Archive for December, 2009

REpower contracts 143 MW with enXco in California

The REpower MM92 wind turbine can produce up to 2.05 MW of electricity.REpower Systems AG has signed a delivery agreement  for up to 143.5 megawatts with the enXco – the American arm of the French EDF Energies Nouvelles Company. The 70 2.05 MW REpower MM92 turbinesare intended for a wind farm project in the West Coast market for delivery in mid-2011.

REpower and enXco have already been cooperating in the USA since 2006 and have implemented a series of wind farm projects in California, Washington and Indiana. With this contract, REpower USA Corp. has installed or sold 390 wind turbines in the US which combine to nearly 800 MW of renewable wind energy.

Steve Dayney, CEO of REpower USA Corp., says “A high degree of trust has been developed through what has become a multi-year collaboration with enXco and EDF EN. This new order from our customer strengthens our presence and competitiveness in the US wind energy market.”

“This order reflects our need to secure turbines for the recovering West Coast market where enXco is very well positioned due to the quality of the sites we have secured in California and the Pacific Northwest”, stated Tristan Grimbert, president & CEO of enXco. “This conditional order demonstrates our continued strength in project development and ability to successfully procure turbines.”


Visit the original post at: Wind Power News

Impressive Fuel Cell Stack on Kia Borrego FCEV Uses 98% of the Hydrogen



The partnership between Kia and Hyundai resulted in some huge steps forward regarding fuel cell technology. Kia has just released some footage about their latest FCEV prototype called Borrego (Mohave for the Korean market).


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A safe investment in 2010: Hot water

A safe investment in 2010: Hot water

Though written in 2007, an analysis by RENEW’s executive director Michael Vickerman may be even truer today an a few years ago, given the risk involved in “traditional” investments. The analysis shows that an investmnet in a solar hot water system generates a better rate of return than putting money in the bank:

I wrote a column which was highly critical of using payback analysis to figure out whether installing a solar hot water system on one’s house makes economic sense. In almost every example you can imagine, the payback period for today’s solar installations ranges between long and forever. For my system, which started operating in January 2006, payback will be achieved in a mere 19 years using today’s energy prices, though by the time 2025 rolls around, half of Florida might be under water and the rest of the country out of natural gas.

But there’s no reason to let payback length rule one’s ability to invest in sustainable energy for the home or business, especially if there are other approaches to valuing important economic decisions. One way to sidestep the gloomy verdicts of payback analysis is to do what most companies do when contemplating a long-term investment like solar energy — calculate the internal rate of return (IRR) on the invested capital. The definition of IRR is the annualized effective compounded return rate which can be earned on the invested capital, i.e. the yield on the investment.

By using this familiar capital budgeting method, I’m able to calculate an IRR of 6.1%for my solar water heater if natural gas prices rise a measly 3% per annum. That yield exceeds anything that a bank will offer you today. It will likely outperform the stock market this year, which is due for a substantial downward adjustment to reflect the slow-motion implosion of the housing market now underway. And, unless you live in a gold-rush community like Fort McMurray, Alberta, your house will do well just to hold onto its current valuation, let alone appreciate by six percent.

While all investments pose some degree of risk, the return on a solar energy system is about as safe and predictable as, well, the rising sun. Fortunately for the Earth and its varied inhabitants, the center of our solar system is situated well beyond the reach of humanity’s capacity to tamper with a good thing.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

A safe investment in 2010: Hot water

A safe investment in 2010: Hot water

Though written in 2007, an analysis by RENEW’s executive director Michael Vickerman may be even truer today an a few years ago, given the risk involved in “traditional” investments. The analysis shows that an investmnet in a solar hot water system generates a better rate of return than putting money in the bank:

I wrote a column which was highly critical of using payback analysis to figure out whether installing a solar hot water system on one’s house makes economic sense. In almost every example you can imagine, the payback period for today’s solar installations ranges between long and forever. For my system, which started operating in January 2006, payback will be achieved in a mere 19 years using today’s energy prices, though by the time 2025 rolls around, half of Florida might be under water and the rest of the country out of natural gas.

But there’s no reason to let payback length rule one’s ability to invest in sustainable energy for the home or business, especially if there are other approaches to valuing important economic decisions. One way to sidestep the gloomy verdicts of payback analysis is to do what most companies do when contemplating a long-term investment like solar energy — calculate the internal rate of return (IRR) on the invested capital. The definition of IRR is the annualized effective compounded return rate which can be earned on the invested capital, i.e. the yield on the investment.

By using this familiar capital budgeting method, I’m able to calculate an IRR of 6.1%for my solar water heater if natural gas prices rise a measly 3% per annum. That yield exceeds anything that a bank will offer you today. It will likely outperform the stock market this year, which is due for a substantial downward adjustment to reflect the slow-motion implosion of the housing market now underway. And, unless you live in a gold-rush community like Fort McMurray, Alberta, your house will do well just to hold onto its current valuation, let alone appreciate by six percent.

While all investments pose some degree of risk, the return on a solar energy system is about as safe and predictable as, well, the rising sun. Fortunately for the Earth and its varied inhabitants, the center of our solar system is situated well beyond the reach of humanity’s capacity to tamper with a good thing.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

A safe investment in 2010: Hot water

A safe investment in 2010: Hot water

Though written in 2007, an analysis by RENEW’s executive director Michael Vickerman may be even truer today an a few years ago, given the risk involved in “traditional” investments. The analysis shows that an investmnet in a solar hot water system generates a better rate of return than putting money in the bank:

I wrote a column which was highly critical of using payback analysis to figure out whether installing a solar hot water system on one’s house makes economic sense. In almost every example you can imagine, the payback period for today’s solar installations ranges between long and forever. For my system, which started operating in January 2006, payback will be achieved in a mere 19 years using today’s energy prices, though by the time 2025 rolls around, half of Florida might be under water and the rest of the country out of natural gas.

But there’s no reason to let payback length rule one’s ability to invest in sustainable energy for the home or business, especially if there are other approaches to valuing important economic decisions. One way to sidestep the gloomy verdicts of payback analysis is to do what most companies do when contemplating a long-term investment like solar energy — calculate the internal rate of return (IRR) on the invested capital. The definition of IRR is the annualized effective compounded return rate which can be earned on the invested capital, i.e. the yield on the investment.

By using this familiar capital budgeting method, I’m able to calculate an IRR of 6.1%for my solar water heater if natural gas prices rise a measly 3% per annum. That yield exceeds anything that a bank will offer you today. It will likely outperform the stock market this year, which is due for a substantial downward adjustment to reflect the slow-motion implosion of the housing market now underway. And, unless you live in a gold-rush community like Fort McMurray, Alberta, your house will do well just to hold onto its current valuation, let alone appreciate by six percent.

While all investments pose some degree of risk, the return on a solar energy system is about as safe and predictable as, well, the rising sun. Fortunately for the Earth and its varied inhabitants, the center of our solar system is situated well beyond the reach of humanity’s capacity to tamper with a good thing.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Foreign Windpower Giant Iberdrola Taps Saudi Arabia of Wind Because We Can’t


Today, a European company put the finishing touches on a wind project in North Dakota which Americans have known for decades is “the Saudi Arabia of Wind.”

Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables, the parent company of Iberdrola Renewables Inc that built the project, grew in the wake of the Kyoto Accord signing (and resulting renewable energy legislation) in Europe, to become a giant global wind company.

North Dakota’s Senator Byron Dorgan still supports similar renewable energy legislation that virtually all the Democrats have supported and tried to pass many times, that would would create a nationwide Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).

But that legislation has been filibustered by the Republican Party so many times. Not only are we heading over the cliff of runaway climate change but America is also  falling steadily behind in renewable energy market dominance because of years of Republican refusal to allow movement on renewable energy policies.

Now European wind companies are the only ones capable of building the wind energy that we need.

Read more of this story »


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First look at Q4: What happened??

First look at Q4: What happened??

Over twenty participants already in the 2010 CI Readers’ Prediction survey, in just a few hours after launching. If you haven’t taken the survey yet, click here to do so. It’s only a couple of quick questions.

The first of the year-end cleantech VC deal and dollar tallies has come out, with GTM’s Eric Wesoff releasing his always-useful quarterly review. Eric has a pretty good write-up on his results, so I won’t go over it all here, but I wanted to highlight a few specific things that struck me:

1. While Eric’s blog posting talks about 2009 overall numbers, I’m frankly a bit taken aback to see that his totals for Q4 venture dollars were down at $817M, way down from Q3′s $1.9B and even lower than Q1′s $864M, which was supposed to be the low point, right? What happened? Has there been a quiet train wreck in cleantech venture capital?

Well, it’s still a bit early to draw too many conclusions. A number of Q4 deals that happened may not have been revealed quite yet as the Reg D filings have their deadline today. And so by putting out his total today, Eric’s obviously missed those, to be included in later updates. Perhaps there are more dollars out there left to be found.

But not THAT many. Clearly the dollar amounts took a big step back in Q4. What about the deal amounts? They dropped, too. From 117 in Q3 to 82 in Q4. Again, this tally may increase in later updates. But it’s still a pretty healthy drop. However, it is NOT as big a drop as we saw in Q1, when Eric counted only 65 deals.

So what appears to have happened is that the size of deals went way down, at least in Eric’s tally (to be confirmed when we review other tallies later). From a mean round size of over $16M, down to a mean round size of less than $10M in Q4.

Remember what we’ve seen again and again in the tallies: That the dollar amounts are driven by big later-stage deals, as much as by the number of deals (I remain amazed that journalists often ignore this basic fact and draw conclusions based only on dollar totals). So did big later-stage deals dry up? Or did later stage deals just get smaller?

Based upon what I’m seeing in the marketplace, I’m wondering if a bunch of the growth-stage companies that would have normally raised money in 2H09 instead pushed such financings into 2010 — by either running leaner, or taking in smaller bridges or round extensions. With the funding environment still very unfriendly to startups, but more macroeconomic optimism out there for 2010, it would be tempting to entrepreneurs and their backers to push off a new fundraising for a half a year or more, in hopes of suffering less dilution (ie: getting a higher valuation) as the sector rebounds. I’ve seen a lot of anecdotal evidence of this happening.

If so, it’s a risky strategy, however. Because not everyone is convinced the 2010 economy will see a really strong rebound. And even if things pick up in the overall economy, venture dollars could lag because so many investment funds remain tapped out and need to raise their next funds themselves. Perhaps 2010 will see the return of high valuations. But perhaps not. So it’s a bit of a gamble to wait.

2. Q4 was once again a big month for solar.

Eric counted 24 venture rounds into solar companies. Compare that with 9 rounds into biofuels, or 5 rounds into his Smart Grid, EE and DR category. Or two rounds into water tech.

Not much more to say about that.

We’ll write up Q4 a bit more when more tallies come out. Until then, thanks to Eric for sharing these first results!


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Green Investor news – enXco Announces Commercial Operation of 1.8 MW(dc) Belle Mead Solar Project
ESCONDIDO, Calif. – December 31, 2009 – enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company (PARIS: EEN) announces Commercial Operation of the 1.8 megawatt (dc) Belle Mead Solar Project.


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Wind Stocks News – Iberdrola Renewables Completes Construction of Rugby, North Dakota Wind Plant
RUGBY, N.D. – December 31, 2009 – Iberdrola Renewables has completed construction of the 149 megawatt nearly $300 million Rugby Wind Power Project near Rugby, North Dakota.


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Algae Diet Could Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cows

Researchers at James Cook University in Australia have found that cows fed a diet of algae have lower levels of methane in their farts.Cow farts are emerging as a major source of the greenhouse gas methane, but scientists in Australia may be on to a simple way to nip that in the bud. Preliminary studies are showing that feeding “algae cakes” to cows results in a significant reduction in their methane emissions.

As reported in The Australian, a team of researchers at James Cook University anticipates a sustainable quadruple whammy from the new bovine diet: algae absorbs more carbon dioxide than other plants, it can be grown as a natural water cleanser for fish farms, it can be harvested as a biofuel crop, and the leftover “cake” produces an anti-methane effect on cattle.

Read more of this story »


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College Students Pursue ‘Clean Energy’ Careers
College Students Pursue ‘Clean Energy’ Careers

Nowadays students are not oblivious to the hazards of global warming. They are quite keen on pursuing a ‘clean energy’ career. Now the concern about climate change is stimulating more undergraduate students to show interest in science and engineering. We can watch the trend of the rising interest in renewable energy. As leaders from [...]
Posted in: Economy, Future Energy, Industry



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College Students Pursue ‘Clean Energy’ Careers
College Students Pursue ‘Clean Energy’ Careers

Nowadays students are not oblivious to the hazards of global warming. They are quite keen on pursuing a ‘clean energy’ career. Now the concern about climate change is stimulating more undergraduate students to show interest in science and engineering. We can watch the trend of the rising interest in renewable energy. As leaders from [...]
Posted in: Economy, Future Energy, Industry



Visit the original post at: Energy News

LG Opens 120 MW Crystalline Manufactuting Plant in South Korea
12/31/2009 – LG Electronics (LG) recently announced the launch of a new business
initiative with the unveiling of a solar cell production line in Gumi,
about 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul…


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Brazil’s Lula signs law cutting CO2 emissions
(none)


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