Thursday, April 30, 2015

BBC News: Church to cut fossil fuel investment

Church to cut fossil fuel investment

The Church of England will sell investments worth £12m in companies where more than 10% of revenue comes from the "worst-polluting" of fossil fuels.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BBC News: California ramps up emissions fight

CA sets the pace again.

California ramps up emissions fight

The US state of California has stepped up its attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting tough new targets for 2030.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BBC News: Venezuela cuts hours to save energy

Venezuela cuts hours to save energy

Venezuela announces a nationwide electricity rationing plan that includes cutting the working day for public sector employees.

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Enel questions value of Yieldcos

You need to take into account that ENEL is the massive Italian energy monopoly with a big treasury and low cost capital. Yeildcos represent competition to their existing biz model. And we know from a recent transaction that some Yeildcos, including Terraform (Sun Edison) are acquiring projects with a 6% unlevered IRR.


Q&A of the week

Yieldcos are ’financial arbitrage,’ not value creation

Enel Green Power, the Rome-based company that is one of the world’s largest operators of renewable energy, with nearly 10GW of wind, solar, geothermal and hydro-electric plants installed, says it sees no attraction in setting up its own "yieldco" to own commissioned projects.

Francesco Venturini, chief executive of EGP, told Clean Energy & Carbon Brief in an interview that yieldcos, a specialist corporation set up to own assets and pay a large proportion of cash flows to investors in the form of dividends, are creating little value. "I actually worry," he said, that if something goes wrong with a yieldco, "then people may think that renewables are a bad thing."

North American yieldcos - together with their somewhat different European equivalents, the quoted project funds - sold a record $5bn worth of shares to stock market investors in 2014, and have continued to be a busy area of renewable energy investment activity in the early months of this year.

Venturini was speaking on the fringes of the annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit, which took place in New York on 13-15 April. In the interview, he also spoke of Enel Green Power’s interest in the Egyptian solar and wind markets, and of his hopes for a "rethink" by the government in Romania, one of the European countries that has made retroactive changes to policy support for existing renewable power projects.

Q. What trends are you seeing in terms of investment in renewable power without subsidies?

A. We are seeing fully cost-competitive renewables for the first time ever in places such as Brazil. And in the US, wind projects are going ahead even where there is no obligation on the utility to add more renewables and even when gas is so cheap. Utilities are investing because their customers want cleaner energy. It is people power. Small utilities, in particular, also realize the need to try to avoid volatility in the price of the power they are buying. Wind and solar can offer that. And there is also the advantage of speed – to build a 150MW wind farm, we need less than nine months. For a 150MW gas plant, you would need at least three to five years. If there is a quick need for power, renewables are the easiest way to do it, and that is why we have seen so much demand from emerging economies. It is not just about cost.

Q. What does Enel Green Power make of the yieldco phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic?

A: Yieldcos are an important part of the equation now because of the specific circumstances of low interest rates and investors’ need for yield. To be able to deliver their promises to the market, yieldcos are buying projects at 8.5% unlevered internal rates of return - otherwise their numbers do not add up. That is effectively the market price so, in my view, there is no real value creation going on. It is pure financial arbitrage....

This is an excerpt from the Clean Energy & Carbon Brief published weekly. To subscribe to the Clean Energy & Carbon Brief, click here.



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Goldman Sachs invests $100 million in GCL New Energy

28.04.2015: US multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. has agreed to purchase convertible bonds with an aggregate value of $100 million from Chinese solar project developer GCL New Energy Holdings Ltd., which is 62.28% owned by polysilicon and wafer producer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. Through this operation, Goldman Sachs has acquired a 45.4% stake in GCL New Energy. According to GCL New Energy, the bonds will be redeemed on the maturity date at their principal amount plus an amount that will result in a total internal rate of return for Goldman Sachs of 7% per year. GCL New Energy said it will use the funds to finance the acquisition of large-scale PV projects across China »with a predictable cash flow stream in order to fund a regular and increasing dividend to its investors.« © PHOTON

Weitere Informationen finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Monday, April 27, 2015

BBC News: Vatican urges action on climate

Vatican urges action on climate

The Vatican Science Academy will urge Christians to take action on climate change because it threatens the world's poor.

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Tesla's $13,000 battery could keep your home online in a blackout | Technology | The Guardian

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fwd: Joint Statement on Climate Change from the Premiers of Ontario and Québec

Provincial Premiers move to overcome fossil fuel industry spawn Prime Minister.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Ontario News" <>
Date: Apr 24, 2015 7:19 PM
Subject: Joint Statement on Climate Change from the Premiers of Ontario and Québec
To: <>

Ontario Newsroom Ontario Newsroom


Joint Statement on Climate Change from the Premiers of Ontario and Québec

April 24, 2015

Today, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Québec Premier Philippe Couillard issued the following statement on climate change: 

"We are at the forefront of the fight against climate change and we want Canada to be a leader on this issue of critical importance.

Last week, in front of international leaders and experts, including Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we were present at the Québec Summit on Climate Change, where the vast majority of Canadian provinces and territories were represented. Eleven premiers, representing over 85 per cent of the Canadian population, made a joint declaration stating that, "carbon pricing is an approach that is being taken by an increasing number of governments" and that "investing in the fight against climate change, especially in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner energy production, holds great promise for sustainable economic development and long-term job creation."

Clearly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement yesterday that emission reduction plans are 'designed to enrich governments,' does not reflect the declaration made at the Québec Summit.

People across Canada and the world are worried about climate change. They are concerned about what it is costing us and how it is endangering our environment. As it is written in the declaration, the Prime Minister should recognize that because "Arctic states such as Canada are particularly vulnerable and disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, adaptation must complement ambitious mitigation measures to address the effects climate change is having on Canada's northern regions."

Climate change is already hurting our environment, causing extreme weather like floods and droughts, and hurting our ability to grow food in some regions. Over the near term, it will increase the cost of food and insurance, harm wildlife and nature, and eventually make the world inhospitable for our children and grandchildren.

The governments of Québec and Ontario are proud of the work that we have already undertaken to address climate change. Last year Ontario closed coal-fired electricity generating plants in Ontario for good -- the largest single action ever taken in North America to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Québec, a carbon market (cap and trade system) is at the centre of the government's strategy for fighting climate change. Last year, Québec linked its carbon market with California's through the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), creating the largest regional carbon market in North America. And, as announced last week, Ontario will also implement a cap and trade system and intends to link it to Québec and California's joint carbon market, once Ontario has developed the necessary compatible and coherent mechanisms.

This will make the carbon market more stable, minimize the costs of implementing the system and provide a consistent approach to GHG emitters in both Québec and Ontario, which represent a major share of the Canadian economy. The Ontario government will reinvest the money raised through cap and trade in a transparent way back into projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help businesses remain competitive. Indeed, tackling climate change represents an economic opportunity for major Canadian sectors to reduce their costs and grow their exports.

Already, Québec has reinvested carbon market revenues in initiatives aimed at further reducing GHG emissions and helping Québec's residents adapt to the effects of climate change. Québec will invest more than $3.3 billion toward this goal by 2020, contributing to the growth of its economy.

We strongly believe that good environmental policy is good economic policy. But so far, almost all of the progress Canada has made on climate change is the result of provincial action. Once Ontario's new system is implemented, more than 75 per cent of Canada's population will be covered by carbon pricing.

Ontario and Québec are home to 62 per cent of Canada's population, and together we make up the fourth-largest economic zone in North America, with a Gross Domestic Product of more than $1 trillion. When we work together, it makes an enormous difference.

Emission reduction plans have important benefits for the environment, for our economy and for Canadians. We take this opportunity today, and as 11 premiers did last week through the Québec City declaration, to again invite the federal government to partner with us "in a concerted effort to develop an ambitious contribution from Canada at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."

Let's make real progress on climate change." 


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Bloomberg: Oil at $65 Seen Freeing 500,000 Barrels From Shale Fracklog

From Bloomberg, Apr 23, 2015, 8:00:00 PM

Oil needs to recover to $65 a barrel for U.S. drillers to tap a pent-up supply locked in shale wells and unleash more crude on markets than is produced by Libya.

To read the entire article, go to
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Why Mexico is ArcStar's Key Strategic Market

“Mexico is set to become the strongest PV market in Latin America before 2020”, with analyst Adam James remarking: "Mexico tops our list pretty conclusively as the best place in Latin America to do business as a solar developer."

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Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



150 MW solar plant announced for Mexico's Baja California

Brent, Allen please record total installed cost and discount off tariff rate for PPA’s

Tesla to announce home and utility-scale battery next week: pv-magazine

Solar PV Achieving Grid Parity in Chile

Downstream Solar Funds and Debt Finance Highlight Solar Funding Rebound

Brazilian state of Pernambuco awards first PPA to large-scale PV project

Going to be a stretch to get finance at that PPA rate. The cost of being first to market.


24.04.2015: The Ministry of Economy of the Brazilian state of Permanbuco has awarded Italian renewable energy developer Enel Green Power Spa, a subsidiary of the Enel Group, a PPA for a 11 MW PV plant that the company will build in the region. The project was selected by Pernambuco’s energy agency Recursos Hidricos e Energeticos (SRHE) in the frame of an auction for large-scale PV projects held in December 2013. Enel Green Power will install the plant in Tacaratu, in the desert of Itaparica. The project will be located close to an existing 80 MW wind power plant. Through the solar auction held in 2013, SRHE selected six PV projects totaling 122.8 MW. The six projects have a power range of 5 to 30 MW and require a global investment of 597 million BRL ($198.4 million). The auction ended with an average price of 228.63 BRL ($75.7) per MWh – the starting maximum price for the auction was 250 BRL per MWh. © PHOTON


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Thursday, April 23, 2015

BBC News: Deutsche Bank hit with record fine

Seemingly never ending trail of corrupt criminality.

Deutsche Bank hit with record fine

Deutsche Bank is fined a total of $2.5bn (£1.66bn) by US and UK regulators after mostly London-based traders tried to manipulate interest rates.

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BBC News: Hubble issues 25th birthday image

Hubble issues 25th birthday image

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its silver anniversary with a picture featuring a spectacular vista of young stars blazing through a dense cloud of gas and dust.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SEIA criticizes report on investment tax credit for solar energy

22.04.2015: The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has strongly criticized a report published by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which claims that the US solar industry could be »headed for a cliff« if the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will not be extended. According to the association, the authors of the report called for a phase down of the ITC without any examination of the current and past tax treatments of established energy sources. »Unfortunately, the report looks at the solar Investment Tax Credit in a vacuum, without any consideration given to the 100-year history of preferential tax treatment enjoyed by fossil fuels,« said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. »Without the ITC in place – Resch added - we do agree with the report’s authors that solar ‘is headed for a cliff,’ putting a decade of progress and tens of thousands of American jobs in jeopardy, while the oil and gas industry will continue to receive nearly $100 billion over a 10-year period in special tax breaks. At the end of the day, America benefits from smart, effective public policies which foster full and fair competition.« In February, the US president Barack Obama asked the Congress to make the Solar Investment Tax Credit permanent. Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request asks Congress to make tax credits for the solar and wind industries permanent, similar to other existing tax credits. The Republican-controlled Senate and House are not expected to make the solar and wind tax credits permanent, but the president’s request suggests that the tax credits could potentially be extended past 2016. Obama’s proposed $3.99 trillion budget for 2016 includes a request for $7.4 billion for clean energy technologies. The solar ITC is a 30% tax credit for solar systems installed on residential and commercial properties and is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the deployment of solar energy in the US. The ITC was implemented in 2006 and was first extended in 2008. The 30% tax credit is currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2016. After this date, the tax credit for systems installed at commercial properties is set to drop to 10% and the credit for residential systems to zero. © PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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Manhattan apartments top gold as instrument for storing wealth, says BlackRock chairman | Crain's New York Business

Like tall towers of oversized safety deposit boxes.

Supply side growing rapidly in Brazil

PV projects under development increased considerably in the past month in Brazil

21.04.2015: Brazil had a cumulative installed PV capacity of 19.17 MW as of April. 20, 2015, according to the latest statistics from the country’s energy regulator Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (ANEEL). Of the 317 PV systems installed in Brazil, however, only 15.17 MW of those systems are currently online, while the remaining 4.0 MW is awaiting regulatory authorization to begin operation. Brazil's installed PV capacity as of Jan. 20, 2014 was 19.17 MW. This means that in the past three months, no PV systems were connected to the grid in Brazil. At the end of 2013, Brazil had a cumulative installed PV capacity of around 6 MW. ANEEL’s statistics also reveal that, despite the high number of large-scale PV projects announced in Brazil over the past 2 years, no PV project is currently under construction and six solar projects totaling 128.4 MW are officially under development, despite the fact that construction on the project has not yet begun. As of Mar. 20, however, the PV projects under development had a combined capacity of 68.5 MW. PV power currently accounts for just 0.01% of Brazil’s total generation capacity, which currently stands at 135.5 GW. © PHOTON Applications / capacidadebrasil / capacidadebrasil.cfm



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Monday, April 20, 2015

FW: CanSIA Policy & Research Update- April 2015





April 20, 2015


A Note from Nigel Etherington, Member, CanSIA Board of Directors

Good morning!


One thing I say when speaking to utilities is that if they don't get aboard the solar train - it's going to hit them before they know it!


In my view, rate design is the ticket for getting utilities aboard so that they can begin to view "load defection" (i.e. distributed generation and conservation and demand-side management which utilities are duty-bound by their regulators to enable) as an opportunity and not a threat.


We are increasingly seeing US states becoming solar versus utility battle-grounds. Media coverage is growing and Canadian policy-makers and regulators are watching. In step, CanSIA is increasing the importance the Association places on the issue. 


The recent new policy from the Ontario Energy Board (see below) is the first step for Canadian regulators in dealing with bringing the utility business-model into the 21st Century. For your further background, there is a great presentation from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory on the subject from Solar Canada 2014 and the Rocky Mountain Institute have also recently released an interesting backgrounder entitled "Rate Design for the Distributed Edge" as well as a call to utilities to optimize their grids in "The Economics of Load Defection".


Ignore rate design at your peril - a collision between the solar train and utilities will serve neither well.  Please read on for some other policy, regulatory and market updates from the CanSIA Executive Team:


Kindest regards,

Nigel Etherington

Member, CanSIA Board of Directors



AFixed Distribution Charges for Ontario's Residential Customers

On April 2, 2015, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) issued a new rate design policy that will change the way local distributors bill their residential customers. Distribution charges, currently a blend of fixed and variable (per kilowatt-hour) rates will be an entirely fixed monthly service charge by 2019. Fair billing, grid innovation and enabling customer uptake of new technologies are among the OEB's objectives for this change. Customers will also benefit with a better understanding of the service they receive and the right bill signals will assist them with conservation decisions. For reference, please review 
CanSIA's submission in support of this policy, the OEB's policy backgrounder (full details on the policy may be viewed on the OEB website).  CanSIA will monitor this issue and continue to provide updates to Members as they arise.   




National Score-Card on Solar Energy

Canada joined the "1 GW" solar club in 2013 which today includes only nineteen other nations.  However, this national statistic doesn't tell the full story.  Canada's leading solar market Ontario (which is also a North American leader with more installed capacity than all but the two US States California and Arizona ) is home to more than 99 % of Canada's grid-tied solar generation capacity.  Where do Canadian provinces and territories stand, when normalized for population? When the remaining provinces and territories are re-ordered by population size, we see some interesting results: Northwest Territories at number one, Saskatchewan at number two and Prince Edward Island at number three. 



FITImplications of Ministerial Directive for Ontario's FIT Program

MFITImplications of Ministerial Directive for Ontario's microFIT Program

On April 7, a Ministerial Directive was issued by the Honourable Bob Chiarelli detailing enhancements to the FIT Program.

These enhancements will be incorporated into the FIT 4 procurement of 241.4 MW of solar projects (>10 kW ≤ 500 kW).

The Ministerial Directive may be viewed here. CanSIA is continuing to review and analyze the implications of the enhancements. For your reference the following Briefing Memorandum prepared by CanSIA will provide additional background and commentary on this subject.

April 7th's Ministerial Directive was also anticipated to announce enhancements to the province's microFIT program. However, the direction given was that no substantial changes should be made to the microFIT program for 2015 due to the ongoing nature of work exploring the potential evolution of the microFIT program to a net-meting initiative. CanSIA understands that consultation on net-metering is planned to begin in the coming months. The CanSIA microFIT Working Group are currently exploring the implications of the Ministerial Directive in detail and pursuing follow-up meetings to determine next steps.




ECap and Trade for Ontario

The carbon pricing mechanism that Ontario will be proceeding with will be.......(drum roll)....Cap and Trade, bringing the proportion of Canadians living in a province with some form of carbon pricing to 75 per cent. (For information, read the Government of Ontario's news release and supportive quotes from a wide variety of stakeholders including CanSIA President & CEO John Gorman). 

CanSIA has been working to position the ability of the solar energy sector to provide solutions for the province's climate change policy objectives. Now CanSIA will be changing gears to focus on the carbon pricing design considerations to further enable solar's participation in the new emissions market. For your reference, read the presentation to the Ontario PV Caucus on the consultation and CanSIA's final submission. In addition,  Solar Ontario 2015 conference will feature several briefings on the implications of this new important suite of policies for the solar sector.




Vancouver to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050

Vancouver City Council made history at the end of March by voting to support a shift to 100 per cent renewable energy sources, becoming the first city in Canada to take this step.  In the motion, which passed unanimously, councillors directed staff to work on a package of policies that would effectively convert the entire city to run on clean and renewable energy.  The motion aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region and cut rising costs due to climate change in Metro Vancouver, now pegged at $9.5 billion.  In his introduction, Mayor Gregor Robertson called climate change "the most daunting and important challenge of our time." He called the consequences of not addressing it "catastrophic" and said we can no longer wait for federal governments to act.  "Cities," he said, "as the most direct level of government, need to take action."




Ontario launches second 50 MW Energy Storage RFP

Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator has posted the draft documents for the second phase of an Energy Storage Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Comments on the draft documents are welcome until May 8, 2015.  This is the second stage of a two-part competitive process to complete the procurement of up to 50 megawatts (MW) of energy storage for Ontario.


The current procurement is seeking a diversity of energy storage technologies that can provide capacity services, encompassing a spectrum of performance characteristics and providing ratepayer value through the time-shifting of energy consumption and production. These storage facilities will store energy during periods of lower value to be re-injected as electricity into the system during periods of higher value.  Visit the IESO website for more information on the Energy Storage RFP.



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