September 16, 2014

India Makes Plans To Spur More Renewable Energy Development

An innovative new policy will require fossil-fuel power plant developers to also invest in renewables.

India plans to ask power generators to invest in clean-energy projects as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to accelerate the nation’s shift away from the troubled coal industry.

August 21, 2014

Geothermal Bill Closer to Becoming Law

Proposed legislation that would diversify California's energy portfolio by requiring energy retail sellers to procure 500 megawatts of electricity from baseload geothermal power plants in the next 10 years continues to move through the state Legislature.

Senate Bill 1139 advanced from the Assembly Appropriations Committee today and is expected to go before the full Assembly for a floor vote sometime before the Legislature's end-of-the-month voting deadline. 

August 20, 2014

Massachusetts Legislation Supports Renewable Heating and Cooling

Bill Provides Financial Incentives for Several Thermal Renewable Energy Heating and Cooling Alternatives

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a comprehensive renewable thermal energy bill that will promote the use of clean renewable fuels and technologies for heating and cooling buildings. Passed earlier by the Massachusetts Senate, the bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Deval Patrick and go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

August 19, 2014

Government Establishes N33b Credit Line for Consumer Metering in Nigeria

THE Presidency has stated its concern over the huge metering gap in the electricity sector and wants it bridged immediately for a progressive growth in the direction the Federal Government intends it to.

   To that that end, Vice President Namadi Sambo said in Abuja Thursday that government was sourcing various funding avenues, including an initial N33 billion soft credit line to enable the distribution companies acquire smart metres and make them more available to consumers.

August 18, 2014

Energy Data and Effective Renewable Energy Policy-Making Needed to Fulfil Renewable Energy Targets in Pacific Islands

In 2013, the Pacific leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a sustainable future through the adoption of national renewable energy and energy efficiency targets as outlined in the Majuro Declaration on Climate Leadership.

While these commitments are encouraging, for countries to succeed in achieving them, much rests on collaborative efforts made today. Achieving renewable energy targets, for instance, requires immense capital and resources: a challenge to most of the Pacific Islands.  Access to up-to-date, accurate and appropriate data is also of critical importance.

August 17, 2014

Energy Department Invests More Than $55 Million to Advance Efficient Vehicle Technologies

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil and transition to a clean energy economy, the Energy Department today announced more than $55 million for 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs. These new projects are aimed at meeting the goals and objectives of the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, as well as improvements in other vehicle technologies such as power trains, fuel, tires and auxiliary systems.

July 31, 2014

Politics, Policy Setbacks Stall Energy Growth in Zimbabwe

Strong political interference and policy setbacks in Zimbabwe’s energy sector threaten the country’s bid to generate an estimated 6,200 megawatts in the next decade

The country’s sole power utility only generates 1,300MW against a national daily demand of 2,200MW.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority generates power from three local suppliers - Hwange Thermal Power Station, Kariba Hydro Power Station - and imports energy from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Hydro Power Plant.

July 30, 2014

France to Earmark 10 Billion Euros of Funding to Promote Renewable Energy Use

France will mobilize about 10 billion euros ($13.41 billion) for a package of tax breaks, low-cost loans and bonuses to boost investment in renewable energy and cut the country's oil and gas bill, Energy Minister Segolene Royal said on Tuesday.

Royal, President Francois Hollande's fourth energy minister in two years, is tasked with reducing the country's reliance on nuclear energy - the highest in the world - to 50 percent of its electricity production from 75 percent and boosting renewable energy sources.

July 29, 2014

Mexico Closer to Opening Energy Sector

Reforms aimed at dissolving government control.

Legislators in the Mexican government signed off on most of the rules meant to open an oil and gas market controlled by a state monopoly.

The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed changes to the way the oil and natural gas sector is governed. The measures, if passed in their entirety, open a Mexican energy sector controlled by state-run Petroleos Mexicanos, known also as Pemex, since the 1930s.

July 28, 2014

Utilities Cry “Fowl” Over Duck Chart And Distributed Solar Power

placeholderThe rapid changes to the electricity system being wrought by distributed solar have utilities crying out, and they’ve poured much of their distributed solar angst into a chart being shared throughout the energy nerdocracy – the duck.

The Duck Chart, Showing Net Supply/Demand on the California Grid in 2012-13, Forecast through 2020
Until 2012, daily energy demand looked like a two-humped “camel,” with peaks mid-morning and early evening. Utility operated power plants supplied most of the needed energy. But the substitution of local solar power to meet local energy needs affects the demand for mid-day energy from the grid. The daily demand curve transforms, from a camel (orange line) to a (forecast) “duck” (bottom green line).

July 27, 2014

Wind Power Backers, Opponents Gear Up for Long Fight Over Ohio Energy Laws

$55M Champaign County wind project may be in jeopardy, but some neighbors want it to stop.

Everpower Renewables has spent as much as $10 million in Ohio to get a trio of wind projects ready for construction, including in Champaign County, but two recently signed laws are making the firm reconsider if their investment is still worth the effort.

Wind energy advocates said the laws put the future of wind energy in Ohio in jeopardy, potentially stalling or killing as many as 10 shovel-ready projects that could mean $2.5 billion in investment in the state, along with as much as $20 million in combined tax payments to local governments and lease payments to property owners.

July 25, 2014

Germany's Upper House Passes Renewable Energy Law

Germany's upper house of parliament Friday passed an ambitious renewable energy law which aims to mitigate the effects of the country's move away from nuclear and fossil-fuel generated power.

The upper house, which represents Germany's 16 states and which could have delayed the bill, passed the bill ending months of tough negotiations. And the reform of the renewable energy law can come into force as planned on August 1.

July 24, 2014

New Solar Law in Massachusetts Casts Shadow on Small Businesses

Local legislators say amendments are possible.

To further Massachusetts’ role as a leader in clean energy policy, the state Legislature is poised to change rules and incentives that have driven installation of more than 600 megawatts of solar generation in the past 4½ years.

July 23, 2014

World Bank To Help Indian State Odisha Chart Renewable Energy Policy

The World Bank is set to provide expertise to the Indian state of Odisha to help the latter develop medium-term renewable energy policy. The initiative would enable the state to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and further enhance itself as a one of the leading states in India to promote renewable energy.

The World Bank would work closely with the International Finance Corporation, which is helping the government develop a robust solar energy policy. While Odisha is not as well known as other Indian states like Gujarat and Rajasthan for the vast solar power capacities installed, it was among the first states to implement a solar power project with the specific target to fulfill the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

July 22, 2014

How Did US Renewable Energy Policy Get So Off Track?

In 1978 a monumental multi-departmental study was submitted to President Carter concluding that “solar energy could make a significant contribution to U.S. energy supply by the end of this century”. The study, backed by 30 federal departments, stated that “even with today’s subsidized energy prices, many solar technologies are already economic.” Yet no action was taken and solar power and other renewable energies stagnated for over 30 years. Until now? Allan Hoffman, former senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy, who personally delivered the report to the White House back in 1978, recalls what went wrong – and what lessons the U.S. should draw if it is to avoid another failed renewables revolution.

July 21, 2014

POWER Digest July 2014

Chile Banks on Renewable Capacity Expansion, Energy Efficiency. 
Chile in mid-May released a $650 million investment plan to reduce energy costs and promote non-hydro renewable energy development for the country that imports about 60% of its primary energy resources. The plan calls for a 30% cut in marginal power costs on Chile’s central grid, which serves 90% of the country’s citizens, by 2018. It also requires that 45% of power capacity installed between 2014 and 2025 be from solar, wind, and geothermal sources to put Chile closer to its target of producing 20% of its energy from renewables. The government also called for energy savings of up to 20,000 GWh per year. Experts have warned that Chile must triple its 18 GW capacity within 15 years to continue growing its economy (see “Chile’s Power Challenge: Reliable Energy Supplies” in the September 2012 issue). Chile’s power mix is dominated by hydropower, but droughts have left a country that has no indigenous oil or natural gas reserves energy-strapped. Beyond calling on the state oil company to boost exploration, the country also hopes to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal in the mineral-rich north.

July 20, 2014

China's Renewables to 'Hit 20% by 2020'

China’s renewable energy capacity increased from 27.8 Gigawatts (GW) in 2001 to 183 GW in 2013, and alternative sources are expected to account for more than 20% of the country’s total electricity generation by 2020, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

July 18, 2014

In India, MLAs Want Legislature Committee on Energy

‘Renewable energy potential in State needs to be harnessed’

A group of legislators in Karnataka, forming part of the Climate Parliament, a global network of lawmakers working to combat climate change, want a committee on energy to be constituted in the Assembly to identify and implement key energy issues in the State.

In doing so, the objectives would be to work towards inclusive development, energy security, clean energy access, affordability and energy efficiency. A memorandum underscoring the significance of having such a committee from the multi-party group of legislators was submitted to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa on Tuesday evening.

July 17, 2014

ACORE's Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Northeast Region Report Identifies Solar Energy Momentum and Opportunities from EPA's Clean Power Plan

Eleven Northeastern states added more than 800 MW of new, renewable energy capacity in 2013.

The Northeast Region Report, the first portion of the American Council On Renewable Energy's (ACORE) 7th annual Renewable Energy in the 50 States report, was released today. The first in a four-part series, this portion focuses on the renewable energy sector in the eleven Northeastern states plus the District of Columbia (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC), reviewing activity from 2013 to present. The report is a review of state energy policies and programs, investment, and market openness as they relate to the current state of renewable energy and its potential for further growth.

July 16, 2014

West Africa: Liberia, Others Have Renewable Energy Policies

A representative from the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) has remarked that The Gambia, Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Niger and Senegal have specific Renewable Energy (RE) policies in place. Hyancinth Elayo, a Cape Verde national made the disclosure to delegates at the recently concluded 3rd National Renewable Energy (RE) dialogue forum. The two-day synergy with the theme; Policy for Small Scale Renewable Energy Regulation', which was jointly organized by PURA and NARUC, was held at a local hotel in Kololi last week.

July 15, 2014

Brazil Looks to Wind; French Cook up a New Energy Future

While the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has dribbled and tackled its way through its goal-rich group phase, the country’s power sector has been stuck in crisis mode.

Low rainfall and therefore depressed production from hydropower has led to a high dependence on the spot market for thermal power. However, renewable energy developers have had reason to celebrate with wind a big winner of an auction in early June on top of having walked away with a record amount of contracted capacity in 2013.

July 14, 2014

World Bank To Help Indian State Odisha Chart Renewable Energy Policy

The World Bank is set to provide expertise to the Indian state of Odisha to help the latter develop medium-term renewable energy policy. The initiative would enable the state to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and further enhance itself as a one of the leading states in India to promote renewable energy.

The World Bank would work closely with the International Finance Corporation, which is helping the government develop a robust solar energy policy. While Odisha is not as well known as other Indian states like Gujarat and Rajasthan for the vast solar power capacities installed, it was among the first states to implement a solar power project with the specific target to fulfill the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

July 13, 2014

German Power Sector Calls For End to Renewable Energy Bill Row

* Utilities group criticise row over renewable reform
* Says politicians must end standoff for reform to proceed
* Wants answers why EU questioned done deal, Berlin "failed"

German energy industry group BDEW on Wednesday criticised a dispute between Berlin and the European Commission over changes to Germany's renewable energy law, demanding both parties settle their differences so that further reform can be tackled.

July 11, 2014

What Your City Can Do To Fight Climate Change

The Obama administration is pushing power plant regulations to reduce carbon emissions and most states have some sort of renewable energy policy. But there’s plenty of opportunity left for action at the local level; action that can also boost the local economy.

The following presentation by ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell to the Northfield Climate Summit on January 18, 2014, illustrates what one small Minnesota town has done, what other steps it can take as part of the state’s GreenStep Cities program, and model local climate actions from around the United States.

July 10, 2014

Germany Ups New Green Energy Surcharge on Industry to Meet EU Rules

Germany on Tuesday offered to change a planned reform of its renewable energy policy, trying to end a standoff with the European Commission over green power subsidies and to meet a deadline needed to secure rebates for German industry.

In an amended draft law seen by Reuters, the government proposed that German industrial companies producing their own electricity in new renewable energy or combined heat-power plants would pay a higher surcharge than previously planned.