Reuters: Thin-Film Solar Technology Under Scrutiny as China's Hanergy Soars

The green energy potential of thin-film solar panels has propelled Li Hejun to the top of China's rich list, but his Hanergy Holdings has yet to prove it can turn impressive laboratory research into commercially successful products.

Hanergy Thin Film Power, a Hong Kong-listed unit, has seen its value soar sixfold in the past year to $37 billion -- more than its nearest two dozen rivals combined.

Hanergy and some analysts say the meteoric rise has been fueled in part by Beijing's efforts to promote solar energy. But some industry insiders say it has more to do with the firm's own bullish proclamations on thin-film solar panels and the competitiveness of its products.

New York Times: Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes

Allan Akamine has looked all around the winding, palm tree-lined cul-de-sacs of his suburban neighborhood in Mililani here on Oahu and, with an equal mix of frustration and bemusement, seen roof after roof bearing solar panels.

Mr. Akamine, 61, a manager for a cable company, has wanted nothing more than to lower his $600 to $700 monthly electric bill with a solar system of his own. But for 18 months or so, the state’s biggest utility barred him and thousands of other customers from getting one, citing concerns that power generated by rooftop systems was overwhelming its ability to handle it.

Only under strict orders from state energy officials did the utility, the Hawaiian Electric Company, recently rush to approve the lengthy backlog of solar applications, including Mr. Akamine’s.

It is the latest chapter in a closely watched battle that has put this state at the forefront of a global upheaval in the power business.

Platts: Energy Efficiency Cut New England Prices by 24% in Winter 2014

Energy efficiency savings lowered New England's wholesale electricity prices by 24% in the winter of 2014, according to a report released Thursday by the Acadia Center, an energy advocacy group.

Efficiency programs suppressed electric demand by 13.7% from January through March 2014, lowering payments to generators by $1.49 billion, the report said.

Reuters: Renewable Energy Surge Revives Europe's Power Trade

The rise of renewable energy is delivering a boost to Europe's declining power market as traders get busy in short term deals to juggle unpredictable supplies of wind and solar.

Exchanges show more trade as suppliers buy and sell power closer to when demand will appear, to meet their delivery obligations, because electricity cannot be stored effectively. New players are also attracted by lower capital requirements and risks.

"As the percentage of renewables generation increases, the need for short-term adjustments will grow, reflecting the limited precision of forecasts for wind and solar generation in comparison to schedules of conventional thermal plants," said Bonn-based independent energy consultant Thomas Niedrig.