Dubai plans to award solar power contract in Q1, plus 3 ways U.S solar energy programs work

BLOOMBERG BUSINESS: Dubai Plans to Award Solar Power Contract in First Quarter

Dubai’s government-owned utility will probably announce the winners in the first quarter to build the third phase of a $3.3 billion solar energy park.

The project to produce 800 megawatts of electricity from the sun will probably be awarded to more than one company, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, chief executive officer of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, said in Dubai on Sunday. DEWA is still deciding whether to build the plant all at once or at different times to take advantage of lower costs, he said. In January, DEWA tripled its target for solar energy production to take advantage of lower building costs.

Energy companies in the Middle East are turning to solar power to take advantage of plentiful amounts of sun. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, has ample solar resources and open land and eventually “won’t need fossil fuels,” Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in May.

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US ENERGY DEPARTMENT: 3 Ways Solar Energy Programs Are Helping Achieve President Obama’s Climate Goals

Since President Obama took office in 2009, U.S. solar energy capacity has grown more than twenty-fold. And solar stands to grow even more — with renewable energy capacity in the U.S. slated to reach as much as 28 percent by 2030.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, announced earlier this year, is an ambitious plan to cut carbon pollution from the energy sector. The plan sets long-term market signals, driving innovation and investments toward a clean energy future. As it ramps up, the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is working to prepare the industry to help states and local communities go solar and reduce carbon emissions even further.

Here are a few of the SunShot innovations that will help states meet President Obama’s climate goals:

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TECH INSIDER: We’re getting closer to space-based solar panels that could beam unlimited energy to Earth

Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and extreme weather is becoming the norm. The negative effects of man-made climate change are here to stay — and they’re getting worse.

Luckily for the Earth, the world’s supply of fossil fuels is limited. And for the past several decades, researchers have been looking for renewable energy resources to provide power to everyone without poisoning the Earth with atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal.

Some scientists think humans could get clean power collected from solar panels in space and beamed back down to Earth in our lifetime. Not only would the energy source be continuous, it would also be clean and unlimited. The only thing standing in the way is the astronomical cost. But that’s finally changing, and space-based solar power entrepreneurs are starting to see interest from private investors and potential customers.

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VOX: Solar power is still growing rapidly — but it’s about to hit a speed bump

One of the more promising energy developments of the Obama era has been the rapid growth of US solar power. Photovoltaic prices keep dropping, and installations keep soaring. Sure, solar still provides just 0.6 percent of our electricity.

One looming question, though, is whether the US solar industry will keep seeing record growth in the years ahead. And that’s far from assured — particularly if a key federal tax credit expires in 2017.

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