Spain Ends New Renewable FiT

Spain’s new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy suspended the nation’s feed in tariff subsidies for all new renewable energy projects January 27, 2012 announcing that Spain could no longer afford it given its budget deficit.  There has been widespread trepidation that the FiT program would be cut, but the swift and decisive action suspending the program Read more about Spain Ends New Renewable FiT[…]

Subsidizing Commodities Never Makes Sense

This is the second in a series of posts about the unintended consequences of renewable energy subsidies and rules in competitive falling price markets. In the previous post I reviewed the unintended consequences of Germany’s generous above market prices feed in tariff subsidy in a fall global PV price market. The result was that German Read more about Subsidizing Commodities Never Makes Sense[…]

Global Lessons from Germany’s Solar Boom and Bust Market

Germany’s solar market has been red hot.  So hot, in fact, installations of PV panels in 2011 totaled a record 7.4 GW out of 28 GW installed worldwide according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Worldwide solar installations rose 50% in 2011 on falling PV prices caused by overproduction for exports in China.  But that red Read more about Global Lessons from Germany’s Solar Boom and Bust Market[…]

So Long Solon Solar

 “In the past few months, SOLON SE had engaged in intensive efforts to carry out a financial restructuring. It held talks with investors, the financing banks and the guarantors. Today, the negotiations on an amicable solution failed. SOLON SE will now use the opportunities for a restructuring within the insolvency proceedings.  An application for the Read more about So Long Solon Solar[…]

Grid Parity Reality Hits Home for Renewable Energy

This was not the way anyone expected we would get to grid parity prices but the convergence of falling global prices for PV panels and wind turbines from Chinese export growth and lower natural gas prices in the US from the growth in unconventional natural gas E&P is pulling the market into the grid parity Read more about Grid Parity Reality Hits Home for Renewable Energy[…]

Occupy Green Energy

Several things caught my eye over the weekend as I sipped my coffee and read the papers on a sunny Sunday here in the San Francisco Bay Area—and they all seemed to revolve around the strange but galvanizing influence of the occupy movement. Close to home, Occupy Oakland rebuilt in Oakland City Hall Plaza after Read more about Occupy Green Energy[…]

Which Way Will Solar Energy Go?

Life in the solar energy business is a constant battle between soaring aspirations for long term growth juxtaposed against the terrifying reality of falling prices and global competition.  Selling more might actually mean your solar energy business will just lose more money faster. There is, of course, more than one solar energy business.  There is Read more about Which Way Will Solar Energy Go?[…]

From Solar Energy Torment to Distributed Energy Transformation

In Solar Energy Tough Love I confess I ranted about the perverse impacts of government industrial policy on the solar energy sector in its vainglorious attempt to choose winners and losers.  That policy is failing. The market gods hate to be trifled with and they respond with thunderbolts and torment.  This will continue until grid Read more about From Solar Energy Torment to Distributed Energy Transformation[…]

Solar Energy Tough Love

Across the EU Solar Energy is facing tough love conditions as its feed-in-tariffs (FiT) face Déjà vu in another round of reductions in FiT subsidies. Like the classic Tale of Two Cities the world of solar energy today seems filled with the excitement of seeing its revolutionary potential realized by rapid growth while fearful that Read more about Solar Energy Tough Love[…]

Lessons from Evergreen Solar

Evergreen Solar is not sustainable—that is the conclusion of the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, the Commonwealth board charged with overseeing tax breaks to business that voted May19, 2011 to end the 20-year, $15 million property tax break and terminate the $7.5 million in state tax credits for Evergreen Solar Inc., two months after the Read more about Lessons from Evergreen Solar[…]