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Where nano meets solar

If I were to choose one word synonymous with disruptive next-generation solar power research, it would be nanotechnology. Most of the cutting-edge science going on in university and national labs revolves around techniques that enhance or maximize the photonic harvest through the implementation of some nano- or atomic-level scheme. While the phrase “game-changer” gets thrown […]

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Utility-scale reality

In case you’ve been asleep, true utility-scale solar power has come of age over the past few years. A hundred megawatts is no longer a pipeline pipedream but a mark that several completed or under construction projects (Agua Caliente, California Valley Solar Ranch, Topaz, Mesquite, etc.) have left in the dust. SunPower and its contractor […]

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Solar module surprise

The latest solar module market data show something unusual: a minor uptick in the average selling price per watt, at least in certain regions. The IMS/IHS iSuppli price tracker reports that the “ASP for Chinese crystalline silicon PV modules shipped to the European Union increased by 4% in March, the first monthly rise since January […]

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A difference of opinion

SolarCurator.com marks its first anniversary this week, and in celebration of that milestone, I’ve spent the past few days at the just-concluded Greentech Media Solar Summit near Phoenix. As in years past, the combination of fresh analytical downloads, industry expert perspective, and resonant networking makes the GTM confab an event calendar highlight. Since the conference […]

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Billion-dollar buyout

In some industries, a billion-dollar acquisition may amount to chump change, but in the solar space, a billion is a big deal. The just-announced proposed buyout of Power-One by ABB tips the scales just north of $1B, if the numbers remain firm when the deal closes. The pending purchase of the number-two player in the […]

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Practical PV aesthetics

Wade Webb remembers that when he worked for Powerlight, way back in 2000 during the dawn of the age of commercial solar in California, installing a 100KW system was a big deal. Like many in the fast-growing PV community, he has since moved on to megawatt-scale systems and beyond. In his operational and quality management […]

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Crowdfunded imagination

The crowdfunding phenomenon ranks among the more intriguing alt-finance stories of the year, and Mosaic’s solar version has captured the imaginations—and now some investments—of the grassroots cleantech crowd. One of the company’s founders, Billy “Boy Wonder” Parish, had the microphone pointed at him for a Q&A by veteran green-beat journo/waverider Todd Woody on the Yale […]

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The solar kingdom

Few nations have adopted as aggressive a renewable energy policy as Saudi Arabia. Although still in its infancy, the kingdom’s grand plan to spend tens of billions of dollars to build out manufacturing assets and add tens of gigawatts of both photovoltaic and concentrating solar as well as wind power over the next few decades […]

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Virality worth repeating

Two intriguing statistics going viral in the solar and cleantech communities and beyond bear repeating. During March, solar power accounted for all of the utility-type electricity capacity added in the United States, according to FERC. Although the amount was relatively small—44MW across 7 projects—and does not factor in net-metered, smaller-scale installations (which SEIA says represent […]

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Solar tweature week in review

The most active blogging by SolarCurator actually takes place on Twitter. Using the handles @cheynman and @SolarCurator, I usually post 10-20 mostly MT, or “modified Tweet,” microblogs per workday, predominantly focused on the solar power community and related topics. Since not all readers are part of the Twitterverse (and I know many of you don’t […]

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