California puts Solar PV on Utilities Christmas Shopping List

As part of its year-end approval of pending renewable energy procurement contracts the California Public Utilities Commission got some good news from the falling prices of solar PV panels. Of the 544 MW of solar projects on the CPUC’s December 15th agenda 294 MW (54%) were at or below ‘grid parity’ which is defined in Read more about California puts Solar PV on Utilities Christmas Shopping List[…]

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[…]

Signing Long Term Solar Power Contracts in a Falling Price Market

“The PPA unnecessarily saddles ratepayers with extraordinary above-market costs — $1.25 billion. We could probably get almost 500 megawatts of renewable energy for the price we’re paying for this 250 megawatts.”—CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio. That was the essence of Commissioner Florio’s pique in voting no on the approval of a purchase power agreement between PG&E Read more about Signing Long Term Solar Power Contracts in a Falling Price Market[…]

Solyndra as Icarus

“Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology has shown impressive price reductions over the last 20 years, and the outlook for the coming years is even brighter, with the potential for further generation cost decline of 50% by 2020. But already today, PV electricity is cheaper than many people think. In the coming years, the technology will become Read more about Solyndra as Icarus[…]

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[…]

Solar FiT Crisis Continues in Spain and Italy

Spain was for a while the darling of the renewable energy industry worldwide and Italy sought to mimic its use of feed-in-tariffs to jump start a nascent renewable energy industry.  But the generous feed-in-tariff produced a staggering 10 times the goal for solar photovoltaic systems by 2010 in Spain and much of that subsidy money Read more about Solar FiT Crisis Continues in Spain and Italy[…]

Solar FiT Fizzles in Italy

Ciao for Contro Energia as Solar FiT Fizzles in Italy. Italy’s Industry Minister Paolo Romani burned the solar power industry with a new decree on renewable energy rolling back the incentives adopted only two months ago, an action made necessary he said to assure Italy’s compliance with European Union’s policies on climate change.  But there Read more about Solar FiT Fizzles in Italy[…]

Three Cheers for USW’s WTO Complaint: Fair Trade is not the Same as Free Trade

“Green jobs are key to our future, right now, China is taking every possible step – many of them illegal under international trade laws – to ensure that it will control that sector. America can’t afford to cede more of its manufacturing base to China.” — Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steel Read more about Three Cheers for USW’s WTO Complaint: Fair Trade is not the Same as Free Trade[…]