Bloomberg: The $26 Billion Hole That Has Clean Power Scrambling for Cover
For investors in YieldCo stocks, it’s been a quick and wild ride. Two years ago, yield companies like TerraForm Power Inc. and NRG Yield Inc. were the newest, hottest thing for energy investors -- a way to make steady returns off the booming clean energy sector. Share values soared after they were spun off by parent companies eager to cash in. Today, those same parent entities have put as much as $26 billion worth of sales to their affiliates on hold after the market value cratered.
"YieldCos are stranded right now,” said Ben Kallo, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in San Francisco. Given the drop in their values, YieldCos effectively have lost their sense of purpose, which was to use their shares to buy new plants. “The best course of action is to wait it out,” he said.
Argus: Goldman Bets $150 Billion on Renewables by 2025
Goldman Sachs plans to invest $150B in renewable energy projects by 2025 in its effort to widen its presence in environmental markets and green finance.
The investment bank yesterday said it would build upon its existing $40B pledge by notching up its 2025 global investment target to $150B in capital designated for renewable energy projects.
The pledge comes after Goldman began to distance itself from fossil-fuel assets, led by its initial divestment from coal holdings this summer, when it sold its stake in Colombian coal mines to Murray Energy. The pivot toward renewables and low-carbon assets is as much a business venture as it is a quest to cultivate goodwill among stakeholders and policymakers ahead of the U.N. climate talks in Paris that start this month.
Salon: The European Accounting Error That's Warming the Planet
In England and across Europe, the most popular source of renewable energy is wood. But chopping down trees -- many of them in the U.S. -- and burning the wood heats the planet more quickly than burning coal. Yet plants like Drax receive financial support to switch from coal to wood. That’s because of an entrenched loophole in the EU’s climate rules.
That loophole treats electricity generated by burning wood as a “carbon-neutral” or “zero-emissions” energy source -- the same assolarpanels or wind turbines. When power plants in major European countries burn wood, the only carbon dioxide pollution they report is from the burning of fossil fuels needed to manufacture and transport the woody fuel. European law assumes climate pollution released directly by burning fuel made from trees doesn’t matter, because it will be re-absorbed by trees that grow to replace them.
The assumption is convenient, but wrong.
North American Windpower: Wind Breaks Records Across the U.S. in October
Hitting a number of new records in October, many U.S. grid operators, including the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), had a big month in terms of wind generation output.
On Oct. 22, ERCOT reached a record 12,238 MW of output at 12:48 a.m. -- accounting for 36.83% of its overall load at the time. The grid operator had notched its previous record of 11,467 MW in September.
Not long after, MISO confirmed via Twitter that it had reached a wind peak record of 12,383 MW on Oct. 28 -- surpassing its 11,930 MW record from Jan. 8.
SF Gate: Wind Company to Replace Bird-Killing Altamont Turbines
A wind farm company with out-of-date turbines that wildlife biologists blame for the deaths of scores of raptors on the Altamont Pass has agreed after years of squawking from environmentalists and regulators to replace the bird-killing blades.
Altamont Winds Inc. closed down its turbines for the season, and wrote in a letter to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that it had decided to “permanently shut down and cease operations” of all 828 of the power generators. The Tracy company has applied with Alameda County for a permit to replace the old equipment with 33 larger, state-of-the-art turbines that kill far fewer birds.