AZ Central: SolarCity Relocating 85 Arizona Workers, Cites Solar Fees

In the wake of Salt River Project's recentsolarrate hike, SolarCity Corp., the largest rooftop solar installer in the state, is relocating at least 85 of its 900 Arizona workers out of state, with more to come.

SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said Wednesday the SRP fees approved in February are too restrictive and eliminate the potential to save money with solar for nearly all customers.

"That is bad for the economy," Rive said. "Arizona is the state with all the sun. All the other states [where we operate] are doubling their solar capacity, and Arizona is shrinking, which makes no sense."

Bloomberg: First Solar, SunPower YieldCo Drives Losses at Top Panel Makers

The biggest U.S. solar-panel makers reported their first losses in years as they prepare to form a joint venture that will own and operate power plants. SunPower Corp. and First Solar Inc. are planning to create a so-called YieldCo, a move that dragged down revenue in the first quarter.

YieldCos are becoming increasingly popular in the renewable energy industry because they let companies retain their completed power plants, and the steady, long-term revenue streams that go with them. The transition is cutting into sales because it means they delay selling the power plants. First Solar’s revenue in the quarter slipped 51 percent from a year earlier, and SunPower’s declined 36 percent.

Sydney Morning Herald: Australia's Renewable Energy Investment Grinds to a Halt

Australia's large-scale renewable energy industry has entered an investment freeze, with just one project securing finance in the past six months amid political uncertainty, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The lone venture in the first three months of 2015 was worth just $6.6 million and following a complete drought during the December quarter, BNEF said. The project was a floating solar photovoltaic plant being developed in Jamestown, South Australia, by Infratech Industries.

For the year to March, investment totaled $206.9 million, which was 90 percent lower than the previous 12 months, the consultancy said.

Economist: Economic Boost From Lower Oil Prices Is Smaller Than You Might Expect

In 2014, oil prices crashed. Americans jumped for joy. Small wonder: each year the average American consumes more energy than a Briton and a Japanese person put together. The oil-price drop pleased economists, too. Many were sure that it would give the economy a nice boost. However, the oil bust was followed not by a boom but a slowdown. Figures released on April 29th showed that growth in the first quarter of this year was just 0.2%. All this leads wonks to wonder: are lower oil prices such a good thing?

Mashable: An Interactive Map Lets You Watch Solar Energy Grow in Real Time

Renewable energy -- and especially solar -- is a hot topic in Australia, but it can often be difficult to find accurate information about where and how it is being used.

The platform Australian Solar Mapping Tools aims to help with that. A project of the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI), the award-winning interactive website lets users trace the contribution of solar photovoltaic energy -- as in, solar panels -- to Australia's electrical grid historically and in real time, as well as solar PV uptake state-by-state.