NewEnergyNews More: March 2014

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.

  • ---------------
  • Monday, March 31, 2014


    Altus and Macquarie to Finance Land for Wind and Solar Power

    Justin Doom, March 20, 2014 (Bloomberg News)

    “Altus Power America Management LLC, a U.S. renewable-energy investment company, and Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) will invest as much as $100 million in a program to buy land that developers will use for large power projects and lease it back to them...Leasing the land will free up more capital for renewable-power systems…Wind and solar projects qualify for federal tax credits that don’t apply to purchases of the land where they’re built…The first land deal may close as early as the second quarter…The nationwide program will target the U.S. West and Southwest…[Altus] started a fund in November to finance commercial solar projects…” click here for more


    Siemens doubles investment plan for UK wind turbine factory

    Karolin Schaps and Jane Baird, March 25, 2014 (Reuters)

    “German engineering group Siemens said it had doubled the money it plans to invest in building an offshore wind turbine factory and an installation facility in Britain to 160 million pounds ($263.8 million)…Associated British Ports, its partner in the Green Port Hull installation part of the project, will spend another 150 million pounds…The companies expect the two sites to create jobs for up to 1,000 people…[T]he world's top offshore wind turbine maker will start producing nacelles, the engines that power wind farms, and its largest model of offshore wind turbines at 6 megawatts (MW) each, now made in Demark, [in mid-2016] at a new manufacturing plant…Britain wants to defend its spot at the top of the world's offshore wind ranking by supporting the construction of new wind farms through a guaranteed electricity price mechanism…” click here for more


    …Lebanon sitting on extensive geothermal energy

    March 25, 2014 (The Daily Star)

    “…[T]he geothermal energy available in [Lebanon through soon to be available technology] is 1,000 million megawatt hours, which is 70 fold the amount of energy needed in Lebanon per year [according to Energy and Water Minister Arthur Nazarian…The minister underlined the need begin work…as the extraction process takes a long time…Nazarian said that the ideal scenario would be to meet 0.2 percent of Lebanon’s total energy needs with geothermal sources by 2025…[The first step is] to establish a geothermal atlas for the country and estimate the current overall potential of geothermal heat and power generation, and the ability of geothermal power to assist in the objective of the Lebanese government in meeting 12 percent of its total energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2020…[F]ew countries have implemented serious and complete geothermal assessments…” click here for more

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014


    CAISO: Wind, demand response helped avoid February emergency alert

    Christine Cordner, March 21, 2014 (SNL)

    “The California ISO was saved from calling an energy emergency alert in February due to an uptick in wind generation…[C]old weather caused natural gas price spikes and supply curtailments to Southern California generators [Feb. 6]…[N]eeds were met by increased output from northern California generation, higher imports, a Flex Alert call for conservation, and demand response…Demand response played a key role by reducing peak load by approximately 700 MW. In addition, the system benefited from 800 MW of additional wind generation, which started ramping up…just as CAISO was preparing to call a Stage One emergency alert…[G]as incidents are getting closer and closer to the edge [according to CAISO CEO Steve Berberich]…Wind resources provided 40% of total renewable energy in 2013, up from 38% in 2012, while solar resources provided 17% in 2013, up from 8% in 2012…[Geothermal] provided 27% of CAISO's renewable energy tally…[S]olar is expected to increase its share in 2014…” click here for more


    Masdar versus Spain: say adios to CSP investors? Spain’s administration seems unperturbed at the growing queue for arbitration over loss of CSP earnings. But it may need to think twice about wooing foreign investors in future.

    Heba Hashem/Jason Deign, March 21, 2014 (CSP Today)

    “Spain’s ability to attract future CSP investors looks increasingly in doubt as the number of international backers embarking on arbitration proceedings grows…Abu Dhabi’s leading clean energy player, Masdar, became the fourth international CSP investor to present a claim against Spain at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), for loss of earnings caused by policy changes…Masdar has investments in three CSP projects in Spain, including Torresol Energy’s landmark Gemasolar plant, which was opened in October 2011…Since then, however, relations between the two countries appear to have soured…[because of reduced] support schemes that originally attracted foreign investors…” click here for more


    EDF Curbs Nuclear Generation to Allow for Wind and Solar on Grid

    Tara Patel, March 19, 2014 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    “Electricite de France SA, the world’s biggest nuclear operator, is having to cut production from its reactors to accommodate higher European wind and solar output, potentially curbing future earnings from atomic power…The utility, whose 58 French reactors account for about three-quarters of the country’s electricity production, can lower the output of a 1,000-megawatt plant by four-fifths in about 20 minutes…France’s nuclear fleet was designed to provide baseload power, or electricity generated around the clock. As European countries add more renewable sources such as wind and solar parks, plants that produce atomic or fossil-fueled power are having to suspend output to avoid overloading the grid…Each of EDF’s reactors can book about 200 million euros ($278 million) a year in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Miniere said. The utility has earmarked 55 billion euros to invest through 2025 on maintaining and improving the safety of atomic plants.” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014


    Wind Industry’s New Technologies Are Helping It Compete on Price

    Diane Cardwell, March 21, 2014 (NY Times)

    “The wind industry... is reaching for the sky. With new technology allowing developers to build taller machines spinning longer blades, the industry has been able to produce more power at lower cost by capturing the faster winds that blow at higher places like Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, where the price of power from turbines built 300 feet to 400 feet above the ground can now compete with conventional sources like coal…[And] a start-up called Altaeros Energies is preparing to introduce BAT — or Buoyant Airborne Turbine — the enormous, white helium-filled doughnut surrounding a rotor will float about 1,000 feet in the air and feed enough electricity to power more than a dozen homes through one of the cables tethering it to the ground…” click here for more


    A new sunrise for CSP in Section 1703 loan guarantees? U.S. loan guarantees for renewable energy ended in 2011. Or did they?

    Heba Hashem/Susan Kraemer, March 21, 2014 (CSP Today)

    “…Energy Secretary Moniz declared that the Loan Programs Office (LPO) has remaining loan-guarantee authority – of $40 billion…[R]enewable energy loan guarantees under new funding of Section 1705 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act…[gave] birth to the giant new Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) projects in the US that are just starting to tumble past the finish post four years later. Solana and Ivanpah are now in operation. Crescent Dunes and Mojave are close behind…[D]espite the success of almost 100% of all the loan-guaranteed projects…Section 1705 was allowed to sunset [because of one bad renewable loan, Solyndra]…Energy Secretary Moniz referenced is the first funding under a different authority of the 2005 Energy Policy Act - Section 1703…The DOE is now preparing to offer new loan guarantees…[of $1.5 billion to up to $4 billion] for renewable energy loan guarantees…These funds will be for innovative projects that employ new or significantly improved energy technologies…” click here for more


    High-Bay Lighting; Energy Efficient Lighting and Lighting Controls for Warehouse, Industrial, Sporting, Retail, and Transportation Facilities

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “High-bay lighting must meet the stringent demands of illuminating spaces from afar while minimizing contrast, reducing glare, and in many cases meeting strict safety and hazardous environment requirements. Until very recently, light-emitting diode (LED) technology was not able to meet these requirements, at least not at a reasonable price. In 2013, however, several high-bay LED products were launched that provide exceptional quality in a price range that allows for acceptable paybacks from energy savings…Navigant Research forecasts that global sales of high-bay luminaires and lamps will peak at almost $17.0 billion in 2017 and then decline to $15.9 billion in 2021…” click here for more

    Monday, March 24, 2014


    In February, Solar + Wind = 81% of New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity; Renewable Sources Provide 92% of New Capacity for First Two Months of 2014

    Ken Bossong, March 21, 2014 (FERC via SUNDAY Campaign)

    “According to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, wind and solar provided 80.9% of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity for the month of February. Five new ‘units’ of wind provided 99 MW while 12 units of solar provided 92%. In addition, one new unit of natural gas provided 45 MW…For the first two months of 2014, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) accounted for 91.9% of the 568 MW of new domestic electrical generating installed. Coal, oil, and nuclear provided none while natural gas and 1 MW of ‘other’ provided the balance…Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, now account for 16.14% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity…” click here for more


    Turbine Tech Advances Played Key Role In U.S. Wind Power Growth, Cost Decline

    March 14, 2014 (North American Windpower)

    “…[O]ver the past five years, U.S. wind energy capacity grew from 25 GW to over 61 GW, a 140% growth rate, yet electricity generated from these wind turbines grew at a rate of 200%, exceeding capacity growth and making wind energy cheaper than ever…[T]he increasing performance and production of wind turbines is the result of technological innovation and operational improvements [allowing taller towers and longer blades], which have effectively driven down the costs and allowed development to occur in lower wind speed regions…” click here for more


    Nanogrids; Grid-Tied and Remote Commercial, Residential, and Mobile Distribution Networks: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “Nanogrids are modular building blocks for energy services that support applications [serving a single building or a single load] ranging from emergency power for commercial buildings to the provision of basic electricity services for people living in extreme poverty…[S]ubstantial deployments of nanogrids [with less technical and regulatory barriers than microgrids] are already in place…Nanogrids can be synergistic with the growing movement toward enhancing resiliency and therefore complement microgrids, but there are times and situations when microgrids and nanogrids will be competing…Bosch, Eaton, Emerson Network Power, Johnson Controls, and NRG Energy [are working the nanogrid market]. Navigant Research forecasts that global nanogrid vendor revenue will grow from $37.8 billion in 2014 to $59.5 billion in 2023…” click here for more

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014


    SolarCity Offering Services Through Select Best Buy Stores

    13 March 2014 (Solar Industry)

    “SolarCity is now offering its services at approximately 60 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New York and Oregon…A SolarCity representative at each participating Best Buy location will be able to provide Best Buy customers with a satellite-based assessment of their home's solar power potential…[T]he two companies have agreed to share [undisclosed percentages of the] revenue on solar sales made through this channel…[Through this and its Home Depot partnership, SolarCity] is attempting to counter public perception that installing solar panels is complicated and costly…As a promotion, SolarCity will give customers a $100 Best Buy gift card if they sign up for a solar installation through Best Buy before Earth Day - April 22.” click here for more


    Ohio Environmental Groups Back Icebreaker Offshore Wind Project

    March 17, 2014 (Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation)

    “…[S]everal key environmental groups support Icebreaker™, the 6-turbine offshore wind pilot project in Lake Erie that would be the first of its kind in the Great Lakes…The Ohio Environmental Council, The Nature Conservancy, Environment Ohio, The Sierra Club, Mom’s Clean Air Force, Ohio Interfaith Power & Light, and Earth Day Coalition [hailed] Icebreaker as a responsible first step toward building a new clean energy industry in Ohio…[Letters from the groups] were included in recently filed permit applications…[that] also included an environmental assessment determining that the pilot project poses no significant risk to the birds and bats that frequent the area…[T]he Great Lakes region holds over 700 GW (seven hundred billion watts) of offshore wind power potential and is the most dependent region in the country on electricity from coal fired power plants…” click here for more


    FERC Signs Off On Coordinated Transaction Scheduling For PJM And NYISO

    March 17, 2014 (Renew Grid)

    “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved tariff revisions for the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and PJM Interconnection that PJM says will help improve scheduling of wholesale electricity sales between the two regions…[The approval of the] coordinated transaction scheduling (CTS) will help enable PJM and NYISO to make more efficient use of the transmission lines that connect the two regions…[T]echnical enhancements include increasing the frequency of scheduling energy transactions over the transmission network between the two regions and implementing software changes to enable the two grid operators to coordinate their selection of the most economic transactions…Implementation of CTS is scheduled for November…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014


    Predicting Solar Power Production: Irradiance Forecasting Models, Applications and Future Prospects

    March 2014 (Solar Electric Power Association)

    “…Grid integration studies of variable generation resources, including wind and solar, conclude that it is technically feasible for these resources to provide a significant portion of the nation’s energy needs at manageable costs. These studies recommend operational strategies and market structure changes needed to address increased levels of uncertainty that high-penetration of renewable resources presents to utility companies and grid operators due to their intermittent nature. The use of advanced forecasting of variable generation is one of these essential strategies. Forecasts of future solar energy system output allows grid operators and utilities to proactively manage variable output, and thus integrating solar resources into the existing grid at lower costs to society…” click here for more


    Wind power less harmful to wildlife

    Elliott Negin, March 12, 2014 (Letters to the Editor/Washinton Times)

    "In its zeal to denigrate wind energy, The Washington Times editorial board seems to have ignored some key facts about the threat posed by coal and other traditional energy sources to wildlife…First, one of the biggest threats to wildlife is global warming [driven by burning fossil fuels like coal]…Wind energy, conversely, produces no carbon-dioxide emissions…Second, older U.S. coal, natural-gas and nuclear-power plants…draw hundreds of millions (in some cases billions) of gallons of water daily…[that kills] at least a billion fish, crabs and shrimp annually…[Finally, as] many as 970 million birds crash into [buildings] annually…[A]s many as 175 million birds die by flying into power lines, 72 million are poisoned by misapplied pesticides, nearly 6.6 million perish by hitting communications towers and as many as 1 million die in oil and gas industry fluid-waste pits…[while U.S. land-based wind turbines] were responsible for an estimated 573,000 bird deaths in 2012…All electrical generation has an impact on the environment. Wind power happens to be one of the most benign…” click here for more


    Smart Cities: Asia Pacific; Markets, Technology, and Regional Development of Information Technology for Urban Growth: City and Supplier Profiles, Market Analysis, and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    "…Working with an evolving mix of international and regional smart city technology firms, Asia Pacific governments are piloting a variety of [networks of intelligent technologies] to solve urban problems, reduce urban energy and resource use, and prepare for future growth…[T]he group of solutions providers is growing and diversifying as Chinese and Indian firms adopt smart city strategies and expand out of their home markets, joining Japanese, South Korean, and international technology firms already active across the region. Navigant Research forecasts that annual smart city technology investment in Asia Pacific will almost quadruple by 2023, reaching $11.3 billion…” click here for more

    Monday, March 17, 2014


    How Many Studies Will It Take Before People Believe Wind Farms Don’t Harm Property Values?

    Mike Barnard, March 10, 2014 (Clean Technica)

    “Nine major and statistically reliable studies covering roughly 270,000 property transactions by different respected and independent organizations in three different countries spread over fifteen years have found no correlation between operating wind turbines and negative property values…[and] three found slight but statistically insignificant improvements…[Another] low reliability study — due to small available sample size — in Australia found no impacts as well…[Only] two moderately reliable studies with some statistical significance found property value impacts, and they are both challenged in different ways. Five other often referenced studies are merely case studies with no statistical significance…The evidence for property value impacts is very weak in comparison to the evidence for lack of harm…[E]very robust study finds that there is no correlation between sales prices and nearby wind farms, and the most recent studies show that there is no impact on rate of sales of properties…” click here for more


    Why Is SunPower Planning To Issue Solar Asset-Backed Bonds?

    March 13, 2014 (Trefis via Seeking Alpha)

    "SunPower (SPWR), one of North America's largest solar companies, intends to issue bonds backed by solar assets later this year…We believe that the bonds, which will be backed by solar leases, could potentially allow the company to tap into a cheaper and potentially larger pool of capital, allowing it to grow its residential solar leasing business…Project financing has proven to be a significant obstacle for solar companies in the past…[but increasing acceptance of solar power has] made solar assets increasingly attractive…[Asset-backed securities pool together power purchase agreements from utility scale plants or residential solar leases, and pass on the payments from these assets to debt investors…SolarCity, a solar system installer, successfully closed a $54 million private placement of bonds backed by residential and commercial solar power contracts in November 2013…” click here for more


    Geothermal Industry Endorses Salton Sea Initiative

    March 14, 2014 (Geothermal Energy Association)

    “The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) [and other influential groups have endorsed]…the Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative…According to the Imperial Irrigation District (IID)…the Salton Sea Restoration & Renewable Energy Initiative…will leverage funds generated by new renewable energy projects located at the Sea to help finance activities for air quality management and habitat restoration…[The initiatives would create] thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs [as well as provide] consumers affordable, long-term electric price stability through a renewable baseload fuel supply that does not fluctuate; and…[enhance] environmental quality and…species habitat conservation…GEA recently issued a status report on California’s geothermal resources that says they are still largely untapped…[and] the best opportunity for growth in California in the near term…” click here for more

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014


    California ISO breaks new solar production record; Connected solar and wind renewables surpass 11,000 megawatts to help light up the Golden State

    March 10, 2014 (California Independent System Operator)

    “Solar power production hit a new record of 4,093 megawatts on Saturday, March 8, 2014. The previous record was 3,926 megawatts (MW) set the previous day on March 7. Electricity generated from solar has more than doubled from [ the 2,071 MW peak of] June 7, 2013…The new record generation can instantaneously power about 3 million homes…[Wind resources of 5,890 MW and solar resources of 5,231 MW] now account for 11,121 MW interconnected to the ISO grid…[and] all renewables (including geothermal) make up about 15,000 MW of the ISO generation mix. The current wind production record stands at 4,302 MW set June 23, 2013…” click here for more


    American wind power reaches major power generation milestones in 2013

    March 56, 2014 (American Wind Energy Association)

    "American wind power topped 4 percent of the U.S. power grid for the first time last year and has delivered 30 percent of all new generating capacity for the last five years. In Iowa and South Dakota, wind power now exceeds 25 percent of total electricity production. In nine states it provided more than 12 percent and in 17 states, more than five percent…Wind power generated 4.13 percent of all the electricity in America in 2013 as the fifth largest electricity source in the U.S., according to the latest data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). That is enough to power the equivalent of 15.5 million American homes…” click here for more


    Asset Management and Condition Monitoring; Grid Sensors and Software Solutions for Transmission and Distribution Networks: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…[W]ith the advent of the smart grid – and the deployment of communications networks that enable advanced metering infrastructure and distribution automation programs – the inclusion of sensing or monitoring is starting to make more economic sense…Asset management and condition monitoring (AMCM) solutions encompass physical devices that may share real-time or near real-time data with the operations center…[and software and analytics solutions]… The benefits of more refined grid operations are increasingly recognized, not only by financial stakeholders, but also by regulatory bodies concerned with electric rates for customers and the reliability and efficiency of the power grid overall…Navigant Research forecasts that the global market for AMCM devices and solutions will more than triple between 2014 and 2023 to nearly $6.9 billion…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014


    National Poll Finds American Homeowners Overwhelmingly Want Energy Choice; Data reveals vast majority of Americans support renewables, 73 percent open to receiving clean energy from a provider other than their utility

    March 10, 2014 (Clean Edge, Inc. and SolarCity)

    “…[A]n inaugural national poll of U.S. homeowners regarding clean-energy products and services…found that a majority of homeowners, 69 percent, want more choices when it comes to their energy and electricity supply…U.S. Homeowners on Clean Energy: A National Survey…confirmed that a significant majority of Americans (88 percent of homeowners) support renewable energy…[62 percent were] interested in solar for their own homes…Less than half of all homeowners nationally understand that solar power is more affordable today than it was three years ago, despite the reality that prices for solar panels have dropped by more than half over this time period, and solar electricity prices can beat utility rates in a growing number of locations…73 percent of homeowners also said they would welcome clean energy provided by an entity other than their utility…[and three out of four poll respondents said] utilities should not be allowed to enforce restrictions on on-site energy systems…” click here for more


    Vermont loves renewable energy, until it arrives; Some green energy projects run into strong opposition

    Dave Gram, March 3, 2014 (Burlington Free Press)

    “Getting energy from the sun, wind and forests fits with Vermont’s sense of itself as clean, green and independent. But when it comes time to build and live with the projects that make it possible, things can get complicated…The state’s own comprehensive energy plan contemplates a future of electric cars and renewable sources providing 90 percent of its energy needs. And Vermont was recently rated No. 1 in solar industry jobs per capita…But strong opposition from citizens’ groups to a wind-power project in Lowell, the recent vote by property owners to reject a proposed wind farm in northeastern Vermont, and a ruling by state regulators against a proposed wood-burning power plant in southern Vermont have some questioning the state’s willingness to turn talk into action…” click here for more


    Stationary Fuel Cells; Fuel Cells for Prime Power, Large CHP, Residential CHP, and UPS Applications: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…[T]he use of fuel cells as small distributed power plants for grid stabilization or backup is moving forward faster than any other [fuel cell] sector in terms of megawatts…Since different countries are facing different pain points, in terms of power and power availability, the adoption costs of distributed generation (DG) technologies, including fuel cells, are also different. The core application segments of prime power, large combined heat and power (CHP), residential CHP (resCHP), and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) continue to grow, albeit at different paces…[J]ust 20 key system players accounted for over 95% of revenue at the end of 2013. Navigant Research forecasts that global stationary fuel cell revenue will grow from $1.4 billion in 2013 to $40.0 billion in 2022…” click here for more

    Monday, March 10, 2014


    Batteries May Vie With U.S. Oil Boom as Energy Changer

    Bradley Olson and Mark Chediak, March 5, 2014 (Bloomberg News)

    “The rapid development of rooftop solar and battery storage technology could be as transformative to the economy and modern life as the U.S. oil and gas boom, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said…Batteries allow customers with solar panels to store energy during the day and then tap the excess overnight when the sun goes down. The widespread use of electric vehicles could reshape the development of cities, and applying the same battery storage technology to transform the U.S. energy system has [‘huge potential’]…Battery storage advances could threaten the 100-year-old monopoly utility business model that books about $360 billion in annual power sales. An increasing number of customers are reducing their dependence on the grid, turning to solar panels and battery storage as a way to reduce their bills…” click here for more


    Green-energy activists target Cuomo energy plan

    Mark Harrington, March 3, 2014 (Long Island Newsday)

    “Green-energy advocates…[say New York State's recently released energy plan] draft proposal falls far short of what's needed to help stem a climate crisis…Advocates for wind and solar power, geothermal heating systems and electric cars -- and even a white-roof advocate -- joined with opponents of natural gas hydrofracking in calling on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to do significantly more to turn the state away from dependence on fossil fuels…The draft state energy plan refers often to the need for more clean-energy sources, and envisions public-private partnerships to…cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050…[But New Energy advocates] said goals need to be more aggressive…” click here for more


    Energy Management in the Hospitality Industry; Hardware, Software, and Services for Energy Management Systems for Hotel Guest Rooms and Common Areas: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…The real vendor opportunity and associated market growth for hotel guest room energy management systems (GR-EMSs) lies in…networked systems with data aggregation, analysis, and reporting…via a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based service and consulting offering, as well as through follow-on operational services such as property-wide monitoring and remote energy management. Vendors will increasingly be taking a holistic view of a hotel’s entire energy ecosystem: energy acquisition and supply management, energy usage, efficiency tuning, comparative benchmarking and trends analysis, system improvement recommendations, periodic recommissioning, and so on. Navigant Research forecasts that the global market for GR-EMSs and enterprise-level energy management software in the hospitality sector will reach $967.9 million in 2020, up from $445.5 million in 2012…” click here for more

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014


    IEA: Expanding wind and solar power does not mean additional costs; Transformation of power systems is needed to guarantee long-term flexibility, offering huge advantage for emerging economies

    Will Nichols, 28 February 2014 (Business Green)

    …[The Power of Transformation from the International Energy Agency (IEA) concludes any] country can integrate high levels of wind and solar power into their national energy grids at ‘little additional long-term cost’ if the network is sufficiently flexible…[C]ountries seeking to source 30 per cent of their power from renewables would see total system costs increase by no more than $6 per megawatt hour – or about seven per cent – above a zero renewables scenario…A higher share of 45 per cent, comprised of 15 per cent solar and 30 per cent onshore wind, would increase system costs by $11/MWh, which equates to somewhere between a 10 per cent and 15 per cent increase in system costs…[T]he key to incorporating high levels of wind and solar is to use renewable energy to support the grid, while investing in additional flexible generating capacity, such as hydro and modern gas plants, and improving the overall operation of electricity market…” click here for more


    China Gives Initial Approval to Increase Wind-Power Capacity 36%

    February 28, 2014 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    "China, already the world’s biggest wind-power market, gave conditional approval for construction of 27.6 gigawatts of new projects. That would increase the country’s installed capacity about 36 percent if all were built…The National Energy Administration today listed projects that it said should be given final approval…provided transmission grids can handle the new flows and there is sufficient consumer demand. Those proposals not meeting the conditions must be canceled, the NEA said…Since the agency tightened the approval process in 2011, it has given a green light to more than 110 gigawatts of wind power projects… Demi Zhu, a Beijing-based analyst from Bloomberg New Energy Finance…expects the nation to add 14.7 gigawatts of wind power this year, compared with 14 gigawatts estimated for 2013…The plan excludes Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan, where the grid has been overloaded…” click here for more


    Troubled Times Ahead For First Solar?

    Ayush Singh, March 3, 2014 (Seeking Alpha)

    "After putting in a terrific performance in 2013, First Solar (FSLR) is having a torrid time this year. The company's shares slid around 9% when it announced financial results for the fourth quarter…as a result of a decline in revenue from utility-scale power plants…[T]he company's outlook also fell below expectations…But, since First Solar is a strong player in [the growing solar] arena, is it a good long-term buy?...First Solar reached a new milestone of 20.4% CdTe cell efficiency, breaking the record of 19.6% set by GE Global Research in 2013…[and CdTe photovoltaic performance is outpacing] the trajectory of conventional silicon technologies…First Solar's average cost per watt declined to $0.63 from $0.70 in 2012. Average efficiency rose to 13.2% in 2013 from 12.6% in 2012…[and globally, pipeline] bookings rose to 2.7GW DC in 2013…First Solar is a profitable company, but…I will recommend investors to stay clear of this stock till the company finds a solution for its low efficiency modules…[I]nvestors looking to benefit from solar's growth should consider other stocks such as SunEdison (SUNE) or SolarCity (SCTY)…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014


    Google and 3TIER Give the World Universal Access to Global Wind and Solar Resource Potential; 3TIER’s global wind and solar datasets now freely available through Google’s popular platform

    February 27, 2014 (3TIER)

    "…[3TIER will release the] wind and solar annual averages from its global datasets as part of Google’s Map Gallery launch…[making access to wind and solar resource information] freely available to both researchers and the general public in Google’s popular and widely used platform…[A]ccess to high quality global wind and solar resource information from a reliable, consistent source was not an option for most people. This information is vital to a wide variety of fields, from energy development, infrastructure, efficiency, and policy planning to agriculture and conservation. However, it is often beyond the budgets of the non-profits, NGO’s, and public agencies conducting this important research…Each [3TIER] dataset offers annual average values created using proven, widely-accepted scientific techniques and derived from long-term historical weather models of 10 or more years at high spatial and temporal resolutions…” click here for more


    University of Delaware Leads New Effort to Catalyze U.S. Offshore Wind

    February 25, 2014 (North American Windpower)

    "The University of Delaware (UD) is leading an effort to spark conversation and action among government and industry in hopes of advancing the embryonic U.S. offshore wind industry...[T]he Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) will serve as an independent catalyst for offshore wind development and add momentum to a promising industry that is at a critical juncture. The non-commercial offshore wind program is designed to draw together critical information on cutting-edge technologies, financing and collaboration opportunities...[T]he SIOW will be national in scope and already is playing a key role in major projects to harness the vast East Coast and Great Lakes wind resources...SIOW will also aim to connect states with international experts - especially in Europe, where more than 2,000 wind turbines are now installed and grid connected in 11 countries...[T]he effort has the support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which will provide $250,000 in seed funding..." click here for more


    Energy Efficient Buildings: Asia Pacific; Advanced HVAC, Energy Efficient Lighting, Building Automation Systems, and ESCOs in Existing Buildings and New Construction: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    1Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    "Asia Pacific represents a major portion of global real estate, with about 40% of the world’s building stock. Commercial buildings are high energy consumers in Asia Pacific, and the region’s buildings sector is expanding at rates unmatched in the rest of the world…[C]onstruction firms, building owners and managers, and government bodies are devoting more and more attention to the potential savings that can be achieved with new technologies to monitor and control energy use in buildings…Navigant Research forecasts that annual revenue from energy efficient building technology and services in Asia Pacific will grow from $45.5 billion in 2013 to $91.6 billion by 2022…” click here for more

    Monday, March 3, 2014


    How Texas Made Wind Energy a Real Player

    Mike Jacobs, February 27, 2014 (Union of Concerned Scientists)

    “…The grid operator in Texas, ERCOT, says agreements are already done for 7,500 MW of new wind power, most of which will be using [newly completed] transmission lines by 2016. That will put installed Texas wind around 20,000 MW…Texas wind is already twice as big as the next largest wind states, California and Iowa…ERCOT’s winter demand for electricity can hit 57,000 MW, and summer demand peaks upwards of 68,000 MW…[O]n Christmas Day, 2013, wind supplied 26 percent of ERCOT’s electricity use. On January 29, 2013, Texas wind power produced 32 percent of total electricity needed…[This story] of collective action, mandated by the Texas state legislature...started with the Texas RPS law, signed by Governor Bush. Once Texans found wind could be profitable, the legislature [eight years ago] raised the RPS and set out [the] transmission planning-and-building requirement known as CREZ…” click here for more


    THiNKnrg Installs One of the Largest Solar Rooftops in Palo Alto at the Oshman Family JCC Using Trina Solar’s Trinasmart Modules; 397.5 kW rooftop solar installation to save JCC over $1.5 million over 20 years, reducing carbon footprint of LEED certified campus by 9,500 tons

    February 25, 2014 (THiNKnrg)

    “Palo Alto’s second largest solar roof system has been installed at the Oshman Family JCC (OFJCC) campus…Developed through a partnership with THiNKnrg, the 397.5 kW system is also the largest installation of Trinasmart solar panels to date…[with] 1,840 solar panels spread across the rooftops of the 12 buildings…[It] was financed by a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which required no capital cost to the OFJCC and utilized all available incentives. Conergy, a leading global solar photovoltaic downstream company, along with its owner Kawa Capital Management, structured the PPA to supply the OFJCC with renewable energy at less than half the current energy rate. The campus is expected to save $26,000 in the first year and an estimated $1.5 million in energy savings over the 20-year contract. The solar roof system will supply approximately 20 percent of the OFJCC’s energy needs… generate 616,920 kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduce the TKCJL’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of growing over 223,000 tree seedlings or removing 1,814 passenger cars…” click here for more


    AeroVironment Initiative to Educate Consumers on EVs and EV Charging Through Online Course

    February 27, 2014 (AeroVironment, Inc.)

    “…[ AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV)] is working with KnowWhatYouDrive on an initiative to help consumers learn about how electric vehicles and charging systems work…[A free] online course explains the differences between electric vehicles [and] types of charging…[and an electric vehicle IQ test offers] $25, $50, or $100 coupon codes for an electric vehicle charging station and installation…” click here for more