The story of SunEdison’s swift rise and calamitous fall, pieced together from internal documents, regulatory and court filings and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees and advisers, shows what can happen when executive overreach meets fizzy markets. Mesmerized by the promise of high yields and fast growth, investors turned a blind eye to operational warning signs that ultimately left the company vulnerable to a rise in interest rates.
Consumer interests wanted PG&E to nix the contract or negotiate a lower price. According to the Motley Fool investment website, Ivanpah got 20 cents/KWh in the summer of 2015 for the project’s electricity and 13.5 cents the rest of the year. That compares to the average solar system in California booking 5 cents/KWh for new contracts.
“With the gas storage field kept at about one-fifth of its full capacity, power plants could run short of natural gas to burn for power. State law permits power plants’ gas service to be cut off when supplies run short, preserving gas for homes and small businesses. State energy officials have predicted that the L.A. Basin and surrounding counties could face up to 14 days this summer and 32 days in the coming year when utilities might order limited power outages to avoid larger blackouts.”
Announcing government support for clean-energy projects, President Obama hailed a Spanish company, saying its new solar technology would supply tens of thousands of American homes with renewable power, while spurring local employment. . . Saddled with debt from its expansion, the company is scrambling to avoid what would be the largest bankruptcy in Spanish corporate history. . . In Abengoa’s case, its signature American projects still have around $2 billion in outstanding loans guaranteed by the United States government, and the company benefited heavily from subsidies in Spain.
Critics have accused local governments of focusing on capacity rather than efficiency and utilization, hitting renewable energy targets by building windfarms in regions plagued by low wind speeds and insufficient grid capacity.
California regulators threw a lifeline Thursday to the struggling Ivanpah solar plant, which has failed to generate the electricity it is required to produce under contracts with PG&E Corp.
“”What Musk has done that is creative and important is drive the learning curve. He’s decided to take an existing, pretty powerful battery technology and start producing it on a very large scale,”” she said.
“”But it’s not technology innovation in the sense of creating new ways of doing it. We are pretty well convinced that some of our technologies have the potential to be significantly better,”” Williams said.
Too many greens get caught up in the trap of advocating for the subsidization of current-generation renewable energy projects, neglecting to understand that in doing so they’re consigning governments to continue propping up technologies incapable of competing with fossil fuels on their own merit while diverting valuable funds away from the pursuit of more lasting solutions. . . Gates’ focus on R&D is both smart and necessary, and it could pave the way towards a greener future.
DWP officials have been campaigning for the $330-million water rate hike and a $720-million power rate increase for the last several months. They say the revenue is necessary to replace aging water mains and develop more local water supplies. On the power side, officials estimate that about 80% of new revenue would go toward meeting clean energy and climate change mandates.
Last year, 6 million tonnes of “wood pellets” harvested from forests in Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Virginia were shipped across the Atlantic, to be burnt in renewable “biomass” power plants. This was almost double the 2013 figure—the US “wood pellet” industry is booming.
By all accounts, 2016 should be a great year for solar power. . . But investors are not feeling the love. This week shares of U.S. solar leader SolarCity tumbled to a new low, while several other solar companies also took a pounding.
The California Solar Jobs Census report released Wednesday found that roughly one out of three employees in the solar industry works in California.
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal rule that calls for payments to businesses, schools and other large energy consumers that reduce their electricity usage at times of peak demand.
City officials have “no choice” but to increase electricity rates, since the majority of the rate hike revenue would go toward complying with state mandates to switch to renewable energy sources, he [Board President Levine] said.
The report issued by the Office of Public Accountability, led by Ratepayer Advocate Fred Pickel, also noted that the 21 percent average increase over the next five years — or an average 3.86 percent increase annually — is “less than what is needed” and the utility’s power system “will continue to be challenged to perform activities at planned levels.”