Renewables suffered their first “serious slowdown” in 2012, as their rapid growth outpaced the capacity of some economies to continue subsidizing them, according to BP Chief Economist Christof Rühl. Global renewables consumption – defined as wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and waste – grew by 15.2% in 2012 over 2011 levels, to 237.4 million tons of… Keep reading →
The US is at an energy crossroads of sorts, with decisions to make about how best to fuel our vehicles, businesses and homes in an era of abundant fossil fuels, falling alternative energy prices, climate change concerns and economic uncertainty. These are the issues Michael Levi dissects in his new book, “The Power Surge –… Keep reading →
As an Energy Strategist focused on advanced energy solutions, I’m very excited about the historic floating wind turbine, the first in the U.S., which recently entered the waters off the coast of Maine. However, while much of the focus has been on the 65-foot tall Volturn prototype, I thought it would be useful for readers… Keep reading →
The internet is all around us. Chances are as you read this article you are either plugged in or tapping into some kind of wireless device (hopefully over a secured network) from your charged laptop, tablet or smartphone. So it can be a large understatement to say that consumer access to the World Wide Web… Keep reading →
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called on the US to use the natural gas boom as a temporary means of cutting CO2 emissions until renewables can capture a greater share of US energy markets in a video released today on his facebook page. Below is a partial transcript of the video, which can be found here:… Keep reading →
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 →
The wind industry privately worries that MLPs are a bargaining chip for their tax credit.
Master limited partnerships are currently the policy du jour in Washington. And unlike the hollow “momentum” earlier this year for a carbon tax, MLPs actually have bipartisan support and legislative potential. 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 →