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Submersible, spherical, sun-loving

Not only does the Solar Life provide an option for clean, renewable energy, but it also offers moments of whimsy, wonder, and beauty. Two fresh examples of solar’s power to inspire come from the realm of robotics/automation and creative design; both cases also illustrate that sometimes the curational process requires more than a single step […]

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Moving down the pipeline

In recent days, several big to massive solar PV projects in various parts of the planet have been announced or seen their prospects move farther down the development pipeline toward eventual construction. While details about the proposed installations are thin on the ground so far, the installed capacity numbers are impressive and also underscore the […]

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Solyndra in the rearview mirror

The solar industry would love to put Solyndra and the faux scandal surrounding the failed thin-film PV company beyond the vanishing point in the rearview mirror. But the S word continues to pop up in the mediasphere as the one-year anniversary of the firm’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy announcement looms on Aug. 31. First came news […]

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An occasional relationship

The ever-provocative, thought-provoking Paula Mints has a new article titled “The ABCs of PV Technology Pricing” at Renewable Energy World, in which she addresses the lack of consensus about pricing and the many “misunderstandings” around it up and down the solar photovoltaic value chain—and offers some data to back up her theses. She points out […]

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Sharp-ening the sell-off knives

Rumblings from Sharp, one of Japan’s—and solar’s—most established brands are stirring concern in the Land of the Rising Sun. Carrying about $16 billion (!) in debt, the Japanese firm is facing some daunting refinancing options as certain notes come due before the end of the year. Banks will be appraising the company’s assets and identifying […]

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Solar held to a double standard?

The always vigilant, well-spoken Steve Lacey has a fresh post on Climate Progress (and reprinted on Renewable Energy World) which sports the headline “The Solyndra standard: On loan guarantees, military spending, and clean energy politics.” He notes the nonoutrage about the latest test failure of the X-51 WaveRider scramjet, a Pentagon program that has sucked […]

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Really small-scale solar

My introduction to Kickstarter came from the guys in I See Hawks in L.A., who reached out to their friends and fans (I’m both) in late 2011 to back their self-recorded, self-produced all-acoustic album, New Kind of Lonely. Not only did the deserving-of-wider-recognition alt-Americana group meet their modest goal of raising $7000, the 154 contributors […]

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Biblical proportions…not

The July 31 flooding of the Genesis Solar Project in Riverside County, CA, sloshed among the news items curated in a Fresh Picks column last week. At the time, it was unclear how extensive the damage to the CSP site was, how expensive the cleanup would be, and what kind of impact the event would […]

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Solar stimulation

While not primarily focusing on solar energy, David Plotz’s interview of Michael Grunwald on Slate.com puts the Obama administration’s renewable energy policy into the larger context of the President’s stimulus programs. Grunwald, best known as a Time correspondent, has written a timely book entitled The New New Deal: Hidden Story of Change in the Obama […]

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Branding the sun

If you’re a subscriber to the New York Times, keep your eyes peeled for this Sunday’s magazine section, which includes the print version of a story titled “The Secret to Solar Power” already posted on the newspaper’s website (and already generating a trunkload of comments). The feature focuses on the third-party financing (AKA solar leasing) […]

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