First Solar Seeking Growth as Desert Power Plant Market Dwindles

Posted on March 19th, 2014 by

First Solar Seeking Growth as Desert Power Plant Market Dwindles

First Solar is preparing to set out its plans for growth as sales lag for its large-scale power projects in the deserts of the southwest. The concern is that the company’s best years for selling large projects are now in the past. The manufacturer is also said to be missing out on the current boom in U.S. rooftop solar, which is surging because of the popularity of home installation financing. CEO Jim Hughes is pushing for more sales overseas and has also bought a company last year that will tap the rooftop market in Japan. Hughes is scheduled to speak with analysts and investors today.

SolarCity Halts Energy-Storage Program as Grid Connection Lag

­SolarCity, the biggest developer of U.S. rooftop solar panels, ceased efforts to install battery systems for power storage because utilities in California are reluctant to link them to the grid. Wes Craven,  a spokesperson for SolarCity,  said that they have stopped submitting applications because they have lost faith that the process will be carried out in a reasonable time. Craven adds the utilities require a series of applications and fees that makes the process too arduous.

Abu Dhabi Seeks Fukushima Lesson, Adviser Says

Abu Dhabi, drawing lessons from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, is setting up gold standard safety procedures into its plan to develop four nuclear reactors, says Barbara Judge, a foreign adviser to the UAE government. Judge is vice chairman of a committee advising on the decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima units. The United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is capital, is investing in nuclear power, renewable energy and liquefied natural gas to cut its reliance on oil. The UAE will be the first Arab state in the region to have a nuclear plant if the facility starts as scheduled in 2017.

Greenpeace Storms France’s Oldest Atomic Plant

Police arrested 57 anti-nuclear campaigners after they stormed France’s oldest atomic plant, operator Electricite de France SA said. More than 60 Greenpeace protesters entered the site at Fessenheim before dawn and unfurled a banner that read “Stop Risking Europe”.  EDF and Greenpeace are at odds over power output in France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country.EDF set aside 400 million euros to tighten defenses at its 19 plants following security breaches by activists last 2011.

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