• 19 mins Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 7 hours Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 12 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 16 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 18 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 19 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 20 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 21 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 22 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 1 day Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 1 day India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 1 day Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 3 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 3 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 4 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 7 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 8 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 8 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
Alt Text

Tesla Execs Bail As Cash Flow Hits Record Lows

Amid a rough second quarter…

Alt Text

Chinese EV Boom Could Crash Oil Prices

Most oil majors acknowledge that…

Alt Text

Ghana Joins The Renewable Race

Ghana’s political stability and improving…

Green Energy Sector Weekly Update: Bigger is Better

Green Energy Sector Weekly Update: Bigger is Better

In certain corners of the green energy sector size does matter. Many green energy companies need to leverage scale to make a profit, and with steep capital requirements companies often need to seek out deep pockets to finance technological research and project development.

In the wind business the quest for scale involves building and deploying bigger wind turbine blades. This week the ever-present drive for scale led GE to acquire Wind Tower Systems. The deal allows GE to eventually sell wind developers a package of taller towers that support bigger blades. According to Wind Tower founder Tracy Livingston the bigger towers are 10-15% more energy efficient, and greater efficiency is the Holy Grail of green energy.

GE’s latest acquisition is yet another example in the wind sector of a large company buying a smaller developer. This trend impacts both technology providers and project developers. Over the past year we’ve seen Good Energies buy Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Champlin Wind, and United Technologies picked up Clipper Windpower.

The flurry of acquisitions is evidence that wind is becoming a large, capital intensive business. “Over the next decade the wind business will likely be controlled by a few, large integrated companies,” a renewable energy executive recently tells G.E.R. This is obviously welcome news to behemoths like GE, who are busy building a massive green energy potential. In effect GE is growing its market share by both buying the technology for bigger towers and simultaneously generating a larger overall footprint in the wind sector.

However, bigger isn’t always better in every aspect of the green energy business. Although pursuing economies of scale is a logical goal for any renewable energy company, it can also become a liability. Ask anyone involved with Tessera Solar, a unit of Irish renewable energy group NTR. This week Tessera chose to exit the California market when it sold its ambitious 709 megawatt Imperial Valley project in Southern California to AES Solar/Riverstone Holdings. It’s the second project Tessera has sold in as many months.

While both projects enjoyed state and federal support, they were hampered by legal and financial hurdles brought on by the two projects’ utility-scale size and billion dollar costs. The steep price tag meant that they could not be completed without government support, ensuring a long and expensive development process.

In additions, the solar thermal technology used by Tessera proved to be cumbersome, requiring sun-rich areas in sensitive desert regions guarded by Californian environmentalists. Activists and the local Quechan Indian tribe sued to block the Imperial project, and were ultimately granted a preliminary injunction by a San Diego judge. While GE is going big to take advantage of economies of scale, Tessera went big and is now being forced to go home.

VC and PE Watch

Last year Venture capital funds invested a record $192 million in Canadian-based cleantech and renewable energy companies.

The Westly Group, the Menlo Park, Calif. venture fund, is busy raising a third cleantech-focused venture fund and aims to reach a first close in the spring.

A company owned by Energy Investors Funds (EIF) acquired a Michigan developer and its 11 project strong pipeline.

Milpitas, Calif.-based Soladigm, a company that develops energy-efficient glasses for large buildings, added $10 million to its Series C round of venture funding.

Ramblings and Musings

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, announced Friday that he will not run for re-election next year. As we’ve reported, the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee has been a prolific author of green energy bills. Last July Bingaman and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Storage 2010 legislation, which, if enacted, would have provided energy storage companies up to $1.5 billion in federal tax credits. He also introduced energy legislation that, among other things, would create a Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA), a government-funded “green bank” that would finance green energy technologies. Sadly, the Republican resurgence in the House ensures that these bills have little chance of becoming law, at least for the next couple of years.

In a statement President Obama praised Senator Bingaman for being “a tireless advocate for preserving America’s natural resources and promoting a clean energy future.” Before leaving the Senate Bingaman will likely help push the president’s clean energy standard, proposed during the state-of-the union. The ultimate goal is to ensure that 80 percent of the U.S.’ electricity comes from clean energy sources by 2035.

By. Terrence Murray

Source: Green Energy Reporter




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News