A technology used in ancient Greece to power clocks and fire a cannon is undergoing a revival as the world searches for better ways to store energy from wind turbines and solar panels.
European Union negotiators are endorsing an accelerated overhaul of the bloc’s carbon market after the price of emission rights fell to levels that fail to deter polluters.
A looming clampdown on Chinese solar panels in Europe is rapidly accelerating, with word that the EU will review part of a landmark 2013 agreement that initially helped to prevent a trade war but is showing rapid signs of unraveling. The case centers on the prices of Chinese solar panels, which are typically much lower than their western counterpar
In my recent report on the utility business model of the future, I laid out 5 pillars of a democratic energy system. It’s hard not to notice the contrast between this vision of the future and the 15-year business plan laid out by Xcel Energy in Minnesota, the incumbent monopoly serving about half the state’s electric customers. Like those of its pe
Just over a decade ago, the state of California faced serious concerns about whether its utilities could generate and/or buy enough power to assure that the world’s seventh-largest economy could keep the lights on. The infamous California energy crisis, which affected several other western states as well, was a complex tangle of poorly structured deregulation, significant market manipulation (remember Enron?), and other causes. Along with rolling blackouts, California endured an official state of emergency that lasted 34 months, led to the recall and replacement of Gov. Gray Davis, and cost the state and its ratepayers billions of dollars — a cautionary tale for all states of electricity supply unable to meet demand.
Lawrence Summers famously wrote, “there are idiots, look around” in an attack on the theory that markets are rational. What some have called “Summers’ Law” certainly applies to the markets’ response to the slide in the price of oil as it relates to stocks of renewable energy companies.
This week, the US Supreme Court agreed to review a ruling by a lower court holding that FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has no jurisdiction to regulate demand response markets run by ISOs and RTOs. Based in large part on FERC order 745, these markets currently support investments in distributed energy resources and energy efficiency
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shunned by the environmentalists that laud renewable energy sources. However, by not supporting both initiatives, they may be working at cross purposes. Natural gas, booming largely because of fracking, complements renewable energies on the grid. The two seemingly opposite technologies are, for the moment, inextricably linked.
Not only do community parks provide green space for recreation and leisure, they also increase property values, attract business, and offer gathering places for all social groups — enhancing the quality of life for local residents. The South Suburban Park and Recreation District is a special district in Colorado that provides recreational facilitie
There’s a crowded field of companies jostling Elon Musk for the most innovative breakthrough solution to his challenge to “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.”
Wind-power developers are expected to install a record 4.2 gigawatts of offshore turbines this year, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Energy announcement to sell an affordable, reliable battery system for solar energy storage in homes and businesses is more important than all the hyped press even suggests. But as extraordinary as the news is about how this technology will impact our energy future, it leaves out some important issues still to be sorted out. At th
My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2015 model portfolio held on to first quarter gains in April, despite a 29 percent fall for one of the stocks. (For details on that decline, see the Power REIT (NYSE:PW) section below.)
I've written before about how the solar industry and the nation's veterans make a great team. That's why First Lady Michelle Obama's announcement last week that the solar industry has committed to hiring an additional 33,000 veterans and their spouses by 2020 is such very good news for our country. "Veterans bring rich and diverse skills, leadership and experience that can help in every portion of the industry value chain," said Tom Kimbis, vice president for executive affairs & government counsel at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the country's major solar trade group, about last week's announcement. "We are not talking about installers alone; veterans can excel from rooftop to boardroom."
First Solar Inc., the biggest U.S. solar- panel maker, reported its first loss in three years as it prepares to create a new company to operate some of its completed power plants.
Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk unveiled a suite of batteries to store electricity for homes, businesses and utilities, saying a greener power grid furthers the company’s mission to provide pollution-free energy.
Solar energy is a booming business across North America. Installations grew 30 percent across the United States in 2014 for the industry’s biggest year yet, but industry expansion also brings consolidation – Ernst & Young reports industry deal values hit a four-year high of $177.1 billion in 2014, with investment and acquisitions both predicted to
The story of Texas wind energy is a success, but it's an odd history. In 1999, when Texas deregulated the energy market, a deal was struck to include a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), a requirement that power companies source a certain amount of their electricity from renewable energy by certain dates. Texas surpassed the original targets, as well as subsequently increased targets, eventually making Texas the U.S. wind leader. In fact, the wind industry’s success has been an integral part of the "Texas Miracle" of job creation, especially in West Texas, which hasn't seen an economic boom like this since before the Great Depression.
The solar panel sector has become quite a turbulent place these days, riding high one day on reports of major new plant construction, only to stumble the next on signs of conflict and financial distress. This kind of conflicting news reflects the fact that the industry is still in the midst of a major overhaul that could ultimately see a few more c
Billionaire Elon Musk thinks he can pave the way to a better energy future by turning the mattress-shaped batteries in Tesla’s electric car into upright pillars so they can be used to power homes, businesses and even utilities.