NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 17: SUN SCORES HIT ON WALL STREET; TRADE WAR OVER WIND TOWERS; MORE GEOTHERMAL FROM LASER DRILLING

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The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Tesla Adds World’s Biggest Battery To Aussie Wind
  • Weekend Video: Solar And The Next Utilities
  • Weekend Video: Wind Builders On Wind
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Gourmet
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-UK Study Says Yes To Solar-Powered Electric Trains
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-First Aussie Ocean Wind Project Gets $8BIL Funding
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-EU Solar Goes Digital To Open New Services
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 7:

  • TTTA Thursday-City Mayors Unite To Fight Climate Change
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy And Big Oil Unite Against Subsidies For Coal And Nuclear
  • TTTA Thursday-California Would Sell Only EVs After 2040
  • TTTA Thursday-Utilities In A Time Of Solar
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: California Grid Users Collaborate to Streamline Communication Systems
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How To Get The Big Benefits Of Grid-Integrated Water Heaters
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Global Battery Energy Storage Competition Tightening
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Hope Or Fear For The Climate Fight?; New Energy Hits New U.S. Market Share Highs; Wind,Solar Make Grid Stronger And Power Cheaper
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, December 11:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How The New Energy Marketplace Is Growing And Shifting
  • QUICK NEWS, December 11: N.C. Millennial Women Unite For Climate Fight; The White House Threat To New Energy; What’s Bad News In The Tax Bill For New Energy

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    QUICK NEWS, December 17: SUN SCORES HIT ON WALL STREET; TRADE WAR OVER WIND TOWERS; MORE GEOTHERMAL FROM LASER DRILLING

    SUN SCORES HIT ON WALL STREET SolarCity's Stock Debut: Wall Street Success In A Struggling Market?

    Jessica Lillian, 13 December 2012 (Solar Industry)

    "Shares in…PV integrator SolarCity (NASDAC:SCTY) began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market this Thursday, following months of anticipation…[Marketer and installer] SolarCity has been heralded by some industry analysts and executives as the next great hope in a solar stock market dominated by acutely suffering module manufacturers…SolarCity priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 11.5 million shares of common stock at $8.00 per share…After opening at approximately $8.00 to $9.00, shares quickly began trading above $12 [and thin film PV manufacturer First Solar - whose stock price is carefully watched as a key indicator for the entire solar sector - saw its price rise]…

    “…[But] an ongoing investigation [of SolarCity] by the U.S. Department of Treasury also still looms…In October, SolarCity admitted in its SEC documents that the company - along with other unnamed installers - is being probed by the Treasury's Inspector General for supplying possibly inaccurate fair-market values for its PV systems when applying for money under the Treasury's Section 1603 program.”

    “Although no one at SolarCity has been formally charged with any misconduct, income tax audits earlier this year revealed system valuation discrepancies. The probe - and similar questions within the industry regarding installers' system pricing practices - brings an additional element of uncertainty in an already skittish stock market.

    “…[T]he downstream solar market is both attractive and active right now…Whether other integrators and system financiers follow in testing the IPO waters or take another option, such as a merger, the dominant players will likely begin to separate themselves from the pack as this segment matures…One key to differentiation…in SolarCity's model…[is] integrating the finance and operational sides of the business…[to] avoid some of the competitive risks…[of] a construction-only firm…”

    TRADE WAR OVER WIND TOWERS US wind tower producers plead for duties on China, Vietnam

    Doug Palmer, December 13, 2012 (Reuters)

    “U.S. wind tower manufacturers, already facing the expiration of a tax credit that has pumped up demand for wind energy projects…[pleaded] for a U.S. government panel to approve steep duties on imports from China and Vietnam…[at a hearing ahead of] a final Commerce Department determination…of whether Chinese and Vietnamese wind tower manufacturers are unfairly undercutting U.S. prices…Earlier this year, the department said Chinese towers were being sold at 20.85 percent to 72.69 percent below fair market value and Vietnamese towers at discounts of 52.67 to 59.91 percent…

    “…Preliminary anti-dumping duties could rise or fall next week, but the ITC has to find U.S. producers have been materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by the imports for duties to take effect. That decision is expected by late January…[The presidents of the two biggest US tower manufacturers of the tall steel towers used to support the large turbines…[whose customers include GE and Siemens] told the panel the past five years have been brutal for the U.S. wind tower industry as they lost market share to imports from China and Vietnam…”

    “Five major U.S. producers, two of whom were petitioners in this investigation, have shut down tower operations and left the industry. Others have been forced to curtail production, shutter facilities and lay off workers, all as the result of the surge of dumped and subsidized imports [one said]…U.S. tower producers were particularly upset when GE went with Chinese suppliers for the 338-tower Shepherds Flat project in eastern Oregon, which is expected to be completed next year and is billed as the world's largest wind farm…

    “GE did not testify at [the hearing but] an attorney representing Siemens said duties were unwarranted because domestic producers had not produced any evidence of under-selling by Chinese or Vietnamese competitors…[There is ample evidence, another attorney testified, of petitioners] turning down orders because they did not have the capacity to deliver. So their loss of market share was due to their inability to produce more, not foreign imports…The wind tower producers at the hearing said they expect demand for new towers to be weak in 2013 even if the tax credit is renewed…That makes it critical that duties are imposed on imports from China and Vietnam, they said.”

    MORE GEOTHERMAL FROM LASER DRILLING Laser drills could relight geothermal energy dreams

    Jeff Hecht, 13 December 2012 (New Scientist)

    “From fossil fuels to geothermal heat, accessing the planet's energy riches usually involves boring deep into the Earth with giant metal drills. But could lasers do the same job?...Foro Energy, a start-up company in Littleton, Colorado, has developed what it claims is an inexpensive system of high-powered lasers that can rip through rock, potentially revolutionising drilling and hastening the adoption of greener forms of power…

    “…[A] test system [funded by the US Department of Energy's research arm, ARPA-E, has] sent a beam from a 20-kilowatt commercial laser through 1.5 kilometres of optical fibre…Borehole drilling trials are planned for next year.”

    “Mechanical drills can easily grind through soft rocks like sandstone to tap petroleum reserves, but they wear out quickly in hard crystalline rocks such as granite and basalt. It is these harder rocks that often hide the best sources of geothermal energy. Foro's intense laser beam heats hard rock surfaces so fast that thermal shock fractures the upper few millimetres, leaving a crumbled layer that a mechanical drill can scrape away quickly and with little wear. This approach could increase drilling rates, a major component in well cost, by up to a factor of 10, says ARPA-E.

    “…[A] flashy prototype is far from proof that the rig will hold up in the brutal environment found in the bottom of a borehole…[but] the cost of drilling has been a roadblock to expanding the adoption of geothermal energy. If Foro can prove its technology is ready for the grunt work of punching hundreds of holes through the hard igneous rocks, it would change the mathematics of low-carbon energy…”

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