Power & Energy Solutions

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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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If domestic solar panels become as common on the plains and rooftops of the United States as they are abroad, it may be because the financing technique that gave Europe an early lead in renewable energy is starting to cross the Atlantic.{pagebreak}The idea is to pay homeowners and businesses cash for producing green energy. In Germany, for example, a homeowner with a rooftop solar system may be paid four times more to produce electricity than the rate paid to a coal-fired power plant.Earlier this month, Gainesville became the first city in the United States to introduce higher payments for solar power, which is otherwise too expensive for many families or businesses to install. City leaders, who control their electric utility, unanimously approved the policy after studying Germany's solar-power expansion.Furthermore, Hawaii, where sky-high prices for electricity have stirred interest in alternative energy, hopes to have a similar policy in place before the end of the year. The mayor of Los Angeles wants to introduce higher payouts for solar power. California is considering a stronger policy as well, and bills have also been introduced in other states, including Washington and Oregon."I'm seeing it with my own eyes - it's really having a

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Italy plans to boost capacity of its photovoltaic installations turning sunlight into power- to 16,000 megawatts (MW) in 2020 from about 280 MW now, on the back of generous government incentives.{pagebreak}And industry body GIFI, together with Italy's state power management agency GSE, have recently released the following key facts about the sector:* Italy is Europe's third-biggest PV power producer after Germany and Spain, but with a total installed capacity of about 270-280 MW at the end of 2008, the country makes less than one percent of its power at PV facilities. Italy's current installed capacity is dwarfed by about 3,300 MW installed in Spain and 5,300 MW in Germany by the end of 2008, according to estimates by Emerging Energy Research (EER)* In February 2007, the Italian government approved new incentives for the PV sector, including the feed-in tariff which guarantees operators up to 0.49 euros ($0.63) per kilowatt hour of produced power for 20 years. The incentives for projects to be approved in 2009 vary from 0.353 euros per kW/h to 0.480euros per kW/h, depending on installations' type and capacity* The current incentive scheme puts a 1,200 MW cap on capacity to be covered by incentives; this limit is

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Last week, two major but very different players in the world of aerodynamics - the American airplane builder Boeing and the giant Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas - announced they would seek ways to work together on various projects.{pagebreak}And while it is still early days, the recently announced partnership is an interesting sign of how industries may combine forces under a carbon-constrained economy.The first stage of the partnership - announced at an international climate change congress in Copenhagen, Denmark - gets underway this year, when researchers from the companies in Europe and the United States are expected to identify projects already underway within each company that could benefit from closer interaction.That could lead to joint investments - though there is no talk of a merger, Vestas officials said. "There is a strong correlation between new technologies needed in the aerospace industry and new technologies needed in the wind-energy businesses," said Jan Narlinge, the president of Boeing Northern Europe.A particular challenge for Boeing was improving fuel efficiency, Mr. Narlinge explained. For Vestas - a largely undiversified wind company unlike its main competitors Siemens and General Electric - the partnership could help it improve the construction of its towers and increase the power

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