NewEnergyNews More: October 2013

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  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013


    Coupled Solar and Energy Storage Market to Grow to $2.8 Billion in 2018; Dominated by grid installations, this market segment will be a boon to energy storage producers but have only a modest impact on the solar market…

    September 10, 2013 (Lux Research)

    "…This symbiotic match [of the solar and energy storage sectors] shows promise, yielding a $2.8 billion market over the next five years, according to Lux Research…Grid-tied solar installations will comprise 675 MW, or nearly 95% of the combined 711 MW market, while off-grid applications including telecom power claim the remaining 5%...As lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and overall storage arrays fall in price, residential systems will gain the most, growing to 382 MW in 2018. The light commercial segment will increase to 220 MW while heavy commercial/industrial systems lag, growing only to 73.3 MW…Japan is the worldwide leader [with 381 MW]…Germany will come in second at 94 MW, while the U.S. will be third at 75 MW…[New] policies may dramatically increase the market…” click here for more


    Saving the Earth While Killing Some Protected Birds; Wind offers one the lowest-impact, most environmentally benign energy technology available to us today.

    John Anderson, October 22, 2013 (Wall Street Journal)

    "…[W]ind offers the lowest-impact, most environmentally benign energy technology available to us today. Plus, wind attracted $25 billion in private investment last year and is supported by the major conservation organizations and Americans nationwide (71% per Gallup)…American-made wind power enables the U.S. to…fight climate change—the number one threat to wildlife, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…No one takes wildlife impacts more seriously than the wind industry…[W]hile unfortunately some eagles collide with turbines at some wind farms…fatalities of golden eagles at modern wind facilities represent only 2% of all documented sources of human-caused eagle fatalities, and only a few bald eagles have collided with turbines in the history of the industry…Groups like the National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society, which make it their job to protect birds, including eagles, and other wildlife, support the development of responsibly sited wind turbines…” click here for more


    Renewable Energy in the Mining Industry; Solar PV, Wind Power, Geothermal, Fuel Cells, and Solar Thermal in the Global Mining Industry: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “The mining industry is under continued pressure from shareholders and external stakeholders to reduce dependence on traditional energy resources. In countries where mining represents a significant percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), it can also be a significant draw on the country’s electricity grid infrastructure…[T]he industry has reached a tipping point and is transitioning from using solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies in demonstration projects to an increased focus on larger scale deployments…[E]xternal and internal pressures are combining to provide an expansion of market opportunities for renewable energy providers to work with mining companies. Navigant Research forecasts that renewable energy technologies will supply between 5% and 8% of the world’s mining industry power consumption by 2022…” click here for more

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013


    IREC Proposes Proactive Grid Planning Procedure To Fast-Track Residential PV Interconnection

    Michael Puttre, 24 October 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)…[ plan addresses] the skyrocketing number of interconnection applications swamping utility inboxes…[T]here were 65,000 grid-connected PV installations of all sizes in the U.S. in 2011. In 2012, the number of connections jumped to 95,000, meaning that utilities had to approve 30,000 new interconnection applications over the course of a single year. This figure does not count applications that were considered and rejected…Residential-type installations are generally put on a "fast track" evaluation process; nevertheless, the sheer volume is a tremendous strain on the small generator interconnection procedures the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission enacted in 2005, when there were a mere 7,000 PV grid connections…” click here for more


    Iberdrola moves forward with 202-MW Texas wind project

    Kristine Esperacion, October 22, 2013 (SNL)

    “Iberdrola Renewables LLC…is preparing to begin construction of its 202-MW Baffin Wind Farm in Kenedy County, Texas, following the county's approval of a tax abatement agreement…Kenedy County commissioners recently approved the agreement for the wind farm, which includes a fixed annual payment to the county over the 10-year term of the abatement. The project, which represents a potential $300 million investment, will include the installation of 101 Gamesa G97 wind turbines at 2 MW each…[It] brings the total generation capacity to 606 MW as Iberdrola Renewables' largest renewable complex…The first two facilities, Peñascal I and Peñascal II, have 168 turbines at 403.2 MW combined…Construction is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 with commercial operations scheduled by year-end 2014…” click here for more


    Western U.S. States, British Columbia Agree to Set Carbon Prices

    Lynn Doan, October 29, 2013 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    "The governors of Oregon and Washington agreed to put a price on emissions and adopt fuel standards, bringing their efforts to cut greenhouse-gas pollution closer to those of California and British Columbia…Oregon will build on existing programs to set a price for carbon and Washington will impose emissions limits and establish a market to meet those caps. British Columbia and California will maintain their current efforts, and all four will link up ‘where possible’ to offer consistency…A movement to create a market across the western U.S. and parts of Canada collapsed two years ago after some states sought other ways to cut emissions…[California Governor Jerry] Brown said the group will ‘soon be joined by provinces on the coast of China,’ noting that a [Jabuary] meeting has been scheduled…” click here for more

    Monday, October 28, 2013


    New Report Shows Trend Toward Larger Offshore Wind Systems, with 11 Advanced Stage Projects Proposed in U.S. Waters

    October 23, 2013 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    "…[This year’s U.S. Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis, authored by the Navigant Consortium for the Energy Department shows] progress for the U.S. offshore wind energy market in 2012, including the completion of two commercial lease auctions for federal Wind Energy Areas and 11 commercial-scale U.S. projects representing over 3,800 megawatts (MW) of capacity reaching an advanced stage of development. Further, the report highlights global trends toward building offshore turbines in deeper waters and using larger, more efficient turbines in offshore wind farms, increasing the amount of electricity delivered to consumers…” click here for more


    100s of U.S. state's oil spills not publicized

    October 25, 2013(AP via USA Today)

    North Dakota, the No. 2 oil producing state behind Texas, recorded nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, state documents show…[T]he pipeline spills, many of them small, are among some 750 ‘oil field incidents’ that have occurred since January 2012 without public notification…[R]egulators are reviewing the state's policies for when to publicly report such incidents after a massive spill was discovered last month in northwestern north Dakota by a wheat farmer. State and company officials kept it quiet for 11 days — and only said something after the AP asked about it…North Dakota regulators, like in many other oil-producing states, are not obliged to tell the public about oil spills under state law. But in a state that's producing a million barrels a day and saw nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) of new pipelines last year, many believe the risk of spills will increase, posing a bigger threat to farmland and water…” click here for more


    Home Energy Management; In-Home Displays, Networked HEM Systems, Standalone HEM Systems, Web Portals, and Paper Bill HEM Reports: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    "The home energy management (HEM) market continues to attract attention, especially with the increasing presence of newer stakeholders like broadband service providers (e.g., Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast) and security companies (e.g., ADT and Vivint). However, the products and services that constitute the HEM market continue to struggle for more traction [despite the increasingly smart grid]…Over the coming decade, a continued desire among consumers to reduce bills, regulatory mandates for greater efficiency, wider use of variable pricing schemes, and a strong green sentiment will combine to help drive adoption forward…Navigant Research forecasts that global revenue from various segments of the HEM market will grow from $300.7 million in 2012 to $1.8 billion in 2022…” click here for more

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013


    Will Renewable Energy Usher In A New Dawn For HVDC Systems?

    Nicholas C. Abi-Samra, October 2, 2013 (Renew Grid)

    “The debate on the merits and use of direct current (DC) versus alternating current (AC) systems has been around since the days of Thomas Edison…advocated for DC systems, while George Westinghouse pushed for AC. The first electric generator was a DC unit, and the first electric "transmission line" was constructed with DC components…But today's] grid is basically [AC]…with a few high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) systems in the mix. High-voltage alternating-current (HVAC) transmission will continue to constitute the backbone…[but] due to the nature and location of most renewable energy sources, HVDC may play a much larger role going forward…” click here for more


    NRG To Purchase Edison Mission Energy's Assets For $2.6 Billion

    October 21, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “NRG Energy Inc…plans to buy most of bankrupt independent power producer Edison Mission Energy's (EME) assets for more than $2.6 billion…[The portfolio] consists of nearly 8 GW of capacity located throughout the U.S…NRG says EME's 1.7 GW of wind power will nearly quadruple its existing wind generation capacity…[EME and subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11] and EME was deconsolidated from parent company Edison International…In connection with the transaction, NRG says it will assume non-recourse debt of approximately $1.55 billion, of which $273 million is associated with assets designated as non-core assets…NRG expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2014…” click here for more


    Smart Thermostats; Standalone, Networked, and Learning Smart Thermostats: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Smart thermostats, also known as programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs), utilize integrated technologies that surpass the basic sensing and control functions of traditional thermostats…[They can be] part of an integrated home automation system that includes other devices such as smart lighting, plugs, entertainment, and security systems…[T]he market for smart thermostats has struggled to gain traction, especially given a much higher perceived average cost compared to that for basic programmable thermostats. Navigant Research forecasts that global revenue from smart thermostats will grow from $85.5 million in 2013 to $1.4 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013


    Fed Report Says Solar Leads All New U.S. Capacity Except Gas

    18 October 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects reports new natural gas dominated the first three quarters of the year with 5.85 GW, representing 54.6% of new capacity…[R]enewable energy sources accounted for 30% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity over the same period…[S]olar led the way…with 1.94 GW of added capacity…[N]ew solar capacity is 77.4% higher than that for the same period in 2012…New wind capacity accounted for 961 MW, followed by biomass with 192 MW…The renewables…3.22 GW..[is more than] the 1.54 GW provided by coal. There was only 27 MW of oil-fired capacity…and no new nuclear power…Renewable sources now account for 15.7% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity - more than nuclear (9.2%) and oil (4.1%) combined.” click here for more


    California Regulators Set Massive Energy Storage Goal

    October 18, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has established an energy storage target of 1.325 GW for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric by 2020, with installations required no later than by the end of 2024…The decision will increase California's installed energy storage capacity sixfold from its current 35 MW (excluding large-scale pumped hydro storage)…According to the CPUC, the guiding principles of its decision are grid optimization, the integration of renewable energy, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, per California's goals…Some energy storage facilities are expected to come into service as early as 2015…” click here for more


    Next-Gen Pelamis Wave Energy Converter Successfully Passes Initial Tests

    September 24, 2013 (The Daily Fusion)

    "Tank testing of [two 29th scale Pelamis P2e] models to develop the next generation of Pelamis Wave Power’s wave energy converter (WEC) machines has now been successfully completed. The tank testing process [where models were exposed to the full-scale equivalent of 50 hours of extreme storms with waves were up to 23m high] forms a key part of a £1.4m ($2.25m) project…[aimed at boosting] the cost-effectiveness of large-scale WEC arrays in UK waters…The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter is made up of connected sections which flex and bend as waves generate electricity. Developed by the Scottish company Pelamis Wave Power (formerly Ocean Power Delivery), the Pelamis became the world’s first offshore wave machine to generate electricity into the grid, when it was first connected to the UK grid in 2004…” click here for more

    Monday, October 21, 2013


    OPPD Announces Wind Energy Purchase

    October 18, 2013 (KGIN-TVNews)

    “The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors voted unanimously to purchase 400 megawatts of wind power capacity by the end of 2013 from the Grande Prairie wind farm near O’Neill, Neb…[This] is the largest single investment in wind energy by a Nebraska utility, and will save OPPD customers money while spurring economic development across the state. This purchase puts OPPD on the path to generating 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the end of 2015…OPPD estimated that construction costs for the Grande Prairie wind farm will total $700 million, which will provide significant economic development for the local community… and the entire state…OPPD noted that operation of the wind farm would create 15 to 20 permanent jobs…” click here for more


    Vehicle to Grid Technologies; V2G Applications for Demand Response, Frequency Regulation, Microgrids, Virtual Power Plants, and Renewable Energy Integration

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    "Vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies…[are] beginning to emerge in revenue-generating applications. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has been a significant proponent of the technology, investing around $20 million in 2013…[D]emonstrations and pilot projects using fleet vehicles in the United States, several Western European countries, and Japan are beginning to show returns and prove that V2G technologies can serve as effective assets in various grid services…[E]conomies with expected high penetrations of PEVs, like China, are likely to adopt electricity market structures and rules that enable greater opportunities for V2G business models…Increased percentage penetrations of wind and solar in specific countries and regions will create a greater need…Navigant Research forecasts that global V2G frequency regulation revenue will reach $190.7 million by 2022…” click here for more


    Quantified: Smart Grid's Real-World Economic And Environmental Benefits

    Patty Durand, October 14, 2013 (Renew Grid)

    “…[T]he Smart Grid Economic and Environmental Benefits report…is a meta-analysis of research on the actual - rather than hypothetical or forecast - economic, environmental, reliability and customer-choice benefits of various smart grid capabilities…Direct and indirect economic benefits from various capabilities total $89.04 to $154.65 per customer per year…[Smart grid capabilities also reduce] CO2 emissions by 55 lbs. to 592 lbs. per customer per year, equivalent to 1/20th to 3/5th of a barrel of oil per person per year…Smart grid capabilities increase reliability by 25%, or 27.2 minutes of avoided outages per customer per year…” click here for more

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013


    Setting The Record Straight About Wind’s Lifecycle Emissions And Return On Energy Invested

    Michael Goggin, October 11, 2013 (Into The Wind)

    “One of the common myths deployed by opponents of clean energy is that wind energy’s environmental benefits are significantly reduced by the energy and carbon expended on manufacturing and installing wind turbines. Fortunately, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently compiled the results of all peer-reviewed publications on lifecycle emissions for different energy sources [in Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electricity Generation]. Unsurprisingly, wind energy fared far better than all conventional sources of energy, and better than nearly all other renewable sources of energy. Including all lifecycle emissions factors, wind energy’s emissions are a few percent of the emissions of fossil-fueled energy sources…As usual, attacks on clean energy do not hold up to scrutiny…” click here for more


    New Initiatives to Reduce the Cost of CSP

    Andrew Williams, October 11, 2013 (CSP Today)

    "Recent initiatives in Canada and Spain have broken new ground in the quest to reduce the cost of CSP systems...A U.S. government granting organization…[concluded] Canadian company SHEC Energy’s new Ultra Lite CSP solar technology…[demonstrates] a materials cost reduction of 89% over its previous generation technology…[T]he drastic cost reduction in the company's proprietary 'parabolic dish' and SHECTHERM thermal energy storage technology was motivated by a desire to compete against high levels of Chinese government subsidies and be competitive with 'cheap' fossil fuels. The savings came about chiefly as a result of a new design that minimises complexity and materials, coupled with new production technologies…[A Spanish] research team…has been working on an 'ambitious' framework devoted to developing 'accurate engineering tools' for the thermo-economic design and optimisation of solar power plants…[T]he numerical modelling of molten salt tanks can be a 'powerful tool' for reducing the cost of thermal energy storage…” click here for more


    Energy experts: When it comes to natural gas, hedge your bets

    Jennifer A. Dlouhy, October 11, 2013 (San Antonio Express-News)

    “The United States is investing heavily in natural gas as domestic production soars, but power utilities and policymakers should hedge their bets, panelists warned at a recent energy forum…Policymakers are hyping natural gas as a cleaner-burning alternative to other fossil fuels. Proponents say gas can provide what they call a bridge to lower-carbon options…Power plants are switching to gas because of its relatively low cost and smaller emissions profile…But if natural gas prices surge higher than the $4 to $5 per million British thermal units that many analysts expect, the U.S. could be in risky territory…If utilities tether more U.S. power generation to natural gas and prices for the commodity climb higher than predicted, it could squeeze industrial and residential consumers without a readily available, less expensive alternative…” click here for more

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013


    Guide Offers Regulators A Way To Put A Value On Distributed Solar

    Michael Puttre, 9 October 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “…Time and again, a utility approaches its state regulators with a proposed modification to the existing NEM program, and advocates in the solar sector rip into the studies and calculations underpinning the proposal…The most recent outbreak of charge and counter-charge occurred in California…Similar stories are playing out in Colorado and Arizona…[A new] IREC report outlines the experiences of 16 regional and utility-specific distributed solar generation studies…[and] proposes a standardized valuation methodology…” click here for more


    Oklahoma Utility Signs Up For 600 MW Of Wind Power

    October 11, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    "Citing ‘extraordinary pricing opportunities,’ Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) has decided to enter deals for 600 MW of wind power, even though the utility had originally only sought 200 MW…PSO says it signed 20-year renewable energy purchase agreements (REPAs) for a total 598.7 MW from three wind projects currently under development in Oklahoma. If approved by regulators, the contracts would provide PSO with energy beginning Jan. 1, 2016…The utility says it decided to contract for an additional 400 MW because of low prices, and the company expects it could save an estimated $53 million…” click here for more


    Are Utilities Doomed If Consumers Become More Self-Reliant?

    Cristin Lyons, October 9, 2013 (Renew Grid)

    "…Although utilities are faced with more distributed resources on the grid, the death of the electric utility has been greatly exaggerated. The industry may be facing profound changes to the manner in which electricity is produced and delivered, but there is an opportunity for utilities to begin to integrate new resources in a way that leverages existing infrastructure and ensures (and even improves) reliability…The principal self-supply energy resources include distributed generation, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and combined heat and power (CHP), demand response, and microgrids…Self-supply resources, when coupled with enabling technological innovation on the distribution grid, create the potential for disruptive change…” click here for more

    Monday, October 14, 2013


    Tier 1 China PV Module Suppliers Reach 50% Market-Share in Q3’13 as Costs Continue to Decline

    Michael Barker, October 9, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “…[T]he share of the Chinese Tier 1 c-Si module suppliers (made up of a total of 14 manufacturers), grew from 40% at the start of 2011, to 45% at the start of 2012, and by Q3’13, this share had reached 50% of global solar PV shipments…[C]ost reduction by Tier 1 Chinese producers has underpinned much of the shipment growth and overseas expansion plans…[S]ilicon pricing and spot/contract supply terms have provided a large portion of the cost declines…[Formerly almost 40% of total c-Si module cost, silicon] now accounts for approximately 20%...Today, module conversion costs account for the highest share of overall PV module production costs, at about one-third…” click here for more


    Gulf Coast Beckons Wind Farms When West Texas Gusts Fade

    Mark Chedlak, October 11, 2013 (Bloomberg News)

    “…Texas pulled ahead last decade in the U.S. race to develop wind power thanks to the hardy gusts sweeping across its vast prairies and energy-friendly landowners. Now it’s seizing the lead in building turbines along [the Gulf of Mexico shores where winds blow more steadily, providing power during those afternoons when residents are cranking up their air conditioners] as developers find the slower but steadier air currents there translate to bigger profits…By 2015, the state is slated to almost double its 1,700 megawatt capacity from turbines located along its southern coast. Overall, coastal projects…[are planned] representing a potential investment of $2.3 billion…” click here for more


    Next-Generation Biofuels Are Inching Towards Reality, Gallon by Gallon; Advanced biofuels have been on the cusp of commercialization for years, but high prices and technological challenges have held them back. Is that starting to change?

    Bryan Walsh, October 11, 2013 (Time Magazine)

    “…Made from sources like corn stalks or what straw that don’t compete with food, unlike current biofuels, next-generation biofuels were going to be greener and more efficient than corn-based ethanol, which is still the dominant source of biofuel in the U.S. When Congress passed the 2007 energy bill, it expected the country to be producing over 1 billion gallons of next-generation biofuels by 2013. But the advanced biofuel industry has developed far more slowly than lawmakers predicted, leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut the 2013 mandate… It’s not that companies don’t know how to make cellulosic ethanol or biofuel from algae. It’s that they’ve struggled to do so cheaply and at a scale large enough to compete with oil…” click here for more

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013


    Goldman Sachs, Pension Funds To Invest $2 Billion In DONG Energy

    October 4, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “The Denmark government, majority owner of DONG Energy, plans to enter a deal whereby Goldman Sachs and two Danish pension funds will invest DKK 11 billion (approximately $2 billion) for a total 26% ownership interest in the energy company…[and] an initial public offering (IPO) of DONG Energy [is planned]…Goldman Sachs will invest DKK 8 billion, with pension funds Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension (ATP) and PFA Pension Forsikringsaktieselskab (PFA) investing DKK 2.2 billion and DKK 0.8 billion, respectively…[Ownership will be]:Goldman Sachs approximately 19%, ATP approximately 5% and PFA approximately 2%...[State ownership will be about 60%]…[The] final agreement [could] be concluded before year’s end…DONG Energy, which currently has almost 2 GW in offshore wind capacity, announced in September that it plans to reach 6.5 GW by 2020.” click here for more


    Canadian Solar Launches U.S. Residential Solar Financing Program

    7 October 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “Canadian Solar Inc. has launched its Canadian Solar Residential Financing Program that targets the U.S. market…in partnership with Massachusetts-based Admirals Bank…[C]ustomers will be able to borrow up to $40,000 for a residential solar installation, subject to credit approval. The program has a "step down" feature that enables customers to monetize solar tax credits, rebates and other incentives associated with ownership of their system. They can then pay that amount into the principal balance and then re-amortize the loan…” click here for more


    Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment; Level 1 and Level 2, DC Fast Charging, and Wireless EVSE for Residential and Commercial Passenger Car Charging

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “The electric vehicle charging equipment market is now launched and beginning to take shape…As the EVSE market has matured, some of its early challenges, such as the lack of compatibility of charging units with various PEV models, have dissipated. However, the market is now seeing new growing pains, most notably related to the very large number of players competing for what is still a relatively small market…There will be a continued shakeout of the market as the true demand for home and commercial EV charging emerges absent [government support]…Navigant Research forecasts that global revenue from the sales of EVSE will grow from $567 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2022…” click here for more

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013


    Legislators Debate Survival Of Wind Production Tax Credit

    October 3, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    "…[T]he wind industry again found itself defending the production tax credit (PTC) before members of Congress…[at a hearing of the] House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy…Rob Gramlich, the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) senior vice president of public policy, called the PTC a ‘wise investment’ and laid out the statistics for legislators…[S]ome Republicans at the hearing argued that the wind industry can - and should - do without the incentive…Democrats said the attack on wind subsidies was unfair…[and called for giving] as much support to clean renewable energy sources as [to the fossil fuel industries]…” click here for more


    Solar Decathlon 2013 Kicks Off Today, Solar-Powered Houses Open to Public at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California; Collegiate Teams Showcase Affordable, Energy-Efficient Houses in Global Competition

    October 3, 2013 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    “Collegiate teams involving more than 1,000 students from around the world have assembled at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., …for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013…[It is a] biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate houses powered by the sun that are affordable, energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in…In addition to educating the public about money-saving and energy-saving opportunities available today, this award-winning competition engages students from across the nation and around the world to develop the skills and knowledge to become the next generation of architects, engineers and clean energy entrepreneurs…The Solar Decathlon also supports the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money…” click here for more


    The U.S. Energy Service Company Market; Energy Performance Contracting and Energy Efficiency Retrofits for the MUSH, Federal, Commercial & Industrial, and Public Housing Sectors

    Q3 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “The U.S. energy service company (ESCO) market has been championed over the last 30 years as a breakthrough in energy efficiency financing. ESCOs use a range of energy efficiency financing instruments, such as energy performance contracting (EPC), to help customers finance energy efficiency upgrades through the future energy savings that energy efficiency can generate…In recent years, the U.S. ESCO market has gone through a difficult period…Various ESCOs have reported declines in revenue in 2012 and 2013…Growing demand for renewable energy systems and distributed energy infrastructure is leading many ESCOs to develop and acquire new capabilities. Navigant Research forecasts that the U.S. ESCO market will grow from $4.9 billion in 2013 to$8.3 billion by 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, October 7, 2013


    Could the US Government Shutdown Slow Solar PV Market Growth?

    Christine Beadle and Michael Barker, October 3, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “In this, the first week of the US government shutdown, there are already potential ramifications for the US solar PV end market. One of the primary impacts on the US market could be project delays…[O]ver 2 GW of PV projects stand to be affected by delays, as they are already in the BLM approval/review process…[I]f the shutdown continues….all pending applications in the 19 Solar Energy Zones across CA, NV, AZ, CO, NM, and UT could suffer delays…[T]he full impact of the shutdown on end-market development cannot be fully quantified without knowing how long the shutdown will last...” click here for more


    Massive rig arrives at SC wind turbine center

    Bruce Smith, October 3, 2013 (AP via Fort Mill Times)

    “Moving slowly on a floating crane and a barge…[a] four-story tall gearbox and a giant steel connecting ring in a mammoth box were brought down the Cooper Rover to Clemson University's Wind Turbine Drive Train Testing Facility [which will be the world's largest wind turbine test unit]…The $100 million facility will be dedicated in November and the first tests of prototype turbine drive trains are expected in the summer of 2014…There are only two other such testing facilities, one in Spain and one in Colorado. But the Clemson site will test far larger…drive trains for wind turbines that can produce 15 megawatts…[and] have blades reaching 100 yards above the ocean surface…” click here for more


    Closing Coal Plants – A Billion Dollar Industry

    Angela Garrone, October 2, 2013 (

    “According to a new report, closing and decommissioning coal plants will account for a multibillion dollar industry by the end of the decade. New research by Navigant Research asserts that between now and 2020, companies that demolish facilities, haul away debris and salvage polluted land could bring in more than $5 billion in revenue. Retiring and demolishing old coal plants, it turns out, could serve as an economic boost and job creator – a fact that pro-coal advocates never mention…[W]hile there is no universal price tag for decommissioning coal plants, a plant between 350 and 500 MW in size could cost roughly $18.9 million to decommission…” click here for more

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013


    Solar Energy Capacity Growth Rivals Wind as Manufacturer Outlook Strengthens

    Jesse Jenkins, October 1, 2013 (The Energy Collective)

    “New solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity may rival or exceed the growth in wind energy for the first time in 2013, as growing demand and continuing industry consolidation begin to brighten prospects for solar manufacturers, industry analysts report…Between 30 and 37 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity will be connected to power grids worldwide…The higher end of that forecast would outstrip projections for 33.8 GW of wind capacity additions this year, marking the first time that solar has gone toe to toe with wind in terms of capacity growth…[Solar is projected to grow 20 percent this year] while wind power growth will slow by 25 percent as markets in the United States and China cool…” click here for more


    Ireland’s first community-owned wind farm opens in Tipperary

    16 September 2013 (Silicon Republic)

    “…[A] group of people, ranging from students, farmers and even a local priest, have come together to pioneer Ireland’s first community-owned wind farm in Templederry, Co Tipperary…The group behind the wind farm is now producing 'cleaner' electricity and selling it to the electrical grid…The wind farm has the capacity to produce about 15GWh (gigawatt-hours) per year. In layman's terms, this would be enough to power 3,500 houses or the equivalent of the local town of Nenagh, near where the wind farm is based…” click here for more


    Smart Grid Deployment Tracker 3Q13; Smart Meter and Smart Grid Projects: Project Tracking, Regional Analysis, Vendor Selection Share, and Unit Shipments

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    Smart meter shipments in the first half of 2013 grew in comparison to the last half of 2012. The total volume reached 25.9 million meters in 1Q 2013 and 25.5 million meters in 2Q 2013. This slight quarterly decline was due to a lull in announcements for large new smart grid projects. China still accounts for the vast majority of global smart meter shipments, as the pace of deployments in the country continues to outpace that in other regions. The pace of meter shipments in North America, however, continued to slow down from the previous quarters. Many smart metering projects that had been fueled by U.S. federal stimulus money came to an end. As a result, there were few large-scale smart meter deployments announced in North America during the first half of 2013. The exception was Commonwealth Edison in Illinois, which said it would finally move ahead with the deployment of nearly 4 million smart meters after winning government approval. Smart meter projects in Europe, France in particular, are also poised to accelerate in coming quarters. Navigant Research estimates that total smart meter shipments for 3Q 2012-2Q 2013 amounted to 97.7 million meters… click here for more

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013


    Can Solar Power Be Cheap? New technologies will be needed for photovoltaics to become cheap

    David Biello, September 30, 2013 (Scientific American)

    …The primary ingredient of most solar panels is purified sand…[and enough] sunlight hits the Earth in an hour to provide all of humanity's energy needs for a year…[But] solar power [isn’t] cheap and abundan…[because] building a device capable of turning incoming photons into electricity isn't cheap…[and] installation and the cost of a solar system can still be more than $10 per watt of electricity produced…Of course, if all energy sources paid their full price, solar would be more competitive…If the health and environmental costs of coal or natural gas were included in their prices, suddenly solar might look a whole lot cheaper…” click here for more


    GE Wins $2.2 Billion Algeria Turbine Contract; The deal was part of Algeria's efforts to construct its own power stations, buying the turbines only from foreign suppliers and not the complete plant.

    September 22, 2013 (AFP)

    "General Electric Co. (IW 500/6) has won a $2.2 billion contract to provide turbines for six power plants [with a total capacity of 8,400 megawatts] in Algeria, state energy giant Sonatrach announced…Algeria plans to build six new power plants with capacities of between 1,200 and 1,600 megawatts each by 2017…[The GE deal is] part of Algeria's efforts to construct its own power stations, buying the turbines only from foreign suppliers and not the complete plant…[The new plants will] allow Algeria to put an end to the frequent power cuts that have hit consumers during periods of peak demand, particularly in the heat of the summer.” click here for more


    Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tracker 3Q13; Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Infrastructure Installations by Technology, Accessibility, U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Area, and World Region

    3Q 2013 (Navigant Researh)

    “Growing sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in select regions worldwide have fueled the creation of the commercial electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure industry…[I]nnovative business models and practices are emerging to make the industry more streamlined, user friendly, and cost-effective…[like the] Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), a communications standard developed in Europe that allows PEV owners to use service networks of which they are not subscribers…[and] charging optimization software and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies…Navigant Research estimates that as of 3Q 2013, there are just under 64,000 publicly accessible charging stations installed globally…” click here for more