Renewable Energy Update -- August 1, 2012

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

China's solar companies warn of trade war with EU

Reuters News - Jul 26

China's solar firms warned of a trade war on Thursday, calling on the Chinese government to strike back against an anti-dumping complaint filed by rivals in Europe, but the Europeans said they would not be put off by retaliation threats. Companies led by Germany's SolarWorld have asked the European Union to investigate claims that Chinese rivals had been selling their products below market value in Europe.

China and USA partner to cut carbon emissions

Asian Power - Jul 24

China and the United States signed four agreements during the recent 3rd China-US Energy Efficiency Forum involving energy efficiency cooperation and reducing carbon emissions despite ongoing trade disputes over RE products.

Greater Phoenix Launches Formal Protest against Solar Tariffs on China

eSolar Energy News - Jul 26

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council announced today that it is filing a formal letter of protest to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission against the tariffs on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic cells and modules.

Q2 Cleantech Venture Capital Drops

Sustainable Business General News - Jul 20

Venture capital invested in cleantech companies dropped a substantial 25% in the second quarter (Q2) from Q2 2011, and declined 14% from the first quarter of 2012, according to Cleantech Group. $1.6 billion less poured into companies worldwide than in Q1, in just 155 deals, compared to 197 in Q1. 92 of the 155 deals in Q2 went to companies that previously received backing, as venture capitalists continued to avoid risky startups and bolster existing portfolio companies.

California ISO Unveils Online Guide To Help RE Developers Navigate Grid

North American Wind Power - Jul 25

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) says it has released an online tool that makes it easier to understand the basics of connecting to the ISO grid. Before power plant projects can enter the permitting process at the state or local level, developers must enter the ISO interconnection process where they are studied by engineers to determine the cost and timing of any system upgrades that may be needed.

China considers raising PV target to over 25 GW

PV-Magazine - Jul 20

According to industry analyst, Jefferies, China is mulling the possibility of again raising its 2015 photovoltaic target to over 25 GW. Meanwhile, it says feed-in tariff troubles have arisen, which may affect internal rates of return, and that a state owned enterprise merger could be on the cards for LDK Solar.

NREL certification boost for TetraSun's passivation solar PV cell technology

Renewable Energy Focus News - Jul 20

TetraSun has announced the successful completion of its SunShot Initiative PV Incubator grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE). All deliverables under the contract, which included a full area cell efficiency of a minimum of 20% and reliability tests according to IEC 61215, were submitted ahead of schedule and certified by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

UCLA Researchers Create Highly Transparent Solar Cells for Windows that Generate Electricity

Solar Thermal Magazine - Jul 24

UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. Their study appears in the journal ACS Nano. The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye.

Dow’s Powerhouse Solar Shingles come to San Antonio

Solar Energy - Jul 20

Imagine Homes will offer Dow’s Solar Shingles on all of its new homes as a standard option. However, people buying homes in Imagine’s Willis Ranch community will have a PV roof automatically. Dow has been rolling out the Solar Shingles to new markets slowly, starting in Colorado last year.

Solar Power IKEA Salt Lake City. Utah’s Largest Private Solar Array Plugged-in

Solar Thermal Magazine - Jul 26

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Salt Lake-area store in Draper, Utah – the state’s largest private commercial solar project. The 180,500-square-foot PV array consists of a 1,015-kW system, built with 4,228 panels. IKEA Draper’s program will produce approximately 1,487,080 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 1,025 tons of carbon dioxide, eliminating the emissions of 201 cars or powering 128 homes yearly.

Los Angeles Utility Powers Up 11.4-MW (DC) SolarWorld Solar PV System

Solar Thermal Magazine - Jul 23

At an employee recognition and commissioning event near the town of Adelanto in California’s Mojave Desert, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power dedicated the Adelanto Solar Power Plant, an 11.4-megawatt DC solar installation designed and supplied by SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years.

Wyoming wind farm permits requests stall

National Wind Watch - Jul 26

With several projects on the horizon, all is not lost for Wyoming’s wind energy industry. But you couldn’t tell it from the number of developer requests for state wind farm permits. Of the nearly 1,500 wind farm turbines approved by state officials, slightly more than half have been built and the rest are canceled or in limbo. That would be a troubling enough for Wyoming’s wind energy development.

Wyoming seeks California, Colorado wind power buyers

The Billings Gazette Wyoming News - Jul 26

Wyoming officials have started a campaign to sell Wyoming wind to California and are preparing a similar sales pitch to Colorado. Both states want electric utilities to provide a percentage of their power from renewable sources, such as wind.

Bids sought for wind farm to help power Pantex

Houston Channel 2 News - Jul 26

Bids are being sought to run a wind farm meant to help power the Pantex nuclear weapons plant in the Texas Panhandle. The Amarillo Globe-News reported Wednesday that the site will include five turbines on 1,500 acres of government land.

US launches first commercial tidal power project this summer, Maine to reap moon's gravitational benefits

Engadget - Jul 25

Solar may be the green energy source that's been hogging the headlines lately, but there are other fossil-fuel free ways that can help meet society's electrical needs. One of these is tidal power, and the US is set to start harnessing the ocean's electricity-generating potential this summer with the TidGen Cobscook Bay project -- the first such commercial project in the States.

Oahu Heating Up? New Geothermal Testing Could Change Energy Plan

Honolulu Civil Beat - Jul 25

Scientists are set to begin testing for geothermal energy potential on Oahu and other Hawaiian islands. And what they find could change the direction of Hawaii’s energy policy. Tests conducted several decades ago, show that the thermal energy lying below the Big Island’s volcanic rifts is enough to power the state’s electricity needs seven times over, according to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Geothermal energy project a bust after drilling hits bedrock

Herald Net - Jul 22

If geothermal power eventually flows into homes in Snohomish County, it likely won't be coming from the nearby Cascade Mountains. The Snohomish County Public Utility District's drilling effort in the mountains near Index hit bedrock and had to be scrapped, officials said.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

SolarCity, Credit Suisse Team on Second Round of Investment to Offer Customers Affordable Solar Electricity; Two Investments Total $200 Million

eSolar Energy News - Jul 25

SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy services, today announced that it has collaborated with Credit Suisse on a second round of investment to build solar panel installations. Each round included an investment of $100 million from Credit Suisse, for a total of $200 million.

NRG to Buy Rival GenOn for $1.7B as Power Producers Struggle

Green Tech Solar News - Jul 23

Amidst falling power demand and a natural gas boom that’s pushed down its share price, NRG Energy, the independent power producer that’s made big investments in green energy , is seeking to buy rival GenOn for $1.7 billion and add more coal to its power mix. The deal, which still needs approval from federal and state regulators, would create the country’s biggest independent power producer with 47,000 megawatts of power, with Princeton, N.J.-based NRG to own 71 percent of the combined company.

Largest U.S. Utility Solar Project will Create Hundreds of Green Jobs

Solar Thermal Magazine - Jul 23

OCI Solar Power signed a deal with CPS Energy today in San Antonio, Texas, to develop, own and operate the largest municipal utility solar project in the country. The groundbreaking sustainable energy development project will produce more than 400 megawatts of power through a consortium of partners brought together by OCI Solar Power for the landmark deal.

Devine William R

William R. Devine
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Orange County
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Patrick A. Perry
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Emily L. Murray

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Written by:

Allen Matkins

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