QUICK NEWS, November 29: THE SUPERCOMMITTEE FLOP & NEW ENERGY; ABUNDANT NEW ENERGY HARVEST; CONSOLIDATION IN SUN
THE SUPERCOMMITTEE FLOP & NEW ENERGY
Debt Committee's Inaction Not So Super For Renewable Energy Policy
Mark Del Franco and Jessica Lillian, 22 November 2011 (Windpower Monthly)
"The failure of the debt supercommittee to reach a resolution for cutting more than $1.2 trillion over 10 years brings further uncertainty about key renewable energy incentives. [Due to intractable partisanship, it is unclear if the group even broached renewable energy policy].…
"Reportedly…[ agreement] broke down along party lines - Democrats aiming to initiate tax increases and Republicans balking at the idea. This also meant that the future of key incentives important for renewables, such as extensions of the Sec. 1603 cash-grant program, (which expires at the end of this year) and the production tax credit (which, for wind, expires at the end of 2012, and 2016 for solar), is still murky…"
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"…Frank Maisano, an energy analyst at Washington, D.C.-based Bracewell Giuliani…envisions a few scenarios that extend renewable energy policies…[E]xtensions could be part of a continuing resolution - an omnibus bill whose passage is needed in order to keep the government running - that has to be passed by Dec. 16…[or] part of a separately introduced bill…[G]iven the political split on Capitol Hill, the second scenario is less likely…
"…Christi Tezak, senior energy and environmental policy analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co…[is less optimistic]…[She noted that extending the cash-grant] program adds to the deficit…[O]ther than the payroll tax extension, which the White House has indicated it would like to see extended even if it is not offset, all other program extensions appear to need to be paid for…[Tezak said she] would be very surprised if any expiring program other than the payroll tax gets extended this year…"
ABUNDANT NEW ENERGY HARVEST
Energy Harvesting Unit Shipments to Reach 235 Million Annually by 2015
November 10, 2011 (Pike Research)
"…According to a new report from Pike Research, unit shipments for energy harvesting enabled devices will experience strong growth over the next few years, increasing from 29.3 million units in 2010 (mostly kinetic wristwatches and wireless sensor networks) to 235.4 million units by 2015 (comprising a much greater diversity of consumer and industrial applications)…
"Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the consumer market for energy harvesting will represent approximately 42% of all unit shipments by 2015. Key applications in this sector include mobile phones, laptop computers, remote controls, portable lighting, and the continuing market for wristwatches powered by kinetic energy…"
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"…[I]ndustrial applications will represent the majority of the energy harvesting market, with a compound annual growth rate in excess of 100% for the sector as a whole. Key emerging industrial markets during that period will include wireless sensor networks (which will represent a large majority of the industrial sector), military devices, medical devices, and automotive devices.
"The principal technologies used for the transduction of ambient energy into usable electrical energy include photovoltaic (PV), thermoelectric, piezoelectric, and electromagnetic. Pike Research forecasts that, between now and 2015, PV energy harvesting technologies will be most prominent in the market, capturing approximately 40% of total revenue share by the end of that period. Electromagnetic and piezoelectric technologies will each garner about one-quarter of the total market, with thermoelectric energy harvesting representing approximately 12%..."
CONSOLIDATION IN SUN
NRG Energy Acquires Solar Developer Solar Power Partners, an Industry Leader in the
Fast Emerging Area of Distributed Solar Generation
November 21, 2011 (NRG Energy)
"NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) has acquired…Solar Power Partners, a leading developer of commercial and industrial (C&I) distributed solar projects.
"In addition to 30 megawatts (MW) of distributed solar projects in operation or under construction, NRG also will secure development rights to Solar Power Partners’ extensive pipeline of development projects in California, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut, New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ontario and Puerto Rico. SPP sites include grocery stores, hospitals, universities, office buildings, municipal buildings, schools and airports…"
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"Solar Power Partners will become an integral part of NRG Solar, an NRG subsidiary. The company has completed almost 50 commercial solar facilities and brings a team with deep experience developing, financing and operating projects. Solar Power Partners also specializes in creating long-term partnerships with customers to tailor each solar system to meet specific needs…
"NRG is…[a] Fortune 500 company…[and] one of the largest solar power developers in the country…NRG Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NRG, has more than 2,000 MW of photovoltaic and solar thermal projects under development or in construction across the southwestern United States…"