Policy, investment and markets News for March 2012

Policy, investment and markets 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.