News for March 2012

News Archive

Former Microsoft sales executive joins 3TIER

3TIER, which specialises in renewable energy risk analysis, has appointed Jerry Schwartz as Vice President of Global Sales.

Japan's new feed-in tariff is attractive for solar and wind

The new feed-in tariff scheme in Japan offers attractive returns for both solar and wind power projects, according to analyst Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Suzlon and CGN Wind Energy co-develop 800 MW of wind projects

Suzlon Group has signed a global strategic partnership agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group's subsidiary, CGN Wind Energy Co Ltd, to develop 800 MW of wind projects worldwide.

US Army base installs 3000 solar PV panels US Army base installs 3000 solar PV panels

The US Army’s base at Fort Hood in Texas, USA, has seen the installation and activation of a 684 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the base’s Liberty Village Military Housing.

Solar cell industry will buy 35 GWp of equipment by 2017 Solar cell industry will buy 35 GWp of equipment by 2017

Yole Développement says 35 GWp of new solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing equipment will be purchased by 2017, in its report Crystalline Silicon PV: Technology, Equipment & Materials.

ABB launches fast EV charger

ABB is launching the Terra Smart Connect (SC), a direct current (DC), fast charger for electric vehicles (EV) in Europe.

UK renewable heat incentive faces 'cost control' after 4 months

The UK Government introduces measures to control spending under the £860 million Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme introduced last November.

Chinese solar PV inverter market grew 400% in 2011

The Chinese solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter market, driven by the introduction of a national feed-in tariff, grew by over 400% in 2011 to over 2.5 GW in shipments, according to IMS Research.

Innotech develops solar PV module from re-processed cells Innotech develops solar PV module from re-processed cells

Norwegian solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer Innotech Solar (ITS) has developed a high-yield 72-cell solar module from re-processed solar cells.

Global wind turbine market competition intensifies

The global wind turbine market is seeing fierce competition, especially in China, according to MAKE Consulting's 2012 Global Wind Turbine Market Share report.

UK Supreme Court refuses Government appeal on feed-in tariffs

The UK Supreme Court has refused the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) leave to appeal the ruling against changes to the feed-in tariff.

Temporary compromise on US-China solar PV trade spat

The US Department of Commerce has set countervailing duties to a lower-than-expected 2.9-4.73% as a compromise in the trade spat between US solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers and China, analyst EuPD Research says.

Wind turbine protective coatings recognised by Frost & Sullivan Award

Hempel has won the 2011 Frost & Sullivan Product Line Strategy Award for its accomplishments in the wind turbine protective coatings market.

Solarhybrid goes bankrupt on German solar tariff cuts

Solarhybrid AG is filing for insolvency due to illiquidity before the local court in Arnsberg, Germany, weeks after listing project failures following the cuts in the German feed-in tariff for solar.

Ontario reduces feed-in tariffs – streamlines approval process

The Government of Ontario is reducing the feed-in tariff for solar by over 20% and for wind by around 15% in a review of the programme.

Gamesa eyes Scotland for offshore wind manufacturing base

Gamesa is in talks with the Port of Leith, Scotland, for its offshore wind manufacturing base – including blade and nacelle plants, port logistics and O&M services.

Denmark to launch hydrogen infrastructure programme, keep fuel cell vehicle tax exemptions

The Danish government has announced a new Energy Plan 2020 that will establish a range of initiatives for hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles, with the overall aim of reaching 100% fossil fuel independence by 2050.

2012 Grove Medal awarded to Professor Dr Hubert Gasteiger

The 2012 Grove Medal is being awarded to Professor Dr Hubert Gasteiger, with the Technical University of Munich in Germany. The medal presentation and Professor Gasteiger’s plenary presentation will open the Fuel Cells 2012 Science & Technology conference, taking place 11–12 April in Berlin, Germany.

UK: Onshore wind only cost households £4.68 last year

Onshore wind power in the UK only added £4.68 to householders' annual energy bill last year, according to Ofgem's Renewables Obligation (RO) annual report for 2010/11.

Most old Solon warranties will be transferred to new Solon Energy

Most of the warranties for solar photovoltaic (PV) modules from the insolvent Solon SE will be transferred to the recently established Solon Energy GmbH.

Premier Power and Chaori build utility-scale solar in the US

Premier Power Renewable Energy Inc and Chaori Solar USA have finalised a US$27.6 million agreement to build utility-scale solar power plants in the US.

Sharp to build 100 MW solar PV on Bali?

Sharp and the Government of Indonesia have agreed on the construction of 100 MW of solar photovoltaics (PV) on Bali, according to media reports.

FRV and Denham Capital partner on US$190m of solar investments

FRV and Denham Capital are partnering with the aim to invest over US$190 million in new solar energy projects worldwide.

First Solar builds 26 MW solar PV project for NRG

First Solar will construct the 26 MW Avra Valley thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) project near Tucson, AZ, USA, for NRG.

Innogy invests in Belgian biogas start-up GreenWatt

Innogy Venture Capital together with European financial investor Gimv and other partners are investing in the Belgian biogas start-up GreenWatt S. A.

BrightSource's 392 MW Ivanpah CSP plant 25% complete

BrightSource Energy is already a quarter on the way of completing its 392 MW Ivanpah concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the Mojave Desert, CA, USA, which is expected to be finished next year.

Mendel and BP try out miscanthus as biofuel feedstock

Mendel Biotechnology Inc. (MBI) and BP Biofuels will conduct a four-year demonstration field trial of Mendel's PowerCan Miscanthus to evaluate it as a feedstock for biofuel production at BP's demonstration plant in Jennings, Louisiana, USA.

ACAL Energy unveils new fuel cell stack design

ACAL Energy has unveiled a new, compact, low-cost fuel cell stack design with a rated power of 12 kW and improved power density. The new design is expected to be of interest in both automotive and stationary power applications.

Siemens supplies CSP parabolic trouch receivers to India

Siemens Energy will supply its universal vaccum air collector UVAC 2010 solar receivers for a parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Rajasthan, India, for Shiram EPC Ltd.

FuelCell Energy and Air Products to market trigeneration stationary fuel cell power plants FuelCell Energy and Air Products to market trigeneration stationary fuel cell power plants

In the US, FuelCell Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with Air Products to work towards the market development of stationary Direct FuelCell® power plants that simultaneously produce hydrogen, ultra-clean electricity, and usable high quality heat.

DEGERenergie says solar CPV is “unprofitable in the foreseeable future”

DEGERenergie is stopping the production of its concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) tracking systems as it says “CPV is unprofitable in the foreseeable future” – analyst questions too-optimistic business plan.

US solar PV soared 109% in 2011 US solar PV soared 109% in 2011

The US installed 1855 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, up 109% on 2010, according to the latest US Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Desertec and Japanese foundation cooperate on Asian supergrid

The Desertec Foundation and the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF) have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote an Asian supergrid necessary for the expansion of renewable energy in Asia.

Suzlon launches 1.5 MW turbine for low wind sites in India

Suzlon Group is launching the 1.5 MW S8X wind turbine for Class III, low wind sites in India.

Alstom Grid implements smart grid solutions in Kuwait

Alstom Grid will implement fully integrated smart grid management solutions for the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW).

Gamesa prototype wind turbine produces 104.6 MWh in one day Gamesa prototype wind turbine produces 104.6 MWh in one day

Gamesa's G10X-4.5 MW prototype wind turbine, installed in Alaiz, Navarra, Spain, has set an energy output record for its type, generating electricity for 23.24 equivalent hours at nominal capacity (98.26% of the day), for a total of 104.6 MWh.

CPR gets grant for solar PV cloud cover simulation

Clean Power Research (CPR) has been awarded a grant of US$850,000 from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to implement simulation tools to predict the variability of solar photovoltaic (PV) power caused by cloud cover.

REFocus partners with EWEA 2012 REFocus partners with EWEA 2012

Renewable Energy Focus magazine (March/April issue) will be distributed at this year's leading European wind event.

Ameresco and DoE opens US$795m biomass facility in SC, USA

Officials from the US Department of Energy (DoE) and Ameresco Inc have marked the start-up of a US$795 million biomass cogeneration facility at the Savannah River Site (SRC) in South Carolina, USA.

DONG Energy CEO exits – 'employment terms' under investigation

DONG Energy's long-serving CEO, Anders Eldrup has left the company on “mutual consent”, following revelations that Eldrup may have given certain new employees “some unusual terms of employment”.

Suntech sets another efficiency record with Pluto solar PV cell

Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd has reached a record 20.3% efficiency with its Pluto solar photovoltaic (PV) cell technology with standard, commercial grade, p-type silicon wafers.

IEA launches ACTION star to accelerate renewable energy deployment

The IEA implementing agreement on Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD) has presented the ACTION star to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.

Washington state's renewable portfolio standard extended

Washington's state legislature has approved two bills intended to improve the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), according to US law firm Stoel Rives.

Power-One's central solar PV inverter recognised by OTTI

Power-One Inc's Aurora Ultra central solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter system has been awarded second place at the OTTI Award for Innovation by the Ostbayrisches Technologie-Transfer-Institut (OTTI).

Nordex supplies 27.5 MW wind farm in Turkey

Nordex will supply and install 11 of its N100/2500 wind turbines for the 27.5 MW Sincik wind farm near the city of Adiyaman, Turkey, for Tektug Elektrik Group.

Burcote Wind plans 10 wind farms in Scotland

Burcote Wind plans to invest £1 billion in 10 wind farms across Scotland, which could create nearly 600 jobs.

Suntech increases solar module efficiency to 15.7%

Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd is presenting a new series of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules with improved efficiency, the monocrystalline solar modules STP200S and STP195S – 24/Ad+, with an efficiency of 15.7%.

Repowering boosts wind industry

Installed wind capacity is set to increase as wind power markets are expected to witness large growth in multiple regions, including repowering schemes, according to market intelligence specialists GlobalData.

ABB provides subsea cable for the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm

ABB will supply the power export cables for the UK's 219 MW Humber Gateway offshore windfarm under an order worth around US$15 million.

OriginOil supplies algae biofuel technology to France

OriginOil Inc will supply its Algae Appliance harvester to its French joint venture (JV) partner Ennesys for a test of urban algae production at the La Défense complex near Paris, France.

UK's EMEC supports Japanese Marine Energy Centre

The UK marine and tidal energy development facility, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), will help to develop Japan's first marine energy test centre.

Gamesa sells US$900m worth of US wind farms to Algonquin

Gamesa is selling four wind farms totalling 480 MW to Canadia Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp for approximately US$900 million.

US offshore wind gets US$180m

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has launched a US$180 million, 6-year initiative for offshore wind in the US.

US Senator proposal could revive Production Tax Credit

US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has introduced a measure to prevent a tax increase on American entrepreneurs and innovators in clean and renewable energy, and in effect reviving the Production Tax Credit, which expired in 2010.

UK Green Investment Bank with dual base in London and Edinburgh

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) will be headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the main transaction team will be based in London, England, according to Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Schott Solar modules withstand salt spray corrosion test

Schott Solar AG's Schott Perform Poly solar photovoltaic (PV) modules have passed a salt spray corrosion test at the most difficult level of 6.

11,000 protest against German solar PV cuts 11,000 protest against German solar PV cuts

Around 11,000 people gathered in Berlin on 5 March to protest against further cuts to the support for solar photovoltaics (PV) in Germany from April.

Guggenheim Partners to advice on 10 GW Greek solar project

Financial services firm Guggenheim Partners will serve as a strategic and financial advisor along with the National Bank of Greece on financing, structuring and the staged deployment of the 10 GW solar project Helios in Greece.

Microsol buys bankrupt Solon

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) based solar cell manufacturer Microsol has acquired “essential components” of Solon SE and its subsidiaries for an undisclosed sum, creating Solon Energy GmbH.

SMA inverters to power 290 MW solar PV plant in Arizona

SMA America's Sunny Central inverters have been selected for the 290 MW Agua Caliente solar photovoltaic (PV) plant under construction in Yuma County, AZ, USA.

From sewage to algal biofuel

A €12 million project converting sewage into biofuel via algae, has been launched at a waste water treatment plant in Chiclana, southern Spain.

Heating and cooling overlooked by EU Energy Roadmap

Although heating and cooling represents by far the largest share (43%) of the final energy consumption in Europe, it has been largely overlooked in the EU Energy Roadmap 2050.

Slow European smart meter roll-out Slow European smart meter roll-out

Despite the hype, few regions in Europe have made significant progress in rolling out smart meters, according to the UK smart grid and metering technology provider Sentec.

EU installed wind power slowed in 2011

The EU-27 installation rate of wind power slowed 5.9% in 2011 with just under 9.4 GW of new capacity, compared with nearly 10 GW in 2010, with a significant slowdown in offshore wind, according to the latest EurObserv'ER Wind Power Barometer.

Solar hydrogen filling station opens in Freiburg, Germany Solar hydrogen filling station opens in Freiburg, Germany

A public solar powered hydrogen filling station for vehicles has been opened in Freiburg, Germany, by Fraunhofer ISE.

Alpha Ventus produced 267 GWh in 2011

The Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm celebrates the delivery of 267 GWh to the German grid in 2011 - at the same time the developers say Germany must address offshore wind connection barriers for future projects.

CDM boosts renewable rural electrification

Financial incentives from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and an emissions baseline and monitoring methodology approved by the CDM Executive Board, could help boost renewable rural electrification in developing countries.

Overcapacity keeps wind turbine prices low

Overcapacity and new low-cost players will keep wind turbine prices low, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Wind Price Index (WTPI).

Thin-film solar industry launches industry coalition

Representatives of the thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) industry value chain have established their own industry coalition: PVthin.

ABB and Inocean join forces on offshore wind power integration

ABB and Inocean AS Norway are setting up a joint venture for engineering services specialising in offshore wind integration.

Argonne receives award for biomass resin wafer technology

Argonne National Laboratory has received a Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for a technology improving the processing of biomass feedstocks into biofuels and chemicals.

US: US$14m for algae transportation fuels

US President Obama has announced a US$14 million funding opportunity for developing transportation fuels from algae.

Abound shuts thin-film production to upgrade capacity

Abound Solar is shutting down production of its first-generation CdTe solar thin-film modules, causing temporary lay-offs of 180 employees at its Colorado facilities.

DONG sells 50% of German offshore wind farm

DONG Energy is selling 50% of the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm to the Lego Group’s parent company, KIRKBI A/S, and the Oticon Foundation, for DKK4.7 billion.

Oerlikon exits solar market – sells Oerlikon Solar

The Oerlikon Group is selling Oerlikon Solar to semiconductor production equipment provider Tokyo Electron Ltd, as the group continues its operational restructuring and cost cutting excercises.

Economic slowdown means UK can phase out more fossil energy

The economic slowdown means the UK could retire old coal, oil and nuclear power plants without risking black-outs between 2015 and 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Draft EU Directive proposes binding energy efficiency targets

Under a draft EU Directive approved by the Energy Committee, EU countries will have to set binding national energy efficiency targets, and save energy by specific means such as renovating public buildings.

2011 saw record levels of renewable energy investment – uncertainty for 2012

Clean and renewable energy investment levels saw new heights in 2011, spurred by solar, but the outlook for 2012 is far less certain – especially within the Eurozone, says analyst Ernst & Young.

UK trade union and renewable energy industry campaign for green jobs

The UK trade union Unite the Union and the trade association for wind and marine renewable energy, RenewableUK, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to campaign for green jobs.

EDF given green light for Photowatt acquisition

EDF has been given the go-ahead to acquire the bankrupted solar company Photowatt.

Arcola Energy, Horizon to launch global fuel cell product integration platform Arcola Energy, Horizon to launch global fuel cell product integration platform

Arcola Energy in London and Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies in Singapore have formed an exclusive partnership to provide deployment, customisation and integration support to a wide range of companies launching Horizon fuel cell powered products in the UK.

UK and Bangladesh cooperate on renewable energy research

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Government of Bangladesh have signed a memorandum of understanding on renewable energy research.

Solar power to low-income families in CA and CO, USA

Yingli's US subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Americas, and non-profit solar installer GRID Alternatives have renewed their strategic partnership for 2012, providing solar power to 800 low-income families in California and Colorado, USA.

SMA Solar Technology opens Japanese subsidiary

SMA Solar Technology AG has opened a sales and service subsidiary in Japan, which will offer solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters and communication products for small solar PV plants in Japan.

Narec Capital helps offshore meteorology company enter UK market

UK renewable energy finance and insurance company Narec Capital has been appointed by the Spanish offshore wind meteorology platform developer Idermar to advise on finance, insurance and UK market entry.

Goldwind's profit nearly wiped-out in 2011

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Company was hit by a slower wind power market and falling prices for wind turbines in 2011, recording a 73.5% decline in total profit and a 76.77% fall in net profit attributable to share holders.