GOOD STORIES THERE WASN’T TIME TO GET TO THIS WEEK
A NewEnergyNews Friday feature.
FIRST SOLAR GOES RETAIL, SOLARCITY GETS BIG BUCKS
SolarCity gets $30 million in funding from First Solar, other investors; The financing would help the installer of photovoltaic systems expand in the U.S. Under a five-year deal, First Solar will also supply solar panels.
Marla Dickerson, October 30, 2008 (LA Times)
"U.S. financial markets are in the doldrums, but things look bright for SolarCity…[it] received $30 million in funding to help it finance its U.S. expansion. Most of that equity -- $25 million -- is coming from First Solar Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., a manufacturer of thin-film photovoltaic solar modules, which also struck a five-year supply deal with SolarCity Corp…Investment in the fast-growing renewable energy sector has been slowed of late by the U.S. credit crisis and falling prices for petroleum and natural gas. But [SolarCity Chief Executive Lyndon] Rive predicts the deceleration is only temporary and that concerns over climate change and energy security will continue to fuel the industry…”
EPA LOOSENS POLLUTION RULES
EPA to Loosen Controls on Power-Plant Pollution
Siobhan Hughes (w/Stephen Power), October 27, 2008 (Wall Street Journal)
“The Bush administration is moving to adopt rules that would loosen pollution controls on power plants, by judging the plants on their hourly rate of emissions rather than their total annual output…The proposed rules, which seek to make it easier for older power plants to extend their life span and upgrade without installing costly new equipment, are tied to an hourly rate of emissions. As long as a power plant's hourly emissions stay at or below the plant's historical maximum, the plant would be treated as if it were running more cleanly, even if its total annual emissions increased as plant operators stepped up operations…It isn't clear how soon the administration plans to finalize the rule change, though one person familiar with the agency's internal deliberations said work on the rule has sped up noticeably in recent weeks…”
BUSH TEAM RUSHING REGS
Bush Administration Rushes Regulatory Changes Before Time Is Up
Stephen Power (w/John McKinnon and Jane Zhang), October 25, 208 (Wall Street Journal)
“The Bush administration is hurrying to push through regulatory changes in politically sensitive areas such as endangered-species protection, dismaying opponents on the left, just as conservatives were irritated by rules rushed out at the end of the Clinton administration. Proposals now in final stages of review at various federal agencies affect mining, endangered-species protection, health-care policy and other areas. In some cases, the administration has set unusually short deadlines for the public to comment…”
KENYA TURNS TO THE SUN
Consumers turning to cheaper solar energy
Abyssinia Lati, October 30, 2008 (Nairobi Business Daily)
“As Kenyans ponder on the next move as electricity charges shoot up due to an increase in tariffs, solar energy provides a better option to the many seeking to cut down on power expenses. Electricity prices have more than doubled over the past months…investors in the solar sector are seeking to tap into the rising demand in East African region by launching innovative solar products…”
IN NEW JERSEY, EGGSHELLS COOK EGGS
New Jersey turning trash into energy
David Porter, October 26, 2008 (AP via The Morning Call)
“…a glimpse at a critical part of New Jersey's energy future [is]… decades worth of household trash, construction waste and assorted refuse that is providing electricity to thousands of homes…21 landfills in New Jersey that convert methane gas produced by decomposing trash into electricity…The federal Environmental Protection Agency has targeted eight more potential sites as part of its Landfill Methane Outreach Program. Nationwide, the EPA counts 455 landfills that convert methane into energy. One of the state's leading environmentalists envisions landfills someday incorporating wind and solar power in concert with methane gas..."