In an interview published in Forbes, Dr. Arun Majumdar, the head of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) says whatever country makes the transition to producing clean energy first will be in the position of selling it to the rest of the world. “Ultimately, we [the United States] have to decide whether we’re going to be buyers of sustainable energy, or whether we’re going to be sellers.”
A new report by Pike Research, Remote Microgrids, concludes that the primary driver for remote microgrids over the next six years will be the integration of solar photovoltaics, and forecasts that the global remote microgrid market will expand from 349 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity in 2011 to over 1.1 gigawatts (GW) by 2017, which could surpasses all other microgrid segments combined.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that with the start of 2012, residential customers will see flat to moderate increases in their gas and electric rates. These increases cover the utility’s costs of buying energy, investing in new plants and equipment, and paying for state mandates including special programs to help income-qualified customers.
Enel Green Power (EGP) has finalized a tax partnership agreement with a consortium led by J.P. Morgan and Enel Green Power North America. The agreement, valued at approximately, $340 million, relates to the Caney River, Kansas, and Rocky Ridge, Oklahoma, wind farms, which have a cumulative capacity of 350 MW and are supported by long term power purchase agreements.
Summit Power Group and its client and project owner, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), have announced that financing for the Fire Island wind project has been successfully completed. Construction will start immediately, with the project expected to be completed in late 2012.
A new study by HfS Research and ValueNotes found that there is a gradual shift occurring in the energy and utilities (E&U) industry, evolving from expansive nationalized monopolies to smaller de-regulated, privatized enterprises that are increasingly adopting outsourcing as a business strategy. Among the other issues currently facing the E&U industry include pressure to go green; security concerns, and the need to incorporate smart grid technologies.
Enel Green Power announced it had reached its 2011 growth target. Five new plants have become operational in late December, bringing Enel Green Power’s additional capacity in 2011 to more than 880 MW. The five new plants include a solar PV facility in the United States; two wind farms in Romania, and two in Spain, for an overall capacity of more than 150 MW. Enel Green Power’s net installed capacity exceeds 7,000 MW at the end of 2011.
While giving an update on the UK’s progress to meet the goal of getting 15 percent of all energy used in the country’s power from renewable sources by 2020, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne presented additional evidence of the economic benefits of renewable energy.
The Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group (NSMA) has filed for injunctive relief in United States District Court, seeking to stop the installation of smart meters in Naperville, Illinois, until safeguards are in place and consumers are given an alternative option. The deployment is scheduled to begin next week.
BYD and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have finished building one of the world’s largest battery energy storage stations. Located in Zhangbei, Hebei Province, the utility-scale project combines 140 Mega-Watts of renewable wind and solar energy generation, 36 Mega-Watt-Hours (MWh) of energy storage, and a smart power transmission system. While there are renewable generation systems of this scale in service today, there are no battery systems of this size.