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Is the US-China Climate Change Deal a Game-Changer? An Interview with MIT's Valerie Karplus

December 11, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
15

US China Climate Partnership

Climate diplomacy made global headlines with a new partnership between the world's two largest carbon emitters: the United States and China. In this interview, I catch up with MIT's Valerie Karplus, an expert on both American and Chinese energy and climate policy, to dig into the details of the deal.[read more]

This Map Explains Why the Ivanpah Solar Plant Is Performing Worse Than Expected

December 10, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
16

Solar Project Performance Difficulties

As if burned birds and political theater around the loan guarantee program weren't enough problems for the Ivanpah concentrating solar project, the owners are now dealing with lower-than-expected electricity production. From January to August, the 392-megawatt plant generated one-quarter the electricity expected.[read more]

Rest in Peace: The Fallen Solar Companies of 2014

December 6, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
1

Keeping track of failing solar companies in 2011 and 2012 bordered on full-time work. That was when solar manufacturing overcapacity and price pressure brutally culled the field. The 2014 dead pool is much smaller and much less painful to view.[read more]

Update from Canberra on the RET

December 6, 2014 by Nigel Morris
1

Having just come back from another trip to Canberra to meet with a number of MP’s, I thought I’d offer my take on what we did and where we are up to on the RET issue. The visit was organized by the tireless team at SolarCitizens who never cease to amaze me.[read more]

Northwest Wind takes a Week-Long Vacation

December 5, 2014 by Rod Adams
2

Energy Reliability and Renewables

Some readers don’t like it when I use the term “unreliables” to describe weather dependent power sources like wind and solar energy. But the wind is not under the control of automated systems or human operators, so it can disappear when it is most needed or blast in when it is not wanted.[read more]

What Will Happen When the ITC is Reduced?

December 4, 2014 by Anna Bacheller
3

The future of the solar industry could be uncertain after the solar investment tax credit (ITC) is reduced from 30 percent to 10 percent at the end of 2016. The ITC was originally put in place in 2006 to incentivize adoption of solar technology as an alternative to more traditional energy sources like natural gas.[read more]

Time for Solar Resource-Rich India to Capitalize on Financing Solutions

December 4, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
1

India Solar Finance Solutions

 

These are exciting times for India’s solar market. The solar resource-rich country just crossed the 3 gigawatt mark for total installed solar capacity. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and the United States Export-Import Bank just signed an MOU for cooperation on clean energy investments.[read more]

So, how do we Make Sustainability ... Sustainable?

December 2, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
3

Sustainable Sustainability

Last week the New York Times reported that, for the first time, clean energy resources like solar and wind are becoming cost competitive with conventional coal in some markets. This shift, where clean energy is beginning to compete head-to-head with traditional energy sources, calls for a change in perspective.[read more]

BLM Rejects a Poorly Sited Solar Project in the California Desert: A Good Move for Smart from the Start Planning

December 1, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Recently, the Bureau of Land Management in California denied an application for a large scale solar project in the Mojave Desert’s Silurian Valley, a decision that aids in the protection of thousands of acres of desert lands that conservationists, local residents and community leaders have been focused on for years.[read more]

Can China Get 40% of Its Electricity From Renewables by 2040?

December 1, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
1

China Renewables Growth

China could quadruple its share of modern renewable energy by 2030 with the right policies in place, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the China National Renewable Energy Center.[read more]

Grains of Rice, Japanese Swords, and Solar Panels

December 1, 2014 by Adam Whitmore
29

Solar and Growth

Greenpeace did much better than many at projecting the growth of renewable energy sources in the 2000s. Their projections were very close to outturn for wind – the 1999 projections were a little below outturn, the 2002 projections a little above. However even Greenpeace underestimated the growth of solar.[read more]

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A New Platform to Guide Utility Regulations To Let Solar and Distributed Energy Flourish

November 28, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
6

Utility Regulations and Future Energy Planning

If you could start from a clean slate to regulate electric utilities, how would you begin such a task, and how would you reflect the changing dynamics in the electricity industry, especially with respect to solar energy and distributed generation?[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'The Number of Megawatts is Simply not Replaceable in the Short Term with Renewables'

November 26, 2014 by Jared Anderson
16

Renewables as Short Term Replacements

Utilities are considering “repowering” old coal-fired power plants with natural gas. Environmental groups initiated lawsuits to stop these plants. Environmentalists want to shut the plants and replace the power they generate with renewables. Utilities argue this is not always possible, particularly in the short term.[read more]

Why the Phrase 'Energy Leapfrogging' Is Misleading

November 26, 2014 by Catherine Wolfram
1

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]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Distributed Solar PV

November 25, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
3

Solar PV Internal Costs

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of distributed solar PV energy. Please add your opinion so we can gather a statistically significant sample and get a meaningful indication of the consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]