Minnesota Judge: solar beats natural gas for utility procurement

January 3, 2014 Clean Energy, Gas 

REW.com: “In what is being called an unprecedented decision, solar energy went head-to-head with natural gas in a competitive evaluation for utility resource planning — and solar came out on top.” Read more

“Solar panel craze on Wall Street”: NY Times.

January 3, 2014 Clean Energy, Finance 

NYT: “….not even Mr. Musk, the billionaire behind the Tesla electric car, could have foreseen the solar power craze that is sweeping Wall Street. He and his cousins Peter and Lyndon Rive are riding a wave of exuberance over the industry and their young business, SolarCity.” Read more

Chinese solar and coal giants form an energy JV.

January 2, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal 

Recharge: “Yingli Solar is to set up a joint venture with one of China’s largest coal groups to develop PV plants in Shuozhou city, Shanxi province. The JV is with Shuozhou Coal Power, a subsidiary of Datong Coal Mine Group – the third-largest state-owned coal mining operation in China.” Read more

Solar farms = industrialisation of the UK countryside? Try fracking.

December 22, 2013 Clean Energy, Commentaries 

Guardian:”….Solar farms, each with thousands of panels, are popping up all over the country and now number 250. Costs have halved in two years and are still falling fast – on track to be cheaper than both onshore wind and nuclear power within a few years – and solar is by far the public’s most popular energy technology.” Read more

UK closes in on half a million solar homes but solar factory shuts.

December 20, 2013 Clean Energy 

Solar Power Portal: “Over 495,000 homes across the UK are now solar powered, according to the latest statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).” Read more

“Global solar industry is on the rebound”: IHS.

December 19, 2013 Clean Energy 

SolarIndustryMag.com:  “After two years of a punishing downturn, the global solar industry is on the rebound,” says Ash Sharma, senior research director for solar at IHS.” Read more

Proving renewables can run modern economies: one solar light at a time.

Interview with Jeremy Leggett on Business Green Solar Hub (sponsored by Solarcentury and SolarAid): Q: SolarAid and SunnyMoney recently won the Euro Solar award, what do you think others can learn from that model? A: SolarAid and SunnyMoney believe that modern economies can, and will, be run by renewables in the future, and we’re proving it one solar light at a time.” Read more

“I no longer sell kerosene”: everyone wants solar lights.

December 15, 2013 Change for Good, Clean Energy 

Guardian: “….Sally Kayoni, the shopkeeper, stands on tiptoe to be seen over a counter lined with car batteries, radios and DVD players. Yet the prime retail space on the eye-level shelf behind her is given over to small solar lamps presented in a neat row. They get pride of place because they are among her bestsellers.” Read more

How solar lighting is spreading fast in Africa.

December 8, 2013 Change for Good, Clean Energy 

Guardian, on why SolarAid is part of its Christmas appeal: “Chepnyaliliet school, with its rough concrete walls and tin roof at the end of a dusty lane lined with cacti and wild roses, seems an unlikely place find early adopters of technology. But that is exactly what Rhoda Sigei is. The determined nursery teacher was the first person in Bomet county, a verdant patch of Kenya‘s Great Rift valley, to buy into the potential of using solar lamps.” Read more

UK renewable subsidy cuts hit onshore wind and solar pv.

December 4, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “Reduced subsidies for onshore windfarms and solar power announced on Wednesday are “good news”, according to a leading renewable energy trade body, because it shows the costs of the technologies are coming down. The cuts set out by the energy secretary, Ed Davey, mean onshore windfarms will for the first time receive lower subsidies than future nuclear power stations.” Read more

SolarAid wins a Eurosolar Prize for solar light mobilisation in Africa.

Planet Solar: “Tomorrow evening SolarAid will be awarded with the EUROSOLAR European Solar Prize 2013 at an awards ceremony at the Berlin Branch of KfW Bankengruppe in Germany.” Read more

US Navy and Marine Corps start training veterans in clean energy.

November 29, 2013 Clean Energy 

REW.com: “An innovative Office of Naval Research (ONR) program is looking to Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard veterans for the cutting edge in alternative energy-and is highlighted this week in a new video released during the Navy’s Warrior Care Month.” Read more

SolarCity becomes first US solar company to offer bonds on rooftop solar.

November 22, 2013 Clean Energy, Finance 

Bloomberg: “SolarCity Corp., the first US company to offer bonds backed by rooftop solar panels, plans to sell as much as $200M of additional notes as soon as the second quarter, its CFO said. The company expects subsequent bond offerings as often as every quarter, CFO Bob Kelly said in an interview.” Read more

Almost all new US generating capacity added in October is solar.

November 21, 2013 Clean Energy 

REW.com: “The U.S. brought online nearly 700 MW of new electricity generation in October, and practically all of it was large-scale solar energy, according to data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.” Read more

SSE and other EU utilities speak up for renewables, against the gas alliance.

November 13, 2013 Clean Energy, Gas 

EnergyPost: “At a meeting in the European Parliament on 5 November, organized by Eufores, the “Coalition of Progressive European Energy Companies” took the opportunity to stress the importance of the contribution of renewable energy to European competitiveness, growth, employment and energy security.” Read more

Solar Power Begins to Shine as Environmental Benefits Pay Off

November 11, 2013 Clean Energy 

NYT: “Amid polemics over rising electricity prices in Europe and the level of green energy subsidies in various countries, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the growth in clean-energy generation is a huge success story.” Read more

“Sunshine backed bond to go on sale”: FT.

FT: “The world’s first sunshine-backed bond could be sold in the coming weeks after securing a coveted credit rating that should make it palatable to large investors. SolarCity said on Monday it would sell a $54.4m bond backed by cashflows from the rooftop solar panels leased to US home owners, who can then claim certain tax breaks from the government.” Read more

3 reasons why Germans are going renewable “at all costs”.

REW.com: Germany is racing past 20 percent renewable energy on its electricity grid, but news stories stridently warn that this new wind and solar power is costing “billions.” But often left out (or buried far from the lede) is the overwhelming popularity of the country’s relentless focus on energy change (energiewende).” Read more

Battery-stored solar power sparks backlash from US utilities.

October 8, 2013 Clean Energy 

Bloomberg: “California’s three biggest utilities are sparring with their own customers about systems that store energy from the sun, opening another front in the battle that’s redefining the mission of electricity generators.” Read more

A response to US critics of Germany’s Energiewende: Mark Jacobsen.

October 7, 2013 Clean Energy 

REW.com: “In 2009, Jacobson caught people’s attention with his co-authored article A Plan To Power 100 Percent of the Planet With Renewables, which was the cover story of November’s Scientific American.” Read more