Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript

How to Make a Parking Garage Energy Efficient

August 3rd, 2012
It's no secret that researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) do cool things — including finding new ways to capture energy from the sun and wind. But there's nothing cooler than working on a parking garage, right?

Massachusetts Solar PV Market Returns to Normal with Electrical Licensing Decision

August 1st, 2012
In 2009, the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians (BSEE) took an unprecendented step and required that all solar PV installation work performed in Massachusetts could only be performed by licensed electricians.  Recently this ruling was overturned, which allows the solar PV industry to return to how it was operating before 2009. T

Hawaii Drives Past Solar Power Cost Barrier, Surprised by Additional Roadblocks

August 1st, 2012
Solar has crossed a major threshold in Hawaii.  The state’s homes and businesses can cut their electric bills with unsubsidized solar power, but are also discovering that cheap solar is not a panacea.  As the tide of solar costs has receded, a number of unexpected barriers have emerged. An island state reliant on imported oil for 83% of its electri

Time To Honor the Great Renewable Energy Projects

August 1st, 2012
There is nothing more important than celebrating the victories of an emerging industry. The wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower industries have been putting projects online this year with gusto. Even though project development may slow down for some of those industries in 2013, now is a good time to honor some of the outstanding accompl

Community Development Finance Institutes: Providing Clean Energy Capital

August 1st, 2012
Oftentimes, larger institutions do not finance small renewable energy and energy efficiency projects due to their lack of scale and higher risk profile. But, this is exactly the niche community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are filling by making it possible for small developers, businesses, and underserved homeowners to finance clean energy projects.

A Rush to Innovate Silicon Solar Technology

July 31st, 2012
It wasn't so long ago when some solar company executives – particularly those in the thin film business – dismissed the idea that innovation could still thrive in the world of crystalline silicon technology. The silicon technology was getting cheaper and factories were getting larger, and its dominance seemed unshakable, at least in the short-term. Why would anyone invest in new materials or production processes?

First Solar Road to Profits Amid Red for Global Industry

July 31st, 2012
First Solar Inc. Chairman Mike Ahearn has found the best way to make money from photovoltaics is to sell whole power plants to Warren Buffett and NextEra Energy Inc. instead of competing with China on panel sales.

Solar Philanthropy: Five Groups Using Solar to End Energy Poverty

July 31st, 2012
Approximately 1.3 billion people live without regular access to energy. People are forced to use fuels that pollute and cause respiratory illnesses, like kerosene and biomass, and spend long hours time collecting fuel. It is a global crisis that is harming the health and well-being of people in the developing world, in addition to harming the planet.

Trackers Lead Solar Into Harshest of Environments

July 31st, 2012
There are two particularly egregious arguments against solar power: it does not work in certain areas because of weather and it costs too much. But as we saw at Intersolar in San Francisco earlier this month, the industry's continuous innovation is helping to blow these false perceptions out of the water.

Time To Honor the Great Renewable Energy Projects

July 30th, 2012
There is nothing more important than celebrating the victories of an emerging industry. The wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower industries have been putting projects online this year with gusto. Even though project development may slow down for some of those industries in 2013, now is a good time to honor some of the outstanding accompl

Wal-Mart Beating Ikea, Apple in U.S. Solar Panel Installations

July 30th, 2012
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has installed more than 150 U.S. solar projects and expects to have as much as 90 megawatts of capacity by year-end, more than Ikea Group and Apple Inc.

NLP Solar Sales Training Live Webinar August 8th & 9th

July 30th, 2012

Clean Energy Stocks Decline to Nine-Year Low on Policy Uncertainty

July 30th, 2012
The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, a global index of clean-energy stocks, declined to a nine-year low as the industry faces oversupply, falling prices and uncertain government support.

A “Third Way” Approach for U.S.-China Solar Trade

July 30th, 2012
Last October, SolarWorld led a U.S. manufacturer coalition that asserted trade law violations by Chinese makers of solar cells. The coalition's filing with the Department of Commerce led to significant tariffs being levied on solar products originating in China entering the U.S.

Lime Energy or Lemon Energy?

July 30th, 2012
Last week, when Lime Energy (NASD:LIME) announced that an internal investigation by its audit committee had revealed up to $15 million in misreported revenue, my first instinct was to sell, especially because the misreported revenue included not only revenue assigned to the wrong period, but possibly completely fictitious revenue.

Portugal Utility Plans To Export Solar Energy to Germany

July 27th, 2012
EDP-Energias de Portugal SA's former head of finance plans to avoid austerity-driven cuts in support for solar projects in the country by exporting power to Germany.

7 Ways Your Solar Website Is Driving Away Business — Yes, Your Website

July 27th, 2012
There are at least a million ways to design a solar website today, and there are probably just as many ways to turn that expensive investment into useless cyber real estate. In this post, we’ll discuss seven common mistakes that drive away visitors. Given the billion websites in the world, someone arriving on your site is almost a solar marketing m

Solar Cells Light Up Prison Cells on ‘The Rock’

July 27th, 2012
"Machine Gun Kelly," Al Capone, the "Birdman" — Alcatraz prison has had some infamous residents on the craggy island known as "The Rock" in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

Philippines Introduces New Feed-in Tariff

July 27th, 2012
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in the Philippines today approved the feed-in tariffs (FITs) that apply to renewable energy generation sources such as hydro (run–of–river), biomass, wind and solar. Initially the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) that petitioned the FIT proposed values that they calculated during the time the petition wa

Eggs in Many Baskets: Arizona Public Service Diversifies Generation Sources

July 26th, 2012
Arizona Public Service (APS) changed how it selects new generation supply with a March 2012 filing; it will no longer use "least cost" as the dominant factor. Instead, it will diversify and distribute its generation eggs in many baskets. Not only that, APS will reduce carbon emissions and total water use, and has protected itself from potential future price spikes and volatility in the natural gas market.

SolarWorld Among 20-Plus Manufacturers to File EU Complaint

July 26th, 2012
A SolarWorld coalition of European-based manufacturers officially filed a trade complaint in Brussels late Wednesday, eliciting a strong response from leading Chinese manufacturers and setting the stage for a process that could further shake up the global solar industry.

U.K. Boosts Gas While Cutting Subsidies From Wind to Biomass

July 25th, 2012
The U.K. government granted tax relief for natural gas drillers and cut subsidies for renewable energy, signaling more reductions in the months ahead as it balances demand for cheaper power against a goal to lower pollution from fossil fuels.

Confusion Reigns As European Solar Trade Complaint Appears Imminent

July 25th, 2012
After months of rumors and false starts, it appears that SolarWorld AG is on the cusp of filing a trade complaint with the European Union trade commission against Chinese solar cells and modules, and it looks like the announcement could come later this week.

Clear Solar Film Means Power From Windows for IPads, UCLA Says

July 25th, 2012
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have developed a transparent film that may be affixed to glass and other surfaces to capture sunlight and generate electricity.

Western Solar Zones to Streamline Development on Public Lands

July 24th, 2012
The Wild West days of American solar development are nearing their sunset with the release and likely adoption of federal guidelines that more clearly define where large-scale projects can be sited.

Landmark Manufacturing, Generation Solar Deal Struck in San Antonio

July 24th, 2012
San Antonio's goal of becoming a renewable energy hub took a major step forward this week with the announcement that a $100 million manufacturing operation was moving into the city to help serve a 400-megawatt (MW) solar project.

New MLP Parity Act Could Give a Boost to Geothermal/Renewable Energy Investors

July 24th, 2012
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) have introduced legislation, S. 3275, or Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) Parity Act, which gives renewable energy projects access to a tax incentive available now only to oil, gas, and coal projects.

Moving Solar Beyond 1603 – There Are Alternatives

July 24th, 2012
The 1603 Federal Grant Program is dead. Fine, so let's all move on because PV solar is here to stay and will be a critical component of our economic growth and environmental health.

California’s CSI Solar Thermal Program: Demand Cloudy with a Chance of Solar

July 24th, 2012
Despite a huge pot of incentive dollars available for commercial and residential solar hot water, California’s entire CSI Thermal program remains cloudy. That is, while there has been some limited success in the Northern California commercial program, the rebate remains in its earliest (and richest) step one phase for both residential and commercia

Asia Report: Japan Taps Into Promising Geothermal Potential

July 23rd, 2012
Japan has made considerable strides in solar installations since the announcement of Feed-in Tariffs, and now the country is starting to lay the groundwork for geothermal expansion, as well.

New Jersey Updates Solar Law To Keep Its Market Perch

July 23rd, 2012
New Jersey has been among the top solar markets in the United States, but until recently, its perch was in doubt. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Monday that aims to keep solar energy development booming – and the jobs that come with it.

Britain’s Power Market Proposal ‘Unworkable,’ Lawmakers Say

July 23rd, 2012
The U.K. government's proposal to overhaul the electricity market is "unworkable" because the Treasury isn't willing to back contracts needed to spur clean energy, a panel of lawmakers in Parliament said.

Could Securitization Democratize Solar Power?

July 23rd, 2012
After Wall Street popularized the term “mortgage-backed securities” in their destruction of the economy in 2008, you could be forgiven for thinking “solar securities” are a pyramid scheme.  But in truth, they may hold the key to democratizing the financing and the ownership of distributed renewable energy. Right now, financing solar typically means

A New Competitive Landscape for Solar PV Racking

July 20th, 2012
I've been attending the Intersolar conference in San Francisco for ten years since it was just Semicon, and noticed many of the most interesting trends don't show up in the headlines. This year, I noticed that the exhibit halls were packed with metal (racking) peddlers, far more than in previous years.

Pirates and Magicians — Standing Out in a Crowded Industry

July 20th, 2012
Conferences are intense. They have hundreds of booths, thousands of products, and tens of thousands of people. Cram that into the Moscone Center in San Francisco; add dozens of panel discussions and parties, mix for four days and you get Intersolar North America 2012.

Indonesia Launches “Crash” Renewables Program: Boosts Geothermal FITs

July 20th, 2012
The Jakarta Post reports that Indonesia substantially raised its geothermal tariffs this week across the archipelago of 240 million people, beginning what the government bills as a "crash" program.

Ex-First Solar Exec Takes Helm at Battery Start-Up

July 20th, 2012
Dave Eaglesham was instrumental in the scale-up of First Solar, and he has now been tapped to lead Pellion Technologies, a startup with visions of supplanting the lithium-ion battery market with its magnesium-based technology.

Video: Our Long Road to Solar Power

July 20th, 2012
Prior to installing the new solar arrays we unveiled here at Jordan Winery last week, we chose to focus our efforts on a six-year program to reduce our energy consumption to the lowest possible level. I felt strongly about reducing our energy use before converting to solar power. In the rush to get off the grid, many businesses have been ‘solarizin

China Probes U.S., South Korea Solar-grade Polysilicon

July 20th, 2012
China is investigating whether exporters from the U.S. and South Korea sold solar-grade polysilicon below cost, a practice known as dumping, as part of a probe following complaints from four domestic companies.

Cutting Building Energy Use in Half with Renewables

July 20th, 2012
The blips of a heart monitor, the hum of an MRI, the intense lights of a surgical room: all can bring both comfort and fear — and all require a lot of power. But new hospitals are being filled with natural, calming light and are leveraging energy from the sun and earth to power the machines, instruments, and tools medical professionals use to help patients recover.

Solar Power from Plastic Foils

July 20th, 2012
A group of researchers headed by Dr. Alexander Colsmann at the Light Technology Institute (LTI) will start work this month on organic solar cells. The project is scheduled for a duration of four years and aims at enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells to more than 10 percent. For this purpose, the researchers use tandem architectures combining solar cells of complementary absorption spectra. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has granted funding of EUR 4.25 million.

Time To Consider a Thermal “System Benefits Charge”?

July 19th, 2012
Over the years electricity and, more recently, transportation fuels, have received the lion's share of attention from energy policy makers. Thermal energy, on the other hand, has been largely overlooked by state and federal lawmakers seeking to promote efficiency and renewable energy. Yet heat represents more than one-third of all energy consumed in the U.S., and many states have endorsed ambitious renewable energy goals that simply cannot be met without meaningful attention to thermal energy. For example, many states have endorsed 25 x'25, which proposes that 25% of all energy consumed come from renewable resources. This goal is unlikely to be achieved without thermal energy receiving the same attention as electricity and transportation fuels.

Intersolar’s Solar Battle of the Bands, Round 2: When the Solar Industry Really Comes Together

July 19th, 2012
It may be a “battle,” but the entire industry is really the winner in “Solar Battle of the Bands: Round 2,” a new tradition at Intersolar North America. I didn’t think a solar industry event could shine any better than the first Solar Battle of the Bands, but this year’s second edition establishes SBOB as the single solar industry community event t

Amonix Closes 150-MW Las Vegas HCPV Plant

July 19th, 2012
Amonix, the clear market leader in installed high concentrating photovoltaics (HCPV), has shut down its North Las Vegas manufacturing operation a little more than a year after its much-hyped opening.

Solar Acquisitions Doubled to Record $10.8 Billion

July 19th, 2012
The value of acquisitions of solar photovoltaic plants more than doubled to $10.8 billion in 2011 as developers sold projects to longer-term investors, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

What the Wonderful Wizard of Oz Can Teach Solar

July 18th, 2012
In the classic children's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy's dog Toto pulls back a curtain to reveal the Wizard as nothing but a normal man. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," the man says. With solar energy, that man behind the curtain could be the hidden subsidies that conventional energy enjoys, but, it could also be the promises of low prices for photovoltaic (PV) technology that are proving disastrous to all solar technologies.

Latin America Report: China’s Growing Investment in Chile

July 18th, 2012
China, always on the lookout for emerging markets, is investing in a $900 million, 300-megawatt (MW) solar farm as part of a broader trade agreement between the two nations.

Long Island Power Authority Launches Limited FIT for Commercial Solar

July 18th, 2012
To much media fanfare, Long Island Power Authority has begun accepting applications for a limited and short-term feed-in tariff program for commercial solar photovoltaics (solar PV).

Hybrid Solar Heat and Power Systems On the Rise

July 18th, 2012
According to "Residential Combined Heat and Power," a new study by Pike Research, the market for residential combined heat and power (resCHP) systems – defined as small, distributed energy generation systems that produce electricity for residences while also capturing heat that would otherwise be treated as waste – is still very small, but growing rapidly.

China Could Be Rare Earth Metals Importer by 2014

July 18th, 2012
U.S. and Canadian producers of heavy rare earth metals are poised to benefit as China becomes a net importer of some of the materials as early as 2014, said Peter Cashin, chief executive officer of Quest Rare Minerals Ltd.