North America has the equivalent of a new lease on life with regard to energy, as decades of declining oil & gas production drastically reversed course in the past 5 years, and petroleum liquids consumption is dropping after a long growth spurt. This has led the US to import fewer barrels of oil from overseas… Keep reading →
BLM issued a regulation to prohibit mining claims in public lands with pending applications for renewable energy projects or those identified as potential sites for renewable energy development. On April 30, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a regulation to the Federal Register to temporarily segregate public lands set aside for renewable energy… Keep reading →
Hawaii, which arguably needs renewable energy more than any other state, is making progress. A new report says that renewable generation for the Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light, grew from 12 percent of energy needs in 2011 to 13.9 percent in 2012. This increase was attributed to more rooftop and… Keep reading →
To date, California schools and public agencies that have gone solar have saved $2.5 billion in energy costs-real money that lets cash-strapped districts hold on to teachers and enables communities to maintain services. California homeowners have saved their neighbors $92.2 million by producing electricity that doesn’t need to be shipped across expensive, inefficient transmission lines from a dirty, utility-owned generator-which means their fellow ratepayers pay less for maintaining existing lines and building new ones. And solar’s created 43,000 jobs in the state.
But now California’s utilities-and utilities across the United States-are working to undermine the policies that make solar a great deal for the state. They’re doing this by attacking a key tenet of rooftop solar: the right to get a fair credit for the energy your system produces when you’re not using it. Keep reading →
The key to broader penetration of solar energy depends on access to capital markets and innovative financial structures that can reduce the cost of capital for project finance as well as increase the investor base beyond the traditional tax-equity driven investors. There is a strong case for the DOE to establish the Advancd Research Project Agency-Capital (ARPA-C) that will function to support the broader adoption and commercialization of renewable energy through mechanisms, including credit enhancment and direct equity investments for capital market project aggregation warehouse facilities and securitization transactions.
While ARPA-E has been successful for the deveopment of new renewable technologies, the renewable sector can benefit from the expansion of ARPA-E to include capital to catalyze the breakthroughs for financial innovations. ARPA-C innovations can help bridge the funding gap that challenges renewable energy growth by providing structural support for renewable energy projects to develop capital markets solutions. Capital Markets structures can help reduce the total installed cost of solar electricity significantly – and combined with other DOE initiatives could help make solar power cost-competitive without additional subsidies. The Obama adminstration outlined in the March 20, 2011 publication “Blueprint for a secure energy future”, three major goals : Keep reading →
Power generation technology giant GE is getting into the combined heat and power game in Germany, where they are looking to maximize use and efficiency of intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar with the help of natural gas. However, burning natural gas to generate power generates lots of heat energy that is wasted by traditional gas power plants.
“Our flexible J920 technology offers both high efficiency and reliability levels, which makes it the ideal large gas engine distributed power solution for industrial and grid stabilization applications while also minimizing the customer’s carbon footprint,” said Karl Wetzlmayer, general manager of gas engines for power generation – GE Power & Water. Keep reading →
If any sector would seem unlikely to be singled out for its robust dealmaking outlook, renewable energy might seem to be it. After a surge in investment and in installations over the past decade, renewable energy seemed to run out of road in 2012, undermined by extreme competition, low natural gas prices and limits on government assistance in a budget-constrained environment.
But 2012 proved to be a surprise for analysts of the renewable energy sector, analyst from consulting and accountancy firm Deloitte said in their most recent overview of the sector’s merger and acquisition activity. Keep reading →
Old Solar Decathlon houses don’t die; they gather together to form a neighborhood – one prime for some groundbreaking experimentation in taking advantage of clean energy source.
At least, that’s the case at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Four past decathlon entries comprise the Solar Village at the Rolla, Mo., campus – and an important new twist is coming to the village: installation of a microgrid that will store and manage the renewable energy the houses produce. Keep reading →
While there are some nagging questions, Texas is spending $6.8 billion on new transmission lines to deliver electricity from wind farms in West Texas to its major metro areas such as Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
And while it’s certainly a plus for the state, its economy and jobs, that transmission investment also is attracting developers who plan to spend $3.3 billion on new wind farms that will generate 1,633 MW of new capacity in the next two years, according to a story in Sustainable Business. Keep reading →
DOE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative would accelerate manufacturing of clean energy products and strengthen competitiveness of the U.S. clean energy sector in the global energy market.
On March 26, 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new program – the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative – to support manufacturing of clean energy products in the U.S. The DOE announced the initiative at the opening of its Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Tennessee. The facility manufactures cost-efficient and lightweight carbon fiber used in electric vehicles, energy storage components, and wind turbines. According to the DOE, carbon fiber can reduce the weight of a passenger car by 50% and enhance fuel efficiency by approximately 35%. DOE estimates that the material could cut the weight of vehicles by up to 750 pounds by 2020. Keep reading →