Classrooms at the SU Matrullas school in Orocovis are now entirely powered by solar panels and battery storage systems supplied by Sonnen GmbH and local developer Pura Energia.
In this minicast, Patagonia launches an online platform in support of local action on climate change and visits one of the greenest U.S. cities to help introduce the new platform, called Action Works.
A 50-year old company has a solution to provide clean drinking water and power for regions that were hard-hit by the hurricanes last fall. Aldelano Solar Cold Chain solutions is providing off-grid refrigeration, water generation and power generation equipment to Antiqua, Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands.
Early estimates from SolarPower Europe show that Europe installed about 8.6 GW of solar power systems in 2017, a 28 percent increase over systems installed in 2016.
2018 should be the year that Southeast Asian solar hits its stride. That was the clear headline from the 35th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Ministers on Energy Meeting: “ASEAN calls for energy investment.”
At the opening of the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) towards the end of last year, Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi called on energy investors and policy officials to find new ways to meet the region’s monstrous energy needs.
Renewable energy market momentum will continue into 2018, even if the policy needle continues to flutter in the months ahead. As utilities and clean energy firms will tell you, the world doesn’t wait for policy certainty. Consider this: emissions from power plants in 2017 are on track to be less than those from transportation for the first time in 40 years. Opportunities abound.
With renewable energy undoubtedly entrenching itself as a global industry over the last decade, what will the next 10 years bring? The short answer is “more growth” and notably, “self-sustaining growth.” As the market evolves, growth will this time be supported by advancements in battery storage technology. While developing markets will see demand for power continue to grow, the same trend will likely flatten out for developed markets, though the expected roll-out of electric vehicles could add to demand.
On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the governing body that oversees the electric power grid in the U.S., the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), voted unanimously in favor of adopting a new rule that would remove the market barriers that now prevent energy storage from participating in the wholesale energy markets, aka, the bulk power grid.
Even though energy storage was one of the hottest topics in 2017, the industry has a long way to go before utilities recognize (and compensate) storage assets for all of the benefits they can offer.
Countries and entities negatively affected by solar tariffs set by the Trump Administration in January on imports of crystalline silicon PV cells are beginning to seek redress — with the latest action taking the form of a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Florida Power & Light last week said that it has installed a battery system at its Citrus Solar Energy Center that will allow the utility to get more energy from solar panels at the project.
Natural gas is getting edged out of power markets across the U.S. by two energy sources that, together, are proving to be an unbeatable mix: solar and batteries.
By connecting off-grid solar-powered systems to the cloud, a city or utility official can monitor, control and manage street lights, telecom systems, security cameras, and other critical infrastructure from a smartphone — anywhere, anytime.
Did you know there are alternatives to standard silicon solar panels? Or that someday soon, you might be able install a solar panel that is 50 percent more efficient than the average silicon PV solar panel?
A new infrastructure rebuilding plan released this morning by the Trump Administration puts current environmental safeguards in serious jeopardy, but it is not entirely without inroads for support of clean energy.
Missouri-based Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. has purchased six operational solar facilities in California and Colorado with a total generating capacity of 10 MW.
In this minicast, local and regional governments call for global conversation on urban planning for climate change, and the European Commission releases the biggest database on cities ever published.
Today’s topics include how the Trump administration is affecting solar manufacturing in the United States – Will the 30 percent solar tariffs drive it up? We’ll also look at the recently released solar jobs census, which shows a drop in solar employment numbers for the first time in seven years. Is Trump to blame? Lastly, we’ll look at the proposed budget for the U.S. government.
With aspects of the Silicon Valley model coming under question, where can the next generation of young, aspiring and talented data scientists, coders and entrepreneurs look to?
Motivating young people to take an interest in renewable energy and engineering is critical to our sustainable, long-term energy future. In this episode, hear how one program provides that inspiration with remote controlled solar cars, with guests Noah Davis, executive director of Solar Rollers, and Jayvin Krzych, a Solar Rollers alumn and engineering student.
According to job numbers released this week by The Solar Foundation (TSF), the solar industry employed just about 4 percent less people in 2017 than it did in 2016. The Solar Jobs Census found that 250,271 Americans work in solar as of 2017, representing a 3.8 percent decline, or about 9,800 fewer jobs, since 2016. This is the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Jobs Census was first released in 2010.
If the energy industry learned anything in 2017, it was that energy systems are highly vulnerable to damage from hurricanes, wild fires and other natural disasters and work should be done to make the world’s electric grids much more resilient.
Renewable energy capacity increases faster than any other technology, as clean energy has never seen such high demand. A decline in investment is not due to a lack of interest, but more significantly, a considerable drop in the costs of green energy technology.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S will offer solar power and storage, allowing the world’s biggest turbine maker to sell hybrid renewable plants that generate electricity around the clock.
Top industry experts say that in 2018, high efficiency mono c-Si modules and high-voltage inverters will take more market share, and distributed generation will start to pick up.
When I started at Renewable Energy World in the fall of 2007 as a part-time news editor, the year 2020 seemed eons away. At that time, it was easy to write about how much of a particular region’s electricity would be supplied by renewable energy by 2020, because even though the numbers were very small in 2008, with 2020 so far away, predictions seemed easily plausible.
Morocco adopted a new energy strategy in 2009 to reduce its dependence on energy from abroad, in addition to the limitation of its greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to the preservation of the environment.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo yesterday directed Rhode Island's utilities to issue a procurement for up to 400 MW of clean energy, including offshore and onshore wind, solar and hydro resources.
A joint venture started by the Rocky Mountain Institute and an Austrian company exploring the potential of blockchain on energy transactions has attracted a new round of partners and financing in the past six months.
A small Massachusetts town already well-known for its solar-plus-storage microgrid, now will get a boost from the installation of a community solar-plus-storage project.
South Australia plans to roll out solar panels and Tesla Inc. batteries to at least 50,000 homes to form what its government says will be the world’s largest virtual power plant.
In this minicast, countries talk Paris Agreement compliance as a cornerstone for trade agreements, and coal’s downtrend makes a visible symbol for addressing climate change.
Power generated by wind, solar and biomass in the European Union overtook coal for the first time in 2017, a report by Germany’s climate lobbyist Agora Energiewende and U.K. think tank Sandbag showed.
Tesla Inc. is planning a major expansion of its solar division at Home Depot Inc., embarking on a critical test of the mainstream appeal of its renewable energy products.
Ali Mani, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford, is doing computer simulations to test what could be a more efficient way to use concentrated sunlight as a heat source.
The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts in the Energy Department's renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.
Enel SpA, Europe’s largest utility, is in talks to sell power from wind, solar and other renewable energy plants to the Swiss cryptocurrency company Envion AG, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The tools that utilities are using to try to understand the value of distributed energy resources (DERs) such as batteries and solar PV along their grids was a hot topic in all five sessions in the Energy Storage Track at DistrbuTECH 2018.
In what should have been a surprise to no one, U.S. President Trump, in his State of the Union speech, made no mention of climate change, advanced energy, clean energy, renewable energy or energy efficiency.
He mentioned energy in only two sentences during his 80-minute speech, recapping what he views as his accomplishments over the year in office.
“We have ended the war on American energy and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal,” he said.
Yesterday JinkoSolar announced that it had signed an agreement to supply 1.75 GW of high efficiency modules to a U.S. counterparty. The announcement also stated that the company’s board of directors had authorized JinkoSolar to finalize planning for the construction of an advanced solar manufacturing facility in the U.S.
Fake news, politics and social media impact more than elections. There is no question that the credibility of American institutions and news sources has suffered in the past year, from the combined influence of continued vilification of the media, retracted news stories and the ever-growing use of social media platforms. But by how much?
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced his state is rejoining the multi-state, bipartisan effort to reduce carbon pollution, known as the regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI).
RGGI launched in 2007 as a partnership of ten states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Gov. Christie pulled New Jersey out of the multi-state partnership nearly seven years ago.
The rationale for imposing tariffs is complete bunk. Most, if not all, of government support for the solar industry in China has now been withdrawn. President Trump is pretending to protect U.S. manufacturing jobs, though in reality the decision will cost nearly 23,0000 U.S. jobs in the downstream segments of the industry, according to estimates by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Falling costs for solar power have led to an explosive growth in residential, commercial and utility-scale solar use over the past decade. The levelized cost of solar electricity using imported solar panels — that is, the solar electricity cost measured over the life of the panels – has dropped in cost so much that it is lower than electricity from competing sources like coal in most of America.
So far in January, Duke Energy filed three renewable energy programs with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to expand renewable energy options for its 3.2 million customers in the state.
The Solar Rebate, N.C. Shared Solar and Green Source Advantage programs are part of a portfolio of customer offerings the company is proposing as part of the Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina law – sometimes referred to as HB 589.
While there is a growing market for organic solar cells ÂÂ- they contain materials that are cheaper, more abundant, and more environmentally friendly than those used in typical solar panels - they also tend to be less efficient in converting sunlight to electricity than conventional solar cells.
France takes a hard stance on coal; Trump talks renegotiation, again; and portal opens for the UNFCCC’s international conversation on climate change.
Blockchain web services provider BlockCypher said it will work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a demonstration project for renewable energy peer-to-peer payments using the open-source cryptocurrency Dash.
Minnesota will be included in a study to help federal researchers test the potential of pollinator-friendly habitat and fruit and vegetable crops around solar arrays.
On Wednesday, January 24 during a DistribuTECH networking breakfast, panelists — 3 women from the energy industry — described how they had overcome challenges and made sure that their careers advanced in the directions that they wanted to go.
BP Plc is considering a bid for one of Italy’s largest collection of solar assets, according to people familiar with the matter.
Today the focus is completely on the solar tariffs, approved by President Trump on Monday January 22. We’ll discuss what we know will happen now that the U.S. will be adding tariffs to imported solar modules and we’ll discuss what won’t happen as a result of these tariffs. What will pricing look like at the end of 2017? Will the solar industry crash and burn? Watch and find out.
A microgrid at Blue Lake Rancheria, a tribal reservation in northern California, was the winner of the Distributed Energy Resource Integration 2018 POWERGRID International and DistribuTECH Project of the Year in San Antonio, Texas, today.
Cuba is preparing to open its first solar park 100 percent-owned by foreign investors. Hive Energy of the United Kingdom aims to start construction mid-2018 on a 50-MW project in the Mariel Special Economic Development Zone, one of the largest solar ventures on the island.
The march to develop industry-agreed standards for Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) took a major leap forward Monday as utilities and vendors connected in the effort and offered thoughts on the best path ahead
At DistribuTECH 2018, Bentley Systems and Siemens are presenting their new applications for power utilities and industrial power facilities as part of the partnership, which the entities announced last year.
The newly released applications will aid users by enhancing Bentley’s OpenUtilities network management, design, and operations applications with new integrated analysis, design optimization, and distributed energy resource (DER) decision support capabilities enabled by Siemens’ PSS SINCAL, according to the companies.
Much government and bureaucratic decision making is made in a vacuum, that is, the effect of the decision on the decision maker is small or nonexistent. In terms of the final tariff decision, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made recommendations based on biased arguments.
On the first day of DTECH, Schneider Electric released the findings of a new report that shows that while 85 percent of major corporations are thinking about reducing energy use through energy efficiency programs and more than 50 percent plan to implement renewable energy in the near future, the vast majority of the companies surveyed were not considering how to actively participate in the incredible disruption that the energy industry is undergoing, such as microgrids, energy storage, and demand response strategies.
According to the report, just 30 percent have implemented or are actively planning to use energy storage, microgrids, combined heat and power, or some mix of the technologies and only 23 percent have demand response strategies or plan to in the near term.
Schneider views this as a problem because it says that companies need to understand now how to be active participants the way that energy is consumed and generated on their premises.
President Donald Trump has agreed to a recommendation by the International Trade Commission to grant U.S. solar manufacturers relief from unfair trade practices in the form of tariffs on solar cells and modules imported to the U.S.
In this episode of the Inside Renewable Energy podcast, we look at the issues the renewables and climate communities face before the midterms and the concrete actions they can take starting now to cause change.
According to a report released on January 16 by the Wind Energy Foundation (WEF), U.S. corporations have committed to signing deals result in 60 GW of renewable energy capacity being added to the grid in coming years. However, transmission planners are not accounting for this large uptick of potential near-term procurement.
Audi last week said that it is participating in a pilot project that is testing a smart energy network that uses software to control solar and batteries and interact with the main power grid. Audi is working with the project’s partners to run the pilot project for homes in southern Germany and northern Switzerland.
The utility plans to leverage the IPv6 communication capability of the network to streamline back-office management of multiple systems and expand consumer offerings in the future
Recently, the message on Texas clean energy has been getting clearer — the market is driving the clean energy economy forward. And some of those spreading the message are making it loud and clear.
Off Grid Electric, a San Francisco-based company that develops rooftop solar and battery systems in Africa, has raised $55 million as it expands into Ghana. The Series D round was led by Helios Investment Partners and included GE Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of General Electric Co., Off Grid said in a statement Thursday. The company’s Ghana expansion is part of a partnership with Electricite de France SA.
On January 23, DistribuTECH, one of the fastest growing conferences and expos in the country is set to open. Affectionately called “DTECH” by those in the know, the show is designed to showcase innovation in the transmission and distribution space, which most Renewable Energy World readers know, is undergoing a mega-transformation as solar, energy storage and other forms of distributed energy resources have a growing presence on the grid.
Sweden-based green builder Skanska this week said that it has secured a deal that will allow it to cover office buildings with perovskite solar cells on a commercial scale.
Shell Global unit Shell Energy Europe has agreed to buy the power from the largest solar power plant in England.
The World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi this week presented with some dizzying facts and figures that highlighted the challenge facing those who plan and build the smart cities of today and the future.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would announce a decision soon on whether to slap tariffs on imported solar panels, and quipped that when countries dump subsidized panels in the United States, "Everybody goes out of business."
Royal Dutch Shell Plc is investing in a U.S. solar energy developer, continuing its recent expansion into the electricity business. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas producer will acquire a 44 percent stake in Nashville’s Silicon Ranch Corp., which owns and operates about 100 solar facilities across the U.S.
Saudi Arabian energy company ACWA Power has started to use a blockchain currency. ACWA is utilizing SolarCoin, a crypto-currency that is rewarded to generators of solar power.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted yesterday to approve and adopt a sweeping set of measures that will ensure the growth of renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and advanced biofuels in the region.
Ugo Salerno, CEO of RINA Consulting explained in an interview that to date Egypt gets only 1 percent of its energy from renewables. With Salerno’s company’s help, however, Egypt will soon be the home of one of the largest solar PV projects in the world.
Google this week won the Zayed Future Energy Prize for Best Corporation. The award is a public endorsement of the giant corporation’s work in renewables and clean energy — the company has been carbon neutral since 2007.
In its recently released annual figures, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that solar lead the way in global renewable energy investments.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) this week launched the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, with the support of the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.
Australia, one of the world’s biggest users of rooftop solar panels, likely added the most new capacity on record last year as electricity users sought to ease escalating power bills.
The share of renewables in the Middle East energy mix is forecast to triple over the next 17 years — but natural gas will remain the dominant power source in the region. That’s one of the key findings of a new report published this week by Siemens.
Today, subscriptions are available to just about anything: TV streaming services, at-home meal kits, clothing and more. Now we’re welcoming energy to the subscription economy.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved an order Thursday that will require PG&E Corp., the state’s biggest utility, to change the way it supplies power when demand peaks. Instead of relying on electricity from three gas-fired plants run by Calpine Corp., PG&E will have to use batteries or other non-fossil fuel resources to keep the lights on in the most-populated U.S. state.
Fluence Energy, the energy storage joint venture launched last year by Siemens and AES, said it will begin offering leasing and project finance options for energy storage projects.
Part one of this article identified changes in the energy storage market that are driving deployment and improving the economics of storage technologies. Market stakeholders face many risks, from regulation to litigation, but there are mechanisms available to mitigate them.
Palo Alto-based software provider Aurora Solar said this week that Connecticut Green Bank authorized Aurora's remote shading simulation software as an acceptable replacement for the onsite solar project inspections previously required when applying for rebates associated with system installations.
The solar industry and the approximately 1.5 million U.S. nonprofit organizations have been hindered in their efforts to work together, but a new pathway has emerged that will make the process of going solar for tax-exempt entities affordable and user friendly.
In 2015, seven young people died in Beaver Lake Cree Nation — a tiny community in northeast Alberta with an on-reserve population of only 345 people.
Deployment of energy storage, especially batteries, will increase substantially in the next few years. Three underlying trends in the energy markets will drive the growth. They are favorable federal and state regulations on energy storage, falling costs for batteries due to advances in technologies, and an improved ability by energy storage owners to tap into multiple revenue streams.
SolarReserve’s 150-MW solar thermal power plant has been granted development approval by the South Australian Government, paving the way for construction to begin this year.
India, the largest importer of Chinese solar equipment, proposed a 70 percent safeguard duty on cells and modules shipped from China and Malaysia, citing “threat of serious injury” to the domestic industry.
Tesla Inc. has kicked off production of its long-awaited electricity-producing shingles that Elon Musk says will transform the rooftop solar industry.
In an order issued late yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined that Secretary Rick Perry’s Sep. 29 notice of proposed rulemaking on grid resilience does not meet the statutory requirements of the Federal Power Act.
Rooftop solar in Thailand faces several challenges that have left the industry “largely untapped,” according to a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
When winter sets in, "polar vortex" becomes one of the most dreaded phrases in the Northern Hemisphere. It's enough to send shivers even before the first blast of bitter cold arrives. New research shows that some northern regions have been getting hit with these extreme cold spells more frequently over the past four decades, even as the planet as a whole has warmed.
Today’s topics include predictions about what will happen with the U.S. solar trade case – will there be tariffs? If there are tariffs, how will they affect the solar market? Caution: distributors and system integrators. We’ll also look at supply chain issues for solar and batteries.
After years of criticism, the government of Brazil announced in January that it will end the era of building big hydropower dams in the Amazon. In an article in the O Globo newspaper, Paulo Pedrosa, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said that the government has no prejudice against big hydro but that the costs and risks now outweigh the benefits.
Proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar in the U.S. could total 116 GW by December 2020 — effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115.5 GW, according to the latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Energy Infrastructure Update, with data through Nov. 30, 2017.
A new group of microgrids has been proposed to help support Connecticut’s critical facilities in the event of an emergency. The proposals are part of the latest round of applications that were due Jan. 1 for funding under the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) microgrid program.
In December 2017, a steering committee constituted in the wake of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico wrote a report, "Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico," for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York, Gov. Ricardo RossellÃ³, Puerto Rico, and William Long, Administrator of the U.S.
Even as uncertainties loom, the outlook for clean energy technologies and business models is bright. We can pin this optimism in the concrete: Three decentralizing trends are empowering state capitals, consumers, and the capital markets to lead the way on climate action — and, in turn, those trends are favorably transforming the opportunity landscape for clean energy technologies and business models.
A bill filed this week in the Florida state legislature aims to establish a pilot program to demonstrate the benefits of solar and energy storage during natural disasters or state emergencies.
India, the largest buyer of solar equipment from neighboring China, is considering a 7.5 percent tax on imported solar panels, according to government officials with knowledge of the situation.
When Shakespeare’s Duke in As You Like It is deposed and forced into exile by his wicked brother, losing everything and living rough in the woods, he fears all is lost. But he soon sees unexpected blessings. So too do we in the year now ending.
2017 was a whirlwind of energy market records, policies, and reports. And here’s my list of the big seven areas of note.
Many regions of the U.S. have overbuilt and retained too many power plants, which can be detrimental to their owners, consumers, clean alternatives like wind and solar power, and flexible resources like energy storage and demand response (compensating customers for being flexible with their energy use).
We’ve gathered a list of some of the projects we want to fist-bump this year. We’re not suggesting they’re perfect; any large extractive project comes with an environmental cost. But these are projects that rise above the rest in their efforts to minimize that cost.
South Australia’s lithium-ion battery grabbed the headlines in 2017, first when Elon Musk announced he’d build the world’s largest battery in 100 days or it would be free, then again when he accomplished it, and yet again when the battery reacted to power surges in record time in December.
With another year behind us, it is time to take a look in the rearview mirror at the year that was for the advanced energy industry. Our annual review of the top state legislative issues tells a story of policy progress for a myriad of advanced energy technologies, along with some familiar struggles. So, without further ado, here’s our countdown of the top five legislative battles of 2017.
Catch up with Bruce Bailey and Ken Boyce of UL on what the market for advanced inverters looks like today, why they can support the growth of a clean and resilient grid, and what their evolution will look like over time.
Please join us on this week’s Energy Show for Jeff Brown's candid insights into the factors that are reducing the benefits of rooftop solar — which then are leading to the next phase (spoiler alert: energy storage) of the rooftop solar industry.
The pace of Mongolian wind investment announcements is quickening. The country’s leaders are working to meet increasing demand for electricity, reduce heavy reliance on coal and improve energy security. It’s no surprise, therefore, that renewable energy solutions have become the focus of such new investments.
Whether public or private, institutions of higher education have developed with a mission to serve society and the greater good. Our youth attend colleges and universities to learn, grow and develop as they prepare for adulthood, facing the world’s challenges and opportunities. The college experience is immersive, with learning and growth occurring both in and out of the classroom.
Nissan Motor Co. in the New Year is promoting free solar panel installations for owners of the company’s new electric-powered LEAF in Japan.
The Trump administration, reversing an Obama-era policy, said it won’t prosecute oil drillers, wind-farm developers and others who accidentally kill migratory birds.
In December 2017, a steering committee constituted in the wake of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico wrote a report, "Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico," for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York, Gov. Ricardo RossellÃ³, Puerto Rico, and William Long, Administrator of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In part one of this article, I took a closer look at the oral arguments in the latest episode of Juliana v. United States, and identified two questions that were raised during the orals that bear further consideration.
Nothing will stand out in 2018 as more important for the long-term success of renewables than the advancement of a digital grid architecture. Visibility at the grid edge; integration of sensors and data analytics for distributed generation; smart contracts for energy management; flexible demand; intelligent control systems — these are the buzzy technologies of today that will become standard operations for utilities, system operators, and power producers to maximize the global renewable energy fleet.
The U.S. Department of the Navy last week agreed to lease land on Pacific Missile Range Facility—Barking Sands (PMRF) on Kauai Island, Hawaii, for the development of a microgrid that will supply local area power and support mission-critical base activities in the event of a power outage.
A financing program that’s let more than 180,000 homeowners pay for solar panels and clean-energy appliances through their local tax bills is poised to survive an effort by Republicans to add regulations that would have effectively shut it down.
According to the most recent data, China produced 170,000 tons of multicrystalline silicon during the first three quarters of 2017, a year-over-year increase of 17 percent. The country produced 62 GW of silicon chips during the same period, up 44 percent; 51 GW of batteries, up 50 percent; and 53 GW of components, up 43 percent from the same period of a year earlier. China witnessed a year-over-year increase of 39 percent and 34 percent in export volume of batteries and solar components for the first 8 months of the year, respectively. However, as a result of price declines, the combined export value decreased.
The staggeringly high curtailment rates among wind power and PV systems across Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region witnessed a 29.3 percent drop over the first 11 months of 2017, down 10 percent from the same period of a year earlier as the region worked to overcome difficulties caused by the rapid growth of renewables.
There are important trends to keep an eye on in 2018 where sustainable energy is concerned. Here are four trends to follow in the New Year.
Through the magic of YouTube TV, I was able to sit in on the oral arguments in the latest episode of Juliana v. United States. The lawsuit is being brought by 21 plaintiffs ranging in age from 10 to 21. It accuses the federal government of causing them harm by failing to protect them adequately from the effects of global warming. Plaintiffs are asking the court to order the federal government to do something to redress the problem, e.g., regulating carbon emissions from power plants and fossil fuel extraction on federal lands.
There is no doubt in my mind that energy storage systems will be as ubiquitous as solar — in all market segments. Utility companies are installing these systems to balance their intermittent demand and generation of electricity.
SolarWorld Americas Inc., one of two U.S. solar manufacturers asking President Donald Trump for tariffs on imported panels, says the move could revive a struggling industry. It may also boost the company’s value ahead of a potential sale.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) recently put its stamp on a series of financing deals that will boost solar development in India and Peru, and support new solar technology advancements.
While training opportunities abound for installers, a series of workshops in three southern U.S. cities aims to bring architects and other design professionals up to speed on solar.
Missouri is the latest state where utility regulators are reevaluating outdated rules on customer-owned solar power and other distributed energy sources. The experience of two neighboring states shows there’s no guarantee the effort will result in policies that are more favorable for renewable power.
Affordable housing nonprofit LINC Housing yesterday said its SEED Partners unit has installed new solar PV systems at five LINC properties in California.
New electricity retailer SIMEC ZEN Energy has won the contract to supply the South Australian Government until at least 2020. Under the contract, SIMEC ZEN Energy will supply more than 80 percent of the government’s electricity needs in 2018. This will escalate to 100 percent in 2019 when it will be backed by local renewable energy projects.
After a six-year absence, BP Plc returned to the solar energy business with a $200 million investment in a British company that develops and maintains photovoltaic farms in Europe.
In this episode, Joel Stronberg of the JBS Group discusses the top three big events that happened in Washington D.C. that affected the renewables industry in 2017, plus what critical issues we should be watching in 2018 and the actions industry members can take next year to stay informed and involved in the evolution of renewables in the U.S.
Companies stepped up on climate change in 2017. In 2018, they need to bring countries with them. It is fantastic that there are now more than 300 companies committed to set science-based targets to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
China’s plan to introduce a system to monitor and evaluate the solar-power market will help direct new investments to regions where fewer plants are idle, according to industry researchers.
U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello (R-Penn.) and Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) last week introduced a bill that would create a new investment tax credit for energy storage.
As lawmakers prepare to vote on the final version of the much-anticipated U.S. tax reform bill that was released last week, the renewable energy industry is counting its wins, while wondering what the long-term effect of the bill on the industry will be.
2017 has been an eventful year for Cuba. Two major hurdles took place that would potentially jeopardize clean energy investment on the island. The first is Donald Trump’s reversal of Barack Obama’s historic diplomatic and commercial opening to the island. This will cut tourist revenues and scant foreign reserves further. The second is the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which destroyed northern island and many resorts.
If there’s any doubt Tesla Inc. isn’t just a car company anymore, its brand-new Manhattan showroom should put it to bed. On Friday, Tesla opens a store in New York’s Meatpacking District that, for the first time, will sell cars, solar panels and batteries permanently under one roof.
It has been a long, long, long road for the global photovoltaic industry and its participants from its early days with few manufacturers and support primarily limited to oil companies looking for a feel-good business unit to what seemed like its overnight success in the mid-2000s. In 1977 the industry had 1.74 MWp of capacity to produce PV cells. At the end of 2017 the industry had 98 GWp of capacity to manufacture PV cells.
As Puerto Rico sets out to rebuild its electric system knocked out by Hurricane Maria in September, can it become a model for renewable energy? Scores of government agencies, think tanks and energy experts are mulling that question, as much of the U.S. Caribbean territory still lacks electricity.
Latin American wind has grown swiftly in recent years to almost 20 GW by August 2017, with 80 percent of installed capacity in Brazil and Mexico.
UrbanVolt, the Dublin-headquartered energy-saving LED lighting firm whose backers include rugby star Jamie Heaslip, has announced a new solar solution. The company, which last year signed a €30 million funding deal with Swiss green energy private equity group Susi Partners, has become internationally known for its "light as a service" offering where it installs energy-efficient lighting for businesses free of charge, with an agreement to split the energy savings between both parties over a five year period.
The World Bank Group (WBG) yesterday during the One Planet Summit in Paris said that, as of 2019, it will no longer finance exploration for and production of oil and gas.
Israel-based Ecoppia yesterday said that it has raised $13 million, led by investors Swarth Group, GlenRock Israel, Gandyr Group, and Harel Group Insurance and Finance.
Brazil’s biggest wind company has set its sights on dominating the country’s nascent solar market. CPFL Energias Renovaveis SA has 1 MW of solar power in operation now, a pilot project in Sao Paulo State, but has plans to build another 450 MW.
Two California energy storage providers say they are deploying networks of systems in Japan to help the country use more renewable energy. Stem Inc., a California firm that provides energy storage solutions, said it’s deploying a network of systems with Mitsui & Co. Ltd., marking its first foray into Asian markets.
Attitudes to combined heat and power technology have transformed, according to speakers at the world’s largest electric power conference.
And interview with Emily Fisher, Vice President, Law, and Corporate Secretary at Edison Electric Institute about the view from Washington following a Thursday, December 7 Plenary discussion at POWER-GEN International. Fisher describes the two different avenues that President Trump is pursuing regarding regulations and the energy industry.
Today's topics include highlights from POWER-GEN, the largest show for the power generation industry, the energy imbalance market, Azeb Asnake, the solar trade case and more.
After spending years building up its gas-power business, General Electric Co. is trying to figure out how to keep pace in a world that’s no longer all that interested in fossil fuels.
China Three Gorges New Energy Co. started building the 150-megawatt project in July and part of the plant has connected to the grid, according to a Dec. 10 statement. The project features panels fixed to floats on the surface of a lake that formed after a coal mine collapsed, according to the unit. The entire facility is expected to come online by May 2018.
The Trump administration, which was looking to have a plan in place this week to bail out America’s coal country, will instead have to wait until the new year.
Kevin McIntyre, sworn in Thursday as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asked for a 30-day extension to act on a sweeping proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants. Perry, who had called on the commission to come up with a plan by Dec. 11, granted the delay late Friday, saying he “respects the reasons” but “looked forward to swift action.”
As soon as solar started being introduced to the grid, operators and engineers raised concerns about solar resources causing instability. Is it possible, however, for utility-scale solar PV plants to provide grid reliability services? Mahesh Morjaria, vice president of PV systems for First Solar, says yes.
There has been a steady stream of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the utility sector over the past several years. These transactions generally require public service commissions (PSC) approval in the states in which one or both of the parties have operations, and the PSCs are typically charged with approving only transactions that are in the public interest.
Electric grids are mighty complicated. Of course, if you’re in the industry, you don’t need me to tell you that. When we created these huge networks of wires to pass electricity from generator to user, we simultaneously needed to track where the energy originated and where it went so we could figure out how to pay people for the energy they provided.
So if solar won’t be growing in the United States, where should developers look for new markets? One place is in disaster relief. Yung Wong, engineering manager with WorldWater and Solar Technologies explained that when disaster hits, the first thing that the Red Cross and the military do is fly in water bottles. He said that the cost to transport water comes out to about $1.85 per gallon whereas his company can provide drinking water for just a few cents per gallon though a mobile self-sustaining system that purifies water from any source. The system includes 3 kW of solar PV capacity and a 31-kWh deep cycle battery bank and transports as a 7-foot cube.
Though the power industry continues to endure rapid change in technology, demand and regulation, the five keynote speakers at POWER-GEN International 2017 focused on making the most of a changing market through convergence and collaboration.
About 50 people gathered on Dec. 5 at the Women in Power luncheon during POWER-GEN International in Las Vegas to hear the Woman of the Year and other finalists discuss their roles in affecting change in the energy industry, and the variety of opportunities in energy for the next generation of leaders.
Not much new surfaced at today's public hearing on the Section 201 trade case. Rather it was a reaffirmation by both sides of what they had previously stated in the two public hearings at the International Trade Commission.
The hearings started off with Governor McMaster of South Carolina and Senator Heinrich of New Mexico testifying against the imposition of any tariffs. There were no elected officials testifying on behalf of Suniva/Solar World.
Speakers in a session on utility-scale renewable power during POWERGEN 2017 presented evidence that corporate buyers are driving an unprecedented demand for renewable energy today and will continue to do so into the future.
In #RocktheGrid - New Market Demand for Renewables, Lily Donge of the Rocky Mountain Institute and head of the Business Renewables Center (BRC), an organization that helps corporations understand how to buy renewable energy, said that this year 16 corporations have signed deals to purchase renewable energy and of those 16, 13 are new, indicating the growing interest.
According to one expert, utilities need a paradigm shift in planning when it comes to recouping the full value and receiving all of the benefits of the next wave energy storage.
Energy market participants in some regions of the world are facing the challenge of renewables integration head-on, creating a slow, but steady, campaign to redesign their markets and form more regionalized power grids. Europe has a goal of breaking down the regional barriers that keep energy from moving freely around its power grid. And there are few better examples of energy market regionalization than the work of stakeholders on the U.S. West Coast, and in the Pacific North- and Southwest.
In recognition of her great work advancing power generation in Ethiopia, on Tuesday, December 5 at POWER-GEN International, Azeb Asnake, CEO of Ethiopia Electric Power, was named the 2017 Power Generation Woman of the Year.
On Tuesday, December 5th during the keynote session of POWER-GEN International, Renewable Energy World and Power Engineering magazine named the energy storage and renewable energy projects of the year as well as an overall project of the year for 2017.
In the energy storage category, Southern California Edison’s Hybrid EGT project pulled out a win over Imperial Irrigation District’s Battery Storage Project and Gensa Energy’s Columbia Microgrid.
Fairbanks Morse, an EnPro Industries company, today at POWER-GEN International in Las Vegas said that it has released its PoweReliability-as-a-Service platform powered by the newly launched Trident OP engine featuring a fuel-efficient opposed piston architecture.
To serve twenty-first century needs, legacy grids need the ability to accommodate new demands such as intermittent generation sources and increasingly ubiquitous distributed energy resources (DERs) located throughout the transmission network.
In September 2017, Arizona Public Service proposed a new product, reverse demand response (DR), that aims to balance system load with excess renewable generation. This is the latest example of using DR for renewables integration (DRRI).
In the early morning hours of Dec 2, lawmakers in the U.S. Senate passed their version of a tax reform bill. Unlike the version of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate bill makes no changes to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Production Tax Credit (PTC), on which wind and solar energy developers rely to help finance projects. However, the bill makes changes to the way corporations can use tax equity, in a provision called BEAT (base erosion and anti-abuse tax), which stakeholders fear will result in a significant loss of tax equity finance available on the market.
A new 850-MW solar thermal project will help oil and gas producer Aera Energy power its operations at the Belridge oilfield in Southern California. The project will use solar steam and solar electricity for the oilfield, reducing natural gas currently used at the site. Steam is injected into a reservoir in the heavy oil production process called thermal enhanced oil recovery.
A system to capture biogas from a wastewater treatment plant, store it as thermal energy and sell it to the electricity grid is among the next wave of projects to receive money from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund.
Suniva Inc., the bankrupt U.S. solar manufacturer asking President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on imported panels, is evaluating a potential sale. The Norcross, Georgia-based company has been in contact with several potential buyers interested in purchasing either its equipment or the business as a whole, according to interviews and documents filed as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
By the time the last gavel came down early in the morning of November 18, international climate negotiators in Bonn paved the way to the next climate summit in Katowice, Poland in 2018. There, the rules underpinning the Paris Agreement will be finalized and countries can signal their commitments to enhance national climate plans by 2020.
The accumulation of dirt on solar panels has been proven to reduce their efficiency significantly, placing a heavy burden on owners to keep the panels clean in order to ensure project viability. U.K.-based Opus Materials Technologies says it has received funding that will help it validate a new coating that will allow solar panels to clean themselves.
There’s no question that the solar industry has gained the solid standing it now enjoys by employing certain winning technologies, but there also is always room for improvement. We’ve seen a few intriguing innovations in solar crop up that aren’t on the commercial starting line, but that you may want to watch in 2018.
On Tuesday, Industry and Energy Committee MEPs agreed that by 2030, a minimum of 35 percent of all energy consumed in the EU would need to come from renewable, cleaner sources. For the transport sector, at least 12 percent of the energy consumed in each member state would have to be produced from renewables, such as the sun or wind.
President Donald Trump’s trade representative requested more details about how low-cost imported solar panels have harmed U.S. manufacturers as the White House considers imposing tariffs.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance in a new report said that India’s 40-GW target for rooftop solar PV by 2022 represents a $23 billion investment opportunity.
Energy storage provider Sunverge yesterday said that Arizona Public Service (APS) will launch a new study before the end of the year to examine the effectiveness of networked distributed energy resources.
The latest round of solar auctions in Mexico yielded an unheard-of average price of US $20.57 per MW, including a $17.70 per MW bid by Enel, a coup for the government. However, as developers and EPCs scramble to under-bid one another in the current market, the price eventually will erode the quality that is deliverable. Indeed, this auction round may have hit the crossing point suggests Enrique Roig, the director of the Solar Steel business of Gonvarri Steel Services, based in Madrid.
Today’s topics include the enormous solar market in China and how much solar the country is expected to install; POWER-GEN, the largest power show for the entire power industry and Tesla’s announcement that its mega storage project is ready for testing in Australia.
U.K. resource management firm Cory Riverside Energy today said that it will build a hybrid energy park in London to support waste management for the city.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $44.76 million grant to develop Afghanistan's first 20 megawatts (MW) on-grid solar photovoltaic plant and boost the country's renewable energy generation and supply.
Billionaire Elon Musk’s giant battery being built in the Australian outback will be energized in coming days and begin testing, indicating Tesla Inc. is on track to meet a 100-day self-imposed deadline to install the system.
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. In the solar industry, strong markets are alike in that they have incentives, subsidies and/or mandates to drive growth and adoption but also a fair amount of political and economic risk and every weak or collapsing market is alike in that it no longer has incentives, subsidies and/or mandates to drive it and its political and/or economic risk has become a reality.
A weak market is the mirror image of a strong one that is, everything is seen in reverse. In solar, a leading market share receives more notice than the low-to-negative margins that go along with it. For example, solar lease etc., company Sunrun is being touted for passing SolarCity in terms of its market share even as it racks — pardon the pun — up losses. The company reported losses from operations of $130.7 million and net losses of $180.9 million for nine months of 2017. True, the company lost less money than it did in 2016, however this should not be spun as a positive.
It’s that time of year again: holidays! Until 2018 begins, we try to set aside some extra time for family, eat delicious meals together, exchange gifts and generally close out the year with good wishes and good intentions for the next year.
While Renewable Energy World is a business-to-business publication for the global renewable energy industry, we occasionally get press releases and notifications about interesting inventions that are designed for the general public. And as the holidays approach, we like to bring them to you.
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80 percent.
About 54 gigawatts will be put in place this year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said Monday, raising a forecast of more than 30 gigawatts made in July. That amount of additional capacity would likely surpass all the solar energy generated in Japan in 2017.
Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that the Clean Power Plan is being repealed, the attractive cost of renewables and improvements in battery storage technology mean that wind- and solar-generated power are here to stay.
Last week, both houses of the U.S. congress passed versions of a tax reform bill. As readers might recall, tax reform was one of the platforms on which Trump ran for president and getting a major tax reform bill passed would be a big win for him. Each version of the bill has implications for the renewable energy industry but the wind industry is particularly worried about the House bill.
BayWa r.e. renewables subsidiary successfully commissioned its first project in Southern Africa, a combined solar PV plant and battery system in the Zambian province of Chisamba in October.
On November 13, utilities in Massachusetts announced that they would begin to accept bids pursuant to the new “Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target or SMART” program, which seeks to ultimately add up to 1,600 MW of solar capacity.
The SMART program was voted into law in April and explained in great detail by Renewable Energy World contributor John Farrell in this post. Farrell likens the program to the California solar incentive and Germany’s long-expired Feed-in Tariffs, which kick started solar in each region.
The call for grid modernization is occurring across the world and utilities are positioned at the forefront of this industry transformation. While some states and countries are moving at a more rapid pace than others, grid modernization is a necessary outcome for utilities to ensure long-term sustainability.
Orsted A/S, the Danish company built on oil and gas extraction, will issue its first green bonds as it moves toward completing a transition to renewable energy.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf this week signed into law a provision that will support strong renewable energy credit prices in the state. According to the governor’s office, the legislation requires that renewable energy facilities only generate RECs if the power from the facility is delivered to an electricity distributor operating within the commonwealth.
Within the next month, energy watchers expect the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on an order from Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would create new pricing rules for certain power plants that can store fuel on site to support grid resilience. This initiative seeks to protect coal-fired and nuclear power plants that are struggling to compete with cheaper energy sources.
Solar manufacturers are being battered by higher costs and smaller margins after an unexpected shortage of a critical raw material. Prices of polysilicon, the main component of photovoltaic cells, spiked as much as 35 percent in the past four months after environmental regulators in China shut down several factories.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S lost about a fifth of its stock market value after the Danish company said it was squeezing less profit out of sales of equipment and services compared with a year ago because of increased competition. Before last week’s plunge, the shares had risen 15 percent this year.
Enel Green Power SpA, the renewable-energy unit of Europe’s largest utility, plans to bid in Mexico’s power auction this month after raising $1.35 billion with a deal to sell stakes in eight wind and solar projects in the country in October.