Obama makes new push on solar power

Timothy Cama for The Hill:  The Obama administration is making a new large-scale effort to encourage deployment and use of rooftop solar power on homes. Numerous agencies announced new or strengthened coordinated efforts Tuesday aimed at increasing solar installations in houses owned by low- and moderate-income Americans, including a new goal for solar installations and a policy change to increase access to a key financing mechanism for solar power and energy efficiency. “This is an approach that cuts across the government to try to take advantage of the fact that the cost of renewable technologies has come down dramatically during President Obama’s tenure, and we want to advantage of that a try to encourage more homeowners to actually benefit directly from that dynamic,” Brian Deese, a top adviser to Obama, told reporters. The administration is dubbing the effort the “Clean Energy for All Americans Initiative.”   Cont'd...

Clean Energy Investment in 2016 Undershoots Last Year's Record

Investment slowdowns in China and Japan, as well as further reduction in the cost of solar, mean 2016 investment will fall well short of 2015's upwardly revised $348.5bn

Africa's Off-grid Solar Market Is Booming

Investors will need to understand the differences between on-grid and off-grid solar. And a long term proof of bankability of the off-grid solar sector is still needed.

Why Drones Are 'Game-Changing' for Renewable Energy

Julia Pyper for GreenTechMedia:  Amazon caused quite the stir in 2013 when it announced plans to launch a drone delivery service. People were both thrilled and horrified at the thought of flying robots delivering toilet paper to our doorsteps. Some drone enthusiasts hoped to see Amazon launch a drone-based solar installation service -- but alas, that business doesn't exist. Yet. Drones are already disrupting the solar sector, however. This week at Intersolar North America, DroneDeploy, a cloud software platform provider for commercial drones, and DJI, a leading maker of drones and camera technology, announced a partnership that is expected to dramatically increase the efficiency of solar panel installation and inspection using drone-based thermal imagery capture and analytics. The companies claim that customers can reduce residential solar system measurement times by up to 50 percent and reduce commercial measurement times from days to minutes. In addition, on-board thermal imagery can help to ensure that equipment is in the optimal position for maximum production.   Cont'd...

Energy Storage Would Get U.S. Tax Credits in Bipartisan Bill

Chris Martin for Bloomberg Politics: Energy storage would gain access to the same tax incentives that helped make renewable energy the biggest new source of electricity in the U.S. last year under a bill introduced in the Senate. Batteries like the lithium-ion ones in phones and electric vehicles would be eligible for the tax incentives when connected to the utility grid at homes and businesses under a bill introduced Tuesday by Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico. The bill has eight co-sponsors including Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, according to a statement. Other energy storage technologies such as pumped hydroelectric power, flywheels and compressed air would also have access to the tax credits, modeled after incentives for the solar industry, which reimburse as much as 30 percent of installation costs. Cont'd...

Solar Energy Becoming More Predictable Thanks to Forecasting

Ultimately, the use of forecasting allowed the plant operator to send commitments in line with what is required by the grid operator.

Intersolar and ees North America 2016 underway in San Francisco

Since its establishment in 2008, Intersolar North America has become the most attended solar event and the premier networking platform for the North American solar industry. AltEnergyMag.com's special coverage report brings all the important headlines from this years event. Visit the Intersolar North America website. Click here for AltEnergyMag.com's Special Intersolar Newspage

Using Silicon in Lithium Ion Batteries to Increase Capacity

A key attribute of silicon in lithium ion batteries (LIB) is the higher capacity that Si can offer which leads to greater electric vehicle driving range or longer operating consumer electronics.

Social Media Coming of Age in Clean Tech

Achieving engagement with a customer is about meaningful interaction with the consumer.

Why Every Rooftop Solar System Needs Energy Storage

John Petersen for Investor Intel:  Rooftop solar is an odd duck. A consumer buys an expensive capital asset with the expectation that he’ll recover his investment through lower electric bills. As a matter of metaphysics, he’s decided to go into the power business with the primary goal of satisfying the most important and discriminating customer on the planet. The value proposition he currently offers his local electric utility is: I’ll buy less electricity from you because of my solar panels, but I need you on standby 24/7 to supply my nighttime needs and fill any weather related power production gaps; Since my solar panels will frequently produce more power than I need, I want you to give me credit for any excess power production, let me draw equivalent power from you when I need it, and structure it all as a tax free swap; You can, of course, bill me for any difference between what I deliver and what I take; I’ll have no duty to buy a fixed amount of power from you or deliver a fixed amount of power to you, but you must supply whatever I need and take whatever I don’t need; and You will be required to pay all of the costs associated with weather related production gaps and pass those costs through to your other customers. Full Article:

Scripps Vessel Proves Viability of Renewable Fuel on 14,400-Mile Voyage

Chris Jennewein for Times of San Diego:  A Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel has demonstrated the viability of renewable fuel by traveling 14,400 nautical miles over a 16-month period on renewable diesel. The R/V Robert Gordon Sproul used a hydrogenation-derived renewable fuel called NEXBTL Renewable Diesel developed by Neste Oil in Finland. The experiment began in September 2014 and ran through December 2015, during which time the vessel used a total of 52,500 gallons. “Part of the Scripps mission is to protect the environment, and one of the most significant changes that we could make in our ship operations involved moving toward the use of cleaner, renewable fuels,” said Scripps Associate Director Bruce Appelgate. “As scientists, we know we need to develop sustainable means of powering our ships to address pollution concerns as well as to mitigate future increases in fossil fuel costs.” Renewable biofuel is nearly carbon-neutral and produces cleaner emissions, thus decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality relative to fuels derived from petroleum.   Cont'd...

Maintenance and Lubrication of Wind Turbines

Wind turbine gearboxes are challenging to maintain because they are often in remote locations, at elevated heights, and operating under extreme conditions.

SolarCity pushing industry to 40% increase in useful lifetime of solar power installations

John Fitzgerald Weaver for Electrek:  In a new report released by SolarCity, we are seeing that solar power systems have a usable lifetime of at least 35 years – 40% longer than the market expects. The key finding of the report is that power degradation (annual efficiency loss) of solar panels supplied to SolarCity is as much as 35% lower than for a comparable industry-wide selection of non-SolarCity panels, which are typically expected to last for 25 years. SolarCity feels it is the implementation of a stringent and industry-leading “Total Quality Program” that has driven this. SolarCity is in the unique position of being one of the largest deployers of solar panels – from multiple manufacturers – in the world, and with their tens of thousands of systems connected to a central database they know realtime performance. In the study here, SolarCity looked at greater than 11,000 panels to determine their data points and come to their conclusion that their solar panels are performing well beyond expected industry standards.   Cont'd.. .

New Ride: Today's Business Goes Up, Down and Around at Thrilling Speeds

The challenge for management is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable handling the speed, ambiguity and scary portions of the business rollercoaster.

Here's How Brexit May End Most British Wind Power

Andrew Follett for the Daily Caller:  Officials from Britain’s wind industry are terrified their subsidies and tax incentives will end because of the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, according to a report by Reuters published Friday. The report found that British wind companies, particularly ones that specialize in offshore wind power, are worried that Brexit places the government subsidies and easy access to financing at risk. The industry is deeply dependent on these subsidies to make projects more economically viable. Britain’s political uncertainty following the pending resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron means cuts to subsidies are likely. The Brexit could also make it much harder for wind companies to get loans from European banks, which could significantly slow the expansion of wind power.   Cont'd...

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