GEA Rolling Out Industry Assesment

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is rolling out an industry assessment and early results show that there were 3,150 permanent, onsite employees, or 1.17 permanent jobs per megawatt installed, at geothermal power plants in California and the West. According to GEA, this is 19 times that of reported onsite employment of wind projects and 5 times reported onsGEA logoite employment for solar projects.

“In addition to environmental and reliability benefits, geothermal power has important economic values to local communities,” noted Ben Matek, GEA’s Industry Analyst & Research Projects Manager. “While geothermal produces many more construction and manufacturing jobs, as do most technologies, we believe it is a leader in creating stable, permanent employment in the communities in which geothermal plants operate.”

GEA will be releasing employment and other data on the U.S .and global geothermal power industry at its State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing taking place at in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Event speakers are all confirmed and include experts in geothermal development, finance, technology and policy. The GEA will distribute the 2015 installation of its annual industry update to attendees of this event that will include statistical updates on the U.S. and global geothermal market including new capacity online, how much is developing and in what regions around the world.

Sessions include discussions on key opportunities and obstacles for industry growth in the U.S. and around the world, multilateral and private finance, the role of technological advancements in geothermal development, and policy and regulatory issues impacting the geothermal industry.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/In a new white paper, Evolution of the Grid Edge: Pathways to Transformation, GTM Research identifies three pathways that different states will follow in their transition to the emerging grid-edge and distributed electricity system. To get there, they will follow one of three pathways: “The Advanced Energy Consumer,” “The Innovative Regulator,” and the “Proactive Energy Provider.”
  • A new report by Clean Energy Group proposes bundling loans for resilient power projects, such as solar PV with battery storage, to get this clean energy market to scale. The report shows how to use an old finance tool, a warehouse credit facility, to assemble portfolios of loans for resilient power projects, which will protect vulnerable populations from power outages during severe weather events. “Ramp Up Resilient Power Finance: Bundle Project Loans Through a Warehouse Facility to Achieve Scale,” explores using this proven loan bundling approach to finance resilient power projects across the country, to move from financing of single projects to financing of many projects in a loan portfolio.
  • BBB Umwelttechnik GmbH has qualified for the inclusion in the “dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme,” that will establish laser based wind measurement technology and implement a verification site for remote sensing devices in Brazil. The programme is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and has the aim to financially promote German companies in opening up new markets and spur development.
  • NRG Renew and SunShare are partnering to finance and build 8.2 megawatts (MWac/10 MWdc) of community solar projects along the Front Range of Colorado (including Colorado Springs and Denver), which is enough to power more than 1,600 homes for 20 years. This project will more than double NRG’s existing community solar portfolio. Once completed and online in mid-2015, this will be one of the largest operating community solar portfolios in the nation, comprised of five ground-mount sites, four in Denver’s bustling metropolitan area and one in nearby Colorado Springs.

American Wind Rebounds

According to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the American wind industry is rebounding. During 2014, there was four times more new wind energy installed or coming online than in 2013. There was 4,850 MW in generating capacity installed with total installed capacity increasing by eight percent to 65,875.

However, AWEA notes that this amount still falls short of the record 13,000 MW installed in 2012 and blames failing to reach the record due to federal policy uncertainty. The renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) was only extended for two weeks at the end of last year, and has now expired again. Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO notes that every other energy source receives some type of tax relief and wind should not be, well, left in the wind.

Wind is gaining strength, but as recent history shows, we can do a whole lot more,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan. “We’re looking forward to working with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle so that a reasonable, responsible tax policy is in place that allows the wind industry to continue lowering costs and investing billions of dollars in U.S. communities.”

Jonathan Weisgall, Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs of the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., told reporters that the $1.9 billion wind farm his company is building in Iowa is the largest economic development project in 2Q2014 State Blue Mapthe state’s history. When finished, it will pay farmers $3 million a year for land leases, and supply customers such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft that have committed to buying clean energy.

“Our customers want wind,” Weisgall said. “We like wind because it’s a hedge against fossil prices…and wind, with no fuel costs associated, can keep those rates stable.”

The PTC provides a tax credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour generated for the first 10 years of a project’s life. It has encouraged $125 billion dollars of investment across America, creating 500 U.S. manufacturing facilities and technological innovations that lowered the wind power’s costs by more than half in the last five years. Continue reading

Green Seal Energy Cert Created

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) along with the Trade Chamber (CCEE) have created the Seal Green Energy certificate that confirms that company’s are using at least 20 percent of electricity produced from renewable sources.

Green Seal Energy certification works with the Bioelectricity Certification Program that will allow the exchange of information between UNICA and CEEE is confirmation that the electricity produced from a sugarcane production facility is generated from sugarcane biomass. The certification will also show that a company meets the criteria set out in the Sugar and Alcohol Industry Paulista Environmental Protocol, signed by the government of St. Paul and the sugarcane industry in 2007.

Sugarcane Plant in Brazil Photo Joanna SchroederThe President of the Board of Directors of CCEE, Luiz Eduardo Barata Ferreira, said of the new program, “The verification by the CCEE, that the criteria for plants and consumers will allow the Seal Green Energy become a differential that will add value for both the generator and buyer of energy produced from biomass of cane sugar.”

In 2014, 20.815 million gigawatts/hour (GWh) of electricity from biomass was produced, 20 percent higher than achieved in 2013. This amount would be able to supply 11 million households. UNICA also cites that if there was no electricity derived from sugarcane biomass, CO2 levels would be 24 percent higher.

Elizabeth Farina, president of UNICA added, “With the full energy use of sugarcane biomass, the technical potential of this source could reach 20,000 MW by 2023, which corresponds to the energy produced by two plants Itaipu. And certainly, this certification program will help to take advantage of increasing their potential.”

Protec Opens E15 Station in Georgia

protectlogoProtec Fuel has joined with Mountain Express to make E15 available to drivers in the greater Atlanta region. Mountain Express-Quick Stop is located in Marietta, GA and the Mountain-Express Food Mart in Greensboro, GA.

With the new E15 addition, the state now has 16 E15 locations.

“We are thrilled to see E15 continue to expand on America’s eastern seaboard,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “E15’s expansion continues — reaching 16 states today — despite the misinformation being spread by Big Oil and its friends. We expect additional stations in more states to follow Georgia’s example and offer drivers low-cost, environmentally-friendly E15.”

Protec has been a country leader in bringing E15 to drivers. The ethanol blend is approved for vehicles manufactured after 2001. The ethanol industry stresses that when consumers are given choice, they choose ethanol blends, such as E15 at the pump.

“I would like to extend congratulations on behalf of Growth Energy and its members to Protec Fuel and to Mountain Express for their efforts to offer consumers a choice of homegrown, renewable fuels that help reduce harmful emissions and provide consumers with a choice and savings at the pump,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

Buis added, “Protec and Mountain Express are helping pave the way in Georgia for consumer choice and savings. By offering a higher octane fuel for less, they are not only gaining a competitive edge, but they are serving their consumers who want to support cleaner burning, homegrown fuels.”

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Annual Renewable Energy Outlook 2014, forecasts the global installed capacity of renewable energy to more than double from 1,566 gigawatts (GW) in 2012 to reach 3,203 GW in 2025 at an average annual growth rate of 5.7 percent. Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is expected to account for 33.4 percent of total renewable energy capacity additions over the 2012-2025 period. Wind follows closely at 32.7 percent, ahead of hydro power at 25.3 percent. Other renewable technologies will represent the remaining 8.6 percent of capacity additions.
  • Outlook, trader debates and refining updates will be center stage at the 11th annual Kingsman Dubai Sugar Conference, a renowned event in the world of sugar trading, to be held January 31st through February 3rd, 2015. More than 30 speakers, representing producers, importers, investment bankers, shipping companies, traders, analysts and associations will offer views on sugar production by country, regional and global trade agreements, competition in ethanol, what’s ahead to 2020, and market pricing.
  • The U.S. biomass power market is expected to see nominal growth expected during 2014-2025 according to a research report titled “Biopower in United States, Market Outlook to 2025, Update 2014 – Capacity, Generation, Regulations and Company Profiles“, now available with ReportsnReports.com. The report highlights installed capacity and power generation trends from 2010 to 2025 in United States Biopower market. A detailed coverage of renewable energy policy framework governing the market with specific policies pertaining to Biopower market development is provided in the report. The research also provides company snapshots of some of the major market participants.
  • Natcore Technology has announced their research team has successfully used their proprietary advances in laser technology to produce an all-low-temperature laser-doped solar cell with all of its electrical contacts on the back of the cell. Eliminating the contacts from the front of the cell will allow an additional 4% to 6% more light to enter the cell and increase its output by a comparable amount. This increase along with other expected gains can increase efficiencies by up to 4% on an absolute basis relative to current benchmarks for front contact solar cells.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/Canadian Solar Inc. has announced the sale of the 10 MW AC Glenarm solar power plant (“Glenarm”) to an affiliate of DIF Infrastructure III. This solar power plant is valued at over C $60 million (US $49million) and utilizes Canadian Solar’s CS6X photovoltaic (PV) modules. The Glenarm plant will sell electricity pursuant to a 20-year Ontario Power Authority feed-in-tariff contract. The project reached commercial operation in November 2014.
  • Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has announced the release of two in-depth case studies that reflect the innovation of the adidas Group and the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA)—both of which employed EDF Climate Corps fellows to cut costs while reducing their energy use and carbon footprints. Conveyor Belt to Energy Savings is about the adidas Group’s efficiency strategy for material handling equipment and Public Housing: Let Your Roof Make it Rainabout DHA’s is about the company’s solar Power Purchase Agreement.
  • First Reserve has announced an agreement to acquire the Kingfisher Wind power project from Apex Clean Energy. Kingfisher Wind is a 298 MW wind power generation project located in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties in Oklahoma, scheduled to be completed in 2015.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • A partnership between Duke Energy, the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps will lead to a 13-megawatt (AC) solar facility being built at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Onslow County, N.C. The facility will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Progress (DEP) and is expected online in 2015. Covering 80 acres, the 13-MW solar facility (or 17 MW DC) will connect to the electric grid at a DEP-owned substation on military property. The power will be available to DEP customers.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/BayWa r.e. has announced that global investment firm Goldman Sachs acquired 100% of the shares in the Anderson wind farm. The BayWa r.e. project located in Chaves County, New Mexico, became operational on December 30, 2014 and the company will continue to manage its technical operation. It will sell power to the Western Farmers Electric Cooperative under a 20 year power purchase agreement.
  • Total and SunPower Corp. have announced the completion of the 70-megawatt PV Salvador project, one of the world’s largest operating merchant solar power plants. Chilean Minister of Energy Máximo Pacheco and executives from Total and SunPower attended an inauguration event in El Salvador in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
  • The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced the availability of the 2015 GRC Scholarship Awards. To qualify for one of these awards a student must be a GRC member (student memberships are only $5 per year) as well as a student in an accredited academic institution. Selection of recipients will be based upon a variety of factors, including the individual’s academic record, student activities, geothermal industry experience, and career goals.
  • Andalay Solar has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Heavy Industries whereby Hyundai intends to license and manufacture solar modules using Andalay’s Instant Connect frame technology. The new Hyundai-branded TG-Series solar modules are expected to use 60-cell monocrystalline or polycrystalline technology (255w-280w) with a black Andalay frame, and will be manufactured in South Korea with an initial annualized capacity of over 50MW. The module is currently undergoing UL certification and is expected to begin shipping late in the first quarter of 2015.

Solar Net Metering Ends in Cali

Net metering in California is ending and solar customers are not happy. The billing arrangement that allows solar owners full retail credit for the energy they put back on the grid (aka net metering) is ending so consumers and businesses who wait until summer to install their solar systems will miss out on the program.

“The upcoming changes for solar producers will undoubtedly create an unprecedented demand,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power. “Property owners Sullivan Solar Power Home installationthat wait until June to sign up to go solar may miss their chance to receive the full retail credit that current solar producers receive.”

As explained by Sullivan, net energy metering will end once a certain amount of solar is installed in each utility territory, and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) will be the first utility to reach its cap. Anyone that installs solar before the cap is hit will receive full retail credit for energy they produce, and will be grandfathered in for 20-years. Once net metering ends, new homes and businesses that install solar will receive less credit for the energy they produce.

“The period for going solar under the current net metering rules could end for SDG&E customers by December or even earlier, depending on how many people install solar this year,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA). According to President Obama during his SOTU speech on Tuesday, today more solar energy is installed in the U.S. each week than in the entirety of 2008. Continue reading

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/The U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) announced it has finalized the license agreement with Whitethorn Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Juwi Solar for a solar electrical generation system onsite at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  When completed, the power generated by this system will represent the DOE/NNSA’s largest purchase of solar power from an onsite facility and the first in its western region. Juwi will design, engineer, install, and finance a 3 MW fixed-tilt solar photovoltaic array at the Laboratory’s Livermore site.
  • The World Resources Institute has released the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance that offers much-needed clarity on how companies measure emissions from electricity and other types of energy purchases. The rigorous new guidance enables companies to credibly report emissions from diverse electricity sources, especially renewable energy, which could in turn increase corporate demand for more renewables.
  • Solar Power, Inc. has announced that SPI, together with its wholly owned subsidiary, SPI China (HK) Limited, has entered into a stock purchase agreement with CECEP Solar Energy Hong Kong Co., Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group, to acquire 4.3 MW of photovoltaic projects in Italy.
  • For the second consecutive year, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has announced that Canada has set a record for the installation of new wind energy capacity. A total of 1,871 MW of wind energy capacity was installed in five provinces in Canada in 2014, with most growth centered in Ontario (850 MW), Quebec (439 MW) and Alberta (350 MW). Canada ended 2014 with nearly 9,700 MW of installed wind energy capacity, producing enough electricity to meet the needs of over 3,000,000 million average Canadian homes every year.

IRENA & ADFD Fund 5 Renewable Energy Projects

Five renewable projects in developing countries have been awarded USD 57 million in concessional loans by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The projects have a combined total capacity of 35 megawatts and will bring power to more than 200,000 people in rural communities. The loans will go to projects located in Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

IRENA Renewable Energy cycle 2 fundingRenewable energy offers the prospect of clean, affordable power to the 1.3 billion people currently off the electricity grid,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at a press conference during IRENA’s fifth Assembly. “While renewable energy resources are abundant in many communities suffering from energy poverty, finance is still a key challenge for deployment. That is why the partnership between IRENA and ADFD is so important as a pioneering effort.”

According to IRENA, this is the second loan cycle of seven, which together will commit USD 350 million over seven years to the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries, with a total project value of an estimated USD 800 million. Projects approved for funding in the second loan cycle include solar, hydro, hybrid (wind and solar) and geothermal energy. The organization said the projects selected represent a mix of renewable energy sources, are innovative, potentially replicable or scalable, and will improve energy access.

“As part of its mandate to work on projects with a profound impact on the economies of developing countries, ADFD has collaborated with IRENA to support the renewable energy sector as a tool for economic and social development,” said Mr. Adel Abdulla Al Hosani, director of pperations department in ADFD. “Towards this priority, we are keen to support the economic development and deployment of sustainable energy projects in countries with immense clean energy potential, but lacking necessary financial resources and project management expertise.”

The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility pioneers the support of renewable energy as a viable and sustainable focus for foreign development assistance that offers long-term social and economic benefits to developing countries.

Novozymes Sees Positive Outlook for 2015

Novozymes 2014 annual reportNovozymes saw solid growth in 2014 and increased sales by 7 percent as compared to 2013. The company also reports that the outlook for 2015 is good. Following a strategic business review, the company has released a new purpose statement, strategy and updated long-term targets. Through 2020, Novozymes targets annual organic sales growth of 8-10 percent on average. Novozymes is best known in the biofuels and biomaterials (biochemicals) markets for its enzymes.

”2014 was a good year for Novozymes with 7% organic sales growth and a record EBIT margin”, said Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen. “Bioenergy was the strongest growth driver, making up for slower growth in Food & Beverages and Household Care. Our growth platforms showed good progress, and in particular I’m excited about how well The BioAg Alliance has gotten off the ground.

“Novozymes is in a strong position today. Our technologies and solutions are in high demand. Going forward, we believe partnering will become more important for bringing innovation to customers,” continued Holk. “This is the outset for our new purpose and strategy – Partnering for impact. In extension of this, we’ve updated our long-term targets. Long-term organic sales growth is expected to be slightly lower than the previous target, whereas we increase the long-term targets for EBIT margin and return on invested capital. In the midst of a slow recovery and volatile markets, we expect 2015 to be another good year for Novozymes.”

Solar Jobs Increase Again in 2014

Outpacing the growth of the U.S. economy as a whole by 20 percent, the solar industry added another 31,000 jobs in 2014. The Solar Foundation (TSF) released the Solar Census Report late last week and found that total employment in the solar sector is 173,807 workers. Key findings included:

  • Over the next 12 months, employers surveyed expect to see total employment in the solar industry increase by 20.9% to 210,060 solar workers.
  • One out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. since Census 2013 was created by the solar industry – representing 1.3% of all new jobs.
  • Of the 173,807 solar workers in the United States, approximately 157,500 are 100% dedicated to solar activities.
  • Wages paid to solar workers remain competitive with similar industries and provide many living-wage opportunities.
  • The installation sector remains the single largest source of domestic employment growth, more than doubling in size since 2010.
  • Solar workers are increasingly diverse. Demographic groups such as Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African American, along with women and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces now represent a larger percentage of the solar workforce than was observed in Census 2013.

Solar energy is becoming an increasingly important part of America’s future – and this Infographic-National-Solar-Jobs-Census-2014-194x300new report offers additional proof of that,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Not only is solar helping to power more and more homes, businesses, schools and government buildings, but it’s also helping to power the U.S. economy in a very significant way – and, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our enormous potential.

Resch noted that the growth is due, in part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). He added that the policies are paying huge dividends for the economy and the environment.

“Today, the U.S. has an estimated 20.2 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in the United States – or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey – with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015 and 2016,” continued Resch. “This is going to help to create even more new jobs. What’s more, solar helped to offset an estimated 20 million metric tons of harmful CO2 emissions in 2014—the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off U.S. highways or saving 2.1 billion gallons of gasoline. We applaud The Solar Foundation for its hard work in putting together this comprehensive report, which helps to highlight the growing importance of solar energy to America and our future.”

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/Ecotech Institute has announced that Patrick Longstreth has been named the school’s new academic dean. Longstreth is responsible for implementing the vision and strategic direction of Ecotech Institute; ensuring student, graduate and employer satisfaction; and making sure all staff at Ecotech Institute meet the high expectations of the school’s students and Ecotech Institute’s parent company, Education Corporation of America. Longstreth has been with Ecotech Institute since October 2012, serving as the school’s program director for both the Electrical Engineering Technology Program and Power Utility Technician Program.
  • REsource is a new online knowledge platform launched this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA),. The source enables users to easily find country-specific data, create customized charts and graphs, and compare countries on metrics like renewable energy use and deployment. It also provides information on renewable energy market statistics, potentials, policies, finance, costs, benefits, innovations, education and other topics.
  • Abengoa has announced the appointment of Co-CFO responsible for Investor Relations & Capital Markets, effective February 1st, 2015. Ignacio Garcia Alvear, current CFO of Abengoa Bioenergy, will replace Barbara Zubiria, who has decided to take on a new professional opportunity as CFO of a company in an unrelated sector. Mr. Garcia Alvear joined Abengoa in 1995 and has been in his current position since January 2004.
  • Parker Ranch has announced that Parker Ranch Foundation Trust (PRFT) has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. This agreement provides NextEra Energy Resources with long-term access rights to PRFT lands to develop renewable energy derived from PRFT’s wind resources.

Wind Turbines to be Certified by IRS

Small wind turbines will now have to be certified by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who has issued Notice 2015-4 providing new performance and quality standards that require certification of small wind turbines. “Small” turbines are classified as those having a nameplate capacity of up to 100 KW and must fit into this category in order to qualify for the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

“Distributed wind power for homes, farms, and small business is generating clean, affordable and homegrown electricity across all 50 states and as the market grows, it’s of critical importance to ensure high quality products make it to market,” said Jennifer Jenkins, executive director of the Distributed Wind Energy Association. “These certification requirements provide performance and quality assurance for consumers, government agencies and the industry, and help to ensure the successful implementation of distributed wind projects domestically.”

Small wind turbine in Winter Harbor, MaineThe IRS certification goes into effect for small wind turbines acquired or placed in service after January 26, 2015. The guidance requires that qualifying small wind manufacturers provide certification to either: (1) American Wind Energy Association Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard 9.1-2009 (AWEA); or (2) International Electrotechnical Commission 61400-1, 61400-12, and 61400-11 (IEC). The certification must be issued by an eligible certifier, which is defined as a third party, that is accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation or other similar accreditation body. Documentation establishing that the turbine meets the new requirements must be provided to taxpayers in order to claim the credit.

Jenkins continued, “The new certification requirement addresses the small, but persistent segment at the fringe of the industry that make wild assertions on efficiency, performance, and the their special ability to work on buildings or very short towers. Now, in order to qualify for the federal tax credits, they will have to prove these claims to third-party experts. That will be very challenging or impossible for unproven designs with exaggerated performance, but will not pose a major barrier for the industry leaders.”

“As an industry, we have been working for many years to strengthen the credibility and reliability of our products,” added Jenkins. “I’m proud to note that our membership has been leading the way on this front, actively pursuing certification since 2010 and poised to comply with these new standards.”