Wind’s Retains Appeal Despite Low Natural Gas Prices, Says LBNL
A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that even with recent decline in natural gas prices, wind power proves to be beneficial for its ability to give buyers long-term price certainty. Drawing on a sizable sample of long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) between existing wind projects and utilities, the report compares wind power prices that have been contractually locked in for decades to come with a range of long-term natural gas price projections.
Suntech Liability, Chinese Solar Saga still On-going
Suntech was able to delay a major bond payment for another two months until May 15, but there’s still lot of buzz surrounding the company and this $541 million debt deadline, anticipated as a major test of China’s drive to consolidate its solar industry. The company is adding to the turmoil with the departure of founder and chairman, Zhengrong Shi. Local reports claim Suntech is being sued by a number of Chinese lenders over a loan tied to Shi.
Japan’s Plan to Cut Solar Price by 10% Retains Boom Allure
Japan’s recommendation to reduce the price paid for solar power by 10% leaves in place incentives for a surge in installations this year. A committee of experts advising the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry proposed that the price for solar power should be cut beginning April 1, and the payment for wind should remain unchanged. The government must endorse the proposal before it comes into fruition. Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that spending this year is anticipated to rise to 438 billion yen for 1,460 megawatts.
Hawaiian Electric Offers Competitive Bidding Waiver for Big Solar Projects
Hawaiian Electric Company looks to reduce the cost of electricity for its customers with qualified renewable energy projects on Oahu that can be quickly be in service at a low cost per kilowatt-hour. The company will consider asking for a waiver from the Hawaii Public Utility Commission Competitive Bidding Framework for projects that achieve these goals. Hawaiian Electric understands that this move may deter some renewable energy projects because some project developers and prospective bidders may have already expended substantial resources in preparing their proposals in anticipation of bidding in to the RFP. To take advantage of potential savings on behalf of its customers, Hawaiian Electric will consider requesting a waiver for projects greater than 5 MW that can be completed quickly and that meet important criterion.