Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Santerno Skid Station

Santerno Solar Skids To Be Installed To The Largest Solar Installation In Vermont | RenewablesBiz

Solar goes Merchant in Spain

Tentusol plans 250 MW project without FITs in southern Spain

26.06.2013: Spanish solar developer Tentusol SL is planning the construction of a 250 MW photovoltaic plant in the municipality of Trebujena, in the Spanish southern region of Andalucia, according to local press agency Europapress. Representatives of the regional government and of the company said in a press conference that the large-scale PV plant would be built in five phases of 50 MW each. The authorization proceedings were started in September 2012. The company hopes to complete the approval process in two or three years. The PV plant construction would take at least 24 to 30 months, after the authorizations will be obtained. The first 50 MW phase should by completed by the end of the first half of 2015. The total investment could reach €276 million ($362.2 million), according to the company. No FIT is expected for the plant; it will sell electricity at market prices and will compete directly with other generation technologies. Several new large-scaled solar projects without incentives have been announced in Spain in the last few months, mostly in the regions of Murcia and Extremadura. The Spanish government suspended the country's feed-in-tariff program for renewable energy projects at the beginning of 2012.



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Obama Climate Change Speech: Transcript

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

-----Original Message-----
From: Monty Bannerman []
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 6:21 PM
Subject: Obama Climate Change Speech: Transcript

Monty Bannerman
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FW: Houston, Palo Alto Make Big Renewable Energy Buys

Reaching the tipping point to sell power direct.

06/24/2013 01:36 PM      ShareThis
Houston, Palo Alto Make Big Renewable Energy Buys News

With the cities of Houston and Palo Alto both announcing big purchases of
renewable energy, it shows that prices are at the  point where cities can
get a significant portion of their energy from clean sources.

Houston's purchase makes it the largest municipal buyer of renewables in
the US. 

It's buying enough wind energy to supply half its electricity for the next
two years. The 140 megawatts (MW) from utility Reliant (owned by NRG) costs
just $2 million.

"Historically, investing in clean energy has been a matter of cost, but wind
prices right now are incredibly competitive with natural gas prices, so it's
become easier than ever to invest in clean energy. And not only do you get
clean air, but you are able to show leadership by making these investments.
It shows the world that it's doable," says Luke Metzger, director of
Environment Texas. 

"Purchasing renewable power is a significant way to help us continue to
reduce our emissions. We just reviewed data that shows that since 2007 & the
last five years - the City of Houston reduced our emissions by 26 percent.
So we are on the right track and we just want to continue," says Laura
Spanjian, Houston's sustainability director.

Houston has some of the strongest energy efficiency standards in the US
and one of the most extensive electric car charging networks. 

Thanks to a $6.8 billion investment in new transmission lines, Texas will be
able to deliver double the wind capacity to its cities. The state leads the
nation in installed wind capacity, which supplies 9.2% of in-state generated

City of Palo Alto

The City of Palo Alto has approved a long term solar energy purchase that
will provide 18% of its electricity at the very low price of 6.9 cents per
kilowatt hour!

Its municipal utility will buy 80 megawatts (MW) of solar from several solar
plants under a 30-year power purchase agreement.

The price is competitive with natural gas and wind and cheaper than they
could get from a new nuclear or coal plant.

The city will buy the electricity from three solar plants, all sited on
distressed agricultural land and all coming online in 2017.

When that happens, Palo Alto will get a full 50% of its energy from

In March, Palo Alto voted to use only carbon neutral sources of electricity
from now on, effective immediately. It can do that because the city owns
the utility - more cities are considering owning their utilities for the
same reasons.

Their Carbon Neutral Plan is designed to be transparent, credible,
sustainable, inspirational and repeatable by other communities. It's
expected to cost less than $3 a year on the average person's electric bill.

Last year, the city approved a feed-in law for locally-produced solar

Austin, Texas made a big wind purchase last week also at extremely low
prices, beating out natural gas.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fwd: Renewable energy: World invests $244 billion in 2012; shift to developing countries underway

Renewable energy: World invests $244 billion in 2012; shift to developing countries underway
Wed, 06/12/2013 - 4:33pm
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Installed capacity continues to grow as solar prices drop 30-40 percent, new wind installations surge

For only the second time since 2006, global investments in renewable energy in 2012 failed to top the year before, falling 12% mainly due to dramatically lower solar prices and weakened US and EU markets.

However, 2012 was the second highest year ever for renewable energy investments, which total $1.3 trillion since 2006. And there was a continuing upward trend in developing countries in 2012, with investments in the South topping $112 billion vs $132 billon in developed countries -- a dramatic change from 2007, when developed economies invested 2.5 times more in renewables (excluding large hydro) than developing countries, a gap that has closed to just 18%.

The 2012 global investment total for renewable energy (including small hydro-electric projects) was $244 billion. In previous years, global investments totaled $279 billion (2011), $227 billion (2010), $168 billion (2009), $172 billion (2008), $146 billion (2007) and $100 billion (2006).

Renewable energies have rapidly become a vital part of the global energy mix and account for an ever-growing share of electric capacity added worldwide.

Total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1,470 GW in 2012, up 8.5% from 2011. Wind power accounted for about 39% of renewable power capacity added followed by hydropower and solar PV, which each accounted for approximately 26%. Solar PV capacity reached the 100 GW milestone, surpassing bio-power to become the third largest renewable technology in terms of capacity in operation, after hydro and wind.

The main issue holding back investment last year: ongoing renewable energy policy instability in important developed-economy markets, according to twin reports issued today:

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2013 (, the 6th edition of the Frankfurt School – UNEP Centre/BNEF report, based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance ( The report has become the standard reference for global renewable energy investment figures. The 2013 edition includes a foreword from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The REN21 Renewables 2013 Global Status Report (, now the most frequently-referenced report on renewable energy market, industry and policy developments.
The sister publications were launched jointly by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Arthouros Zervos, Chairman of REN21, Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Ulf Moslener, Head of Research of the Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

According to Mr. Steiner, "The uptake of renewable energies continues world-wide as countries, companies and communities seize the linkages between low carbon Green Economies and a future of energy access and security, sustainable livelihoods and a stabilized climate. There has been a dramatic increase in number and size of projects. There have also been sharp falls in manufacturing costs and in the selling prices of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels, contributing to a shake-out in the industry in 2012. This is not only normal in a rapidly growing, high tech industry but is likely to lead to even more competition, with even bigger gains for consumers, the climate and wider sustainability opportunities."

"More and more countries are set to take the renewable energy stage -- only last week the global host of World Environment Day, Mongolia, invited me to tour its first 50MW wind farm, which is the start of its ambitious plan to harness the wind and the sun to power its future and supply clean energy to China and the region. Like many other nations it has seen the logic and the rationale of embracing a green development path and is seizing this with both hands."

Says Mr. Zervos: "2012 has been another record year for the installation of renewables worldwide and it is encouraging to see that 138 countries all around the world have put renewable energy targets and policy frameworks in place. However, some people believe that most renewable energy technologies can only supplement the established electricity system. REN21's 2013 Global Status Report demonstrates the right policies can drive the successful integration of larger shares of renewables in the energy mix. What is needed is the political will to enact the necessary policies and measures; it is time to address this remaining hurdle."

Additional highlights:

New record for installations of solar and wind

Globally, solar PV installations reached a record 30.5 gigawatts (GW) in 2012 but overall investment was down from the previous year due to a fall of 30%-40% in PV system prices. Those lower costs spurred bigger investment in small-scale solar, rising from $77 billion in 2011 to $80 billion in 2012, while spending on large-scale solar projects of more than 1MW fell 24% to $52.7 billion.

Installed wind capacity also hit a new record of 48.4GW, up from 42.1GW in 2011. Dollar investments fell 10%, however, reflecting a large number of projects financed in 2011 and completed in 2012. Costs also fell, with average prices paid for onshore turbines falling by a few percentage points compared with 2011.

Both policies and targets still play an important role in creating the conditions necessary to encourage renewable energy development and deployment. As the sector has continued to mature revisions to historic policies have become increasingly common and a slate of new policies are beginning to emerge.

Geographic shift

The acceleration in the geographical shift in renewables deployment is a widening trend towards an increasing number of countries, particularly in the developing world. Of the 138 countries globally with renewables targets or policies in place, two thirds are in the developing world. At the lead is China, which in 2012 consolidated its position as the world's dominant renewable energy market player -- up 22% to $67 billion, thanks largely to a jump in solar investment. Elsewhere there were particularly sharp increases in South Africa, Morocco, Mexico, Chile and Kenya, with Middle East and Africa showing the highest regional growth of 228% to $12 billion. This development is particularly encouraging in view of the interlinked nature of the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All objectives of universal access to modern energy services, doubling of both the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

In the US, the market leader in 2011, investment was down 34% to $36 billion, mainly due to uncertainties over US policy. Investment in Italy and Spain was also hit by abrupt changes in policy, and concern about future support for the sector.

Germany added another 7.6 GW of solar capacity in 2012 (representing 27% of the world's new added capacity) but the nation's overall investment in renewables slipped 35% to $20 billion. The major reasons: lower solar cost and a drop in wind power investment.

The brightest news from amongst the developed countries was Japanese, where investment in renewable energy (excluding research and development) surged 73% to $16 billion, thanks largely to a boom in small-scale solar on the back of new feed-in tariff subsidies for installations.


In 2012, an estimated 5.7 million people worldwide worked directly or indirectly in the renewable energy sector. Although a growing number of countries invest in renewable energy, the bulk of employment remains concentrated in a relatively small number of countries, including Brazil, China, India, members of the EU, and USA. Employment is growing in other countries, and there are increasing technicians and sales staff job numbers in off-grid sector of the developing world. For example, selling, installing, and maintaining small solar panels in rural Bangladesh employs 150,000 people directly and indirectly.

Shift towards regional and local policies

Despite a slowdown in national level policy support in 2012, local governments made increasing use of their authority to regulate, make expenditure and procurement decisions, provide for and ease the financing of renewable energy projects, and influence advocacy and information sharing.

Several cities are working with their national governments to advance renewable energy, a phenomenon seen in India, Brazil, China, Indonesia, India, Japan and South Africa. Elsewhere, particularly, in the EU and USA, cities have begun organising themselves from the bottom up. Europe's Covenant of Mayors has seen a significant increase in signatories, with 1,116 new cities and towns joining in 2012, committing to a 20% CO2 reduction target and plans for climate mitigations, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. In Germany, cities are assessing the impact of the "Energiewende" (energy transition policy) and adopting measures to address the variability of solar and wind power and to shift consumption patterns.

Example developments

Morocco saw the go-ahead for a $1.2 billion investment to finance the Masen Ouarzazate solar thermal project.
In the Indian state of Gujarat a 605 MW PV solar park was completed in April 2012 that is expected to save around 8 million tonnes of CO2 and 900,000 tonnes of natural gas per year.
Close to $1 billion was announced for a 396MW wind project in Oaxaca State, Mexico.
After the shift away from a nuclear power-dependent energy policy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident, TEPCO commissioned its first three solar plants in 2011 and 2012 at Kawasaki and Mt. Komekura for a total of 30MW.
Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Holdings launched an $850 million bond issue in February 2012 to finance its 550MW Topaz Solar Farm in California, only to see it oversubscribed by more than $400 million.
$5 billion of 'green' bonds were issued in 2012, a 44 per cent increase over 2011.
The phenomenon of crowd sourcing—in which capital is raised from large numbers of small investors—took off in small-scale solar in Europe and the United States.

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fwd: Cheaper Solar Panels Fuel Rise In Renewable Energy

Cheaper Solar Panels Fuel Rise In Renewable Energy
Wed, 06/12/2013 - 1:45pm
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BERLIN (AP) -- A dramatic drop in the price of solar power technology last year helped the continued growth of renewable energy, according to a U.N.-backed report published Wednesday.

Global energy-generating capacity from renewable sources rose by 115 gigawatts in 2012, compared with 105 gigawatts the previous year, the report by the Paris-based think tank REN21 showed.

Installed renewable energy capacity rose to over 1,470 gigawatts, equivalent to about 1,500 nuclear reactors. Two thirds of all renewable capacity still comes from hydropower, but wind and solar have been gaining. The worldwide capacity of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunshine into electricity, reached 100 gigawatts last year, the report said.

The drop in solar prices — fuelled by Chinese manufacturers — helped bring the overall cost of investment in renewables down 12 percent to $244 billion from $279 billion in 2011, effectively boosting the amount of generating capacity investors can get for their money.

"This is not only normal in a rapidly growing, high tech industry but is likely to lead to even more competition, with even bigger gains for consumers, the climate and wider sustainability opportunities," said Achim Steiner, the head of the U.N. Environment Program.

Whether this glut of cheap solar products can last is unclear. Last week the EU announced new import duties on Chinese-made solar panels, cells and wafers, alleging they were being sold abroad at a lower price than at home, or below the manufacturing cost. Last year, the United States imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels following similar complaints.

UNEP said investment in renewables was strong in developing countries and Japan last year, but stagnated or fell in the United States and many European countries grappling with high government debt and uncertainty over future feed-in subsidies.

China alone invested $67 billion in renewable energy last year, compared with $36 billion in the United States and almost $80 billion for all European countries combined.

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Two Steps Forward, One Back: Ontario Cancels Feed-in Tariffs for Large Projects

Canadian Solar to build 130 MW PV plant in Ontario

Canadian Solar to build 130 MW PV plant in Ontario

11.06.2013: Chinese-Canadian solar company Canadian Solar Inc. has agreed to provide EPC services for a 130 MW (DC) PV project being developed in Ontario by a subsidiary of Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. The contract, the largest EPC contract in Canadian Solar’s history, is valued at $301.1 million. Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. will begin construction on the Grand Renewable Solar project in the third quarter of 2013. The power plant is scheduled to be fully operational in 2015. © PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Friday, June 7, 2013

Recurrent energizes six PV power plants in Ontario

Recurrent energizes six PV power plants in Ontario

07.06.2013: North America-based solar project developer Recurrent Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Japan’s Sharp Corp., has energized six PV power plants in Ontario totaling 52 MW (AC). The six projects, located in Smiths Falls and Waubaushene, are part of a 74 MW (AC) portfolio acquired by Japanese companies Mitsubishi Corp. and Osaka Gas in June 2012. The remaining three projects in the portfolio are expected to begin commercial operations by early 2014. The electricity generated by the projects is being sold to the Ontario Power Authority through 20-year FIT agreements. Including this portfolio, Recurrent Energy currently has 20 projects totaling 159 MW (AC) in development in Ontario. All 20 projects are expected to be operating by early 2014. © PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Canadian Solar sells 53.9 MW to BluEarth in Ontario

Canadian Solar sells 53.9 MW to BluEarth

06.06.2013: Canadian renewable energy company BluEarth Renewables has agreed to acquire from Canadian Solar Inc. four utility-scale PV power plants totaling 53.9 MW (DC). The four power plants, collectively valued at over 225 million CAD ($217.2 million), are located in Kawartha Lakes, Belleville, Beaverton and Napanee, Ontario, Canada. Construction on all four projects is expected to commence in 2013, with commercial operation scheduled for 2014. Canadian Solar will provide turnkey EPC services for all four projects. The projects have 20-year contracts with the Ontario Power Authority. The PV power plants being sold to BluEarth are part of Canadian Solar's Ontario project pipeline, which consists of 29 PV projects totaling approximately 400 MW (DC). The company estimates that the resale value of its entire Ontario project pipeline, once built into grid-connected solar power plants and sold to investors, will exceed $1.5 billion CAD. © PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy