QOS Energy sets up Indian Office
QOS Energy, a renewable O&M analytics software provider, opened a new office in India to better serve the booming Indian market. “QOS Energy provides turnkey O&M analytics services to unleash the value of data from thousands of renewable energy plants across the world. With its target to ramp up solar power generation to 100 GW by 2022, India is poised to become one of the largest PV market in the world. Our customers’ business needs reflect this trend.
Solarworld Files for Insolvency
Germany's Solarworld has filed for insolvency proceedings, defeated by Chinese competition which has flooded the market with cheap solar panels. "Due to the ongoing price erosion and the development of the business, the company no longer has a positive going concern prognosis, is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings," Solarworld said in a statement on Wednesday. It added that it was assessing if affiliated companies would also have to file for insolvency.
ESCO Acquires Renewable NRG Systems
ESCO Technologies Inc. announced it has acquired NRG Systems, Inc., doing business as Renewable NRG Systems, located in Hinesburg, Vermont. NRG, founded in 1982, is a designer and manufacturer of decision support tools for the renewable energy industry, primarily wind. NRG serves electric utilities, wind turbine manufacturers, renewable energy developers, research institutes, and government agencies in more than 150 countries. The business…
SunPower Corp Posts Bigger Quarterly Loss
U.S. solar company SunPower Corp reported a bigger loss on Tuesday, hurt in part by higher costs. The company, which is majority owned by France's Total SA , said its net loss attributable to shareholders widened to $134.5 million, or 97 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 2, from $85.4 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier. Total revenue rose to $399.1 million from $384.9 million. (Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
Vivint Solar Reports Quarterly Profit on Lower Costs
U.S. solar company Vivint Solar Inc reported a quarterly profit on Tuesday compared with a year-ago loss, helped by lower costs. The company, which largely caters to the residential solar market, reported net income attributable to shareholders of $13.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $31.2 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier. The company recorded a one-time impairment charge of $36.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
Statoil Interested in Algerian Offshore, Renewables
Norway's Statoil is interested in investments in Algeria's offshore potential and solar and wind energy projects, Norway's foreign affairs minister said after meeting with his Algerian counterpart, a ministry statement said on Tuesday. Statoil is already operating in Algeria's gas sector, but it is the first time the company has expressed public interest in renewable energy projects and offshore projects in Algeria. Algeria, hit by the crash in global oil prices…
Saudi Arabia Shortlists Companies for Solar, Wind Projects
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has shortlisted companies for its solar and wind power projects, as part of the first round of its renewable energy initiative, the energy ministry said on Monday. France's EDF Energies Nouvelles, Japanese companies Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui & Co. and Saudi Acwa Power are among the firms which have qualified to bid for the 300 megawatt solar PV project in Sakaka, the Al Jouf Province in the north of the kingdom.
LNG Turns to Trading, Risk to Maintain Market Share
Woodside, Shell see big opportunity in small-scale LNG. Producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have shot themselves in the foot with oversupply, and face calls for flexibility and greater competition from other fuels that may force them to take more risks and start trading just like other commodity dealers. That's a big change for a market long dominated by large producers such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP who provide major importers with fixed volumes under multi-decade contracts linked to the price of oil.
New EU Rules Aim to Make Power Cheaper
Utilities in the European Union may have to offer more flexible prices from 2020 to encourage consumers to use more electricity when supplies are abundant and cheap, according to proposed new rules, a top EU official said. Most European utilities sell at fixed prices, regardless of price swings on wholesale markets, which makes sense when most power comes from coal and nuclear plants that are always on. But the surge in intermittent renewable energy…
Danfoss, General Electric Join Forces
Danfoss Silicon Power has announced it is establishing production in the U.S. and entering into a collaboration with industrial giant General Electric (GE). The collaboration means that Danfoss Silicon Power will become the world’s leading provider of silicon-carbide (SiC) power modules. The SiC power modules will create smaller, faster, and more effective electronic devices — and are expected to revolutionize the technology within solar and wind energy as well as the future generations of electric and hybrid cars.
Partners Spur Renewable Electricity Integration
Hydrogen addition from renewable sources to natural gas supports the decarbonization of the natural gas system and integration of sustainable energy sources. However, the properties of hydrogen differ significantly from those of natural gas, and its introduction into the gas infrastructure may negatively impact public safety, the integrity of the gas system and the performance of end-use equipment. The HYREADY Joint Industry Project (JIP)…
Green Power Law Impacting U.S. Utilities
In the last four years, North Carolina has become the second largest solar market in the United States, behind only California. It has installed more solar energy than Texas, which has nearly three times the population; more than Arizona, which has twice as many sunny days; and more than New York, which has far more aggressive renewable energy targets. North Carolina’s solar boom is rooted in a federal law enacted four decades ago – one that has only recently had much impact.
Trump Signs Order Sweeping away Obama-era Climate Policies
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to undo a slew of Obama-era climate change regulations that his administration says is hobbling oil drillers and coal miners, a move environmental groups have vowed to take to court. The decree's main target is former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan that required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants - a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.
Vattenfall to Invest $1.9 bln in Wind Power in 2017-2018
Sweden's Vattenfall will invest 17 billion crowns ($1.94 bln) in onshore and offshore wind power during 2017-2018, the state-owned utility said on Tuesday. Spending on wind power will account for 60 percent of an investment programme worth 28 billion crowns, highlighting a strategic shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Most of the rest of the funds will go on solar power and distribution. The company aims to commission 2,300 megawatts (MW) or more of new renewable capacity in the five years to 2020.
Asian Spot LNG Prices Slip on Weak Demand
Asian spot LNG prices fell this week on poor demand from major gas-consuming regions despite a slew of new purchase tenders. The May spot LNG contract fell by $0.25 cents to $5.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), with new production coming on stream in Australia and the United States. Analysts and traders mainly blamed low demand for driving prices lower. In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi was staying on the sidelines of the market and new solar power capacity in Dubai was eroding gas demand there.
Top LNG Buyers Form Alliance to Push for Flexible Contracts
The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move that further shifts power to buyers rather than producers. Japan, China and South Korea are the world's biggest LNG importers, accounting for about 55 percent of global purchases, according to data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The countries' biggest respective buyers are joining together to extract concessions…
Yaskawa Invests In Large-capacity Kinetic Energy Storage Company, Teraloop
Yaskawa Electric Corporation has completed a strategic investment in Helsinki-based Teraloop, a startup grid- and utility-scale kinetic energy storage company. This equity investment aims to help Teraloop accelerate the steps needed to bring its patent-pending storage solution to the market within the next two years. The financing will allow the prototype to be finalized for a complete simulation in commercial working conditions. This latest…
SOLV Deploys QOS Energy’s O&M Management Platform
SOLV, an independent solar O&M service provider in America and a division of EPC contractor Swinerton Renewable Energy, has begun deployment of QOS Energy’s Qantum software to monitor and support the operations and maintenance of more than 1 GW of solar PV plants in the United-states. Qantum is an innovative cloud-based analytics platform that allows SOLV to harness the power of the data generated by the multiple PV installations they manage on behalf of leading renewable energy project owners.
Statkraft Eyes Distressed Assets After Offshore Wind Exit This Year
* Says still sees high interest for renewable energy in California and other state of the U.S. and willingness to continue putting up investment schemes, despite lack of clarify from the new U.S.
EFG Hermes Expects to Buy UK Solar Assets by June
EFG Hermes expects a deal for its renewable energy platform Vortex to buy a portfolio of solar power assets in Britain for 470 million pounds ($576.8 million) from Sun Edison's Terraforma (TERP.O) to close in May or June, a senior executive said on Monday. The deal formed part of the bank's plan to grow Vortex's assets to 2 gigawatts in the next few years from 820 megawatts currently, Karim Moussa, chief executive of the investment bank at EFG Hermes, told Reuters. The bank said in January it had agreed to buy the portfolio from Sun Edison.
What does Trump's Presidency Mean for the Power Industry?
Donald Trump has promised numerous changes, many of which impact the sectors that NES Global Talent operates in. Although he has only been in office for 39 days at the time of writing, he has already made numerous policy adjustments. In a recent NES survey, 63% of oil and gas professionals felt Trump’s government will have a positive effect on the oil and gas industry and 64% from the U.S. felt more confident about their job prospects as result, but we also wanted to get an expert opinion on how Trump's government may effect the power market.
U.S. Military Marches on Green Energy
President Donald Trump and his top advisors have often scoffed at government support of green energy. But the largest U.S. government agency - the Department of Defense - plans to forge ahead under the new administration with a decade-long effort to convert its fuel-hungry operations to renewable power, senior military officials told Reuters. The reasons have nothing to do with the white-hot debate over climate change. In combat zones, green energy saves lives by…
Singapore Carbon Tax Would Hit Refiners, Help Renewables
Proposed carbon tax would deal blow to refineries; Singapore is main regional oil trading hub. Singapore's proposed plan to tax greenhouse gas emissions would probably hit oil refiners hard, ramping up costs in an industry that has been central to the city-state's rapid development over the last half-century. Monday's announcement that a carbon tax on direct emitters is to be introduced from 2019 shows that Singapore, Asia's main oil trading hub, could be moving towards a longer-term future dominated by cleaner technology and resources.
Australia says clean energy fund could underwrite new coal plants
Australia is considering altering legislation to enable funds slated for clean energy developments to be used to bankroll construction of new low emission, coal-fired power plants. The suggestion by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg comes after a major power outage during a heat wave in South Australia state worsened a row with the national government over energy security and the state's heavy reliance on wind and solar power. Frydenberg said…
EU countries clear 18-month extension of China solar duties
European Union member have cleared an 18-month extension of import tariffs on solar panels from China, a compromise position after initial opposition, sources said on Friday. Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties have been in place on Chinese solar panels and cells since 2013 and are currently under review as to whether they should be maintained. The European Commission had initially proposed a two-year extension, but that was rejected by a majority of EU countries in a vote last month, prompting the Commission to revise its proposal.
Saudi Arabia Debating Shape of Aramco Ahead of IPO
Saudi Arabia is considering two options for the shape of Saudi Aramco when it sells shares in the national oil giant next year: a global industrial conglomerate, and a specialised international oil company, industry and banking sources said. The listing of Aramco <IPO-ARMO.SE>, expected to be the world's biggest initial public offer and raise tens of billions of dollars, is a centrepiece of the government's ambitious plan - known as Vision 2030 - to diversify the economy beyond oil.
Senate Set to Approve Trump's EPA Pick
The U.S. Senate is expected to approve President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and green groups worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners. Trump's nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is likely to pass the vote scheduled for midday with the support of nearly all the Republicans in the Republican-controlled Senate. The vote could take place earlier in the day.
Former EPA Employees Oppose Trump's Nominee
Despite nearly 800 former Environmental Protection Agency officials urging the U.S. Senate to reject President Donald Trump's nominee to run the agency as the chamber moved closer on Thursday to approving his pick, Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of oil-producing Oklahoma is likely to be confirmed. The 773 former officials signed a letter organized by the nonprofit group Environmental Integrity Project that said Pruitt's record and public statements suggest he does not agree with underlying principles of environmental laws.
California Wind Demand Energizes Transmission Firms
A firm controlled by Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and pro sports magnate, will soon build the largest wind farm in the United States to serve utilities in California, where officials have set ambitious green power goals. The $5 billion project, however, will be constructed 700 miles away in Wyoming, a state better known for coal mines and oil fields. The vast distance between the two states provides a different Anschutz…
Germany's Solarworld Cuts Jobs, Production as Loss Widens
Solarworld said on Friday it would cut 12 percent of its workforce after reporting a bigger operating loss for last year. The company, hit by price pressures across the solar industry, said it would phase out production of some components at its factories to reduce overlap, which would result in about 400 job cuts by 2019. "These measures will decrease costs and increase efficiency significantly," Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck said in a statement.
Coal Shortfall Buoys Miner Bottom Line
Coal prices have surged, topping oil, LNG, copper gains in 2016. Many a swan song has been sung for thermal coal markets as renewable power generation and a push towards using more natural gas have gained traction. Yet a coal price spike last year, driven by a Chinese change in regulation that capped local mining operations, has shown how easily markets can swing from oversupply to shortfall. While many analysts and investors see the long…
Global Study into use of Wind, Solar Power on Ships
In co-operation with several shipping companies and technology partners, Eco Marine Power (EMP)has begun a detailed study focused on the practical applications of its patented EnergySail and Aquarius MRE technologies. The study will cover the engineering aspects of installing an EnergySail or Aquarius MRE based solution on a variety of ships and the expected Fuel Oil Consumption (FOC) and CO2 savings that can be achieved in an operational environment. Energy storage options will also be studied including the possible use of fuel cells.
Siemens, Voest and Verbund to Build Largest Green Hydrogen Site
Siemens, steel maker Voestalpine and hydropower firm Verbund are planning to build a cutting-edge plant to make green hydrogen more suitable for industrial use, the companies said on Tuesday. Utilities and industrial firms are under increasing pressure to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and they hope to use excess power generated by renewable sources such as wind or solar to create hydrogen from water with electrolysis. The hydrogen can then be stored for reconversion into power or for direct industrial use.
EU Proposes Shorter Extension of China Solar Duties
The European Commission has softened its proposal to extend anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese solar panels after opposition from a majority of EU countries, according to a document seen by Reuters. The Commission, which oversees EU trade policy, recommends limiting the extension of measures to 18 months, from an original 24, and making clear that this period represents a final phasing out of duties that have been in place since 2013. The proposal will be put to a meeting of the EU's 28 commissioners on Wednesday, a source said.
China's solar power capacity doubles
China's installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity more than doubled last year, turning the country into the world's biggest producer of solar energy by capacity, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Saturday. Installed PV capacity rose to 77.42 gigawatts at the end of 2016, with the addition of 34.54 gigawatts over the course of the year, data from the energy agency showed. Shandong, Xinjiang, Henan were among the provinces that saw the most capacity increase…
Allianz, MFUG Invest in EDF-owned Wind Deal
Allianz and Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) have invested in a U.S.-based wind park owned by French utility EDF , Allianz said, as the German insurer expands its renewables portfolio. Allianz, which gave no further financial details, said the 225 megawatt (MW) Great Western wind project is about 200 km (125 miles) north-west of Oklahoma City and can power about 70,000 households. Renewable assets in the United States have attracted billions of euros from foreign investors in recent years…
Three Mega NSW’s solar Project Take shape
Three big solar projects in NSW supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are set to begin construction within weeks after getting the financial green light. The plants in Parkes, Griffith and Dubbo will consist of more than 400,000 panels and when completed will provide enough renewable energy to power 41,500 homes per year. Developed by renewable energy company Neoen, the plants make up a quarter of the projects funded under ARENA’s ground breaking Large-Scale Solar Competitive Round…
Global Oil Demand to Grow into 2040s
Global oil demand will keep growing into the 2040s due to higher consumption of plastic goods even as the electric vehicle fleet expands rapidly and technology revolutionises transport, BP said in its annual Energy Outlook on Wednesday. The forecast of sustained demand growth for the fossil fuel comes as other oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell brace for demand to plateau by the early 2030s while countries gradually shift to less-polluting energy.
Opinion (John Kemp): Trump Can't Require Pipelines to use U.S. Steel
President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited the promoter of the Keystone XL pipeline to re-submit its application for a permit and promised an expeditious review. But Trump's memorandum on Keystone was twinned with another ordering the secretary of commerce to develop a plan to ensure all pipelines built, repaired or upgraded in the United States use domestically made steel. The secretary was ordered to submit a plan within 180 days "under which all new pipelines…
SCI’s Maritime Institute switches to Renewable Energy
On Monday, 23rd January 2017, Mr Rajive Kumar, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping inaugurated 353.5 KWP Grid connected Roof Top Solar Power Plant at Maritime Training Institute, Powai of The Shipping Corporation of India Limited in total Roof Top area of 5,650 Sq. Mtr. in the presence of Capt. Anoop Kumar Sharma, CMD SCI, Capt. B.B. Sinha, Director (P&A) SCI, Mrs. H.K. Joshi, Director (Finance) SCI, Capt. Philip Mathews, Principal MTI and others.
Innogy Forges Ahead with U.S. Wind Plan
Innogy, Germany's largest energy group, sees no reason to scrap plans to enter the U.S. onshore wind market, its chief executive said, unimpressed by worries over future support of renewables in the wake of Donald Trump's presidency. "We are not in waiting mode in the United States. We are relatively advanced," Peter Terium told journalists at the annual Handelsblatt energy conference. "We do it because wind is a competitive technology in the United States…
Rotterdam port mull power-to-gas-plant development
Six Rotterdam-based parties will investigate how sustainably generated electricity, converted into hydrogen, can be used in the production of fuels. TNO, Stedin, Smartport, Uniper, BP Refinery Rotterdam and Port of Rotterdam Authority will investigate the technical and economic feasibility of a power-to-gas plant in the Rotterdam port area, as well as the necessary amendments to regulations. The parties above signed a cooperation agreement to this end on 18 January 2017.
RNRG’s SRA Systems Improve Power Prediction Accuracy
When developing a utility-scale solar PV project, accurately projecting the site’s power output is crucial. For its 33 MW Kumenan PV project in Japan, Pacifico Energy experimented with publicly available data before seeking a more precise measurement solution. After implementing SRA Systems from Renewable NRG Systems (RNRG)—a leading designer and manufacturer of decision support tools for the global renewable energy industry—Pacifico Energy increased the accuracy of power output projections at the Kumenan PV project by up to 14%.
Trump's Energy Pick to Face Senate Questions
Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Energy Department, will face questioning by senators on Thursday on creating jobs in the industry and bolstering U.S. energy security - but also about an earlier proposal to abolish the agency. Trump, who takes office at noon on Friday, has championed increased production of oil, gas and coal. In addition to market forces, coal has suffered under President Barack Obama's executive actions to curb climate change.
AXYS Metocean Buoy Supports Offshore Wind
AXYS Technologies Inc (AXYS) has announced that a WatchKeeper meteorological and oceanographic data buoy has been recently deployed approximately 60km offshore along the Northern coast of Poland in the Baltic Sea. This buoy, procured by polish developer Baltic Trade and Invest (BTI), will be used as part of their upcoming Environmental Impact and Assessment campaign in the Baltic Sea. This campaign will form part of the Environmental application for the offshore wind farm development “FEW Baltic II”.
French Energy Transition Key to Security - IEA
In its latest country review of energy policies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) praised France for setting in motion significant reforms towards more secure, affordable and sustainable energy supplies and the green growth of its economy. Over the past ten years the French economy has reduced its carbon intensity and benefitted from greater energy efficiency, notably in the residential sector, according to the IEA report, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: France 2016 Review.
Solar Energy: Improving Power Prediction Accuracy
When developing a utility-scale solar PV project, accurately projecting the site’s power output is crucial. For its 33 MW Kumenan PV project in Japan, Pacifico Energy experimented with publically available data before seeking a more precise measurement solution. After implementing SRA Systems from Renewable NRG Systems (RNRG)—a designer and manufacturer of decision support tools for the global renewable energy industry—Pacifico Energy increased the accuracy of power output projections at the Kumenan PV project by up to 14%.
New York Seeks to Develop US' Biggest Offshore Wind Projects
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week proposed to develop up to 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power by 2030 capable of powering 1.25 million homes as the state seeks to lead the nation in renewable energy production. The offshore wind proposal came after the Democratic governor said on Monday that Entergy Corp's 2,069-MW Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County would shut by 2021 and the state planned to replace its power output with renewable and low carbon energy sources.
EFG Hermes to Buy UK Solar Power Portfolio
EFG Hermes' renewable energy platform Vortex has agreed to buy a portfolio of solar power assets in Britain for 470 million pounds ($580 million) from Sun Edison's Terraforma. The portfolio includes 24 solar parks, has a combined 365 megawatts (MW) of power and an estimated useful life of around three decades, EFG said on Friday. The price includes around 300 million pounds of debt, which Vortex said it planned to refinance before completing the deal.
TerraForm to Sell Some UK Solar Projects
TerraForm Power Inc, the "yieldco" of bankrupt solar company SunEdison Inc, said it would sell some UK solar projects to Vortex, the renewable energy investment platform of Egypt's EFG Hermes , for about $580 million. Shares of TerraForm Power were up 3.3 percent at $13.5 in early trading. TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global Inc, the other yieldco of SunEdison, said in September they were exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale of their entire business.
Advanced database for Grid Integration of Renewables
Australia’s most advanced database of Australian and international renewable energy grid integration projects has been released to support innovation in Australia’s energy system. The Renewables Integration Stocktake is an online, exportable database that currently catalogues 233 projects that add to Australia’s collective knowledge and experience of integrating renewable energy into electricity networks. It provides a one-stop-shop for information on current projects, along with the outcomes of past efforts.
Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 - ExxonMobil
Global population growth of nearly 2 billion, a doubling of worldwide economic output and rapid expansion of the middle class in emerging economies are all expected to contribute to energy demand growth of about 25 percent from 2015 to 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s 2017 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Efficiency gains across economies worldwide will play a significant role in limiting the growth in energy needs. Energy demand in member…
SolarEdge Enhances PV Monitoring
SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. said it has launched advanced communications and management accessories to enhance module-level monitoring and improve O&M operations. In an effort to speed up installation times and to simplify the setup of solar monitoring connections, SolarEdge introduced its GSM Cellular Kit for wireless communication. The GSM cellular kit is suited for locations without broadband infrastructure. With the GSM cellular kit…
US DoE Unfairly Criticized: Kemp
The U.S. Department of Energy has become a lightning rod for criticism in parts of the Republican Party and the fossil fuels industry unhappy about the Obama administration's energy and climate policies. Presidential candidate Rick Perry promised to abolish the Department of Energy along with the Departments of Commerce and Education during a debate in 2011. Perry's views on the department's usefulness may evolve now he has been selected to lead it in a future Trump administration ("Trump picks climate sceptic Perry for top U.S.
Brazil Cancels Licensing Round for Wind, Solar Power Projects
Brazil's Energy Ministry is canceling a licensing round for new solar and wind power projects scheduled for next week because of excess energy supply in the market. The decision, announced on Wednesday by the ministry, is a blow to renewable energy equipment makers such as Brazil's WEG SA and Norway's Vestas Wind Systems A/S, which are already scaling back the use of their installed capacity in the country. The canceled auction makes this the first year since 2008 that Brazil will not grant new licenses for wind farms.
WA’s First Co-located Solar Farm Powers Ahead
Western Australia’s Emu Downs Solar Farm is expected to begin construction within weeks after signing a funding agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The project is one of 12 around Australia supported by ARENA through its large-scale solar competitive round. The Emu Downs Solar Farm is being developed by energy infrastructure company, APA Group, and will produce enough energy to power 6,700 homes while creating an estimated 100 jobs during construction, mostly in the local region.
ARENA’s Solar Push Sees First Project Signing
The first funding agreement in the Australian’s Renewable Energy Agency’s ground-breaking program to drive down the cost and accelerate the rollout of big solar has been signed today. The new agreement commits up to $8.9 million of ARENA funding towards Genex’s $126 million Kidston Solar Project in North Queensland. ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the Kidston project was a key component in ARENA’s push to triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity by supporting 12 new solar farms.
Death of Castro Could Free Cuba to Produce Biofuels
The death of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, a fierce critic of biofuels like ethanol, has raised hopes among industry experts that some of Cuba's vast tracts of fallow land may soon be used to ease its dependence on fuel imports. His words set an ethical red line for Cuban energy production that has not been crossed, despite modernization undertaken by Castro's brother Raul, who took over the presidency provisionally upon Fidel's illness in 2006 and definitively in 2008.
Europe's Power Market Reform a Boon for Struggling Utilities
European utilities welcomed long-awaited power market reform proposals on Wednesday, hoping a framework to subsidise fossil fuel plants and plans to wind down a key support for renewable energy could turn the page on years of crisis. The European Commission's 1,000-page draft reform "Winter Package" proposes binding targets to cut energy use by 30 percent by 2030 and wants to put Europe on track for renewables to power half of the continent by 2030.
France Turns to Fossil Fuels in October
The use of coal, oil and gas to generate power in France jumped nearly 40 percent last month to compensate for a slide in nuclear and hydropower production, network operator RTE said in its monthly report on Monday. France, which typically depends on nuclear power for more than 75 percent of its electricity needs, is heading into winter with reduced nuclear capacity after safety watchdog ASN ordered a dozen reactors to be shut down and checked.