October 27, 2016

Jordan Turbocharges Distributed Solar

Conditions in Jordan are perfect for rapid growth in commercial and industrial solar.

The country recently abolished a limit on the nameplate capacity of renewable energy plants connected to the grid that can benefit from net metering.

Net metering permits a consumer of electricity generated by a renewable energy plant to feed any excess generation to the national grid in return for credits on future utility bills.

October 26, 2016

Modi Said to Plan $3.1 Billion Boost for India’s Solar Factories

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is planning a 210 billion-rupee ($3.1 billion) package of state aid for India’s solar panel manufacturing industry, according to two officials.

The so-called Prayas initiative, short for “Pradhan Mantri Yojana for Augmenting Solar Manufacturing,” a central-government plan designed to lift India’s installed photovoltaic capacity as well as to create an export industry, according to two senior government officials with direct knowledge of the plan. They asked not to be identified because the policy isn’t yet public.

October 25, 2016

Duke Energy Carolinas Paving the way for More Renewable Energy Projects

- Seeking competitive bids for solar and other renewable energy for customers

Furthering efforts to provide renewable energy to customers, Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) today issued a request for 750,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy located in its territory.

Results from the request for proposals (RFP) will help DEC meet North Carolina's 2007 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) that mandates the company generate 12.5 percent of its retail sales in the state by renewable energy or energy efficiency programs by 2021.

The RFP is open to solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas and other facilities that qualify as a renewable energy resource under REPS requirements – excluding swine and poultry waste. Facilities must be located in the DEC service territory.

"We want to encourage market development of more renewable generation in the Duke Energy Carolinas system in the most competitive manner possible," said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology. "This RFP gives developers the opportunity to either pursue projects themselves or sell current projects under development to Duke Energy."

The RFP calls for 750,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy and associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) located in the DEC territory. A REC, equaling one megawatt-hour of renewable energy generation, demonstrates Duke Energy's compliance with the renewable energy mandate.

The 750,000 MWh figure is about what 400 MWs of solar capacity would generate in a year. When operating at peak capacity, it is enough to supply the energy needs of nearly 62,000 residential houses.

Currently, about 75 percent of Duke Energy's owned and purchased solar generating capacity is in the Duke Energy Progress (DEP) territory.

"We are well ahead of our compliance in our Duke Energy Progress territory, and view this as an opportunity to bring more renewable energy to customers in other parts of the state," said Caldwell.

Interested bidders must already be in the DEC interconnection queue, which includes renewable projects already proposed in the region.

The RFP allows bidders the flexibility to offer three options:
  • Purchased power proposals;
  • engineer, procurement and construction turnkey proposals in which Duke Energy takes ownership of the new facility; or
  • project development proposals that are in the late stages of development where Duke Energy would take ownership and build the new facility.

Proposed projects must be in operation by Dec. 31, 2018.

In a related announcement today, DEC is also seeking to buy RECs from existing facilities in its service territory. These would be existing renewable projects for which Duke Energy does not already purchase the RECs. The RECs must come from facilities in the DEC territory and must be in operation by the end of 2016.

More information about the RFP can be viewed here.

Overall, Duke Energy companies, both regulated and commercial, have installed about 450 MWs of solar energy in North Carolina – around 35 solar plants total. The company also purchases more than 1,300 MWs of solar capacity from other developers. Overall, this has contributed to North Carolina's ranking as No. 2 in the nation for overall solar power.

October 24, 2016

Spain Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy

Enough wind energy is being generated in Spain to power more than 29 million homes every day, according to one of the country's biggest renewable energy companies.

Key points:
  • 9,500 wind turbines around the world monitored by energy company
  • At its peak, wind energy provided 70pc of Spain's electricity needs
  • But critics say power bills remain high

October 14, 2016

Energy Experts Back Renewables After Blackout in South Australia

Renewables energy experts have gathered in South Australia to defend the use of solar and wind power in the aftermath of a state-wide blackout.

The state is still recovering from the September 28 electricity outage, which coincided with gale-force winds and flooding rains. It was blamed, in part, by South Australia’s reliance on wind power.

The blackout left the state’s 1.7 million residents without power into the night and for up to 24 hours.

October 13, 2016

India’s NTPC to Expand Solar Goal, Slow Thermal Power, BNEF Says

India's largest power generator, which is spearheading Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious clean-energy goals, is expanding its solar target and slowing down development of its coal-based plants on concerns that the cost of renewables will be cheaper than conventional energy.

NTPC Ltd. will expand its target of setting up 10-GW of solar capacity, Chairman Gurdeep Singh told Bloomberg New Energy Finance in an interview. It will also support building of 15 GW of solar capacity by buying power from producers and selling it to distribution companies. It is exploring new opportunities such as solar-equipment manufacturing, solar parks and electric vehicle-charging infrastructure.

October 11, 2016

Landmark Change for Renewable Gas Markets in the UK

Renewable gas holds a nascent status in the UK, but a recent change in rules for reporting greenhouse gas emissions may provide a promising route for its expansion via enabling large consumers to demonstrate reduction in their carbon footprints by using biomethane.

The development is expected to facilitate and incentivize expansion of the UK market for biomethane — a renewable gas produced through the anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic waste and sometimes referred to as green gas.

October 10, 2016

Chile is Producing so Much Solar Power it has to Give it Away

A slump in copper mining means there is more power than is required in some parts of the country

Chile’s solar industry has expanded so quickly that it’s giving electricity away for free.

Spot prices reached zero in parts of the country on 113 days up until April this year, a number that’s on track to beat last year’s total of 192 days, according to Chile’s central grid operator.

While that may be good for consumers, it’s bad news for companies that own power plants struggling to generate revenue and developers seeking financing for new facilities.

October 9, 2016

Solar Panels Surpass Coal-Fired Electricity in Previously ‘Unthinkable’ Feat in the UK

For six months until September, more electricity came from sunlight than coal-fired power stations

Solar panels generated more electricity than coal in the past six months in a historic year for getting energy from the sun in the UK, according to a new analysis.

Research by the Carbon Brief website found that solar generated nearly 7,000 gigawatt hours of electricity between April and September, about 10 per cent more than the 6,300GwH produced by coal during the same period.

The figures represent a dramatic turnaround in the UK’s electricity supplies.

October 6, 2016

Senators Talk PACE, Renewable Energy for Nebraskans

Nebraska senators are hoping people will pick up the pace with energy conservation and renewable energy.

Sen. Ken Haar, Sen. Tyson Larson and Sen. Matt Williams spoke Tuesday at the Broken Bow Middle School about the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that was passed in the last legislative session as part of LR455. The program aims to encourage affordable energy efficiency in homes and businesses. This includes solar panels, energy-efficient furnaces and even windows. About 15 people attended the public hearing.

October 5, 2016

Guam Renewable Energy Bill Gets Mixed Reaction

While renewable energy producers supported the intent of Bill 363-33, the Guam Power Authority and regulatory agencies expressed concerns over certain provisions included in the measure, which seeks to require the utility agency to develop and file a proposed community-based renewable energy tariff for virtual net metering subject to public utilities commission approval.

Also known as the “Community Equal Access to Affordable Renewable Energy Act of 2016,” the measure introduced by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez seeks to implement a community-based program which it calls a “virtual net metering” by dramatically expanding the market for eligible renewable energy resources to include residential and business renters, occupants of residential and commercial buildings with shaded or improperly oriented roofs, and other groups who are unable to access the benefits of onsite renewable energy generation.

October 4, 2016

California Enacts 4 New Laws to Promote Energy Storage

They bump the funding for SGIP, create an additional 500-megawatt deployment goal, and more.

California already leads the nation in energy storage deployments, but the legislature decided there was more to do on the policy end.

Governor Jerry Brown signed four bills into law Monday to further develop and streamline the state's storage market. They direct the California Public Utilities Commission to evaluate the role large-scale storage can play for the integration of renewable energy, create an independent body to resolve storage interconnection disputes, expand funding for the Self-Generation Incentive Program by $249 million, and urge the state's three investor-owned utilities to invest in up to 500 megawatts of storage projects on top of the existing 1,325-megawatt procurement target.

October 2, 2016

SolarCity Mexico Eyes a $1 Billion Investment Over the Next Five Years

The Mexico unit of SolarCity  the rooftop solar developer controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, aims to invest as much as $1 billion over the next five years, the company said on Tuesday.

SolarCity Mexico President David Arelle told Reuters in an interview the projected outlay will depend on Mexico keeping at current levels an incentive known as net-metering that requires utilities to buy surplus power generated by rooftop solar panels.

September 30, 2016

Energy Round-Up: is a 65% Renewables Target Achievable for Britian?

Last week Jeremy Corbyn pledged that under a future Labour government renewables would cover 65% of our electricity needs by 2030.

Is this achievable? There’s no reason why not.

Others in Europe are already close: renewables power more than 60% of Sweden’s electricity, and 52% of Portugal’s.

It’s true that some of Europe’s most renewable-friendly countries have hydroelectric resources unavailable in the UK, but not all. And besides, the UK’s geography gives us our own advantage: tidal energy, on the verge of taking off. 

September 29, 2016

Where Next for UK Renewable Energy Policy?

In November last year, former Decc secretary (and now home secretary) Amber Rudd said: “Frankly, if at all pos­sible, energy policy shouldn’t be noticed.” The comment came shortly after a con­troversial letter was leaked, where Rudd said it was difficult to know whether or not the UK would hit its 2020 renewable energy targets. So her comment could be read as her asking the public to pay less attention.

In early September 2016, the Energy and Climate Change committee con­cluded that, on its current course, the UK will fail to provide for 15% of its energy needs from renewable sources by the end of the decade. Many in the energy-from-waste (EfW) sector are still awaiting clarity from the Govern­ment on a number of policies.

September 28, 2016

Madhya Pradesh Releases Decentralized Renewable Energy Policy

The government of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has introduced its 2016 policy for decentralized renewable energy systems with a particular focus on rooftop solar PV.

The aim is to reduce the burden on conventional sources of energy and lower distribution losses. Meanwhile, consumer electricity bills can be lowered and energy independence increased.

The technology neutral policy still has the major focus on distributed solar PV rooftop systems as they have “the largest potential for mass replication amongst consumers and small independent power producers”, according to the state policy makers.

September 26, 2016

California Law Targets Methane Emissions

Enforcement could encourage more organics recycling versus landfilling.

A greenhouse gas reduction bill signed into law in California has been designed to encourage greater organics recycling and byproducts anaerobic digestion while also clamping down on landfill methane emissions.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has signed SB 1383, which the governor’s office says “establishes the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane.”

September 25, 2016

New York Unveils Offshore Wind Blueprint

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced the release of the New York State Offshore Wind Blueprint — a plan to advance the development of offshore wind along New York’s coastline.
According to the governor’s office, the blueprint creates a framework for wind energy generation development off the coast of New York in the form of an offshore wind master plan.

The blueprint defines a New York Offshore Study Area and identifies wind energy areas (WEA) outside of that study area that will be reviewed with respect to grid interconnection, costs, and benefits they may bring to New York.

September 23, 2016

India To Add 4.8 Gigawatts Of Solar Power This Year

India, with its enormous and rapidly growing population, has a voracious appetite for electricity. Until recently, that appetite has been met by building more and more coal fired generating plants. Coal was cheaper than any other power source. So what if the emissions from all those coal plants slowly poisoned the population? India was on a mission to bring its citizens all the conveniences of the modern world and coal was the answer.

September 22, 2016

Pakistan To Add 1 GW Wind Energy Capacity Over Next 2 Years

Pakistan is expected to see a huge jump in wind energy installed capacity over the next two years as 21 projects are lined up for commissioning.

Government officials in Pakistan has told local media that almost two dozen wind energy projects are currently at various stages of development and 1,012 MW capacity is expected to be added to the grid by 2018.

All these projects are being developed in the eastern province of Sindh which shares international border with the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. These states have some of the largest installed wind energy capacities among all Indian states.

September 21, 2016

Sri Lanka To Introduce Cash Payouts In Solar Net-metering Program

In a bid to attract more consumers towards the net-metering scheme the Sri Lankan government is planning significant changes in the way excess power generation accounted.

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to introduced cash payout to consumers for the excess electricity they generate. At present, the excess electricity generation by rooftop solar power systems is carried forward to up to 10 years.

September 19, 2016

Los Angeles City Council Backs Planning for 100 Percent Renewable Energy

The Los Angeles City Council took a major step Friday toward making the city run on clean energy alone.

The Council directed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to develop a plan for going 100 percent renewable, including looking at where, when, and how the city should allocate resources to achieve that goal.

In the motion, Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Mike Bonin wrote that “the city has an opportunity to re-create its utility in a way that recognizes the potential for a fossil-free future, demonstrates global leadership in its commitment to clean energy, and protects ratepayers from the increasing costs of carbon-based fuels.” It passed unanimously, 12–0, on Friday. (Three council members were not in attendance.)

September 18, 2016

Nebraska Making Efficiency Push for State-Owned Buildings

Nebraska is making another stride on efficiency, launching an initiative to measure – and eventually reduce – the energy used in buildings throughout the state.

Last month, the federal Department of Energy preliminarily awarded the Nebraska Energy Office $300,000 to begin benchmarking energy use in all 3,762 state-owned buildings. The work is expected to get underway by early 2017.

September 16, 2016

With Hopes Fading, Lawmakers Meet On Energy Bill

Congressional efforts to approve the first major energy bill in nearly a decade got a jump-start Thursday as lawmakers convened a long-delayed meeting aimed at finding a bipartisan agreement.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, acknowledged that the election-year bill faces long odds but urged her colleagues to "prove the skeptics wrong" and "succeed where so many anticipate we'll fail."

Murkowski chairs the Senate Energy Committee and is among nearly 50 lawmakers from both parties who serve on a joint House-Senate panel tasked with developing an energy bill. The panel met for the first time Thursday after several months of delays.

September 15, 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs New Climate Change Laws

California is already on track to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Now under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, the state will ratchet up its fight against climate change by launching an ambitious campaign to scale back emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

"This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country," Brown said.

California reduced emissions by imposing limits on the carbon content of gasoline and diesel fuel, promoting zero-emission electric vehicles, and introducing a cap-and-trade system for polluters.