China to plow $361 billion into renewable fuel by 2020

Reuters:  China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country's energy agency said on Thursday, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels. The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period. The NEA said installed renewable power capacity including wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power will contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020. The agency did not disclose more details on where the funds, which equate to about $72 billion each year, would be spent. Still, the investment reflects Beijing's continued focus on curbing the use of fossil fuels, which have fostered the country's economic growth over the past decade, as it ramps up its war on pollution.   Cont'd...

Instead Of Trump's Wall, Let's Build A Border Of Solar Panels

Homero Aridjis & James Ramey for Huffington Post:  President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Mexico to build a wall between our countries. There is indeed a way that Mexico could create a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one constructed exclusively on the Mexican side, with substantial benefits for both countries and the planet: a solar border. Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border.   Solar energy is already being generated at lower prices than those of coal. With solar plants along vast stretches of the almost 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border on the Mexican side, a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) grid could be set up to transmit energy efficiently from that long, snaking array to population centers along the border. HVDC power lines lose exponentially less energy over long distances than traditional power lines.   Cont'd...

Solar Industry Applauds Baker Administration's Commitment to Solar in the Commonwealth

CfA Asks California Attorney General to Investigate Solar Companies

Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) asked the California Attorney General to open an investigation into companies that offer residential solar panels. A review of consumer complaints filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) - which lacks jurisdiction to resolve these complaints - reveals many of these companies have engaged in false and misleading acts in the marketing and sale or lease of solar panels, in apparent violation of California law.

Solar power proponents hopeful Trump sees benefit of growing industry

Ivan Penn and Rob Nikolewski for The LA Times:  Longtime solar executive Barry Cinnamon got up Wednesday wondering what a Donald Trump administration will mean for his industry. “I woke up this morning and walked to my car and took a picture of the sun coming up, and it did indeed come up,” said Cinnamon, president of Cinnamon Solar, one of the highest-profile solar companies in Silicon Valley. Candidate Trump said a lot of things that heartened conventional oil and natural gas producers and worried the renewable energy business, which is growing fast but is still a tiny part of the energy landscape.   Cont'd...

SEIA Statement on Defeat of Florida Constitutional Amendment 1

Election returns show that voters in Florida have rejected the anti-solar Amendment 1 ballot initiative. Following is a statement from Tom Kimbis, interim president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on the election results:

Environmental Concerns and Siting Requirements for Small Ground Mount Solar Projects

This paper will identify and explain the environmental concerns and siting requirements for small ground mount solar PV projects within the FIT 3 and EASR frameworks, discuss the discrepancies, interpretations, and provide a path forward towards successful project execution.

Polls Show Sharp Momentum Shift on Florida Amendment 1

Electric utilities pour another $3.5M into advertising to confuse the public

New York set for offshore wind after environmental review

Daniel J. Graeber fro UPI:  Areas off the New York coast will be open for offshore wind energy bidders, but some area is reserved because of ecological concerns, the U.S. government said. The U.S. Interior Department, in coordination with its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said it would open 79,350 acres off the coast of New York up for a commercial wind energy lease sale. About 1,780 acres was removed because of environmental concerns associated with a subsea feature known as the Cholera Bank. "In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures," an Interior Department stated read. "As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the proposed sale notice."   Cont'd...

Solar & Wind Cheaper To Replace Coal In UK Than Biomass

Joshua S Hill for CleanTechnica:  A new study has concluded that transitioning to wind and solar power would be a cheaper option for the United Kingdom to replace its coal fleet than using biomass electricity generation. According to a new study published this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and conducted by London-based Vivid Economics, which examined the full system costs of renewable energy technologies like wind and solar in comparison to biomass as a replacement for the UK's coal fleet, wind and solar came out as the cheaper option. The UK already uses a lot of biomass for electricity generation, with the report concluding that "biomass supplies the lion's share" of the country's renewable electricity generation. However, as the authors of the report note: "…recent science shows that many forms of biomass produce more carbon emissions than fossil fuels like coal and natural gas-especially biomass from forests-increasing carbon pollution precisely when the United Kingdom aims to rapidly decarbonise its electricity sector."   Cont'd...

Five Members of Congress Receive Major Solar Accolades

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is honored to present Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with the first-ever Lifetime Solar Pugilist Award. SEIA is also proud to announce the selection of four other Members of Congress to receive the prestigious SEIA Solar Champion Award, an honor bestowed upon entities or individuals who have helped strengthen solar power in America.

Industry praises bipartisan Governors' Wind and Solar Energy Coalition for seeking U.S. agencies' help to site wind projects

The U.S. wind energy industry today welcomed the support of a bipartisan group of 20 governors for further steps by federal agencies that could expedite siting of new wind farms, on land and offshore.

Think Wind Power Is Cheap Now? Wait Until 2030

Katherine Tweed for GreenTechMedia:  In many parts of the world, wind power is cheap. That is particularly true in the U.S., where onshore wind already rivals the cost of natural gas in some regions. But wind power will likely get even cheaper, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published in Nature Energy, with contributions from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, and participants in the International Energy Agency Wind Technology Collaboration Program. The study surveyed more than 160 wind experts across the globe. Many had deep expertise in very specific regions, but the overall findings were similar: The cost of wind will continue to come down through 2030. There are significant variations in the current costs for wind by region, but researchers "found a considerable amount of agreement” in overall reductions as a percentage of that total cost, said lead author Ryan Wiser, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab.   Cont'd...

China's Solar Panel Glut Undermines Its Agreement with the EU

By Reuters:  “We fear a second wave of bankruptcies,” said the head of an association of EU solar producers.  A sharp increase in solar power production in China and a sharp fall in domestic demand have sparked a sudden surge of cut-price exports, undermining a China-EU agreement to limit damage to European producers. China produced 27 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules in the first half of 2016, an increase of 37.8 percent and installed 20 GW of new solar power capacity in the same period, three times as much as the same period a year ago. However, demand has since tailed off. Solar projects operational since July face a reduced price paid by grid operators for their power.    Cont'd...

AWEA statement: Industry praises Administration's commitment to advancing US offshore wind

The path to a thriving American offshore wind power industry became clearer today following the release of the National Offshore Wind Strategy by the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of the Interior.

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