Google Is Making Its Biggest Ever Bet on Renewable Energy

Google Inc. is making its largest bet yet on renewable energy, a $300 million investment to support at least 25,000 SolarCity Corp. rooftop power plants.   Google is contributing to a SolarCity fund valued at $750 million, the largest ever created for residential solar, the San Mateo, California-based solar panel installer said Thursday in a statement.   Google has now committed more than $1.8 billion to renewable energy projects, including wind and solar farms on three continents. This deal, which may have a return as high as 8 percent, is a sign that technology companies can take advantage of investment formats once reserved only for banks.   “Hopefully this will lead other corporations to invest in renewable energy,” SolarCity Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive said in a phone interview.   The deal reflects the success of renewable energy companies in tapping into a broader pool of investors with financial products that emerged in the past three years, either paying dividends or sheltering cash. Those helped boost investment in clean energy 16 percent to a record $310 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. Department of Energy's Wave Energy Prize

The Department of Energy is investing in renewable energy through the Wave Energy Prize and is offering an opportunity for both seed funding and prize purses totaling more than $1 million for qualified prize participants.

Hawaii's electric system is changing with rooftop solar growth and new utility ownership

The high electricity prices in Hawaii have made wind and solar technologies economically attractive alternatives, especially as their technology costs have come down in recent years.

How Clean Energy Can Power Climate Action During Obama's Visit to India

Prioritizing clean energy during the Republic Day visit can provide energy access solutions, create jobs, and open a huge market opportunity to Indian and American companies alike - while taking concrete action on climate change.

Seven Reasons Cheap Oil Can't Stop Renewables Now

Tom Randall for Bloomberg:    Oil prices have fallen by more than half since July. Just five years ago, such a plunge in fossil fuels would have put the renewable-energy industry on bankruptcy watch. Today: Meh. Here are seven reasons why humanity’s transition to cleaner energy won’t be sidetracked by cheap oil.   1. The Sun Doesn't Compete With Oil Oil is for cars; renewables are for electricity. The two don’t really compete. Oil is just too expensive to power the grid, even with prices well below $50 a barrel.   Instead, solar competes with coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power. Solar, the newest to the mix, makes up less than 1 percent of the electricity market today but will be the world’s biggest single source by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. Demand is so strong that the biggest limit to installations this year may be the availability of panels.   Cont'd...  

Foreign funds flow set to skyrocket for renewable energy projects in India

From The Economic Times:   Big-ticket announcements involving American loans for renewable energy projects, green bonds, venture capital and pension funds are on the cards after US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to collaborate in the area of clean energy and combat climate change.   Officials at the renewable energy ministry said deals would be negotiated at a high-profile event next month, when Modi will kick off a gathering of industry leaders, bankers, investors and central bank officials from the US, India, Europe and other regions.   A team of senior US officials and executives from funding agencies, ministries and companies will interact with Indian officials from the finance ministry, Reserve Bank of India and other agencies to help India meet its ambitious target of adding 1 lakh megawatt of clean energy, which is 40% of the country's total generation capacity now, at a cost of Rs 6 lakh crore.   

How the Oil Price Slump Helps Renewable Energy

Geoffery Styles, The Energy Collective - Intuition suggests that the current sharp correction in oil prices must be bad for the deployment of renewable and other alternative energy technologies. As the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column noted Wednesday, EV makers like Tesla face a wall of cheap gasoline. Meanwhile, ethanol producers are squeezed between falling oil and rising corn prices. Yet although individual projects and companies may struggle in a low-oil-price environment, the sector as a whole should benefit from the economic stimulus cheap oil provides.   The biggest threat to the kind of large-scale investment in low-carbon energy foreseen by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others is not cheaper oil, but a global recession and/or financial crisis that would also threaten the emerging consensus on a new UN climate deal. We have already seen renewable energy subsidies cut or revoked in Europe as the EU has sought to address unsustainable deficits and shaky member countries on its periphery.    Earlier this week the World Bank reduced its forecast of economic growth in 2015 by 0.4% as the so-called BRICs slow and the Eurozone flirts with recession and deflation. The Bank's view apparently factors in the stimulus from global oil prices, without which things would look worse. The US Energy Information Administration's latest short-term forecast cut the expected average price of Brent crude oil for this year to $58 per barrel. That's a drop of $41 compared to the average for 2014, which was already $10/bbl below 2013. Across the 93 million bbl/day of global demand the IEA expects this year, that works out to a $1.4 trillion savings for the countries that are net importers of oil--including the US. This equates to just under 2% of global GDP.   Cont'd...

Reflections from Breakthrough Marine Energy Trials

The marine power plant Deep Green has now been producing electricity for more than a year, and Minesto's founder and CEO Anders Jansson shares his experiences from the trials in this article.

Case Study - 28kW Custom Carport in Frederick, MD

The PV Racking clamp-free rail was a great solution for this carport, as it helped to eliminate rain water leaking through the arrays in comparison to a traditional clamp-based system.

Upcoming Tradeshow, Conference & Exhibition Summary
March, April, May 2015

2015 promises to be another banner year for the Renewable Energy Industry. Solar and Wind will continue to grow and Energy Storage will continue to dominate the conversation. April offers up some great Energy Storage events here in North America and Europe.

Gov. Brown's renewable energy plan could boost solar, wind industries

Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal this week to significantly boost the amount of energy California derives from renewable sources could reinvigorate the state's utility-scale solar and wind industries, as well as launch another land rush in the Mojave Desert.   In his inaugural address, Brown didn't say how the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard could be raised to 50% by 2030 — the previous benchmark was 33% by 2020 — but his commitment was clear:   "This is exciting, it is bold, and it is absolutely necessary if we are to have any chance of stopping potentially catastrophic changes to our climate system," the governor said.   He also outlined a plan to reduce petroleum use in cars and trucks by 50% and double the energy efficiency of new buildings in the state.   The reverberation was instantaneous.   "Is it significant? Absolutely. Will it stimulate the market? Absolutely," said Jerry R. Bloom of the Los Angeles law firm Winston & Strawn, who guides renewable energy developers through the financing and permitting processes.

REBOUND IN CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT IN 2014 BEATS EXPECTATIONS

World clean energy investment rebounded strongly in 2014, boosted by demand for large-scale and rooftop solar photovoltaics on the back of its greatly improved competitiveness, and by the financing of a record $19.4bn of offshore wind projects.  Authoritative annual data, published today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, show that global investment in clean energy was $310bn last year. This was up 16% from a revised $268.1bn in 2013, and more than five times the figure of $60.2bn attained a decade earlier, in 2004, albeit still 2% below the all-time record of $317.5bn reached in 2011[1].    The jump in investment in 2014 reflected strong performances in many of the main centres for clean energy deployment, with China up 32% to a record $89.5bn, the US up 8% to $51.8bn (its highest figure since 2012), Japan up 12% to $41.3bn, Canada up 26% at $9bn, Brazil up 88% at $7.9bn, India up 14% to $7.9bn, and South Africa up 5% at $5.5bn. Europe, despite the flurry in offshore wind, was a relative dull spot overall, investment there edging 1% higher to $66bn.   

Renewable Energy Roundup

The world will need as much capacity as it can get from all fuel sources to satisfy the demand of growing populations.

9 Things You Need To Know About 2014 And Beyond

It's an exciting time to be in the solar industry, both for what we've accomplished in 2014 and what we will accomplish in the coming year.

Aarsleff Goes Green with Modern Hybrid Power

Clayton Power made it possible for Per Aarsleff to both go green and reduce costs by clever implementation of mobile hybrid power systems based on lithium technology.

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Sierra Instruments, Inc.- InnovaMass. Reinvented.

Sierra Instruments, Inc.- InnovaMass. Reinvented.

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