Cleantech News: Solar Energy Financing on Brink of Transformation; Obama Iowa Wind Power Speech; Clean Coal Not a Thing; Greenpeace & Apple Continue to Dance…

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Solar Energy

US Solar Financing on Brink of Transformation: “Financing of US solar projects is in the midst of a transformation, with new business models, new investors, and new financing vehicles gaining sway, according to new research by specialist research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance commissioned by Reznick Group.

“US solar projects have historically been bankrolled by some combination of energy sector players, banks, and the federal government, but the landscape is rapidly changing. New business models are emerging with an emphasis on third-party financing. New investors, including institutional players, are entering. And new financing vehicles such as project bonds and other securities are being assembled to tap the broader capital markets.”

Welspun Energy Awarded 125-MW Solar Project in India: “Welspun Solar Madhya Pradesh Private Limited (WSMPPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Welspun Renewable Private Limited, has won a 125 MW Solar PV project in Madhya Pradesh State of India…. This is the highest capacity to be awarded to any Indian entity in the solar space to date.”

Recurrent Energy Puts 50 MW of Commercial Solar PV in Operation in Sacramento: “three of its solar photovoltaic projects in Sacramento County have achieved commercial operation. The projects are currently delivering 50 megawatts (MW) of clean electricity to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the nation’s sixth largest public utility, under a 20-year feed-in tariff (FIT).”

Wind Energy

Obama Prioritizes Extending the Wind Energy PTC in Iowa Speech:

In Iowa this afternoon, President Obama continued to press lawmakers to take action on his To-Do List for Congress.

He traveled to Newton to push for the renewal of a tax credit for companies that produce clean energy. The credit currently supports as many as 37,000 jobs.

His host for the visit was TPI Composites — a company that makes blades for wind turbines and employs more 700 people.

“If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit,” he said. “Jobs will be lost. That’s not a guess, that’s a fact. We can’t let that happen.”

Currently, 20 percent of all the electricity used in the Iowa is generated by wind power, and there are currently more wind power jobs in the state than in any other in America.

Overall, the United States generates enough electricity from wind to power 10 million homes. And there are 500 production facilities in 43 states putting people to work in that industry.

Full Iowa speech here.


£5.4 billion growth in UK green economy in 2011: “Green goods and services valued at £122bn and now employs almost one million people, government figures show.”

Two Large Overseas Investors — Germany’s E.On and Norway’s Statkraft — Slam UK for New Energy Bill: “The German-based E.ON, one of the big six electricity providers in Britain, said national subsidy schemes for renewables such as Britain’s contracts for difference had helped ‘bust’ key European carbon reduction initiatives.

“And Norway’s Statkraft, said on Wednesday it would not be able to press the button on a giant £30bn offshore wind farm on the Dogger Bank until ongoing ‘uncertainty’ was lifted.”

Clean Coal is Not a Thing: “The coal industry plans to spend $40 million this year trying to convince you that coal is good for the country. One thing they’ll tell you is that coal is clean. But we said it before, and we’ll say it now: There is no such thing as “clean” coal. Annual carbon pollution from a single coal plant is equal to the annual emissions from more than 650,000 cars.

“Each year almost 12,000 people are hospitalized because of pollution from coal plants. If pollution from coal plants remains unchecked it could add an astonishing $100 billion to our annual healthcare bill. Does this sound clean to you?”

IMF Oil Price Warning Presses Need for Alternative Fuels: “The Fuel Freedom Foundation says that a new warning from the International Monetary Fund underscores the urgency of opening markets to competition from alternative fuels such as natural gas, ethanol, methanol and electricity. The IMF Working Paper, entitled ‘The Future of Oil: Geology versus Technology,’ predicts that oil prices could permanently double in the next decade.”

Groups Ask Senate to Reconsider NDAA Amendments Blocking Military Use of Alternative Energy: “The Advanced Biofuels Association, the Algal Biomass Organization, Airlines for America, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, and the Pew Charitable Trusts today expressed disappointment that the Senate Armed Services Committee adopted amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act blocking the Department of Defense’s (DoD) use of domestically produced alternative energy.”

Here’s a full statement from the united groups:

“Continued reliance on foreign oil puts U.S. national security at risk. Oil market volatility has already wreaked havoc on military budgets, which came at the cost of new equipment and training for our troops and reduced military readiness. In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, DoD came up $5.6 billion short in its budget for military operations and maintenance because it spent more on fuel than anticipated. Moreover, the United States sends $1 billion overseas each and every day to pay for foreign oil, further draining resources from the U.S. economy.

“U.S. advanced biofuel producers have made rapid progress toward cost-competitiveness. The per-gallon cost of test quantities of advanced biofuels under DoD contracts has declined more than 90 percent over the past two years and will continue to decline as these technologies scale to commercial production. DoD’s efforts to reduce use of foreign oil and increase use of American biofuels can lead the nation’s effort to achieve energy security.

“We will work with Members of the Senate to restore support within the NDAA for the DoD’s commitment to accelerate production of American-made, advanced, ‘drop-in’ biofuels for use in military jets, ships, and vehicles.”

Greenpeace Supports Apple Pledge to Be Coal-Free, Asks How It Will Get There: “Apple has made a bold claim to make all three of its data centres ‘coal free’ and has doubled the amount of solar energy powering its data centre in North Carolina. Apple’s customers certainly appreciate boldness, and will love the ambition to be ‘coal free.’…

“This is a clear sign that Apple is listening to the 220,000 customers who have asked for a clean iCloud. Apple now needs to show those customers how it will turn that rhetoric into reality, with further action and changes to its plans.”

Wave-Powered Dolphin Speaker May Help Us Talk to Dolphins: “Tokyo University team developed the dolphin speaker, an extremely broadband speaker that can project all the various communication sounds, whistles, burst-pulse sounds, and echo-location clicks that dolphins make and at frequencies from 7 kHz to 170 kHz. For it to operate underwater, the team used piezoelectric materials in its construction so that it will be powered by the bobbing of the waves.”

NYC Flagship Cleantech Incubator Adds 3 New Startups: “The roster of the city’s preeminent cleantech business incubator is set to grow again, as three startup companies join the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE at NYU-Poly).

“The newest tenants, Energex TechnologiesEnertiv and HEVO, join 11 companies that have been fostered at NYC ACRE since it was founded in 2009 with a mission to establish New York as a hub for clean energy technology innovation and entrepreneurship. In three years, NYC ACRE startups have raised more than $17 million in capital and created 100 full-time jobs. To date, seven companies have ‘graduated’ from the incubator.”

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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