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New Year’s resolutions for the U.S. solar industry

With 2015 right around the corner, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year and think about how we as the solar industry can improve. Since 2014 was a good year for the industry, here are three New Year’s resolutions for the U.S. solar community to keep in mind for a happy and […]

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Streamlining solar soft costs for small installers

My recent poster presentation from Solar Power International 2014, “Using Seven Forms of Waste and Critical Path Method to Lower Residential Solar Soft Costs,” lays out a methodology that residential solar installers can use to help them most effectively target soft cost reductions. This methodology pulls best practices from automobile manufacturing and other industries as […]

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Millions of residential solar rooftops

Before the speeches by Sen. Harry Reid and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz bookended the industry executive panel during the second general session at this year’s Solar Power International in Las Vegas, a slick aspirational video kept the audience’s attention and caught my eye. Rather than hitting the viewer over the head with a heavy commercial […]

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‘The 20GW target can easily be achieved’

Last month, the Indian government decided not to impose antidumping duties on solar cells and modules imported from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the United States. The step has been celebrated by many within the industry as a win for solar. To gain a greater understanding of what this means for the future of the Indian […]

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Taking stock of SolarCity

There’s a lot of discussion these days about the future of SolarCity. No one has the privilege of a crystal ball, but many are making predictions. None are saying with any certainty, though, how they think the company will fare in the long run. SolarCity is certainly experiencing a mixed state of affairs. It recently […]

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Planting the solar crop

As solar value proposition analogies go, this one’s a doozy. “I was explaining the concept of solar to a farmer, and I used the following analogy,” explains Mike Schmerl of Harvest Energy Solutions. “It’s a crop that he plants once, never waters, never fertilizes, that produces revenues for 30 years.” The quote comes from the […]

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Riding the U.K. solarcoaster with Solarcentury

LONDON—Few companies have experienced the twists and turns of the U.K. solarcoaster as much as Solarcentury. Established in 1998, at a time when solar was light years from being considered the viable energy resource it is today, Solarcentury has grown to become the largest solar company in what, by the end of the year, will […]

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Time, motion, and solar installation labor efficiency

With Intersolar North America 2014 now behind us, many attendees and industry media reflected that it was a smaller, more focused show. For example, instead of the dozens and dozens of nondifferentiable Chinese module manufacturers of years past, there were fewer, mostly larger recognized companies. The presence of solar thermal product lines was also significantly […]

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Bottling the sun, YouTube style

Halfway between Reno and Las Vegas near the old mining town of Tonopah, one of the most advanced solar plants on the planet is poised to provide enough sun-juice to power more than 75,000 homes. The Crescent Dunes project is visually stunning, with a field of more than 10,000 heliostat mirrors reflecting the sun’s rays […]

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Mainstreaming solar energy

Four years ago, Yingli Green Energy broke the mold by becoming the first Chinese company and the first renewable energy company to become a global sponsor of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. With one tournament under its belt and another currently taking place in Brazil, we asked Judy Tzeng Lee, the company’s VP of […]

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