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Updated: 15 hours 51 min ago

US Solar Celebrates Records in 2013, Big Trends Coming in 2014

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 00:02
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSolar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the U.S. topped 4.78 GW in 2013, an increase of 41 percent over 2012, according to the annual market review and outlook published today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research. The industry won't quite maintain that torrid pace in 2014, but watch for progress on a number of important fronts, from long-anticipated investment innovation to a rebound in the midsize project sector to addressing changes to federal investment tax credits. /p

Manitoba Hydro Signs PPAs with Wisconsin Power to Help Hydro Projects

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:24
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pManitoba Hydro announced late last week that it has inked two major power sales with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG)./p

Five Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas in Minnesota is Just the Beginning

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:15
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSolar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a more cost-effective resource than natural gas to meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs. The energy media were aflutter for weeks, but many missed the bigger significance. If solar trumps gas for peaking/p

Floating Wind Farms Venture Farther Out to Sea

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 07:50
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThere’s roughly enough wind off the West Coast to power all of the United States. Alla Weinstein is determined to harness as much of it as she can. Weinstein is chief executive officer of Principle Power, a Seattle company that has developed a ballast system that buoys wind turbines so they don’t have to be bolted to the seabed. On Feb. 5, Principle received approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to build a 30-megawatt floating wind farm off Oregon’s coast, the nation’s first in the Pacific Ocean. /p

SunEdison Launches Yieldco to Unearth, Leverage Solar Asset Values

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:33
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSix weeks into the new year and we're already seeing another example of anticipated innovations in renewable energy finance: SunEdison's planned "yieldco" IPO aimed at unlocking the true value of its solar energy assets, and using them to tap into the power of big capital markets. /p

U.K. Wind Expansion Scrapped on Concern Birds May Be Harmed

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 10:50
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThree utilities scrapped plans to extend the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, saying they had doubts they could satisfy concerns about how the facility would affect the habitat of a bird in the estuary east of London./p

Postcard From the Future of Energy: Hawaii as a Solar Laboratory

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 09:31
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pFrom an energy perspective, Hawaii is unique. Located in the middle of the Pacific, the Aloha State runs on imported oil. But its island environment -- from sunny days to active volcanoes -- also holds the keys to a future powered by renewable energy. Oil powers Hawaii’s cars, trucks, planes and boats, and generates 72 percent of the state’s electr/p

The #1 Solar Utility Is in…Iowa?

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 08:59
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIt may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this 21st century energy source. Upon completion of a new solar array, the 640-member cooperative will have over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer on their system, nearly/p

Global Renewable Energy Grid Project: Integrating Renewables via HVDC and Centralized Storage

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 08:30
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe global energy and environment challenges cannot be addressed through a local, regional, or even a national approach. They require a global outlook and a much broader vision, a Global Renewable Energy Grid [GREG]. A high voltage direct current [HVDC] transmission system must be built to serve as the bulk electrical power transport medium, with centralized energy storage facilities placed within GREG as needed. And perhaps most importantly, the set of socio-political overseeing institutions from each of the world’s nations needs to network together and administer just as seamlessly as the physical grid./p

Listen Up: Let's Talk Solar and Home Energy Management

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 08:22
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pLately, downstream is the place to be in the solar value chain. Unlike the manufacturing side of the industry, installer margins have been positive and revenues are growing — leading to relatively easy access to the debt and equity investments needed for rapid growth./p

How You Can Help Save Australia’s Renewable Energy Target

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 07:10
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAustralia's Renewable Energy Target is currently the subject of an inordinate attack. However, when you look at the facts it’s clear that this is completely unwarranted./p

Vestas’s Biggest Turbine Picked by Dong for UK Offshore Farm

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 12:26
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pDong Energy A/S will install Vestas Wind Systems A/S’s biggest wind turbines at an offshore power generation plant in U.K. waters in what would be the first order for the 8-megawatt machine./p

What's a Utility Demand Charge and How Commercial Solar Can Help

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 09:33
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pIf you’re an operations manager of a commercial building or industrial facility, then you probably know that a major portion of your monthly bill can come from so-called “demand charges.” The good news is that installing solar can bite a good chunk off those charges, and combining solar with new energy storage technology can deliver even more savin/p

Readers Respond Day 1: Can We Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy?

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 09:20
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSeveral countries have announced ambitious goals to be powered completely by renewable energy, while other nations set smaller, incremental goals. These high aspirations have sparked quite a debate amongst industry experts, and we here at Renewable Energy World are curious to hear what you, our readers, have to say. /p

Geothermal 2014 Outlook: As US Market Slows, A Global Focus Grows

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 08:00
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pFollowing another year of modest growth, the geothermal industry will continue to fight the good fight in 2014 by focusing on key issues that have hindered its massive global potential./p

Asia Report: US-Taiwan Solar Trade Dispute Forges On

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 10:18
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted — unanimously — to move ahead in its investigation of Taiwanese imports of solar PV products, continuing the latest storyline in the broad U.S.-vs.-China solar trade war./p

Solar Trade War Flares Up, Trina Drives Consolidation

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:54
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAs if the solar trade war between the U.S. and China wasn’t bad enough, tensions just got worse with a preliminary ruling in Washington aimed at closing a loophole to a previous ruling imposing anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels. I’ll admit I was a bit surprised by the preliminary ruling just announced by the U.S. International Trade Comm/p

Lucrative Retirement Planning Includes Solar Energy

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:53
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pToday’s life expectancy in America is eight years longer than it was in 1970. That’s eight more years to enjoy retirement; and eight more years of savings to put away. In a challenging economy, there are various factors that can threaten a comfortable retirement, such as declining property values and interest rates, higher living and health care ex/p

Supercomputer Exposes Biofuel Enzyme's Secrets

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:30
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThanks to newer and faster supercomputers, today's computer simulations are opening hidden vistas to researchers in all areas of science. These powerful machines are used for everything from understanding how proteins work to answering questions about how galaxies began. Sometimes the data they create manage to surprise the very researchers staring back at the computer screen—that's what recently happened to a researcher at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)./p

FERC Grants New Permit for 240-MW Alaska Tidal Energy Project

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:18
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pOn Feb. 12, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a successive preliminary permit for Turnagain Arm Tidal Energy Corp. for a tidal energy project in Alaska. /p