Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Juwi restructuring

Juwi obtains €252 million loan from German bank consortium

28.08.2013: A 13-member German banking consortium led by Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank and UniCredit have agreed to provide German renewable energy project developer Juwi AG with a €252 million ($337 million) credit line. »This syndicated loan is the financial basis for our operative business in the next 3 years,« Juwi CFO Martin Winter said at the signing of the agreement. »For the Juwi Group, the signing of the syndicated loan is a key component of the company's business finance,« explained Sascha Rober, Juwi's head of corporate finance. The credit line will provide the company with planning certainty and stability, enabling it to go through with its strategic realignment plans. Going forward the company aims to focus more on wind power development and internationalization. In May, the company announced it would reduce its workforce by 40 employees due to its decision to stop building ground-mounted PV power plants in Germany. A Juwi spokeswoman told PHOTON that Juwi's decision to exit the solar project business in Germany was due to a number of factors, including increased module prices, a threat of further price increases due to the possible introduction of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports and poor funding conditions in Germany. © PHOTON

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



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

3D Face Recognition System Part of the Latest Generation of Airport Security

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Bloomberg News: Carbon Cap and Trade in CA gaining traction

“Meanwhile, in the US, high demand for emission permits at a California auction showed widespread conviction that the state’s cap-and-trade system will be around for a while.

California’s Air Resources Board sold all 9.56 million permits for 2016 during a 16 August auction. The board received 1.69 bids for every allowance offered, marking the first time that demand for advance permits exceeded supply since the state began capping emissions last year.”



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Nuke industry is now saying: "Greenhouse gases are placing the planet in increasingly grave danger"

From the May 2013 issue of Power Engineering Magazine:


(The real problem with) Nuclear power is (that it is) prohibitively expensive. As Michael Levi, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations says, “nuclear power isn't being kept down by safety rules, public opposition or waste problems. It's stalled because it's expensive.” Though there is new build happening around the world, most of it tends to be a result of top-down policy designed to meet discrete objectives, like addressing the coal pollution problem in China or reserving fossil fuels for export in the UAE. In most of the world under free market conditions nuclear power does not fare well amid high and unpredictable capital costs and the low price of power tied to cheap natural gas. With time, the cost of building passively safe Generation III+ plants may very well come down, but in order for the high expense of nuclear power to drop to any meaningful degree:

Fossil fuels must be forced to absorb the cost of their own externalities. This final point may be the key to unlocking a bright nuclear future. Nuclear power in the US has to pay for its own externalities in the form of the nuclear waste fee levied by the Department of Energy (fees that have not, it must be said, bought the industry a nuclear waste repository). Fossil fuel-fired power plants, however, have thus far been exempted from paying for their main externalities, the greenhouse gases that are placing the planet in increasingly grave danger. A tax (or some other method of imposing a cost on emissions) on carbon would go a long way toward leveling the playing field and giving nuclear a chance to compete, which it might fare well at because:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Turkey Point nuclear plant back online after successful uprate outage - Power Engineering

FP&L rapes the ratepayers for $3 Billion (twice the original rate-case estimate, as usual) to add 525MW of nuclear capacity; 4 times the cost/watt of solar and all the nuclear waste we can eat in a hurricane zone.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

North American Development Bank approves financing package for 20 MW solar park in California

North American Development Bank approves financing package for 20 MW solar park in California

21.08.2013: The North American Development Bank (NADB) has agreed to lend a special purpose vehicle owned by Spanish solar company Grupo T-Solar Global SA $67.7 million for the construction of a 20 MW (AC) PV power plant in Southern California. The Sol Orchard Imperial power plant will be built on approximately 131 acres of land owned by utility Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in El Centro, Imperial County. The project’s output will be sold to IID under a 25-year power purchase agreement, which will help IID comply with a California mandate that requires publicly owned utilities to get 33% of their retail electricity sales from renewable energy sources by 2020. The power plant will use Yingli modules, STi Norland single-axis trackers and GPTech inverters. Isolux USA will provide EPC services. NADB does not say when the project is scheduled to be completed. In a draft document published in December 2012, T-Solar said construction on the facility would begin in April 2013, with commercial operation being reached no later than September 2013. NADB is providing $311 million in loan financing for eight utility-scale solar projects in California, Arizona and Texas. When completed, these projects will have an installed generation capacity of 96 MW (AC). © PHOTON

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



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Monday, August 19, 2013

Photos of the Day: Next Generation Strike Aircraft

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Fwd: A “Crinkle-Cut” Solar Array >

A "Crinkle-Cut" Solar Array

Tom Lombardo posted on August 18, 2013 | 1 Comment

A 33,000 panel, 8.1 megawatt solar array atop Pfenning Logistics in southern Germany is the largest rooftop photovoltaic array in Europe, covering an area of 110,000 square meters. By itself that might not seem like a big deal. What's interesting to me is that instead of the panels facing due south or a little southwest, as is usually the case for a fixed-mount array, these panels are arranged facing east and west in a "crinkle-cut" fashion.

There are many ways to maximize the production of a PV system. Dual-axis tracking gives the most energy production for a given panel, but two motors and controllers can be expensive, especially for a large array. Single-axis tracking is a reasonable compromise, as it tracks the sun on its daily journey across the sky. Usually the north/south orientation is facing south (in the northern hemisphere) with a tilt angle roughly equal to the location's latitude. The least expensive option is a fixed mount array with each panel tilted to the site's latitude, and facing due south for overall maximum production. Sometimes it faces a little west of south to improve afternoon performance, where there's often a peak demand caused by air-conditioning in the summer. In a fixed-mount due-south setup, peak production occurs at solar noon. Of course, all of these assumptions are based on direct sunlight. Since it's often cloudy in Germany, diffuse light is a major component of what actually reaches the solar panels. The "crinkle-cut" arrangement may favor locations with a lot of diffuse sunlight. In the PV world, every situation is unique. There isn't one "best" configuration for every site.

The Pfenning Logistics array, designed and installed by WIRSOL Group, will have two peak production times: mid-morning and mid-afternoon. A grid-tied system with this configuration could help smooth the supply of electricity over the course of the day, since its peak production times will be different than a south-facing array.

The array uses more solar panels than it would if it were facing due south, which increases the cost of the system. On the other hand, the extra panels will offset the lack of a tracking system. You can either pay for more panels or pay for a tracking system. PV panels have a life expectancy of 30 years and require little maintenance except for occasional cleaning. Tracking motors have shorter lives and require regular maintenance, so in the long run, using more panels on a fixed array might be the better option.

Although feed-in tariffs (also known as "net-metering") are decreasing in Europe, the decreasing cost of solar panels, coupled with the increasing cost of grid-electricity, makes such an endeavor worthwhile for businesses that use a lot of energy. WIRSOL claims that this array produces enough electricity to power more than 1800 homes.

MIT has experimented with "3D arrays" tilted up and down and found their production, for a given footprint, to be better than a traditional south-facing array. It would be interesting to compare two fixed-mounted arrays – one with panels facing due south and the other with panels in the east-west configuration – and see which produces more energy over the course of a year.

I smell a research project!

Image: WIRSOL Group

[Read More...]

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fwd: in todays ny times real estate section

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

Haven't we been selling this.  Good story to put in your blog. Lets talk

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jason Kaplan <>
Date: August 18, 2013, 9:48:31 AM EDT
To: Michael Kaplan <>, Helen Kaplan <>, Ron Blumstein <>, Amy Schafer <>, Lisa Kaplan <>, Will Schafer <>, "Andrew Kaye (" <>
Cc: Michele Kaplan <>
Subject: in todays ny times real estate section

Central Park South, the View That Sneaked Up on the City

Jabin Botsford/The New York Times

The skyline along Central Park's southern face today is poised to grow higher.


Published: August 15, 2013 5 Comments

Central Park South has long been a reservoir of apartment-house construction, the expansive north views as attractive in the 1870s as they are now. The sweep of its history runs from the long-gone Bradley of 1877 to the modernist 240 Central Park South of 1940 — by way of the original Plaza Hotel of 1882 and the artistic Gainsborough of 1908. But as it turns out, it took awhile for developers to arrive at a full appreciation of Central Park South's dazzling prospect.

Enlarge This Image

Collection of Elliott Glass

Apartment houses like 240 Central Park South, 1940, were built with the vista in mind.

Enlarge This Image

Office for Metropolitan History

The Navarro Flats, at Central Park South and Seventh Avenue, in 1895.

There was wide anticipation that the completion of Central Park in the late 1860s would spur millionaires to build their mansions facing its green space. But millionaires can be balky, and in 1876 The Real Estate Record and Guide fumed that lots facing the park had been "a mere football for speculative ventures," without any significant mansion construction.

However, The Record and Guide did suggest that frontage along the park was much better suited to apartment houses, which it also frequently promoted.

A row-house developer, S. L. Bradley, took note of this and in 1877 built the Bradley, which appears to have been the first apartment house on what later came to be called Central Park South but was then plain old West 59th Street. The Record and Guide approved, calling the Bradley "an exemplar of the latest improvements." These it had, but the building looked little different from a tenement house.

A few other multiple dwellings began to sprout, among them the original Plaza, which in 1882 was to be "the largest and handsomest apartment house ever erected in this country," according to The Record and Guide. That project, envisioned with 12 stories and 52 apartments, fell through, and the developers Phyfe and Campbell put up a nine-story confection of red brick, mansards and towers that could have been a Paris opera house. But the interior was never finished; the building was replaced by still other Plazas in 1890 and 1907.

If the Bradley was dwarfed by the shell of the Plaza, it was made microscopic by Jose de Navarro's vast eight-building complex at Seventh Avenue. Twice the size of the Dakota, the 13-story, eight-building Navarro Flats was an early co-op, with seven-bedroom duplexes and entertaining rooms measuring as much as 19 by 22 feet.

But even a visionary has to get one brick on top of another, and construction dragged on into the 1880s. When creditors came after Mr. Navarro, he woke up from his dream. He lost the buildings, which were auctioned off, finished and rented out.

Despite its magnificent prospect, West 59th Street did not become Central Park South until 1896, by action of the city council. No fuss, lobbying, protest, endorsement, nothing. Very curious. Central Park West had been established about 1890.

In 1908 the magnificent 16-story Gainsborough Studios, at 222 Central Park South, joined the parade. The spectacular double-height studios on the front constitute the first recognition I have seen that the vista north to 110th Street was beginning to be considered special.

The year 1940 brought the stripped-down, modernist 240 Central Park South, built by the Mayer family, who are responsible for some of New York's most thoughtful apartment-house architecture. The complex 28-story tower rises from lower sections like the basalt monolith Shiprock in New Mexico, massive but brilliantly detailed, and called "handsome and adroit" by the hard-to-please Lewis Mumford in The New Yorker.

The developer Bernard Spitzer put up a lesser but no less unusual structure, the huge curved apartment house at 200 Central Park South, in 1963. The balconies, 225 feet wide, curve in from the corner, giving it a Barcelona feeling, and a tower in the rear has an uncanny resemblance to Frank Lloyd Wright's Johnson Wax Tower.

Mr. Spitzer, the father of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, told me that he had been worrying and worrying about the design of the building when he flung his pencil down on the drafting paper, and the famous curve was born.

Down the block, at No. 230, the 17-story Southmoor House was built in 1938, and Ian Reisner, a resident, says it originally had 14 side-by-side duplexes, a touch unusual for the Depression. Southmoor House also had dressing rooms, but made a concession to the times with dining areas rather than rooms.

Over the last 20 years, Mr. Reisner has bought up half the apartments, combining many, and reclad the plain-Jane gray-brick front with cream and beige brick in a light glaze. Mr. Reisner, who is selling the renovated apartments, describes the old facade as "an unholy mess" and says the new one, which is in the Art Deco spirit of the old one, was "beyond worth it."

He has sold the air rights to the lot next door, which is now vacant and owned by Vornado and Extell. They are locked in a legal battle over the future of the land, but to judge by their other projects, like Vornado's fuzzy glass Lucida, at 85th and Lexington, and Extell's super-tall One57, yet another new note will at some point be rung on Central Park South.

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Jason Kaplan



Kaplan Companies

433 River Road |Highland Park, NJ 08904

w - 732.253.8516 |f - 732.296.0939


Friday, August 16, 2013

Can solar energy help save Greece?

Anthropological analysis in 'Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy' puts perspective on solar sector's potential role in recovery

WASHINGTON D.C. August 14, 2013 -- What happens to renewable energy programs in a country that gets whacked by a full-scale debt crisis, like the one that struck Greece beginning in 2009 -- do the programs whither and die in the winds of austerity? And how do people view such programs when many of them can't afford to heat their houses?

The answers to these two questions are actually linked, according to a new analysis in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, which is produced by AIP Publishing.

Renewable energy programs, particularly solar, may be more relevant than ever in Greece and could lower domestic energy costs while providing an export commodity that would help to ameliorate the economic crisis -- but only if public concerns are addressed, according to Daniel Knight of the London School of Economics, who did the analysis with Sandra Bell of Durham University in the U.K.

Knight and Bell found that one of the major unmet challenges facing the solar industry in Greece is a public that has become dubious of programs that involve international companies, foreign government and banking forces outside their borders. Addressing those public concerns is crucial to realizing solar's potential, said Knight.

"It is necessary to understand not only the role of government policy but also to think about social relations and historical consciousness among Greeks," Knight said.

Perspective on the Greek Street: What Policy Makers Need to Understand

When the global recession spilled over up into a full-scale national debt crisis in 2010, Greece was squeezed by oil and gas prices that were reaching record highs while household incomes were falling fast. Parts of the country were returned to pre-modernity almost overnight, Knight said.

The effects of the crisis as felt were also profound. Today many Greeks can no longer afford to run cars, cook dinner or heat their homes, and last winter people regularly burned old furniture, clothes and plastics to stay warm. The illegal harvesting of firewood is rampant and environmentally-destructive lignite ('dirty coal') is the primary source of energy in Greece, he added.

Applying the methods of anthropology research, Knight lived with locals in central Greece for extended periods over the past two years to understand the influence of communities on renewable energy initiatives in Greece and both he and Bell interviewed homeowners, farmers, local government officials, engineers and renewable energy entrepreneurs, scrubbed archives and tracked media stories.

Many of the people they spoke with, including some energy providers and wholesalers, acknowledge that Greek solar initiatives in their current form are unsustainable and that policy changes will be needed in the future. But they also found that the government and the European Union (EU) as a whole are very poor at communicating policy to the local level, leaving people to discover energy initiatives by word of mouth.

Historically this has caused solar power to be clouded by suspicion, as many mainstream Greeks have feared that a rapidly privatizing energy sector would come to exploit them. Some people they spoke with said that they already felt compelled to put solar panels on their agricultural land, due to strict EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank austerity measures.

These sorts of fears are not helped by overlapping national and EU policies that are changing constantly, Knight said, and a general failure to communicate such changes to people at the local level.

"Resistance to renewable energy programs and policies is often deeply rooted in local history and culture," Knight said, "and this context must be appreciated if solar initiatives are to be successful and sustainable in the long-term."

Original release:

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Fwd: White House calls for increased grid spending

White House calls for increased grid spending
Wed, 08/14/2013 - 4:20pm
Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer
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The cost of weather-related power outages is high and rising as storms grow more severe and the U.S. electric grid gets older, according to an Obama Administration report that calls for increased spending on the nation's electric power system.

Power outages cost the economy $18 billion to $33 billion per year, according to the report, a figure that has been rising steadily over the past 20 years. That can rise to $40 billion to $75 billion in years with severe storms such as 2008's Hurricane Ike and last year's Superstorm Sandy.

The White House report, released Monday, said spending to make the grid stronger and more flexible will save the economy "billions of dollars and reduce the hardship experienced by millions of Americans when extreme weather strikes."

The administration proposes spending on training and preparation, stronger equipment such as concrete poles, and more advanced sensing and diagnostic equipment that can predict failures, prevent them from getting worse, and restore power faster after it has gone out.

Seven of the ten costliest storms in U.S. history occurred between 2004 and 2012. Eleven times last year weather-related outages led to losses of $1 billion or more, the second most on record, behind 2011, according to the report. Climate scientists expect ever more intense and destructive weather as climate change increases global temperatures, adding more energy to storms and shifting patterns of drought and precipitation.

Storms cause most of the nation's power outages. Thunderstorms, hurricanes, blizzards and other extreme weather caused 58 percent of all outages studied since 2002 and 87 percent of outages affecting 50,000 or more customers.

At the same time, the U.S. electric grid is getting old. The average U.S. power plant is 30 years old and 70 percent of the grid's transmission lines and transformers are at least 25 years old, making them weaker and more susceptible to failure in storms.

The U.S. electric power system is a web of generating stations, high-voltage wires that transmit power over long distances, substations, and local wires and equipment that deliver electricity to homes and businesses.

U.S. customers lose power on average 1.2 times per year, for a total of 112 minutes, according to PA Consulting Group. Nine out of ten of those outages are the result of problems with local distribution systems, according to the Edison Electric Institute, an electric industry lobbying group.

In the years after the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the most widespread outage ever in North America, investment in major transmission lines and equipment increased. According to an analysis of spending on major transmission equipment by more than 200 utilities nationwide conducted for the AP by Ventyx, a software and data services firm that works with electric utilities, utilities spent an average of $21,514 per year on devices and station equipment per mile of transmission line from 2003 to 2012. From 1994 to 2003, spending averaged $7,185 per year.

The White House report says increased spending in recent years has still not matched the level of investment between 1960 and 1990. It suggests new spending should be focused on a few main areas, including, "hardening" the system by installing stronger equipment, building more transmission wires and energy storage systems to make the grid better able to absorb shocks, and installing more sophisticated technology.

The report does not suggest how much new spending was needed, where that spending would come from, or how much money would be saved by preventing some outages and making others less severe.

Major upgrades to the grid can be difficult to initiate. Utilities do not build or install new equipment without first getting approval from state or federal regulators to charge customers. Regulators can be reluctant to increase customer rates, especially if it means spending on relatively novel high-tech equipment, or to guard against weather that may or may not arrive.

Massoud Amin, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, who has long advocated increased spending on better grid technology, says the benefit to improving the grid far outweighs the cost of investment. He estimates that a modern, efficient grid would cost $21 billion per year for 20 years. He calculates savings resulting from a better grid would amount to $79 billion to $94 billion per year.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Quantum Teleportation: Transfer of Flying Quantum Bits

Einstein's "spooky" quantum behavior finally harnessed in an amazing practical use.

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

State of the Climate in 2012: Highlights | NOAA

Schletter presents new mounting system for landfills and rocky terrain

Schletter presents new mounting system for landfills and rocky terrain

14.08.2013: US-based solar mounting system manufacturer Schletter Inc., a subsidiary of Schletter GmbH, has unveiled its new PvMini concrete ballast ground-mount system, an alternative to the company’s PvMax mounting system. The new system, designed for landfill sites or areas with rocky terrain, relies on cast-in-place concrete block foundations. The mounting system includes the company’s new ProfiPlus XT module-bearing rail, which allows for increased spans between foundations. The mounting system is made of aluminum and comes partially pre-assembled. © PHOTON

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




Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

league table for panel suppliers

13.08.2013: The world's top 20 PV manufacturers shipped more than 5.8 GW of modules in the second quarter of 2013, up 21% year on year from 4.8 GW in the second quarter of 2012, reports NPD Solarbuzz. The top 20 solar manufacturers accounted for 68% of all module shipments in the second quarter: »The leading solar PV suppliers are now starting to pull away from the pack, which provides strong evidence that the anticipated industry consolidation is finally in progress,« said Ray Lian, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. According to preliminary findings in the new NPD Solarbuzz Module Tracker Quarterly report, top Chinese manufacturers Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar, Jinko Solar, ReneSola and Hanwha SolarOne broke their quarterly module shipment records in the second quarter of 2013. Yingli even broke the all-time quarterly shipment record, shipping 0.8 GW of modules. NPD reports that despite their success, however, China's top module suppliers are having some difficulty cracking the Japanese market, currently the highest growth PV end-market. Canadian Solar and JA Solar have become the leading overseas module suppliers in Japan; however, over the past four quarters, domestic suppliers have accounted for 54% of modules shipped by the 20 leading module suppliers in Japan. ©

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Mainstream North America on the block

The Japanese trading house, Marubeni Corporation, is having a busy summer: on 5 August, it announced it had agreed to buy at least a 25% stake in Ireland's Mainstream Renewable Power. The USD 133m Mainstream deal will make Marubeni the second-biggest shareholder in the company, which has developed over 19GW of solar and wind projects in seven countries. Yesterday, The Irish Times reported that the Japanese conglomerate could receive additional shares if Mainstream does not sell its North American business before 31 March.

The purchase will be the largest single equity investment in Marubeni's history but will not be its first foray into Europe: it already has business interests in the offshore wind industry and the electricity supply business. On 18 July, Marubeni chairman Teruo Asada told Bloomberg News: “Our target is Europe and a big increase in the US and entry into South America for the IPP business,” referring to the independent power producer model. European energy firms are under pressure from lenders to sell part of their assets and have made offers to Marubeni, he said.



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


first silicon prices up, now wafer prices up = modules and panels heading up

LDK Solar expects to return to a profit this year

13.08.2013: Struggling Chinese solar manufacturer LDK Solar Co. Ltd. expects to return to a profit this year due to increased domestic demand and the removal of provisional antidumping duties on Chinese solar products imported into the EU. In an interview with Bloomberg, LDK President Tong Xingxue said that LDK, which has reported eight straight quarterly losses, started generating positive cash flows from selling wafers in June and that the company’s demand has exceeded supply. LDK’s wafer production is operating at almost full capacity of 4.5 GW from about 30% capacity at the beginning of the year; the company has kept almost no inventory for the last two quarters. Furthermore, Tong expects module prices to rise in the second half of 2013



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


the most fundamental indicator that rapid price declines on panels are reaching an end

GCL-Poly to report heavy losses for the first half of 2013 due to lower wafer, polysilicon prices

13.08.2013: China-based GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest polysilicon and wafer producer, announced that it expects to record an increase in its net loss for first half of 2013 due to a decline in the average selling prices (ASPs) of polysilicon and wafers. The company did not provide a specific figure, but for the first half of 2012, GCL posted a net loss of 330 million HKD ($42.5 million). The company expects to announce its full results for the first half of 2013 in late August. Regarding ASPs, the company said that prices bottomed out in December 2012 and have been moving upward ever since. This upward trend, the company said, is a result of a number of factors including the resolution of the EU-China solar trade dispute, government support policies and China’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into polysilicon imports from the US and Korea. GCL expects that these factors, alongside increasing demand for solar products, will ensure that polysilicon and wafer ASPs in China continue along a stable upward trend. © PHOTON


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


The critical importance of Credit

Because of the slowdown in commodities markets mining companies are pulling back on expansion plans and in many cases are not very profitable on their existing production, making them a more risky PPA offtaker. More risk + foreign assets and currency = less availability (or at least higher cost) of debt.

Chilean authorities approved 579 MW of solar in June

13.08.2013: In June, Chilean environmental authorities approved proposals for 579 MW of new PV projects, according to the latest report from Chilean renewable energy research institute Centro de Energias Renovables (CER). Authorities approved proposals for 750 MW in May. Despite the fact that Chilean environmental authorities have approved over 4.6 GW of solar projects over the last 2 years, only 75 MW of these projects are currently under construction and only 3.5 MW have come online. According to CER, construction has not begun on 4,591 MW of approved solar projects. A further 1.89 GW are currently under review. Most of the projects are to be located in and around the Atacama Desert in the north of the country, and many would be built on behalf of mining companies that have not been able to expand their operations due to limited access to electricity. According to the Chilean Ministry of Energy, many developers have been unable to obtain financing for these approved projects, hence the low level of development. © PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Monday, August 5, 2013

BBC E-mail: Fukushima water leak 'emergency'

In addition to the looming disaster below, last week there was a report of steam rising from the fuel rods, indicating that the water being poured in isn't fully covering them now.

** Fukushima water leak 'emergency' **
Japan's nuclear watchdog says the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is facing a new "emergency" caused by a build-up of radioactive groundwater.
< >

Monty Bannerman
Sent from my iPad

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Got a capacity problem? Order half of your industry to go BK. Another price signal.

China to cut polysilicon production capacity by half in a bid to save sector's strongest players

05.08.2013: China aims to make its polysilicon manufacturing sector more competitive by eliminating half of the country’s production capacity and investing in technological upgrades for the sector’s most promising companies. Three quarters of China’s solar-grade polysilicon producers are expected to be shut down as a result of the reforms, reports Reuters. China’s polysilicon sector, which has around 40 companies employing 30,000 people, suffers from low quality and chronic over-capacity as local governments invested heavily to feed a fast-growing solar panel industry. China aims to cut off support that had been propping up struggling producers; instead it will focus on accelerating technological advancement in the sector to weed out inefficient producers and »nurture a batch of internationally completive producers.« Industry insiders expect the move will reduce China’s polysilicon production capacity to about 100,000 metric tons a year. This will leave just 10 or so relatively strong companies that have better technology and cost efficiency. As smaller polysilicon producers, with average annual capacity of a few thousand metric tons, are pushed out, the likely winners will be larger producers such as GCL Poly, TBEA Co. Ltd., China Silicon Corp. and Daqo New Energy Corp, reports Reuters. The shake-out is already underway: several producers in the northwestern province of Ningxia and in eastern China's Zhejiang province have already filed for bankruptcy. Polysilicon prices have plunged to below $20 per kg from a 2008 peak of almost $400. © PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


US Panel Big Dog runs at capacity and turns a Q4 profit

SunPower operating at full capacity to meet increased demand for its module

05.08.2013: US-based solar products manufacturer SunPower Corp., majority-owned by France’s Total SA, reached »full manufacturing utilization« in the second quarter of 2013, CEO Chuck Boynton said in conference call while discussing the company’s quarterly results. The company, which produced 296 MW in the second quarter, up from 257 MW last year, is considering expanding production on its own or through a joint venture with Taiwanese manufacturer AU Optronics Corp. to meet increased demand for its modules. The company, which currently has a production capacity of 1,200 MW, expects to produce 1.0 to 1.1 GW in 2013, including 240 to 260 MW in the second quarter. SunPower recorded revenue of $576.5 million for the second quarter of 2013, down from $595.9 million for the same period a year earlier. Despite the decline, however, SunPower was able to achieve a quarterly net profit of $4.3 million, a substantial improvement over the $84.2 million loss it recorded last year. This was the first time the company reported a profit since the fourth quarter of 2010. SunPower expects to record GAAP revenue of $2.45 to $2.55 billion for full year 2013. © PHOTON

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



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Solar industry entering >third growth phase<, Deutsche Bank

Solar industry entering »third growth phase«, Deutsche Bank

05.08.2013: The global PV industry is poised to enter a »third growth phase« in which solar can be deployed without subsidies and can survive a backlash from utilities, according to a new report from Deutsche Bank. The report states that solar is competitive without subsidies in at least 10 major markets globally and has the potential to achieve competitiveness in 10 to 20 additional markets over the next 3 years. And while the solar sector will likely face significant backlash from major utilities that see distributed solar as a big threat to the utility business model, rooftop PV generation will continue to gain significant share of new capacity addition over the next decade. The Deutsche Bank analysts predict that low natural gas prices will make large-scale solar development less attractive in the US in the short term. However, the analysts are still bullish about rapid development of utility-scale solar projects in several other international markets over the next 3 to 5 years, especially China. The analysts are also bullish on distributed solar, particularly as leasing models are becoming more mainstream and various international markets are adopting support policies for rooftop PV. All this is possible because module prices have declined to around 65 cents per W, the analysts say. This price enables large-scale PV systems to be installed for $1.00 to $1.20 per W in most regions worldwide, which translates to solar electricity prices of 10 to 20 cents per kWh. © PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Friday, August 2, 2013

Fwd: EIA: Renewable energy, nuclear power world's fastest-growing energy sources - Pennenergy

Some sobering stats here.

HomePowerEIA: Renewable energy, nuclear power world's fastest-growing energy sources
EIA: Renewable energy, nuclear power world's fastest-growing energy sources
July 26, 2013
By PennEnergy Editorial Staff
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) recently released International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040, from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) to 820 quadrillion Btu. Most of this growth will come from non-OECD (non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, where demand is driven by strong economic growth.
Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world's fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing 2.5% per year. In the Reference case, the renewables share of total energy use rises from 11 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2040, and the nuclear share grows from 5 percent to 7 percent.
Almost 80 percent of the projected increase in renewable electricity generation is fueled by hydropower and wind power. Of the 5.4 trillion kilowatt-hours of new renewable generation added over the projection period, 2.8 trillion kilowatt-hours (52 percent) is attributed to hydroelectric power and 1.5 trillion kilowatt-hours (28 percent) to wind.
However, fossil fuels continue to supply nearly 80 percent of world energy use through 2040. Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel, as global supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane increase.
Natural gas continues to be the fuel of choice for the electric power and industrial sectors in many of the world's regions, in part because of its lower carbon intensity compared with coal and oil, which makes it an attractive fuel source in countries where governments are implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption and is projected to consume more than half of global delivered energy in 2040. Based on current policies and regulations governing fossil fuel use, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, a 46 percent increase from 2010. Economic growth in developing nations fueled by a continued reliance on fossil fuels, accounts for most of the emissions increases.
Access the full EIA Outlook report here: International Energy Outlook 2013
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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

ArcStar's top target Developers

Green Bonds appear

real signs of price stabilization or increase

Market for residential PV energy storage systems to boom in the next 5 years, IHS

Market for residential PV energy storage systems to boom in the next 5 years, IHS

© Casey Brooke Lawson /

02.08.2013: The global market for residential PV energy storage systems is expected to boom in the coming years, with cumulative installations growing from 12 MW in 2012 to 2.5 GW by 2017. Up to now, financial incentives and subsidies, such as FITs, have made it financially attractive for PV system owners to send excess electricity to the grid. A new report from IMS Research finds, however, that this model is rapidly changing in established markets, where incentives are subject to regular reductions. Reduced incentives, coupled with rising electricity prices, will increasingly make self-consumption of energy on site more attractive to homeowners. Furthermore, IHS predicts that the average price of battery-based residential PV energy storage systems will decline by about 45% during the next 5 years. This will mostly be due to decreases in battery prices. © PHOTON

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



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fwd: Xcel looks to grow wind power capacity by at least 30 percent - Pennenergy

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rebecca Van Nichols
Date: Friday, August 2, 2013
Subject: Xcel looks to grow wind power capacity by at least 30 percent - Pennenergy
To: M <>

Xcel looks to grow wind power capacity by at least 30 percent
July 31, 2013
Source: Xcel
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), already the country's top wind energy company, proposes to significantly expand its wind power production to reduce customer costs, protect against rising and volatile fuel prices, and benefit the environment. The move is made possible by extremely competitive prices and the extended federal Production Tax Credit.
"Wind energy is a valuable, low-cost substitute for natural gas and other fuels right now," said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO.  "These projects will lower customer costs by at least $800 million over their lives and will provide a valuable hedge to rising and volatile fuel prices for well into the future."

The company has submitted to state regulators throughout its service area proposals to purchase at least 1,500 megawatts of wind resources, a 30 percent increase in overall wind capacity. The wind power expansion, along with previous conservation, renewable energy and power plant improvement projects, also puts Xcel Energy on track to reduce its carbon emissions by 28 million tons, or more than 31 percent by 2020.
"These projects demonstrate how to do environmental leadership the right way," Fowke continued.  "Both economic and environmental benefits can and should be achieved."
If the projects are approved, the company expects that more than 20 percent of its total energy mix will be supplied by wind.
Xcel Energy is seeking approval of the following projects from state regulators throughout its service territories:
• Upper Midwest: Three 200-megawatt projects in Minnesota and North Dakota, increasing the total to 2,400 megawatts. The additions will save Upper Midwest customers more than $180 million in fuel costs over 20 years.
• Texas/New Mexico:  Three projects totaling almost 700 megawatts located in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, increasing the total to more than 2,200 megawatts. The additions will save Texas-New Mexico customers up to $590 million in fuel costs over 20 years.
• Colorado: One project totaling approximately 200 megawatts, increasing the total to nearly 2,400 megawatts. The addition will save Colorado customers more than $142 million in fuel costs over 20 years. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will decide this fall on whether to approve another 350 megawatts of wind power.
Late last year Congress extended the PTC to projects that begin significant construction activities by the end of 2013. Xcel Energy supported the PTC extension and also supports the Consumer Renewable Credit, a proposed tax credit that would provide low-cost federal support of continued, cost-effective wind development such as the projects proposed in today's filing.
If approved by regulators, construction on the projects will begin immediately in order to qualify for the federal renewable energy tax credits. All projects are scheduled to be in service by the beginning of 2016.

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

Fwd: This Week at EIA - 08/01/2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Subject: This Week at EIA - 08/01/2013
To: This Week at EIA <>

Energy Information Administration (EIA) Logo - Need Help? 202-586-8800



(07/25/2013 - 08/01/2013)

This email list provides a summary and links for every U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) product released this week. You can sign up for many of these separately and receive instant notification of when the product was released at:


Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update (7/29/2013)
Presents average weekly retail on-highway diesel fuel prices for the U.S., 8 regions, and the State of California and average weekly retail gasoline prices at the national and regional levels, and for selected cities and States.

The Coal News and Markets Report for week ended 7/26/2013 (7/29/2013)
Contains information for the week and spot prices:

This Week in Petroleum (7/31/2013)
Provides analysis, data, and charts of the latest weekly petroleum supply and price data.

Weekly Petroleum Status Report, Data for Week Ending 7/26/2013 (7/31/2013)
Contains timely information on supply and selected prices of crude oil and principal petroleum products in the context of historical data and forecasts.

Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (8/1/2013)
Contains weekly estimates of natural gas in underground storage for the United States and three regions of the United States.

Natural Gas Weekly Update (8/1/2013)
Contains weekly updates of natural gas market prices, latest storage level estimates, recent lower 48 NOAA weather data, and other market activity or events.

Coal Production for Week Ended 7/27/2013 (8/1/2013)
Contains an overview of U.S. weekly coal production.


Proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas in the United States up sharply in 2011 (08/01/2013)
U.S. proved crude oil reserve additions in 2011 set a record volumetric increase for the second year in a row, according to newly published estimates in EIA's U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2011. Natural gas proved reserve additions fell short of setting a record, but still ranked as the second largest annual increase since 1977. Crude oil reserves rose 15% to the highest level since 1985, and natural gas reserves were up almost 10%.

Petroleum Marketing Monthly (08/01/2013)
In the latest edition of the Petroleum Marketing Monthly, preliminary May 2013 data show crude oil and gasoline prices trending upwards, while distillate prices continued to fall. Prime Supplier data show another modest month-on-month increase in U.S. gasoline consumption, while consumption of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel saw a slight decrease.

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2011 (08/01/2013)
New data show record growth in U.S. crude oil reserves and strong natural gas reserve additions in 2011. Crude oil reserves rose by 15 percent in 2011 to highest level since 1985. Natural gas reserves rose by almost 10 percent.

Egypt Country Analysis Brief (07/31/2013)
Egypt is the largest oil producer in Africa that is not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the second largest natural gas producer on the continent, following Algeria. The country plays a vital role in international energy markets through the operation of the Suez Canal and Suez-Mediterranean (SUMED) Pipeline. The Suez Canal is an important transit route for oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments traveling northbound from the Persian Gulf to Europe and North America and southbound shipments from North Africa and countries along the Mediterranean Sea to Asia. In 2012, about 2.97 million bbl/d of total oil (crude oil and refined products) transited the Suez Canal in both directions, the highest amount ever shipped through the Canal.

Monthly Natural Gas Gross Production Report (07/31/2013)
Monthly natural gas gross withdrawals estimated from data collected on Form EIA-914 (Monthly Natural Gas Production Report) for Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Other States and Lower 48 States. Alaska data are from the State of Alaska and included to obtain a U.S. Total.

Natural Gas Monthly (07/31/2013)
The July Natural Gas Monthly, with data through May 2013, has been released. • Dry gas production for May 2013 was 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf) or 66.2 Bcf/day, slight increase from last May's 2,034 Bcf, or 65.6 Bcf/day. Year-to-date dry production for 2013 is now on track to exceed 2012's record high for a calendar year. • Total consumption of natural gas for May 2013 was 1,740 Bcf, the second highest consumption on record for the month, a slight decrease from last May's record-setting 1,871 Bcf. • Owing to sustained higher spot prices of natural gas, deliveries to the electric power sector for May dropped to 615 Bcf from last May's record high of 817 Bcf, a year-on-year decrease of nearly 25 percent.

U.S. biodiesel production reached a record level in May 2013 (07/31/2013)
U.S. biodiesel production in May 2013 reached a record level of 111 million gallons, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on July 30.

Monthly Biodiesel Production Report (07/30/2013)
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released new data today showing national and regional monthly biodiesel production for May 2013. In addition to biodiesel production, data included producer sales, producer stocks, and feedstock inputs.

Company Level Imports (07/30/2013)
Imports data at the company level collected from the EIA-814 Monthly Imports Report.

New infrastructure boosts West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania natural gas production (07/30/2013)
A notable increase since early 2012 in natural gas production in West Virginia and nearby counties in southern Pennsylvania continued through July 2013. Although producers have increasingly shifted their attention to more liquids-rich shale gas in the wet gas regions of these states, production in the dry gas regions has benefitted from the addition of infrastructure, improving takeaway capacity from their gas fields.

Petroleum Supply Monthly (07/30/2013)
Supply and disposition of crude oil and petroleum products on a national and regional level. The data series describe production, imports and exports, movements and inventories.

Natural gas liquids prices trend down since the start of 2012 (07/29/2013)
Daily spot prices for natural gas liquids (NGL)—ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane, and natural gasoline—have moderated because of a combination of ample supply, flat or moderating demand, export constraints, and domestic infrastructure constraints.

Coal market fundamentals changed, yet spot prices remained stable (07/26/2013)
While coal market fundamentals changed in first-half 2013 compared with the same period of 2012, spot prices remained largely unchanged. Demand for coal was higher and supply was lower in first-half 2013, but because electric companies chose to burn off large inventories instead of buying more coal and because international coal prices were weaker, the spot market remained largely unchanged.

Monthly Energy Review (07/26/2013)
EIA's most comprehensive report on recent integrated energy statistics. Preliminary data indicate that in April 2013, U.S. net imports of energy totaled 1.1 quadrillion Btu, a 5-percent decrease from the April 2012 level.

International Energy Outlook 2013 - Highlights (07/25/2013)
Over the next three decades, world energy consumption is projected to increase by 56 percent, driven by growth in the developing world, according to International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013), released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). IEO2013 presents updated projections for world energy markets through 2040. The IEO2013 Reference case projection does not incorporate prospective legislation or policies that might affect energy markets.

EIA projects world energy consumption will increase 56% by 2040 (07/25/2013)
EIA's recently released International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040, from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) to 820 quadrillion Btu. Most of this growth will come from non-OECD (non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, where demand is driven by strong economic growth.

Electricity Wholesale Market Data (07/25/2013)
Spreadsheets contain peak prices, volumes, and the number of transactions at ten electricity trading hubs covering most regions of the United States. Data from ICE (IntercontinentalExchange) through July 19, 2013.



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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy