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Signs of solar life

Last week’s Silicon Planet-shaking news of the Applied Materials-Tokyo Electron merger (acquisition?) was enveloped by a cone of near-silence regarding the future implications for the solar units of both companies, as I noted in a Curator’s Desk post. The EU PVSEC conference and expo kicking off this week in Paris finds sponsoring non-exhibitor AMAT at […]

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More solar, less wind

You can soon add one more chapter to solar power’s remarkable growth story. This year, for the first time, the amount of new solar installations will outpace those of their breezy cousin, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. As Renewable Energy World, Sun and Wind Energy, and Bloomberg itself have reported, 36.7GW of new solar […]

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Report: Global PV installations set to surpass wind for the first time

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Solar installation checklist

As the rooftop solar revolution spreads like wildfire across much of the United States, more states and municipalities are seeing increasing numbers of PV installations in their jurisdictions. Local authorities—many with few personnel familiar with the vagaries of photovoltaic electrical systems–are often swamped by the prodigious amount of permitting inspections. On the installer side, not […]

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Whither solar in the ‘merger of equals’?

Nothing like a corporate M&A bombshell to get the juices flowing first thing in the morning. Tuesday’s news of the “merger of equals” between high-tech process equipment powerhouses Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron took me—and apparently most of the semi- and solar-focused cognoscenti—by surprise. The combined “new global innovator” company, which will be valued at […]

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Solar manufacturing models in dispute

While fabricating a crystalline-silicon solar cell is indeed another form of semiconductor manufacturing–and the respective supply chains, materials and equipment sets, and process flows of the PV and IC worlds have some similarities–the types of end-devices produced and the business models of the companies that make them are quite distinct. Still, the tendency to draw […]

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Solar panels ‘Made in the USA’…or not?

Here’s a quick one before the weekend from the Curator’s ironic breaking news files. One of the few U.S. solar panel manufacturers left standing—a number that shrank further last week with the news of Helios Solar Works going into receivership–is getting grief from the Texas attorney general. According to reports in the Dallas Morning News […]

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Solar data junkies, take heart!

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, better known by its nicknamey acronym FERC, tracks the activation of large-scale project infrastructure across the fossil and renewable spectrum. Its latest monthly report focuses on August, and as PV-Tech reports, the data look pretty awesome for big solar. Among new generation assets recognized as coming into service during the […]

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Concentrating solar power mixed signals

Nearly a gigawatt of concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) plants should be completed and come online in the United States by the end of 2013, according to the latest “U.S. Solar Market Insights” analysis released last week. Two plants that have been highlighted by SolarCurator—BrightSource’s Ivanpah and SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes–should be commissioned and sending electricity […]

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Second to none

The market analyst term “lumpiness” has a certain tactility to it, a suggestion of inconsistency that suits the uneven economic conditions that it describes. But just because an industrial sector might be lumpy, that doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy or in trouble. So when the team at GTM Research and SEIA who coauthored the new “U.S. […]

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