January 29, 2018
Wind turbines—particularly offshore ones in Europe—are growing in size as the market for them grows. The average rating of wind turbines is now expected to reach 2.8 megawatts by 2022, according to a new report.
January 25, 2018
The 30 percent tariff on foreign-produced solar cells and modules, phased out over four years, will likely not be as devastating a blow as President Trump could have dealt, but the move could hinder solar's growth, cost the industry jobs, and damage plans for big utility-scale projects.
Though President Trump has rolled back regulations to boost the coal industry, market forces still dictate a gloomy future because of cheap natural gas in the nation's shale fields. As more Appalachian coal mines close, residents are struggling to figure out what jobs come next.
Colorado Governor Releases State’s Electric Vehicle Plans, Saying ‘We Know that We Can Have a Cleaner Option’
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper released broad plans to grow the state's booming electric vehicle market through public-private partnerships to build out charging infrastructure and a consistent refueling system across the state and region.
German automakers are rolling out a network of high-power charging stations with Ford in hopes of setting an industry standard for plugs and protocols. To keep pace with electric vehicle sales, analysts say billions of dollars will have to be spent on standardizing global charging infrastructure.
January 24, 2018
President Trump's decision to impose a 30 percent tariff on solar imports could cost the solar industry 23,000 jobs in 2018, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, because most U.S. solar manufacturing is centered around making parts for cheaper imported panels.
Oregon-based SolarWorld, one of the companies involved in the U.S. International Trade Commission solar trade case, is hiring back hundreds of laid-off employees and planning to ramp up production following President Trump's approval of a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced he intends to sell off the island's troubled power utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), to the private sector because it "has become a heavy burden on our people, who are now hostage to its poor service and high cost." Fewer than 64 percent of homes and businesses have power months after the storm.
The International Energy Agency released a report highlighting Chile as one of the world's growing renewable energy leaders. The country aims to get 60 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2035, and 70 percent by 2050; clean energy already makes up about 40 percent of its power generation.
January 23, 2018
The Trump administration issued its long-awaited decision on the U.S. International Trade Commission solar case, imposing a 30 percent tariff on imported solar modules and cells. The first 2.5 gigawatts of cell imports each year are excluded, and the tariffs will decline by 5 percent each year, ending at 15 percent by 2022.
UK Power Networks, a British distribution network operator, launched a project to help the grid handle the growing number of electric vehicles while avoiding $378 million in upgrades. The company is using devices and software to balance loads, avoid constraints and reduce losses while freeing up some space on the grid.
Forty-three businesses, led by large tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, signed agreements for a record 5.4 gigawatts of clean power in 2017, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. It's enough power to displace 10 coal-fired power plants.
Nissan has announced its new Nissan Energy Solar initiative, a battery pack solution that combines home solar panels with energy storage and can store excess energy or power electric vehicles. The company said the home installations start at $5,400 for a six-panel solar system.
Australia will meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 33,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy, according to the country's clean energy regulator. More than 6,000 new megawatts of solar were announced since 2016.
January 22, 2018
While President Trump considers placing new import tariffs on solar panels, the U.S. solar industry is quietly trying to broker a sweeping deal to settle a different trade dispute with China. The industry says the deal could effectively reset solar-trade relations between the two nations.
With more countries entering the wind energy supply chain and the average cost of wind power falling, the global wind energy market is expected to be worth $510 billion in the period 2017-2025, according to a new report from MAKE Consulting.
We’re Doing a Great Job of Creating Renewable Energy—But We Don’t Have the Infrastructure to Actually Use It
Nearly half of the new, large-scale electric power generation installed last year was renewable energy, but many experts say that for the industry to really take off, the U.S. has to have better batteries for storage and transmission infrastructure.
A startup in Portland, Oregon, is generating electricity in an unusual way: It installed turbines in the city's water pipes that generate an average of 1,100 megawatt-hours of electricity every year—enough to power about 150 homes.
January 18, 2018
President Trump said he would announce his decision "pretty soon" on the International Trade Commission case over whether to place tariffs on imported solar panels. He also claimed that when panels are imported, "everybody goes out of business." Read more from ICN about the impact the case could have on the solar industry.
In Michigan, the solar industry is pushing back against a 1,100 megawatt gas plant that utility DTE Energy wants to build, claiming that the company used outdated price forecasts for renewables and the least efficient design for solar energy to produce less-favorable modeling.
France has outlined a 10-point plan to cut in half the average time it takes for wind power projects to be completed and connected to the French electricity grid so the country can hit its target of doubling installed wind generation capacity by 2023.
Saudi Arabia plans to start up to $7 billion worth of renewable energy projects this year, including eight projects that total 3.3 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic power and 800 megawatts of wind power.
January 17, 2018
The bids Colorado's biggest utility is receiving for renewable energy and energy storage are breaking records. Based on the bids, wind energy in Colorado would be cheaper than energy from the state's existing coal plants, and solar would be cheaper than 75 percent of the state's coal energy.
The Renewable Fuel Standard requires the use of biodiesel made from soybean oil, which costs about $1.80 per gallon. Some economists argue that it is a wasteful misuse of resources and that the law is costing Americans about $5.4 billion a year.
The International Renewable Energy Agency forecasts in a new report that all types of clean energy will fall within the cost range of fossil fuels in the next two years, ushering in a "new age of renewable energy."
Ferrari plans to make a battery-powered supercar to challenge Tesla's high-end electric cars. The company's CEO says Ferrari will build hybrid cars before electric, and "if there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first."
January 16, 2018
Concentrated solar power with molten salt storage is poised to take off. The technology can store 10 times more energy than the largest lithium-ion battery systems that have been installed for renewable power and could meet the electricity-on-demand role of coal and gas, allowing more old, fossil fuel plants to retire.
China increased its clean energy investment by 24 percent last year to a record $132.6 billion dollars, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance's annual global analysis. Worldwide, 160 gigawatts of clean energy were commissioned in 2017 and $333.5 billion invested.
Ford has increased its electric vehicle investment plan from $4.5 billion to $11 billion by 2022. Ford chairman Bill Ford said the company will have 24 hybrid and 16 fully electric vehicles in the model line-up by then.
Alaska's first electric public transit bus is set to begin carrying passengers in Anchorage this week, and the city will be looking to replace as many as 10 diesel buses in the next few years. Read more from ICN about cities growing their electric bus fleets.