The solar sector is among the most hated on Wall Street. Many names in the solar sector that are heavily shorted, in spite of it being the fastest growing energy sector in the U.S. Meanwhile, the world is using oil faster than it’s being pumped, which is economically dangerous, because oil price spikes have preceded all recessions since 1970. More renewables could serve to lessen our ridiculous economic vulnerability to oil prices.
The clean energy sector is entering a phase of dramatic change in which business models are being transformed against a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty, as the industry emerges from a challenging period caused by the global economic downtown. Technologies and business structures that were once abandoned, are now being revived in several key sectors.
This post looks at fifteen kinds of utility or grid scale energy storage solutions that are either in wide use or have significant potential to supply the energy storage capacity that will help make the grid both more efficient and more robust. These range from pumped hydro, which is by far the most prevalent form of energy storage at this scale to compressed air, thermal storage, advanced batteries, fuel cells and purely electric storage systems.
This post reports on a recent survey that indicates that the green roof sector in the US and Canada is enjoying excellent growth in spite of the very difficult economic environment that is prevailing in the building sector in general. The survey reports a growth of 28.5% and provides some background on what types of buildings and what cities are leading the adoption of green roofs.
Streamlining the building code process for solar installation could help rooftop solar reach price parity with the average price for electric power on the grid. This key price point is also known as grid parity. Permitting costs will add $1 billion to the price structure of solar over the next five years. This article poses the following question: With widely adopted standardization of best practices in solar system construction/installation in place and the 10-20 years of performance certification on actual operating systems in the field, why then is the permitting process stuck in time and why is solar treated as if it were still an experimental niche rarity that needed to prove itself before the building code bureaucrats can give it their thumbs up.
While the U.S. government lavishes loan guarantees and expedites review of projects on public land for multi-megawatt and even gigawatt solar projects, it’s small-scale solar that’s turning sunshine into electricity.
Utilities don’t like wind not because it’s not competitive, but because it brings prices down for their existing assets, thus lowering their revenues and their profits. Thus the permanent propaganda campaign against wind. The reality is that wind power brings prices down for consumers.
The drive to extract and store CO2 from coal-fired power plants is gaining momentum, with the Obama administration backing the technology and the world’s first capture and sequestration project now operating in the U.S. Two questions loom: Will carbon capture and storage be affordable? And will it be safe? by David Biello, Editor of Scientific […]
It is a rough time to be a startup in the Solar Photovoltaic sector. The financial crisis and deep recession has not only dried up capital, but has also hit demand for solar panels, which has lead to a global supply glut and a price collapse. In this very difficult environment startups must compete with much larger established global suppliers that have factories of hundreds of megawatts each, an established customer base and well developed brand names and sales channels. In this post we look at five promising CIGS thin film Solar PV startups based in the US and try to catalog their unique strengths and accomplishments.