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

First Solar has always done things differently compared to the silicon solar industry at large. From wild technical success with its cadmium telluride thin-film platform to actually delivering profits and not following a growth-at-all-costs strategy, First Solar has cut its own path.

While solar module companies come and go, ending up insolvent like Germany's SolarWorld or China's Suntech, First Solar is still here and still achieving. The company just logged a strong Q1, ahead of expectations on revenue while modestly raising its guidance for 2017. That's just not that common of an occurrence in the 2017 solar industry.

Mark

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

China is undertaking a colossal energy transformation. But it’s not just happening in the renewable energy sector. It's happening in coal.

Along with developing sprawling new wind and solar farms, China is investing heavily in the most efficient coal technologies. In fact, new plants under construction in the country are dramatically more efficient than anything operating in the U.S., according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

China is closing many of its older coal plants. At the same time, China’s operating coal plants must meet a very high efficiency standard by 2020 -- a bar that very few American coal plants can

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,

Germany’s First Onshore Wind Auction Brings Low Prices for Citizen-Owned Projects

As Germany moves away from feed-in tariffs and toward competitive auctions for renewables, the country's first tenders are bringing positive results.

On Friday, the German network agency awarded contracts to 70 wind farms worth 807 megawatts under the country's first auction for onshore projects. The average bid price came in at €0.057 ($0.06) per kilowatt-hour.

"The first auction for onshore wind installations was successful. The pleasingly high level of competition made it possible to accept an average bid of 5.71 cents," said Jochen Homann, the president of Germany's federal network agency, in a statement announcing the bids.

Community projects -- wind farms owned directly

Redflow Decides Flow Batteries Are a Tough Sell for Residential Applications, Shifts Focus to Telcos

Australian flow-battery startup Redflow is dialing back 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 on a per-kilowatt-hour basis on cost, fire safety, operating life and speed of charge.

Verisk Analytics Acquires MAKE to Add Deep Wind Expertise to Wood Mackenzie and GTM

Verisk Analytics, a data analytics specialist, just acquired MAKE, a research and advisory firm focused on wind power. MAKE will become part of Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk Analytics business that provides research and advisory services to the power and natural resources sector. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The addition of wind market intelligence to the Wood Mackenzie team comes at a time when the industry is seeing a boom in offshore wind, steady growth in onshore wind, and the ability to offer some of the lowest (perhaps the lowest) levelized costs of energy in 2017.

“Wood Mackenzie is building

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Qatar Green Leaders is a Green Building Certification Management & Training Company, dedicated to helping its clients achieve the most feasible LEED / GSAS certification.

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

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