NewEnergyNews More: December 2013

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart



Your intrepid reporter


    A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    The Question About Auld Lang Syne

    There is maybe no more poignant and satisfying moment on film. From nninchen91 via YouTube

    Auld Lange Syne Explained

    What those strange words about forgetting and remembering really mean: Harry's questions answered. From Dan Hanson via YouTube

    It’s Not A New Year Without It- Auld Lang Syne Itself

    And who isn’t going to like Sweet Baby James singing it? All the best to all our treasured readers in 2014! From TransatlanticMoments via YouTube

    Monday, December 30, 2013


    Wind Power Developers Race Clock to Secure Subsidy

    Diane Cardwell and Mattew L. Wald, December 25, 2013 (NY Times)

    “As the rest of the world prepares to toast the new year, the wind industry is hard at work on its own year-end tradition…Developers are signing deals, ordering equipment and lurching ahead with construction starts to qualify for a tax credit that is worth 2.3 cents a kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of production. This month, giant turbine-makers like Vestas andSiemens have announced major new orders, including a deal worth more than $1 billion with MidAmerican Energy, an Iowa-based utility majority-owned by Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and another with the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound…In previous years, the projects had to be in commercial operation by New Year’s Eve. This year, they need only have begun…Though the wind industry has grown enormously since the tax credit began in the 1990s, it has followed a boom-and-bust cycle driven by the fate of the subsidy…” click here for more


    Is this giant crystal ball the future of solar energy? Form, meet function

    John Aziz, December 23, 2013 (The Week)

    “…Currently, the best sunlight conversion rate is around 21.5 percent in commercial products, although scientists have already developed a solar cell with 44.7 percent efficiency, and some projects in the pipeline are aiming for conversion rates as high as 80 percent…Another avenue for improvement: getting more light to hit the solar cells. One new project…is a giant water-filled glass ball developed by German firm Rawlemon. The ball — a powerful lens — concentrates sunlight onto a collector, and operates at about 30 percent efficiency. The ball can swivel to track the sun in order to maximize the level of light hitting it. It collects up to 70 percent more solar energy than swiveling photovoltaic panels, using dual axis tracking…In the end, whether or not this technology is a success may come down to cost and robustness…” click here for more


    Smart Utilities: 10 Trends to Watch in 2014 and Beyond

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “…Navigant Research has selected 10 key issues that will shape smart utilities investment throughout 2014 and beyond…[1] AMI networks supporting distribution automation…[2] Net metering brouhaha escalates and possible solutions emerge…[3] Smart grid IT spending on the rise…[4] Utilities’ business models are shifting…[5] Distributed energy and microgrids begin to affect utilities…[6] Utilities’ secret weapon in energy efficiency: conservation voltage reduction…[7] Hybrid HVDC breakers bring innovation and efficiency…[8] Demand response outside North America will begin to grow…[9] Smart meter market to expand globally…[10] Home energy management market will see a steady uptick…” click here for more

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

    Fri, 12-27

    7 SIMPLE PROOFS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Part 1) 7 ways to shut down a climate change denier; Comprehensive rebuttals to contrarians' pseudo-scientific explanations why global warming is just a myth (continued below)

    John Rennie, December 18, 2013 (Scientific American)

    [Challenge 1:] "...Anthropogenic CO2 can’t be changing climate, because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere and the amount produced by humans is dwarfed by the amount from volcanoes and other natural sources. Water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, so changes in CO2 are irrelevant..." -- "...[Even at] 0.04 percent of the atmosphere], CO2 absorbs infrared radiation and acts as a greenhouse gas…[H]uman activity is by far the largest contributor…more than 130 times as much as volcanoes produce…95 percent of the releases of CO2 to the atmosphere are natural…[but they] pull the gas back out of the atmosphere and almost precisely offset them…[H]uman additions [are] a net surplus…As the temperature rises, more water vapor enters the atmosphere and multiplies CO2′s greenhouse effect…"

    [Challenge 2:] "...The alleged “hockey stick” graph of temperatures over the past 1,600 years has been disproved. It doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of a “medieval warm period” around 1000 A.D. that was hotter than today is. Therefore, global warming is a myth..." -- "...[A] new research paper by Mann and his colleagues seems to confirm that the Medieval Warm Period and the ‘Little Ice Age’ between 1400 and 1700 were both caused by shifts in solar radiance and other natural factors that do not seem to be happening today…[and] the recent rapid rise in CO2 explains the current episode of warming more credibly than any natural factor does…[and] no natural factor seems poised to offset further warming in the years ahead…” click here for more

    7 SIMPLE PROOFS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Part 2) 7 ways to shut down a climate change denier; Comprehensive rebuttals to contrarians' pseudo-scientific explanations why global warming is just a myth (continued below)

    John Rennie, December 18, 2013 (Scientific American)

    Challenge 3: "...Global warming stopped a decade ago; Earth has been cooling since then..." -- "...Given the extended duration of the warming trend…a decade’s worth of mild interruption is too small a deviation to prove a break in the pattern…[E]xperts found no true temperature declines over time…"

    [Challenge 4:] "...The sun or cosmic rays are much more likely to be the real causes of global warming..." -- "...Astronomical phenomena are obvious natural factors to consider…because those seem to have been major drivers of the ice ages and other climate changes before the rise of industrial civilization…[But] there is insufficient evidence that enough extra solar energy is reaching our planet to account for the observed rise in global temperatures…[And] the effect of CO2 and the other greenhouse gases…amplify the sun’s warming…[T]here do not seem to be clear long-term trends in the cosmic ray influxes or in the clouds that they are suppose to form…[and they do] not explain (as greenhouse explanations do) some of the observed patterns in how the world is getting warmer…” click here for more

    7 SIMPLE PROOFS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Part 3) 7 ways to shut down a climate change denier; Comprehensive rebuttals to contrarians' pseudo-scientific explanations why global warming is just a myth (continued below)

    John Rennie, December 18, 2013 (Scientific American)

    [Challenge 5:] "...Climatologists conspire to hide the truth about global warming by locking away their data. Their so-called “consensus” on global warming is scientifically irrelevant because science isn’t settled by popularity..." -- "...It is virtually impossible to disprove accusations of giant global conspiracies to those already convinced of them…[but] the magnitude of this hypothetical conspiracy would need to encompass many thousands of uncontroversial publications and respected scientists from around the world…If there were a massive conspiracy to defraud the world on climate (and to what end?), surely the thousands of e-mails and other files stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and distributed by hackers on November 20 would bear proof of it. So far, however, none has emerged…What is missing is any clear indication of a widespread attempt to falsify and coordinate findings on a scale that could hold together a global cabal or significantly distort the record on climate change..."

    [Challenge 6:] "...Climatologists have a vested interest in raising the alarm because it brings them money and prestige…" -- "...If climate scientists are angling for more money by hyping fears of climate change, they are not doing so very effectively…Climatologists’ funding therefore stayed almost flat while others, including those in industry, benefited handsomely…” click here for more

    7 SIMPLE PROOFS OF CLIMATE CHANGE (Part 4) 7 ways to shut down a climate change denier; Comprehensive rebuttals to contrarians' pseudo-scientific explanations why global warming is just a myth (concluded)

    John Rennie, December 18, 2013 (Scientific American)

    Challenge 7: "...Technological fixes, such as inventing energy sources that don’t produce CO2 or geoengineering the climate, would be more affordable, prudent ways to address climate change than reducing our carbon footprint…" -- "...[T]echnological innovations in energy efficiency, conservation and production are exactly what caps or levies on CO2 are meant to encourage…The longer that we wait for technology alone to reduce CO2, the faster we will need for those solutions to pull CO2 out of the air to minimize the warming problems. Minimizing the scope of the challenge by restricting the accumulation of CO2 only makes sense…[And] climate change is not the only environmental crisis posed by elevated CO2: it also makes the oceans acidic, which could have irreversibly harmful effects on coral reefs and other marine life. Only the immediate mitigation of CO2 release can contain those losses…[C]ounting on future technological developments to solve climate change rather than engaging…by all available means, including regulatory ones, seems like the height of irresponsibility. But then again, responsible action on climate change is what the contrarians seem most interested in denying.” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

    SunPower Celebrates Light

    An Urgent Message From Santa

    From HDAnuncios via YouTube

    An Activist Holiday Greeting

    From Yan Piebird via YouTube

    Solar Brings The Action

    “It’s clear and right to use the sunlight.” From SolarEdgePV via YouTube

    Monday, December 23, 2013


    FERC's Latest Data Undermines EIA's Projections of Slow Renewable Energy Growth To 2040

    Ken Bossong, December 20, 2013 (The SUN DAY Campaign)

    "…[S]olar, biomass, wind, geothermal, and hydropower ‘units’ provided 394 MW - or 100% - of all new electrical generation placed in-service in November 2013. There was no new capacity during the month from natural gas, coal, oil, or nuclear power…For the first eleven months of 2013, [renewables] accounted for more than a third (34.9%) of all new electrical generating capacity: 2,631-MW solar, 1,108 MW wind, 519 MW biomass, 121 MW hydropower, and 39 MW geothermal. That is more…[for the year than] coal (1,543 MW - 12.2%), oil (36 MW - 0.3%), and nuclear power (0 MW - 0.0%) combined. Solar alone comprises 20.8% of new generating capacity (2,631 MW) thus far this year - two-thirds more than its year-to-date total in 2012 (1,584 MW)…[Natural gas dominated 2013] with 6,568 MW of new capacity (52.0%)…” click here for more


    The way Congress funds clean energy is a mess. Max Baucus thinks there’s a better idea.

    Brad Plumer, December 19, 2013 (Washington Post)

    "…[Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Senate Finance Committee Chair unveiled energy tax reforms] to dump all 42 existing tax incentives for specific energy sources…[and] create two broad tax credits that would boost clean energy…Baucus's proposals aren't likely to become law anytime soon. But they could shape the debate over how Congress funds clean energy in the years ahead…[A]ny facility producing electricity that is at least 25 percent cleaner than the average for all electricity production facilities would receive a tax credit. The cleaner the facility, the larger the tax credit…[A]ny transportation fuel that is at least 25 percent cleaner than conventional gasoline will generally receive a credit. Again, the cleaner and more energy-efficient the fuel, the larger the credit…The oil and gas sector isn't happy about the prospect of losing incentives for exploration and drilling…[Baucus's proposal is] essentially a tax cut for some companies and not others. It might not be as effective [as a carbon tax, but is less likely to provoke a political backlash.” click here for more


    Stop-Start Vehicles; Micro Hybrid Technologies, Lead-Acid Batteries, Li-ion Batteries, and Ultracapacitors: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (NavigantResearch)

    “The ability of a vehicle to automatically stop its engine when stationary and then fire it up again when it is time to move can save significant quantities of fuel and reduce vehicle emissions in traffic jams…Growth in light duty [stop-start vehicles (SSVs)] sales during the next decade will be predominately in the three major market regions of North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific, primarily because these regions are the most aggressive in their implementation of fuel economy and emissions regulations. Stop-start systems will help to roll out other electrification features…to increase efficiency without large-scale adoption of full hybrid or plug-in electric capability. Navigant Research forecasts that total global sales for light duty SSVs will exceed 55 million by 2022, accounting for 54.3% of total vehicle sales…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013


    Obama Commits U.S. Federal Government To 20% Renewable Energy Target By 2020

    Michael Puttre, December 6, 2013 (Renew Grid)

    "President Barack Obama has issued a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. federal government to pursue a goal of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The document also instructs all federal agencies to take specific steps to better manage building performance, enhance energy efficiency and reduce energy waste…It directs agencies to…[install] agency-funded renewable energy on-site at federal facilities…[contract] for [renewable] energy…[and purchase renewable] electricity...[and] renewable energy certificates...The memorandum sets a [first interim target of 10% renewables by 2015]…[A]ctions are to be taken where practical, economical and technically feasible.” click here for more


    Experts Warn, Know The Game Before Betting On SRECs

    Mark Del Franco, 11 December 2013 (Solar Industry)

    “Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) can be vital to the economics of a solar project. Combined with a power purchase agreement (PPA), SRECs can help establish a steady revenue stream for solar project owners…[SRECs] can be sold on the spot market through an auction or exchange. An aggregator can sell SRECs to a utility or energy company through a fixed-price, multi-year contract or, less commonly, in a lump-sum payment…[But] SRECs do not have any intrinsic value…[It] is determined by the market, subject to supply-and-demand constraints…And while SREC programs have been a key driver of solar development in states such as Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., recent market examples [in New Mexico and New Jersey] offer a cautionary tale…” click here for more


    Analysis: China approves first commercial offshore projects; Three of China's first four offshore wind power concession projects finally won approvals in the third quarter of 2013, three years after the tender was held.

    Mao Pengfei, 4 December 2013 (Windpower Monthly)

    “Despite the delay, there are hopes that China is accelerating offshore sector development after years of stagnation…The four flagship projects totalling 1GW in east China's Jiangsu province are the country's first batch of offshore concessions, announced in September 2010 by the National Energy Administration (NEA) after a public tender. The projects were held up by conflicts between the NEA and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on the use of the sea areas…With the approvals from the Jiangsu Development and Reform Commission, projects 700MW in Dongtai, Dafeng and Binhai finally got off the drawing board. The remainder is the 300MW development in Sheyang which is still stuck…The winning bids, including from Longyuan, Datang New Energy and China Power Investment, had surprisingly low prices, ranging from CNY 0.61 to CNY 0.73 per kWh…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013


    Southeast US needs to rethink policies for offshore wind to succeed, advocates say

    Michael Copley, December 12, 2013 (SNL)

    “The southeastern coast of the U.S. offers vast opportunities for offshore wind energy development, but regulatory and utility structures in the region currently provide few options for overcoming the sector's high cost of development, according to Perrin Dargan, an attorney with K&L Gates...[O]ffshore wind, therefore, is ultimately too expensive for utilities…Perhaps the industry's best hope, Dargan said, would be for lawmakers to allow utilities to recover the cost of ongoing construction of offshore wind projects through electricity rates, as some are currently able to do on fossil fuel assets…[N]o commercial offshore wind farms [are] operating or even under construction in the U.S…[The Southeast] holds 63% of the East Coast's shallow-water wind resource…” click here for more


    Spot PV Module Price Trends in November

    December 2013 (pvXchange)

    "…Downturn in prices for Japanese and German crystalline modules on the European spot market slowed down in November. Even prices for modules from China gave way again. Only the prices for imports from Southeast Asia stabilized with a slight upward trend towards December…2013 was a stable year as far as the general price development is concerned…Prices for Chinese and Southeast Asian modules are currently only 18-25% below the prices for products from Europe and Japan. In January 2013 China’s module prices were still 36% below those of Japanese products. Since then the Japanese market has cooled…bringing more Japanese and Korean goods to Europe…[M]odules from Japan and Korea have put the largest downward adjustment behind them with just under 15%...German modules [fell] 10% and China modules increased 7.5%. In 2012 prices fell by 30% on average…” click here for more


    Smart Grid Consumer Survey; Consumer Attitudes and Opinions about Smart Grids, Smart Meters, Smart Thermostats, Home Energy Management, and Demand Response

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    "As smart grid rollouts continue in the United States, albeit at a pace slower than in previous years, utilities and vendors are looking for ways to maximize the impact…[S]mart grid and smart home technologies continue to face different levels of consumer awareness, interest, and acceptance. In addition, consumer expectations…are likely higher than what can be achieved and the price they are willing to pay for these offerings is lower than what the market currently supports. Navigant Research’s Smart Grid Consumer Survey shows that while smart grid products and services have the potential to save consumers money by reducing their energy consumption, end-user interest remains moderate to low…” click here for more

    Monday, December 16, 2013


    Xcel to boost its wind, solar power supply in Colorado

    Cathy Proctor, December 10. 2013 (Denver Business Journal)

    "State regulators have granted Xcel Energy Inc.’s request to boost the amount of wind and solar power on its Colorado system by 25 percent, or 620 megawatts…[adding to its 250 megawatts of solar and 2,177 megawatts of wind]… The new power supplies will meet Xcel’s customers’ demands for electricity through at least 2018…Of the new power supplies, 450 megawatts will come from wind farms and an additional 170 from large-scale solar power plants… When the plan was proposed [in September], David Eves, the CEO of Xcel’s subsidiary, Public Service Company of Colorado, said the solar projects…were cost-competitive with natural gas-generated power. It was the first time Xcel had seen solar projects ‘make the cut’ in direct price competition with natural gas…” click here for more

    Update: Boulder voters continued to support the community solar effort and defeated Xcel in the last election. The movement’s leaders dislike Xcel’s most recent New Energy plan because it relies largely on centralized solar instead of distributed rooftop solar.


    Milestone Cleared for Second Wind Energy Research Lease Offshore Virginia; BOEM finds no competitive interest in proposed wind energy research area

    2013 December 6, (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

    "…[T]he Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)...[found] there is no competitive interest in the area where…[the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)] proposes to conduct activities [aimed at building offshore wind]…This would be the second wind energy research lease offshore Virginia…DMME proposes to design, develop, and demonstrate a grid-connected, 12-megawatt (MW) offshore wind test facility on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Virginia. The data obtained under this lease will be made publicly available and inform the future production of renewable energy within Virginia’s Wind Energy Area (WEA)…” click here for more


    Hitachi unveils storage for wind, solar energy

    Brian Wingfield, December 3, 2013 (Bloomberg via SF Chronicle)

    “Hitachi unveiled an energy-storage system that the company said will support wind and solar power and allow users to sell electricity into deregulated markets such as California…The units can be installed on high-voltage power lines, and will be able to capture excess energy produced by wind and solar sources so it can be sold back into the network when the demand for power exceeds the supply. The systems, which include telecommunications and lithium-ion battery technologies developed by Tokyo's Hitachi, will also minimize volatility on the power grid…Hitachi will begin testing the product in North America in the first three months of 2014, with a goal of selling it by the end of 2015…Hitachi estimates that the size of the U.S. market for devices that help stabilize the grid will be 20 gigawatts by 2020…The potential market size for its energy-storage system is 7.5 gigawatts…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013


    Concentrated Photovoltaic Solar Installations Set to Boom in the Coming Years

    December 10, 2013 (IHS Inc)

    “After years of slow progress, the global market for concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems is entering a phase of explosive growth, with worldwide installations set to boom by 750 percent…[and] rise to 1,362 megawatts in 2020, up from 160 megawatts in 2013…CPV technology employs lenses or mirrors to focus sunlight onto solar cells…[It] allows for more efficient PV energy generation…[but drives] up the cost…[A]dvancements in CPV technology [will] reduce costs…for high-concentration PV (HCPV) systems…[from] $2.62 per watt in 2013…to $1.59 by the end of 2017…” click here for more


    BlackRock purchases majority interest in OwnEnergy’s new 68MW Texas Wind Farm

    December 9, 2013 (OwnEnergy)

    "…[OwnEnergy] entered into an agreement with a fund managed by BlackRock whereby BlackRock acquired OwnEnergy’s [68 megawatt (MW) Windthorst, Texas, project]…BlackRock will purchase a majority interest in the Windthorst-2 project, Morgan Stanley and its affiliates will provide construction financing and J.P. Morgan will provide institutional equity. OwnEnergy will maintain a minority ownership interest in Windthorst-2, manage its construction, and oversee operations…Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2013, with commercial operations expected in fall 2014…” click here for more


    Advanced Sensors for Smart Buildings; Advanced Occupancy Sensors, Advanced CO2 Sensors, Advanced Thermostats, and Advanced Photosensors: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    "With energy costs following a seemingly upward trajectory...there is an ever-increasing focus on achieving greater energy efficiency...[C]ommercial buildings represent a huge source of energy use but...are inefficient...[T]he majority of sensors currently used in buildings are...incapable of making intelligent decisions in real-time...[A]dvanced sensors better able to adapt to changing building conditions is emerging...[and] advances in sensing technologies are enabling the deployment of low-power wireless sensors deeper into buildings than ever before. Navigant Research forecasts that global shipments of advanced sensors will grow from 1.8 million units annually in 2013 to 28.4 million units in 2020…" click here for more

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013


    Solar Market Insight 2013 Q3

    December 9, 2013 (Solar Energy Industries Association)

    “The U.S. installed 930 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2013, up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and 35 percent over Q3 2012…the second largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations…[T]he utility solar sector represented more than half of new PV capacity installed…[T]he residential market…posted the segment’s largest quarter in history with 186 MW installed…The non-residential sector…[has been flat but is expected to resume] growth in 2014…Blended average PV system prices fell 4.2% in Q3 2013 compared to the previous quarter, reaching a new low of $3.00/W…[The forecast is] 4.3 GW of new PV in 2013, up 27% over 2012…The wave of concentrating solar power installations slated for completion at the end of this year kicked off [in October] with the 280 MWac Solana project…” click here for more


    Is There a Wind Turbine in Your Future?

    December 6, 2013 (The Energy Show via Renewable Energy World)

    “The levelized cost of energy from wind turbines is lower than every other generating source except for natural gas and hydro. It comes as no surprise that in 2012, 42 percent of the new electricity generating capacity in the U.S. was from wind — with over 45,000 operating utility-scale turbines…Wind turbines are sprouting up all over, ranging from small 2-5 kw rooftop units for homes, to 500-kw+ utility-scale turbines in coastal areas and windy mountain passes. The economics of wind turbines will continue to improve as technology advances and electric rates rise. Fortunately, electricity generated from wind (usually in the evenings) matches up very well with solar generated electricity during the day…” click here for more


    Smart Water Networks; Smart Water Meters, Communications Infrastructure, Network Monitoring and Automation Technologies, and Data Management and Analytics: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “…Water utilities are relying on aging or inadequate infrastructure to meet growing demand, tough environmental targets, and increasing regulatory requirements…[and] utilities need to reduce non-revenue water losses and improve their operational efficiency. Smart water networks have an important role to play in addressing these challenges…Smart water meters are a key component of smart water networks, but other monitoring and control technologies are becoming increasingly important for leak detection, pressure management, and water quality monitoring…[The industry] is hungry for change, but also conservative in its operations and restricted in its financial options. Navigant Research forecasts that the global smart water networks market will expand from $1.1 billion in annual revenue in 2013 to more than $3.3 billion in 2022…” click here for more

    Monday, December 9, 2013


    Once World's Largest Landfill, NYC's Freshkills Park to Add a Solar Energy Plant
    Allie Goolrick, December 3, 2013 (The Weather Channel)
    “…Once the world’s biggest landfill, since 2008, Freshkills Park on Staten Island has been the site of a massive land reclamation project [by New York City] that aims to develop a green space nearly three times the size of Central Park…[As part of the city’s sustainable growth plan], Freshkills will also soon become the city’s biggest source of solar power…The city plans to lease around 47 acres of the park to private solar-farm developer SunEdison, which will design and install a [10 megawatt] solar power facility big enough to increase the city’s renewable energy capacity by 50 percent…[and] fuel 2,000 homes…” click here for more


    Advanced Battery Tracker 4Q13; 2012 Global Shipments of Advanced Batteries by Application Segment: Automotive, Stationary Energy Storage, Consumer Electronics, Medical, Defense, and Power Tools

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “The advanced battery market is in the midst of a massive increase in production output…[A]s of the end of 2012, Navigant Research identified a total global shipment volume of 26.7 GWh of advanced batteries, the majority of which were in the consumer electronics segment…[E]merging sectors such as automotive and stationary energy storage earned relatively large market shares…Lithium ion (Li-ion) is the primary chemistry [over 99%] in the advanced battery market…Cost of the batteries, the most important factor, has been declining dramatically in the last 2 years…The majority of advanced batteries were manufactured in China, with the United States, South Korea, and Japan coming in well behind…[and] very little manufacturing activity in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa in 2012…” click here for more


    Shell Axed GTL Plant, Citing Oil And Gas Price Uncertainty

    Zotlan Ban, December 9, 2013 (Seeking Alpha)

    “…Shell cited uncertainty about the future of oil and gas prices as the reason to abandon the [gas to liquids (GTL) plant in Louisiana]… The EIA thinks that for such projects to be viable, the price of natural gas needs to be below $6 per million BTUs. In the absence of being able to secure long-term natural gas supplies under this price threshold, the price of oil would have to rise significantly… The Shell decision cannot be based on the belief that oil prices are headed much lower either, because it is a well-known fact that projects ranging from deep water, shale oil, oil sands, and scavenging old conventional fields in order to squeeze out some more oil are all dependent on oil prices staying at current levels…The most likely reason left for it to abandon the plan, which up to recently was obviously thought to have much potential given that Shell even picked a site and secured subsidies and concessions totaling over $120 million from local authorities, can only be because it now sees US natural gas prices going up significantly…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013


    Solar to Become Competitive with Natural Gas by 2025; Solar electricity will reach cost parity in 10 major regions, accelerating adoption without subsidies, and will even benefit from abundant natural gas

    December 3, 2013 (LUX Research)

    "Far from being bulldozed by cheap natural gas, unsubsidized utility-scale solar electricity will become cost-competitive with gas by 2025, according to Lux Research. In fact, increased gas penetration actually benefits solar, by enabling hybrid gas/solar technologies that can accelerate adoption and increase intermittent renewable penetration without expensive infrastructure improvements…The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from unsubsidized utility-scale solar closes the gap with combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) to within $0.02/kWh worldwide in 2025…led by a 39% fall in utility-scale system costs by 2030 and accompanied by barriers to shale gas production – anti-fracking policies in Europe and a high capital cost in South America…” click here for more


    Pattern Energy Rides Wind To Fuel Cash For Dividends

    Marilyn Alva, November 25, 2013 (Investor’s Business Daily)

    “…Pattern Energy Group (PEGI), a wind-power outfit that went public in early October, prides itself on its stability and predictability…Analysts say Pattern's structure is similar to a master limited partnership used for natural gas pipelines and other assets meant to generate cash flow to be paid out to investors as dividends…The company's six current wind-power projects in the U.S. and Canada operate under long-term fixed prices…[and sold to ‘highly creditworthy’ companies…” click here for more


    Data Center Energy and Infrastructure Management; Software and Services Market Trends, Key Functionalities, Supply- and Demand-Side Market Dynamics, Data Center Energy Efficiency, and Global Market Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Data centers around the world are increasingly becoming economic hubs for all forms of businesses. This is driving significant growth in the need for data center capacity…As data centers’ importance and capacity have grown, so have their costs. One of the largest operational costs of a data center is energy consumption. Businesses are struggling to both understand and contain these costs…Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software and services…are opening tremendous opportunities…[by] enabling deep visibility into all aspects of a data center’s operations…[and] many of the market hurdles (such as risk aversion by clients and awareness of DCIM capabilities) have dissipated…Navigant Research forecasts that global DCIM spending will grow from $663.2 million in 2013 to more than $4.5 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013


    U.S. Methane Emissions 50 Percent Higher Than EPA Estimates

    November 26, 2013 (Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

    “Emissions of methane from fossil fuel extraction and refining activities in the South Central U.S. are nearly five times higher than previous estimates…Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is produced through natural gas production and distribution, cattle farming, landfills, coal mining, manure management and many other anthropogenic and natural sources, though human activities are thought to contribute approximately 60 percent of the total…[Overall] total methane emissions in the U.S. appear to be 1.5 times and 1.7 times higher than the amounts previously estimated…Along with carbon dioxide, methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases in terms of its potential to raise global temperatures. It also encourages the formation of surface ozone in cities and affects other aspects of atmospheric chemistry…” click here for more


    Wind company pays fine over eagle deaths

    Julian Hattem, November 22, 2013 (The Hill)

    "A renewable power company has agreed to pay $1 million over the deaths of [14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds at two wind farms in Wyoming within the last three years]…The settlement with Duke Energy is the first time the Obama administration, which has been a strong backer of wind power, has penalized a wind energy company for killing eagles…Golden eagles are not endangered species, but are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act…[T]he facilities were developed…[when the wind industry’s understanding of eagle impacts at wind farms was still evolving…[During the Obama tenure, the wind] industry has grown by about 30 percent each year…The Fish and Wildlife Service grants [five year] permits to allow companies to build wind farms as long as they use ‘advanced conservation practices’ to protect the animals…” click here for more


    High-Voltage Direct Current Transmission Systems; HVDC Converters, Cables, Submarine Interconnections, Multiterminal Grids, and Hybrid Breakers: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Generally regarded as the most complex machine in the world today, the interconnected power grid started off with a centralized generator and a direct current (DC) transmission line in New York City in 1882. Since then, most grids have been built using alternating current (AC)…While AC transmission still dominates the transmission industry overall, doubts concerning the limited capability of classic [high voltage direct current (HVDC)] transmission have been removed by innovative voltage-source converters (VSCs)…Navigant Research forecasts that global cumulative HVDC converter revenue will amount to $56.6 billion between 2013 and 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, December 2, 2013


    Solar Energy Was America's Sole New Power Source in October; Get ready for a photovoltaic building boom.

    Todd Woody, November 26, 2013 (The Atlantic)

    “In October, power plants generating 530 megawatts of electricity came online in the United States. And every single electron put on the grid came from the sun…It’s possible to make too much of the fact…After all, the completion dates of power plants can be random…[particularly] for complex, multibillion-dollar, fossil fuel power stations…However, it is also possible to be too dismissive of this energy shift and the fact that solar supplanted coal and natural gas in October…[with 530, about] what a medium-sized natural gas-fired power plant would generate…[I]t’s a clear sign that solar is no longer a niche play – especially when you consider that the October’s numbers don’t include the installation of roof photovoltaic panels on homes and businesses. In California alone, for instance, 19.5 megawatts of rooftop solar was installed in the territories of the state’s three big utilities just in October…” click here for more


    Tax Credit for Wind Energy Is Truly Up in the Air

    Clare Foran, November 26, 2013 (National Journal)

    “…Leaders of the wind-power industry say they hope legislators will come together to save the credit, known as the PTC [set to expire at the end of this year], from disappearing…But opposition is fierce, and growing stronger, with conservative groups and oil and gas industry stakeholders…[A] series of tax-reform proposals [from the Senate Finance Committee], including a plan to end or scale back certain incentives frequently claimed by the oil industry…[made no mention] of renewable energy tax credits…[The House Ways and Means Committee] is also drafting a proposal but has not yet put forward a tax-reform plan…[T]here is no certainty that legislators will be able to find enough common ground necessary to pass a comprehensive [tax code reform] deal…A second option, and one which may be more likely, would be for the credit to be renewed as part of an extenders package…” click here for more


    Commercial Building Automation Systems; HVAC, Lighting, Fire & Life Safety, and Security & Access Control Systems and Building Management Systems: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Commercial building automation systems (BASs) continue to evolve…Integrated by new building management systems (BMSs), the automation of HVAC, lighting, fire & life safety, and security & access controls is increasingly forming the foundational infrastructure…aimed at reducing the approximately 12% of total global energy end use by the commercial sector…[The global market] is driven in general by new and retrofit commercial building construction and more specifically by the energy efficiency requirements…New commercial construction has been suppressed by the financial crisis…with the exception of certain parts of Asia Pacific…[R]enewed economic growth…accelerating energy efficiency targets for commercial buildings…[and] computing, communications, sensing, and software technologies…[offer] risks and rewards…Navigant Research forecasts that global commercial BAS revenue will grow from $58.1 billion in 2013 to $100.8 billion in 2021…” click here for more