When SolarCurator launched in late April 2012, the global industry had grown to multi-gigawatt, multi-billion-dollar levels but was experiencing acute growing pains. While the scale and velocity of installations was increasing, the upstream manufacturing sector was experiencing persistent module oversupply and crashing prices—the same dropping prices that helped fuel accelerating deployment in everything from tens of thousands of residential rooftops to unprecedentedly huge solar farms sprouting in the American Southwest.
What a difference two years can make. While the once-dominant German solar miracle has lost some of its magic, China, Japan, and the U.S. have become the top three global markets. The supply-demand imbalance has been largely corrected, allowing some leading vertically-integrated solar manufacturers to return to profitability. As the Solyndra affair fades from view, the U.S. market has grown prodigiously during the period, increasing from 3.7GW in 2012 to an expected 6GW this year, according to GTM Research. New or relatively new markets like the U.K., South Africa, and Latin America have surpassed or will soon surpass the gigawatt installation mark on an annual basis.
The solar sector has moved into a new era of startling potential and has matured, edging ever closer to grid parity-based mainstream acceptance in many regions of the planet.
Since our inception, SolarCurator has been thrilled to be part of solar’s exciting ascent, publishing hundreds of hand-picked selections of global solar industry news and features blended with original commentary. As the chief curator, I’ve watched the site become one of the go-to alternative media outlets in the industry, keeping up a steady flow of timely viewpoints and freshly culled content and ideas from throughout the global solar energy community.
To mark the site’s two-year anniversary and update our model to reflect the changing global solar realities, we’ve launched Solar Curator 2.0. Here’s what we’re doing and why.
The first thing you’ll notice is a completely new responsive site design, one that offers a clean look and feel and will work on most devices. Headlined content modules for the latest posts appear on the top of the page for convenient access, with previous blogs and articles in easy scrolling reach. When you find a story you want to read, just click through to the full content pages. Looking for a particular topic? Enter the term or phrase in the search field, and you will find a complete list of the stories relevant to your search. We’ve also added new features compiling the most popular posts as well as a listing of content related to the post you’re reading.
Another evolutionary change comes on the editorial front. While the Curator’s content feed has strived to touch on all corners of the solar power continuum—from technology and manufacturing to project development, finance, and construction to the microsolar phenomenon—the time has come to open our editorial doors to a broader chorus of voices. In addition to regular original posts from myself and newly minted deputy curator Nick Richardson, we are actively soliciting guest contributions from a diverse range of solar professionals and activists. We want to hear from you and discuss your ideas for original commentary, analysis, and reporting.
Many of you already follow SolarCurator on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media. As part of the more responsive design and proactive community outreach, we’ve upgraded and integrated our various social channels, where we’ll continue to share thoughts, comments, and reports. Again, we welcome the participation and engagement of solar-obsessed content providers and marketers to share your words, photos, and videos in the continuing conversation. Team SolarCurator will also be sponsoring and attending many of the leading industry conferences and tradeshows, where we look forward to meeting our fellow solar fanatics in person.
In the weeks prior to the SolarCurator 2.0 launch, we’ve expanded our reach with the debut of our weekly e-newsletter. We understand that busy professionals can’t always check the latest posts and prefer a handy list of recent coverage. Our e-missive leads with comments from the chief curator, compiles the previous week’s site content, adds in a classic post from the archives, and raises awareness of key upcoming events on the industry calendar. If you’re not yet one of the thousands of your colleagues already receiving the newsletter, I encourage you to sign up via the boxes on the upper right-hand column of each page.
Finally, we are seeking the sponsorship participation of a limited number of companies that want to align their brands with the unique SolarCurator media platform. As our audience grows and the contributors multiply, this is an opportunity to support a fresh approach to solar industry publishing and content marketing.
We hope you enjoy the changes we’ve made and will join us as we launch into an exciting new phase for SolarCurator. We look forward to hearing your feedback as part of our efforts to continually improve the site. As always, remember: Go solar!