Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Spanish wind farms have produced good amount of power in February. The country has been able to meet about 22% of the country’s demand through wind farms
Turkey has brought in new simple rules for developing the solar power projects with less than 500 kilowatts of capacity.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. is a silicon based solar module manufacturer. The company has said that it expects that the sales would rise by 56%.
The prices of Solar panel cannot drop any further. Bloomberg says that after the prices have dropped the solar panel manufactures have been forced to cut production
Ryder System Inc. is a carrier. They are buying long haul trucks which run on natural gas. Natural gas in U.S. and other countries is cheaper than diesel
Britain has a policy which is favorable for renewable energy sector. This will help the country to prevent blackouts.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet is in favor of giving the ministers the power to adjust the subsidies being given to renewable energy sector.
Royal DSM NV, is a Dutch company. It makes enzymes. The company has joined hands with Poet LLC to set up cellulosic ethanol venture.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
South Korea will roll out smart meters. The meters will be installed in more than half of its homes by the year 2016.
Steel, aluminum and copper producers of Australia are among the highest greenhouse gas producers in the country which will receive free carbon permits
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. is based out to Tokyo. The company has achieved a efficiency of 17.8% for a thin film solar panel.
The Nuclear Energy Institute and the National Mining Association have sued the U.S. government for a ban the federal government has put in place mining uranium on federal land around Grand Canyon
Wind turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group Co. has filed a complaint against American Superconductor Corp. for selling substandard parts.
Johnson Controls Inc. has been named as the primary source of lead for the lead poising case in Shanghai
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to preparing to give ministers to work on subsidies for renewable energy in Germany
National Australia Bank Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc are a part of a body which is in favor of selling debt to fund climate change initiatives.
There is an event in the Washington where in Southern Co. and Arch Coal Inc. will be joining hands with green groups for oil recovery from old wells.
Q-Cells SE is a solar cell maker. It is the largest solar cell maker in the world. The shares of the firm rose in stock market trading
PyroGenesis Begins Shipment of its Novel Plasma-based Ozone Depleting Substance Destruction System to Recyclage Écosolution's Facility
Monday, February 27, 2012
South Korea had plans to approve the cap and trade system. The country has failed to approve the program.
Since the Solyndra bankruptcy, the Obama administration has been taking a lot of heat over its handling of the energy sector. Just days ago, Rick Santorum said Obama is pushing a "radical environmentalist" agenda and that the president's environmental beliefs are a "theology" -- whatever that means. Romney has attacked renewable energy as "time and money wasted."
It's easy to paint a broad stroke of the energy picture when oil prices are rising and bankruptcies such as Solyndra and Beacon Power are in the headlines. But political candidates and newscasters rarely take the time to show the complete picture. The fact of the matter is, the cost of Obama's renewable energy investments has been relatively small when compared to the national budget. And it pales in comparison to the money the Chinese government gives to renewable energy companies -- the same companies who now, incidentally, dominate manufacturing in the fastest-growing part of energy: solar.
Real dollars and cents
The Department of Energy's loan guarantee portfolio, which includes Solyndra and Beacon Power, was recently reviewed by an independent consultant to determine credit characteristics and risk of loss. The findings might surprise you.
The program has provided $23.8 billion in loan guarantees. Only $8.3 billion of that has been drawn, and the subsidy cost provided by the government to the program amounted to $2.7 billion to $2.9 billion. The low overall cost is because most of the money was provided to extremely low-risk utility renewable projects.
The federal government's 1603 Treasury Program, a cash grant program for renewable energy developers, helped 22,000 renewable projects at a total cost of $1.75 billion. The program was allowed to expire at the end of 2011, although President Obama wanted to revive it in his latest budget.
What have these subsidies gotten us?
Growing renewable energy sector
Judging exactly what we've gotten from government subsidies is nearly impossible. But there is evidence that the industries that were supported are at least making a strong contribution to the economy.
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the loan program is supporting $40 billion in private investment and 60,000 direct jobs.
- First Solar's (Nasdaq: FSLR ) $646 million loan guarantee for the $1.36 billion Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One will power 75,000 homes at peak production. The company also has partial loan guarantees of $1.46 billion to build two Desert Sunlight projects totaling 550 MW.
- The $1.237 billion loan guarantee for the 250 MW California Solar Ranch, now owned by NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG ) , will be used to install SunPower's (Nasdaq: SPWR ) high-efficiency panels and is projected to power 59,000 houses annually.
- The solar industry now employs over 100,000 people nationwide.
- The U.S. was a $1.9 billion net exporter of solar products, driven by capital equipment from GT Advanced Technologies (Nasdaq: GTAT ) and others. Ironically, this will likely be a short-term phenomenon because we're shipping manufacturing capabilities to China.
It isn't just U.S. companies that are creating jobs here in the U.S. First Solar and SunPower still dominate the solar landscape here, but Suntech Power (NYSE: STP ) now runs a manufacturing facility in Arizona to supply the growing U.S. market. Then there are companies like SolarCity who are installing modules on rooftops around the country and creating a majority of the jobs in the solar industry.
What it all means
Whether or not it's the federal government's role to guarantee loans for specific companies or subsidize an industry is up for debate, and it's not what I'm trying to point out in this article. I just want to put a scale on the debate.
At a cost of around $5 billion over the last three years, there are probably more important things to be debating, especially considering how fast the industry is growing and creating jobs. Plus, renewable energy costs are falling so fast that renewable subsidies will dry up in coming years as grid parity is reached across the country -- something that most subsidies never do.
Sometimes it's important to keep political rhetoric and government spending in perspective. President Obama may have a soft spot for renewable energy, but the support that's been given to these projects is pretty small in the grand scheme of things.
Source: Article by Travis Hoium published in the Motley Fool on 27 Feb 2012