Energy Minute

Solar Power’s Future Looks Brighter and Brighter

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In the U.S. solar power continues to lead all categories as the renewable energy mode of choice. Last year, it made up 29 percent of all new electricity capacity, second only to natural gas at 46 percent. In 2014, solar power is projected to grow by another 26 percent, according to GTM, a research firm. The Department of Energy expects solar to provide 27 percent of all electricity in America by 2050, a huge increase from its less than one percent total today.

Renewable Energy Gets $40 Billion Investment from Goldman Sachs- Energy Minute for February 6, 2014

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Renewable energy has been certified as a compelling market by Goldman Sachs. The bank is investing $40 billion in the renewable energy sector, in several large equity investments. Among them is $1.5 billion in Dong Energy, a Danish offshore wind energy developer, and $500 million in SolarCity, the biggest U.S. installer.

Solar Power Attracts Unlikely Supporters -Energy Minute for January 27, 2014

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January 27, 2014 /3BL Media/ - The growth of solar power is attracting some unlikely supporters and creating some unusual alliances. Conservatives, Tea Party activists, and free market libertarians are joining with progressives and environmentalists to address economic issues raised by the increasing adoption of solar power.

The Fastest Growing Renewable Energy Market in the World?- Energy Minute for January 9, 2014

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January 9, 2013 /3BL Media/ - South Africa may not be the country that comes first to mind when reviewing the global growth of renewable energy. However, recent data suggests that it’s on track to become one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in the world. In 2012, renewable sources made up less than one percent of South Africa’s energy mix.

Major Corporations Report Internal Carbon Pricing to CDP - Energy Minute for December 16, 2013

Press Release

Twenty-nine major, publicly traded companies have reported their internal prices on carbon pollution to CDP, the environmental data organization. The numbers, which range from $6 to $60 per metric ton, estimate both the risk and the potential business opportunity for proactive action by the companies. Prices were listed from companies in all sectors, including energy, utilities, airlines, technology and the financial industry.

Wind Energy Industry Addresses Bird Mortality Issue - Energy Minute for December 5, 2013

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Duke Energy Renewables has taken proactive steps to address the issue of bird mortality at the company’s wind generation sites. The actions, among the first in the wind industry, follow an agreement with the Department of Justice over the deaths of golden eagles at two sites in Wyoming.

Solar Power Industry to Sell First Investment Bonds

Press Release

In a first for the solar power industry, Wall Street is dealing with bonds backed by solar electricity payments. SolarCity, a provider of energy services, plans to sell the bonds, secured by its residential and commercial power contracts. The offering will be managed by Credit Suisse and has received an investment-grade classification of BBB+ from Standard and Poor’s. The bonds will have a yield of 4.8 percent, a relatively high rate that rewards investors for buying untested securities, and will be sold initially to select institutional investors.

“Great Solar Compromise” Creates Innovative Deal between New Solar Power Companies and Traditional Utilities - Energy Minute for October 31, 2013

Press Release

The rapid growth in solar power in the U.S. is a good news story for the renewable energy sector. Solar installations increased 15 percent in the second quarter alone this year, due to the popularity of leasing programs for rooftop panels. But this success story has a down side for traditional utility companies. They’re losing customers—and revenue—to the solar power business. Utilities have large investments in their conventional power plants and in the build out of the electrical grid. They count on a complex network of government regulations and market monopolies to make their profits.

Solving the Solar Power Storage Problem

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One of the big questions about solar power is how to supply sun-driven electricity at times of peak demand. Demand spikes in the early morning, before the sun is high enough to hit solar panels, and in the early evening, when solar panels operate at only at half efficiency in the low light. Cost-effective storage has been a major issue to be solved. Electric batteries have been used, but they’re expensive and have a limited lifetime, so they are usually online to even out a plant’s production, not to store large amounts of solar energy overnight.

Renewable Energy Powers More U.S. Electricity Than You Think - Energy Minute for October 7, 2013

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A main complaint against renewable energy is its small scale. Critics claim that it makes up too small a piece of the U.S. energy pie to matter. And therefore, in a chicken-and-egg argument, renewable energy is undeserving of subsidies and tax credits to help the new industry get up and running. A recent Wall Street Journal article looks deeper into the numbers, and comes to a surprising conclusion: renewable energy provides more power to the American grid than you might think.

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