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  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014


    Renewables Continue To Dominate New U.S. Generating Capacity

    21 July 2014 (Solar Industry)

    “…[S]olar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower provided 55.7% of newly installed U.S. electrical generating capacity during the first half of the year - 1,965 MW of the 3,529 MW total [according to] U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission figures…[Solar power] accounted for 32.1% of this new capacity with 1,131 MW. Wind provided 19.8% with 699 MW…The single greatest source of added generating capacity was natural gas with 44.1%, representing 1,555 MW. No new coal or nuclear capacity came online in the first half of the year…[R]enewable energy sources now account for 16.28% of all U.S. operating capacity…[with hydropower at 8.57%, wind at 5.26%, biomass at 1.37%, solar at 0.75%, and geothermal at 0.33%]…” click here for more


    June EV Sales For US Near New High As Ford, Tesla And Nissan Stay Strong

    Jay Cole, July 1, 2014 (Inside EVs)

    "After electric vehicle sales flew off the chart in May with over 12,000 cars sold – an all-time record, it was assumed June would be a pullback month…[but June fell] only a hair (160 units) with an estimated 11,893 plug-ins sold in the US…Compared to June of 2013, that was a staggering improvement of43%...For the year to date, an estimated 54,463 Americans have chosen to buy a new EV, which is up 33% from last year…At the current pace, 130,000 new vehicle purchases would be of the plug-in variety for 2014…[W]hile Tesla and Ford were the ‘big name’ movers for June, Nissan continues to be the backbone of the electric vehicle industry in the US as the LEAF set its 16th consecutive record month for year-over-years sales in June with 2,347 cars sold…The only drag on the industry in June continues to be the Chevrolet Volt, as sales were off 34% (1,777 vs 2,698) during the month. Overall for the year, the Chevy is off 13%, the only major production EV to show a loss…” click here for more


    Ocean energy ROI questionable

    Barbara Vergetis Lundin, July 15, 2014 (Fierce Energy)

    “In 2013, the wave and tidal energy market was valued at $25 million, and Transparency Market Research (TMR) anticipates that will reach $10.1 billion in 2020 -- a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 64.1 percent from 2014 to 2020…When harnessed effectively, ocean could prove to be one of the largest reserves of clean and sustainable energy…Tidal stream power plants are a relatively new technology with ample scope for development, while tidal range power is a mature form of energy generation technology…[Wave energy] is a relatively new concept…with the installed capacity aggregated at just 5.77 MW in 2013…[L]arge-scale commercial array deployments of wave and tidal power plants [and development of the offshore wind energy sector] will be followed by massive cost reductions…TMR expects major developments in wave and tidal stream plants to take place in Europe but estimates South Korea to grow fastest in terms of tidal barrage operations…[T]he wave and tidal energy market is projected to reach 3712 MW by 2020 -- expanding at a CAGR of 34.5 percent from 2014 to 2020…Wave energy development in Asia-Pacific would be concentrated in Australia…[which is expected] to add nearly 25 MW of capacity by the end of 2020…” click here for more

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014


    EIA projects modest needs for new electric generation capacity

    July 16, 2014 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    “The Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case projects 351 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating additions between 2013 and 2040…U.S. electric generating capacity additions averaged 35 GW annually from 2000 through 2005. Almost all of the capacity added during those years was natural gas-fired…From 2006 through 2012, annual average capacity additions dropped to 19 GW, with 42% of the additions representing renewable technologies [primarily wind] and 45% representing natural gas-fired technologies…The high levels of recent capacity additions, combined with relatively low electricity demand, have resulted in surplus capacity relative to required reserve margins for many regions of the country…In the AEO2014 Reference case, natural gas-fired plants account for 73% of capacity additions (255 GW) from 2013 to 2040, compared with 24% for renewables, 3% for nuclear, and 1% for coal Of the 83 GW of renewable capacity additions, 39 GW are solar photovoltaic (PV) systems (60% of which are rooftop installations) and 28 GW are wind (60% of which occur by 2015 to take advantage of production tax credits)…” click here for more


    Solar And EV Adoption, Climate Policies, And Green Finance Drive U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index Growth

    July 2014 (Clean Edge News)

    “…[The Clean Edge 2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index found that eleven] states now generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources, with two – Iowa and South Dakota – exceeding 25 percent. Solar installations climbed more than 40 percent year-over-year in the U.S., while registrations of all-electric vehicles doubled between the 2013 and 2014 indexes, to approximately 200,000 nationwide…California leads the nation in clean tech for the fifth consecutive year, with Massachusetts and Oregon repeating their #2 and #3 rankings from the 2013 State Index. Vermont and Connecticut moved into the Top 10 this year, while Hawaii and Minnesota dropped out. In the Metro Index, San Francisco and San Jose repeated as #1 and #2, while San Diego jumped four places to #3…Eight of the top 10 metro areas are located in the top four states; the exceptions are Washington D.C. (a city without a state), and Austin…” click here for more


    Energy Storage Market Rises to $50 Billion in 2020, amid Dramatic Changes Driven by plug-ins, transportation applications will be worth $21 billion, closing the gap on electronics’ $27 billion market…

    July 15, 2014 (Lux Research)

    “Energy storage, driven largely by electronics and plug-in vehicles, will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8% to $50 billion in 2020, with dramatic shifts coming from the transportation industry…Transportation applications will outpace electronics growth – attaining an 11% CAGR to become a $21 billion market by the end of the decade…[Electronics] will remain the single largest market valued at $27 billion…With global sales of 59 million, a 53% market share and $6.1 billion in annual revenue, micro-hybrids will, for the first time, overtake the conventional internal combustion engine and emerge the most popular drivetrain by 2020...With modest sales of 440,000 units, electric vehicles still will use $6.3 billion worth of energy storage…The United States will lead EV sales for most of the decade, peaking at 167,000 units in 2019…[China will nearly catch up with 2020 sales of 145,000]…[The smartphone market will grow] at a 12% CAGR to $8.4 billion in 2020. Tablet computers follow with a 6% CAGR to $12 billion…Driven by solar integration, residential represents the biggest opportunity in stationary energy storage applications – leaping from less than $0.1 billion to $1.2 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, July 21, 2014


    Market Snapshot: Wind, solar expected to lead growth in power plant capacity

    Emily Reynolds, July 16, 2014 (SNL)

    “An increasing amount of renewable generation is entering into the energy mix, with solar and wind resources making up a growing share of total generation resources. According to SNL data, natural gas could account for about 33% of all power plant capacity in 2020, up 1 percentage point from 2010, while solar and wind capacity is expected to grow 8 percentage points from 2010 to 2020, with solar accounting for 3% and wind making up 9% of total U.S. capacity by 2020.” click here for more


    100 GW Of US Geothermal Power Will Push US Past Gas

    Tina Casey, July 18, 2014 (Clean Technica)

    “Natural gas has been having a field day…but it looks like the sleeping giant of US geothermal power is being nudged out of its stupor…[The Energy Department]…is plunking down $31 million to rev up a cutting edge geothermal demo project [called FORGE, for Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy,] that could enable the US to tap into an estimated 100 gigawatts of geothermal power…The idea is to tap into areas underground where the rocks are hot, but the heat doesn’t have a natural way up to the surface…[It is] called an Enhanced Geothermal System. Ideally, an ESG would create pathways that enable fluid to circulate efficiently through rock, and return to the surface piping hot…[by drilling] into the target area, and then injecting water at high pressure and/or heat to split the rock…[With a ‘fracture network’ and a production well, returning water should be hot enough to transition to steam at the surface or] to heat another fluid to produce vapor…for running a turbine…[ESG construction would not likely lead to the widespread environmental impacts of the natural gas industry in states with weak regulations because] ESG lends itself to the kind of large scale, centralized installations that could fall under federal jurisdiction.” click here for more


    Court backs Chinese firm in dispute with Obama

    Timothy Cama, July 15, 2014 (The Hill)

    “A federal appeals court…[has ruled that when President Obama used a rarely invoked authority in 2012 to prevent Ralls Corp. from buying the four wind farms in Oregon located on or near a naval training facility because of national security concerns, it] deprived Ralls of its due-process rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution…The judges said Ralls should be allowed to see the evidence the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States used to block the transaction, and should have the chance to respond to the allegations…The committee was formed in the 1970s to stop foreign transactions that could threaten national security. Its proceedings are highly secretive…The panel recommended that Obama block the Ralls acquisitions, and he agreed. It was the first time since 1990 that the authority had been used.” click here for more

    Friday, July 18, 2014


    Eight ways climate change is making the world more dangerous; Disasters including storms, floods and heatwaves have increased fivefold since the 1970s, UN finds

    Suzanne Goldenberg, 14 July 2014, UK Guardian

    “…The world already is nearly five times as dangerous and disaster prone as it was in the 1970s, because of the increasing risks brought by climate change, according to [Atlas Of Mortality And Economic Losses From Weather, Climate And Water Extremes (1970–2012) from] the World Meteorological Organisation…The first decade of the 21st century saw 3,496 natural disasters from floods, storms, droughts and heat waves…nearly five times as many [climate change influenced] disasters as the 743 catastrophes reported during the 1970s…Flooding and storms are also taking a bigger bite out of the economy. But heat waves…[which] didn't even register as a threat in the 1970s…[were, by 2010, one] of the leading causes of deaths in natural disasters, along with storms. In Russia alone, more than 55,000 people died as a result of heat wave in 2010…Disasters were about 5.5 times more expensive by 2010 than they were in the 1970s, and most of that was because of the rising losses due to floods. The cost of disasters rose to $864bn (£505bn) in the last decade…” click here for more


    Solar Funding and M&A 2014 Second Quarter Report

    July 2014 (Mercom Capital Group)

    “Total corporate financing, including VC/PE, debt and public market financing in the solar sector totaled $6.3 billion in Q2 2014…Global VC funding in Q2 2014 totaled $432 million in 21 deals, up from $251 million in 26 deals in Q1…Solar downstream companies accounted for nearly 90 percent of funding, bringing in more than $388 million…Public market financing in Q2 2014 totaled $1.3 billion in ten deals compared to $1.3 billion in 17 deals in Q1 2014…There were 33 large-scale project funding deals in Q2 2014 totaling $3.5 billion, compared to $3.6 billion in 43 deals in the first quarter. Large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q2 2014 totaled 7.6 GW from 150 projects…It was a record quarter for residential and commercial solar funds, with $1.3 billion raised in eight different funds…Solar M&A activity in Q2 2014 came to $400 million in 25 transactions, with most of it in the solar downstream category which had 11 transactions…Announced project acquisitions in Q2 2014 totaled $229 million in 34 transactions…” click here for more


    4.9 GW of new offshore wind capacity under construction in Europe

    14 July 2014 (European Wind Energy Association)

    “16 commercial offshore wind farms are under construction [in Europe] totaling 4.9 GW of power capacity [according to The European offshore wind industry - key trends and statistics 1st half 2014]…224 new offshore wind turbines, totaling 781 megawatts (MW), were fully grid connected in Europe during the first six months of 2014 – 25% less than during the same period in 2013 (1,045 MW)…282 wind turbines have been installed but not connected during this period, making a total of 310 offshore turbines awaiting grid connection. Once connected they will add a further 1,200 MW of offshore wind energy capacity…” click here for more


    KfW provides financing for 200 MW geothermal project in Kenya

    July 15, 2014 (PennEnergy)

    “The German Development Bank (KfW) has agreed to an almost $109 million loan to Kenya to build…[t]he Bogoria-Silali geothermal project, which is expected to have a total production capacity of 200 megawatts…[when] developed by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC)…In addition to the Bogoria-Silali geothermal project, KfW also provided a $45 million loan for the Nairobi Water Distribution Project to improve access to water in Kenya. These projects are part of Kenya's Vision 2030, which aims to enhance economic opportunities and improve [environmental quality]…Geothermal projects in Kenya have attracted investment from other banks like the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the French Development Agency (AFD). Kenya plans to drill 20 wells with the $109 million loan from KfW.” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014


    Renewable Energy Dominates New U.S. Capacity In May

    24 June 2014 (Solar Industry)

    “Renewable energy, including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower, provided 88.2% of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity for the month of May…[T]wo new ‘units’ of wind power provided 203 MW, five units of solar provided 156 MW, one unit of biomass provided 5 MW, and one unit of hydropower provided 0.2 MW…[T]wo new units of natural gas provided just 49 MW, while no new capacity was provided by coal, oil or nuclear power…For the first five months of 2014, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water and wind) accounted for 54.1% of the 3,136 MW of new domestic electrical generation installed. This was made up of solar (907 MW), wind (678 MW), biomass (73 MW), geothermal steam (32 MW) and hydro (8 MW)…[C]oal and nuclear provided no new capacity, while 1,437 MW of natural gas, 1 MW of oil and 1 MW of ‘other’ provided the balance…

    “Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, now account for 16.28% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water - 8.57%, wind - 5.26%, biomass - 1.37%, solar - 0.75%, and geothermal steam - 0.33%. This is more than nuclear (9.24%) and oil (4.03%) combined…” click here for more