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Top 10 Trends in Brazil Biofuels for 2014

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:00

Brazil’s on the move on a number of fronts — sales, diversification of products and feedstocks, and even in engine development. Let’s look at the Top 10 Trends.

Ukraine Seeks Renewable Energy Investors to Loosen Russia’s Grip

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 19:41

Ukrainian officials say they’ve found a way to protect the nation from Russia: Go green.

10 Charts that Reveal the Potential ROI for Solar Blogging

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 17:47

I know I write a lot about how solar companies can blog effectively, but I still see few companies truly embracing blogging. Perhaps that’s because solar marketers want to show their CEOs some objective stats that show how blogging can be effective, and not a waste of time and resources. And that’s where HubSpot, a popular inbound (content) marketi

Listen Up: What Legal Issues Do Solar Contractors Face?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 07:00

As in most industries, attorneys are an indispensable part of doing business. We have the usual host of "ordinary course of business" legal issues such as contracts, employment law, financing and M&A. But we also must comply with a blizzard of regulatory and incentives requirements — as well as more specialized transaction issues related to solar leases and PPAs, warranties, insurance, licensing and manufacturing.

Building-Integrated Solar Air Heating Systems Proving Popular

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:02

For some parts of the United States, such as Upper Michigan, the winter of 2013-14 was the coldest in recorded history. In Marquette, for example, the average temperature was a tundra-like 7.5 degrees. Well, what if I told you that it’s possible to cut your building’s energy use (in some cases by up to half), while protecting the environment, too?

China Solar: New Yingli Fund Evokes Shades of Suntech Failings

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:52

I wrote earlier this week about troublesome signs for the solar panel sector’s fledgling recovery after a revenue warning from Trina (NYSE: TSL), and now we’re seeing another worrisome signal with news that Yingli (NYSE: YGE) is launching a new fund to build solar power plants. This kind of scheme looks eerily similar to one that kicked off the dow

SolarCity Resumes Storage Applications After California Decision

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:55

SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. solar-power provider by market value, will resume applications to connect energy-storage systems in California after regulators said they’re exempt from utility fees.

Examining the Challenges Faced by the CSP Industry

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:41

Pragmatic discussions about the financial viability of concentrated solar power (CSP) abound. The oft-dismissed redheaded step child of the solar industry, CSP’s relegation to the recycle heap of history is seen by many to be a foregone conclusion due to its inherently high cost. But is CSP destined to play Betamax to PV’s VHS? Or will foreign countries like Spain — which presently boasts one of the highest numbers of CSP plants in the world — demonstrate that CSP’s ability to be coupled with storage makes it an alternative energy worth pursuing? Let’s examine some of the inherent challenges faced by the proverbial underdog of the renewable energy world.

Crowdfunding Solar with a Twist — A Revolving Fund to Serve Communities

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:49

  According to Bloomberg News last week, crowdfunding solar could become a $5 billion investment vehicle in the next 5 years. This exciting development will connect people who want to invest their money responsibly with solar projects that need financing. SolarCity, the biggest U.S. solar power provider by market value, is getting into the space pr

Utility Nightmares: Distributed Generation and Halving Electricity Consumption

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:06

While many utility executives attribute much of their predicted market challenges to the rise of photovoltaics and net metering, they actually have much more to worry about.

Clean Energy Investment Rises 9 Percent, Led by Solar-Power Demand

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:31

Clean energy investment rose by 9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier on surging demand for rooftop solar panels from the U.S. to Japan.

How One State’s Net Metering Expansion Offers a Model to the Nation

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:29

While battles rage with utilities taking on both solar customers and businesses around the country, Vermont has quietly expanded its net metering program by nearly four-times without so much as a skirmish. Net metering gives renewable energy customers full, fair credit on their utility bills for the excess clean power they deliver to the grid. Verm

Run-of-River Hydropower Market Worth $1.4 Billion in 10 Years, Says Tocardo

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:18

Tocardo International BV, a Dutch maker of turbines that generate power from water, said the market for installing its devices in rivers may be worth as much as 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in 10 years’ time.

Where’s the Heat? Geothermal Industry Seeks Resource Assessment Tools to Spur Development

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:03

Commissioning a geothermal project is no easy task. Of all the renewable energy technologies, it has one of the longest project lead times – it can take an average of eight years from start to finish. Due to its heavy front-end expense, developers must be as certain as possible that they are spending time and money on a viable resource. So when drilling through hot rock, imagine the developer’s surprise — and utter disappointment — when equipment suddenly melts away after hitting magma.

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:05

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared war on this “value of solar” policy, and pretty much every financial model for

CEO of German Utility RWE Says It Should Have Invested in Renewable Energy Sooner

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:46

What’s a beleaguered utility to do when forced by the government to close its profitable nuclear power plants?

Turning the Tide on Barrage Technology

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:31

For countless centuries the power of the tides has been known and understood. It is perhaps remarkable that this prodigious energy been used to generate electricity only within the last half a century. In a bid to rectify this apparent omission, over recent years significant research and development dollars have been ploughed into the development of numerous novel marine hydrokinetic technologies, such as tidal current turbines, which are only now emerging commercially.

Distributed Generation Shines in Thailand

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:30

Electricity generation today is moving towards a more decentralised model where generation is close to demand. Possible benefits are diminished transmission and distribution losses and investments, improved energy efficiency, and increased security of supply. Implementing a large central power plant is extremely challenging in terms of site availability, as well as public concern about environmental issues.

When Renewables Meet the Oil and Gas Industry, Opposites Attract

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:11

At first glance, pairing renewable energy with the oil and gas sector would seem an unlikely match. But behind the curtain, romance could be blooming.

Trina Warning Foreshadows China's Solar Gloom

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 15:14

After watching their shares and prospects soar over the past year, solar stocks are suddenly hitting a cloudy patch as investors anxiously wait for most companies to return to the profit column following a two-year sector downturn. That wait may have just gotten a lot longer, following a warning from Trina Solar(NYSE: TSL) that it will fall far sho

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