QUICK NEWS, March 5: THE INCREASING AFFORDABILITY OF NEW ENERGY; CHINA PONDERS MORE WIND; IS FIRST SOLAR A GOOD BET GOING FORWARD?
THE INCREASING AFFORDABILITY OF NEW ENERGY IEA: Expanding wind and solar power does not mean additional costs; Transformation of power systems is needed to guarantee long-term flexibility, offering huge advantage for emerging economies
Will Nichols, 28 February 2014 (Business Green)
…[The Power of Transformation from the International Energy Agency (IEA) concludes any] country can integrate high levels of wind and solar power into their national energy grids at ‘little additional long-term cost’ if the network is sufficiently flexible…[C]ountries seeking to source 30 per cent of their power from renewables would see total system costs increase by no more than $6 per megawatt hour – or about seven per cent – above a zero renewables scenario…A higher share of 45 per cent, comprised of 15 per cent solar and 30 per cent onshore wind, would increase system costs by $11/MWh, which equates to somewhere between a 10 per cent and 15 per cent increase in system costs…[T]he key to incorporating high levels of wind and solar is to use renewable energy to support the grid, while investing in additional flexible generating capacity, such as hydro and modern gas plants, and improving the overall operation of electricity market…” click here for more
CHINA PONDERS MORE WIND China Gives Initial Approval to Increase Wind-Power Capacity 36%
February 28, 2014 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
"China, already the world’s biggest wind-power market, gave conditional approval for construction of 27.6 gigawatts of new projects. That would increase the country’s installed capacity about 36 percent if all were built…The National Energy Administration today listed projects that it said should be given final approval…provided transmission grids can handle the new flows and there is sufficient consumer demand. Those proposals not meeting the conditions must be canceled, the NEA said…Since the agency tightened the approval process in 2011, it has given a green light to more than 110 gigawatts of wind power projects… Demi Zhu, a Beijing-based analyst from Bloomberg New Energy Finance…expects the nation to add 14.7 gigawatts of wind power this year, compared with 14 gigawatts estimated for 2013…The plan excludes Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan, where the grid has been overloaded…” click here for more
IS FIRST SOLAR A GOOD BET GOING FORWARD? Troubled Times Ahead For First Solar?
Ayush Singh, March 3, 2014 (Seeking Alpha)
"After putting in a terrific performance in 2013, First Solar (FSLR) is having a torrid time this year. The company's shares slid around 9% when it announced financial results for the fourth quarter…as a result of a decline in revenue from utility-scale power plants…[T]he company's outlook also fell below expectations…But, since First Solar is a strong player in [the growing solar] arena, is it a good long-term buy?...First Solar reached a new milestone of 20.4% CdTe cell efficiency, breaking the record of 19.6% set by GE Global Research in 2013…[and CdTe photovoltaic performance is outpacing] the trajectory of conventional silicon technologies…First Solar's average cost per watt declined to $0.63 from $0.70 in 2012. Average efficiency rose to 13.2% in 2013 from 12.6% in 2012…[and globally, pipeline] bookings rose to 2.7GW DC in 2013…First Solar is a profitable company, but…I will recommend investors to stay clear of this stock till the company finds a solution for its low efficiency modules…[I]nvestors looking to benefit from solar's growth should consider other stocks such as SunEdison (SUNE) or SolarCity (SCTY)…” click here for more