U.S. solar power installation outlook brightens on falling costs -report

The U.S. solar energy industry lifted its installation outlook for this year and beyond thanks to robust demand for large-scale projects by utilities buying the clean energy source for its low cost, according to a report published on Tuesday.

In 2019, installations are expected to be up 25 percent from 2018 to 13.3 gigawatts, the report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie said. The groups' previous forecast called for 14 percent growth this year.

The change is primarily due to late project announcements in Texas, the report said.

The rosy outlook marks an about-face from 2018, when installations fell 2 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped 30 percent tariffs on overseas-made solar panels.

Since then, global panel prices have fallen dramatically due to an oversupply of panels in top producer China, which cut incentives for installations there. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, monocrystalline ...

June 20, 2019

Norway forces sovereign wealth fund to go greener

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest at more than $1 trillion, is set to become greener by withdrawing further from fossil fuels, the Norwegian parliament decided on Wednesday. 

To comply with the new directive, the fund looks set to divest assets in mining giants working with coal, such as Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, and energy companies such as Germany's RWE and Italy's Enel.

Previously, the fund was told to only keep clear of mining companies or energy producers whose coal-related activities represented 30 percent or more of their business.

But that allowed large coal players to slip through the cracks since most of their revenue came from other activities.

Going forward companies will be judged on production levels and the fund won't be able to invest in companies producing more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year or more than 10,000 MW of electricity from coal.

According to several environmental groups, ...

June 14, 2019

KKR to buy Axel Springer for 6.8 billion euros

KKR & Co. KKR, +0.87% is making a public takeover offer for the shares of Axel Springer SE (SPR.XE) after reaching an agreement with the German media company.

KKR will offer all Axel Springer shareholders 63 euros ($71.31) a share in cash, Axel Springer said Wednesday in a press release. The takeover offer will be subject to a minimum acceptance of 20%, Axel Springer said.

According to FactSet, Axel Springer has 107.9 million shares. Based on this, the private-equity firm's offer values the company at EUR6.8 billion.

Axel Springer's executive and supervisory board said they will support KKR's takeover offer, and KKR has entered a shareholder agreement with Friede Springer, widow of the company's founder and Chief Executive Matthias Doepfner. They won't accept the public takeover offer and will continue to be involved in Axel Springer to the same extent as before, Axel Springer said.

Axel Springer shares closed at EUR56.00 on Tuesday. Last ...

June 12, 2019

Geothermal electricity contributing to energy security in Turkey

Reporting on the released provisional electricity data for April 2019 by the Turkey Electricity Transmission A.?., the Turkish Geothermal Power Plants Investors Association (JESDER) highlights the increasing contribution by geothermal energy power plants to electricity generation in Turkey.

In April, the share of natural gas power plants in electricity production decreased by half, while the share of geothermal power plants (GPP) increased from 2.36 percent to 2.83 percent.

Geothermal power plants (GPP) increased their electricity production in April by more than 10 times the increase in total electricity production. In April, the amount of electricity generated in GPPs increased by 23.4 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Despite the 0.3 percent decline in total electricity production in the first four months of the year, the production of GPPs also increased in this period. In the first four months of the year covering January-April, the amount of electricity produced by ...

June 10, 2019

Michael Bloomberg to plunge $500M into clean energy effort

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging USD500 million into an effort to close all of the nation's remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy. The billionaire Bloomberg's investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative marks the largest ever philanthropic effort to combat climate change, according to the mayor's foundation. 

The organisation will bypass the federal government and instead seek to pass climate and clean energy policies, as well as back political candidates, at the state and local level. 

Bloomberg considered but ultimately passed on seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. 

Instead, he vowed to point his vast wealth and political connections toward fighting climate change and defeating President Donald Trump. 

Bloomberg will formally unveil the Beyond Carbon effort Friday during a commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The initiative mirrors Bloomberg's work on gun control, which has focused on bolstering ...

June 7, 2019

Enel Green Power to invest EUR 138m in geothermal work in Italy

Reporting on a meeting with Italian trade unions with Enel Green Power back in April, where the company provided a report on its activities in 2018, with particular reference to safety on the working in the geothermal field.

To tackle issues of the future of geothermal in Tuscany, also due to regulatory changes luring over the industry in Italy, work groups have been established dedicated to “Construction and maintenance” and “Drilling”.

As regards the technical results, 2018 ended with a production decrease of 0.2 percent, attributable to a progressive decline in the potential of geothermal fields (in Tuscany). The company is planning to mitigate the phenomenon by increasing operating costs and planning investments in development, approximately EUR 38 million ($43m) for renovations, repowering and new wells.

There are EUR100 million ($112m) for new drilling in the three-year period 2019-2011 , which will be able to guarantee the full employment of the three teams ...

June 5, 2019

Fund manager Glennmont raises 850 mln euros for clean energy investment

Fund manager Glennmont Partners has raised 850 million euros ($947 million) at the final close of its third clean energy fund, which will invest in renewables projects in Europe and Britain, it said on Tuesday.

London-based Glennmont has 2 billion euros of assets under management and says it is the world's largest fund manager in terms of investment in clean energy infrastructure.

It had aimed to raise 600 million euros through the Clean Energy Fund III but exceeded the target thanks to the high level of interest from Japan and the United States as well as the European Investment Bank among others.

"Institutional investors globally recognise that energy transition and climate change is of key relevance to the performance of their portfolio," Glennmont Chief Executive Joost Bergsma said in a statement.

More than 70 percent of the fund will be invested in projects in the euro zone and Britain. The fund's lifetime will be ...

June 4, 2019

Goldman Sachs, CPPIB, ADIA invest $300 mn into ReNew Power via rights issue

Goldman Sachs Inc, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the existing investors of ReNew Power, are putting in an additional $300 million into the green energy company through a rights issue, people with knowledge of the matter told ET.

Proceeds from the issue may be used for a combination of purposes. These include financing business growth and repaying existing debt taken for inorganic growth plans executed earlier. “The company wants to increase confidence levels among investors with the proposed fund mop-up,” said one of the persons cited above. ReNew is said to be repaying some debt obligation coming up in the next few months.

The rights issue follows earlier plans of a bond issuance, which has temporarily been put off due to tepid investor appetite globally for risk assets. Bonds could still be issued later.

It is not clear if Japan's LNG major JERA, which has a 10% stake ...

May 31, 2019

Asian renewable investment to overtake upstream oil and gas spending in 2020

Renewable energy investment in the Asia-Pacific region will overtake spending on oil and gas exploration by 2020, consultancy Rystad Energy said on Monday.
Total capital expenditure in renewables will rise above $30 billion in the region by 2020, just overtaking investment into exploration and production for oil and natural gas, the consultancy said.

India, Australia, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea will be the leading destinations for investment in Asia, according to Rystad.

The company focuses on China separately and did not include the nation in this assessment. China is the world's biggest investor into renewables and also one of the leading spenders in upstream oil and gas.

Investment into renewables is being supported by government policies such as solar and wind feed-in-tariffs across the region.

"Importantly, most (countries) have large targets outlining the inclusion of renewable power sources within their respective energy mixes, with corresponding support policies," said Gero Farruggio, Rystad's head of renewables.

Rystad said ...

May 27, 2019

Icelandic pension funds and British fund buy geothermal firm HS Orka

As reported this morning in Iceland, Jardvarmur slhf, a company jointly owned by 14 pension funds in Iceland, has decided to exercise its pre-emptive right in the only private power company in Iceland, HS Orka for the 54 per cent stake sold by Canadian energy company Innergex in HS Orka. In the sale process, a fund by Australian investment bank Macquarie put in the winning offer in Magma Energy Sweden A.B, which holds the the 54 stake in HS Orka, but with the step by the pension funds this sale did not go through.

Subsequently, Ancala Partners, a foreign partner of Jardvarmur will subsequently purchase a 50% share in HS Orka versus Jardvarmur, as stated in the company announcement.

In the announcement of Innergex to the Canadian exchange this morning, the purchase price is USD 299.9 million, equivalent to ISK 37.3 billion. The market value of HS Orka, based on the purchase ...

May 24, 2019