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Green Business

Why the Phrase 'Energy Leapfrogging' Is Misleading

November 26, 2014 by Catherine Wolfram
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Energy Leapfrogging?

A recent Business Week column on India described, “leapfrogging the nation’s ailing power-distribution infrastructure with solar-powered local networks — the same way mobile-phones have enabled people in poor, remote places to bypass landlines.” But there a difference between cell phones and solar panels.[read more]

It Was $40 Billion Cheaper to Install 32GW of Solar Globally in 2013 than in 2012

November 25, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
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Solar Install Pricing Drop

Between 2012 and 2013, global investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation dropped $28 billion. When scientists say we need a dramatic surge in zero-carbon energy sources, the drop seems like bad news. It's certainly not good by climate action standards. But it's not as bad as it sounds either.[read more]

Sub-National Climate Change Actions Prevail Over National Politics

November 25, 2014 by Devashree Saha

In the US, national politics has not been friendly to the climate debate and partisan gridlock and dysfunction have routinely affected any serious response to climate change. With national action remaining tepid, it has fallen to sub-national actors to embrace and enact meaningful climate change policies.[read more]

SunEdison, TerraForm Buy First Wind For $2.4B to Become Renewable Project Giant

November 23, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

SunEdison and its YieldCo Teraform acquired wind developer First Wind for $2.4 billion. Now SunEdison is in the wind business and can add wind projects to the solar project pipeline of its YieldCo, TerraForm. The purchase price was comprised of $1.9 billion in an upfront payment and a $510 million earn-out.[read more]

Hawaii to Test Smart Water Heaters as Grid Resources

November 22, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Hawaii and Smart Water Heaters

Hawaiian Electric is trying out all sorts of distributed energy assets to help it manage its solar-impacted island electricity system, including behind-the-meter batteries, and smart-meter-enabled energy disaggregation. But one of the cheaper grid tools at its disposal could be the ubiquitous electric water heater.[read more]

ARPA-C: How an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Carbon could Catalyze Development of the CDR Field

November 22, 2014 by Noah Deich
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Research Project Support and CDR

While CDR technologies have been thrust into prominence in the climate change debate, a major problem remains: currently, no CDR technologies exist that are scientifically, technically, and economically proven at the billion+ tonne scale required to prevent climate change.[read more]

SunPower Is Tripling Solar Capacity, Boosting Cell Efficiency, Adding Energy Management and Storage

November 21, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

SunPower acquired SolarBridge, an Austin, Texas-based VC-funded integrated microinverter startup. SolarBridge has a high-performance, premium-priced inverter that is a good match for the industry's highest-efficiency solar module from SunPower.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Solar Photovoltaic Output Depends on Orientation, Tilt, and Tracking

November 21, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy
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PV Positioning and Efficiency

Because PV panels are able to capture more solar energy when they are pointed directly at the sun, installers may configure systems to optimize output by adjusting the orientation and tilt of a system, or by using mechanisms that track the sun as it traverses the sky.[read more]

California Utilities Likely to Be Back in the EV Charging Business

November 20, 2014 by Jeff St. John
1

Three years ago, the state of California banned utilities from becoming investors in public EV charging, saying they represented an unfair competitive threat to independent parties in a still-nascent market. But now the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has proposed lifting that ban.[read more]

Clean, Distributed Energy Can Benefit Low-Income Families

November 20, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Clean Energy and Poverty

How will clean energy policies affect low-income families and communities of color? This is a critical question to answer because low-income families, including a disproportionately large percentage of African Americans and Latinos, spend a greater portion of their income on utility bills.[read more]

Renewable Business Acquisitions Continue in Australia

November 20, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Over my years in renewables, I’ve lived with and installed a range of technologies including the odd small wind turbine. I’ve visited properties where committed owners have installed these devices appropriately and have enjoyed low cost reliable energy without a power line in sight, for decades.[read more]

What Does New York's 'Energy Vision' Mean for Utility Jurisdiction and Regulators? [VIDEO]

November 19, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
1

New York's Energy Vision

Before the New York Public Service Commission’s vision of a grid operated by Distributed System Platform Providers (DSPPs) can become a reality, there are just a few points to hammer out -- to say the least. The issues are complex and wide open for debate.[read more]

Three Global Utility Metatrends

November 19, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

European Utility Week serves as an excellent venue to obtain more global industry perspectives than what is typically found in most industry events. In the case of the 2014 event, it served to reinforce the conclusion that there are really three global metatrends in play for electric utilities.[read more]

Two Political Lessons from Germany's Energiewende

November 19, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Lessons of the Energiewende

 

Political actors in countries with coordinated market economies, such as Germany, prefer a process giving rise to decisions unanimous among main stakeholders. But for the Energiewende – Germany’s plan to transition to nearly 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 – unanimity is constrained.[read more]

Getting Cleantech Through its Awkward Teen Years

November 18, 2014 by Matt Stewart

Cleantech and the Mainstream

Not so long ago, cleantech was mired in a troubled childhood. Efficiency bored people into a coma, solar was expensive. Some companies accepted government support, some failed, providing fodder for political attack. Cleantech was a dirty word. Just think Solyndra. Now the pendulum has swung back.[read more]