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Author Topic: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth  (Read 7224 times)

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AGelbert

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The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« on: November 07, 2013, 04:12:37 pm »
Are you tired of pro Fossil Fuel or Nuke Puke Propaganda? ME TOO! Get the FACTS to shut down the lies, duplicity and obfuscation! Be Armed with IRON CLAD TRUTH the prevaricating liars CANNOT DENY. Save this, the most recent data available, provided by a network of more than 500 contributors and researchers from around the world, all of which is brought together by a multi-disciplinary authoring team. When the liars open their YAP,   Make FOOLS of them with the TRUTH  and send them crawling back to their Koch Masters. 
18 Fun Renewable Energy Charts From NREL Director Dan Arvizu & Ren21′s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report 

I had the good fortune of seeing NREL’s director, Dan Arvizu, give an optimistic renewable energy and cleantech presentation in Abu Dhabi in January. He certainly knows how to pack a presentation full of interesting charts. More recently, Dan gave a presentation in Colorado that I didn’t attend but have the slides for. (Actually, the slides are online [PDF].) Below are a few of my favorite slides from the new presentation, followed by several fun charts and tables from the key findings of Ren21’s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report. (Thanks to a reader for tipping me off to both presentations!)


Renewable Energy Charts & Facts
This first chart is on annual capacity growth rates for renewable energy technologies:




Here’s a look at the world leaders for specific clean energy technologies (at the end of 2012):



Naturally, the pure capacity leaders are not necessarily the per capita or per GDP leaders — normally they aren’t (a gripe I have with these types of ratings). For the latest on those for wind and solar, see:

Top Solar Power Countries (link at "Read more)
Top Wind Power Countries Per Capita  (link at "Read more)
Top Wind Power Countries Per GDP (link at "Read more)

The next chart, moving away from renewables to energy use on the consumer level, is a super fun one in my opinion. Ever wonder where homes & businesses are using their energy? This chart has the details:



There’s much more in Dan’s presentation, including many slides on NREL’s extremely high-tech, energy-efficient, LEED-platinum campus. Check it all out for more fun. (link at "Read more)


Below are now charts from Ren21’s Renewables 2013 Global Status Report. As always, I recommend checking out the full report. However, I’ve also gone ahead and pulled out several of my favorite charts to share below. Enjoy! (If you’ve already checked out Dan Arvizu’s presentation, you’ll notice that some of the charts from the Ren21 report were used in that.)


Global Renewable Energy Charts & Facts

Here’s an estimate of renewable energy’s share of electricity production at the end of 2012:



Non-hydro renewable being at 5.2% can be seen in a positive or a negative way. It’s much higher than it was just a few years ago, but it’s still a relatively small percentage. However you look at it, though, definitely realize that it is growing fast and will for years to come. We’re just getting started!
Here’s an even closer look at global renewable energy capacity, showing the totals by country at the end of the past 3 years:




Here’s a look at the world’s non-hydro renewable energy capacity leaders (again, in terms of total not relative capacity):



Here’s a great summary of global renewable energy jobs totals, and totals for some leading economies:





Here’s a look at how many and which countries have renewable energy policies (early 2013 compared to 2005):




 Solar Energy Charts & Facts

Getting into solar energy specifics more, here’s a look at global solar PV capacity growth:


That’s a nice curve if I’ve ever seen one!

Here’s a look at solar PV’s global capacity split at the end of 2012:



Here’s a look at the top solar PV module manufacturers at the end of 2012:



Here’s a look at the growth of solar water heating around the world:



Here are the leading solar water heating countries in terms of 2011 additions:



Wow. Go, China! 

And this last solar chart shows global solar thermal capacity growth:



Wowza!   And expect 2013′s total to be much bigger.  :o




Wind Power Charts & Facts


Wind power has grown at a similarly impressive rate. Check out these three charts for more on that as well as on the leading wind power countries and companies:








If you might want more, check out this brief summary of the Renewables 2013 Global Status Report and then get your butt over to the report’s key findings(link at "Read more") (or just jump straight over to the full report)(link at "Read more"):

Renewable energy markets, industries, and policy frameworks have evolved rapidly in recent years. The Renewables Global Status Report provides a comprehensive and timely overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment, and policy developments worldwide. It relies on the most recent data available, provided by a network of more than 500 contributors and researchers from around the world, all of which is brought together by a multi-disciplinary authoring team. The report covers recent developments, current status, and key trends; by design, it does not provide analysis or forecasts.[/b]

Also see:
About Solar Power (link at "Read more")
About Wind Power (link at "Read more")
World Wind Power In 2012 Advances Nearly 20% (link at "Read more")

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/07/renewable-energy-charts-renewable-energy-facts/#qV3O2UoIJW5lIGmO.99

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AGelbert

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South Africa: Where Clean Energy is Growing the Fastest




SustainableBusiness.com News

South Africa has concluded the third of five bidding rounds in its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).

17 renewable energy projects, valued at $3.3 billion, received the go-ahead out of 93 bids. In total, 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects are approved: seven wind, six solar PV, two concentrating solar, one landfill gas and one biomass.

China Longyuan Power Group will develop 244 megawatts (MW) across two wind farms.  :o

Close behind it is a 100 MW solar concentrating plant to be built by Abengoa, which recently went public on Nasdaq (ABGB). Xina Solar One will have 5-hour energy storage and combined with its 100 MW KaXu Solar One, which is under construction, will be the biggest solar complex in Africa.

It makes use of parabolic trough technology:



A consortium led by Mainstream Renewable Power will build three wind projects totaling 360 MW, and will come online next year. That's in addition to 238 MW awarded in the first round of bids.

With a development pipeline of 19 GW, Mainstream recently closed a €100 million equity investment with Japanese Trading House Marubeni Corporation.

US-based SolarReserve won a bid in the previous round.

The consortium behind these projects now hold a 20% share in South Africa's solar market.

Earlier this year, Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China agreed to jointly finance projects that win bids in the program.

The program is intended to quickly boost renewable energy in the country while weaning it off coal, which supplies 85% of its electricity. 3.7 GW of renewables will be added by the end of 2016 after the five bidding rounds are completed.

Last year, investors poured $5.7 billion into South Africa renewable energy projects, which have 20 year power-purchase agreements with the utility, Eskom, reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Because of this program, South Africa is showing the most rapid clean energy growth in the world.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25342?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SBGeneralNews+%28SustainableBusiness.com+General+News%29
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AGelbert

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It Doesn't Have To Be So Hard: Making Renewable Energy Siting Easier

America's Power Plan
November 12, 2013

There is a deep irony at work in the intersection of energy and the environment. The biggest threat to our planet is climate change, caused in large part by our profligate use of energy. And one of the biggest solutions is to de-carbonize our electricity system by building renewable energy projects, linked to cities and large urban centers with new transmission lines.

These renewable energy systems can require large amounts of land. But with careful planning, we can preserve conservation values while significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

A second challenge is that most renewable energy and transmission development will take place on private lands, especially farms and ranches. While farmers and ranchers are eager to see the economic benefits of hosting wind farms and supplying biomass for energy, the track record with transmission development in America gives many of them pause. But again, new policies and practices can help make new infrastructure welcome in the American countryside.

At the request of the Energy Foundation, we have developed some ideas for improved siting policies and practices, as part of America’s Power Plan. The Plan is a comprehensive response to the rapid changes in the power sector coming from new technologies, consumer demand, and policy. Siting new renewables and the associated infrastructure will be a key part of that transition.

How much land will be needed to move to a high-renewables future? The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) calculates that getting 80 percent of our power from renewables would use about 200,000 square kilometers, less than 3 percent of the U.S. land base.

Most of this would come from biomass production, such as growing prairie grasses and other fast growing species specifically for energy production. Wind power, though it needs open spaces, only takes a small amount of land away from farming and ranching. In one scenario, NREL estimates wind would need 87,000 square kilometers of space, but only use up 4,200 square kilometers.    

In a core scenario, NREL estimated the need for about 120 million “megawatt-miles” of new transmission, an investment of $6.5 billion per year between now and 2050 to reach 80 percent renewables. While this seems like a lot of lines—our current system has 150-200 million megawatt-miles—most of this would be built in the sparsely-populated wind belt (see the accompanying map). NREL also created a “constrained transmission” scenario, which limited new grid construction and forced more renewable generation closer to load. That scenario required only 25 million megawatt-miles additional, but had higher overall costs and more congestion. With thoughtful and integrated planning, we believe we can maximize the use of current lines and minimize the need for new.



Source: NREL, Renewable Electricity Futures.

While the Beltway conventional wisdom is that building transmission lines is “simply not feasible,” lines are in fact being built. Transmission investment is rising from a mid-1990s trough, with much new development intentionally benefiting renewables. In fact, new lines are starting to fill in the NREL map already. The three power systems stretching from Texas to Minnesota, called ERCOT, the Southwest Power Pool and MISO, have approved $20 billion of new lines to bring wind power to market.

Rural communities, landowners, and policymakers in these areas are willing to live with transmission partly because they see the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy, and understand the need for infrastructure. As the saying goes, “If you love renewables, you’ve got to at least like transmission.”

It is also helps that developers are becoming more sensitive to the concerns of communities and regulators. One developer, Clean Line Energy Partners, has had 600 public meetings in the process of siting a line from Iowa to Illinois.

And the federal government has become proactive in addressing siting issues on public lands early and openly, through programs launched by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The Bureau of Land Management has set aside 1,000 square miles of land in 24 solar-energy study areas and is evaluating them for appropriate development. These areas have the technical potential to generate nearly 100,000 megawatts of electricity or enough to power 29 million homes. Interior is working to encourage development of all renewables, especially offshore wind on the East Coast.


As part of America’s Power Plan, we have developed a set of recommendations for smart reforms of policies and business practices. With the right changes, we can see continued success in siting new generation and transmission.

First, of course, we must maximize the efficiency and use of the existing grid. “Non-wires” alternatives like targeted efficiency improvements, demand response, and distributed generation can help us wring more out of our existing transmission system.
But the current grid was built for fossil and nuclear generators. A system for renewables will need to increase access to new regions, like the Midwestern wind belt and the sunny Southwest. It will also need to be more interconnected, to minimize the impacts of variable generation, like wind and solar.

A package of reforms and best practices can reduce conflict and streamline the process of siting new projects, making it faster, cheaper, and less controversial.

New approaches include engaging stakeholders early, accelerating innovative policy and business models, and employing “smart from the start” strategies to avoid the risk of environmental and cultural-resource conflicts. Institutional reforms may be the most critical, such as greater coordination among regulatory bodies and improved grid planning and operations. Developers and regulators should work with landowners to develop new options for private lands, including innovative compensation measures.

A number of these improvements are being deployed already, such as in the Western Governors’ Association Regional Transmission Expansion Planning Project and the Interior Department’s pro-active work to site America’s first offshore wind farm.

Modernizing the grid and transitioning to clean power sources need not cause harm to landowners, cultural sites or wildlife. On the contrary, taking action today will provide long lasting benefits.

By Carl Zichella, Johnathan Hladik and Bentham Paulos

Zichella and Hladik are speaking at the Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida on November 13 in session 19B - "Seizing Opportunities in Wind Development and Planning."

Carl Zichella is Director of the Western Transmission, Land & Wildlife Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Johnathan Hladik is an attorney and energy policy advocate for the Center for Rural Affairs. Bentham Paulos is the manager of America’s Power Plan.


http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2013/11/it-doesnt-have-to-be-so-hard-making-renewable-energy-siting-easier#comment-127783

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Hi everybody. My first posting, found this article moments ago by one of my favorites Chris Nelder. Hope you find it of interest.
Agelbert I had a problem deciding if this belonged here or general discussion. Feel free to move it if it is in the wrong spot. Still feeling my way around your very well thought out site.

Financial Innovation is the Next Big Thing in Clean Energy and Efficiency

                                 

A new wave of innovation is sweeping the energy transition sector, promising to accelerate deployment and cut the costs of energy-efficiency measures, as well as wind and solar generation.

It isn’t a technological improvement, like cutting hardware and labor costs. It isn’t a policy mechanism like feed-in tariffs. It isn’t even a new business model, like selling storage services.

It’s financial innovation.

If the very words make you clutch your wallet and roll your eyes, I understand. After all, it was the innovation of mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations that opened the door to an unprecedented level of financial recklessness and nearly brought down the global economy five years ago.

However, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the market gods: This time it’s different.
The problem: The capital gap

Financial innovation in the cleantech sector is needed for a simple reason: Wind and solar systems (even large, utility-scale ones) and energy-efficiency upgrades are hard to finance. They typically require a homeowner or business owner or renewable project developer to come up with a significant chunk of capital up front, then receive the benefits of the investment over a long time horizon — typically, 20 years or more. They’re all a little different, making it hard to evaluate risk. Even if an investment offers an excellent return over time, coming up with the initial capital can be too high a hurdle. And when a developer manages to raise the money to build a project, it usually needs to sell the project to a long-term investor so it can free up its capital to build the next solar park or wind farm.

The natural long-term holders of assets like these are pension funds, infrastructure funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance funds, and the like. They are accustomed to investing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars at once and then receiving modest, single-digit returns over a period of decades. This is the so-called fixed-income market, where the investments are usually come in the form of very low-risk assets like Treasury bills, equity positions in historically stable sectors like utilities, or long-term, high-grade corporate debt.

The problem in the cleantech sector has been matching assets to their natural investors.

Over the past year, I’ve heard the same story over and over again. Globally, fixed-income investment entities have trillions of dollars of available capital that they would love to put into renewable energy and efficiency projects. Enough to build a huge chunk of the new infrastructure needed to transition the world from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But the available projects are too small. Whether the investment is $50,000 or $500 million, it still requires about the same level of due diligence effort to evaluate: many billable hours paid to high-priced lawyers, accountants, researchers, and fund managers. That cost can be a killer if the investment is less than (roughly) $5 million dollars; there just isn’t enough margin to justify it.

So the trick has been to find a way to “de-risk” (do the due diligence) and bundle cleantech and energy-efficiency investments, in order to be able to offer a suitably large investment to the fixed income market at an acceptably low transaction cost.

Enter financial innovation.
Solution 1: Standardization

Several recent initiatives are tackling the first part of the problem by finding ways to standardize investments.

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just this week released a set of standardized contracts for solar projects. The contracts, which include lease agreements for residential solar systems offered by third-party solar leasing companies and commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs) for larger systems, were developed by a working group NREL convened in the spring called Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC).

Comprising some 20 to 25 companies in the sector — including project developers, law firms, and analytical entities — SAPC analyzed many existing contracts for solar projects and figured out which parts could be standardized and which parts needed to be customizable.

I asked NREL Energy Analyst Paul Schwabe, who headed the contract standardization project, why new contracts are needed. “We see a number of benefits for those leases and PPAs,” he says. “One, lowering transaction costs for entities who don’t already have those documents available; they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Two, improving customer transparency, particularly on the residential side. By using a standard contract, the consumer can more easily compare multiple projects and know that the contract has been analyzed by a number of industry stakeholders. And three, we think it can help facilitate the pooling of cash flows into a common investment that can access capital markets.”

The working group hopes standardized contracts will reduce the cost of capital for project developers, and make it easier for customers and investors to evaluate investments. So far, the prospects are good.

“We’ve gotten buy-in from a large majority of the residential installer community, and we’ve made good inroads in the commercial industry as well,” Schwabe says. “We’ve confirmed that a large percentage of the market will use them.” The working group now has more than 125 members, he estimates, and that number is growing rapidly.

Ultimately, the standardization of contracts will make it easier to assess the expected cash flows from solar projects, and thus make it easier for investors to feel assured that projects will perform as advertised.
Solution 2: Data and metrics

The contract standardization effort is part of a broader NREL initiative to organize the industry and establish collaboration between stakeholders. NREL is also collecting data for solar performance, which will help standardize an understanding of how well various pieces of solar gear perform.

Another industry working group called TruSolar is working on a complementary set of metrics and tools to standardize solar project financing, including rating photovoltaic (PV) projects for performance and establishing credit screening criteria. TruSolar is part of SAPC. It has partnered with NREL to publicize their respective efforts and highlight the synergy between them, Schwabe says.

By collecting historical data on actual system performance and establishing standard credit criteria, the two groups will solve another part of the problem: the lack of a trusted track record.

Whereas the performance of mortgages has a well-analyzed record that stretches back over more than a century, the data trail for solar projects is only a few decades long, and only the last decade of that trail is really representative of how well modern equipment performs.

These investments in collecting data and establishing metrics will make it easier to de-risk solar projects and assign them a credit rating major investors can accept without having to do so much of their own due diligence. This will ultimately reduce the cost of capital and increase the velocity of deal-making.

Schwabe was not at liberty to say whether or not any of the major credit rating agencies are involved in SAPC, but did say that a key conclusion from an earlier NREL paper that led to its formation was that “standardization was needed for securitization and those stakeholders felt it was necessary.”
Solution 3: Securitization

Securitization is the process by which a pool of assets is bundled, graded, sliced and diced, and sold into capital markets. It’s the same process that brought the world the dreaded mortgage-backed securities. But the underlying assets in cleantech are quite different, and far less risky.

Securities in the cleantech sector rely on cash flows generated by stable things: solar equipment sits in the sun, insulation sits in buildings, and wind turbines stand and spin. As long as the gear has been properly evaluated and graded — which is part of what SAPC and TruSolar are doing — and properly maintained, then the only real risk to continued production of cash flow is weather. Fortunately, on an annual basis, insolation (the amount of light falling on a given location), wind, and temperature are quite predictable and have very long historical data records. Averaged over a period of decades, they will not deviate enough from historical averages to constitute a significant financial risk. So the actual risk of non-performance in solar- or wind- or efficiency-backed securities is far lower than the risk of a homeowner who got a “liar’s loan,” lost his job, and then couldn’t pay his mortgage.

Several new approaches to securitization in cleantech are now coming into existence.

NREL, as part of its suite of initiatives, is developing a “mock portfolio” comprising a pool of solar park assets, both commercial and residential, and testing how it might perform as a securitized investment.

SolarCity, one of the largest third-party solar leasing companies, announced this week that it will begin offering $54 million worth of “Solar Asset Backed Notes” to qualified investors. The securities, which will be secured by a pool of the company’s solar systems, leases and PPAs, will pay investors out of the cash flow those assets generate, and free up the company’s capital to invest in new projects.

Jigar Shah, the founder of SunEdison, pioneered the third-party solar leasing model companies like SolarCity and Sunrun have followed. I asked him for his take on securitization.

“The financial innovation that we’re doing now is just an extension of what we started in 2003,” he says. “We popularized it at SunEdison. Securitization is the next step. The first step was to make solar an asset class acceptable to insurance and pension funds. We got Wells Fargo, MetLife, and a few others to give SunEdison $2.3 billion in commercial paper, and something on the order of $1 billion in residential paper. Now we have the right to pursue securitization. But it only happens because the banks believe there’s a multi-billion-dollar market. Until then, the ratings agencies like S&P are not able to participate.”

Although SolarCity’s $54 million offering is tiny in the world of commercial securities, Shah sees it as significant because the company has obtained, for the first time, an investment-grade rating for commercial solar securities. Within five years, he expects the sector to be well into the billions of dollars.

In a detailed Oct. 21 essay about solar securitization for Power Intelligence, energy finance attorneys Elias Hinckley and David John Frenkil wrote that solar asset-backed securities “will enable the solar industry to access a much larger and more diverse investor base, which will eventually help to reduce the long-term cost of capital to a likely range of 3 percent to 7 percent, compared with the 8 percent to 20 percent rate required by some project finance equity and tax equity investors in the current market.”

Securitization is also coming to the building efficiency sector. Massachusetts-based insurance company Energi Insurance Services has extended its risk evaluation services for renewables to the energy-efficiency sector, including energy-savings warranties, electricity-generation performance warranties and equipment warranties. It also backstops performance guarantees offered by energy-efficiency contractors through product underwritten by the International Insurance Company of Hannover. Last month, Energi started working with NREL to analyze and quantify risk for small building energy-efficiency retrofits, giving lenders a tool they can use to rate energy-efficiency loans. Ultimately, the methodology could give rise to efficiency-backed securities, which will deliver cash flows to investors much as securitized solar projects do.
Solution 4: Crowdfunding

Oakland, Calif.-based Mosaic also offers solar asset-backed securities. Instead of being based on a pool of assets, they are issued for specific solar projects. Each note issued by the company corresponds to a certain solar installation, and the payment on those notes derives directly from the cash flow generated by the loan obligation attached to that installation.

After less than a year in business, Mosaic has more than 2,500 investors from nearly every state, who have invested as little as $25 for shares in 19 solar projects with a combined $5.7 million in asset value. Investors typically receive 4 percent to 7 percent returns annually, depending on the project. The company boasts 100 percent on-time payments with zero defaults thus far.

Speaking at the VERGE San Francisco conference last month, Mosaic CEO Billy Parish said interest is brisk in his company’s offerings. Investors are disillusioned with conventional financial markets, he says, and increasingly feel that the stock market is rigged against them. With tens of millions of dollars worth of new solar projects in the Mosaic pipeline, he is confident investors will continue to find the low risk and modest return of the notes attractive. “The transition from fossil fuels to renewables is the biggest opportunity for wealth generation this century,” he declares.

Another Mosaic innovation could open up a torrent of new capital: a security that will be eligible for purchase through IRA accounts. There is $17 trillion sitting in IRAs in the United States alone, according to Parish.

A related recent development in financial innovation will give more investors access to the cleantech sector. The JOBS Act, which President Obama signed into law in April, created a new playing field for crowdfunding that makes it easier for individuals who don’t qualify as high net worth “accredited investors” to invest small amounts in small businesses and startups which, in turn, weren’t qualified to offer public securities.

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission finally proposed rules defining the new terms. Investors with less than $100,000 in annual income and net worth will be able to invest up to $2,000 a year, or 5 percent of annual income or net worth, whichever is greater. Those criteria are considerably looser than the ones Mosaic has operated under thus far, so it will open a much larger pool of potential investors in renewable-energy- and efficiency-backed securities.

“We’re glad to see financial innovation occurring in the renewable energy sector, including through use of securitized investments,” Parish told me.

And that’s not all. A multi-billion-dollar market in global finance for renewable energy and efficiency is now giving very large investors, like sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, easy access to these new securities. Stay tuned to this space for more on that exciting new sector.

Photo: William Kamkwamba’s old windmill, Malawi (whiteafrican/Flickr)

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Getreallist/~3/7PW50B7a12U/financial-innovation-is-the-next-big-thing-in-clean-energy-and-efficiency.html

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 08:00:14 pm »
Thanks GO. I agree financing is definitely part of the big picture for renewables.

Mosaic is doing a great job but now that California has made a pact with B.C., Canada and some other Northwest States to price carbon, the renewable energy projects, most of which have large depreciation time horizons which do justify long term financing, as your article pointed out, will hopefully get easier financing for the large up front costs.

There are some states that are quite friendly to sustainable business ventures in renewable energy. Here's a snippet of a document written for the hypothetical venture capital investor with x amount of money for y type of renewable energy investment.


Article from July 2013: “The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US”:

SNIPPET:

Vermont won recognition in 2011 for its groundbreaking streamlined solar permitting rules, emphasizing residential and small solar installations, which it expanded in 2012. (The state’s solar “registration” process, rather than “permitting,” is described in an interview with AllEarth Renewables’ David Blittersdorf.)

Interestingly, Vermont is also at the forefront of the net metering debate. A report earlier this year found that solar net metering is a net-positive for the state, even with a state incentive factored in, and not including any tangential economic multipliers. Similar reports, and conclusions, have been published for California, New York, and Texas.

Unlike the other top 12 states, Vermont does not have a formal RPS policy; rather it has “goals” of 20 percent of electricity retail sales from renewable energy and combined heat/power by 2017 as part of a Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) program. Beyond that, the state has targets for each providers’ annual electricity of 55 percent of retail sales in 2017, increasing 4 percent a year until reaching 75 percent by 2032.

Rank ‘Em: The Most Solar-Friendly States in the US
 


Vermont Has excellent Solar investment incentives.
 

Quantifying State-Policy Incentives for the Renewable Energy Investor
 Sreenivas
http://web.ornl.gov/sci/electricdelivery/pdfs/VERDE_IEEE_ECCE_Policy_Paper__Version_4.pdf

Quantifying State-Policy Incentives for the Renewable Energy Investor
 Sreenivas
http://web.ornl.gov/sci/electricdelivery/pdfs/VERDE_IEEE_ECCE_Policy_Paper__Version_4.pdf




I wish the Federal Reserve would jump in and assign the SAME level of interest rates for Renewable Energy add-ons to homes and businesses as for housing construction and re-finance. That would be ROCKET FUEL for getting people quickly off of fossil fuel heat and electricity in their homes. The job spurt alone would be enough to goose our economy if the Wall Street crooks would stop trying to get a war going someplace and instead get some renewable energy cheap financing going here.

Renewable energy is the quintessential  wise investment because of the excellent EROEI. I read recently that Solartech or SolarCity (not sure which) is securitizing chunks of PV power purchase agreements (PPA).These are basically 25 to 30 year bonds that facilitate financing so I am certain some money people are getting on the band wagon. If you could find out who they are and report on it, I would be grateful.   

By the way, I'm making up for lack of certain emoticon buttons by putting images in the gallery of emoticons you can link to. You may have to size them but once you've got the right width and height, it's a cinch.

The above green smiley is set like this (without the brackets so you see the script):
 img width=30 height=40]http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-141113185047.png[/img
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AGelbert

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The Next Big Innovation in Renewable Energy Won't Be Technological
It will be financial.

Todd WoodyNov 11 2013, 3:30 PM ET

Silicon Valley solar company SolarCity last week quietly did something that could revolutionize renewable energy in the United States. No, the company did not invent a radically more efficient or cheaper photovoltaic panel. Rather, it announced it plans to sell $54 million in asset-backed securities. :o

And that is a very big deal, even if the dollar amount of the notes on offer is rather small. That’s because the assets backing the securities are leases for some of the rooftop solar systems it has installed on homes across the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars in solar leases have been signed in the U.S. in recent years.

If those leases can be bundled and sold to pension funds and other investors, “solar securitization” could open up a potentially huge new pool of capital that could be tapped to finance the expansion of renewable energy as federal and state tax breaks for renewable energy begin to expire.

For homeowners and businesses, solar securitization could translate into cheaper electricity. A SolarCity spokesman declined to comment on the securities offering. ;)

Much of the innovation responsible for the solar industry’s explosive growth has been financial rather than technological. Half the U.S.’s solar capacity, for instance, was installed just in 2012. Driving those sales was the ability of homeowners to avoid the five-figure cost of a photovoltaic system by leasing it for a monthly payment that often is lower than what they’d pay their local utility. Anywhere between 75 and 90 percent of all solar systems are now leased as a result.

That’s a lot of demand sitting around waiting to be monetized. After all, Wall Street for years has packaged leases for planes, trains and automobiles and sold them to investors. The risk is considered manageable as rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s evaluate the credit-worthiness of such investments can rely on decades of data on the value of those rolling assets as well as the credit scores of people who sign the leases.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are a relatively new technology and have only become a mass market over the past few years. Then there’s the specter of the subprime mortgage debacle that crashed the global economy when the value of both the homes securing mortgage-backed securities and the credit-worthiness of the homeowners proved an illusion.

The risks of subprime solar is probably low. Solar installers like SolarCity, Sungevity, and SunRun only sign leases with customers with high credit scores. And most homeowners are likely to continue paying their electricity bill even if they can’t make their car payment.

The big unknown, however, is the long-term performance of solar panels.  Manufacturers typically offer 20-year or more warranties. But as I wrote earlier this year in The New York Times, the extreme financial pressures faced by Chinese solar industry, which supplies most of the world’s photovoltaic panels, has led to cost-cutting and growing incidents of defective solar modules.  ::) Whether that is a short-term blip or indicative of a more long-term problem won’t be known for years. (SolarCity chief executive Lyndon Rive, however, told me his company has not experienced any issues with its Chinese-made panels.)

Agelbert NOTE: OF COURSE they haven't experienced any "issues" with Chinese-made panels BECAUSE the hit piece in the New York Times was overblown THEN and has proven to lack substance. I can provide links to anyone interested in seeing that there was NEVER an actual quality control problem above a tiny (less than 3%!) of production and that was ONLY for a few months. The article was a scare tactic, not a balanced piece of industrial quality control problem news.

That makes Big Data companies like kWh Analytics crucial for the success of solar securitization. The Oakland, California, startup analyzes the real-time performance of some 10,000 solar systems—including 3 million photovoltaic modules—to help investors evaluate the risk of putting money into solar assets.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded kWh $450,000. Richard Matsui, kWh’s chief executive, told The Atlantic that his company will use that money to build out a comprehensive database similar to one assembled to analyze home mortgages by a company called CoreLogic.

“Today's solar investors are flying blind, accepting unknown risks   in exchange for the promise of financial returns,” Matsui said in a statement. “Understanding risk is essential to making investments, but is difficult without aggregated data on panel quality, inverter reliability, and customer default rates.”



http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/11/the-next-big-innovation-in-renewable-energy-wont-be-technological/281345/

Agelbert NOTE: Matsui is obviously talking his book so he can milk the "pricing renewable energy" cash cow to hilt!  >:( I think the risks are overblown. Here's why. PV is NOT a new technology; it has been tested to beat the band. We have had PV in outer space for over 40 years! Yes the efficency has improved but the durability, unlike what this article is sweating, is an establishe MTBF (mean time between/before failure) born of no nonsense testing. They will probably last longer than 25 years. Planes, trains and automobile securitized leases are FAR more risky and yet Wall Street securitizes these rapidly depreciating assets that are simply not in the same league as PV (or wind turbines, for that matter).

Renewable energy, from wind turbines to PV to geothermal to hydropower has been MUCH MORE scrutinized than dirty energy fossil fuel power plants or nuclear power plants ever were in regard to cost-benefit. So these jitters are simply NOT justified.

The securitization gate has been opened. Unlike the CRAP securitization for mortgages SCAM, this is the real thing and, if priced correctly, should be quite popular. With this financial boost the Renewable Energy "Genie" is out of the bottle! Enjoy the death of fossil and nuclear fuels!


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Golden Oxen

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 09:25:32 am »
Imagine where we would be today if our government had spent the resources on getting us out of our Global Warming Fossil Fuel burning emergency as it did bailing out the banksters from their evil ways.   :-[

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 05:52:54 pm »
Yep. It would be a different, and much healthier world. I hope it's not too late.
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 07:06:13 pm »
Quote
Imagine where we would be today if our government had spent the resources on getting us out of our Global Warming Fossil Fuel burning emergency as it did bailing out the banksters from their evil ways.   


That was this generation's Apollo program, gents. And the money went right into the bankster's pockets.

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2013, 12:27:13 am »
On July 12, 2012 I posted this video arguing that the assumption that GDP GROWTH needs to TRACK energy use growth is a misconception. Zero Hedge pundits, TAE Nicole Foss, Professor Charles Hall (darling of The Oil Drum), several diners and other energy experts out there have made the same FALSE  claim over and over. I posted this video on page six of the Waste Based society thread on the Doomstead Diner Forum. Go back and read what diners had to say, Find out how WRONG they were on subsequent page comments.

In the last year and a half, everything I claimed about energy and the cost effectiveness and GREATER EROEI of renewable energy over dirty energy has been proven right. Have a nice day.  ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J-ijPcv1VM&feature=player_embedded

Experimental Phycisist Amory Lovins is still at the Rocky Mountain Institute and still doing outstanding work.

Here's one of his recent videos. It FURTHER reinforces THE FACT THAT GDP growth does not have to track energy use!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XlEwyAmzBQ&feature=player_embedded


A world-renowned energy expert, Amory Lovins, visits the forefront of Japan's energy shift to propose ways for its energy future. Lovins has been studying and visiting Japan since 1960s as he embarked on his profession. Lovins' message: Japan can lead the world in energy shift, if Japan realizes its potential for more energy efficiency and utilize its abundant renewable energy.

Renewable Revolution
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Important: Efficiency Standards for Motors Proposed
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 08:08:58 pm »
11/26/2013 11:09 AM          

Boring But Important: Efficiency Standards for Motors Proposed

SustainableBusiness.com News

It may not be exciting to read about a new energy efficiency standard, but setting ever-more stringent requirements for appliances and equipment is one of the most powerful tools for cutting energy use in the US.

This is especially true when it comes to motors - which consume about 50% of all industrial electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing long-overdue efficiency standards for electric motors, which operate everything from fans and pumps used for irrigation and wastewater treatment plants to elevators and conveyor belts.

Over 30 years, these standards are expected to save 1 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity - enough to power almost every US home for a year, along with savings to businesses of $23.3 billion. In terms of carbon emissions, the savings equal taking 82 million cars off the road.





"The wide use of motors across many industries results in a substantial impact on the demand placed on power grids," says EIA, which projects that this increased efficiency will offset that of industrial output, resulting in relatively flat levels of electricity consumption by machine drives.

And the impact will be felt across the world, where US standards are influencing overseas manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their motors, too.

"Rather than trying to set slightly higher standards for electric motors already covered by two rounds of previous U.S. standards, we recommended that DOE expand the scope of coverage to many motor types not previously regulated," says American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

This approach made sense to both manufacturers and environmental groups, all of which were involved in developing the new standards. Manufacturers like the fact that they can apply the proven designs they developed for existing regulated motors to more kinds of motors.

Efficiency standards for motors now apply to almost all kinds of motors - from 1-500 horsepower.
When Secretary Moniz took over DOE this year he promised to make efficiency more of a priority. Since then he's been moving on a series of efficiency standards that have long been delayed, such as commercial refrigeration equipment, furnace fans and metal halide light fixtures.

Last year, the US used less energy than in 1999 and that's with an economy that's grown more than 25% since then.

In fact, efficiency has contributed more to meeting US energy demand than all other resources combined over the past 40 years - more than coal, oil, or nuclear, concludes a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).


http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25366?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SBGeneralNews+%28SustainableBusiness.com+General+News%29
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 05:54:59 pm »
Quote
“The misperception that China is not acting should no longer be seen as a reason for inaction by the U.S. or any other country,” Joffe said. “This misperception is fed in part by looking only at the environmental problems China is facing, while ignoring positive developments. China faces very significant environmental challenges, but it is also taking important steps to address climate change.”

http://realitydrop.org/#articles/96968
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 03:25:14 pm »
When Lockheed Martin Goes Green , It’s Game Over For Fossil Fuels
 


When a major defense contractor like Lockheed Martin lays down some heavy stakes in the green energy field, you know it’s only a matter of time before fossil fuels lose their headlock on the global energy market.  Lockheed recently teamed up with the green energy innovator Concord Blue Energy to take that company’s waste-to-energy technology global, and here’s where it gets really interesting: Concord Blue has just announced a new agreement to integrate its technology with the firm LanzaTech, which specializes in capturing carbon-loaded waste gas from industrial operations and converting it to high-value products.
;D

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/05/lockheed-martin-goes-green-game-fossil-fuels/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29



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US Government Recommits to Renewable Energy Ramp-up
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 04:08:39 pm »
US Government Recommits to Renewable Energy Ramp-up


James Montgomery, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com 

December 05, 2013 

New Hampshire, USA -- Today the Obama administration issued an executive order re-establishing one of the proclamations from the climate change plans it issued this summer: significantly boosting the U.S. federal government's support of renewable energy to supply 20 percent of its energy consumption by 2020.



The U.S. federal government's broad climate-change initiatives issued earlier this summer gained a lot of notice for their emphasis on standards for carbon pollution reductions and energy efficiency. They also pressed the Department of Interior (DOI) to expand permitting of renewable energy projects on federal lands. Now the Obama administration is revisiting and reiterating another part of that broad climate plan: expanding the federal government's electricity consumption from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2020, nearly triple the current 7.5 percent. (It adds the window of uncertainty, though, that such a target must be "economically feasible and technically practicable.")

The order maintains the definitions of "renewable energy" as those laid out in Executive Order 13514 circa 2009: solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, and new hydroelectric generation capacity from existing projects (increasing their efficiency or adding more capacity).

This 20/2020 renewables mandate prioritizes on-site production or procurement, retaining renewable energy certificates (REC); followed by purchasing the electricity and RECs, and then just purchasing the RECs alone. For on-site projects the government urges a focus on brownfield sites including contaminated lands, landfills, and mines. There's also a plan to add Green Button pilots on federal facilities, coordinating efforts among the DOE, FEMP, and EPA, which will update the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to include building energy usage data using Green Button.

Here's the official roadmap being laid out for federal renewable energy consumption:
•Fiscal 2015: Not less than 10 percent
•Fiscal 2016-17: Not less than 15 percent
•Fiscal 2018-19: Not less than 17.5 percent
•Fiscal 2020: Not less than 20 percent


Note the U.S. military arms already are under a legal mandate to reach 25 percent renewable energy consumption by 2025, which will amount to 1 GW of new installed capacity each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

What's missing, of course, is any direction or definition on how agencies and federal facilities should build or obtain all this new capacity, what is the overall mix among renewable sources, how much money this effort will save, or how it will be paid for.

Nevertheless, "this is a landmark moment in our nation's history," proclaimed Rhone Resch, president/CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The solar industry is already doing its part, with more than 10 GW of installed capacity and representing nearly all the nation's new electricity generation. He also urged the administration to set up a more modernized procurement process that lets agencies adopt long-term power purchase agreements (PPA).

Back in June the Union of Concerned Scientists' Mike Jacobs suggested those 20/2020 goals shouldn't be too difficult given that many states are already approaching or even exceed that number.

We'll keep updating this story as more details and analysis becomes available.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/12/us-government-recommits-to-renewable-energy-ramp-up?cmpid=rss
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