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Guest post: A ‘third way’ approach for the U.S. solar trade case

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past several months, you’ve probably heard about how in October of last year, SolarWorld led a U.S. manufacturer coalition that asserted trade law violations by Chinese makers of solar cells. The coalition’s filing with the U.S. Department of Commerce has led to significant preliminary tariffs being levied on solar […]

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Ramping down the hyperbole matrix overdrive

The development of a novel visibly transparent polymer solar cell (PSC) by a UCLA research team has captured the imagination of the technology media, garnering coverage from the likes of Bloomberg, Time, PC World, Slate, and dozens of other outlets. The promise of a low-cost, lightweight, reasonably efficient, see-through PV film that could be applied […]

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Taxpayers get their money’s worth

Adding fodder to the economic argument for photovoltaics, a recent study has found that the U.S. Federal government’s solar investment tax credit (ITC) pays back the taxpayers’ initial outlay in spades—an estimated 10% internal rate of return for commercial and residential projects. The report, titled “Paid in Full,” was published by the U.S. Partnership for […]

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Solar energy zones and overdue loans

The potential proliferation of large utility-scale solar plants on U.S. public lands took a major step forward with the publication of a final programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) by the Department of Interior, in conjunction with the Department of Energy. Key elements include the establishment of 17 “solar energy zones” occupying 285,000 acres in six […]

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Trade actions and political grandstanding

Nothing like ending the week with threats of new trade actions and good ol’-fashioned political grandstanding. The so-called “solar trade war” ratcheted up a few ticks with the announcement that the Chinese Ministry of  Commerce (MOFCOM) is considering an application filed by a group of Chinese solar companies including LDK, Daqo, and GCL Poly of […]

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Post-Intersolar North America 2012 picks, Part 2

The post-Intersolar North America content harvest continues from this year’s San Francisco shebang. The Curator has spent hours going through the scores of news stories, blogs, videos, and other eye-candy so you don’t have to—although there’s plenty here for info-addicted souls to satisfy their jones. As is usually the case around major tradeshows in the space, […]

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Germany: One huge test bed for grid-tied renewables

The news that solar power, 22GW of it, met about 40% of Germany’s total electricity  demand over a 24-hour period in late May was a wake-up call to advocates and critics of renewable energy. While that golden day in the life of the German grid was certainly noteworthy, one might wonder how the numbers look […]

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Post-Intersolar North America 2012 picks, Part 1

When you’re busy attending and working a big industry tradeshow like the just-completed Intersolar North America, the irony is there’s barely enough time to keep up in “real time” with the news, announcements and scuttlebutt coming out of the event. Although the Curator posted a few items earlier in the week, did some Tweeting, and […]

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Intended and unintended consequences

SAN FRANCISCO–As someone who has been covering, analyzing, and now curating the news, research, and commentary emanating from the solar sector for years (and the semiconductor industry before that), I’m not used to being the subject of media reporting. So it was a shock to the Curator’s system when I was cited in the lede […]

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What do the Stanley Cup and Sheryl Crow have in common?

One major photovoltaic company and Intersolar North America 2012 exhibitor that has taken ahold of sponsorship marketing opportunities with both hands is Canadian Solar. The timing of its affiliations with a pair of professional sports organizations—the San Francisco Giants (baseball) and Los Angeles Kings (hockey)—has aligned Canadian with eventual champions in their respective sports, most […]

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