Policy, investment and markets News for December 2011

Policy, investment and markets News Archive

Renewable energy provides 9% of UK electricity

Renewable energy sources generated 9% of the UK's electricity in the third quarter of 2011, according to figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Bergey 10 kW wind turbine gets MCS certification Bergey 10 kW wind turbine gets MCS certification

SIAC Wind Energy's Bergey Excel-S 10 kW wind turbine has obtained MCS certification, qualifying it for use in the UK.

DNV and KEMA join forces on clean energy

DNV has acquired a 74.3% stake in KEMA with the aim of creating a consulting and certification company within the clean energy, sustainability, power generation, transmission and distribution sectors.

SunPower acquires Tenesol SA

SunPower Corp has signed a definitive agreement to acquire French solar provider Tenesol SA, which is owned by Total SA, for US$165.4 million.

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Solar Millennium files for insolvency

The move follows difficult negotiations and delays as the company attempts to sell of its U.S. projects, including the 1GW Blythe development in California.

Scotland set for record year for renewables

According to figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in the first nine months of this year, Scotland had already generated 94% of last year's output.

UK High Court rules in favour of solar industry over feed-in tariff cuts UK High Court rules in favour of solar industry over feed-in tariff cuts

A solar industry campaign to slow down Government-planned cuts to solar subsidies in the UK has won a significant legal victory, as the High Court ruled that the Government’s programme of cuts under the feed-in tariff were “legally flawed”.

BP exits solar business

According to media reports, the company is finding it tough to "make money" from solar.

Conergy to sell PV inverter subsidiary to Bosch

The purchase price of voltwerk electronics is being kept confidential "by mutual agreement".

Soitec invests US$150 m in U.S. facility for CPV production

The company has purchased manufacturing premises in Rancho Bernardo, California., from Sony Electronics, to produce CPV modules for the U.S. market.

US solar dispute: war of words continues

Pointing to "damage to America’s burgeoning solar industry that high tariffs on solar cells and panels imported from China could cause", the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) has urged SolarWorld, a German solar cell manufacturer, to withdraw its petition to the International Trade Commission (ITC) and Department of Commerce.

World Bioenergy Award boosted research in Brazil

The World Bioenergy Award, presented every two years, has given a lift to the work of the Brazilian researcher Laércio Couto, whose team has been studying the use of eucalyptus for bioenergy.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to attend WFES 2012

The 5th annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 16-19 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Gas, not renewable energy, main reason for UK energy price hike

Research by the UK Committee on Climate Change shows that rising gas prices are the major cause of rising household energy bills accounting for 64% of the increase, whereas renewable energy only contributed 6.5% to the price hike.

EU energy production must be carbon free by 2050

To achieve the goal of cutting emissions by over 80% by 2050, Europe's energy production needs to be almost carbon-free, according to the European Commission.

High Court allows challenge over UK solar subsidy cuts

The UK High Court has given permission to Friends of the Earth and the solar companies Solarcentury and HomeSun, to challenge Government plans to slash subsidies for solar electricity in the UK.

San Francisco plans major renewable electricity push

Local Power Inc has received a 'Notice-To-Proceed' from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), to write several Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to deploy a minimum of 210 MW of distributed renewable and demand-side, in-city energy technologies by 2017 for the CleanPowerSF programme.

US companies commit to '5 Year Renewable Energy Pledge'

The City of Austin, TX, Southern Oregon University, the Bank of Georgetown (DC and MD), Stevens Pass, Diamond Packaging, and Sandy Alexander have been the first to sign the Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) '5 Year Renewable Energy Pledge' in the USA.

3Degrees expands green power programmes

3Degrees has been selected by the Maine Public Utility Commission to launch a new, voluntary state-wide green power programme, and has won a competitive bidding process to be a green power supplier to the CTCleanEnergyOptions programme.

Long-term silane supply agreement between Dow and Air Products

Dow Corning and Air Products has entered into a long-term supply agreement for electronic-grade silane for electronics and solar photovoltaics (PV).

WiseEnergy Africa to manage 500 MW of solar and wind in Africa

WiseEnergy Group will manage up to 500 MW of solar and wind power projects in South Africa on behalf of ix:Africa, an impact investment fund seeking to raise €400 million to dedicate to renewable energy projects in Africa.

US solar installations grow 140%

The US solar energy industry saw a record 140% growth in installations in the third quarter (Q3) of 2011, compared to Q3 2010, thanks to utility-scale project completions, a strong residential market, effective policies and the plummeting price of solar panels.

Germany blamed for falling solar PV inverter revenues Germany blamed for falling solar PV inverter revenues

The solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter market declined once again in the third quarter (Q3) 2011 with industry revenues in Euros falling by over 20% year-on-year according to IMS Research.

MEMC cuts 20% of workforce

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc will reduce its workforce by 1300 – or 20% – in response to difficult market conditions in the solar and semiconductor sectors.

North American solar PV market to double in Q4’11

The North American solar photovoltaic (PV) market is set to double in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2011 compared to the same period last year, despite policy uncertainty, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

Germany installs millionth solar power system

Germany has installed its 1 millionth solar photovoltaic (PV) connected to the power grid, says the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar).

High Court application against UK solar incentive cuts

The UK High Court has agreed to hear applications by Friends of the Earth and solar companies Solarcentury and HomeSun for permission to challenge Government plans to slash financial incentives for solar electricity on Thursday 15 December 2011.

NextEnergy establishes €400m fund for African renewable energy

NextEnergy Capital has begun fundraising for ix:Africa, a €400 million private equity impact fund dedicated to ethical investment in renewable energy, environmental business and clean technology projects in Africa.

US: 750 companies urge Congress to extend 1603 Treasury programme

A coalition of more than 750 US companies, small businesses and organisations have sent a letter to Congress calling for a one-year extension of the Department of Treasury’s Section 1603 Program.

Smart grid project planned for Cambridgeshire, UK

A 700 km2 smart grid project is planned for Cambridgeshire, UK, by UK Power Networks.

Ampere Equity Fund buys 90% of 51 MW of wind farms in Germany

Ampere Equity Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management, has acquired 90% of four onshore wind farms from DunoAir totalling 51 MW and an option to buy an additional wind farm with a capacity of 12.6 MW.

Clyde Blowers acquires wind turbine gear specialist Moventas

Clyde Blowers is acquiring the wind gear manufacturer Moventas Wind Ltd and the industrial gear manufacturer Moventas Santasalo Ltd for €100 million, following Moventas Ltd's bankruptcy filing this summer.

Climate Bond Standard prototype released

The Climate Bonds Initiative has released the final approved text of the prototype Climate Bond Standard, which will be a screening tool for investors and governments to support investment in the low-carbon economy

Smart grid to aid renewable energy Smart grid to aid renewable energy

To meet EU demands for electricity distribution systems that can incorporate more renewable energy, 16 European partners from 10 countries are working on a €160 million smart grid project, EcoGrid EU.

Biofuel from sago waste in Malaysia

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) has started a project to extract biofuel from sago waste through its Sago Research Centre.

Suntech appoints Pawel Nowotny as Director of Marketing

Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd has appointed Pawel Nowotny to head Suntech’s European Marketing team.

EU targets mean huge renewable energy growth this decade

If projections for EU renewable energy developments are realised, the European market is set for huge growth this decade, according to the European Energy Agency (EEA).

Significant financial risk threatens renewable energy

The renewable energy sector needs to improve risk management and access alternative sources of capital as operational risks rise and governments cut funding due to the uncertain economic environment, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) sponsored by Swiss Re.

Doosan enters biomass market with majority stake in AE&E Lentjes

Doosan Power Systems has acquired the majority stake in AE&E Lentjes GmbH, which delivers process and plant engineering, boiler and environmental technologies as well as components for thermal power generation and energy-from-waste biomass plants.

US Trade Commission backs solar companies in Chinese dumping case

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) believes there is a “reasonable indication” that US solar companies face unfair competition from Chinese silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers.

Chinese solar PV to surpass US and Japan in 2011 Chinese solar PV to surpass US and Japan in 2011

The Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic (PV) market is forecast to grow 39% quarter-on-quarter and 130% year-on-year in Q4’11 with fourth quarter installations reaching over 2 GW, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

Evergreen Solar assets sold to Chinese company

Following its bankruptcy earlier this year, Evergreen Solar Inc has sold its core assets to China Private Equity Investment Holdings Inc for US$6 million in cash and 7.57m shares in CPEIH.

Could “power-to-gas” resolve energy storage issues?

Experts from companies and industry associations in the energy sector and from science, policymaking and Government have convened in Berlin to discuss the contribution the gas grid can make to the storage of energy from renewable sources.

SolarCity to build US$1bn worth of solar

SolarCity and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have agreed to terms on financing for SolarStrong, SolarCity’s five-year plan to build more than US$1 billion worth of solar power projects for privatised US military housing communities across the country.

Friends of the Earth says UK solar cuts are “illegal”

In response to the solar industry's lobby of the UK Parliament over Government plans to cut solar subsidies, organised by Cut Don't Kill, Friends of the Earth says the plans to downsize the solar feed-in tariff are “illegal”.

China to become innovation driver

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan shows the country is determined to accelerate the state-controlled economy’s transition from manufacturing powerhouse to innovation engine.