Category: Renewable News

Growing investor interest keeps wind power sector buoyant

The wind energy sector is attracting new sources of capital that compensate for banks’ general reluctance to provide debt finance for projects, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) announced last week. A growing number of power companies with strong balance sheets are investing in wind energy and there is increasing interest from institutional investors, despite… Read more »

Ewec 2009 a resounding success

Delegates left the European Wind Energy Conference 2009 (EWEC) last week with the reminder that wind energy is Europe’s number one in terms of new power capacity ringing in their ears. {pagebreak} “In 2008, we installed 8,454 MW of wind capacity, making up 36% of power installations”, stressed Arthouros Zervos, President of the European Wind… Read more »

US Solar industry posts strong growth in 2008

Solar energy capacity in the United States grew by 17 percent in 2008, according to a preliminary report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association. But Rhone Resch, the president of the solar group, warned that the financial crisis has hit the industry hard, since financing for projects has largely dried up. {pagebreak} “We’re not… Read more »

US Adopts feed-in tarrifs

If domestic solar panels become as common on the plains and rooftops of the United States as they are abroad, it may be because the financing technique that gave Europe an early lead in renewable energy is starting to cross the Atlantic. {pagebreak} The idea is to pay homeowners and businesses cash for producing green… Read more »

Italy aims to fifty-fold the capacity of photovoltaic installations

Italy plans to boost capacity of its photovoltaic installations turning sunlight into power- to 16,000 megawatts (MW) in 2020 from about 280 MW now, on the back of generous government incentives. {pagebreak} And industry body GIFI, together with Italy’s state power management agency GSE, have recently released the following key facts about the sector: *… Read more »

Boeing and Vestas form research partnership

Last week, two major but very different players in the world of aerodynamics – the American airplane builder Boeing and the giant Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas – announced they would seek ways to work together on various projects. {pagebreak} And while it is still early days, the recently announced partnership is an interesting sign of… Read more »

Saharan solar panels ‘Could power the whole of Europe’

All of Europe’s energy needs could be supplied by building an array of solar panels in the Sahara, the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen has been told.  Technological advances coupled with falling costs have finally made it realistic to consider North Africa as Europe’s main source of imported energy. {pagebreak} And by harnessing the… Read more »

Renewable energy 30%of electricity in Spain in Feb

Renewable energy resources produced 30% of the electricity consumed in Spain in February 2009, a goal set in 2001 by the EU to be reached by 2010 and which seemed impossible just one year ago. This is according to data from the Electric Network reported this week by Spanish Newspaper El Pais. {pagebreak} In 2008… Read more »

Norwegians pursue better energy technologies

The Research Council of Norway has announced that it will grant funding to eight national research centres for the development of environmentally friendly technologies. Each centre will receive up to NOK 20 million (EUR 2.26 million) a year for five years. {pagebreak} Various topics will be covered during this period, including solar, bioenergy and wind… Read more »

Stockholm and Hamburg win first European green capital awards

Stockholm and Hamburg were last week named as the first winners of the new European Green Capital award. The Swedish capital will be European Green Capital in 2010 followed by Hamburg in 2011. The European Commission’s new award scheme encourages cities to improve the quality of urban life by taking the environment systematically into account… Read more »

Worlds largest solar energy project shines in California

Solar power history will be made in Southern California, after it was announced that Southern California Edison and Israeli firm, BrightSource Energy, have signed the world’s largest solar energy deal. Now awaiting approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (this could happen by as early as 2013), the Israeli-California sun project will power almost one… Read more »

Global investments in renewable energy initiatives exceed 160 billion Euros

Governments around the world have committed more than €160 billion to support renewable energy initiatives despite the economic downturn, according to a Deutsche Bank analysis. Europe, Asia and the US share key investment themes in solar and wind industries, smart grids, electric and hybrid cars, energy efficient buildings and advanced lighting. In addition, 250 new… Read more »

Solar panel prices to fall by up to 40 per cent in 09

The price of solar panels could fall by as much as 40 per cent by the end of the year as huge increases in polysilicon supplies lead to a sizable fall in production costs for solar panel manufacturers. Industry analyst New Energy Finance reported that polysilicon prices hit a peak of $400 per kilogram last… Read more »

WSI now predicting wind for clean energy traders

WSI Corp., an Andover-based company behind much of the public weather-prediction data viewed by millions of people every day, has entered into the alternative energy industry with a new product aimed at predicting not just the fluctuations in the wind, but the effect of those fluctuations on wind power. WSI WindCast, which was launched last… Read more »

Space solar power within a decade?

The notion of Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) is not new. There has long been talk of 24-hour-a-day solar power beamed from space via microwave to any point on earth. However, a new company named Space Energy, Inc. believes it well placed to develop SBSP satellites to generate and transmit electricity to receivers on the Earth’s… Read more »

Fool’s Gold could cut cost of solar power

Scientists at Berkeley University (USA) have this week released research revealing that alternative raw materials, such as iron pyrite – or Fool’s Gold – could offer a far cheaper alternative to silicon for solar panel manufacturers. The rapid growth of the global solar market has been repeatedly hampered by shortages of silicon, which is used… Read more »

US Short on capacity to fully exploit wind and solar

The US has inadequate transmission capacity to carry the energy that wind and solar power projects could produce, according to a report by two renewable-energy groups. The wind power projects waiting to be linked to transmission lines could supply 20 percent of the nation’s electricity needs, according to the report issued by the Solar Energy… Read more »

UK to establish renewable technology benchmark with first awards from GBP 1.1 billion fund

Four innovative projects capable of putting Britain at the forefront of international efforts to develop renewable energy have become the first initiatives to benefit from a potential £1.1billion fund established to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The projects were awarded money by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a unique public-private partnership between global industries and… Read more »

Welsh wind power ‘not hitting target’

The Welsh Assembly Government has “little hope” of hitting its 2010 renewable energy target, claims a leading British environment spokesman. Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates said there was a “stifling lack of progress”, especially in wind farm development. The assembly government has pledged that it will increase green energy by 10% by 2010. It said £6.5bn… Read more »

Global business groups claim climate deal ‘possible’

Business organisations from across the world, including Europe, the United States, China, India and Brazil, have voiced their support for a global climate change agreement at this year’s UN meeting in Copenhagen. “Business is committed to supporting a successful outcome at the COP15 in Copenhagen, which we believe is possible in spite of the economic… Read more »

Green recruitment: expanding through the downturn

The current economic climate has led to a gloomy few months for the recruitment industry but the green job sector has so far remained strong. This week, leading green recruitment firm Acre Resources reported that it has seen the UK climate change job market grow by over 50% in the last year as companies start… Read more »

Euro banks still back investments in renewable energy projects

The credit crunch is starting to make an impact on smaller European green energy projects, but cash-rich utilities and the bigger lending institutions will continue to get deals done, green power experts say. “The main problem for the smaller developers is the short-term freeze on lending,” said Christian Kjaer of the European Wind Energy Association… Read more »

Solar tool ensures safety in the face of strong winds

Developers from DEGERenergie have created a so-called design tool which planners and operators of solar plants can use to safeguard against storm damage – providing a standard of safety that is currently not demanded by legislators or insurance companies. Tracking systems from the company increase the energy yield of photovoltaic systems by up to 45… Read more »

Cities could become the new power plants

An embryonic movement is growing in Europe to build “smart cities” that will challenge the status quo. Such cities would become self-contained units, their buildings gleaning energy from the powerful weather systems sweeping across their roofs and feeding it down to homes below and vehicles in the streets. Electric cars in the garages would double… Read more »

Scottish offshore wind farm sites set out

Plans to build 10 wind farms off the coast of Scotland moved a step forward this week, after Britain’s Crown Estate gave companies the green light to explore the sites. Scottish Power and E.ON are among the nine firms to be awarded “exclusivity agreements” for locations which include the Solway Firth and Wigtown Bay. This… Read more »

New database to revolutionise offshore site analysis

A new piece of software is set to revolutionise how sites for offshore wind energy are selected, by providing accurate data on wind speed and direction for the first time. The Offshore Wind Speed Database, which has been developed by the UK’s leading renewable energy and environmental consultancy, Atmos Consulting, will provide accurate, site-specific data… Read more »

3M Forms renewable energy division

One of the world’s largest manufacturing companies has formed a renewable-energy division to increase its presence in the growing solar and other alternative-energy markets and offset pressures on its other businesses. While traditional businesses are being crippled by the economic downturn, the overall solar market is growing. 3M Chief Executive George W. Buckley said last… Read more »

EU Parliament backs new renewables goals

A summit regarding Europe’s future energy policy last week has seen MEPs backing proposals for new EU targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before 2050. And, the meetings of the full EU Parliament in Strasbourg saw support for a 60% renewable energy target. {pagebreak} As Europe continues to re-draft its energy policy following… Read more »

Swden lifts ban on nuclear power and boosts renewables

The Swedish government heralded a dramatic change in power generation, when it gave the green light to new nuclear reactors last week. Plans have been announced to overturn a near 30-year ban on atomic plants as part of a new drive to increase energy security and combat global warming. Ministers said they would present a… Read more »

UK offshore wind project in doubt

The UK has the capacity for up to 7,000 more offshore wind turbines, according to a government study, but observers say this potential may not be realised. The UK Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment, published last week, concluded that there is scope for between 5,000 and 7,000 more offshore wind turbines in British waters, more… Read more »

E.ON believes industrial standards and strong partnerships are essential

E.ON believes industrial standards and strong partnerships are essential to deliver ambitious renewable growth Dr. Frank Mastiaux, CEO of E.ON’s renewable energy business, has recently outlined the massive potential of working in partnership across industry and government to ensure wind energy grows at the ambitious rate required to meet worldwide targets. {pagebreak} Speaking at the… Read more »

3S Industries AG develops new soldering technology

3S Industries AG develops new soldering technology to connect the cells for Solar Impulse Engineers from all fields are working together on the first prototype of the solar airplane planned to fly night and day with no fuel and zero polluting emissions. Important know-how for the solar propulsion system is being supplied by 3S Industries… Read more »

Investment must triple to save the planet

Clean energy investment needs to more than triple to US$515 billion a year to prevent planet-warming emissions reaching levels deemed unsustainable by scientists, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a report last week. {pagebreak} The massive investments required in renewable energy sectors such as solar and wind energy need to be made between now… Read more »

Scientists develop spray-on solar

Inspired by the beauty industry, scientists have devised a way to make solar panels cheaper and more efficient – by spraying them on. Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU), solar company Spark Solar Australia, and Finnish materials company Braggone Oy are collaborating on a three-year project that could transform the production of solar cells…. Read more »

Cost of solar power could fall 40% by 2015

Technological advances are driving down photovoltaic panel prices by as much as 10% each year, Dutch sustainable energy provider Econcern recently announced. The company claimed that system prices are decreasing by 7% to 10% a year as a result of technological innovation and increased production capacity. {pagebreak} According to Econcern board member Kees van der… Read more »