latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" (with data through Feb. 28, 2017), electrical generation by non-hydro renewables (including distributed solar PV) increased by 7.49 percent during the first two months of this year compared with the same period in 2016.

    Posted at 01 May, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: Westinghouse Nuclear Energy Killed by Gas, Solar and Wind

    Video killed the radio star — just as natural gas, wind and solar are slowly but surely killing the nuclear power industry (we’re already saying good bye to coal). Unfortunately, the venerable Westinghouse Electric Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 29, 2017, dragged down by huge losses in their nuclear power plant construction business. But the story about the demise of Westinghouse is more nuanced, read on to find out how and why solar killed nuclear.

    Posted at 01 May, 2017 | Read more
  • PV Plant Repowering, the Utility 50-Year Systems Model

    There are two basic types of solar PV plant repowering. The first is for existing or distressed plants. The second is for extending the life of new plants at the end of their initial design life, which is projected at about 20 to 25 years. So as we concentrate on new plant repowering, what is the difference?

    Posted at 28 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Notes from the Solar Underground: US Solar’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

    There is nothing new about protectionism just as there is nothing new about aggressive pricing for market share, dumping of overproduction at low prices and the cascade of unintended consequences of government intervention on markets.

    Posted at 28 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Biggest US Companies Setting More Renewable Energy Targets

    Almost half of the biggest U.S. companies have established clean-energy targets for themselves, according to a report Tuesday from sustainable investors and environmental groups including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

    Posted at 28 April, 2017 | Read more
  • ENGIE Co-locates Energy Storage with Solar-Wind Hybrid Plant in Brazil

    French utility ENGIE is moving ahead with plans to co-locate a fully-integrated 1-M/4-MWh battery storage system with more than 5-MW of wind and solar generation capacities at a substation in Tubarao, Brazil. 

    Posted at 28 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Denmark to End All Renewable Energy Subsidies

    After more than four decades of relying on subsidies, Denmark’s renewable energy industry is ready to survive on its own much sooner than anyone expected.

    Posted at 27 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Researchers Outline Pathway to 10 Terawatts of Solar PV by 2030

    Current projections for solar PV deployment in the coming years have significantly underestimate the solar market’s potential, researchers say.

    Posted at 27 April, 2017 | Read more
  • ‘Look, Ma, No Fuel!’ … Fire-free Cooking with Solar

    The cooking supply chain is being disrupted. Bounty from the sky, delivered free to the roof, drives the new cooking economy, and not the laboriously drilled, mined, transported, stored, and distributed fuel from the ground, say, kerosene or natural gas, let alone charcoal, firewood or biomass of any kind.

    Posted at 27 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Power: More than half of utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems track the sun through the day

    The electricity generated by a solar photovoltaic (PV) system depends on the orientation and tilt of the PV panels, and in some cases, its ability to track the sun throughout the day. Because photovoltaic panels operate more efficiently when oriented directly at the sun, some systems use solar-tracking technology to increase electricity generation by rotating the panels along one or two axes.

    Posted at 26 April, 2017 | Read more
  • SunPower to Supply Equipment Solutions with Drones to Global Solar Market

    San José-based SunPower this week said that it now is offering its Oasis power plant platform, with drones, to solar power plant developers and EPC providers through a newly formed business unit, called SunPower Solutions.

    Posted at 26 April, 2017 | Read more
  • ACWA Power Will Bid to Build Saudi Arabian Solar Energy Project

    ACWA Power International will bid to build a solar energy project in Saudi Arabia, part of the kingdom’s $50 billion push to temper domestic oil use.

    Posted at 26 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Tesla Doubles Its Superchargers With Massive Solar Stations

    Tesla is going to need more chargers. Lots of them. The company is preparing to launch its $35,000 Model 3 electric car later this year, with plans to make 500,000 EVs in 2018 (up from 76,000 a year ago).

    Posted at 25 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Tax Uncertainty Disrupting Solar Deals

    Even without any specific tax-reform proposals, President Donald Trump’s pledge to revamp U.S. policies is already affecting the solar industry, and not in a good way.

    Posted at 25 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Silicon Valley Power to Fuel Theme Park with Renewable Energy

    California’s Great America, Santa Clara’s 100-acre amusement park, will cover 100 percent of its electricity use with renewable energy through Silicon Valley Power's Santa Clara Green Power program.

    Posted at 24 April, 2017 | Read more
  • UK Just Went Without Coal Power for the First Time Since 1880s

    The U.K. had its first full day without burning coal to make electricity since the Industrial Revolution more than a century ago, according to grid operator National Grid Plc.

    Posted at 24 April, 2017 | Read more
  • London Firm Seals Deal for Right to Purchase 1.8-GW Portfolio of US Solar Projects

    London-based solar firm VivoPower International last week said that its subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement that will give it the right to acquire solar projects in a 1.8-GW portfolio to be developed in the U.S. by Innovative Solar Systems.

    Posted at 24 April, 2017 | Read more
  • NRG Completes Solar Farm for Cisco's California Headquarters

    NRG Energy Inc., the largest independent U.S. power producer, completed a 20-MW solar farm in California that supplies power for Cisco Systems Inc.’s headquarters.

    Posted at 24 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Plant Will Charge Energy Storage Battery for Arizona Utility

    Arizona utility Salt River Project announced a 20-year power purchase agreement for a grid-scale, integrated solar and battery project that will be located in Pinal County.

    Posted at 21 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Is the Suniva Bankruptcy a Canary in the Coal Mine for Solar?

    In the satiric movie Network, Howard Beale said: “Edward George Ruddy died today! Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems and he died at eleven o'clock this morning of a heart condition! And woe is us! We're in a lot of trouble!!”

    Posted at 21 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Macquarie to Boost UK Green Bank After $3BN Purchase

    A consortium led by Macquarie Group Ltd. vowed to beef up global spending in clean energy technologies after it agreed a deal to buy U.K. Green Investment Bank from the British government for 2.3 billion pounds ($3 billion).

    Posted at 21 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Apple Explores Dual Land Use Solar Siting in Celebration of Earth Day

    Apple is highlighting the value of dual land use solar siting in a new video it released today in celebration of Earth Day 2017.

    Posted at 20 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Interconnection Issues Could Block Future Energy Storage Progress in US, Report Says

    Without proper planning now, it is likely that interconnection issues could emerge as a “significant blockade” to the success of energy storage programs in the U.S., much like the industry has seen with newly launched solar programs, according to a report released this week by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

    Posted at 20 April, 2017 | Read more
  • National Lab Recaptures Record for Solar Hydrogen Production

    The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) last week said that its scientists have recaptured the record for highest efficiency in solar hydrogen production via a photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting process.

    Posted at 20 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Washington State Pioneers New Model for Utility-Scale Renewable Energy

    Many businesses in Washington state want to use renewable energy. Starbucks, REI and Microsoft are all iconic brands in the Pacific Northwest making big commitments to wind and solar.

    Posted at 19 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Refinancing: When Asset Management Steals the Show

    We all know that asset management is in many respects the under-loved function within a solar company. Solar asset management involves the ongoing management of financial, commercial, and administrative tasks necessary to ensure the optimal financial performance of a solar PV plant or portfolio of plants. 

     

    Posted at 19 April, 2017 | Read more
  • The Paris Climate Agreement—Should We Stay or Should We Go?

    Predictably there’s been a lot written over the last few weeks about the Paris Climate Agreement and whether the Trump administration will continue to sit with other nations. There has been a substantial increase in tweets, polls, studies, press conferences, anonymous reports and mutterings going into and coming out of the Easter weekend.

    Posted at 19 April, 2017 | Read more
  • New Online Tool Speeds Development of Energy Storage Systems

    Energy storage and solar+storage developers now have an online tool to help them pick the right systems for their commercial and industrial projects.

    Posted at 19 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Maryland’s Energy Storage Tax Credit: Gaining Momentum Across America?

    The General Assembly of Maryland just passed a bill that would provide a 30 percent tax credit to those who chose to utilize energy storage technology, making it the first state in the country to pass such legislation. The funds provided by the bill would last from 2018 to 2022.

    Posted at 19 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Renewables Developments in Alberta and Saskatchewan: Market Update and Perspectives

    Energy experts and policy makers around the globe are following developments in Alberta and Saskatchewan as they begin the first round of their competitive procurements for renewable electricity. These procurement programs aim to help the provinces achieve their renewable energy targets for 2030.

    Posted at 19 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Trump’s Plan for Clean Energy Will Damage Economy, National Security

    President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order to start the process of reviewing and, ultimately, attempting to disassemble the Clean Power Plan and its supposedly job-killing mandates.

    Posted at 18 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Solar Module Manufacturer Suniva Files for Bankruptcy

    The Board of Directors of Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd. (SICE) yesterday said that Atlanta-based solar cell and module manufacturer Suniva filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition for relief under the U.S. bankruptcy code.

     

    Posted at 18 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Minnesota Cities Learn from Buying Community Solar Together

    The nation’s first ever attempt to have municipal governments collectively buy power from community solar gardens was a modest success, according to a new report.

    Posted at 18 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Walmart Secures 40 MWh of Energy Storage for Southern California Stores

    Walmart is continuing its foray into energy storage ownership with new installations for its stores in Southern California. Advanced Microgrid Solutions last week said it will install 40 MWh of energy storage at 27 Walmart stores in the region.

    Posted at 17 April, 2017 | Read more
  • 3@3 on Solar PV: Leases, Yieldcos and Microgrids

    Jenn Runyon, Chief Editor of Renewable Energy World and Paula Mints, Chief Market Research Analyst with SPV Market Research discuss three hot topics in the global solar industry for three minutes each. Today’s topics include the demise of the solar lease, the fall of the yieldco and microgrids. Check it out!

    Posted at 17 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Electric Grid Study Ordered by US Energy Chief to Boost Baseload Resources

    U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is ordering a study of the U.S. electric grid, with an eye to examining whether policies that favor wind and solar energy are accelerating the retirement of coal and nuclear plants critical to ensuring steady, reliable power supplies.

     

    Posted at 17 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Saudis Seek 30 Solar, Wind Projects in $50 Billion Pledge

    Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.

    Posted at 17 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

    It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can have too many solar panels on your roof. With conventional net metering, your utility will not reimburse you at the end of the year if you produce more power than you consume.

    Posted at 17 April, 2017 | Read more
  • What Will Remain of the Climate Challenge Conference? Part Two

    If global warming is planetary, its negative impacts and consequences are visible everywhere, but are different in nature from region to region. It is more destructive for poor countries, especially African countries which contribute less than 4 percent of global GHG emissions. 

    Posted at 13 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Clean Energy and the Environment: Part Two — Victor or Victim of a Most Uncivil War?

    No politician—not even The Donald—can expect to stay in power without being able to point to some accomplishments. Dystopian visions will only get you so far. Surrogates can only rationalize for so long.

     

    Posted at 13 April, 2017 | Read more
  • EPA Seeks Public Comments on Environmental Regulation Reform

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published a notice in the Federal Register that it is seeking public comments on regulations that may be repealed, replaced or modified, in accordance with President Donald Trump’s executive order “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”

    Posted at 13 April, 2017 | Read more
  • What Are the Top 10 States for Clean Energy Jobs?

    The solar, wind and energy efficiency industries already employ millions of people in the U.S., and they’re poised to grow. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are 374,000 American jobs in solar energy, 102,000 in wind energy and more than 2.2 million related to energy efficiency. 

    Posted at 13 April, 2017 | Read more
  • India Gets Record Low Bid to Build Solar Power, Minister Says

    The price of solar power in India fell to a record low of 3.15 rupees (5 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour in a competitive tender where French firm Engie SA’s local arm won rights to develop 250 MW.

    Posted at 13 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Clean Energy Investment Drops 17 Percent as China, US Scale Back

    Clean-energy investment fell 17 percent in the first quarter, keeping pace with last year’s decline, as the U.S. and China both scaled back support for wind and solar farms.

     

     

    Posted at 13 April, 2017 | Read more
  • What Will Remain of the Climate Challenge Conference? The Fate of the Planet Between Paris and Marrakech

    Under the rising tide of skeptical climatologists, particularly in the U.S., where they became the leaders of the White House, the return to the "COP21" and "COP22" conferences is necessary to measure the degree of hope to save what can be saved for this co-existence on a planet where its leaders quarrel about the reality of its fatal illnesses, while the doomsday clock is ticking.

     

    Posted at 12 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Clean Energy and the Environment: Part One — Victor or Victim of a Most Uncivil War?

    Welcome to the whacky and wonderful world of Washington politics. President Trump and Speaker Ryan lost the first big test of their budding bromance, Tryancare, their answer to Affordable Health Care, failed to make it on to the House floor after a long night of negotiations.

    Posted at 12 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Schneider Electric Turns Boston HQ into Living Laboratory with “Islandable” Microgrid

    Last week, Schneider Electric brought media, analysts and partners to its Boston One Campus (BOC), the company’s North American headquarters in Andover, Massachusetts, to unveil what it is calling its new “advanced microgrid.”

    With the microgrid, the BOC is able to completely detach from the grid and draw all of its power from the onsite generation, which includes about 448 kW of rooftop and carport PV and a gas generator. During the media and analyst event, Andy Haun, the CTO of the company’s North American microgrid business unit, demonstrated how the system responds to signals from the grid and/or weather events that would cause it go into island mode. During lunch, the building went dark and then was repowered with onsite power. 

    Posted at 12 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Corporate Demand to Boost Renewable Energy Credits Market

    With major corporations setting ambitious environmental targets, a surge in demand for renewable energy certificates (RECs)* is anticipated, according to the market players gathered at the RECS Market Meeting in Amsterdam on 21-22 March.

    Posted at 12 April, 2017 | Read more
  • ComEd Project Targets Energy Storage at the Neighborhood Level

    A new pilot project from Illinois’ largest utility is bringing energy storage out from behind the substation and into the neighborhood. Last month, ComEd deployed a 25-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery in Beecher, Ill., about 40 miles south of Chicago. In the event of a power outage, the battery can supply about an hour of backup power to three houses selected for the project.

    Posted at 12 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Scientist’s New Approach May Accelerate Design of High-power Batteries

    Research led by a Stanford scientist promises to increase the performance of high-power electrical storage devices, such as car batteries. In work published last week in Applied Physics Letters, the researchers describe a mathematical model for designing new materials for storing electricity.

    Posted at 11 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Saudis to Seek Bids for 700 MW of Wind, Solar Projects

    Saudi Arabia will begin seeking bids next week from renewable-energy companies to build wind and solar plants with a combined capacity of 700 MW as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.

     

    Posted at 11 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Photovoltaic Cost and Price Relationship

    The photovoltaic industry has been low margin for so many periods in its history that the concept of a margin healthy enough to profitably run an entire company is anathema to it. Focus on the benefits of multi gigawatt economies of scale on margins belies the lengths that PV manufacturers have undergone to salvage margin; lengths that include sourcing lower cost and thus lower quality backsheets, EVA, glass, junction boxes and polysilicon.

    Posted at 11 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Will We Soon Be Able to Spray On Solar PV?

    Can you imagine a world in which you could spray on your power source and place it wherever you’d like? Maybe on the windows of your home or on the roof of your car. Perhaps on the sides of your tall business building.

    Posted at 11 April, 2017 | Read more
  • With New Distributed Energy Rebate, Illinois Could Challenge New York in Utility Innovation

    How does the electric utility fit in to a rapidly-evolving energy system? That’s what the Illinois Commerce Commission is trying to determine with its new effort, “NextGrid.” Together, we’re rethinking the roles of the utility, the customer, and energy solution providers in a 21st century electric grid.

     

    Posted at 10 April, 2017 | Read more
  • California Court of Appeals Upholds California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

    Last week, a 2-1 decision by the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento upheld California’s program to reduce carbon emissions. California’s controversial and signature cap-and-trade program creates a firm limit on carbon emissions and auctions allowances that permit companies to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

    Posted at 10 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Heeding the Call for Cybersecurity in the Renewable Energy Sector

    Against the omnipresent threat of attack to digital assets and infrastructure, the burgeoning renewable energy industry is urged to establish an effective security culture. Renewable Energy World heard from Swiss Re and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions about the risks, consequences and solutions as the energy sector becomes evermore interconnected, automated and digitalized. 

     

    Posted at 10 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Nonprofit GRID Alternatives Receives Donation of 620 kW of Solar Modules

    Nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives recently received a donation of about 620 kW of solar modules from JinkoSolar to help expand the organization’s efforts to bring solar power and job training to low-income communities in the U.S.

    Posted at 10 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Germany's Merkel Encourages Spain, Portugal to Invest in Solar

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel encouraged Spain and Portugal to invest more in solar energy and said they need a better link to France amid a push for a unified European power grid.

    Posted at 10 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Renewables Providing Most New Power, As Solar, Wind Costs Continue to Fall

    Renewables were the biggest new source of electricity last year as the cost of building new wind and solar farms fell. Clean energy provided 55 percent of all new capacity added worldwide, the most ever, and total investment was about double the amount for generators driven by fossil fuels, according to a report published Thursday by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

     

    Posted at 07 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Kentucky Coal Museum Goes Solar

    The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, is switching to solar power to save money. The museum, which memorializes Kentucky's history in coal mining, is modernizing with a new form of cheaper energy.

    Posted at 07 April, 2017 | Read more
  • IoT Enables Smart Grid-Renewables Linkage

    Renewable energy is rapidly embracing the smart grid, given the specter of utility curtailments as more megawatts of power are added at the residential, commercial and industrial, and utility levels.

     

    Posted at 07 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Why Corporate Demand Is Our Greatest Key to a Sustainable Future

    Despite climate change deniers and oil company executives arguing to the contrary, most scientists (and citizens of the world) recognize how important it is for us to find more sustainable practices, including sources of energy.

     

    Posted at 07 April, 2017 | Read more
  • How Companies Are Buying Clean Energy: 4 Lessons from India

    India has some of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy goals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to boost India's solar energy generation capacity from 5.8 GW in 2014 to 100 GW by 2022. As part of the Paris Agreement, India set a goal to increase the share of non-fossil-based power capacity from 30 percent today to about 40 percent by 2030.

    Posted at 06 April, 2017 | Read more
  • The Economic Case for Wind and Solar Energy in Africa

    To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.

    Posted at 06 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Liquid Storage of Solar Energy — More Effective Than Ever Before

    Many consider the sun the energy source of the future. But one challenge is that it is difficult to store solar energy and deliver the energy 'on demand'.

    Posted at 06 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Incentives for Change: Why Utilities Continue to Build and How Regulators Can Motivate Them to Modernize

    Outdated utility financial incentives are inhibiting the transition to a clean energy future, increasing consumer costs, and stifling new technologies. Yet, this state of affairs is hardwired into the regulatory system.

     

    Posted at 05 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Facebook, Microsoft Helping to Finance Green Power Microgrids

    Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and venture capitalists at Allotrope Partners set up a facility to finance energy access projects in Indonesia, India and East Africa.

     

    Posted at 05 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Listen Up: Getting your Solar Investment Tax Credit

    It’s that time of the year…tax time, that is. Every year we get questions from customers about filling out their solar investment tax credit (ITC) form. Now, we are not tax experts (so check with your accountant), but the rules are pretty straightforward for the solar ITC.

    Posted at 05 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Microgrids – Important Lessons from a Resort

    Spice Village (SV) is a resort in India’s Kerala province, adjacent to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. It is an eco-traveler’s destination, where “birdsong takes the place of television.” Its energy profile, however, was harsh. The regional electric grid was undependable and SV used a diesel-powered generator eight hours per day — noisy and expensive.

     

    Posted at 05 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Australian Green Bank Supports Financing for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

    Australian green bank Clean Energy Finance Corp. (CEFC) in March said it is working with the South Australian government to develop a financing package to support development of Australia's largest grid-scale energy storage project. 

    Posted at 05 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Bio-inspired Energy Storage: A New Light for Solar Power

    Inspired by an American fern, a groundbreaking prototype could be the answer to the storage challenge holding solar back as a total energy solution.

    Posted at 05 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Can Solar See the Light with Perovskite?

    One of the big questions for humanity’s future is: how will we supply enough clean and plentiful energy to sustain a growing global population? At face value, the big question has a simple answer: solar. In theory, the world’s demand could be met by just one thousandth of the sun’s energy landing on Earth. 

     

    Posted at 04 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Rethinking the Future of Sustainability: The Power of a Global Super Grid

    Our forebearers have been integrating the electricity and extending the electric supply grid ever since the installation of the first public lighting by the Godalming Borough Lighting Committee in 1881 shortly followed by the first demonstration facility of transmission of direct current electrical energy by Miesbach-Munich Power Transmission in 1882 over a 57-km distance.

    Posted at 04 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Stanford Researchers Recommend Changes to US Solar Policies, Encourage Collaboration with China

    The rapidly expanding solar energy industry could meaningfully contribute to curbing climate change only if governments and the private sector approach it more economically and efficiently, according to a new Stanford study.

     

    Posted at 04 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Sunrun Said to Seek $200 Million in Debt for Rooftop Solar

    Sunrun Inc., the largest U.S. independent residential solar company, is seeking about $200 million in project-finance debt to build more rooftop power systems, according to people familiar with the deal.

     

    Posted at 03 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Modi's Aim to Spread Solar to Poorer Nations Wins IEA Support

    The International Energy Agency will help support Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to spread solar power to more developing nations, especially those clustered around the Equator.

     

    Posted at 03 April, 2017 | Read more
  • Ohio Legislators Move to Roll Back State Renewable Portfolio Standard

    The Ohio House of Representatives yesterday voted 65-31 to pass a bill that would end the state’s current mandate for the amount of renewable energy utilities must provide customers in Ohio.

    Posted at 31 March, 2017 | Read more
  • This Old Mine Is Now British Columbia’s Largest Solar Farm

    For over a century, the landscape north of Kimberley, British Columbia, was used for intensive industrial hard-rock mining — but now it’s home to the largest solar farm in all of British Columbia. Over the decades, the site of Teck’s (formerly Cominco’s) Sullivan Mine hosted a steel mill, fertilizer plant and tailings ponds, rendering the area tree-less for the foreseeable future.

    Posted at 31 March, 2017 | Read more
  • China’s Solar PV Industry Saw Continued Recovery in 2016

    China’s solar PV industry continued its recovery in 2016, with gross output value reaching 336 billion yuan (US$49 billion), a rise of 27 percent compared to 2015, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China.

    Posted at 31 March, 2017 | Read more
  • New Global Solar Capacity Outpaced Wind in 2016, IRENA Says

    Last year marked the first time since 2013 that solar energy growth outpaced wind energy, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Solar saw a record 71 GW of new capacity in 2016, while wind increased by 51 GW.

     

    Posted at 31 March, 2017 | Read more
  • The President’s Climate Change Executive Order: Wrong Pretense

    The President announced on Tuesday, March 28th at the Environmental Protection Agency his new Executive Order based on protecting 75,000 US coal jobs by threatening over 3 million US clean energy jobs.

    Some context:

    According to MorningConsult

    The order directs officials to review the Environmental Protection Agency regulations on new and existing power plants, withdraw the Obama administration’s “social cost of carbon,” which puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions, end a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land, review regulations on methane emissions from natural gas systems, end a guidance for agencies to consider climate change, and end Bureau of Land Management restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.

    The Trump administration has not yet released the text of the order  which is based solely on saving coal and other fossil jobs, but a senior White House official shared details with reporters in a call on March 27th.

    Posted at 30 March, 2017 | Read more