Power & Energy Solutions

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US LAW FIRM REPRESENTS INDIA CLEANTECH COMPANY IN LANDMARK SOLAR ENERGY DEALBrown Rudnick, an international law firm, has represented the ACME Group, a provider of energy, environmental, and telecommunications infrastructure solutions in India, in the company's solar energy deal with eSolar.{pagebreak}Under the agreement, eSolar signed an exclusive license agreement with ACME to build up to 1,000 MW of solar thermal power plants in India over the next ten years. The deal specifies that ACME will use eSolar's modular, scalable solar power technology for the project, and that ACME is open to work with other companies looking to build solar plants using eSolar's technology.Additionally, ACME will make a multi-million dollar equity investment in eSolar. Led by Brown Rudnick's India Practice Leader, Rahoul Roy, the Firm represented ACME throughout the cross-border transaction, advising both on the equity investment and licensing agreement.This is the second international cleantech deal for which Brown Rudnick has represented ACME. In October 2008, the Firm advised ACME in connection with a high-volume fuel cell supply agreement with IdaTech plc ("IdaTech") and Ballard Power Solutions, Inc ("Ballard"). The three-party contract and joint venture resulted in the world's largest PEM fuel cell supply agreement and will deliver "green" telecom backup

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ENN Solar Energy Co., Ltd. has just announced that it has produced China's first 5.7m2 high-efficiency, tandem junction thin film photovoltaic panels using a SunFabTM Thin Film Line, rated at 60 megawatts per year, supplied by Applied Materials, Inc.{pagebreak}Working together at ENN's leading-edge facility in Langfang, China, ENN and Applied achieved this milestone just five months after equipment installation. These ultra-large PV panels are nearly four times larger than conventional modules on the market and use Applied's innovative tandem junction technology to deliver significantly higher conversion efficiencies at competitive costs."By combining the high efficiency of tandem junction technology with ultra-large 5.7m2 substrates, we're able to deliver modules that dramatically reduce installed cost per watt," said Dr. Rick Wan, General Manager of ENN Solar. "Our close association with Applied Materials has enabled ENN to build a winning platform, combining our next-generation solar technology with our world-class manufacturing capability.""We are committed to delivering the highest level of technology innovation and manufacturing excellence to our customers," said Dr. Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and general manager of Applied Materials' SunFab Thin Film Solar and Display Business Group. "ENN's rapid ramp from equipment installation to producing tandem junction panels is an example of the

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NRG Systems, leading U.S. manufacturer of wind measurement equipment, and Leosphere, leading specialist in lidar (laser radar) for atmospheric observations, have announced the formation of a global partnership to expand the use of remote sensing with lidar in the wind energy industry. The first product of the partnership is the WINDCUBE lidar wind measurement system, a remote sensor used in site assessment and wind farm performance monitoring.{pagebreak}"I couldn't be happier to announce this news," said Alex Sauvage, president and CEO of Leosphere. "The WINDCUBE is the result of 20 years of intensive research and development - it's a flexible, easy-to-use technology that has proven to reduce data uncertainty and project risks in the wind energy industry. Partnering with NRG Systems sends a signal that using lidar in wind resource assessment is an accepted part of the process."Today, the WINDCUBE has been deployed by developers, consultants, turbine manufacturers, and research institutes in 18 countries around the world. In site assessment, the portable system is used to capture actual measurements at heights up to 200 meters that can be used along with met mast data. With NRG Systems' wind measurement expertise and industry knowledge, the companies aim to accelerate the use of

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Sicme Motori and EEI are planning to present their revolutionary Twind solution at Windpower 2009. The application is the result of extensive engineering and marketing cooperation between two of the leaders in the global energy market and is designed specifically to provide a single-source electrical conversion solution for energy production from renewable sources.{pagebreak}At the heart of every turbine is the electrical system that converts mechanical energy into electricity for the distribution grid. High efficiency and reliability are the primary criteria for selecting the correct electrical system. And because of the respective proficiencies developed over many years experience in the renewable energy market, SM and EEI have combined their technological expertise to offer an integrated, competitive and ultra- reliable solution.Twind combines a multi-polar permanent magnet synchronous generator to convert kinetic energy from renewable sources into electrical energy, and a static conversion control to transfer this energy to the distribution grid.Twind includes the following features:* Power ratings up to 3MW* High reliability * Much longer production up-time* Direct-drive, low maintenance, gearless solution* High efficiency at all operating speeds* Minimal cogging torque at low speeds* Small space requirements * Minimal polluting oils* Fast ROI* Full guarantee covering the entire systemSee the Twind solution

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Japanese consumer electronics giants Toshiba and Sharp are in talks on a possible tie-up in the solar power generation field, the companies admitted last week. "It is true that we are holding talks on the solar cell business with other companies, including Toshiba," Sharp Corp. spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said, declining to give further details.{pagebreak}Sharp wants to enhance its solar business further, with its solar cell revenue expected to reach 170 billion yen (1.7 billion dollars) globally in the year to March 31, up 12 percent from last year, Nakayama said.Toshiba, which announced its full entry into solar power in January, said the company was also seeking a supply source of solar or photovoltaic cell panels that convert sunlight into electricity. "We are mulling where to procure panels as we do not make them

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A bi-partisan gathering of legislators, business people, and environmental advocates were at the Texas State Capitol in Austin last week as State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. and State Representative Pete Gallego introduced legislation to allow the further development of the emerging renewable technologies market.{pagebreak}During this session, Texas legislators are looking at close to 100 bills filed on renewable energy, double the number filed during the last legislative session. 12 of the bills propose specific goals for increasing solar power, geothermal, renewable bio-mass, and small-scale wind.Lucio and Gallego filed identical bills that would raise the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard. The measures would increase electrical utilities' renewables generating capacity from resources other than "high capacity wind" to 4,000 megawatts by the year 2020."We have met our goals for wind and we are very fortunate in Texas to have massive clean energy resources besides wind," said Senator Lucio. "This legislative session, five different senators - Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural, and six different representatives - Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural agree.""We have all introduced legislation that would raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring utilities to give Texans the clean energy they are asking for and industries are prepared to deliver -

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The European Commission last week sent a reasoned opinion to Italy for failure to recognise certain guarantees of origin from other EU Member States. Under an EU Directive on electricity production from renewable energy sources,{pagebreak}Member States are required to establish a system of guarantees of origin and, as a general rule, to recognise those of other Member States. The Commission's reasoned opinion calls on Italy to take the necessary measures to comply with the Directive within two months.Several companies have complained that Italy refused to recognise guarantees of origin from France, Greece and Slovenia for renewable energy produced in 2005. Following investigation, the Commission has found that the refusal to recognise guarantees of origin from 2005 is unjustified. Therefore, Italy's action constitutes a breach of Article 5(4) of the Directive.Italy has a "green certificate" regime whereby electricity suppliers are obliged to hold "green certificates" (proof of the renewable provenance) for a certain share of their electricity. Suppliers importing electricity may be exempted from this obligation if they instead hold guarantees of origin (a European wide proof of the renewable provenance of electricity) from other Member States. In general terms, Italy recognises guarantees of origin, in accordance with the Directive, and

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The wind energy sector is attracting new sources of capital that compensate for banks' general reluctance to provide debt finance for projects, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) announced last week. A growing number of power companies with strong balance sheets are investing in wind energy and there is increasing interest from institutional investors, despite the financial crisis.{pagebreak}The sector expects to be among the first to emerge from the economic turmoil.However, governments and the European Investment Bank must urgently establish loan guarantees to ease the banking liquidity squeeze and accelerate economic recovery.The European wind energy market is less reliant on bank project finance than just three or four years ago as an increasing share of new installations are financed by institutional investors, infrastructure funds and from power company balance sheets."Whilst many sectors are struggling with falling demand for their products; the European wind power sector is not. Although the sector is doing well in attracting new sources of finance, EU governments should learn a lesson from the US recovery plan, which provides billions of dollars in loan guarantees to renewables. We need all channels of finance, including bank lending and export credits, to be wide open to meet demand," said

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Delegates left the European Wind Energy Conference 2009 (EWEC) last week with the reminder that wind energy is Europe's number one in terms of new power capacity ringing in their ears.{pagebreak}"In 2008, we installed 8,454 MW of wind capacity, making up 36% of power installations", stressed Arthouros Zervos, President of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). "That was more than any other power generating technology. There are good reasons for the wind sector's top spot: the range of benefits it offers to European citizens is unmatched by any other energy source".There is now a total of 65 GW of wind power in the EU, which will, in a normal wind year, produce 142 TWh of electricity, equal to about 4.2% of the EU's electricity demand. Wind energy is fuel free and so avoids volatile fuel and carbon costs. In 2008, while the oil price shot up to €147 and came unsteadily down again, wind power avoided fuel costs of €5.4 billion and CO2 costs of €2.4 billion. Furthermore, increasing the use of wind diminishes our reliance on fuel imports from unstable regions - currently, Europe imports 54% of its energy, and this is set to grow to 70% by 2030.

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Solar energy capacity in the United States grew by 17 percent in 2008, according to a preliminary report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association. But Rhone Resch, the president of the solar group, warned that the financial crisis has hit the industry hard, since financing for projects has largely dried up.{pagebreak}"We're not immune to the recession at all," he said at a briefing for journalists in Washington. "This first quarter has been brutal." Of the four types of solar power surveyed, photovoltaic capacity grew especially quickly, at 44 percent over total installed capacity through 2007. Solar hot water installations also showed strong growth.Solar pool heating, already the largest solar sector, added slightly less capacity last year than in 2007, and no new concentrating solar power projects - large, utility-scale projects that use mirrors to harness the sun's energy - came online last year.The industry got an enormous boost from provisions in last year's bailout bill and also this year's stimulus, which, according to Mr. Resch, contained 19 different provisions for aiding solar power. But Mr. Resch also said that solar developers and manufacturers were hoping that Congress would soon pass more policies to help the industry.At the top of

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