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Updated: 7 months 2 weeks ago

Researchers Develop Faster, Cheaper Way to Make Solar Cells

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:57
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pA faster, cheaper way to manufacture silicon solar cells, partially funded by the Energy Department and fine-tuned at its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has won a coveted RD 100 award as one of the top technology innovations of 2013. /p

Interested in Developing a 650 kW+ Solar Project in Massachusetts? Think Again (Or Be Very Patient)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:31
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThis week's announcement from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) may have taken some Massachusetts solar developers by surprise. Immediately following the announcement of the allocations for the 2014 and 2015 Managed Growth capacity, commercial and utility scale solar developers across New England began counting down the days t/p

US Renewable Electrical Generation Hits 14.3 Percent

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:59
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAccording to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s latest "Electric Power Monthly" report, with data for the first six months of 2014, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided 14.3 percent of net U.S. electrical generation. Conventional hydropower accounted for 7.0 percent, while non-hydro renewables provided an even larger share at 7.3 percent./p

South Africa Seeks to Improve Process for Renewable Energy Deals

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:53
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSouth African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said her department wants to address weaknesses in the process of commissioning renewable-power projects./p

Solar Fred Marketing Tip: Being a Tariff-Free Solar Panel Ain’t Enough

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:01
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pMy, my, I’m getting all sorts of e-blasts and seeing ads from various solar companies telling me that they have tariff-free solar panels! Yay! …Or not. Yes, you have a temporary advantage over those tier one brands that do or will have tariffs imposed, but you’re not the only tariff-free brand on the block, and — wait! Looky-looky over there! Many /p

Cracking the Code on the Business of Energy Management

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 09:57
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pEnergy management is one of the most important parts of our changing energy landscape. It is a market made up of part energy efficiency, part Big Data solution and part Internet of Things. Energy management will be a multi-trillion dollar industry that will reverberate across industrialized economies. The competitive advantage in virtually every economic sector will be redefined by companies’ ability to manage volatile energy prices. It will change how we consume energy. Significant reductions in energy use are an obvious outcome (with corresponding pressure on energy companies), but even more exciting are the social and economic benefits of being able to preform significantly more work with our existing energy resources./p

Infrastructure Upgrades Mean Texas No Longer Wastes Wind Power

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 09:34
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAccording to a report by the Energy Information Administration, wind curtailments in Texas have dropped steadily and substantially since 2011 thanks mostly to the state’s completion of 3,500 miles of transmission lines as part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones program.  A curtailment refers to and event where a power plant is asked to slow /p

Six Reasons Solar Needs to Learn to Live with the Tariffs

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:34
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pThe solar industry usually has great political instincts. It got President Bush to jumpstart the industry with federal incentives. In Georgia, solar advocates were able to form an unlikely coalition of Tea Party advocates and the Sierra Club to expand its footprint there. But in defending Chinese manufacturers against tariff penalties, it’s on the /p

Green Investors May Find It Hard Breaking Up With Oil and Gas

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:59
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pInvestors seeking greener energy stocks will find it difficult to reproduce the returns offered by oil and natural gas producers, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance./p

Chile Attracts $7 Billion in Renewable Energy Investment

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:03
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pChile, the wealthiest nation in Latin America, is attracting $7 billion of renewable investments from Abengoa SA to SunEdison Inc. as the government seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels to supply cheaper power to the mining industry, which provides a third of the world’s copper. /p

The Proof of Interconnection Reform is in the…Data

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:42
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pInterconnection reform is the hottest new dish on the regulatory menu. Discussions are currently ongoing in Illinois and North Carolina, following the path-charting decisions in Hawaii, California, Massachusetts and Ohio over the past two years. It’s no surprise either; reforming interconnection procedures that are no longer suitable for today’s ra/p

Hanwha Q CELLS Completes 13.3 MW Solar Power Plant in Portugal

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:27
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pHanwha Q CELLS announced that it has completed its first solar park in Portugal as engineering, procurement and construction provider (EPC). The installation in the municipality of Montijo (South-East of Lisbon) features around 51,000 of Q CELLS modules and was fully connected to the grid as of May 2014. /p

Expert Interview: Utilities Should Take Advantage of the Transformation

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 09:49
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pPerry Stoneman (pictured below), Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Sectors and Utilities at Capgemini, who will be speaking at this year's European Utility Week, says that it is not clear whether enough utilities have their digital roadmap in place. He suggests that utilities have the opportunity to be a part of this change but that they will need to plan ahead. /p

Could Africa be the Global Epicenter of Renewable Energy by 2030?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 09:18
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pToday, headlines like “Africa Rising” and “Africa Ascending” are often used around the world to describe the unprecedented transformation and steady economic growth on the continent. Over the past 12 months, I have attended several conferences in Africa and other parts of the world where this theme has been sounded. The promising economic prospects for sub-Saharan Africa is also highlighted in the Africa Progress Panel 2014 report titled, Grain, Fish Money – Financing Africa’s Green and Blue Revolutions./p

Disruptive Innovation Alert: Regulated Utilities Vie for a Piece of the DG Solar Pie

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:44
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pAfter gaining a reputation for being one of solar’s most outspoken naysayers, Arizona Public Service (APS) shocked the industry by announcing its intent to get into the residential solar market. This is not the first time a regulated utility has attempted to catch up to a disruptive innovation by owning solar in its own territories, and it likely w/p

Brazil to Encourage Local Solar Equipment With Cheaper Loans

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:35
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pBrazil will offer cheaper funding to solar projects that use locally made equipment and parts in a bid to spur a national manufacturing industry as the country prepares to ban solar-cell imports by the end of the decade./p

Building Renewable Energy in the Developing World, Brick by BRICS

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 09:28
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pA group of five powerful nations has just created a new financial institution that may very well have a major influence on the growth of renewable energy in the developing world. At their sixth annual summit in July at the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) officially established, as they had promised during last year’s summit, a new financial institution, the New Development Bank (NDB), to be based in Shanghai. The NDB’s purpose is to provide loans, guarantees and technical assistance to developing countries. In that respect, it is not at all different from the World Bank and similar institutions./p

More "Made in the USA" Solar Modules Coming Soon

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:42
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pSuniva Inc., a manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and modules, announced that construction of its second U.S. solar manufacturing facility has begun. The new facility, located in Saginaw Township, Michigan, will provide up to 200 MW of additional capacity of its American-made modules, as a supplement to its existing manufacturing facility at its headquarters, in Norcross, Georgia./p

Global Renewable Energy Status Uncovered

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:27
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pMore than a fifth of the world's electrical power production now comes from renewable sources and in 2013 renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of all net additions to global power capacity. These remarkable conclusions come from this year’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) from REN21. This highly-regarded annual analysis — the 2014 edition was released this summer — concludes that renewable electricity capacity jumped by more than 8 percent overall in 2013, to produce some 22 percent of all global power production. Total global installed renewable electricity capacity reached a staggering 1,560 GW in 2013. /p

New Micro-Parallel Inverters Aim to Reduce System Costs, Improve Performance

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 07:07
img hspace="10" vspace="5" align="left" src="" /pTraditionally, there have been two main options for solar installation designers and engineers to convert DC to AC power: string inverters or micro inverters. Both present significantly different advantages and disadvantages for installers, with installation expenses varying up to 20 percent depending on the inverter selection. Either solution had drawbacks: what one would gain in convenience, it would sacrifice in performance and maintenance and vice versa. But a new class of inverter is entering the market that combines the installation simplicity of a string inverter with the intelligence and energy harvest advantages of a micro inverter. /p