The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Editor's Letter: Facing Challenges

The renewable energy industry dodged a bullet in 2009 and 2010 when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, along with the Section 1603 Treasury Grant program, kept projects alive despite the economic recession.

Still more challenges lie ahead: the federal stimulus programs are ending and the economic recovery — along with demand growth — remains paltry at best. On Capitol Hill, talk has shifted from stimulating the economy to cutting deficits. The prospects for long-term, low-cost natural gas supplies don't help the renewable industry, either. Renewable energy should prepare for some setbacks in the coming months.

Encouraging signs still can be found. Last month, Minnesota Power said it would speed up development of a 105-MW wind product in North Dakota at the urging of its regulatory commission, which had its eye on expiring federal incentives. In California, Google and Citibank are investing millions of dollars in hundreds of megawatts of wind capacity destined for sale to Southern California Edison.

And, as our cover feature points out, activity remains promising with concentrating solar power projects.

Then there are the renewable portfolio standards in place in around two-thirds of U.S. states. These standards, perhaps more than any other single factor, are driving investment and construction. But if project economics don't pencil out — and here is where the federal incentives are critical — electric power from new renewable projects often can be uncompetitive.

In what must be a realization that time for the stimulus money is running out, the Department of Energy put on hold its loan guarantee for the 468-MW Cape Wind offshore wind project in Massachusetts to focus resources on projects more likely to be underway by September 30.

At the news, Siemens stepped in to say it was "willing and able" to provide debt and project finance for the $2.6 billion project. (Which raises the question, with Siemens stepping up was a government loan guarantee ever really necessary?) As of this writing, the outcome was undetermined.

On the plus side, the economy is growing, slowly. That's in contrast to 2009 and 2010 when the power generation sector saw decreasing demand for the first time in decades. Had Congress not funded the stimulus and other programs in 2009, the renewable energy industry may well have collapsed. That danger is much less acute today.

What's more, sea changes are underway across much of the power generation sector. Old, inefficient fossil-fueled units are being retired and replaced with natural gas generation and — on occasion — renewables.

But the likely loss of many federal incentives won't help the recovery, offer a push to green the economy or enhance the prospects for new renewable energy projects.

After this issue, I turn over the reins of editing Renewable Energy World North America magazine to my colleague Jennifer Runyon. I had the rare pleasure of being the launch editor in September 2009 and of guiding its content; it's been a treat working with so many talented and energetic contributors. I am not going far: I remain chairperson of our related renewable energy conference. I look forward to seeing all of you in Long Beach next February for that event!

Untitled Document


Floridians Seek To Let the Sunshine In Via Solar Power PPAs

Mike Antheil Florida, the Sunshine State, is infamously unfriendly to the solar market. Despite the abundance of prime sunshine, which ranks the state third in the nation for solar potential, less that 1/10th of 1 percent of Florida’s e...

Welspun Commissions 52-MW Solar Power Plant in India

Vince Font Leading Indian solar developer Welspun Renewables has commissioned the construction of a massive solar plant in the state of Maharashtra. The planned 52-megawatt (MW) solar plant will be located in the city of Baramati. The...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...

SkyPower Inks $2.2 Billion Deal for Massive Solar Power Plant in Kenya

Eric Ombok, Bloomberg Kenya’s Energy Ministry and SkyPower Global Ltd. will sign a $2.2 billion agreement on Sunday that paves the way for the Canadian company to develop a 1-gigawatt solar project in East Africa’s biggest economy. The solar pro...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

2015 AREDAY Summit

The 12th Annual AREDAY Summit, August 8-13th in Snowmass Colorado. Engag...

Presenting at Infocast's Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015

Oct. 21, 2015 4:30-5:15pm Albie Fong, National Director, Solar Frontier ...


Behind Every Good Decision

When something about your business isn’t working, you set out to c...

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

An Overwhelming Paradox

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with the feeling of being o...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now