News

Apple Moves One Step Closer To 100% Renewable Electricity Worldwide

Apple already has a relatively decent track record of its own when it comes to reducing its carbon footprint, with the company’s VP of environment Lisa Jackson earlier this year claiming that 93% of Apple’s facilities worldwide run on renewable electricity. Apple has similarly made changes to its manufacturing process and product design to continue reducing its overall impact on the environment.

Global Renewable Energy Capacity Soared In 2015

“Renewable energy deployment continues to surge in markets around the globe, even in an era of low oil and gas prices. Falling costs for renewable energy technologies, and a host of economic, social and environmental drivers are favouring renewables over conventional power sources,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

Renewable energy operations drowning in sea of cheap oil

A solar energy company star from Spain with operations in the US capable of producing enough power to supply thousands of American homes, was lauded by President Barack Obama in 2010. "It's good news that we've attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America," he said.

Republicans Ask FERC to Reevaluate Renewable Energy-Enabling Law

Three Republican lawmakers asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reevaluate a landmark 1978 law that helped promote wider use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and representatives Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield, who all lead energy committees or subcommittees, submitted a letter Nov. 6 asking FERC to hold a technical conference on the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act.

The law requires utilities to purchase power from renewable energy projects under some circumstances. The three legislators said that a policy drafted when clean-power technologies were still emerging may need to be revisited.

 

Sea salt can replace solar panel component for 0.3% the cost

One of the most dangerous and expensive parts of making photovoltaic cells (solar panels) involves a substance called cadmium chloride. This toxic substance is not just expensive when bought in bulk, but carries with it loads of associated costs in handling and manufacturing. Working with cadmium chloride is necessary though, since it can be used to create a thin film that greatly boosts the efficiency of certain types of solar cells.

Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

US researchers have carried out an environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines mooted for a large wind farm in the US Pacific Northwest. Writing in the International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing, they conclude that in terms of cumulative energy payback, or the time to produce the amount of energy required of production and installation, a wind turbine with a working life of 20 years will offer a net benefit within five to eight months of being brought online.

Xcel Energy Announces Plan to Significantly Boost Solar Energy Resources Through Large-Scale Projects

 MINNEAPOLIS, Mar 03, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Citing the advantage of adding more solar energy at a lower customer cost, Xcel Energy XEL +0.21% submitted to state regulators a plan to add up to 150 megawatts of large-scale solar resources in its Upper Midwest service territory by the end of 2016.

World's Greenest Billionaires 2013

Five years ago, the promise of getting superrich from clean tech was in the air. Startup biofuels companies were getting funded at a rapid pace, new solar companies were growing like weeds and the economy was humming. Flash forward to today and most of the solar billionaires that were created in that short boom – primarily at a small number of Chinese companies — are no longer billionaires. Many solar stocks have crashed, taking their founders’ net worth south along with them.

How Cheniere Energy Got First In Line To Export America's Natural Gas

This story appears in the May 6, 2013 issue of Forbes.

Cheniere Energy’s Charif Souki intends to turn the U.S. natural gas boom into a new American export. Chemical company CEOs have allied with Washington regulators to hamper his cause. So much for free markets.

Relentless And Disruptive Innovation Will Shortly Affect US Electric Utilities

Source: sixprizes.com

The Edison Electric Institute recently released a report entitled Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business. The report highlights some of the trends likely to affect U.S. electric utilities in the near future:

South Korea approves eight coal-fired power plants

South Korea has approved the construction of eight coal-fired power plants in the country, as part of an energy plan that will spread investment among state and private power generators.

Samsung C&T, Tongyang Power, SK Engineering & Construction, and an offshoot of Dongbu Group will build the power plants, reports Bloomberg.

The companies are expected to construct the generating stations by 2027. Investment amounts were not disclosed, but the plants could generate a total of 8,000MW.

Chinese Billionaire Scoops Up Bankrupt U.S. Battery Maker A123

You hear a lot of grousing in China about U.S. protectionism, but the deal flow keeps coming. Last month lithium-ion battery firm, A123 was sold to Wanxiang Group, an auto-parts conglomerate controlled by billionaire Lu Guanqiu. The $257 million sale required clearance from a federal panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ( CIFUS ).

Exxon, Chevron And Why The Future Of Big Oil Should Include Refining And Chemicals

Don't hate on refineries and downstream operations just yet - Photo credit: Wikipedia

It seems like Big Oil can weather most economic storms.  In a difficult fourth quarter, with flat oil prices and a shale boom in the U.S. keeping natural gas in place, with the world’s largest economy contracting and China slowing, Exxon Mobil and Chevron handily beat profit

Energy Companies and Landowners are Clashing over Property Rights

A small town just east of Atlanta has a big battle on its hands. It is taking on the Georgia Transmission Corp., which is the local delivery arm for Southern Co. The utility needs to cut through the city of Mansfield’s historic section to put up poles and to string wires so that 6,000 of the area’s residents can have power.