NewEnergyNews More: February 2014

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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014


    Renewable Energy Off to a Fast Start In 2014; 99% of New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity in January from Solar, Geothermal, Wind, Biomass

    Ken Bossong, February 21, 2014 (Sun Day Campaign)

    "…[N]on-hydro renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) accounted for more than 99% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed during January 2014 for a total of 324 MW…Solar led the way last month with 13 new ‘units’ totaling 287 MW followed by geothermal steam with three new units totaling 30 MW. Biomass added three new units totaling 3 MW while wind had one new unit with an installed capacity of 4 MW…Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, now account for 16.03% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity…” click here for more


    Energy Department, NREL Estimate Economic Impacts of Offshore Wind

    February 2014 (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    “Offshore wind is a clean, renewable source of energy and can be an economic driver in the United States. To better understand the employment opportunities and other potential regional economic impacts from offshore wind development, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded research that focuses on four regions of the country: Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Southeast. The studies use multiple scenarios with various local job and domestic manufacturing content assumptions. Each regional study uses the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) new Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model for offshore wind…” click here for more


    Advanced Batteries For Utility-Scale Energy Storage To See Revenue Surge

    February 18, 2014 (Up Front via Renew Grid)

    "Worldwide revenue from advanced batteries for utility-scale energy storage applications will grow from $164 million this year to more than $2.5 billion in 2023, according to a new report by Navigant Research…[E]nergy capacity is expected to grow from 248.1 MWh to 8.5 GWh…[B]atteries have not traditionally been an integral part of the utility grid, primarily due to concerns about cost, safety, durability and efficiency…[But] technological advances in electrochemistry have enabled a new generation of advanced [Lithium ion, flow, sodium-based, and lead-acid] batteries to start playing an important role in grid management…[T]he clear market leader in utility-scale applications of batteries is Li-ion…[including] lithium manganese spinel, lithium iron phosphate, lithium nickel manganese cobalt and lithium titanate…[The] Asia Pacific will experience the highest growth and highest volume of sales…” click here for more

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014


    The Plan To Power The US With 100 Percent Clean Energy Is Almost All Wind

    February 19, 2014 (MotherBoard)

    "If the United States wanted to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, there's an actual, feasible plan it could follow…[according to Stanford University scientist Mark Z Jacobson’s… detailed proposal…In short, the plan is full of wind. And water. And sun. But mostly wind…Clean coal, nuclear power, natural gas and anything utilizing food products like corn and soy are conspicuously absent…Wind, solar or power generated by water means are not only clean, but don’t require as large of a geographic footprint…Jacobson’s proposal is actually thrifty…[E]ach person would save $3,400 on energy costs because cleaner energy is more efficient and that means you’d have to generate less energy to meet current energy demands…” click here for more


    Despite Strong Growth Outlook, U.S. Wind Market Faces Several Risk Factors

    Luke Lewandowski and Dan Shreve, February 20, 2014 (North American Windpower)

    "The wind power industry responded in record fashion to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) 2013 ‘under construction’ deadline for production tax credit (PTC) eligibility…Developers in the U.S. have started construction on 13 GW of wind projects and have contracted 7 GW of firm turbine orders through the end of January 2014…MAKE Consulting estimates nearly 19 GW of wind projects are in active development as a result of these IRS guidelines…[but] is forecasting [only] approximately 16.4 GW of grid-connected capacity from 2014 to 2016 [including nearly 3 GW of hedged projects]…” click here for more


    Thin-Film PV is as Simple as ABCD

    Finlay Colville, February 13, 2014 (SolarBuzz)

    "…[T]he thin-film solar sector…needs a different take at the start of 2014…The industry has moved beyond lists of thin-film companies by technology and assigning production…[and] the exotic process flow variants of the past…[A]ll manufacturers of thin-film solar panels are now fitting neatly into four simple groupings, we have labelled as A, B, C, and D…[T]his provides a means to benchmark thin-film companies (not technologies) based upon their solar modus operandi…[T]he four thin-film categories…[are] Volume manufacturing proven, brand premium and sales pipeline assured…[amorphous silicon (a-Si)] manufacturers located in either China or Taiwan…[A]ll the other a-Si manufacturers…[and] anything else thin-film…[Similar to c-Si issues], it looks like 2015 is going to be the year that thin-film activity once again creates headlines within the PV industry…” click here for more

    Monday, February 24, 2014


    GE to invest a further $10B on 'ecoimagination' energy R&D

    Ernest Scheyder with Terry Wade and Leslie Adler, February 24, 2014 (Reuters)

    “General Electric Co plans to intensify research focusing on complex energy projects such as waterless fracking and gas turbine efficiency by earmarking an additional $10 billion through 2020 for its ‘ecoimagination’ budget…The research budget shows how reliant GE has become on the energy industry, its fastest growth area, as it works to become a dominant supplier of equipment and services to oil, natural gas and alternative power companies…[Ecoimagination has brought in $160 billion in revenue by creating new products and saved $300 million on water and emissions costs. The] new commitment gives investors a clue as to what the company's priorities will be into the next decade…[Ecoimagination] was formed in 2005…and has cost nearly $15 billion…While the overall goals of the project will remain, a larger percentage of the funds will go to energy-related projects…[This] is part of GE's larger research and development budget, worth roughly $5 billion to $6 billion per year…” click here for more


    Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming November 2013

    February 19, 2014 (Yale University)

    "…Three in ten (29%) have joined or would join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action…Nearly four in ten (36%) have joined or would join a campaign to convince elected officials to pass laws increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy…About half of Americans (53%) say they would sign a petition about global warming…About four in ten say that, if asked, they would sign a pledge to vote only for political candidates that share their views…One in four Americans would support an organization engaging in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse (24%) and one in six (17%) say they would personally engage in such actiivities…About half of Americans (48%) say that they intend to engage in consumer activism over the next 12 months - rewarding companies by buying their products and/or punishing companies by not buying their products…” click here for more


    New Lessons on Driving Demand for Energy Efficiency Financing

    Casey Bell, February 20, 2014 (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy)

    "Recent months have seen some exciting developments in energy efficiency finance. Investment funds, capitalized at about $200 million, are set to break into the potentially extensive market for energy efficient projects in the buildings sector…[T]he critical next step is to drive demand for energy efficiency improvements and connect this demand with available capital…[A] lack of customers actively seeking financing for energy efficiency improvements is the number one barrier to participation in the market for small to mid-size lenders…[L]enders also identified uncertainty around best practice methods for validating and underwriting energy savings as substantive key barriers…Developing [the customer base] will require a better understanding of how to serve those customers better…” click here for more

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014


    Can PV Technology Change before 2015?

    Finlay Colville, February 6, 2014 (SolarBuzz)

    “…[B]y analysing the exact split of production across all the different c-Si process flow types, substrate types for every c-Si manufacturer, and similarly for all the thin-film options…[for] 3 years back…it is relatively easy to see which technologies dominate, and how each has changed market-share…[The] two dominant [c-Si] categories include almost all the Chinese cell makers…most of the Korean output, [and] all of the Indian output…[They] had identical market share in 2010 and 2013, approximately 82%...[I]n 2013, almost two out of every three solar panels installed were using a PV technology that has basically been used in production for about 15 years…[T]here is a host of ways to segment out the remaining 18% of market supply…[but] the prospects for any major change in PV technologies, used to supply end-market demands for the rest of [2014], are minimal. None of the disruptive technologies is ready to move in large volume…” click here for more


    Deepwater Wind Takes 'Leap Forward,' Taps Alstom To Supply Rhode Island Offshore Demo

    February 11, 2014 (North American Windpower)

    "Deepwater Wind has signed an agreement for Alstom to supply the Block Island Wind Farm with five Haliade 150-6 MW offshore wind turbines. Deepwater says the deal represents a pivotal point in the development of the 30 MW demonstration project, located off the coast of Block Island, R.I…Jeff Grybowski, Deepwater's CEO, notes it was important that the developer signed with a provider of direct-drive turbine technology…Deepwater Wind says it made an initial multi-million-dollar payment in December 2013 that allowed Alstom to begin the manufacturing process…The [589 foot tall] Haliade 150-6 MW turbine features Alstom's Pure Torque design and a 150-meter-diameter rotor…Deepwater says its partnership with Alstom will create…operations and management positions…[and] Alstom intends to base its long-term service operations in the state and to perform pre-installation work in a local harbor…The Block Island project could help Deepwater realize plans for a [1 gigawatt] offshore wind farm…” click here for more


    U.S. Utility-Scale Solar Is Getting Closer To Cost-Competitiveness

    February 12, 2014 (Up Front via Solar Industry)

    “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that the U.S. solar industry is more than 60% of the way to achieving cost-competitive utility-scale solar photovoltaic electricity…three years into the department's decade-long SunShot Initiative, which aims to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy by 2020…[T]he initiative's target for the utility-scale photovoltaic industry is $0.06/kWh…The DOE says that the average price for a utility-scale photovoltaic project has dropped from about $0.21/kWh in 2010 to $0.11/kWh at the end of last year…[T]he average U.S. electricity price is about $0.12/kWh…” click here for more

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014


    More Wind Energy, Lower Electricity Prices

    February 13, 2014 (SustainableBusiness)

    "Electric bills are trending down for people that live in high-wind states, according to research by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)...The 11 states that get more than 7% of their electricity from wind energy have seen their electric prices decrease by 0.37% over the past five years, in contrast to all other states, where electricity prices have increased 7.79% during that time…The more wind capacity they have, the more rates have come down…[A]t least 15 studies confirm that as wind energy increases, electric prices come down. Studies have been done by independent grid operators, state governments, academic experts, and others…[R]esearch from New England's grid operator concludes that when wind provides 14% of electricity, prices drop 10%, and when it reaches 24%, prices decline 15%...” click here for more


    Mosaic And Connecticut Team Up On Crowd Funding Of Residential Solar

    Michael Puttre, 5 February 2014 (Solar Industry)

    “Solar project crowd funding pioneer Mosaic is expanding its activities into the residential solar sector….Connecticut's Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)…has provided an initial $5 million commitment to fund originations of the consumer loans. Participating solar installers serving the Connecticut market will be able to offer the loans to their customers. The loan product, developed by Sungage Financial, uses projected energy savings as the basis for the offering…Investments in the loan pool will be offered to accredited investors through Mosaic's crowd-source investment website. The Hampshire Foundation Inc., which has committed $1 million of its own funds, will also offer investment opportunities to its clients as part of the program…[T]he residential financing options…[will soon be] built into the Mosaic online marketplace…[I]nvestors can expect similar rates of return that they have seen from commercial projects…” click here for more


    Report: Renewable Energy Will Supply At Least 5% Of Mining Industry Power Demand By 2022

    17 February 2014 (Solar Industry)

    "The electricity-hungry mining industry is investing in renewable energy such as solar and wind to power its operations, particularly those in remote locations, a new report from Navigant Research says…[R]ising energy prices and the desire to reduce mining companies’ carbon footprints have created a growing consensus in the mining industry that renewable energy at mine sites - both grid-tied and off-grid - is feasible and often necessary…[T]he portion of energy consumption in the mining industry supplied by renewable energy will grow from less than 0.1% now to at least 5% - and possibly up to 8% - by 2022…Wind power will account for the majority of deployed renewable energy assets for mining operations by 2022, with nearly 516 MW of capacity…Following closely will be solar power, with 493 MW of installed capacity…” click here for more

    Monday, February 17, 2014


    U.S. Solar Sector Jobs Rest On A Foundation Of Low-Cost Solar Panels

    10 February 2014 (Solar Industry)

    "…[T]he most important driver in the expansion of solar sector jobs in the U.S. has been the precipitous drop in the cost of solar power and the corresponding increase in installed capacity…[according to findings in National Solar Jobs Census 2013; The Annual Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce]…[T]he price of solar panels has declined 80% since 2008…[A] nationwide survey of solar sector employment that showed job growth in 43 states, plus the District of Columbia…Regional growth was uneven, [according to Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation (TSF)], and this can be attributed to differences in outlook for the near future…Since the start of the annual census in 2010, U.S. solar sector employment has increased 53% and now employs more than 142,000 people at about 18,000 locations…” click here for more


    Research phase to begin for Dakota Power Community Wind

    February 10, 2014 (Watertown Public Opinion)

    "With over 80 landowners ready to dedicate nearly 20,000 acres to one of South Dakota’s largest wind projects, Dakota Power Community Wind is ready to begin the research phase of the operation...The Rock Island Clean Line, a transmission project slated to cross the state of Iowa, is the catalyst for Dakota Power. The Clean Line will allow power captured in the Midwest to be connected to new markets in the Eastern United States…The 20,000 acres of farmland currently signed up for the project are sufficient to support a 300-megawatt windfarm…the largest single windfarm in South Dakota and would add nearly 50% to the state’s wind production…[There is wind potential for a 1,000 megawatt project that could produce revenues exceeding] $8 million annually and increase over the life of the project…[as well as over 1,000 construction jobs and] over 70 permanent, on-site jobs…Statewide direct economic impacts could be in excess of $200 million.” click here for more


    … Energy Secretary Moniz Announces New ARPA-E Solar Projects

    February 6, 2014 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    “…Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz [announced] $30 million in funding to 12 ARPA-E projects to develop transformational hybrid solar energy technologies that…will help advance solar energy beyond current photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies…[The awards will come] through ARPA-E’s Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program, which is aimed at developing new hybrid solar energy converters and hybrid energy storage systems that can deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy on demand…[The] projects will develop advanced solar converters that turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use, while also producing heat that can be stored at low cost for later use as well as innovative storage systems that accept both heat and electricity from variable solar sources…” click here for more

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014


    BNEF: Despite bumps, US generation continues transition to renewables, natural gas

    Michael Copley, February 5, 2014 (SNL)

    “…Between 2007 and 2013, electricity generation from renewable sources, including large-scale hydropower, grew from 8.3% to 12.9% of the total U.S. power load. Gas-fired power plants provided 28% of the country's electricity last year, up from 22% in 2007…Industry leaders said the results show the kind of evolving energy industry that President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address…[W]ithin the narrative BNEF presented are signs of subtler shifts in the evolving industries…[M]oney is focused now on small-scale distributed generation…[and] is funneling into the renewable energy industry from new sources: Public markets are contributing more while venture capital lately has retreated… from the clean energy space…[T]he price of natural gas moving forward [is expected to be] in the $3.50 to $5 range.” click here for more


    Oregon could get West Coast's first wind energy farm: 5 floating offshore turbines

    Gosia Wozniacka, February 5, 2014 (AP via Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

    "…[T]he West Coast's first offshore wind energy farm…[a 30-megawatt pilot project made up of] five floating turbines off Oregon's Coos Bay…will be developed by Seattle-based Principle Power using floating wind turbine technology that has not been deployed in U.S. waters but is in use or under development in Europe and Asia…The Oregon facility would be 15 miles from shore, in about 1,400 feet of water. The turbines would be connected by electrical [lines that]…transmit electricity to the mainland…Several offshore projects are in the works on the Atlantic coast…[but they] are anchored to the seabed…[T]he West Coast has not yet seen offshore wind projects because the…ocean gets deeper more quickly…so turbine towers cannot be planted directly into the seabed…Fishermen on the southern Oregon coast have agreed to support the project…Proponents say better wind speeds are available at sea than on land, creating more electricity than other projects…The industry has grown chiefly in Europe, where several dozen offshore wind farms operate. China [and Japan are] also developing projects…” click here for more


    Solar Residential/Commercial Lease Funding Garnered $2.34 Billion in 2013

    February 10, 2014 (Mercom Capital Group)

    “The Top 5 companies in 2013 raising commercial/residential lease funds were...[Vivint Solar,] SolarCity, Sunrun, SunPower, and SunEdison [according to the Mercom Capital 2013 market report on solar]…[The year saw] another strong showing for solar lease, with a record year in…residential/commercial lease funds raised…[There were] 22 announced funds totaling $3.34 billion, a 69 percent increase over 2012. Almost $1 billion was raised in Q4 2013 alone…Most of the third party-financing market is based in the United States where high upfront costs were a major hurdle for potential residential and commercial customers…[Over] the last five years, SolarCity has led fundraising with close to $2 billion. SolarCity also had a successful IPO in 2012 and just announced an industry-first solar securitization deal. Sunrun, with $1.5 billion, is second on the list and a strong IPO candidate in the future. Vivint Solar, SunPower and Clean Power Finance have been the other top fundraisers…” click here for more

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014


    U.S. Wind Industry Has Record Number Of Megawatts Under Construction

    January 31, 2014 (North American Windpower)

    “…[Only] 1.084 GW of wind [came] online in 2013…a 92% decrease from the 13.131 GW of new capacity installed during the record-breaking year of 2012…[But] 2013 set a record [with]…more U.S. wind power megawatts under construction than ever in history: Over 12,000 MW (or, 12 GW) of new generating capacity were under construction in 2013, with [a record number of term power purchase agreements (PPAs) and] a record-breaking 10.9 GW starting construction activity during the fourth quarter…[T]he huge decrease seen in 2013 is a pattern that could repeat unless Congress acts to extend the PTC, which expired again on Dec. 31, 2013… [The record growth] resulted not only from the PTC (which provides upfront tax relief of $0.023/kWh for the first 10 years of a project), but also from investments in technological advancements that have driven down the cost of wind energy by 43% in just four years…” click here for more


    Sumitomo Sets Up Solar Power Storage System With Used Batteries

    Chisaki Watanabe, February 6, 2014 (Bloomberg News)

    “…[Sumitomo Corp.] said it installed a power storage system using recycled electric-vehicle batteries near a solar power station in the western prefecture of Osaka [that will be in operation this month]…The 600-kilowatt system is the world’s first large-scale power storage system from used EV [lithium ion] batteries…The device uses 16 used batteries [and has a 400 kw-hr capacity]…Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy-output fluctuation from the nearby Hikari-no-mori solar farm [and the next step would be a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively incorporating quantities of discarded EV batteries]…Sumitomo set up [the 4R Energy Corp joint] venture with Nissan Motor (7201) Co. in 2010 to address the secondary use of EV batteries.” click here for more


    U.S. House Passes Farm Bill With Renewable Energy Provisions Intact

    Michael Puttre, 30 January 2014 (Solar Industry)

    “…[T]he Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 - popularly known as the farm bill - passed the U.S. House of Representatives…[It included] $881 million in…the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which offers grants and loans to rural businesses and agricultural producers for…[solar, small wind, biofuel, and other renewable energy and energy efficiency] systems…The REAP provisions, described under Title IX, specify that $45 million be allocated in each fiscal year from 2014 through 2018…Applications for REAP funding are to be evaluated under the three-tiered approach, representing projects costing $80,000 or less, those over $80,000 but less than $200,000, and those costing $200,000 or more…” click here for more

    Monday, February 10, 2014


    GAO Report Confirms Coal Leasing Program ‘Out of Date,’ Costs Taxpayers Nearly $30B

    February 4, 2014 (EcoWatch)

    “The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the result of its investigation into coal leasing practices at the Bureau of Land Management, which confirmed earlier reports that coal companies have taken advantage of a lax bidding process for leasing coal on publicly owned lands, resulting in nearly $30 billion in loss for U.S. taxpayers. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) echoed the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and other environmental and community advocacy groups in calling for a temporary suspension of the federal coal leasing program…Beyond lost revenue, selling publicly owned coal at such low rates amounts to a major fossil fuel subsidy, favoring coal at the expense of cleaner forms of energy…” click here for more


    Mosaic And Connecticut Team Up On Crowd Funding Of Residential Solar

    Michael Puttre, 6 February 2014 (Solar Industry)

    "Solar project crowd funding pioneer Mosaic is expanding its activities into the residential solar sector. The company has partnered with Connecticut's Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) and Sungage Financial to package loans made to homeowners for building photovoltaic power systems into investment opportunities…CEFIA has provided an initial $5 million commitment to fund originations of the consumer loans. Participating solar installers serving the Connecticut market will be able to offer the loans to their customers. The loan product, developed by Sungage Financial, uses projected energy savings as the basis for the offering...[Investments] will be offered to investors with a 15-year term and expected yields of 4.7% to accredited investors through Mosaic…The Hampshire Foundation Inc., which has committed $1 million of its own funds, will also offer investment opportunities…” click here for more


    Biofuels for Transportation Markets; Ethanol, Biodiesel, Drop-In Biofuels, Biogas, and Biomass-Based Fuels for the Road Transportation Sector: Technology Assessments, Policy Issues, Supply Chain Analysis, and Global Demand Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…The global biofuels industry is now on the verge of entering a new phase of development focused on advanced and drop-in biofuels…[B]iofuels derived from non-food feedstocks and biofuels that are drop-in-capable promise to significantly alter the petroleum industry landscape. Governments and industries are looking at ways to replace the whole barrel of oil by developing biofuels for all forms of transportation: road, aviation, and maritime…[But] biofuels are still challenged by issues such as feedstock access, supply chain infrastructure development, and achieving price parity with the well-established petroleum industry. Navigant Research forecasts that global biofuels consumption in the road transportation sector will grow from more than 32.4 billion gallons per year (BGPY) in 2013 to more than 51.1 BGPY in 2022…" click here for more

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014


    Texas extended its wind lead in 2013

    Michael Copley, January 31, 2014 (SNL)

    “…Already the national leader in installed [wind] capacity, [Texas] finished 2013 with more wind power under construction — upward of 7,000 MW — than any other state has installed to date…The reasons for the industry's growth…[are that the state's renewable portfolio standard helped ‘incubate’ the industry until it could convince investors of its financial viability, while transmission providers — who plan to complete more than $3.6 billion in projects between 2014 and 2018 on top of the $6.8 billion Competitive Renewable Energy Zone build-out that was recently finished — are moving wind power over long stretches from the Texas panhandle into the state's load centers…” click here for more


    $600 Million in VC funding for Solar in 2013, Strong Public Market Financings, Project Funding Activity; Total corporate funding up 25 percent to $10 billion

    February 3, 2014 (Mercom Capital Group)

    “…Global venture capital (VC) investments dropped 40 percent to $600 million in 97 deals in 2013 compared to $992 million in 106 deals in 2012. Total corporate funding into the solar sector encompassing VC, debt and public market financings was up 25 percent in 2013 to almost $10 billion, compared to about $8 billion in 2012…VC funding in Q4 2013 totaled $87 million in 24 deals compared to $197 million in 28 deals in Q3 2013…Since mid-2012 the new normal for VC funding has been smaller funding quarters and smaller deal sizes…” click here for more


    What Does it Cost to Convert Renewables into Electricity? Study Compares the Cost of Electricity Production from Renewable Energy

    January 27, 2014 (Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy)

    “…[ LeveLized Cost of Electricity Renewable Energy Technologies ] from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE compares the present costs for conversion of different energy forms into electricity and gives a prognosis for the further cost development up to 2030…for new [solar, wind energy, biogas, brown coal, hard coal and gas] power plants constructed in Germany…The study shows that the LCOE from renewables has decreased rapidly over the last years…has even caught up with the generation costs from conventional power plants…[and] the costs to produce electricity from PV and wind will be less than fossil fuel plants by 2030…” click here for more

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014


    Natural Gas isn’t a Bridge Fuel, it’s a Gateway Drug

    John Farrell, January 30, 2014 (Institute for Local Self Reliance/Energy)

    “In his State of the Union, President Obama added to the conventional wisdom that supplanting coal with natural gas will act as a bridge toward a climate solution…Unfortunately, gas is more of a gateway drug than a bridge to a clean energy future…1) It’s still a major greenhouse gas. Sure, natural gas is cleaner than coal, but that’s setting a pretty low bar…2) Gas for electricity competes with gas for heating (and gas for transportation)… 3) In electricity and transportation, we have much cleaner options. If you want a cleaner way to heat your home than natural gas, you’re going to have to pay a lot more. Solar hot water, geothermal, and other renewable options are not yet cost competitive…But in the electricity market, renewables are more cost-effective than natural gas… 4) Building natural gas infrastructure chains us to a carbon-based energy future for 50 years…” click here for more


    Wind farm moves into construction phase

    Kay Nguyen, February 1, 2014 (American News via Aberdeen News)

    "A $160 million wind farm project…has cleared most major hurdles, and construction is ready to begin…Dakota Plains Energy…[acquired some 20,000 acres] and various studies have been underway for about five years…[M]eteorological towers were erected to measure wind speeds….[and preliminary studies looked] at area avian populations, environmental impacts, cultural and archaeological contributions and wetlands…[T]he project will cost about $3 million before the project technically breaks ground…[A permit to get on the power transmission grid was secured and] Basin Electric signed a power purchase agreement…The farm will [have 48 to 50 wind turbines and] produce 98 megawatts…[It] has until the end of 2015 to begin transmitting…Less than 10,000 megawatts of energy is needed to meet consumption needs in South Dakota…Estimates have South Dakota being capable of generating more than 100,000 megawatts using wind…” click here for more


    Industrial Combined Heat and Power; Fuel Cell, Engine, and Turbine Technologies for Cogeneration in Industrial Applications: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…[T]he industrial combined heat and power (CHP) market is capturing renewed interest across all regions. Deployed at small- or large-scale at extraction, processing, and manufacturing sites, industrial CHP systems produce electricity while also capturing heat that would otherwise be treated as waste…North America, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe accounted for 80% of installed capacity worldwide in 2012, but the diversity in fuel use, technology, and end users makes the industrial CHP market highly dynamic across all continents. Although high capital costs and variability across sites restrict market growth, the expansion of low-cost natural gas is lowering the barriers…[and] governments around the world are focusing on increasing subsidies and other incentives…Navigant Research forecasts that total installed industrial CHP capacity will grow from 317.9 GW in 2013 to 483.7 GW in 2023 globally under a base scenario…” click here for more

    Monday, February 3, 2014


    SunPower obtains $220M for residential solar lease financing January 28, 2014 (Seeking Alpha) “BofA/Merrill is providing SunPower (SPWR) with $220M in financing to support residential solar lease projects. The deal comes four months after SPWR scored $100M in residential solar project financing from the Digital Federal Credit Union… The amount of financing available for U.S. residential solar installations has been soaring, aided by the creation of new investment options. SolarCity began selling solar asset-backed debt last year, and recently bought a startup that allows retail investors to finance solar projects…SunPower is moving higher amid a broader solar rally. Q4 results arrive on Feb. 12…” click here for more


    American wind to be stored in Canada

    Susan Kraemer, January 27, 2014 (Wind Energy Update)

    "…[A] proposed transmission line that crosses the international border with Canada has the potential to enable the storage of abundant wind power from the US in a giant hydro ‘battery’ in Manitoba…[Minnesota Power and Manitoba Hydro] have inked a Renewable Optimisation Agreement (ROA) under which electricity from excess wind produced in North Dakota can be stored in Manitoba’s hydro reservoir when loads and prices are low, with the potential for selling that power back onto the huge United States Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) market at times when needs are high…[The two utilities will build and fund] a new 400 mile 500 kV transmission line, with a capacity of 750 megawatts, connecting northeastern Minnesota with Winnipeg, at a cost of $1bn…” click here for more