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From: Eric1/12/2012 11:16:02 AM
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IKEA Plans Five More Solar Installations

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From: Eric1/12/2012 11:16:55 AM
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Salt River Project, ASU To Build 1 MW SunPower Plant

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From: Eric1/12/2012 11:27:42 AM
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Wind Energy Venture-Capital Funding Up 33% In 2011; Offshore Sector Gaining Ground

Global venture-capital (VC) funding for wind energy totaled $369 million in 14 deals in 2011 - up from $277 million in 11 deals in 2010 and $189 million in 20 deals in 2009, according to a new report released by Mercom Capital Group.

Wind power start-up ReNew Wind Power's $202 million raise was the top VC funding deal. Boulder Wind Power and Wind Energy Direct came in second and third, with $35 million and $29 million raised, respectively.

Project-specific funding also was higher than in previous years, reaching nearly $11 billion - $1.6 billion more than in 2010. Offshore wind projects represented $3.4 billion in five deals, and onshore wind raised $7.5 billion in 46 deals.

The top project in 2011 was the 400 MW Global Tech I offshore wind project in Germany, which raised $1.5 billion. Other top project deals were WindMW’s 288 MW Meerwind wind farm, which raised $1.2 billion, and the 272 MW Canadian wind farm being developed by Boralex, Gaz Metro and Valener’s Selgneurie de Beaupre, which raised $713 million.

The U.S. saw the most VC funding deals in terms of companies ($294.7 million in nine deals) and projects ($2.9 billion in 19 deals). Germany was a close second in investment, with $2.8 billion in large-scale project funding, followed by Canada, with $1.1 billion.

The most active project investor was the European Investment Bank, which was involved in eight transactions. The International Finance Corp. had seven transactions, and four other investors had four transactions each.

Debt funding was dominated by China, which accounted for $6.8 billion of the $11 billion announced in 2011. Denmark and Spain announced $1.9 billion and $1.7 billion in debt, respectively. The U.S. was fifth overall, with $201 million. The single largest deal was the $5 billion credit facility issued to Guandong Ming Yang Wind Power Industry Group Co. by the China Development Bank.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity amounted to $1.7 billion in 17 deals, the largest of which was the $724 million acquisition of wind gear maker Hansen Transmissions, a subsidiary of Suzlon, by ZF Friedrichshafen. The $596 million acquisition of Brazilian wind power operator Jantus by CPFL Energia was the second-largest deal of 2011. Wind component companies accounted for $1 billion, and wind downstream companies accounted for $700 million in M&A activity in 2011.

There was also significant wind project M&A activity, with $4 billion transacted in 61 deals. Top deals were the acquisition of 50% of DONG Energy’s Anholt offshore wind farm by a consortium of Pension Danmark and PKA for $1.1 billion, and the acquisition of 11 wind farms from Auxiliar de Construccion y Servicios by Bridgepoint for $850 million.

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From: Eric1/12/2012 11:28:54 AM
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Wind Companies, Universities Studying Offshore Wind Energy Generation Potential Off The Carolinas

AWS Truepower LLC, a provider of renewable energy consulting and information services, says it has been selected to collaborate with Duke Energy, ABB Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) on the Carolinas Offshore Wind Integration Case Study.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and is designed to study the benefits and challenges associated with developing offshore wind generation facilities in the waters off the coasts of North and South Carolina. According to AWS Truepower, the results will be critical to making rational policy and commercial decisions related to offshore wind energy.

The study will assess viable wind deployment sites, evaluate the impact of development of three different amounts of installed offshore wind generation capacity, determine the effect of various collection and interconnection technologies and methods, and assess the operational impacts to Duke Energy Carolinas electric power system.

The results of the study will provide utility planners, industry participants and policymakers with new information so they can make informed decisions related to offshore wind development.

For key stakeholders, such as utility planners, the information will help with the system additions and operational changes needed to accommodate development. Industry participants will review the cost, timing, preparations and suitability of specific sites for offshore wind development, and policymakers will receive detailed information about the costs and system impacts of offshore wind, AWS Truepower explains.

“Our goal is to fully understand how the abundant wind resource off the coast of the Carolinas - and North Carolina, in particular - can help reshape our long-term energy outlook,” says Duke Energy Vice President Christopher Fallon. “We’ve assembled a project team with tremendous expertise and talent, and we look forward to sharing the results of our study with interested parties in the Carolinas and throughout the country.”

AWS Truepower’s primary role in the project will be to create wind generation profiles for hypothetical offshore wind farms. This will be accomplished through the firm’s proprietary site-selection algorithm, which selects likely locations for offshore wind farm development and simulates the potential project build-out.

The selection process will build on the work previously performed by UNC. The firm’s numerical weather-prediction models will then be used to simulate multiple years of wind and weather profiles, which will be converted into energy-output profiles at each simulated offshore site.

The study will help to quantify the likely impact to consumers from the operational changes and system upgrades necessary to integrate offshore wind energy. It also will provide an opportunity to demonstrate how offshore wind can enable a region with relatively poor onshore resources, like the Carolinas, to meet their renewable portfolio standards, AWS Truepower adds.

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From: Eric1/12/2012 11:31:38 AM
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Ontario Wind Energy Shatters Numerous Records In 2011

A record 3.9 TWh of wind energy was produced in Ontario in 2011 - up substantially from the 2.8 TWh produced in 2010, according to new annual data from the Independent Electricity System Operator.

November 2011 marked the highest monthly wind output ever seen in Ontario, with production in that month alone exceeding 0.56 TWh. In annual terms, wind generation represented 2.6% of the province's total output.

In addition, a record capacity of new wind energy projects was commissioned in both Ontario and all of Canada last year. More than 5 GW of wind energy projects are already contracted to be built over the next five years.

In 2011, Canada’s wind energy industry represented more than $3 billion in new investments that have created 17,000 person years of employment, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). Canada is now ranked ninth globally in terms of total installed wind energy capacity.

"Wind energy is proving itself a key partner as Ontario builds a stronger, cleaner and affordable electricity system,” says Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA. “Increased growth of wind energy in Ontario means cleaner air, new jobs and local investments for the communities that host wind energy projects. Maintaining Ontario’s leadership position will require continued commitments to aggressive targets for wind energy development and a stable policy framework."

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From: Eric1/12/2012 11:36:51 AM
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More wind news:

REpower Supplying Turbines Designed To Operate In Hot Climates
by NAW Staff, Jan. 12, 2012
REpower Systems SE says it has finalized a contract with an East Coast U.S. wind power developer for the delivery of 73 wind turbines. The REpower MM92 turbines, which have a [read more]

E.ON Makes Progress On Offshore Wind Farm In Scotland
by NAW Staff, Jan. 12, 2012
E.ON says it is preparing to begin construction on the second phase of its Camster offshore wind farm in Caithness, Scotland. The wind farm will be located between Lybster and Watten, [read more]

UpWind To Provide O&M Services For Oklahoma Wind Farm
by NAW Staff, Jan. 12, 2012
Oklahoma Gas and Electric has awarded UpWind Solutions Inc. a two-year operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement for post-warranty O&M services for UpWind's Centennial wind farm in Laverne, Okla. Under the agreement, [read more]

Idaho Utility Seeking Approval Of Wind Project Agreement
by NAW Staff, Jan. 12, 2012
Utility Idaho Power Co. is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to approve a 20-year sales agreement with High Mesa Energy LLC for a 40 MW wind project near the town [read more]

3Power Signs Deal For Wind Energy Assessment In Italy
by NAW Staff, Jan. 12, 2012
3Power Energy Group Inc. says it has entered into an agreement to develop 240 hectares of land for wind energy assessment in the Nuoro region of Sardinia, Italy, at an elevation [read more]

Natural Power To Perform Energy-Yield Assessment For Offshore Wind Farm
by NAW Staff, Jan. 11, 2012
Renewable energy consultancy group Natural Power says it has been awarded a contract from utility E.ON to carry out an energy-yield assessment and site classification study for the permitted 230 MW [read more]

Researchers Using Offshore Buoy To Study Wind Resource In The Great Lakes
by NAW Staff, Jan. 11, 2012
Catch the Wind Ltd., a provider of laser-based wind sensor products and technology, says the deployment of its Vindicator Laser Wind Sensor (LWS) in AXYS Technologies Inc.'s WindSentinel offshore wind buoy in Lake Michigan [read more]

Austal Nets First Contract For New Offshore Wind Vessel Design
by NAW Staff, Jan. 11, 2012
Austal, a designer and manufacturer of aluminum vessels, has entered a contract for a fourth wind farm support vessel for Turbine Transfers Ltd. According to Austal, this is the first order for the company's [read more]

Community Wind Companies Receive USDA Grants For Feasibility Studies
by NAW Staff, Jan. 11, 2012
National Renewable Solutions LLC (NRS), a community wind project developer, has announced that Dakota Wind Energy, Norfolk Wind Energy and Little Rock Wind each have received notice of approval of $50,000 in technical feasibility [read more]

BP Wind Energy, Sempra Collaborating On 560 MW Of Wind Projects on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power have announced plans to further expand their relationship by jointly developing the Mehoopany Wind Farm in [read more]

Community Wind Companies Receive USDA Grants For Feasibility Studies on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff National Renewable Solutions LLC (NRS), a community wind project developer, has announced that Dakota Wind Energy, Norfolk Wind Energy and Little Rock Wind each have [read more]

Natural Power To Perform Energy-Yield Assessment For Offshore Wind Farm
on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff Renewable energy consultancy group Natural Power says it has been awarded a contract from utility E.ON to carry out an energy-yield assessment and site classification [read more]

Fuhrlander Acquires Majority Interest In Wind Energy Engineering Company on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff German wind turbine manufacturer Fuhrlander AG has announced that it has acquired a majority interest in wind energy engineering company W2E Wind to Energy GmbH. [read more]

NaturEner Secures Financing For Rim Rock Wind Project on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff San Francisco-based developer NaturEner USA LLC says it has secured a $320 million construction loan with Morgan Stanley that will enable construction of the 189 [read more]

Gamesa Opens New Blades Factory In India on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff Spain-based Gamesa has announced the opening of a new blades factory in India where it will produce components for its G5X-850 kW and G9X-2.0 MW [read more]

NRG Signs Agreement To Install Condition Monitoring System on 11 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff NRG Systems, a manufacturer of measurement systems for the renewable energy industry, has signed a collaborative agreement with TechnoCentre eolien that allows NRG Systems to [read more]

Ex-Im Bank Lends Assistance During 'Critical' Time For Wind Industry on 10 Jan 2012 by Mark Del Franco Manufacturers looking to expand beyond the U.S. this year can find help right here at home in the form of the Export-Import Bank of the [read more]

Christie Vetoes Bill That Would Have Streamlined Wind Energy Siting on 10 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have streamlined the process of building wind turbines on farmland. The bipartisan bill, introduced [read more]

BPA Files For Rehearing On FERC's Environmental-Redispatch Order on 10 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a request for clarification and rehearing of FERC's order regarding BPA's [read more]

Wind Energy Generation Represented 8.5% Of Texas' Energy Usage In 2011 on 10 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff Wind generation now makes up 8.5% of total energy consumption in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' (ERCOT) territory, ERCOT announced in its new generation [read more]

Goldwind Nets Contracts For Several U.S. Wind Projects on 10 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff Goldwind USA has announced turbine sales to new customers: Enel Green Power North America, Wind Energy Developers LLC and Debenham Energy. Each agreement is for [read more]

3Floorsup Releases New Web Portal For Wind Farm O&M Data on 10 Jan 2012 by NAW Staff Australia-based 3Floorsup has released Owner View, a Web portal designed to bring operations and maintenance (O&M) data to wind turbine owners and operators. The portal [read more]

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From: Eric1/13/2012 12:00:09 AM
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Germany Installed 3 GW of Solar PV in December — The U.S. Installed 1.7 GW in All of 2011

By Stephen Lacey on Jan 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

And the Germans did it at roughly half the price.

In the lead up to another 15% reduction in Germany’s feed-in tariff (the price paid for solar electricity fed into the grid), the German solar industry finished 2011 off with a bang — installing 3,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems in December.

Let’s put those figures in perspective: In just one month, Germany installed almost twice as many megawatts of solar than the entire U.S. developed during all of 2011. Preliminary figures show Germany ended the year with roughly 7,500 MW of installations; the U.S. ended up with about 1,700 megawatts, according to GTM Research.

Oh, and I should probably mention that the Germans installed all of that solar at almost half the price. The average price of an installed solar system in Germany came to $2.80 in the third quarter of 2011. In the U.S., it was about $5.20 in the third quarter.

Why the disparity? The Germans have a much more mature solar market. The country’s simple, long-term feed-in tariff makes financing projects less expensive, and has created a sophisticated supply chain that allows companies to source product, generate leads and get systems on rooftops efficiently.

Some criticize feed-in tariffs for not creating a “market” like we imagine in the U.S. The activity we saw at the end of 2011 is representative of what happens every year in Germany: because the incentives are dropped down to meet market pricing, there is always a rush in December to install systems quickly. But isn’t that what we do in the U.S. when tax credits and rebates are about to expire?

It’s fair to criticize feed-in tariffs like those in Spain and the Czech Republic which caused an unsustainable boom before crashing down. But when looking at the numbers and pricing that the German solar market continues to post, there’s still a very compelling argument for states and municipalities to consider moderate, long-term pricing mechanisms like feed-in tariffs.

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From: Eric1/13/2012 12:59:18 AM
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Solar Stocks Rally on German Installs, Chinese Plans to Double

Solar companies rose on optimism that stronger-than-expected demand at the end of 2011 will continue this year.

The Bloomberg Global Leaders Solar Index (BLGS) of 37 companies rose 7.2 percent to $47.93 at the close in New York, its third straight day of gains, led by Energy Conversion Devices Inc.’s 39 percent increase and Hanwha SolarOne Co. (HSOL), which gained 37 percent. The index has climbed 16 percent this year after falling 59 percent in 2011.

Surging installation in Germany and the U.K. and China’s plans to double total capacity this year are boosting demand for solar panels, said Aaron Chew, a Maxim Group LLC analyst in New York.

“I’m pretty bullish on demand in 2012,” Chew said today in an interview. “If pricing remains the same, I see 30 gigawatts this year and 40 gigawatts next year” of new solar installations worldwide.

As much as 29 gigawatts of solar panels were expected to be installed worldwide last year, according to estimates from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Germany installed 3 gigawatts of solar panels in December, the most in a single month, the country’s grid regulator said Jan. 9, driving the world’s largest solar market to 7.5 gigawatts of capacity installed in 2011.

U.K. installations reached 761.9 megawatts last year, up more than 10-fold from 2010, according to the country’s energy regulator.

China Doubling Solar

The head of China’s National Energy Administration Liu Tienan said yesterday the country plans to double the amount of solar capacity in operation by installing 3 gigawatts this year.

The final number may be even higher, Chew predicted. “I think China does north of 5 gigawatts this year with some people saying it will reach close to 7.”

Chinese solar makers climbed today. JA Solar Holdings Co. gained 35 percent and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) rose 29 percent.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR), based in Tempe, Arizona, increased 7.8 percent to $41.80.

“It may feel like a bottom in solar stocks,” said Paul Clegg, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA in New York.

Inventory levels at solar companies are now at “record low levels,” Vishal Shah, an analyst with Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt, said today in a research note. That may “create a sense of rush,” driving demand in the first half of this year.

Increasing demand may be driving up the price of polysilicon, Shah said. Prices for the main ingredient in solar cells rose 3 percent to $27.36 a kilogram last week from the prior week, according to New Energy Finance, only the second weekly increase since September.

The “encouraging poly pricing” may continue for the next month, Shah said, and will “likely drive solar stocks higher.”

‘Zero Margins’

Low panel prices and slim profit margins will continue to hinder earnings at solar companies, Chew said. “Higher shipments with zero margins are still zero margins.”

Prices for solar panels fell 51 percent in 2011 to 88 cents a watt as manufacturers increased production, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The gains in solar shares this week “may be more of a short-covering rally than a long-term shift,” said Clegg.“There’s still a lot of overcapacity that hasn’t been dealt with.”

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From: Dennis Roth1/13/2012 11:40:58 AM
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Asia Solar
Alert: Implications of China's Centralized Solar Approval Plans*
12 January 2012 ¦ 7 pages

More optimism in the sector — China's Head of National Energy Administration
(NEA), Mr. Liu Tienan, said on Jan 10 that China may centrally plan 3GW solar
installation in 2012. We remain optimistic about the solar sector seeing increasing
orders from China in 2012, as IRR improves after the sharp drop in module prices,
amid more centralized planning. Manufacturers in the solar supply chain still face
significant oversupply, yet with cheap valuation (especially solar cell/module names),
we could still see sharp share-price recovery from trough levels as demand recovers.
Maintain our Buy rating on Motech (6244.TWO; NT$60.30; 1).

Why the buzz – 1) Germany ended up installing 3GW of solar panels in Dec alone,
taking the FY11 installations to 7.5GW, which suggests that installation/financing is
much better than feared despite concerns over the European debt situation and should
help reduce inventory overhang; 2) The message from China's Head of NEA appears
to confirm strong order builds in 2012, while it manages installation volume to match its
capacity expansion plans in order to provide a long-run healthy market; 3) While
European financing remains uncertain, and we await more clarity on the demand
outlook in the next few weeks, manufacturers in China and Taiwan have ramped up
utilization rates in anticipation of stronger orders in 1H12.

Stable ASP in Jan — Historically, solar stocks have benefited from stable prices, and
according to, prices for polysilicon/wafer have remain steady since
end-Dec 11 and are even showing some recovery in January, with average PV grade
poly prices reaching US$31/kg. Solar module prices continue to show a wide range
from US$0.75/W to US$1.40/W. This is likely driven by higher utilization rates ahead of
Chinese New Year.

Conclusion — While the PV sector faces challenging 4Q11 results, much of the
negatives have been priced in, we believe, and sector valuations are near historic
troughs. As the sector consolidates, we see stronger companies securing new orders,
while companies with poor balance sheets may face continued weakness and
significant order risks in 2012E. Earnings and share-price drivers are stable selling
prices, higher product efficiencies, improvement in cost structures, and exit of weaker
competitors. Given depressed valuation metrics, established downstream companies
may start offering better risk/reward relative to polysilicon companies.


you need to hit the link to see the Valuation Comparison table.

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From: Alastair McIntosh1/13/2012 12:54:37 PM
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Vestas cuts more than 2,000 jobs

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas will cut 2,335 jobs in a bid to restore profitability after rising costs wiped out its 2011 earnings.

The company said on Thursday that the cuts, which represent about one-tenth of its workforce, would help reduce costs by more than €150m by year-end. Another 1,600 jobs could go at US units later this year if a tax credit for renewable energy is not extended.

The world's biggest wind turbine maker is battling fierce competition, including from Chinese rivals, as well as the threat of subsidy cuts for renewable energy by hard-pressed governments forced to tighten budgets.

Formerly a darling of investors, the wind industry has been hit in the crisis by overcapacity and sliding turbine prices.

Late in 2011, Vestas was hit by cost overruns in product development and delayed revenues which last week forced it to issue its second profit warning in just three months.

It will shut a tower factory with 350 workers in the town of Varde in Denmark, but 1,600 of the total redundancies would be salaried administrative workers and 735 hourly paid employees.

"We have no plans to shut more plants," Engel told Reuters.

After the planned layoffs, which were in line with analysts' expectations for 2,000-3,000, Vestas will employ about 20,400 people globally, including 5,300 in Denmark, Vestas said.

Vestas shares, which dropped as much as 7%, traded down 6.3% by 1509 GMT, against a 0.8% drop in the S&P Global Clean Energy index. The stock is trading at 8-1/2 year lows after losing two-thirds of its value in 2011 .

"We believe investors were hoping that there would be more changes at Vestas, in terms of both economical and managerial consequences," financial services group Nordea said in a note to clients.

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