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Updated: 33 min 8 sec ago

UK Cuts Red Tape for Commercial Rooftop Solar

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 19:25

A change in the rules for permitted development rights in the UK has increased the development threshold for rooftop solar panels on commercial property by a factor of 20. Under the new rules, installations up to 1 MW no longer require full planning permission for development.

Split Decision on Ormat’s Motion to Dismiss Ex-Employees’ Claims of Cash Grant Fraud

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 16:39

The March 24 opinion from the U.S. District Court for Nevada granted in part and denied in part Ormat’s motion to dismiss an action brought by ex-Ormat employees under the False Claims Act. The ex-employees are alleging fraud by Ormat in its preparation of three Section 1603 [hyperlink: appended below] cash grant (Cash Grant) applications for geothermal projects. In theory, either party could appeal, but that seems unlikely.

Focus on Digester Health for Efficient Biogas Operations

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 14:56

Turning organic waste, such as manure, food scraps or expired food products into biogas is a modern type of alchemy that uses process-based technologies including an anaerobic digester, the organic waste feedstock, bacteria and by maintaining the proper temperature and pressure levels.

New York Launches Innovation Lab To Study Renewable Energy and the Advanced Grid

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:26

This week New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the signing of an agreement between the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Polytechnic) that aims “to create a world-class facility devoted to energy technology innovation and the rapid deployment of smart-grid technology to modernize New York's electric grid.”

Clean Energy Makes Up Record Share of UK Power with Coal-to-Biomass Conversions

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:05

U.K. electricity from low-carbon sources accounted for almost a quarter of the country’s generation in the fourth quarter as Drax Group Plc converted a second coal-power plant to burn wood.

Lifting State Limits on Local Power

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:41

In the first half of 2014, distributed local solar power constituted over 25 percent of new power plant capacity. This impressive growth continues several years where solar power has grown by leaps and bounds, producing power right where it's needed and juicing up local economies. But many states have limited how much of their electricity can come

Chart: Every (Solar) Customer Demographic Prefers Email Communications

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:39

Whether you’re marketing to solar installers or consumers, you should probably pay attention to this chart, which reveals that every age demographic overwhelmingly prefers to be contacted by email. From 18-year-olds to retirees above 65, they all want you talking to their inbox, and very few want you talking on the phone. Based on this chart, the b

Biomass Electricity + Carbon Capture = Carbon-Negative Energy

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 13:02

Generating electricity from biomass, such as urban waste and sustainably sourced forest and crop residues, is one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions because it is carbon-neutral: it produces as much carbon as the plants suck out of the atmosphere.

Yingli Joins $1 Club as China Solar Sector Continues Consolidation

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:48

Looming signs of new trouble are brewing in the solar panel sector, with shares of Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) taking a bath after the company reported widening losses and slowing revenue growth. The 15 percent sell-off saw Yingli’s shares re-approach an all-time low from just 2 and a half years ago, as the company joined a small but growing cl

The Renewable Electricity Grid: The Future Is Now

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 13:48

Even a few years ago, renewable energy played only a small role in most countries’ energy planning. While governments and publics were eager to increase the share of renewables in their energy systems, the economics of doing so were challenging. There were also serious concerns about the impact on the electricity grid of adding too much capacity from variable renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

SunEdison Recruits Imergy Flow Batteries for Microgrid Rural Electrification Initiative

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:30

Earlier this year, SunEdison announced a goal to bring power to 20 million people in rural India by 2020. To forward this mission, it announced today that it will use more than 1,000 flow batteries from Imergy Power Systems for its solar-powered minigrid projects.

Middle East Turns to Biofuels Amid Rocky Oil Prices and Environmental Awareness

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:27

Consumers worldwide are witness to the fluctuations in the fuel prices recently and the Middle East is no exception. Why do fuel prices rise and fall so frequently in a region with such huge oil reserves? In the long term, the greatest single factor influencing fuel prices is the cost of crude oil. However, supply, demand and competition can have a significant impact on fuel prices in the short-term.

Cheap Batteries Under the Hood Add Power to Cut Fuel Consumption

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 16:30

Next-generation hybrid cars combining electric and gas power in new ways are emerging as a low-cost alternative for consumers as batteries get cheaper and more efficient.

Engineers Develop New Yeast Strain to Enhance Biofuel and Biochemical Production

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 16:25

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have used a combination of metabolic engineering and directed evolution to develop a new, mutant yeast strain that could lead to a more efficient biofuel production process that would make biofuels more economically competitive with conventional fuels.

Beijing to Shut All Major Coal Power Plants to Cut Pollution

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 15:57

Beijing, where pollution averaged more than twice China’s national standard last year, will close the last of its four major coal-fired power plants next year.

Wind Project Adds 200 Megawatts to Texas Grid

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 15:04

EDF Renewable Energy, a leading power producer in the green energy sector, has announced that its Hereford Wind Project reached commercial operation on December 22nd, 2014. The Hereford Wind Project is a wind power plant located on approximately 15,000 acres in Deaf Smith County southeast of the northern panhandle town of Hereford, Texas. The Heref

Listen Up: Finding an Experienced and Certified Solar Contractor

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 12:15

Every residential solar contractor's website talks about their experience, knowledge of rooftop solar products, and happy customers (full disclosure: including mine). Although many states have licensing requirements for contractors, some of these requirements are not specific to rooftop solar work. So how can you find out if a solar contractor really has the right training for the surgery necessary on your roof?

Hanergy Opens 60 Stores in China to Broaden Solar Sales Channel

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 15:26

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd., the Chinese solar power-equipment maker controlled by billionaire Li Hejun, opened 60 retail stores and “user experience centers” across the nation to boost services, sales and brand recognition.

Building On a Strong Foundation: The Critical Need for Updated Interconnection Policies

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 14:27

Say you’re thinking about adding another story onto an old house. You probably wouldn’t want to start building without first having a structural engineer make some calculations to ensure the house could support the addition. Now keep that image in mind as you consider interconnection policy as one of the main load-bearing walls in our solar market

Ex-Employees Accuse Ormat of Lying to Receive 1603 Cash Grant Awards

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:17

Ormat is a successful developer of geothermal energy projects. Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have qualified for such grants.