Tag Archives: utilities


NREL: CSP+Thermal Storage Adds Value for Utilities

A concentrating solar power installation with a six-hour storage capacity can add $35.80 per megawatt hour to the capacity and operational value of a utility, finds the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “We’ve known for a long time that CSP with storage adds significant value, however, we are now able to


Why Power Utilities Love Data Analytics + Smart Grid

While power utilities like to claim that they employ data analytics, they really don’t. Utilities tend to have last-gen business intelligence (BI) reporting solutions that they call “analytics,” but that typically amount to not much more than reporting tools or descriptive analytics (primarily based on older database architectures running SQL), as opposed to the real-time and predictive software using complex


Berkshire Big Tuna: Renewables A Better Investment Than Utilities

A few weeks ago I mentioned a report from an analyst at UBS who expressed some concerns about future utility stock valuations as more cost-effective renewables are predicted to come online in the years ahead. Apparently, he isn’t the only one who is optimistic about the economics of renewables while at the same time skeptical about the


Report: Global Markets and Technologies for PV Systems

I’m happy to announce the publication of my most recent report, Global Markets and Technologies for Photovoltaic Systems, by the research company BCC Research. You won’t be finding it in your local bookstore–the purchase price is $4,850, although you can get bite sized chunks at a much lower price. The report has actually been in the


A123 Systems: Going to Zero?

There was so much enthusiasm when high-performance battery manufacturer A123 Systems (NASDAQ:AONE) came on the scene. The promise of an advanced battery manufacturing facility pumping out batteries for next-generation electric cars while providing jobs for US workers was a bold one, and one that a lot of folks cheered. But certain realities rapidly turned that


Solar Junction Achieves 44% Solar Cell Efficiency

A California-based company has broken its own world record in solar cell efficiency. Solar Junction has achieved 44 percent at 949 suns, beating the Silicon Valley company’s record of 43.5 percent at 418 suns it set in April 2011. Both records were verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “Breaking our own world record


San Diego’s Smart Energy Community

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E) and Sudberry Properties have announced plans to incorporate breakthrough smart grid technology in the construction of Civita, the new master-planned development in Mission Valley, California. With a focus on sustainability and energy-efficiency, the “smart energy community“ will be home to vehicle charging stations, solar and fuel cell electricity,


In Focus: The Smart Grid

Just in the last two decades, we’ve seen our daily communications progress from landlines and pagers to smartphones.  Though the devices we use on a daily basis have been dramatically improving over the years, we’re charging our iPhones with century-old grid technology. The North American electric grid, otherwise known as the “largest machine in the


Mecca: Leading Saudia Arabia Solar Effort

The holy city of Mecca could be the first in Saudia Arabia to host a utility-scale solar power plant, as the sun-rich desert kingdom seeks to diversify its energy mix, reports Bloomberg. In early January 2013, the city will select from at least 20 bidders that want to build local power plants in Mecca to


Germany’s Renewable Energy Goal

At the end of last month the Economist published an article on Germany’s energy transition to renewables labeling it a “lunatic gamble”. This could not be further from the truth and in this blog we’ll explain why… The article claimed that German plans to switch to renewable energy are risky, and yet the transition roadmap


SPI 2012: Solar Industry Update

Reporting from Solar Power International (SPI) 2012, the solar industry’s annual conclave. Even before arriving in Orlando, Florida for the four-day trade show, educational conference, and networking extravaganza, GTM was seeing announcements indicating that solar manufacturers and developers are thinking about the potential strength in numbers. The most ambitious effort spotted so far is the


Solar EV Charging Canopy Installed at the San Diego Zoo

Smart City San Diego and the San Diego Zoo will install a solar PV canopy that will charge electric vehicles (EV) in the Zoo parking lot. The Solar-to-EV project began construction Sept. 4. One of the first of its kind in the region, the project will harness energy from the sun to directly charge plug-in


Envision Solar: Modularizing Their Solar Tree

Envision Solar has taken a bold step forward in modularizing its iconic Solar Tree design. The California company announced this week that it has developed a process for pre-casting and shipping the concrete columns that form the trunks of its Solar Tree. “In the past we always poured the columns in place,” said Envision CEO