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A-bound to fail?

The news of Abound Solar shutting down operations and Schott Solar closing factories in Germany and New Mexico tops the latest Fresh Picks batch. PV manufacturers continue to struggle, but someone still has to make the stuff. The trick is to figure out how to do so profitably and stay in business as margins disappear […]

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Photon’s US edition hits its stride

When the Photon uber-brand launched a publication a few years ago targeted at US downstream solar industry folks and interested consumers alike, sporting the yawningly predictable name Photon followed by a now-forgotten subdeck/tagline, I flipped through the first few issues but wasn’t all that impressed. I didn’t find the editorial consistently compelling, the layouts didn’t […]

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Warning signs from LDK

The old adage “better late than never” does not apply to LDK Solar’s postponed announcement of its first-quarter 2012 financials, as the coverage from PV-Tech (whose report includes some commentary from the conference call) and Renewable Energy World make abundantly clear. The company has finally posted its Q1 earnings (or lack of) shortly before the […]

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Carbon nanotube solar cells to rooftop PV

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented a new category of solar photovoltaic cell, a proof-of-concept device made completely of ultrapure single-walled carbon nanotubes and C60 “buckyball” nanostructures, without any protective polymer overlay. The novel cell can capture light in the near-infrared range, a part of the spectrum untapped by conventional devices. A […]

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Checking the facts about renewable energy

There’s a new kid on the renewable energy information block, a fresh upstart that seeks to balance out the blather of overpoliticized and un(der)informed invective aimed at the renewable energy industries: and its Twitter alter-ego, @energyfactcheck. Produced by the nonprofit American Council on Renewable Energy (better known by ACORE acronym), the new Website/social media […]

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Underestimate solar power at your peril

Few recent solarized headlines in the mainstream media have leapt out at the Curator like the one topping Brad Plumer’s June 19 Wonkblog column on the Washington Post website: “Are we wildly underestimating solar and wind power?” Since the “we” in this case are not those in the renewables community who have come to understand […]

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Japan gets its solar on, again

Japan was once the healthiest solar market on the planet in the 1990s, with tens of thousands of rooftop systems installed around the island country. Until a few years ago, Japanese icon Sharp was always near the top of the photovoltaic manufacturing hit parade. But Japan’s solar luster faded in the 2000s as European downstream […]

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Upstream drama, downstream data

Being the second-largest PV production equipment supplier is no guarantee of continued success, if the latest news about centrotherm photovoltaics’ financial woes is any indicator. Credit insurance companies have told the company that they “will no longer insure merchandise deliveries.” Reuters reported that “’until further notice, open credit and guarantee lines can no longer be […]

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Module failure from an otherworldly source

Modules are rarely to blame when a service or failure issue affects a solar power system, said SunEdison’s Anastasios “Tassos” Golnas during his informative plenary talk on PV system reliability from an operator’s perspective at the 38th IEEE PV Specialists Conference in Austin last week. Drawing on data from 450 power plants over a 27-month […]

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Freshly squeezed residential solar info

The quality of my inbox improves every day when PV Solar Report’s “daily digest for busy solar professionals” shows up. The reason the report floats the Curator’s boat is its inclusion of info freshly squeezed from the California Solar Initiative (CSI) database of residential PV activities in the Golden State. In today’s edition (June 12), […]

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