Renewable Energy Update -- February 12, 2013

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

DOE, Treasury release $150M In unused Section 48C Clean Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits

North American Wind Power - Feb 7

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have made available $150 million in advanced energy manufacturing tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the U.S. The advanced energy manufacturing tax credit - often referred to as the Section 48c tax credit - was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support investment in domestic clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing facilities through a competitively awarded 30% investment tax credit.

Obama picks REI chief Jewell to head Interior Department

Bloomberg News - Feb 6

President Barack Obama said he has selected Sally Jewell, chief executive officer of Recreational Equipment Inc., to be secretary of the U.S. Interior Department in his second-term Cabinet. Jewell’s background as an engineer and experience in the banking, energy and retail industries give her the skills needed to run a department that oversees 500 million acres of public land, Obama said as he introduced her at the White House.

US emissions fall to lowest levels since 1994

The Guardian - Feb 1

Energy-saving technologies and a doubling in renewables led to the reduction in climate pollution, new figures show America's carbon dioxide emissions last year fell to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a new report. Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13% in the past five years, because of new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy, the report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) said . The reduction in climate pollution – even as Congress failed to act on climate change – brings America more than halfway towards Barack Obama's target of cutting emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next decade, the Bloomberg analysts said.

VantagePoint yanks planned $1.25 billion venture-capital fund

PE Hub Blog - Feb 6

Venture firm VantagePoint Capital Partners, known for its investments in clean technology, has pulled the plug on a planned $1.25 billion fund due to lack of investor interest. With venture-capital performance in recent years lagging stock-market performance, investors are increasingly looking for solid results in their venture bets. Lately, VantagePoint has lacked a major exit – meaning a sale or initial public offering for a portfolio company.

5 entrepreneurial endeavors powered by the wind

Intuit Blog - Feb 7

The lure of small-scale wind generation is spreading beyond isolated rural homesteads to urban subdivisions and small businesses. For example, officials in Sioux City, Iowa, recently changed zoning laws to allow residents to install backyard wind turbines.

Judge halts sale of assets in Chinese firm's wind deal

Bloomberg News - Feb 4

A Chinese-owned company barred by the Obama administration from developing an Oregon wind farm won a temporary court order blocking the sale of collateral it pledged to buy assets for the project. The order by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel in New York prevents Terna Energy USA Holding Corp. from going ahead with a Feb. 7 sale of collateral owned by Ralls Corp. “and pledged in security agreements related to a commercial transaction that has been declared prohibited and illegal by an order of President Barack Obama.”

It's time to bury the 'clean vs. dirty' debate in energy

Venturebeat - Feb 6

After decades of instability and uncertainty, the United States suddenly finds itself in a peculiar position: In the driver’s seat as a net-supplier of energy, potentially the world’s largest. Driven entirely by the rapid progress of advanced energy technologies, oil and gas extraction is increasing; wind, solar and geothermal energy sources are booming; and energy efficiency is allowing us to do more and more with less energy. For some, this is validation that the “old way” – oil and gas – are making a comeback; for others it’s about “clean” sources of energy reshaping our economy and protecting our environment. The truth is that it’s not a zero sum game. Advancements in technology in all types of energy are leading to cleaner solutions, making the “clean vs. dirty” energy debate irrelevant to the opportunity that lies ahead.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

Texas firm wants to build wind farm in Alabama

Biz Journal - Feb 5

Pioneer Green Energy wants to build a $120 million windmill farm in northeast Alabama. The Texas company wants to build the farm in Cherokee and Etowah counties north of Gadsden. The Cherokee County project would include eight turbines with capacity to supply 18.4 megawatts to the Tennessee Valley Authority transmission system. The Etowah County project would have up to 40 turbines and capacity of 80 megawatts. Both projects are planned to be operational at some point in 2014.

Large solar plant eyed for Maricopa

Biz Journal - Feb 4

A foreign energy company is proposing a new massive solar-power plant on roughly 1,700 acres near the town of Maricopa, south of Phoenix. AZCentral reports that Italian firm Marisol Energy 2 has plans for a plant that will generate 300 megawatts, which is enough power for 75,000 homes. It is unclear where the power would be sold.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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