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Solar Power

Cleantech IPOs: Predictions Revisited, 2014 Winners, 2015 Picks

December 20, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

An IPO or acquisition is the promised land for VC-funded startups -- but there have been relatively few cleantech IPOs over the past few years. The fact is that most cleantech companies require a longer time frame, a bigger budget, and a different set of investor skills than do IT software startups.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'Short-Sighted and Reckless Victory for Health and Climate'

December 19, 2014 by Jared Anderson

New York Fracking Ban and Reactions

The opposite and deeply conflicted ends of the fracking spectrum that came alive when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would move to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, also known as 'fracking.' Reaction to the move has been swift.[read more]

Will World Bank President Dr. Kim Go the Last Mile for Clean Energy Access?

December 19, 2014 by Justin Guay

World Bank Policy and Energy Access

The Sierra Club and Oil Change International jointly released a scorecard evaluating the four major multilateral development banks, World Bank Group, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank, on their investment in clean energy access. All were failing.[read more]

First Solar Jumps Into Financing Residential PV With Investment in CEC's Community Solar

December 18, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

First Solar Residential PV Investment

First Solar just entered the U.S. residential solar market by becoming the largest single investor in Clean Energy Collective's community solar business. Clean Energy Collective (CEC) builds and sells community solar projects to residential and small business customers on behalf of utilities.[read more]

Evaluating Fifteen Years of IEA Energy Forecasts

December 16, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Analyzing IEA Forecasts

This article takes a look at the accuracy and consistency of International Energy Agency forecasts by comparing a range of historical forecasts with actual data. The largest deviations are observed when looking at oil, coal and renewables other than hydro.[read more]

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America

December 16, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Solar's Breakthrough Year?

Over the next two years, America will build 13 gigawatts of utility-scale solar PV plants. Those projects will surpass the country's cumulative solar capacity across all sectors reached at the end of 2013. Why such a big surge in utility-scale solar after a brief slowdown in the project pipeline? The answer is price.[read more]

Decoupling and Distributed Energy

December 16, 2014 by Zane Selvans
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Distributed Energy and Generation

One of the main reasons that utilities fight against distributed generation like rooftop solar is that it erodes demand for their centrally generated electricity. Reduced demand is annoying for any business, but it’s especially bad for traditional monopoly utilities.[read more]

Big Utilities Begin to Warm to Rooftop Solar Energy

December 16, 2014 by Devashree Saha
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Utilities and Rooftop Solar Support

NRG Energy recently announced a major foray into California’s residential solar market, with a goal to have 35,000 to 40,000 home solar installations by the end of 2015. The development is indicative of the seismic changes underway in the utility industry. Utilities are slowly beginning to warm up to rooftop solar.[read more]

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Valuing Solar Energy: Two Models to Use

December 15, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Solar Energy Valuation

“A strong VOS approach,” ICF’s Steve Fine and colleagues concluded, “in which the real costs and benefits to the system are accurately valued, is not only a useful tool for integrating increasing amounts of SPV onto the grid, but will be critical for stakeholders to make planning and risk management decisions.”[read more]

World Record Solar Module Efficiency of 40.4% From CPV Startup RayGen

December 13, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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RayGen Resources of Australia and the University of New South Wales have built a solar module with a world-record efficiency of 40.4 percent. The results were verified at NREL's test facility and handily beat the previous module record of 36.7 percent.[read more]

Dizzying Renewable Energy Price Declines Can Help States Meet Ambitious Carbon Targets Under The EPA's Clean Power Plan

December 12, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Thanks especially to the plummeting costs of solar and wind power, states can cost-effectively cut much more carbon than the EPA originally proposed this June. Wind and solar costs are now 46 percent lower than the EPA estimated in its draft proposal this summer.[read more]

Massachusetts Public Housing Leverages SunEdison Solar PPAs for Big Savings

December 11, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

SunEdison has inked sixteen separate power-purchase agreements with public housing authorities from all across Massachusetts over the last year, all of which involve net metering credits for solar PV arrays installed elsewhere in the utility’s territory.[read more]

US-China Climate Deal Underscores Need for Substantial Energy Innovation

December 11, 2014 by Arthur Yip
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US, China, and Innovation

Talks at the UNFCCC COP 20 in Peru have been buoyed by the recent US-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change. While the pledges by the two largest players may represent a veritable political breakthrough, a new Breakthrough analysis of China’s energy plans shows there is reason for concern.[read more]

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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
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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
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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]