Barclays “throws gasoline” on “battle between utilities and solar industry.”

May 28, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear 

Elias Hickley on EnergyTrendsInsider: “This week Barclays downgraded the high-grade bond market for the entire electric utility sector because “we believe that a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo.”  While this is not the first statement about vulnerability of electric utilities to competition from new technology it is the most important to date.”
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Solar costs will match coal by 2016 in China, Suntech says.

May 27, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal 

REneweconomy: “Suntech Power predicts that the cost of building large scale solar PV plants could match the cost of coal-fired generation in China by 2016, a development that will “completely transform” the energy market in the world’s second biggest economy.”
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Largest flow battery in world unveiled in California – storing solar energy.

May 22, 2014 Clean Energy 

SF Chronicle: “In an almond orchard outside Turlock in the Central Valley, two large tanks hold water, minerals – and more importantly, energy.
The tanks in Stanislaus County are part of a “flow battery” that stores energy from nearby solar panels. It’s the largest battery of its kind in the world.” Read more

China to triple solar capacity to 70 GW by 2017.

May 19, 2014 Clean Energy 

ClimateAction: “China has set a new target to more than triple installed solar power capacity to 70GW by 2017 as part of its drive to cut carbon emissions. The new target is double the previous one set for 2015, according to a statement posted last week on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.”
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Individual solar companies now install >1 GW a year, pipeline hits 140 GW.

May 15, 2014 Clean Energy 

Recharge: “China’s TBEA SunOasis is set to overtake First Solar this year as the world’s largest solar EPC player, and Chinese companies will further dominate the list in the coming years as North America grows cold on mega-PV, claims market researcher IHS.”
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Citi sees decline for coal: beginning of end in an “age of renewables”.

May 15, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas 

Reneweconomy: “A new series of reports from global investment bank Citigroup has highlighted the dramatic changes that are sweeping the world’s largest energy markets, and which will have a significant impact on the future of the coal industry in Australia.”
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UK government announces another crippling policy reversal on solar PV.

May 13, 2014 Clean Energy 

PVTech: The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that it is planning to remove support for solar under the Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme from 1 April 2015.”
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Renewables hit a record of just under 70% power in Germany.

Renewables International: ”….an overview of Sunday, when renewables made up nearly 3/4 of domestic German power demand. Power prices in Germany were negative for much of the afternoon yesterday, as our latest Distributed Renewables chart shows.”

Solar panels back on White House: US solar investment “set to explode”.

May 9, 2014 Clean Energy, Finance 

REW.com: “Today, President Obama announced at a Walmart in California that 300 leading U.S. companies have taken the “solar pledge,” committing to install nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of new solar as part of their business plans.” Read more

Cleantech sector gaining steam – despite regulatory and other setbacks.

May 1, 2014 Clean Energy 

Sara Hastings-Simon, Dickon Pinner, and Martin Stuchtey of McKinsey: ”….Is cleantech failing? In a word, no. Rather, the sector has experienced a cycle of excitement followed by high (and often inflated) expectations, disillusionment, consolidation, and then stability as survivors pick up the pieces.” Read more

UK’s DECC once again mulls risking solar defeat in jaws of victory.

April 29, 2014 Clean Energy 

Solar Power Portal: “The department of energy and climate change (DECC) is set to announce a review into the level of support offered to large-scale solar through the Renewable Obligation scheme, with a number of industry figures bracing themselves for the news.”
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UK support for renewables remains unwaveringly high in DECC poll.

April 29, 2014 Clean Energy 

Solar Power Portal: “The UK public has shown consistent support for renewable energy in the third of a series of opinion surveys published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).”
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Apple, with 100% renewable data centres, launches climate ad campaign.

April 22, 2014 Change for Good, Clean Energy, Climate 

Guardian: “Climate change is real and a real problem for the world, Apple said on Monday, announcing its progress on environment targets ahead of Earth day.”
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Conservative heavyweights now have solar industry in their sights.

April 19, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate 

LA Times: “….Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies. The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation’s largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy.”
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A “terrordome” in solar pricing threatens fossil -fuel business models.

April 10, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Oil 

Business Insider: “It’s now a question of how and where, not if, solar becomes a dominant force in energy markets. AllianceBernstein’s Michael Parker and Flora Chang published a note last week with the following chart showing how rapidly the cost of solar on a real-dollars-per-million-BTU equivalent basis has, in many instances, come to match that of conventional fuels.” Read more

Nafeez Ahmed reviews Energy of Nations, Part 2: “Could he be right?”

Nafeez Ahmed in the Guardian: “In The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance, Dr Jeremy Leggett – a former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy – warns of the risk of an imminent global oil crash as early as next year, and no later than 2020. In my first post on Leggett’s new book, I focused on his analysis of our “risk blindness.” But despite his trenchant and uncompromising stance on the potentially catastrophic consequences of business as usual, Leggett is no doomer.”
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“Global solar dominance in sight as science trumps fossil fuels.”

April 9, 2014 Clean Energy 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph: “Solar power has won the global argument. Photovoltaic energy is already so cheap that it competes with oil, diesel and liquefied natural gas in much of Asia without subsidies.”
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UK Conservative party plans to ban onshore wind farms, maybe dismantle.

April 4, 2014 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “The Conservative party is planning to pledge in its manifesto for next year’s general election that it will introduce a moratorium on future onshore windfarms from 2020 on the grounds that they have now become “self-defeating”.”
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UK government publishes strategy targeting solar rooftop generation.

April 3, 2014 Clean Energy 

Solar Trade Association: “The UK Government has today published the first dedicated Solar Strategy of any EU Government. The Strategy seeks to strengthen the UK’s position in the booming global solar market, which is estimated at a massive ~46GW in 2014 by Deutsche Bank – a 50% increase on total installed global capacity.”
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The disruptive potential of solar power: “long term implications” for all.

April 1, 2014 Clean Energy 

McKinsey Quarterly: “The economics of solar power are improving. ….Consumption continued rising even as the MAC Global Solar Energy Index fell by 50 percent between 2011 and the end of 2013, a period when dozens of solar companies went bankrupt, shut down, or changed hands at fire-sale prices.”
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