Policy, investment and markets News for February 2012

Policy, investment and markets News Archive

Nordex sees tumbling Chinese sales in 2011

Nordex saw an operating loss (EBIT) of €29.7 million in 2011, compared to an EBIT of €40.1m in 2010 due to decreased sales and one-off costs.

Suntech tops 2011 solar PV module rankings

Suntech Power was the largest supplier of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules by shipment volumes for the second consecutive year in 2011 as Chinese manufacturers tightened their grip on the market, according IMS Research.

Editor's blog: Sign of the times

As we enter 2012 with more talk of funding problems and reduced financial incentives, it is apparent how the dynamics – and drivers – for renewable energy have changed, and relatively quickly at that.

REEEP funds clean energy in rural Cambodia, Ethiopia and Tanzania

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is funding three projects to widen clean energy access in rural Cambodia, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

UK industry renews calls for biofuels target

The UK biofuels industry has stepped up calls for a biofuels target to 2020, amid concerns that the UK could risk losing the benefits of home-grown biofuels industry altogether.

Forum looks at viable US renewable energy business models

A series of forums to outline a viable business model for renewable electricity has begun in the US, organised by the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Four cities act as models for smart grid cities of the future

Amsterdam, Stockholm, Colorado’s SmartGridCity and Portugal’s PlanIT Valley initiative are among the most replicable models for countries scrambling to accommodate an additional 2.7 billion people in the world’s cities by 2050, according Lux Research.

GE and Carbon Trust cooperate on European clean-tech funding

GE and the Carbon Trust have launched a pan-European partnership to accelerate European clean-tech growth, including a US$5 million business incubation fund

Nanosolar secures US$20m for expansion

Nanosolar, which specialises in solar thin-film printing, has secured US$20 million to fund continued expansion as well as newly committed projects.

Scotland and North East England vie for Gamesa investment

Gamesa's plans to invest £150 million in offshore wind manufacturing, maintenance and logistics in the UK, have led to two ports vying for the contract.

Iowa considers feed-in tariffs

A feed-in tariff bill has been introduced into the state legislature in the state of Iowa, USA.

UK wave and tidal has huge potential – needs government backing

The UK could become a leading exporter of wave and tidal power equipment and expertise if the Government adopts a more visionary approach to developing marine renewables, according to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

Siemens buys tidal company Marine Current Turbines

Siemens has acquired a majority stake in the UK tidal power company Marine Current Turbines Ltd.

DoE could see US$27.2bn budget in fiscal 2013

The Obama Administration's fiscal year 2013 budget includes a US$27.2 billion request for the Department of Energy (DoE).

Editor's blog: Risky business

An interesting report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) crossed our desk recently. The EIU spoke to 284 senior-level renewable energy executives about the risks in financing, constructing and operating renewable energy projects, as well as the risk management challenges that the renewable energy industry must confront.

First Chinese award of TOP BRAND PV label

Suntech is the first solar photovoltaic (PV) module producer from China to be awarded the TOP BRAND PV label by EuPD Research.

Trina Solar's modules fulfil Italian feed-in tariff requirements

Trina Solar Ltd's multicrystalline solar photovoltaic (PV) modules manufactured with European-sourced silicon wafers have been certified by the Italian institute ICIM and fulfil GSE requirements for a 10% feed-in tariff premium in Italy.

Scotland welcomes offshore wind, wave and tidal blueprint

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond has welcomed a blueprint to streamline the scoping, planning and consenting of offshore wind, wave and tidal developments.

REC sells €50m worth of solar plant equipment

As part of its solar manufacturing capacity cuts, REC is selling off €50 million worth of solar plant equipment.

US DoE adds US$12m to SunShot programme for solar innovations

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced over US$12 million to speed solar energy innovation from laboratories to the marketplace through the Department of Energy's (DoE) SunShot Incubator programme.

Nominations open for 2012 Annual British Renewable Awards

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) says it is open for nominations to its 7th Annual British Renewable Awards, which will be presented in London on 21 June.

EDF eyes up Photowatt

Electricité de France (EDF) has confirmed its interest in buying bankrupt solar company Photowatt.

Aries and Tianwei partner on solar PV EPC services

Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas and Tianwei Solution are forming a partnership to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects worldwide.

Expiry of US Treasury Grant challenges solar PV market

The expiry of the Treasury Grant Program at the turn of the year, which has been one of the main drivers of solar photovoltaic (PV) market growth within the previous two years, is posing an added challenge for the industry.

EU nearing 2020 targets for renewable energy share

The EU is already ahead of the energy trajectory mapped out in the NREAPs with 145 Mtoe compared to the 136.8 MW estimated for 2010, and only needs another 100 Mtoe to meet 2020 targets for 20% renewable energy, according to EurObserv'ER.

Journal on energy strategy launched

Publisher Elsevier has launched a peer-reviewed journal focusing on energy strategy, planning and decision making, the Energy Strategy Reviews.

20 GW of solar PV manufacturing equipment to be updated by 2016

There could be a 20 GW opportunity for the upgrade or replacement of existing solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing equipment by 2016 despite a bleak solar PV market outlook in 2012, according to IMS Research.

Wave and tidal in Scotland gets £6m boost

The wave and tidal power industry could benefit from £6 million in funding through Scottish Enterprise's WATERS fund to develop testing of prototypes in Scotland.

UK: new Minister maintains renewables-friendly credentials in face of Tory wind revolt UK: new Minister maintains renewables-friendly credentials in face of Tory wind revolt

The UK’s new energy minister Ed Davey has told industry that he is a strong supporter of renewable energy – and insisted he has the backing of his Conservative coalition colleagues, despite an anti-wind revolt this week from a number of coalition Government MPs.

Bosch postpones Malaysian solar facility

Bosch Solar is postponing the construction of a €520 million solar production facility in Malaysia, according to media reports.

Slowdown in Spanish wind

The Spanish wind power sector experienced the slowest growth ever recorded in percentage terms with a 5.1% increase in accumulated power to just under 21.7 GW in 2011.

REA concerned about UK feed-in tariff details

In further response to yesterday's announcement that the UK Government is proposing further changes to the feed-in tariff scheme for renewable energy, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) says it welcomes the ambition, but expresses concern over details.

UK small wind endangered by feed-in tariff cuts

UK trade association RenewableUK says it is “concerned” over the Government's proposed lower levels of feed-in tariffs for small wind turbines.

UK Government attempts to improve predictability of feed-in tariffs

The UK Government plans to make the feed-in tariff scheme for renewable energy more predictable for the future, saying the reforms “will provide greater confidence to consumers and industry investing in exciting renewable technologies such as solar power, anaerobic digestion, micro-CHP, wind and hydropower”.

Europe: Five-fold growth in smart meters by 2017

Europe could experience five-fold growth in the installed base of smart meters by 2017, according to analyst Frost & Sullivan.

Chinese court dismisses AMSC IP case against Sinovel

A Chinese court has dismissed AMSC's case against Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Sinovel where AMSC accuses Sinovel of contractual breaches and intellectual property theft.

REC crashes into NOK10bn loss in 2011

REC Group has tumbled down from a profit of NOK989 million in 2010, to a loss of over NOK10 billion in 2011 due to a “weak solar market” and “aggressive polysilicon pricing”.

Goal of 50% UK content in UK wind farms

At a meeting of the Offshore Developers Forum, co-chaired by Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister Charles Hendry, it has been put forward that UK firms should provide more than 50% of the content of future wind farms.

3TIER opens EMEA office

Solar and wind energy assessment and forecasting company 3TIER is opening an EMEA office in the UK in response to increasing demand in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

India saw US$10.3bn of clean energy investment in 2011

India saw clean energy investments reach US$10.3 billion in 2011, 52% higher than 2010, and accounting for 4% of global clean energy investment, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

UK solar PV installers must be wary of misleading customers on feed-in tariffs

Renewable Energy Assurances Ltd (REAL) is warnings its members against misleading customers about solar photovoltaic (PV) feed-in tariff guarantees in the UK amongst the current uncertainty.

Fronius sets up solar inverter subsidiary in China

Fronius plans to establish a solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter subsidiary in Shanghai, China, to tap into one of the fastest growing solar PV markets in the world.

US Department of Commerce finds massive surge in Chinese solar imports

The US Department of Commerce has found a large surge in Chinese solar imports, which could trigger 90-day retroactivity if it finds duties are warranted.

SunPower closes Tenesol acquisition

SunPower Corp has completed the acquisition of Total SA's subsidiary Tenesol SA for US$165.4 million in cash.

Renewable energy to help the US Department of Defense

The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) are partnering to explore how renewable energy can help the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Spain halts all new feed-in tariff applications

Spain is halting all feed-in tariff applications as the Government looks to reform the energy system and tackle the feed-in tariff programme's deficit.

Solar PV surge at the end of 2011 Solar PV surge at the end of 2011

The last quarter of 2011 saw a 23% rise in the European solar photovoltaic (PV) market, creating short-term optimism in the industry, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

Micro-hybrids could create a US$6.9bn battery market in 2017

Micro-hybrids could grow nearly eight-fold to 39 million vehicles in 2017 and create a US$6.9 billion market for energy storage devices, according Lux Research.