Mexico’s government cut its 2014 growth forecast after the economy recovered less than analysts estimated in the first quarter, held back by weak export demand and a tax increase that sapped consumer confidence. The economy will expand 2.7 percent, down from a previous forecast of 3.9 percent, the Finance Ministry said after the statistics agency… [Continue Reading]

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Politics – as with almost everything else – is all about perspective. Often used as a verb to describe spatial relationships in a photograph or by an astronomer to define the size of objects in space, the word is designed to remind us that we need to be aware of the relative nature of things.… [Continue Reading]

CFE Bills

According to a recent publication released by Standard & Poors’, the global economy is rising, and for the most part Latin America is coming along for the ride. The two largest economies, Brazil and Mexico, heavily influence the region’s growth, and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services expects 2014 GDP to increase in those two countries… [Continue Reading]

Mexico Industry

In a discussion about the effects and changes of Presidential Pena Nieto’s reforms of Mexico’s energy sector, Francisco Salazar Diez de Sollano, chairman of Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), explained within the next few months — the government will create a new administrative body called the National Center for Control of Natural Gas (CENAGAS) while… [Continue Reading]

CRE Chairman Salazar

According to news reports in Bonn, Germany’s new energy minister has outlined cuts in subsidies to producers of renewable energy as the country wrestles with soaring costs from its nuclear power exit. Opposition MPs and the solar energy sector have already criticized the reforms due to be discussed by conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new “grand… [Continue Reading]

Germany photo

The Middle East, spearheaded by the oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies, could spend up to $50 billion on developing solar power over the next seven years, says the Middle East Solar Industry Association. The MESIA group based in Dubai, financial center of the United Arab Emirates, estimates the region will install 12,000-15,000 megawatts of solar power… [Continue Reading]

Saudi Photo

According to China Today, the Chinese government is pushing for a drastic shakeout of the country’s overcrowded solar cell industry, supporting only a quarter of players and practically telling the rest to get out of the business. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced a list of 134 producers of silicon materials, solar… [Continue Reading]

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“In the race for commercial solar power, in both the USA and Mexico — the winner is Wal-Mart”, said Don Walter, CEO of Sonora Energy Group, a Mexico based renewable energy company. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in the USA, Wal-Mart now has more solar energy capacity than any other USA based company… [Continue Reading]

Walmart Solar

On 15 November 2013, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the final shipment of low enriched uranium (LEU) derived from Russian weapons-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) under the 1993 U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement, commonly known as the Megatons to Megawatts Program. Under this Agreement, Russia downblended 500 metric tons of HEU, equivalent to 20,000 nuclear… [Continue Reading]

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As published in the Journal Nature, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University have experimentally demonstrated a new paradigm for solar cell construction which may ultimately make them less expensive, easier to manufacture and more efficient at harvesting energy from the sun. The study was led by professor Andrew M. Rappe and research… [Continue Reading]

Crystal 3

Mexico’s state-owned power monopoly CFE reported a net loss of 6.11bn pesos (US$474mn) in Q3 compared to a net profit of 2.34bn pesos in the year-ago quarter, according to a filing with Mexico City bourse BMV. The primary year-over-year difference in the net result came from a 9.0bn-peso slip in profits from currency exchange as… [Continue Reading]

cfe

Five years after the global financial crisis, Latin America is poised to grow more slowly than it did before the crisis. We expect Latin American GDP to expand, on average, by 3.2% from 2011-2015, compared with 5.1% during 2004-2008. The more subdued growth outlook comes after an initial strong economic rebound and despite that Latin… [Continue Reading]

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Arizona’s largest utility admitted this week that it had paid a national conservative group to run anti-solar ads, after denying earlier in the year that it was funding the campaign. The Arizona Public Service has been pushing the state’s public utility commission to change a state policy that currently allows homes and businesses with their… [Continue Reading]

Arizona_Public_Service_Logo

According to Standard & Poors, in all the world, there are only three countries whose legislation limits participation by private companies to service contracts: Mexico, Kuwait, and North Korea. Mexico is no Kuwait. And it’s hard to believe that Mexico’s political class would put the country’s future energy policy on a par with North Korea’s.… [Continue Reading]

EPN

Chinese foreign M&A is on track for one of it busiest years ever, should the current pace of acquisitions continue for the balance of 2013. With Beijing-based Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corp. agreeing to acquire a 33% stake in the Egyptian oil and gas business of Houston, TX-headquartered Apache Corp. for $3.1 billion… [Continue Reading]

Hong Kong

China’s legislators called for greater support for the development of renewable energy industry which is facing obstacles in planning, purchase system, subsidies and technology. Development of renewable energy must be a priority, with clear goals, as China is suffering poor energy structure, environmental pollution and ecological degradation, said Chen Changzhi, vice chairman of the Standing… [Continue Reading]

Shanghi

It’s official. Nanosolar, the CIGS thin-film solar panel is done. Its assets are being auctioned off. Nanosolar joins Solyndra, AQT, SoloPower, etc. in the grave yard of failed CIGS solar firms. Nanosolar has retained Heritage Global Partners to “jointly manage a bulk and piecemeal sale for its state-of-the-art solar production and manufacturing equipment and related… [Continue Reading]

Skulls

China’s new five-year plan promises carbon reductions and an expansion of their reach into renewable energy. That might prove to be an opportunity for companies such as Sonora Energy Group. Sonora Energy Group, through their family of companies, owns and operates solar energy projects most often selling their product to national utility companies. That means… [Continue Reading]

Gears in Motion PHOTO

Despite its role in supplying the world with oil, Saudi Arabia is jumping headlong into renewable energy, with plans to install more solar and wind power in the next 20 years than the rest of the world has installed to date. The oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working with the US Department of Energy’s… [Continue Reading]

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All German Chancellor Angela Merkel had to do was pick up the phone and dial her people in Brussels. Had she done so before the European Parliament’s (EP) key vote last month on April 19, her party’s representatives could easily have saved the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), Europe’s flagship mechanism for reducing carbon emissions.… [Continue Reading]

Coal in Germany

Chinese photovoltaic panel manufacturers face import tariffs of up to 67.9 percent in Europe. China is firmly opposed to any punitive duties set by the European Union targeting Chinese solar companies, and the government will defend the rights of domestic companies, a senior Chinese official said on Thursday. “China expects the EU to be cautious… [Continue Reading]

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On March 15, 2013, Mexico’s senate approved a national energy strategy for 2013-2027 delivered by energy ministry Sener last month. With 83 votes in favor and 17 against, the plan easily passed through the senate and has now been sent to the chamber of deputies, according to a congressional press release. Lawmakers from the left… [Continue Reading]

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Solar panel pioneer Suntech (NYSE: STP), the self professed largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world, on the hook to repay $540 million in bonds that have just come due and without any cash to meet its obligation, seems to be preparing itself for bankruptcy. “It is not surprising,” said Donald Walter, CEO of… [Continue Reading]

Suntech

After multiple delays, BrightSource confirmed that the power purchase agreements (PPA) with Southern California Edison (SCE) for both Rio Mesa 1 and Rio Mesa 2 have been cancelled and the permitting process for their 500 mW Rio Mesa solar thermal projects has been suspended. The proposed Rio Mesa project consists of two 250-megawatt (MW) (nominal)… [Continue Reading]

Turtle

Power demand in Mexico increased 3% year-on-year to 16.7TWh in November from 16.2TWh but decreased from 18.1TWh in October, according to the latest figures from national utility CFE. Industries continue to account for the largest share of demand with 9.76TWh in November compared to 9.44TWh in the year-ago month and 10.4TWh in October. Small and… [Continue Reading]

Red sky power lines

Just a few days ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 by vote of 257-167. The measure had passed the US Senate by a vote of 89-8 on December 31st. This deal reinforced the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making under $400,000 and families making under $450,000, while… [Continue Reading]

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News

Mexico Cuts 2014 GDP Forecast to 2.7% as 1Q Disappoints

3% Growth in Mexico

Mexico’s Energy Reform Expands Powers of CRE and Creates Competition Among Energy Providers

Germany to Cut Renewable Subsidies — A Welcomed Pain, Says Sonora Energy

Mideast looks at $50B to spend on solar power by 2020: But Regulatory and Ownership Issues Make Investments Problematic

China Cuts Off Support to 75% of its Panel Manufacturers: Result — Grow Stronger or Disappear

Wal-Mart Draws More Solar Power Than 38 U.S. States and EVERY State in Mexico

10% of Electricity in USA Comes from Old Soviet Nuclear Weapons — That is 10 Times More than the Contribution of Solar Energy

The Holy Grail of Energy Conversion Efficiency: Perovskite? Maybe.

CFE losses grow in Q3, blaming fuel consumption

2013 Growth in Mexico Reduced to 1.5% Says Standard & Poors

APS Worked to Kill Solar Access for Homeowners

Enrique Peña Nieto Leads the Fight to Change Mexico — Instead of Falling Behind

Chinese Foreign M&A Could Set A New All-Time High In 2013

Despite 20% of China’s Capacity Coming from Renewable Sources, Government Doubles Down for More

Nanosolar, Thin-Film Solar Hype Firm, Officially Dead — Killing an Investment of $400M USD

China’s new five-year plan promises carbon reductions and an expansion of renewable energy. That means more production efficiency.

Saudi Arabia Extends Reach to Solar

Germany Kills Emissions Trading Scheme: Victory for Coal

EU Hits China with Import Tariffs

Suntech Going South

Birds, Bats and Turtles Are Not the Only Reasons Why BrightSource’s Solar Projects Collapsed: Their Business Model Makes Little Sense

CFE Power Demand Increases

How the Fiscal Cliff and Recent Activity in the US Congress Affect the Solar Industry: A Macro Look

Buffett Goes Long, Again

The Cycle Continues in 2013: Economic Growth Fuels Government and Consumer Interest in Renewable Projects

Ontario Domestic Content Law Ruled Unfair by WTO

With No Profits — SolFocus Seeks to Restructure

China Financing Blows Into Latin American Wind Market

Pink Slips at SolarWorld, Says Tariffs Have Been No Relief

Industry News

Reform of the Electricity Paradigm in Mexico: The Importance of Perspective

Politics – as with almost everything else – is all about perspective. Often used as a verb to describe spatial relationships in a photograph or by an astronomer to define the size of objects in space, the word is designed to remind us that we need to be aware of the relative nature of things. […]

Mexico’ Senate Approves National Energy Strategy

On March 15, 2013, Mexico’s senate approved a national energy strategy for 2013-2027 delivered by energy ministry Sener last month. With 83 votes in favor and 17 against, the plan easily passed through the senate and has now been sent to the chamber of deputies, according to a congressional press release. Lawmakers from the left […]

SEGH’s Message to US Solar Panel Manufacturers: Stop Whining and Get Busy Innovating

When the International Trade Commission voted unanimously that imports of Chinese solar cells have harmed U.S. solar manufacturers, which will result in tariffs added to solar modules manufactured in China, a new era in the solar industry began. Sadly, this era is seemingly based on American whining and foot stomping instead of focusing on innovation […]

Calderon Opens Experimental Solar Farm

Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently inaugurated a small-scale solar power plant that he touted as the region’s first, a pilot facility in the northwestern state of Baja California that features only 4,000 photovoltaic panels and 1 MW in generating capacity. The plant is “the first in Mexico, the first in all of Latin America,” the […]

New President of Mexico Vows to “Change the way we do things”.

Enrique Peña Nieto erased any doubt that he wants to open the energy sector at a meeting with German business leaders. “We have to change the way we do things and take advantage of the potential of other mechanisms that allow the participation of the private sector,” Peña Nieto said of Mexico’s current energy policy […]

ABB to build 40 MVA Substation for SEGH-CFE 1 Project

Officials from Sonora Energy Group de Hermosillo, S.A. de C.V. and ABB recently visited CFE’s power station at Puerto Libertad, Sonora.  It is at this location that ABB will install a 40 MVA Substation linking Sonora Energy Group’s solar energy project with Mexico’s national utility.  CFE’s switch yard is located only 400 meters from Sonora […]

Mexico’s Energy Minister says US$20bn generation investment needed through 2026

Mexico requires 276bn pesos (US$20.1bn) in power generation investments through 2026 to expand physical generation to 480TWh, up 65.5% from 290TWh in 2012, energy minister Jordy Herrera said in a presentation.  Of the total investment, 78% will relate to renewable energy generation. The share of renewables in physical generation would increase to 92TWh in 2026 […]

Mexican Mine to Produce 80 MW from Wind

Mexican mining group Industrias Peñoles’ Fuerza Eólica del Istmo subsidiary will connect the second phase of its wind generation project in Oaxaca state to state power company CFE’s national grid (SIN) on February 20, said Peñoles’ energy and technology director, Arturo Vaca Durán. Testing on the 30MW plant is roughly 80% complete. Like the project’s […]

CRE to void mini-hydro open season

Mexican state power regulator CRE will declare void its open season tender for mini-hydroelectric plants in Puebla state due to lack of interest, said CRE commission Francisco Barnés de Castro.   Only a handful of companies presented hydroelectric projects with less than 30MW for the tender, which allows developers to reserve transmission capacity to collectively […]

CFE to launch tender for 50MW geothermal at Los Azufres in Mexico

Mexico’s state power company CFE will launch a tender in the coming days for 50MW of new generation capacity at its 188MW Los Azufres geothermal field in Michoacán state, Raúl Maya, the head of CFE’s geothermal division, said at a conference in Mexico City. Maya said the tender for the generation units is an opportunity […]