NewEnergyNews More: August 2013

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  • Wednesday, August 28, 2013


    New Report Finds California Nuclear Energy Has Received $8.2 Billion in Federal Subsidies; DBL Investors examines rationale for subsidizing mature, declining energy sources

    August. 26, 2013 (PRNewswire)

    “…[ Ask Saint Onofrio: Finding What Has Been Lost in A Tale of Two Energy Sources from DBL Investors reveals] that the California nuclear industry has received$8.21 billion in federal subsidies over the last 50 years…[which is] four times more federal support than distributed solar over a period six times as long…The report concludes that Californians should ask…what the rationale is for subsidizing mature and declining energy sources…while continuing to limit incentives for new, clean energy…” click here for more


    ERCOT approves 970 MW of coal for operations, signs 5 wind projects for interconnection

    Adnan Munawar, August 22, 2013 (SNL)

    “Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., signed more than 1,100 MW of wind capacity for interconnection in July and registered 970 MW of coal generation for commercial operations…Total installed wind capacity was reported as 10,570 MW by the resource owners through the registration process…The total installed wind capacity in ERCOT is projected to reach 11,354 MW by the end of 2013…ERCOT had 42,872 MW of generation requests as of July 31…Generation requests for natural gas projects totaled 19,253 MW…while generation requests for wind projects [was] 21,160 MW…Generation requests for coal and solar projects were 240 MW and 1,305, respectively…Storage generation requests [was] 914 MW.” click here for more


    Solar Microinverter Shipments to Quadruple and Reach 2.1 Gigawatts in 2017

    26 August 2013 (IHS, Inc.)

    “The global market for microinverters will expand by a factor of four from 2013 through 2017 as microinverters are adopted in greater numbers outside the United States while new markets also rush to take advantage of the devices’ improved efficiency and features compared to conventional inverters…Photovoltaic (PV) microinverter shipments worldwide are set to increase to 2.1 gigawatts (GW) in 2017, up from around 500 megawatts (MW) in 2013, according to a new report…from HIS…Shipments during the period are forecast to rise fourfold, expanding at a 306-percent rate…Microinverters are devices that convert direct current (DC) electricity from a single solar module into alternating current (AC). Although they are more costly than conventional inverters, microinverters can increase the energy harvest of a system compared to conventional string or central inverter devices…” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013


    Cost Reduction Potentials of Offshore Wind Power in Germany

    22 August 2013 (Prognos AG and Fichtner Group)

    “…For the currently operational [400 MW of] offshore wind farms, the levelised costs of energy, i.e. the average cost for generating electricity over an operational time of 20 years, amounts to 12.8 to 14.2 Cent2012/kWh in real terms. According to scenario 1 and depending on the actual site, these costs can be gradually reduced by up to 32 %, and in the optimum market conditions of scenario 2 by up to 39 % over the next ten years [as installed capacity exceeds 10,000 MW]. The main driver for the cost reduction is a continuous technological development across the entire added value chain of the offshore wind power industry…[including] investment, operation and financing…” click here for more


    Intelligent Lighting Controls for Commercial Buildings Sensors, Ballasts and Drivers, Switches, Relays, Controllers, and Communications Technologies for Networked Lighting Controls: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “…Demand for local [lighting controls in commercial buildings] such as occupancy sensors and photosensors, as well as networked controls, is on the rise as adoption rates of LED lighting begin to climb and controls technology improves and becomes less expensive…To meet this demand, different types of vendors are moving aggressively into the lighting controls market…[including] pure-play startup companies…[and] traditional lighting companies…Navigant Research forecasts that global revenue from networked lighting control equipment within commercial buildings will grow from $1.7 billion in 2013 to $5.3 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, August 26, 2013


    Solar Exchange to Unveil Global Solar Marketplace; Cloud-based platform spawns global trade hub for entire solar value chain

    August 26, 2013 (Solar Exchange)

    “…Beginning September 9, professionals across the solar value chain will be able to do business with each other utilizing the Solar Exchange [cloud-based commerce platform which automates the buying and selling of goods for the solar industry], a new way to buy and sell materials and finished goods on a global basis…Solar Exchange utilizes online business-to-business (B2B) auctions and request for quote (RFQ) capabilities to facilitate sales and procurement activities. These capabilities create a direct connection between qualified solar businesses, large and small, along the entire solar value chain including raw material and component suppliers, panel and BOS manufacturers, Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) companies, developers, integrators, utilities, and power companies…” click here for more


    Why the U.S. Power Grid's Days Are Numbered

    Chris Martin, Mark Chediak, and Ken Wells, August 22, 2013 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    “There are 3,200 utilities that make up the U.S. electrical grid, the largest machine in the world. These power companies sell $400 billion worth of electricity a year, mostly derived from burning fossil fuels in centralized stations and distributed over 2.7 million miles of power lines. Regulators set rates; utilities get guaranteed returns; investors get sure-thing dividends. It’s a model that hasn’t changed much since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. And it’s doomed to obsolescence…[according to] David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Energy, a wholesale power company…What’s afoot is a confluence of green energy and computer technology, deregulation, cheap natural gas, and political pressure…” click here for more


    Offshore Lake Erie wind energy project gaining steam

    John Arthur Hutchison, August 15, 2013 (The News Herald)

    "…[M]ore than 3,000 people in Northeast Ohio so far have signed up to pledge to buy a portion of their future electricity needs from...a five to nine turbine wind energy demonstration project in Lake Erie named ‘Icebreaker,’ which is slated to be completed in 2017. It would be the first freshwater offshore wind project in the nation…[and have] six 3-megawatt American-made Siemens wind turbines approximately 7 miles off the coast of downtown Cleveland in Lake Erie…” click here for more


    Smart Glass; Electrochromic, Suspended Particle, and Thermochromic Technologies for Architectural and Transportation Applications: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “…[G]lass…can be manufactured to improve insulation values, glare control, or passive heating and lighting levels – but never all three. Smart glass can optimize each…Projections of building energy performance show significant gains from the use of smart glass, as do other metrics such as occupant comfort and satisfaction…The design trend in buildings and vehicles is for greater use of glass…Smart glass can satisfy both the design aspirations for increased glazing and the push toward lower energy consumption…[It] remain a niche product within a large global glazing market. Many of the adoption barriers [like costs and volumes] could start to recede during 2013-2022, leading to greater growth for smart glass beyond the forecast period. Navigant Research forecasts that smart glass glazing units will grow to just over 2.7 million m2/29 million SF by 2022…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    LEAKED CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT IS ADAMANT Leaked Report Spotlights Big Climate Change Assessment; Why the UN's coming fifth report on global warming is already making waves.

    Brian Clark Howard, August 20, 2013 (National Geographic)

    “A leaked early version of a major forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations-affiliated panel of scientists that is often cited as the world's top authority on global warming, is grabbing headlines…The New York Times reported on what it called the report's "near certainty" that humans are responsible for the rising temperatures of recent decades and its warning that sea levels could rise by more than three feet by the end of the century…[It] also dismisses a recent slowdown in global warming, attributing it to short-term factors…The leaked document…still has to be approved by the several hundred scientist-members of the IPCC…[and could] change in response to comments…But experts say the contents of the draft report are unlikely to change substantially…” click here for more


    Integrating Renewables: ADMS To The Rescue?

    John Dirkman, August 12, 2013 (Up Front via Solar Industry)

    “…Renewable integration is particularly tricky for distributed energy resources (DERs), which are typically low- and medium-voltage renewables within the distribution network…This need to manage a bidirectional flow of energy that can change immediately requires a completely new way of delivering power, which was not something the engineers of the original grid considered…One effective way to manage DER integration is through an advanced distribution management system (ADMS)…” click here for more


    Offshore Lake Erie wind energy project gaining steam

    John Arthur Hutchison, August 15, 2013 (The News Herald)

    "…[M]ore than 3,000 people in Northeast Ohio so far have signed up to pledge to buy a portion of their future electricity needs from...a five to nine turbine wind energy demonstration project in Lake Erie named ‘Icebreaker,’ which is slated to be completed in 2017. It would be the first freshwater offshore wind project in the nation…[and have] six 3-megawatt American-made Siemens wind turbines approximately 7 miles off the coast of downtown Cleveland in Lake Erie…” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013


    Pending End Of CSI Program Is A Test Case For Post-Incentive Solar

    14 August 2013 (Solar Industry)

    "…[T]he California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)] annual report on the progress of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) in July…said the program had reached 66% of its stated goal with 1.629 GW of installed solar capacity at 167,878 customer sites. At CSI's outset in 2006, the CPUC established a goal to install 1.75 GW of PV power systems in 10 years, with another 190 MW for low-income residential and affordable housing…A new report from the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CSSE), which administers the CSI program for the CPUC in the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) service territory, seeks to lay out how the solar sector moves forward once the money - over $1.7 billion to date - runs out…” click here for more


    Clean Energy Transmission Line RFI Receives Overwhelming Response from Wind Developers; More than 16,000 Megawatts of Low-Cost Wind Accessible by the Southeast

    August 14, 2013 (Clean Line Energy Partners)

    “…15 wind generation companies in Oklahoma, southwest Kansas and the Texas Panhandle responded to a Request for Information (RFI) that was issued on June 20, 2013 [by Plains & Eastern Clean Line LLC, an affiliate of Clean Line Energy Partners LLC]. These project developers have rights to over 16,000 megawatts (MW) worth of wind projects in the region, demonstrating the need for more transmission infrastructure to move the cost-competitive wind energy to the Mid-South and the Southeast…[The undisclosed] proposed cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy was in line with other wind energy power purchase agreements recently signed in this region… click here for more


    Autonomous Vehicles; Self-Driving Vehicles, Autonomous Parking, and Other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    "…Combinations of [advanced driver assistance] features are now being brought to market in some 2014 models to offer semi-autonomous driving. Increasing volumes and technology improvements mean that it is now feasible to install the multiple sensors necessary for such capability thanks to cost reductions…The industry consensus is that autonomous driving will be available by 2020…[T]he factors that remain to be solved before rollout to the public are those of liability and legislation. Navigant Research forecasts that autonomous vehicles will gradually gain traction in the market over the coming two decades and by 2035, sales of autonomous vehicles will reach 95.4 million annually, representing 75% of all light-duty vehicle sales…” click here for more

    Monday, August 19, 2013


    White House solar panels being installed this week

    Juliet Eilperin, August 15, 2013 (Washington Post)

    "…[T]he White House began installing solar panels on the First Family’s residence this week…[as] part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building…[O]fficials did not identify the supplier or cost of the project, but…[reported the White House is] installing American-made solar panels…which will help demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades…[The retrofit] is estimated to pay for itself in energy savings over the next eight years…[and] includes installing updated building controls and variable speed fans…” click here for more


    Pattern Energy files for IPO

    Andrew Engblom, August 12, 2013 (SNL)

    “Renewable energy developer Pattern Energy Group Inc. has filed with the SEC seeking to raise $345.0 million through an IPO. In its filing, the independent power producer said it owns interests in eight wind power projects in the U.S., Canada and Chile, including six operating projects and two that are under construction…” click here for more


    Energy Storage Tracker 3Q13 Global Energy Storage Installations: Market Share Analysis and Project Tracking by World Region, Technology, Application, and Market Segment

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    "Government investments in energy storage and related areas, such as the smart grid, continue to bear fruit, particularly in the North American and Asian markets. Both the global energy storage project pipeline and the number of deployed projects have grown…This is a critical time for the advanced energy storage industry – in order for the industry to mature and scale up, more systems integrators are needed…This Navigant Research tracker report provides a comprehensive resource of energy storage projects worldwide. It includes a database of 633 projects (encompassing 865 systems) currently in development…"

    click here for more

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013


    The Best States for Residential Solar Energy

    Laura Zulliger, August 5, 2013 (NerdWallet)

    “…We sought to combine the most recent and accurate data available to give homeowners a comprehensive look at key factors to consider when pondering the switch. We then compiled and quantified this key information as a guide for gauging [states’] solar advantages…[W]we analyzed four important factors that every homeowner should weigh when considering solar…electricity bills…economic incentives…sun…[and] state capacity…” click here for more


    In Michigan, renewables costing utilities less than expected

    Dan Huagen, August 8, 2013 (Midwest energy News)

    "Consumers Energy encountered two surprises this year after it fast-tracked a Michigan wind farm project to take advantage of expiring federal tax credits…One, the project will cost less than the utility thought it would to build, and two, technology advances mean each turbine will produce more power than previously projected…Citing those improved economics, Consumers Energy proposed last week to eliminate a surcharge on customers’ bills that was designed to cover the cost of complying with Michigan’s renewable electricity standard…” click here for more


    Richardson: Texas could take the lead on climate change

    Emily Pickrell, August 8, 2013 (Houston Chronicle)

    “Houston is well-positioned to be the nation’s leader in a much-needed renewable energy future, former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson told a group of officials and business leaders…in an effort to highlight the need for greater investment in renewable energy…Texas led the country in new wind capacity last year,..Solar power is less developed in Texas, but it had the largest rate of growth last year…Richardson praised the City of Houston for promoting renewable energy through its own purchasing decisions…” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013


    European PV Demand to Depend More on Business Models than Trade Disputes

    Tim Murphy, July 31, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “With the European market currently in a strongly transitional phase, the 2013 market is expected to reach 11.2 GW, down 33% Y/Y from calendar year 2012. Demand over the next four quarters (Q3’13 to Q2’14) is set to reach 10.6 GW, with the top 3 markets being Germany, the UK, and Italy…The transition is in large part due to a shift away from premium incentives as the primary market driver, towards competitively priced PV electricity. In Germany and other markets, residential consumers will see more value from avoiding electricity purchases than from selling PV generated electricity at the FIT rate. The same applies to commercial consumers, though to a lesser extent and in somewhat fewer markets…” click here for more


    Goldwind USA Closes Financing For Panama's First Wind Farm

    August 5, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “[Chicago-based] Goldwind USA has closed a $71 million project financing deal for the 55 MW Penonome wind farm, the first in Panama…[T]he project represents the largest wind energy project using Goldwind wind turbines financed by Western lenders. Sponsors for the deal, Goldwind International Holdings Limited and Unión Eólica Panameña S.A. (UEP), were represented by members of Goldwind Capital in Chicago and UEP in Panama…Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S.A. and Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento, S.A. led the financing…The 55 MW first phase of the total planned 220 MW Penonome wind project will feature 22 of Goldwind’s 2.5 MW permanent magnet direct drive wind turbines. Once completed in 2014, the 220 MW Penonome wind project will be the largest wind energy project in both Panama and Central America…” click here for more


    THE MONEY IN SMART BLDG ENERGY MANAGEMENT Building Energy Management Systems; IT-Based Monitoring and Control Systems for Smart Buildings: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Driven by technology advances as well as growing familiarity among customers with the benefits they create, the market for building energy management systems (BEMSs) continues to grow. Digital controls continue to proliferate…While BEMSs have traditionally focused on two key functions – energy visualization and energy analytics – the market is expanding into adjacent functions, such as demand response and property management, broadening the capabilities of next-generation BEMSs and engaging a broader set of players in the building market. Navigant Research forecasts that the BEMS market will grow from just under $1.8 billion in annual revenue in 2012 to nearly $5.6 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, August 12, 2013


    Green policy failures are choking off billions in private investment; Fund managers are concerned that governments are not doing enough to mitigate effects of global warming

    Tom Bawden, August 6, 2013 (UK Independent)

    “…With global warming set to wreak accelerating devastation on the global economy, the world’s biggest fund managers – who between them control $14trillion of investments in everything from wind turbines and agriculture to property and manufacturing – say they are considerably more worried about the issue than they were a year ago. They point to extreme weather events such as last year’s Superstorm Sandy in the US as evidence that climate change is already upon us and are concerned that governments, including Britain’s, are not doing nearly enough to mitigate the effects.” click here for more


    New UKERC research defines values which determine public acceptance of energy system change

    17 July 2013 (UK Research Centre)

    “…[The study reveals] that people in Britain are fully supportive of the idea of energy system change...[and highlights] key factors that influence public assessment of proposed changes…[T]he research shows that the public favours changes that are: energy efficient rather than wasteful; protect the environment and nature; are reliable, accessible and safe; allow consumers a certain amount of autonomy and power; are socially just and fair; improve on what has gone before; score well in terms of quality and performance; and, fit with a long-term, sustainable trajectory, rather than being just a short-term fix…” click here for more


    Austin’s Heliovolt to expand; Solar product producer raises another $9.5 million, laying groundwork for global expansion.

    Brian Gaar, August 6, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman)

    “…[S]olar energy company HelioVolt Corp. is continuing to lay the groundwork for a commercial expansion…SK Group, whose holdings include South Korea’s largest refiner, has invested another $9.5 million in HelioVolt, bringing its total recent investment in the company to $19 million…The money will fund a global expansion for Helio-Volt, which makes thin-film solar products that can be incorporated into building materials…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013


    NREL Report Highlights Land Use Requirements For Solar Plants

    Michael Puttre, 31 July 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “A new [NREL] report…on the land use requirements of solar power plants suggests planners and developers tend to underestimate the acreage required for their projects…[D]ata from 72% of the solar power plants installed or under construction in the U.S…found a wide range of total land use requirements for solar power plants across technologies. Generation-weighted averages for total area requirements range from about 3 acres per GWh per year (GWh/yr) for concentrating solar power towers and concentrated photovoltaic installations to 5.5 acres per GWh/yr for small two-axis flat panel PV power plants…” click here for more


    First Wind Gets Green Light for Hancock County Wind Farm

    July 25, 2013 (Maine Public Broadcasting Network)

    “…The Department of Environmental Protection has given First Wind the green light to build an 18-turbine wind farm on two ridge tops in Hancock County…The company plans to construct the $110-million project on commercial forestland…not far from the company's existing Bull Hill wind farm…[The department concluded] the wind farm would not have an ‘unreasonable adverse effect’ on…scenic character…The Hancock project is expected to be tied into First Wind's 19-turbine Bull Hill farm, which went online in 2012.” click here for more


    DOE Announces Biofuel Milestone

    August 2, 2013 (SmartMeters)

    “The United States Department of Energy has recognized America’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production at INEOS Bio’s Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida. The project uses a hybrid of gasification and fermentation technology to convert wood scraps, grass clippings, and other waste materials into transportation fuels as well as energy for heat and power…The Indian River County BioEnergy Center (Center) will have an annual output of eight million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year from vegetative, yard, and municipal solid waste as well as six megawatts of clean, renewable power annually—enough to run the entire facility and provide excess power to the local community…” click here for more

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013


    A Republican Case for Climate Action

    William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman, August 1, 2013 (NY Times)

    "Each of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally…The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”…A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but that is unachievable in the current political gridlock in Washington. Dealing with this political reality, President Obama’s June climate action plan lays out achievable actions that would deliver real progress…Rather than argue against his proposals, our leaders in Congress should endorse them and start the overdue debate about what bigger steps are needed and how to achieve them…” click here for more


    Short-term, real-time power prices reflect system strain during Northeast heat wave

    July 19, 2013 (U. S. Energy Information Administration)

    “The first sustained heat wave of summer 2013 in the Northeast hit this week and electric systems in New England, New York, and across the Mid-Atlantic region are contending with the stress of meeting elevated demand levels for electricity to cool homes and workplaces amid high temperatures and humidity. Daily temperatures in these regions reached highs in the upper 90s. Real-time electric power prices in the New York Independent System Operator area peaked at more than $800 per megawatthour (MWh) on July 17 in New York City…High real-time power prices are an indicator of electric system stress…” click here for more


    Report: EU Tariffs Ending The Era Of Low-Cost Chinese Solar Modules

    23 July 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “The European Union's (EU) anti-dumping tariffs are spurring an increase in prices for Chinese solar modules, marking the end of a period when inexpensive photovoltaic devices enabled fast growth of installations in the region…[according to] a new report by IHS…After declining for 48 months since the first quarter of 2009, with a seasonal uptick in February 2013, the average price of Chinese crystal polysilicon modules in Europe rose by 4% in June to EUR 0.54 per watt, up from EUR 0.52 in May…[HIS] expects prices to continue climbing in July and then again in September, with an increase to an average of EUR 0.55 per watt by the end of that month…” click here for more

    Monday, August 5, 2013


    Biofuel Company Latest To Pay Off Government Loan Early

    Antony Ingram, August 1, 2013 (Green Car Reports)

    "…[Like] Tesla Motors [NDSQ:TSLA]…biofuel company Sapphire Energy has…[paid pack its Department of Energy] $54.5 million loan with years to spare…Like Tesla's DoE loan, Sapphire's was granted back in 2009, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture…The company's aim was to build a fully integrated algae-to-crude oil commercial demonstration facility in Columbus, NM. Not only did Sapphire's 'Green Crude Farm' project hit both its time and budget targets, but it's now an operational facility producing renewable crude oil from algae and cyanobacteria on a continuous basis…” click here for more


    U.K.’s Biggest Clean Energy IPO Raises $460 Million

    Louise Downing, July 24, 2013 (Bloomberg News)

    “The Renewables Infrastructure Group Ltd., raised 300 million pounds ($460 million) in the U.K.’s biggest initial public offering of a clean-power company, to invest in solar and onshore wind projects…The proceeds from the share sale on the London Stock Exchange will be used to buy 14 onshore wind farms and four solar photovoltaic plants with a combined capacity of 276 megawatts… in the U.K., France and Ireland…” click here for more


    Q2 2013 Wind Funding and M&A Report Executive Summary

    August 2013 (Mercom Capital)

    "…VC funding totaled $210 million in four deals in Q2 2013 compared to $16 million in three deals in Q1 2013…Total funding into the wind sector was $3.5 billion in Q2 2013 including VC funding, debt financing and announced project funding deals…There were six M&A transactions in Q2 2013, amounting to $328 million…Announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2013 totaled $3.2 billion in 24 deals compared to $6.2 billion in 29 deals last quarter…This quarter had the greatest number of announced project acquisitions since Mercom began tracking the sector…” click here for more