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NRG Energy to Build Community Solar Projects in Colorado

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 17:20

NRG Energy Inc. will finance and build one of the nation’s largest community solar networks in Colorado as part of the company’s push into renewable energy.

Can Utility Regulators Provide Leadership on Distributed Renewable Energy?

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 17:10

If you’re like most renewable energy advocates that have interacted with a Public Utilities Commission, you probably don’t think they’re a repository of progressive policy toward distributed renewable energy.  In general, you’re right. But it’s worth sharing a few, promising examples of Public Utilities Commissions around the U.S. that are actually

Solar Outlook 2015: Still Growing, But No Longer Energy’s Young Kid

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 14:28

As journalists we tend to be on high alert for danger signs. Based on what we write, readers might be under the impression that trouble is brewing for solar. Florida killed its rebate! Wisconsin is taxing solar! The federal investment tax credit is shrinking!

Demand Response: A Valuable Tool that Can Help California Realize its Clean Energy Potential

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:54

A tool only has value if it’s used. For example, you could be the sort of person who’s set a goal of wanting to exercise more. If someone gives you a nifty little Fitbit to help you do that, and you never open the box, how useful, then, is this little device? The same is true about smart energy management solutions: good tools exist, but whether it’s calories or energy use that you want to cut, at some point those helpful devices need to be unpacked.

Distributed Bulk Storage: Is This the New Shape of the Grid?

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:43

Central versus distributed storage has been an ongoing debate. Each has its pros and cons. There are instances where the advantage of one over the other is obvious — such as central bulk storage at geological sites where caverns or water reservoirs with different elevations are almost readily available. The real question is: which one would the mar

Brazilian Bank Raises $408 Million for Renewable Energy and Water Projects

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 18:23

The Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco Holding SA raised 1.05 billion reais ($408 million) to finance renewable energy and water treatment projects.

First Week of February is "Solar Education Week"

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 17:31

Across the country, college campuses are diving into sustainability issues: campus divestment movements, solar cars and Mt. Trashmores are just a few examples of how college students are showing the world that millennials are ready to take on the climate challenge. In 2014, RE-volv launched its Solar Ambassador Program, a year-long internship that

Converting Olive Mash into Bio Cash

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 15:56

An experimental system to create heat and power with waste from olive oil processing is up-and-running in Spain. Carina Lagergren, a researcher from Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology, says the system shows a promising way forward for reducing environmental damage and converting organic waste to energy.

Climate Change: The Need for a More Consistent Baseline and Immediate Action

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 14:45

The UN climate conference in Lima set the stage for Paris in 2015. Next year’s accord is to provide a working, albeit not a final, answer to the question: Is it possible to keep global warming at or below the 2 degree Celsius limit? This limit is considered the boundary beyond which the negative climatic, economic and social consequences of climate change are thought to become intolerably severe and potentially irreversible.

There Is Solar, And There Is Solar

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 13:44

There is solar, and there is solar. Centralized solar generation — large fields of solar panels feeding electricity into the grid — must be distinguished from distributed generation, that is, photovoltaics on rooftops. At the public policy level, the distinction between the two options matters, but this, unfortunately, receives insufficient attention.

China Expected to Launch Subsidy for Electric Vehicle Lithium Batteries

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 13:29

China is mulling a policy to provide a subsidy for lithium batteries deployed in electric vehicles. This new favorable policy is expected to propel the development of the country’s electric vehicle sector. China has existing subsidy policies for the sector, but higher prices for the parts used in electric vehicles, in particular lithium batteries, prevent many consumers from purchasing the vehicles.

US To Support India's $160 Billion Solar Energy Push

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 16:53

India’s audacious plan to create a solar industry on the scale of China’s almost from scratch gained credibility with President Barack Obama’s pledge to lend U.S. financial support for the program.

Renewables Innovation Stored Here — Handle With Care

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 15:38

“If you don't like what is being said, then change the conversation” — the writers of Mad Men could have been contemplating renewable energy PR. If someone argues that realizing deep and comprehensive renewable energy deployment hinges on technological revolution, they probably haven’t listened to the likes of Amory Lovins — or browsed the recent I

New California Partnership Launches Statewide PACE Program

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:34

Reducing energy use by enhancing energy efficiency has long been viewed as “low-hanging fruit” in the drive to lower energy bills, boost economic productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Home and property owners, agricultural, commercial and industrial businesses, and energy sector players have been looking for ways to finance and make energy-efficiency upgrades and retrofits more affordable and accessible.

U.S. Wind Power Installations Swelled Sixfold in 2014

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 18:56

Installations of wind power in the U.S. surged sixfold last year, making it the largest market for the technology worldwide after China.

India Clean Energy Investments Rose 13 Percent to $7.9 Billion in 2014

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 18:49

Clean energy investments in India increased to $7.9 billion last year and are expected to surpass $10 billion in 2015.

The Future of Solar in Wisconsin

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 15:58

This past November, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission voted to allow the state’s major utility, Wisconsin Energy to implement a fixed rate increase for of its customers as well as lower the credit for solar that customers receive. The increase is now the highest in the U.S. and will significantly hurt citizen’s property rights as well as slow

Photoessay: A Day in the Life of a Wind Farm Operator

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 15:25

Have you ever wondered what it takes to run a wind farm? You’ve seen all the amazing photos taken from the tops of turbines, but do you know what the technician is actually doing up there?

New York Governor Cuomo Delivers a Sunny 2015 State of the State

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:33

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has quickly become one of our nation’s top 10 solar markets. The state’s growing solar industry employs 5,000 New Yorkers up and down the state, ranking it fifth in the nation for solar jobs. Meanwhile, the landmark NY-Sun Initiative and Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) regulatory process are transforming the energy landscape. New York is already at the forefront of our nation’s clean energy transition, and the solar initiatives included in today’s State of the State address show that Governor Cuomo intends to stay there by further expanding participation in that growing solar economy.

In the Quest to Finance Smaller Commercial Deals, Pipeline is King

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:18

Is the solar industry starting to pay more attention to the commercial solar market? From our vantage point, it seems that way, even if just slightly. We are increasingly being approached by developers looking for ways to finance portfolios of smaller projects, as well as standalone sub-1MW deals. Why are developers going smaller than the tradition