Chile Tests Floating Solar Power Island

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A floating island of solar panels is being tested in Chile as a way to generate clean energy and reduce water loss at mine operations, a cornerstone of the Andean country’s economy that uses huge amounts of electricity and water.

The experimental “Las Tortolas” power-generating island is being run by the giant Anglo American mining company at its Los Bronces mine, and the initiative comes as the government pushes to put Chile at the forefront of renewable energy use in Latin America and the world.

The 12,917-square-foot array of solar panels was inaugurated Thursday by Chilean Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica. Officials said that if the test is successful, the $250,000 plant could be expanded to cover nearly 100 acres. Continue reading “Chile Tests Floating Solar Power Island”

New Southern Energy Installs First Commercial Floating Solar Farm in Africa

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The floating solar system is the first commercially operational system to be installed in Africa and, at 60 kWp, it is by far the largest.

The solution includes, an internal AC reticulation upgrade and consolidation of connection points, installation of a backup generator to run the internal grid in the event of power outages, a 534 kWp ground mounted solar system, a 60 kWp floating solar system and provision for infrastructure to allow for battery system to be included during phase two to take the site completely off-grid. Continue reading “New Southern Energy Installs First Commercial Floating Solar Farm in Africa”

Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar & Energy Storage

Global oil companies are plowing billions of dollars per year into solar and into energy storage, as more nations seek to switch their energy sources away from fossil fuels. In only 5 out of 15 acquisition deals done in solar over the past two years, over $8 billion was spent, according to an analysis by Mercom Capital Group.

Similarly, out of 7 funding deals by oil companies over the past two years, more than $240 million was provided to solar companies, Mercom calculates.

For battery storage investments, 6 acquisition deals were reported during the past two years, without values, Mercom says. During the same time period, 7 funding deals were done, involving nearly $133 million, Mercom says. Continue reading “Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar & Energy Storage”

Renewable energy: UK consults on paying homes and businesses for excess generation

The ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ would replace the export tariff and apply to small-scale renewable sources such as solar panels

The government is seeking views on introducing a new scheme that would pay households and businesses for surplus electricity produced by small-scale renewables such as solar panels.

Under the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) proposal, which would replace the export tariff under the Feed-in Tariff scheme, larger energy suppliers – with more than 250,000 domestic electricity customers – would have to pay consumers for the excess power generated and exported to the grid.

It suggests smaller suppliers may also opt to voluntarily provide a SEG tariff. Continue reading “Renewable energy: UK consults on paying homes and businesses for excess generation”

South Dakota Could Be The Next Solar Power Powerhouse

Regardless of President* Trump’s affection for fossil fuels, the fact is that state-level action is the key to accelerating clean power in the US. A case in point is South Dakota, where a huge battle is brewing over the state’s renewable energy industry.

South Dakota also illustrates how the red-blue political divide is giving way — slowly — to market based policies. Everybody wants wind and solar now that costs have come down. States that fail to encourage the trend risk missing out on important economic development opportunities.

South Dakota doesn’t tend to make a lot of headlines in the renewable energy department, though the state is a pretty decent performer in the wind industry.

The American Wind Energy Association put South Dakota at 19th in installed wind capacity among US states for 2017, with 16 functioning wind farms totaling 601 turbines and 1.019 megawatts in capacity. Another 408 megawatts was in the pipeline as of 2017. Continue reading “South Dakota Could Be The Next Solar Power Powerhouse”

6 Renewable Energy Trends To Watch In 2019

2019 promises to be an exciting year for clean tech. An increasing number of countries, companies and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving.

Here are Forbes’ 6 renewable energy trends to watch in the coming year.

1. Energy Storage

Energy storage plays an important role in balancing power supply and demand, and is key to tackling the intermittency issues of renewable energy. Pairing a storage system with a renewable energy source ensures a smooth and steady power supply, even when weather conditions are not optimal for energy generation.

Batteries are the most common storage devices used in renewable energy systems and their use is increasing on both the residential and grid-wide scale. Energy storage technologies are expected to continue to improve, making their use more viable and affordable. It is projected that storage will represent a core component of all new energy technologies moving into the future, as both utility-scale and domestic energy storage solutions become more price competitive, eroding the advantages of traditional energy sources.

On the Caribbean island of Barbados, old electric car batteries are being reused to provide grid energy storage and extend their useful lifespan. Continue reading “6 Renewable Energy Trends To Watch In 2019”

Top Trends To Watch In Renewable Energy In 2019

This year has seen several major policy changes in renewable energy, especially in solar.

China surprised everyone in June by announcing that it would not issue approvals for any new solar power installations in 2018 and would also cut the feed-in tariff subsidy. In February, the U.S. imposed tariffs on imported solar cells and modules, creating uncertainty in the U.S. solar market.

The solar market globally is set to adapt to those industry disruptions next year. Together with continued declines in solar and wind costs, 2019 could be a brighter year for the U.S. solar and renewable energy markets, analysts and industry professionals say.

Scott Cramer, president of solar company Go Solar Group—which operates in Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Antonio, Texas—sees several trends that will shape and shake the U.S. solar market next year. Continue reading “Top Trends To Watch In Renewable Energy In 2019”

Germans to pay slightly lower levy for renewable energy in 2019

Germany will cut a green energy surcharge on consumers’ electricity bills by 5.7 percent next year, but savings for households will be limited as other fees are expected to rise.

Germans pay the highest electricity bills in Europe as state-induced taxes and fees account for over 50 percent of power bills.

German power network operators (TSOs) said on Monday that revenues collected to support green electricity are high and wholesale market prices have risen, allowing renewables producers to rely less on subsidies.

Next year the surcharge under the renewable energy act (EEG) – a fee that accounts for over a fifth of energy bills – will fall to 6.405 euro cents (7.4 US cents) per kilowatt hour (kWh), from 6.792 cents this year, TSOs said in a statement.

That was a steeper cut than forecast by industry group BEE last week, but may be offset by rises in other levies such as those on use of transport grids.

“Consumers should not pin too much hope on noteworthy price cuts by their electricity suppliers,” said Arik Meyer, managing director of SwitchUp, an online service for supplier switches. Continue reading “Germans to pay slightly lower levy for renewable energy in 2019”

Dubai solar park wins green energy prize

An artist’s impression of the third phase of the Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, awarded Solar Project of the Year. Courtesy: Masdar

A Dh50 billion solar park at the heart of Dubai’s drive to increase its use of renewable energy has won a global seal of approval.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) solar park – currently in the third phase of its development – has been named the 2018 Solar Project of the Year at the Asian Power Awards in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar is developing phase three of the solar park in partnership with Shua’a Energy 2.

The eco-friendly project is set be a significant contributor to the nation’s green energy strategy by 2020. Continue reading “Dubai solar park wins green energy prize”

Energy Taiwan Highlights A Growing Renewable Energy Economy In Taiwan

Taiwan is physically located on a single island, but in the globalized economies of most modern nations, the focus on leveraging and strengthening its internal capabilities that locals are increasingly leveraging as a strength. The efficiencies and quality of local Taiwanese manufacturers in the solar and energy storage spaces were on full display at this years Energy Taiwan.

Energy Taiwan is the natural evolution of the predominantly solar-focused show last year into a more comprehensive show that put energy storage, wind and hydrogen fuel cell companies on display next to their silicon-cell based photovoltaic friends. This year’s show also highlights an increasing focus on Taiwan from global companies and countries looking to cash in on Taiwan’s sprint forward in a push to achieve its bold 2025 goals of deploying 5.5GW of new offshore wind capacity and 20GW of new solar installations.
Developers like Germany’s wpd, Denmark’s Ørsted and even utilities like EnBW joined the show to increase their exposure in the local market and to flesh out plans in support of the new offshore wind contracts awarded in April and June of this year. Continue reading “Energy Taiwan Highlights A Growing Renewable Energy Economy In Taiwan”