Policy, investment and markets News for April 2012

Policy, investment and markets News Archive

IEA: Governments must accelerate clean energy deployment

Most clean energy technologies are not being deployed quickly enough despite technological progress, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which is urging governments to accelerate the use of clean and renewable energy.

REC closes remaining Norwegian solar production

The Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) is closing the remaining 650 MW multicrystalline wafer plant at Herøya, Norway, citing continued negative operating results due to falling wafer prices and increased competition from China.

Energy entrepreneurs and heat storage benefit from UK investment

As part of a range of recently announced green investments by the UK Government, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is investing £35 million in an Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and £3m in heat storage innovation.

UK invests £80m in small-scale waste infrastructure

The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has committed £80 million to two specialist fund managers who will make and manage investments in the small scale waste infrastructure sector, which includes energy-from-waste.

YEN42/kWh for solar in Japan

A government panel in Japan is recommending utilities to pay YEN42/kWh for 20 years for solar power in a proposed feed-in tariff scheme.

Insolvent Q.Cells attracts interest from potential investors

Q.Cells SE, which filed for preliminary insolvency at the beginning of April, is already attracting interest from potential investors, according to administrator Henning Schorisch at HWW Wienberg Wilhelm Insolvenzverwalter.

SunPower merges Philippines manufacturing plants

US solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corp is to consolidate two of its Philippines manufacturing bases as part of a cost reduction programme.

Mitsui takes 25% stake in Global Energy Group

Japanese conglomerate Mitsui has bought a stake in Global Energy Group, the owners of the Nigg, a key renewables hub under development on the Scottish coast.

FirstSolar closes European solar manufacturing base

US solar panel manufacturer FirstSolar is cutting its production output and laying off nearly a third of its workforce in an effort to cut costs that will see it close its European manufacturing base.

EDF to enter Moroccan wind market with plans for 150MW project

A consortium headed up by EDF is planning to develop a 150MW wind farm in northern Morocco, the first venture into Morocco by the French energy giant.

Italy cuts FiTs in an effort to “balance” renewables growth

Italian officials have revealed details of draft proposals for Italy’s latest renewable energy law, the fifth Conto Energia, which will see support reduced and regulation increased for the country’s renewable energy sector.

UK ministers eye Iceland’s volcano-powered electricity

Electricity generated from Iceland’s huge resource of volcanic geothermal energy could be imported into the UK, helping it reach its renewable energy targets, ministers said yesterday.

US DoE reveals US$9 million fund for energy sector innovation

The United States Department of Energy (DoE) is to make up to $9 million available in 2012 to fund approximately 50 small businesses to advance innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Japanese firms agree to build 70MW solar project

Three Japanese companies are to collaborate to build a 70MW solar plant in southern Japan in an effort to help solve the country’s energy supply problems.

UK wind industry commits to boosting “national prosperity”

Eleven major wind energy companies have signed a “Wind Charter” promising to use wind power to boost national prosperity in the UK.

Study: PV installations will defy “doom and gloom” and grow in 2012

Installations of solar PV will grow by at least 3.5% in 2012, despite many governments slashing financial incentives for the technology, a study has revealed.

World’s leading economies to push for action on clean energy

Energy ministers from 23 of the world's leading economies will meet in London from 25-27 April, to work together on accelerating the transition to clean energy technologies ahead of a major sustainable development conference this summer.

GE to supply turbines to “hot” Ontario wind market

Turbine manufacturer GE is to supply turbines to 9 new wind power projects in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Air Liquide to provide hydrogen station for Alabama fuel cell bus demonstration

In the US, the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) has announced that Air Liquide Industrial US LP is under contract to build and operate a hydrogen fuelling station for the fuel cell bus demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama.

Germany’s Q-Cells to file for bankruptcy

Solar panel manufacturer Q-Cells has become the latest German solar panel manufacturer to fail, after spiralling debts and a slump in prices forced the company to file for insolvency proceedings.