US Closes Solar Tariff Loophole, More Duties Imposed to Chinese Solar Panel Makers
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced early this week that it would impose preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) on Chinese-manufactured solar modules in an effort to fix a loophole created when it imposed initial levies on Chinese-made solar cells two years ago. When the DOC originally imposed the ruling in 2012, the manufacturers reportedly moved cell manufacturing to Taiwan – in an effort to avoid the tariffs – but continued to manufacture modules in China. The new duties announced recently will now be imposed on modules. The DOC will immediately start collecting the levies until final determination is made on or near August 18, 2014.
Scottish Renewables Calls for Pumped- Storage Development
European trade organization Scottish Renewables announced a call for a new entity intended to examine the potential of pumped-storage hydroelectric power within the United Kingdom. Though pumped-storage is not currently recognized by the UK’s new Electricity Market Reform (EMR) network, Scottish Renewables estimates that the UK’s pumped-storage sector could bring around $1.7billion in investments and at the same time create hundreds of jobs. The group had said that it has also written to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, and Minister of Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing, encouraging them to create the review panel.
Buffet’s $26 Billion Power Gamble in West Poised to Pay Off
The energy unit of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with the help of California’s grid operators, is moving to unify the holdings under a single market capable of dispatching electricity every five minutes in order to mitigate sudden swings in supply and demand. The system would revolutionize the markets across seven states, where 38 transmission operators manually balance their territories in an hourly basis. The move would be a game-changer for Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co.’s renewable units as these plants stand to run for longer periods of time. Its NV Energy Inc. and PacifiCorp utilities are seen to save as much as $63.9 million annually by 2017.
Crimea’s Solar and Wind Power Units In Limbo
After Crimea’s move to join the Russian Federation, power plants in the region saw their power purchase agreements with the Ukranian state-owned utility Energorynok cancelled. With the loss of the said agreements, solar and wind power plants were also affected and were forced to close operations for the time being – leaving them in a state of limbo. As it stands, Russia is working to make up for the energy shortfall created by the loss of imported energy from Ukraine via natural gas.