China’s Cap on New Solar Factories Seen Driving Mergers and Acquisitions
China, the world’s biggest producer of solar panels, will limit construction of new photovoltaic manufacturing plants to control excess capacity, a move that may spur consolidation within the solar industry. The policy will impede efforts to expand production capacity in favor of mergers and acquisition as a growth strategy for the biggest companies, says Angelo Zino, an analyst with S&P Capital IQ. Chinese authorities have pledged to cut overcapacity in industries across the board as law makers seek to reduce the economy’s reliance on investments and exports.
Biggest European Tidal Energy Project Advances
The Scottish government recently approved an 86-MW tidal energy project, making it the largest tidal stream energy project to be awarded consent in Europe. Located in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth off the north coast of Caithness, the site is estimated to have the potential to yield up to 398 MW. Devoper MeyGen said it plans to construct an initial 9-MW demonstration array of up to six turbines, with construction to begin in early 2014 and turbines to be commissioned in 2015. This initial array will provide environmental data for the subsequent phases and the wider tidal energy industry.
Offshore Wind Development in Maine Becomes a Bidding War
Maine’s offshore wind is considered a leading prospect as an energy resource for the entire country. Now, developers are competing to get in prime position, with a second proposal now in play to get access to the state’s awesome resource. Earlier this year, the Maine Public Utilities Commission gave its nod to Statoil for its 12 MW Hywind project. But state officials, having concerns about high rates, reopened the bidding process this summer to a University of Maine-developed project. The Maine PUC will be looking at several guidelines to compare both proposals. A decision is expected before the end of the year.
Repsol to Plan Gas Natural SDG SA Sale Before U.S. Deal
Repsol SA plans to sell its 30% holding in Gas natural SDG SA before making an acquisition in the U.S., a person briefed on the plan said. The informant asked not to be named as the plan is not public. No formal sales process has started and there is no guarantee a deal will be completed. The stake is estimated to cost 4.6 billion euros ($6.1 billion). A Repsol official declined to comment on the matter.