Publicly, the United Nations climate-change talks look mired in disputes over everything from money to the length of the proposed agreement.
While wind farms in Australia are under attack, it’s a different story for the solar industry. Developers of large plants that rely on the sun to generate power are finally winning support in the sunburned country.
The headline figure from the authoritative REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2015 (GSR) states renewables accounted for more than 59 percent of all new electricity generating capacity installed worldwide during 2014.
It hasn’t taken long for Hawai’i to emerge as a bustling hive of activity revolving around intelligent battery storage technology. From well-established market leaders such as LG Chem and Samsung SDI to fast rising young companies such as Tesla/SolarCi…
Building vast fields of solar panels for utilities is cheaper than bolting lots of little ones to rooftops, and now First Solar Inc. has more data to prove it.
This month alone, we Americans celebrated our nation’s birthday, capped off perfectly by the USA women’s soccer team’s sensational 5-2 victory in the World Cup final. As we hit the halfway point of 2015, the clean-energy industry also has much to celebrate, much of it in the month of June alone and much of it financial.
According to a new report released by EQ Research, wait times for the activation of residential solar PV systems in the U.S. rose 68 percent from 2013 to 2014. This development points to the rapid growth of distributed generation solar and highlights i…
Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) is saving everyone in Sonoma County a little money on their PG&E bill and that’s a pretty big deal, but it’s just part of the story. In February I purchased a 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV) for $10,000 and in May I switched to PG&E’s EV seasonal, time-of-use (TOU) rate. Figure 1 is an excerpt from by PG&E bill showing the $80.93 earned since switching to the EV rate.
At the standing-room-only opening keynote at Intersolar 2015, all the talk was on the future of solar and how energy storage was helping to pave the way for greater adoption of it. Dr. Eicke R. Weber, the director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) opened the show outlining the great progress that solar has made in the past two years by stabilizing supply and demand. “Therefore in 2016, 17, 18 you will see production capacity and the market catch up, which means we should not expect further falling prices for PV modules,” he said, adding “You can expect stable prices and maybe even some modest increases.”
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) chose Sandia National Laboratories as one of five leads in a pilot that will give small, clean-energy companies access to national laboratory expertise and resources. Sandia will receive $2.75 million of DOE’s $20 million investment to launch the voucher pilot for small business assistance and collaborative research.
In a July 1 ruling FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) cleared the way for Colorado’s Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), along with other electric co-ops, to step outside the bounds of a 40-year power supply contract with Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association and tap into local renewable energy supplies. FERC’s ruling, which was unanimous, clarifies what had been deemed unclear wording in PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act), as well as Tri-State’s regulatory status.
The contract DMEA and 43 other electric co-ops had signed with Tristate in 2001 required them to purchase 95 percent of their electricity from Tri-state. In short, FERC ruled that as per PURPA DMEA not only had the right but the obligation to purchase electricity directly from “Qualifying Facilities” (QFs) over and above the five percent cap it’s limited to in its contract with Tri-State.
With the ruling, FERC opened the door for DMEA and other Tri-State electric co-op members to tap into cost-competitive renewable energy resources right in their backyards. DMEA intends to move forward and contract for electricity from a small-scale hydropower facility to be built on a local irrigation canal proposed by Percheron, DMEA’s Manager of Member Relations and Human Resources Virginia Harman said.
Supercapacitors have been compared to the flash from an old camera. They give an immediate burst of energy, which is then gone. A number of companies have combined supercapacitors with batteries for applications that require immediate response and sust…
The announcement on June 23 of a partnership among Softbank, Airtel, and Foxconn for investing $20 billion in India for solar and renewable energy projects is welcome news. Many tens of gigawatts of solar generation will be deployed, augmenting to…
What is 3E + S? It is neither a mathematics problem nor chemical equation. It is Japan’s latest long-term energy plan, which was released by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on June 1stf for review. The draft plan aims to establish an optimum energy mix by the year 2030.
A new report from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) finds that the future growth of distributed generation solar PV is heavily influenced by retail electricity rate design – and that proposed changes to net metering rules and retail rate structures could harm increased adoption of distributed solar.
The report, titled Net Metering and Market Feedback Loops: Exploring the Impact of Retail Rate Design on Distributed PV Deployment, is meant to inform the public and utility regulators that about the effects of changes proposed by a growing number of states to their net metering rules and retail rate structures – changes fueled by worry that increased adoption of distributed PV could result in unwelcome financial impacts on utilities and consumers.
Ryan Wiser, one of the report’s authors, said utilities are primarily concerned that solar customers don’t always pay their fair share of fixed infrastructure costs. “Utilities sometimes claim that net-metered solar customers are unfairly subsidized under existing net metering rules, with non-solar customers paying a larger share of the fixed costs of the electric grid,” Wiser said.
Germany’s drive to harness wind and solar power is producing so much electricity that it’s spilling over into neighbors’ grids and increasing the threat of blackouts.
Poland and the Czech Republic are spending $180 million on equipment to protect their systems from German power surges, while Austria is curbing some trading to prevent regional networks from collapsing. On a windy day, the overflow east can exceed the output from four atomic reactors.
Germany’s fivefold increase in green energy in the past decade has outpaced investment in power lines to move it across the country. Electricity is looping through Poland and the Czech Republic to reach southern Germany, where supply is constrained as Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered the closure of nuclear plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. The disruptions show the limits to the European Commission’s vision of a single power market.
Last month, Jordan took a major step toward achieving increased independence from imported energy. In the coastal city of Aqaba, the kingdom’s very first utility-scale PV project broke ground. The 10-megawatt (MW) Shamsuna Project is scheduled to enter into full operation when construction is completed in October of this year.
Spearheaded by a partnership between Desert Technologies and Enerray SpA, the Shamsuna Project is the first of 12 renewable energy projects under management by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR). Jordan’s National Electrical Power Company (NEPCO) is backing the project with a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Powering and fueling societies by harvesting solar, wind and other clean, renewable energy resources makes good sense anywhere, anytime – especially now that technical performance has improved and costs have dropped so dramatically. Nowhere is this more true than it is for small island nations where energy costs are high and human populations, not to mention ecosystems and natural resources, fragile and threatened.
Releasing its Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA) reports for three South Pacific island nations – Fiji, the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu – IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), concludes that tapping into solar, wind, geothermal, marine, biomass and biofuel energy would not only meet electricity needs, it would reduce energy costs, create gainful employment, broaden energy access, and set these and other island nations firmly on the path towards sustainable energy self-sufficiency.
Though very different in terms of geography and geology, the three small island nations are blessed with an abundance of renewable energy resources but have only recently launched efforts to harness them for power.