News

The New Sun Kings: How China Came to Dominate Solar Power

Source: By KEITH BRADSHER, New York Times • Posted: Monday, April 10th, 2017

Economists and business groups warn that China’s industrial ambitions have entered a new, far-reaching phase. With its deep government pockets, growing technical sophistication and a comprehensive plan to free itself from dependence on foreign companies, China aims to become dominant in industries of the future like renewable energy, big data and self-driving cars.

Wind turbine maker Vestas looks at expanding into energy storage

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017

Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine maker, is keen to expand into areas such as energy storage to increase the global use of wind power and bring costs down. The wind industry is entering a phase of slower growth and steadier demand for turbines, prompting producers to look at alternatives to grow revenue. “The storage side is interesting and there are a lot of small start-ups that might be of interest. I’m looking for industry batteries,” Vestas Chairman Bert Nordberg told Reuters.

Three Charts Show Power Glut Holding Fast in Biggest U.S. Market

Source: by Jonathan Crawford and Naureen Malik, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017

A glut of supply in America’s biggest power market may be sticking around for a while. This May, newly-built or expanded natural gas-fired plants, wind farms and solar installations will compete in an annual auction for electricity supplies in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest. As demand flags, the flood of generation means payouts from the grid manager, PJM Interconnection LLC, may fall to as low as $90 a megawatt-day, the lowest in four years, according to Prajit Ghosh, director of power and renewables research at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. in Houston.

Investment in renewable energy dips globally as prices fall

Source: By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017

Overall investments reached $241.6 billion last year, down from $312.2 billion in 2015, said the United Nations Environment Program. But investors got more bang for their buck: renewable energy capacity grew increased by 138.5 gigawatts, 8 percent more than the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before. That’s because installing solar, wind and other systems for generating renewable energy became cheaper last year.

With More Bang for the Buck, Renewables Providing Most New Power

Source: by Mark Chediak, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017

Renewables were the biggest new source of electricity last year as the cost of building new wind and solar farms fell. Clean energy provided 55 percent of all new capacity added worldwide, the most ever, and total investment was about double the amount for generators driven by fossil fuels, according to a report published Thursday by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Investors Are Building Their Own Green-Power Lines

Source: By RUSSELL GOLD, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017

What if the wind sweeping down the plains of Wyoming could be harnessed to generate enough electricity to power the city of Los Angeles? It soon could, thanks to a $9 billion wind farm and electricity superhighway backed by billionaire Philip Anschutz—one of a series of transmission-line projects that private investors are bankrolling to bring renewable energy from America’s hinterlands to its urban centers.

Voters object to cutting climate research — poll

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, April 7th, 2017

Two-thirds of American voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that climate change will affect them or a family member personally, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. The nationwide survey of 1,171 voters also found majority support for discouraging the use of coal because of environmental concerns, while 36 percent said the United States should encourage coal use, citing jobs and economic benefits.

Facebook to build data center in Nebraska

Source: By Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The data center campus will include two 450,000-square-foot buildings and another 70,000-square-foot office building that will connect them. Facebook says it could add up to two more buildings on the land if needed. The company expects the data center to be online as early as 2020. Facebook said it expects to hire more than 1,000 construction workers to build the facility, which will have between 100 and 150 full-time employees. Facebook will join several other major companies that have data centers in Sarpy County, including Yahoo, Fidelity, Cabela’s and Travelers.

Dems urge appropriators to fund renewables, efficiency

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 6th, 2017

More than 135 Democrats Wednesday urged House appropriators to provide strong funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy, an area where they might find common ground with climate-friendly GOP lawmakers. President Trump’s budget blueprint released last month called for eliminating DOE programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy in fiscal 2018. It also proposed a 53 percent budget cut to DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and a 17 percent reduction to the Office of Science, which oversees the majority of the national laboratories

Solar industry urges Perry to shield programs eyed for budget cuts

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Perry and SEIA members did not directly address proposed budget cuts for EERE outlined by President Trump last month, according to Hopper. The funding cuts could hit programs like the SunShot Initiative — which funds projects to cut solar costs — and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which gets most of its funding from EERE, “We didn’t frame it in terms of the proposed budget cuts. We framed it in terms of the important contributions that investments in those programs had made to the solar industry,” Hopper said in an interview.