PV Magazine: Angela Merkel Calls for a 'Respite for Photovoltaics'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday spoke at the German Renewable Energy Federation’s New Year reception for the first time in six years. More than 1,000 guests attended the event and waited patiently to hear what the chancellor had to say to the country’s renewable energy industry.

One of Merkel’s comments seemed like a slap in the face to solar industry representatives in particular: "It is right that we now need a respite from photovoltaics," Merkel said in view of new capacity figures for 2014, which failed to reach government targets. Estimates put the figure at between 1.8 GW and 1.9 GW. The federal government’s annual PV development goal as outlined in the amended Renewable Energy Act was 2.5 GW.

Bloomberg: Germany’s Largest Utilities Take Diverging Views on Power Prices

Germany’s two largest generators appear to have radically different views about where power prices are going after a record slump.

EON SE (EOAN) hedged 100 percent of its 2016 power production as of September, while RWE AG, the country’s biggest generator, hedged only about 40 percent, according to company data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

“EON apparently assumes that power prices will continue to drop, while RWE expects a recovery,” Heino Hammann, an analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank, said Tuesday.

Green Car Reports: Why Repair Costs Are Higher for the Tesla Model S Aluminum Body

There's been a growing stream of owner reports of downright shocking Tesla repair bills and estimates for scratches, dents, and minor collisions.

“Cost of repair crazy-high” is how one Model S owner puts it in a thread on the Tesla Motor Club online owners' forum.

He describes a minor front-end collision, from which he was able to drive away, that cost him $20,327 to repair.

WOAI: Hybrids, Electric Cars 'Fallen Off the Planet' Due to Low Gas Prices

Sean Barry, general manager of Red McCombs Ford, says gas falling from more than $3 a gallon down to less than $1.90 in the past six months has had a major impact on the types of vehicles customers are coming onto the lot to consider.

"Truck sales are up...about 6% in San Antonio, and car sales are very brisk too," Barry said.

"Where we have really seen a downside is hybrids and electric vehicles," Barry said.  "They have kind of fallen off the planet for all practical purposes, and we are definitely seeing that here in San Antonio as well."

World Nuclear News: Global Nuclear Generating Capacity Rises in 2014

Global nuclear generating capacity increased slightly in 2014 as five new reactors began supplying electricity, while just one was permanently shut down.  The year saw new reactors with total capacity of 4763 MWe connected to the grid: Ningde 2, Fuqing 1 and Fangjiashan 1 in China; Atucha 2 in Argentina and Russia's Rostov 3. An uprate at the existing Fermi 2 unit in the U.S. saw a further 15 MWe to 20 MWe added.