Barclays’ downgrade of electric utility bonds shows solar’s strengths

Another major financial institution sees a difficult road ahead for electric utilities, as Barclays downgraded the high-grade bond market for the entire sector saying, “we believe that a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo.”Energy policy and finance expert Elias Hinckley … [Read more...]

$2 Billion SunZia Solar-Wind Project Gets Green Light From Defense Department

$2 Billion SunZia Solar-Wind Project Gets Green Light From White Sands (via Clean Technica)A proposed $2 billion, 500-mile proposed wind and solar power transmission line called SunZia has gotten stalled out over the White Sands missile range in New Mexico, but the Defense Department has come up with a solution: go under. The idea, according…  … [Read more...]

Cleantech and Venture Capital week in review

 SunFunder, a solar investment platform for both crowd and private investors to unlock capital for solar in emerging markets, has closed a Series A equity investment led by Khosla Impact and existing angel investors. The investment will allow SunFunder to grow in East Africa and India, expand into new regions, and increase fundraising capacity.SunFunder hopes to catalyze over $1 billion of … [Read more...]

EPA climate rules may spark bipartisan interest in tax reform

Comprehensive tax reform. There is that term again. Few issues on Capitol Hill routinely brought up as often as tax reform. “Is it finally time to tackle comprehensive tax reform”, DC talking heads ask? Well, it’s happening again. This time thankfully, policy watchers are looking ahead a few years to a time when maybe, just maybe, politicians could actually address the issue in a meaningful way … [Read more...]

Energy bill fails on the Hill, but efficiency industry could benefit from new climate proposals

Coal plant image courtesy of Wiki-commons

The Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill died a long, painful death last week. The bipartisan bill, which gave people hope that the first energy bill in seven years would finally pass a dysfunctional congress, fell prey to the looming specter of mid-term elections. The bill  had broad support from Democrats and Republicans. GOP leadership however, tried to force votes on energy-related … [Read more...]

China’s 2017 Solar Target Raised To 70,000 Megawatts

China’s 2017 Solar Target Raised To 70,000 Megawatts (via Solar Love)China just seems to be getting ever more ambitious with its renewable energy targets, as recent announcements have shown. Or is “ever more desperate” the more accurate way to put it? In a recent announcement, the Chinese government revealed that…  … [Read more...]

Cleantech and Venture Capital week in review

Energy Finance

Sunrun Inc., provider of rooftop systems, has raised $150 million in new equity funding. A “leading public institutional investor” led the round by contributing $100 million, with the remainder coming from new and existing investors. The company previously had raised over $150 million in VC funding from Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Madrone Capital Partners and Foundation Capital. The company … [Read more...]

How will utilities adapt to a rapidly changing industry? Hint: it begins with customer and ends with service

With all of the discussion of a ‘utility death spiral’ caused by a rapid adoption of new technologies, along with new plans set forth by state regulators, investor owned utility leaders must be asking themselves how they are going to maintain satisfactory shareholder value. The utility’s current business model must to cope with declining long-term sales. Not a good candidate for a model that … [Read more...]

U.S. Climate Assessment Report Warns of Energy Challenges – All of which We’re Ready to Meet

U.S. Climate Assessment Report Warns of Energy Challenges – All of which We’re Ready to Meet (via http://cleantechies.com)There’s been plenty of attention paid to the recent release of the Third National Climate Assessment report – and appropriately so. The lead paragraph of New York Times reporter Justin Gillis’ story put it rather bluntly: “The effects… … [Read more...]

NREL and Colorado start-up combine to deliver a new generation of smart windows

echromic-nrel-biden3

Smart windows have been slow to grab a foothold in the construction and energy efficiency industry. The recent development of electrochromic (EC) windows, often called “smart windows”, promise to make a big impact on building heating and cooling costs. They are ‘smart’ because they can be programmed to absorb and reflect a different amount of light throughout the day in order to cool or warm up a … [Read more...]