August 15, 2018

PG&E's Big Energy Storage Projects Run into Opposition

Pacific Gas & Electric is facing opposition to its plans for the largest battery storage investment ever made. The California Office of Ratepayer Advocates is among the groups raising concerns about costs and asking for additional time before regulators decide whether to allow the projects.

August 14, 2018

Hawaii Approves Solar + Storage Deal to Power Molokai

Hawaii regulators have approved a 22-year contract for a utility to buy energy for the island of Molokai from a solar-plus-storage system for 18 cents per kilowatt-hour. The utility says the project, which will provide about 40 percent of the island's power, will save consumers money in a state with high electricity prices. Hawaii has a 100 percent renewable electricity goal.

Electric Cars Could Force Big Changes in Japan’s No. 1 Industry

Japan's auto industry, including many parts suppliers, are bracing for the transition away from the internal combustion engine, a shift that could lead to a dramatic reshuffling of automakers' supply chains. One concern for suppliers is that EVs use about a third fewer parts than vehicles with a gas engine. 

August 13, 2018

Inside Arizona’s Latest Clash Over Renewable Energy Targets

Arizona is embroiled in a dispute over how much to increase its renewable energy targets. On one side, a referendum on the fall ballot would require 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. On the other, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission is proposing 80 percent by 2050, including nuclear.

August 10, 2018

An Offer Utilities Can't Refuse: The Low Cost of Utility-Scale Solar

While short-term forecasts of solar installations have been up and down this year, there is a long-term trend of utilities dramatically increasing their investments in solar farms, growth that is driven by continuing price reductions for solar equipment. This follows a period in which utilities were spending heavily on wind farms but were slower to embrace solar.

Palestinians Turn to Solar Energy to Reduce Power Shortfall

Palestinians are using rooftop solar to help deal with a persistent shortfall in the availability of electricity. In the Gaza Strip, the number of panels has increased fourfold in the last four years. In the West Bank, there are several solar farm projects and plans to bring solar power to 500 schools.

August 8, 2018

Nevada Energy Law Led to Quick Surge in Rooftop Solar

A 2017 state law that reinstated net metering in Nevada has been followed by a dramatic increase in installations. It's enough to hit a cap that now slightly reduces the net-metering incentive for future installations, from receiving credit for 95 percent of the retail rate to being compensated at 88 percent. 

August 7, 2018

Battery Manufacturers Fight for a Foothold in Europe

Battery makers are making big investments in European plants, trying to position themselves for the projected growth in electric vehicle sales. Tesla is looking at potential sites in the Netherlands and Germany, and China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. plans to build in Germany. Those companies, along with others that already have a presence in the region, want to sell products to auto companies that need to rapidly electrify their fleets to meet EU emissions standards.

These Massive Renewable Energy Projects Are Powering Chilean Mines

A rise in solar, geothermal and wind development is helping to wean Chile's massive mining industry, which requires large amounts of energy, off imported fossil fuels. For many mining operations, investing in renewables is a way to lower their energy bills. Some have invested in their own solar and wind projects, while others have signed power-purchase agreements with third-party renewable energy companies.

August 6, 2018

China Slaps 25% Tariff on U.S. Solar Cells It Rarely Imports

China says it will slap a 25-percent tariff on solar cells manufactured in the U.S., retaliating against the Trump administration's latest proposed tariffs on other goods. China is the world's leading producer of solar cells; the U.S. exports few, if any, solar cells to China. Absent from the list of products is polysilicon, the main ingredient in solar cells, which the U.S. does export to China.

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