News for August 2013

News Archive

100% increase in Asian PV demand

Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand from China and Japan during the second half of 2013 is forecast to reach 9 GW, representing an increase of 100% compared to the first half and 70% compared to the second half of 2013, says a new NPD Solarbuzz report.

Alterra Power buys ABW solar facility interest

Alterra Power Corp has completed its purchase of the ABW Solar project in partnership with GE Energy Financial Services.

Siemens installs first North Sea platform Siemens installs first North Sea platform

Siemens has installed its first offshore platform in the North Sea, linking the Nordsee Ost and Meerwind offshore wind farms to the mainland.

Industry saddened by First Solar deaths

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement after learning of the tragic deaths of two First Solar construction supervisors in a plane crash near the Desert Sunlight solar facility in Riverside County, California.

FLI Energy builds 12 MW biomethane plant

FLI Energy has begun construction of a biomethane-to-grid anaerobic digestion (AD)plant in Suffolk, UK.

Solar wafers produce 44.1% cell efficiency

Wales-based IQE plc says that its wafers have been independently certified as achieving 44.1% cell efficiency by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), potentially setting a new world record for production scale concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) wafer technology.

Gene discovery opens new possibilities for biofuels Gene discovery opens new possibilities for biofuels

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute, the University of Dundee, VIB and Ghent University (Belgium) and the University of Wisconsin (USA) have identified a new lignin gene which could improve the conversion of biomass to energy.

Voith invests in small hydro

Voith subsidiary Kössler GmbH & Co KG is expanding its location in Sankt Georgen am Steinfeld, Austria, by extablishing a new hydropower engineering center and a new production hall for final assembly.

Cost gap for Western renewables could narrow by 2025

A new Energy Department study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that, in the US, by 2025 wind and solar power electricity generation could become cost-competitive without federal subsidies.

Biorefinery produces fully renewable paraxylene

Gevo, reportedly the world's only commercial producer of bio-isobutanol,has opened a demonstration-scale paraxylene plant in Silsbee, Texas.

EIB invests in Central America renewables

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide US$230 million backing to support investment in hydropower, wind, geothermal and photovoltaic renewable energy schemes across Central America.

Contract for Belgian biogas plant

Belgian investor and project developer NPG Energy has contracted WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH to set up a biogas plant.

3D graphene could replace platinum in PV 3D graphene could replace platinum in PV

Scientists at Michigan Technological University have developed a new inexpensive 3D graphene that could replace the platinum in solar cells without degrading their efficiency.

New biofuel from corn stalks New biofuel from corn stalks

Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed what they say is a more efficient and less wasteful biofuel that uses corn stalks and leave waste to create isobutanol.

JV to develop ‘BioEnergy Zones’ in Haiti

Haiti-based Sonamar SA and Bangalore-based VayuGrid have signed a joint venture agreement to develop agricultural zones in Haiti to produce biofuels for the country.

Gehrlicher Solar America completes Phase 1 of Arizona solar park

Gehrlicher Solar America Corp has completed building a 4 MW solar array, phase 1 of a 7.2 MWp solar park for UniSource Energy Service (UES) in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Boost for energy storage in Asia-Pacific

Demand for energy storage systems in Asia-Pacific has been boosted by escalating electricity prices, improving grid reliability and demand for electricity, says a report from Frost & Sullivan.

RE capacity at 2252.3 gigawatts in 2020

According to a new report by Frost & Sullivan, renewable energy capacity will be at 2252.3 gigawatts in 2020, with a gradual shift in the market to emerging economies.

Vestas receives 21 MW order in Ukraine

Vestas has received an order for 21 MW from Vindkraft Ukraina LLC for its Beregovaya and Stavki wind power plants, located in the Kherson region of the country.

UK biomass industry required to show sustainability of fuel

From April 2015, biomass producers in the UK will be required to demonstrate their fuel is sustainable or lose financial support from the government.

Brazil approves 377 wind farms

Brazilian government energy agency EPE has approved 377 wind projects with a combined installed capacity of 8.999GW.

Solar device monitors power demand Solar device monitors power demand

Magellan Power has released Solar Gate, technology which could help those with large solar installations keep the energy they generate for their own use.

Goldpoly to acquire 400MW solar power plants

Goldpoly New Energy Holdings Limited has entered into an agreement with a number of Chinese solar companies to buy 400MW of solar power plants.

Microinverters used in Canada PV plant Microinverters used in Canada PV plant

Enphase Energy says that its Enphase System microinverters are being installed at a 2.3MW (2MW AC) solar project in Ontario, Canada.

India creates online renewables database

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have developed an online Indian Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy Database (IREEED) that aims at disseminating information on the renewable energy and energy efficiency policy and regulatory framework in India.

Renewable energy demand to drive European transmission market

A rising demand for green electricity across Europe could boost investment in countries’ transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

IBM tech improves wind reliability IBM tech improves wind reliability

IBM has developed power and weather modelling technology that could help utilities increase the reliability of renewable energy resources.

SolarCity acquires Paramount Solar

SolarCity Corp is to purchase the assets of Paramount Energy Solutions LLC, which does business under the name of Paramount Solar, a subsidiary of Paramount Equity, for approximately US$120 million.

Geothermal plant commissioned in Australia

Packers Plus Energy Services Inc and its partner Geodynamics Limited have successfully completed a vertical geothermal well as part of the Geodynamics Innamincka Deeps Project in the Cooper Basin of South Australia.

LEC increases share in Australian biofuel

Lignol Energy Corporation (LEC), a specialist in advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals, plans to invest up to a further A$1,000,000 in Territory Biofuels Limited (TBF), the owner of the largest biodiesel plant in Australia.

Scottish government invests £3 million in personal green energy

The Scottish government has put aside £3 million for people living in fuel poverty get their own green energy supply.

Membrane-free battery could boost renewable uptake

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new low-cost, reliable rechargeable flow battery that could offer suitable energy storage for intermittent renewable energy.

Duke Energy buys largest solar power plant in San Francisco

Duke Energy Renewables has acquired Sunset Reservoir Solar Power Project, a 4.5 megawatt AC solar plant, from solar developer Recurrent Energy.

US solar prices continue decline

The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2012 and through the first half of 2013, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual cost report produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Flexible thin film solar cells have increased efficiency

Swiss scientists have developed flexible, light-weight cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells that have an increased efficiency of 11.5 per cent.

DONG and UK universities to research reducing offshore costs

DONG Energy has entered into cooperation with an academic consortium of three UK universities to find ways to reduce the cost of energy from offshore wind turbines.

Blog: Aston University seeks to transform life in rural India

In the latest Renewable Energy Focus blog, we learn about the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)'s Pyroformer™, a mobile machine that uses a thermal treatment process for up to 100 Kg/h of biomass feed.

21% growth in leading PV module shipments

Quarterly solar photovoltaic (PV) module shipments for 20 leading PV manufacturers exceeded 5.8 GW during the second quarter of 2013, a growth of 21% from Q2 2012.

Mitsubishi buys solar energy stakes

Mitsubishi Corp has acquired 50 per cent stakes in two solar power stations in France from EDF Energies Nouvelles SA.

GE builds first wind farm in Estonia GE builds first wind farm in Estonia

GE has opened the Paldiski Wind Farm on the Pakri peninsula in northwestern Estonia.

TPI Composites to produce Nordex wind turbine blades in Turkey

German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex has signed a multi-year supply agreement with TPI Composites, USA, for the delivery of NR-58.5 rotor blades. TPI will manufacture the blades in Turkey.

IKEA buys Irish wind farm

The furniture retail giant is buying the 7.65MW Carrickeeny Wind Farm from Mainstream Renewable Power.

America’s solar energy industry looks to play key role in grid modernisation

“Solar is critically important to our nation’s energy security and national security – and we’re doing our part to fight climate change,” said the head of the Solar Energy Industries Association, Rhone Resch, stressing the sector has a key role to play to ensure the lights stay on should disaster strike.

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Energy M&V industry receives a boost real-time

The measurement and verification (M&V) industry, which monitors energy consumption in buildings, is now moving toward real-time performance tracking, which is set to dominate the market.

All-gas project produces first biomass from algae All-gas project produces first biomass from algae

The EU-backed All-gas project, the world’s largest project to convert algae into low-cost clean energy using wastewater, has successfully grown its first crop of algae biomass at its site in Chiclana, Southern Spain.

SeaEnergy and RGU to improve offshore wind lifecycle costs SeaEnergy and RGU to improve offshore wind lifecycle costs

Aberdeen, UK-based energy services group SeaEnergy plc and Robert Gordon University (RGU) have launched a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to improve the life cycle cost of operations and maintenance (O&M) strategies in offshore windfarms.

NREL to develop biofuels in Colombia

The US Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with Ecopetrol, the largest oil company in Colombia, to process the residue from sugar cane and palm oil harvesting into fuel ethanol for blending with gasoline.

GE and First Solar join forces to improve thin film cell technology

GE and First Solar have formed a technology partnership to improve PV thin-film solar cells and modules.

Rhode Island and Massachusetts sites leased for wind energy

Offshore wind power specialist Deepwater Wind New England LLC has won the US government’s lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters, gaining two leases for a wind energy area of 66,671 hectares offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts for wind energy development.

Alstom opens wind tower factory in Latin America

Alstom has opened a factory in Canoas in Rio Grande do Sul State, in the southern part of Brazil, with the capacity to produce 120 steel towers per year – enough to supply approximately 350 MW of electricity.

Job: Publisher, Materials Science Journals - based in Oxford or Amsterdam

Elsevier - publisher of Renewable Energy Focus - is looking for an entrepreneurial individual to maintain, develop, and take complete publishing responsibility for a defined list of journals within materials science...

British stately home hosts hydropower project British stately home hosts hydropower project

British renewables firm Hallidays Hydropower plans to develop a £180,000 micro hydropower scheme on the River Glyme, in the parks of world heritage site and stately home Blenheim Palace.

Report lists most common wind energy insurance claims in the US

GCube, a provider of renewable energy insurance services, has published a report summarising the most common wind energy insurance claims made in the United States.

GL Garrad Hassan provides expert wave testing support in Hawaii GL Garrad Hassan provides expert wave testing support in Hawaii

Renewable energy consultant GL Garrad Hassan is providing expertise to the Hawaii National Marine Renewable Energy Center (HINMREC)’s wave energy testing programme.

Multi-million pound investment in UK offshore

UK government and business have published a long-term strategy to strengthen the UK’s position in the offshore wind industry.

US wind energy pricing near all-time low

While annual wind power additions in the United States achieved record levels in 2012, wind energy pricing is near an all-time low, says a new report released by the US Department of Energy.

NPL develops high temp capacitors for EVs

Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK have developed capacitors that can operate at high temperatures, especially designed for use in electric vehicles (EV).

TÜV SÜD draws up wind atlas for German state TÜV SÜD draws up wind atlas for German state

TÜV SÜD has put together a wind atlas for the state of Rhineland Palatinate in south-west Germany.

Marubeni acquires 25 per cent of Mainstream Renewable Power

Global wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corporation have agreed a €100 million equity investment deal in which Marubeni gains an around 25 per cent holding in Mainstream.

310 Solar builds PV plant for Ted Turner

310 Solar Energy has installed a photovoltaic solar power plant at the Vermejo Park Ranch, a 590,823 acre ranch in northeastern New Mexico owned by media mogul, and renewable energy advocate, Ted Turner.

SCHMID furnace with 18% cell production efficiency

The SCHMID Group says that its 5500 Series APCVD conveyor furnace is well positioned to meet the current requirements for PV cell manufacture coming from China, due to its 18% production efficiency.

Bid to build renewable energy generation facilities in San Francisco

Community leaders in San Francisco have put together a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) plan, CleanPowerSF, with the aim of building of local, renewable energy generation facilities in the city of San Francisco.

Gamesa supplies 138 MW to Mexican isthmus

Gamesa has won a contract to supply 138 MW for a wind farm on Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a narrow strip of land between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

Gehrlicher Solar AG finds investor

Following its bankruptcy filing a few weeks ago, PV specialist Gehrlicher Solar AG could have a new investor.

19 per cent increase in UK renewable energy

Electricity generated from renewable sources in the UK in 2012 increased by 19 per cent on 2011, according to official figures published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

PV market enjoys "warm summer"

The world solar PV market saw a pickup in June, enjoying a “warm summer of demand” according to Bloomberg’s Solar Shipment Index.