Siva Power Lands $25M to Chase Giga-Scale Domestic Thin-Film Solar Production

It's extremely difficult to raise venture capital funding for solar hardware companies, but somehow Siva Power just raised $25 million for its thin-film solar manufacturing think-tank/retirement project for thin film technologists.

Siva closed this $25 million round to focus on building a pilot line and developing a solar module business -- with funding led by Jim Simons and Mark Heising, along with Jonathan Sheets.

Mark Heising is the managing director of Medley Partners. Jim Simons, a renowned mathematician, started the Medallion Fund, a wildly successful hedge fund. He's appeared on the Forbes top 100 richest people list and, until this investment at least, was called “the

Utilities are breaking away from traditional electricity products to offer customers access to large-scale renewable energy. Until very recently, utilities did not differentiate the sort of power they offered customers. With very few exceptions, everyone shared in the cost and used electricity from the same fleet of power generating stations.

But over the past four years, even regulated U.S. utilities have begun to offer new, large-scale renewable energy options to customers. World Resources Institute  (WRI) data shows that across 10 U.S. states, utilities now offer 13 green tariffs -- programs that let customers purchase large-scale renewable energy over the grid.

We take a closer look

After FERC Order 745 was issued in 2011, demand response procurement increased steadily from 26 gigawatts in 2012 to 33 gigawatts at the start of 2016.

However, the effects of looming uncertainty over jurisdiction and compensation for demand response (DR) began manifesting in 2016. As a result, the total estimated DR availability in ISO/RTO territories dropped from 33 gigawatts to 31 gigawatts between Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, according to GTM Research’s latest U.S. Wholesale DER Aggregation report.

Source: FERC, GTM Research

The decline comes at a time when state- and federal-level regulation is impacting the requirements for participation in wholesale services,

The line between government and business is often blurred when it comes to regulating the electricity sector, Travis Kavulla, vice chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission, wrote in an essay for the Summer 2017 edition of American Affairs. There is no such thing as a free market for electricity, he argues, because even where there are competitive features, the marketplace is warped by government intervention.

Kavulla's essay offers a clear and detailed explanation of the often-nonsensical way in which electricity markets operate. "Understanding the sector is not just important because electricity is important; the market for electricity is really a window into the workings of the

Suniva Trade Case, Now Approaching Farce, Was Bankrolled by Creditor to Recoup Debt

Why would a bankrupt, majority Chinese-owned, U.S.-based solar module producer file a trade complaint to limit cheap imports -- especially when its Chinese majority owner opposed the effort?

Because Suniva's major creditor, SQN Capital Management, was bankrolling the trade claim in a byzantine plan to recover the $51 million it is owed for manufacturing equipment, according to reports.

Got that?

Bloomberg reports that SQN said: "The case would disappear if Chinese companies bought $55 million in manufacturing equipment."

So, by pushing a trade claim with the International Trade Commission (ITC) that could decimate the downstream solar market, SQN is threatening

The World’s Top Energy Companies Look to Blockchain to ‘Fuse the Physical With the Virtual’

Earlier this month Shell, Statoil, Tepco, Centrica plc and a half-dozen other energy companies joined the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), an alliance devoted to bringing blockchain to the grid.

The companies donated $2.5 million to the organization.

The Foundation was set up in February this year as a collaboration between The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Australian blockchain developer Grid Singularity to “accelerate the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy sector.”

The companies and organizations involved think blockchain will be a game-changer for energy, and are working together to provide the frameworks and standards to help ensure that

Redflow Decides Flow Batteries Are a Bad Fit for Residential Applications, Shifts Focus to Telcos

Australian flow-battery startup Redflow is ending its pursuit of the residential storage market.

The company will now shift its focus from residential customers to telecommunications backup applications, as well as commercial, industrial, off-grid and weak-grid segments. A strategic review released today concluded that success with early adopters in the residential market did not translate into a viable long-term sales strategy.

This marks a setback for the theory that flow batteries can beat lithium-ion for home use. Redflow previously argued that its 5-kilowatt, 10-kilowatt-hour ZCell outperforms lithium-ion batteries per-kilowatt-hour on cost, fire safety, operating life and speed of charge. On upfront cost, though,

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We are a privately-owned Qatari company established in June 2011 and operating from Doha, Qatar.

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