Residential-scale power generation

Residential-sited fuel cells are now becoming an option for consumers, with growing interest and big sales being made primarily outside of the United States.

Are corporations becoming energy responsible?

Major corporations here and abroad are reevaluating their energy usage and looking for ways to run their facilities with green energy in an effort to save the planet.

Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Is It A Viable Technology?

In a world committed to reducing carbon emissions CCS offers a helping hand but not a definitive one. It may offer a partial answer for the rest of this century, but governments are unlikely to provide the needed funds for large-scale deployment.

The Current State of the International Solar Power Industry

U.S. solar PV companies need to find a way to work together with international PV companies, especially those in Mainland China & Taiwan.

Solar Energy Index Outperforms S&P in Q3 2013

Lincoln International's Renewable Energy Group is pleased to present the latest Q3 2013 Solar Energy Stock Index Report, which tracks relevant solar company metrics in this growing industry.

Renewable Energy Opportunities and Challenges in Pakistan

Solar opportunities exist in Punjab province, wind opportunities exist in Sind and Baluchistan province, Coal opportunities exists in all provinces, Hydro opportunities exist in north of Pakistan and Bio-energy exists in all provinces.

Solar Sector Shines on Energy Storage

There is no doubt that PV is becoming a primary source of energy but only when integrated with long duration energy storage.

Wind energy tax credit likely over, but effect may not hurt like before

Dec. 31 is a curious date for Texas wind energy producers. That's when transmission services providers expect to energize the last power lines built under the state's $7 billion Competitive Renewable Energy Zone initiative, the long-running effort to connect windy West Texas to the state's energy-thirsty big cities. The 3,600-mile project has been credited with spurring even more investment in Texas, the country's wind power leader. But 2013's last day is also an ominous one for wind folks. It's the expiration date of the federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit, the fate of which has driven booms and busts in the industry. The multibillion-dollar credit, which Congress passed in 1992, helps wind stay economically competitive with other energy sources, including low-priced natural gas. Without it, the industry can't keep pace, even as production costs fall. Last year, as the credit neared its demise, Congress extended it as a part of a last-minute budget package, but only for a year. This year, with Congress focused on finding a way to turn the government back on and pay its bills, lawmakers have yet to draw up a proposal for the credit, making a swift renewal increasingly unlikely. So how would Texas wind power fare if the 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour incentive lapsed? That would depend on how long the credit is unavailable, observers say. But for a couple of reasons, the effect probably won't be as harsh as in past uncertain times. Jeff Clark, executive director of the Austin-based Wind Coalition, said he's not too worried about the ticking clock. “There's a lot of projects in the pipeline right now,” he said. The 202-megawatt Baffin Wind Farm, in Kenedy County, is one project that's depending on the tax credit. However, owner and developer Iberdrola Renewables LLC isn't concerned.

How $5M Will Help A Startup Tackle The Emerging Energy Storage Market

A California energy storage startup has raised $5 million to fund projects that it will sell to businesses under long-term contracts, a model that resembles the leases that have made rooftop solar installations popular. Stem plans to use the money from Clean Feet Investors to finance up to 15 megawatts of lithium-ion battery systems. Stem is targeting hotels, chain stores, fast restaurant and light industrial companies, said Prakesh Patel, vice president of capital markets and strategy at the startup. Stem is one of a growing number of energy storage system and service providers that are gunning for California as their primary market. The state last week passed the country’s first mandate that will require its utilities to buy energy storage to help them manage the growing amount of solar and wind electricity that flows into the grid. Investors such as Clean Feet Investors will be the first wave of money managers who are willing to take big risks. Given that the energy storage market is so new, major banks are watching to see whether various types of storage equipment will deliver the promised performance over time and how money can best be made. Right now, many of them aren’t so willing to invest in what they consider to be unproven technologies. The new fund enables Stem to market to a broader set of customers. Businesses would sign contracts in which they pay a monthly fee for using the energy storage and Stem’s software, which collects and analyzes onsite energy use and other data in order to control how frequent and how much the electricity should flow in and out of the batteries throughout the day.   FULL ARTICLE:

First public auction for solar energy rights on federal lands draws no bids

Federal officials are trying to figure out why the Bureau of Land Management's first-ever auction of public land for solar-energy development failed to attract any bids. According to the Denver Post, no bidders showed up for the first auction for three parcels of land in Colorado's San Luis Valley, even though five solar development companies had expressed interest in the land. Three parcels covering 3,700 acres in so-called solar-energy zones were offered on Thursday. The bureau has created 19 zones for large solar projects in six Western states, encompassing nearly 300,000 acres, the newspaper reported. "We are going to have to regroup and figure out what didn't work," Maryanne Kurtinaitis, the renewable-energy program manager for the BLM's Colorado division, told the Denver Post. "It is always tough to be the first out of the chute. This is a learning experience." Industry officials attributed the auction's failure to uncertainties about the solar energy market and federal regulations. Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the Solar Energy Industries, told the Post that financing large-scale solar projects remains a challenge for the industry. 

Unique National Clean Energy Credentialing Alliance Created, Uses Solar Power International as Launchpad

In response to groundbreaking growth in renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, a group of highly respected, nationally accredited credentialing organizations announces the formation of a unique Clean Energy Credentialing Coalition (CECC). The Coalition was announced in conjunction with Solar Power International 2013 (SPI '13), the solar energy industry's most powerful, comprehensive educational conference and product exhibition, being held at Chicago's McCormick Place, October 21 - 24. The newly-formed group joins together organizations to demonstrate and promote the collective importance of third-party quality assessment, and the value it brings to building strong and competent renewable energy and energy efficiency markets.  The Coalition is creating a campaign to build awareness of the value of credentialing - particularly as a distinguishing tool for consumers, energy incentive programs, employers and industry. A quality credential is a mark of excellence that can boost consumer confidence in renewable energy and energy efficiency professionals, products and programs.  The goal of the campaign is to educate, enlighten and elevate interest in the benefits associated with clean energy credentialing - from consumers and educators, to manufacturers and government decision makers. 

Solar Power International 2013 Tradeshow Report

Here we have compiled a report with several product releases from this years show.

Solar Power International up and running in Chicago

Solar Power International, the solar energy industry’s most powerful, comprehensive educational conference and product exhibition, is happening in Chicago now, October 21 – 24, 2013. This year Solar Power International  more than doubled the educational offering, with nearly 60 concurrent sessions  and Quick Talks ,  more than 60 new sessions in key areas on the Expo floor , and more than 50 new educational posters. As a media partner AltEnergyMag.com will be covering Solar Power International 2013 and bringing all the industry news and exciting new products to our eMagazine to help our readers make sense of the massive event. Make sure to check out our special  SPI 2013 Newspage  for Exhibitor news. Stay tuned for our SPI 2013 Tradeshow report later this week.  

California adopts first-in-nation energy storage plan

In a bold move being closely watched by utilities, environmentalists and the clean technology industry, California adopted the nation's first energy storage mandate for utilities Thursday. State regulators with the California Public Utilities Commission, meeting in Redding, unanimously approved Commissioner Carla Peterman's groundbreaking proposal that requires PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to expand their capacity to store electricity, including renewable energy generated from solar and wind. "The decision lays out an energy storage procurement policy guided by three principals: optimization of the grid, integration of renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," said Peterman, a rising star who was appointed to the agency by Gov. Jerry Brown in late 2012. The state's three investor-owned utilities must collectively buy 1.3 gigawatts, or 1,325 megawatts, of energy storage capacity by the end of 2020--or roughly enough energy to supply nearly 1 million homes. The ambitious 1.3 gigawatts is a capacity target, because different storage technologies have different rates at which they can accept and discharge energy, and the mandate aims to be technology neutral.

In sunny Arizona, a battle over solar power

An insider fight over how much a utility company must pay for electricity generated by solar panels on private rooftops is boiling over into a full-fledged campaign, complete with shadowy  money, expensive television advertising, calls for grass-roots action and some of the best pollsters and consultants money can buy. The feud between the utility and solar panel industries revolves around net metering policies, which govern part of the relationship between utilities and their customers. If the customers have solar panels that generate surplus electricity, the customers can feed that power back into the electric grid; utilities are required to pay the consumer a set rate for the electricity they generate. When those rates were first implemented, the nascent solar industry had few residential customers. But now, as more customers invest in solar panels for economic or environmental reasons, public utilities are starting to feel the pinch — and they want to stop paying rates they say are above market value for power they can’t always use. When the Arizona Corporation Commission holds its November meeting, commissioners will consider a request from Arizona Public Service Company, the state’s largest electric utility, to change those rates. The utility industry wants permission to pay rates below market value, and to charge customers who feed electricity back to the grid a monthly fee for maintenance costs.

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