Top 5 Renewable Energy News Stories You May Have Missed

Some interesting renewable energy stories rolled across our editorial desks this week and with so much of our team in Phoenix at Solar 2010, we weren’t able to cover them properly.  So I’m rounding them up for you here.

First, on Monday we learned that Texas met its Renewable Energy goals 15 years ahead of scheduleBen Upham reported on TriplePundit that the state filed a report with ERCOT on May 13th claiming that in 2009 it had “10,367 MW of renewable energy capacity, and generated 21,594,278 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity,” according to the TriplePundit story.  (The goal was to have 10,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025.)  Almost all of that generation came from is wind energy.  Texas reportedly has another 50,000 MW of wind energy projects under consideration, too.  Now that’s pretty cool.

On the solar front, the Denver Post reported that global warehouse property manager ProLogis, a company that contributed to in the past about leasing warehouse roof space for solar energy, is using one of its roofs in Denver as a testbed for solar panels.  Apparently the company has installed panels from 7 different thin-film manufacturers (MiaSole, UniSolar, Xunlight, GS-Solar, First Solar, Solyndra) and one monocrystalline silicon cell manufacturer (Suniva) and will be pitting them against each other to see how they do.   The Post story says that ProLogis is looking for insights into which panels are the most efficient and how best to position the arrays on a roof.  We’ll be sure to follow-up.  We did cover Uni-Solar’s participation in the project.

In financial rumors, this week investor watchdog, TheStreetSweeper, reported that SunTech is keeping its investors in the dark about “some shady-looking deals.”  The article calls into question Suntech’s sales to its Global Solar Fund (GSF) stating the Suntech has not been paid on 95% of the total proceeds of the sale.  The article casts doubt on Suntech’s claim that GSF is independently operated, implying that Suntech effectively controls GSF and is essentially selling panels to itself and can’t collect.

A couple of interesting ocean energy announcements were also made this week.  Aquamarine Power said that it released V2 of its Oyster wave energy converter (image left).  We’ve covered the oyster in the past — it’s a promising device that sits in the ocean and generates power from the waves.  The company is based in Scotland and has offices in Northern Ireland.  Many of the developments in ocean energy are coming from this region of the world.  You can see a diagram of the device and read the company press release here.

Another cool ocean energy announcement was from Green Ocean Energy, who said that it is on track to become the first fully certified wave-energy company.  Green Ocean Energy claimed in its press release that no other wave energy company has this kind of certification.  The certification is from DNV (Det Norske Veritas) an internationally recognized panel of experts that identifies helps to mitigate risk within the energy and marine industries.  From what I can gather, essentially it means that this independent agency thinks the Wave Treader is indeed viable and Green Ocean Energy can continue to go forward with its attempts to commercialize the technology.

While the certification isn’t all that exciting, the technology is.  It’s the first renewable energy device that works alongside offshore wind turbines to capture the energy of the waves crashing against the turbine towers.  We already know that offshore wind is the strongest and most steady type of wind energy out there and this device could harness even more energy off our shores. This is definitely something to keep your eye on.  This company, like Aquamarine Power, is based in Scotland.  Our past coverage of the company and prototype is here.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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