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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
LDK Solar Co., the solar-wafer maker that's reported four straight quarterly losses, will have a portion of its debts paid by the government of the eastern Chinese city of Xinyu, where it's based.
Considering their popularity, "alternative energy" is almost a misnomer for increasingly mainstream energy sources like wind, solar and biofuels. Some alternative energies still fit the title, however. These renewables, which will principally provide power for small devices, use unusual sources to create their juice, including vibrations, clothing, viruses, water — even the movements of the human body.
Will I need batteries for my solar system? How much does it cost to go completely off the grid? These questions often come up as people start thinking about going solar. So, what does it really mean to go "off-grid" with a PV system? First, let's take a look at a traditional grid-tied system. Grid-tied Solar When most people install a solar ele
OCI Co. led declines among South Korean solar-cell companies after media reports said the Chinese government began investigating sales of Korean-made polysilicon in China on suspicions of dumping.
While solar is currently making the biggest renewable waves in Japan, the country is also moving quickly toward offshore wind, with the recent announcement that an offshore wind demonstration project would begin producing electricity by January.
Welspun Energy Ltd., India's biggest developer of solar projects, said the nation will surpass its sun-powered generation target by two-fold over the next decade amid shortages of coal and natural gas.