Why Is U.S. Demand For Solar Panels Booming?

Solar modules prices in the United States have reversed in recent months the trend of steady declines of the past few years, as many U.S. solar companies are hoarding panels to take advantage of the full solar subsidy that is set to step down beginning next year.

Due to high demand, the price of solar modules has recently increased by 10 percent from earlier this year, Reuters’ Nichola Groom writes, citing data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

Although actual installations and in-service dates could be years away, solar power developers have been stockpiling panels in order to take advantage of the 30-percent solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in the United States, which, under current legislation, is set to step down to 26 percent in 2020, to 22 percent in 2021, and to drop to a permanent 10-percent beginning in January 2022.

Developers who begin construction or spend at least 5 percent of a project’s capital expenditure this year are eligible to get the 30-percent tax credit regardless of when their solar power plants actually start producing electricity. Continue reading “Why Is U.S. Demand For Solar Panels Booming?”

How Businesses Can Further the Development of Renewable Energy

The corporate world has multiple incentives for switching to more sustainable practices. Direct savings realized by business leaders include taking advantage of tax credits and deductions and lowered utility bills. Indirect savings often take the form of increased profits as public relations improve and the company customer base grows.

How Businesses Can Further the Development of Renewable Energy

In the past, certain technologies like wind and solar posed problems for industry leaders due to intermittent outages. However improvements in equipment and storage have made wind and solar power equivalent to the traditional grid in terms of performance and reliability. Here are the reasons to convert your organization to renewable energy and reap the financial rewards. Continue reading “How Businesses Can Further the Development of Renewable Energy”

India will need $250 bn in green energy funds from 2023 to 2030

(Photo: AFP)

India’s emerging green economy will require additional investments of around $80 billion till 2022, growing more than threefold to $250 billion during 2023-30, said the Economic Survey 2019.

The investment estimates, which have been made at current prices, come at a time when India has become one of the top renewable producers globally with ambitious capacity expansion plans. The country has an installed renewable energy capacity of about 80 gigawatts (GW) and is running the world’s largest renewable energy programme with plans to achieve 175GW by 2022 and 500GW by 2030, as part of its climate commitments.

“Thus, on an annualized basis, investment opportunity for over $30 billion per year is expected to come up for the next decade and beyond,” the Survey said. Continue reading “India will need $250 bn in green energy funds from 2023 to 2030”

Electric cars could form battery hubs to store renewable energy

A fleet of 35m electric vehicles could help the UK reach its net-zero carbon target by forming large battery hubs to store renewable energy, according to the country’s energy system operator.

National Grid predicts that by 2050 millions of electric cars will use wind and solar power to charge up within minutes to act as battery packs for when the grid needs more energy.

The grid operator’s long-range energy forecasts predict that smart charging systems will use algorithms to help cars balance demand and supply on the grid, while making the most of renewable energy and saving customers money.

It found that the plug-in car fleet could hold a fifth of the electricity produced by the UK’s solar panels, which it predicts will quadruple over the same period.

This scenario would make the UK’s ambitious target to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 achievable because it helps cut carbon from the energy and transport sectors, according to the report. Continue reading “Electric cars could form battery hubs to store renewable energy”

‘Super battery’ for Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm

A huge “super battery” will be built on the site of the UK’s largest wind farm, after plans were approved by the Scottish government.

It will store power generated by the 215 turbines at Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, near Glasgow.

Scottish Power, which operates the wind farm, said the battery storage site would be the size of half a football pitch.

Its planned capacity will make it largest wind farm battery in the UK.

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The energy firm said the facility would support the National Grid in maintaining the resilience and stability of the electricity grid, even when the wind is not blowing.

It will be able to achieve full charge in less than half an hour. Continue reading “‘Super battery’ for Scottish Power’s Whitelee wind farm”

Starbucks to power 3K stores with renewable energy by 2021

Starbucks is no stranger to green initiatives, particularly when it comes to cleaning up its energy usage. It has made several efforts to source sustainable energy, and is the top retailer to buy renewable energy, according to Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership.

  • Starbucks will power 3,000 locations with clean energy by 2021 via a partnership with LevelTenEnergy, according to a press release.
  • LevelTen procured a custom-built portfolio of three projects that include wind and solar farms in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • A data sharing collaboration between the project developers and LevelTen will allow the coffee chain to monitor its renewable energy generation, track portfolio performance and streamline contract management.

Continue reading “Starbucks to power 3K stores with renewable energy by 2021”

A global 100% renewable energy system

(Image courtesy: iStock/Milos Muller)

A new report by LUT University in Finland and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) in Germany outlines a cross-sector, global 100% renewable energy system, backing up the version it released last year. The full modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport and desalination sectors by 2050. It claims that a transition to 100% renewable energy would lead to a system that was economically competitive with the current fossil and nuclear-based system. It could also, the study says, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system to zero by 2050, or perhaps earlier, without relying on negative CO2 emission technologies.

LUT/EWG have also developed a range of national roadmaps for the transition to 100% renewable power. The new global 100% renewable study builds on that work, and earlier global studies, covering all sectors.

“The study’s results show that all countries can and should accelerate the current Paris Climate Agreement targets,” said Christian Breyer, professor for solar economy at LUT. “A transition to 100% clean, renewable energies is highly realistic – even today, with the technologies currently available.” Continue reading “A global 100% renewable energy system”

Enel Green Power North America signs 20 year PPA

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Enel Green Power North America announced that it has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) between its subsidiary White Cloud Wind Project, LLC and Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI), a power utility based in Springfield, Missouri.

In line with the agreement, AECI will purchase the entire output generated by the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind project, currently in development in Nodaway County, Missouri.

White Cloud is expected to begin construction in the second half of 2019, with commercial operation due by the end of 2020.

The power purchase agreement is the first announced by Enel Green Power North America since its recent acquisition of Tradewind Energy, the Lenexa, Kansas-based developer of White Cloud. Enel Green Power and Tradewind have been strategic development partners since 2006, supporting EGP’s growth in the US wind market. Over the course of this partnership, EGP successfully built and began operations of around 3.9 GW of capacity developed by Tradewind. Continue reading “Enel Green Power North America signs 20 year PPA”

How to make Houston the sustainable energy capital of the world

The global demand for a low-carbon future is undeniable. Scientific research, opinion pieces, political speechmaking and the global marketplace are all speaking loudly. The question is how? At what pace? At what cost?

And despite all the talk, the real leadership will be shown through actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also meeting the growing global demand for energy.

Houston and Texas must embrace a new mantle – Sustainable Energy Capital of the World, the place where new technologies and new policies are put into practice. This only makes sense: Texas not only produces the oil, natural gas, transportation fuels and plastics that allow the nation to thrive, but Texas also has the infrastructure in place – pipelines, transmission lines, storage tanks, rail and port access – that will be required if we are to transform carbon emissions into viable commercial products.

Texas contributes significantly to the energy mix and products demanded by modern life. Globally the economic uplifting of entire countries and the continued growth of population and prosperity means that demand for energy and material goods will continue to grow, and we must ensure that these products remain affordable and become more environmentally friendly. The solution will largely fall to the energy industries in the states and countries that produce energy to embrace this future as an opportunity. Continue reading “How to make Houston the sustainable energy capital of the world”

China Invests In Renewable Energy In Cuba

Cuba began investing in renewable energy in 2014 and is ramping up its efforts in a push to make renewables its principal source of electricity by 2030. According to Xinhua News, China is one of the leading investors in Cuba’s renewable energy program.

The goal is for Cuba to derive 24% of its electricity from renewables such as sugarcane biomass, solar panels, wind farms, and small hydroelectric plants by 2024. “Photovoltaic solar energy is the one with the most progress, and there are 65 parks built throughout the country and another 15 are in process that will increase the installed power to 42 megawatts,” says Tatiana Amaran Bogachova, general director of the Electricity Department at Cuba’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Ovel Concepcion, director of renewable sources at the island’s Electric Union, says his organization expects to install 700 megawatts of renewable solar power by 2030. “We will also set up some 688 MW in wind farms, 56 MW in hydroelectric plants and provide electricity through photovoltaic panels in all remote homes that have no access to any other source of energy,” he says. Continue reading “China Invests In Renewable Energy In Cuba”