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Updated: 2 hours 39 min ago

UK Low-Carbon Contract Winners Revealed: Wind Scores, Solar Disappoints

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 16:38

The first round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) programme — the UK scheme that is designed to support low-carbon generation and a capacity margin in the energy sector — has concluded. Contracts were offered to 27 renewable electricity projects with a total value of some £315 million (US$500 million), which include two offshore wind farms with a total planned capacity of more than 1.1 GW, 15 onshore wind projects and five solar projects. In total, more 2 GW of new low-carbon capacity (including renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage) could be built under the CfD scheme.

Iberdrola Agrees to Buy UIL for $3 Billion to Expand US Renewable Business

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 16:04

Iberdrola SA, Spain’s largest electricity company, agreed to buy UIL Holdings Corp. in a deal valued at about $3 billion in cash and shares to create a U.S. utility with about 3.1 million customers.

Are Utilities or States the Leaders in Renewable Energy and Efficiency?

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:56

A June 2014 study by Ceres highlighted the top electric utilities for renewable energy and efficiency. In an article discussing the findings, Utility Dive suggested that there are “wide disparities […] in the extent to which electric utilities currently deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency.” To find the source of these disparities, look n

Scientific Research Crucial to Success of New Biofuels Plants

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:14

The U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) played crucial roles in the technology that has led companies DuPont, POET, and Abengoa to open commercial-scale facilities to turn biomass into clean transportation fuels.

Going Solar and Net-Zero: The 21st Century Family Home Project

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 22:20

300 pounds: That’s how much coal was not burned in a distant power plant in December as a result of the solar panels we installed on our house in Wyoming this fall. Being December, it was our lowest monthly generation period, with low sun angles and periodic snow covering our panels. The Copelands’ home solar project. Photo: Creative Energies An as

Vestas, Mitsubishi Settle on Offshore Turbine Design

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:53

In 2014, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)formed a joint venture with Vestas called MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. The strategy behind that joint venture is now substantially clearer. MHI’s decision to stop the commercialization of its 7 MW SeaAngel offshore wind turbine, to focus instead on the Vestas V164-8.0 MW turbine under MHI Vestas Offshore Wind,

Google Invests $300 Million in SolarCity Rooftop Solar Installations

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 16:00

Google Inc. is making its largest bet yet on renewable energy, a $300 million investment to support at least 25,000 SolarCity Corp. rooftop power plants.

The Keystone XL Pipeline: Nobody Won

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 15:57

Left, Right, Left, Right... It's been a long battle. More than five years of bickering by both sides. A Republican-led Congress took office almost two months ago, and they, along with many Democrats, made the XL Pipeline one of their top priorities. Meanwhile, almost no other issues have been discussed, virtually no other legislation has passed. It

Leasing Option Now Available for Solar Plus Flow Battery Energy Storage Systems

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 15:00

The leasing market has been a boon for the solar industry, ramping up residential installations for the past several years and with continued growth expected for the near future. Now the folks at ViZn Energy Systems hope to spark that same success for the energy storage market. ViZn has partnered with equipment leasing and financial services firm LFC Capital Inc. to offer a leasing program for its flow battery energy storage systems that are paired with solar PV installations for commercial and industrial microgrid applications.

How Does The Ban On Incandescent Bulbs Affect Energy Efficiency?

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 13:46

In the near future, you will no longer be able to purchase incandescent bulbs in the supermarket. The United States government has put a ban on the bulbs and the phase out process is now underway. Among the many problems that led to the ban include: The method that powers incandescent bulbs is inefficient. The mechanism that lights up the bulb is a

Listen Up: Combining Solar and Storage for Commercial Buildings

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:32

Homes are billed for electricity based on the amount of energy they consume (measured in kwh). But commercial facilities often get an additional charge for the peak amount of power they consume during each month (measured in kw). These demand charges are designed to compensate the utility for the peak generating capacity that they must provide when large motors, air conditioners and other commercial processes are started up (power draw from motors is highest when the motors start).

European Commission Unveils Draft Energy Strategy

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 20:25

The European Commission has unveiled “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy,” which is a key plank in the development of its plans for Europe’s energy sector through 2030.

In the Time It Takes to Read This Story, A Solar Array Will Go Up Somewhere

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 18:48

Solar is so cheap, the problem now is how to pay for it. Prices for panels are down more than 65 percent in five years, to less than 70 cents a watt. What's next? One word: financing.

The Potential of Nigeria’s Residential Solar Rooftop Systems

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 17:28

The clamour for more stable and reliable electricity supply in Nigeria has been never-ending, particularly for households. The inability for families to consistently enjoy one of the most essential necessities of life in the 21st century has plagued many parts of Africa’s largest economy for too long. And this has had palpable negative impacts on t

Clean Energy Is Just Smart Business for Leaders like Apple and Google

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:07

Apple and Google have changed our lives forever, both because of their technological innovations and sheer size as global corporations. Now, they’re aiming to reshape the energy landscape.

Wave and Tidal Energy in 2015: Finally Emerging from the Labs

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:55

Technologies to harness wave and tidal power have been under development for over 40 years, but up until quite recently the center of technology development has been in Europe, where the resource intensity is greater than the United States’ coasts. However, in an effort to nurture the country’s sector, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Program has invested in a broad portfolio of technologies and Alison Labonte, DOE Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Manager, revealed that it has recently increased its focus on “innovative, game changing technologies that utilize the most abundant marine resources and that have the greatest potential for achieving economic viability.”

Every Solar Company Is a Media Empire, But Few Use It

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:30

Back in 2005, Tom Foremski, the publisher of tech blog Silicon Valley Watcher, famously wrote, “Every company is a media company.” It’s a very profound insight that I think many solar companies take lightly — or completely ignore — so I hope this post will help you realize the potential of the solar media empire at your disposal. First, let’s defin

First Solar and SunPower Plan to Form Joint-Venture Yieldco

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 17:07

First Solar Inc. and SunPower Corp., the two largest U.S. solar-panel manufacturers, are planning a joint venture that will own and operate some of their projects.

Japan Panel Considers 16 Percent Cut for Solar Feed-in Tariff

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 16:38

Japan is considering reducing the incentives for developers of solar power projects by as much as 16 percent to reflect lower operating and maintenance costs.

Navigating the Changing Requirements of PV Interconnection, Operations and Metering

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 16:32

The solar industry is changing rapidly; new policies, regulations and requirements are being implemented at all levels of governance. As PV penetration increases, the need for changes in regulation follows the need for grid safety, stability and increased PV expertise within utilities and grid managers. Examining these trends from a global, nationa

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