First Non-Subsidized Utility-Scale Solar Plants Seen in Spain
Solar developers in Spain are trying take advantage of a crash in equipment costs and some of the continent’s highest levels of sunlight by building Europe’s first large-scale plants. Builders have sought permits to connect 37.5 gigawatts of utility-sized projects to Red Electrica Corp. SA’s transmission grid. The companies include Gestamp Renewables Corp. and Solaria Energia Medio Ambiente SA, which only five years ago could earn about nine times more than fossil-fuel plants under one of the world’s most generous subsidy programs. As photovoltaic-panel prices tumbled, the subsidy was cut several times and altogether killed in January from criticisms in Parliament for adding more than $3.3 billion a year to consumer bills.
Merge of two Taiwanese Solar Giants, Good for Taiwan’s Solar Industry
According to M.J. Wang, an analyst for the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the merger between two of Taiwan’s leading solar cell makers NSP and DelSolar is not just a good move for the two firms but also a good sign that consolidation is finally occuring in Taiwan’s solar industry. The boards of both firms have just approved phase 2 of their merger — 100% share swap — following NSP’s successful tender for a 15% stake in DelSolar. The merged firm will combine NSP’s 1.3 GWs of installed capacity with DelSolar’s 600 MWs for a total of nearly 2 GWs, making it Taiwan’s largest and the world’s second largest solar cell maker.
Climate Dividends for Residential Utility Customers in California
Residential customers of the state’s three largest utilities will see a “climate dividend” on their utility bills in 2013 as the result of a proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission. The automatic refund, estimated to be $20 to $40 every six months, will appear on consumer bills. The first credit should appear in July 2013. The so-called “climate dividend” is expected to offset expected increases in the prices of other goods and services. The cap-and-trade system forces power plants and other industries to pay for emitting greenhouse gases or invest in ways to reduce those emissions, and many expect wholesale electricity prices to rise as a result. The climate dividend will be spread equally among all residential customers of PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, regardless of how much electricity a customer uses.
Thailand to Support Investments in Alternative Energy, Anticipates 39% Demand Increase in 9 years
The Thailand Board of Investment has announced its support in alternative energy investment after studies have shown that demand for energy will increase by 39% by the year 2021. The Thai government is hoping to push the use of alternative energy and renewable energy to reach 25% of total energy consumption. Thailand has agricultural products that can be used as energy sources such as biomass, biogas, biodiesel and ethanol. Food industries also yield a great amount of byproducts that can be made into energy from waste. The country also has great potential in solar and wind energy. This makes Thailand the right place for alternative energy, which should lead to a significant decrease in Greenhouse Gas emission, making Thailand a low-carbon society in the near future.