U.S. President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion compromise spending bill that funds the government through September 2014 on January 17, 2014. The bipartisan budget temporarily brought an end to forced budget cuts and constant infighting over funding in Congress. The new budget eases many of the sequester-imposed spending cuts while reducing the federal deficit by about a trillion dollars over the next ten years.
This week House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced his version of draft legislation to simplify the U.S. tax code, dubbed the "Tax Reform Act of 2014," which has some decidedly negative implications for renewable energy -- that is, if any of it makes it through Congressional compromise.
Several countries have announced ambitious goals to be powered completely by renewable energy, while other nations set smaller, incremental goals. These high aspirations have sparked quite a debate amongst industry experts, and we here at Renewable Energy World are curious to hear what you, our readers, have to say.
Ingenious Media Holdings Plc, an investor in films such as “Life of Pi” and “Avatar,” plans to channel more than half of its planned 160 million-pound ($266 million) fundraising into U.K. solar assets.
What does it take to convert a city, a state, a nation, to 100 percent renewable energy? Many countries are giving it a go with very ambitious goals to be 100-percent powered by renewable energy (islands seem to have a leg up). But what about right here in the U.S., how could that be achieved for this nation? And since all politics is local (and most especially true for renewable energy policies), how could it be done by individual states?
The United States is in a good place in terms of energy, explained former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during a keynote session at the MIT Energy Conference in Cambridge, Mass. Oil imports are the lowest since 1991 at 40 percent, carbon emissions are slowly dwindling, Salazar said, and the U.S. is making these positive improvements due to four cornerstones of progress.
The global energy and environment challenges cannot be addressed through a local, regional, or even a national approach. They require a global outlook and a much broader vision, a Global Renewable Energy Grid [GREG]. A high voltage direct current [HVDC] transmission system must be built to serve as the bulk electrical power transport medium, with centralized energy storage facilities placed within GREG as needed. And perhaps most importantly, the set of socio-political overseeing institutions from each of the world’s nations needs to network together and administer just as seamlessly as the physical grid.
European Union leaders intend next month to agree on a timeline for developing energy and climate targets for 2030, delaying a final decision on the polices, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Adequate transmission — building transmission to accommodate renewable energy, for instance — is an important component, as is energy storage, in integrating renewable energy sources to the grid, according to Lori Bird, senior analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
In integrating renewable energy to the electric grid, the United States has a unique opportunity to assess lessons learned in Europe and not replicate the disequilibrium that has occurred overseas to consumers, power producers and capital markets, according to Jeffrey Altman, senior advisor, Finadvice GmbH.
Alternative energy mutual funds and ETFs have pulled back from some of the fantastic gains seen in 2013. There is a saying in the investment world that “as goes January, so goes the year.” Is it time to bail on this sector, or on stocks in general? Perhaps, but wise long-term alternative energy investors should avoid rash steps at this juncture.
European Union governments and the bloc’s executive arm are splitting over how to guarantee electricity supply as the region builds more renewable power.
The stock market has had a rough five weeks since I introduced my annual Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio on December 27th. My broad market benchmark (the iShares Russell 2000 index) is down 5.6% for the period. Clean energy stocks fared better, with the Powershares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (NYSE:PBW) down only 0.5% as I write. My model portfolio of ten clean energy stocks is up 0.9% in local currency terms, but the weak Canadian dollar (down 3.5%) and Euro (down 1.5%) turned this into a US dollar decline of 1.0%.
Del Mar, population ~4,100, is an affluent beach city just north of San Diego. Solana Beach, also on the ocean and just north of Del Mar has ~12,000 residents. Carmel Valley is a master-planned adjoining community with a population of ~40,000. Can Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Carmel Valley each have their own micro-electric utility (MEU), providing cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable power than the current San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)? Can Carmel Valley have four or five MEUs, and the city of San Diego one hundred?
Broader domestic social issues and an international policy that moves away from "a permanent war footing" took center stage in President Obama's State of the Union address (SOTUS) last night. Domestic energy policies, including renewable energy, largely took a back seat to the President's bigger talking points: hiking the minimum wage for federal contractors, urging final immigration reforms, strong pushes in employment and job-training, education, retirement savings, and healthcare.
Washngton, D.C. non-profit The Solar Foundation just released its National Solar Jobs Census 2013, whichis the fourth annual update of current employment and projected growth in the United States solar industry. Their data for Census 2013 is derived from a statistically valid sampling and comprehensive survey of 15,437 employers throughout the nation.
The European Union is poised to take its first formal steps to expand the world’s most ambitious limits on fossil fuel pollution. That may widen a rift in how it balances green policies with the need for cheaper power.
Once again flexing its investment muscles in renewable energy, Google is expanding its future purchasing plans for wind energy in Finland and taking a stake in another a Texas wind farm. Oh, and it also bought some home energy automation startup called Nest Labs.
Several reports this week agree that cleantech investments fell in 2013, but that's not a bad thing. And the big question is what happens next: how much more is needed?
For years, climate contrarians have pointed to snowfall and cold weather to question the scientific reality of human-induced climate change.