This post asks the provocative question whether solar PV is really market ready yet. It goes on to suggest that it might be counter-productive for the long term growth of the sector to push solar photovoltaic adoption rates through the use of government subsidies, making the point that this may in fact be slowing down the adoption of needed innovation and process improvement that should ultimately make renewable energy more affordable.
Summarizes the new green jobs study by the Brookings Institute, noting that the study reports that the driving force behind the U.S. “clean economy” over the last decade has been emerging energy technologies. It is these dozen or so “hot” segments within the larger green economy where most of the growth has been concentrated. This suggests that, in order to build a cleantech economy, the U.S. should put primary emphasis on new, technology-intensive, energy-related sectors.
Describes a new efficiency milestone that has been achieved by quantum dot solar cells, a kind of solar PV that uses the unique properties of quantum dots to capture photons and convert their energy into an electric current. This form of solar PV has languished for some time due to the low efficiencies that have been so far achieved. By finding a way to produce a double layer cell the research team at the University of Toronto has been able to achieve significantly higher overall efficiencies than has previously been possible using quantum dot technology. Quantum dot technology holds the promise of being able to ultimately produce very inexpensive solar cells, if the low efficiency problem can be overcome.
Solar power continues along its firmly established downward cost curve and edges ever closer to achieving the historic milestone of grid parity. Today it just got a huge boost that will help it scale out in this country and will go a long way towards tipping the long term balance in favor of solar. In fact as the industry achieves scale it is cutting per unit costs down. This post outlines the announcement of a large DOE initiative to promote rooftop direct grid connected solar power in the US.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing continues along a trajectory of decreasing costs that will very soon cause it to reach grid parity. This post looks at an innovative Massachusetts based startup, 1366 Technologies that is poised to begin commercializing an important new cost cutting (and energy saving) manufacturing technology that will significantly reduce the cost of Silicon solar cell fabrication.
After lagging behind the utility scale segment of the solar power renewable energy sector is really starting to take off in the US; it is is now on par with the commercial and residential segments in terms of market size and growing at a higher rate. This post summarizes AltaTerra Research’s newest report, “Utility Solar: U.S. Market Takes Off”.
A new study that is sure to create some controversy proposes that the world can provide for all of its energy needs, including electric, transportation, heating/cooling energy needs using only wind, water, and solar power by 2030.
Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steven Chu announces $50 million in funding for solar energy grid parity demonstration program for innovative solar technologies leading to cost-competitive solar energy that helps solar reach this important milestone.
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.