2012 -- The Best of Times or Worst of Times for Solar Energy?

January 30, 2013 by Rosana Francescato

Solar Energy via Shutterstock

Yogi Berra might have been referring to the solar industry when he said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But that never stops people from trying! As we look back at the many predictions about the solar industry for 2012, it’s instructive to see how they stacked up to reality.[read more]

Obama’s First Term: Assessing Progress On Top Energy And Climate Priorities

January 10, 2013 by Joseph Romm

by Daniel J. WeissBarack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was built on “hope and change.” Millions of Americans went to the polls hoping that the federal government would change its approach to many of the nation’s challenges after eight years of retreat, neglect, and inertia under President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick...[read more]

John Sununu: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Energy Policy

December 13, 2012 by Bill Chameides

According to John Sununu: “Government did not create the shale gas boom. Government did not turn North Dakota’s once languishing Bakken oil fields into one of the country’s largest.”“America,” he argues, “has had energy policies — lots of them — and they all stunk.” He points to 1977 as the birth of America’s modern energy policy “with the creation of the Department of Energy under President Carter.”[read more]

Solyndra's Second Chapter

October 26, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

Solar Power via Shutterstock

The details of the reorganization plan approved Monday by the judge hearing the Solyndra bankruptcy case reminded me of the admonition of one of my mentors always to beware of unintended consequences.  I'm sure the Department of Energy officials who recommended the federal loan guarantee for Solyndra in March of 2009...[read more]

A123, Solyndra, and EV Battery Innovation

October 18, 2012 by Matthew Stepp

Battery maker A123 Systems Inc. recently filed for bankruptcy protection, making it the latest in a series of clean energy companies to falter. Without a doubt, this unfortunate development is set to become the next political football in much the same way Solyndra has dominated the energy policy debate. But let’s be clear, A123 is not...[read more]

Candidates & Energy 2012: Obama

September 28, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

It's curious that energy hasn't been as big an issue in this year's presidential campaign as it was in 2008, the year of "Drill, baby, drill."  The price of unleaded regular gasoline has averaged roughly a dime per gallon higher through September than either last year or the same period in 2008, when prices peaked at $4.11...[read more]

Will Congress Take the Wind out of Wind Energy's Sails?

September 19, 2012 by Bill Chameides

A lack of wind won’t stall our future renewable energy economy, but Congress might.Debunking the Myths That Take the Wind out of Wind Energy’s SailsWind has its downsides. It’s intermittent; it’s too expensive. Fair points, but there are ways around them. For example the whole intermittency issue could be handled now by using spatially...[read more]

Clean energy technologies? No bubble bursting there.

August 7, 2012 by Tyler Hamilton

There was a clever headline in the satirical newspaper The Onionearlier this week that wouldn’t be so humorous if it wasn’t true.“300 Million Without Electricity In India After Restoration Of Power Grid,” the headline read.The article was referring to the massive power outage across India Tuesday that cut electricity to 670 million...[read more]

Politics and The Global Cleantech Shakeout

June 18, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

For all the enthusiastic comparisons of the cleantech sector to infotech or microelectronics that we've encountered in the last decade, one rarely employed analogy is turning out to be more apt than the rest: Cleantech seems just as capable as dot-coms and chip makers of undergoing an industry shakeout and consolidation at the same time it experiences growth rates that most other industries would envy.[read more]

Konarka Technologies Files for Bankruptcy

June 6, 2012 by Nathanael Baker


Konarka Technologies, a developer of thin-film solar panels, has filed for bankruptcy and will begin to liquidate its assets immediately.The failure of Massachusetts-based company will lead to 85 employees losing their jobs, and another perceived black eye for America's solar industry.In a statement, Howard Berke, Konarka's CEO explained...[read more]

Rethinking the role of government in cleantech

May 17, 2012 by Dallas Kachan

Another year, another wringing of the hands over tax credits and incentives for clean technology. It’s time to end government handouts in clean technology, policymakers need to focus on setting mandates and standards and start ratcheting back subsidies and credits.[read more]

Clean Energy Rides Bucking Economy To Growth

April 25, 2012 by Nino Marchetti

Reflecting on clean-energy performance in 2011, research firm Clean Edge released a report of the good, the bad and the not-too-ugly. Despite a turbulent economic year for most industries, combined revenue for the global solar, wind and biofuel industries rose 30 percent from $188 billion in 2010 to $246 billion...[read more]

Dispatch from the ARPA-E Summit 2012: Scared off by Failure?

March 1, 2012 by Matthew Stepp

The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is a wonderful collection of thinkers, policymakers, and industry leaders all focused on accelerating and spurring clean energy innovation. At the very least, we’re all trying to fundamentally change the U.S. energy sector.[read more]

Solyndra’s Lessons: Challenges of the Global Energy Market

February 29, 2012 by Jesse Parent

In September 2011, Solyndra, a US-based solar panel manufacturer, declared bankruptcy.  The Solyndra case illustrates the complexity of developing renewable energies.  Many globalization factors influence the production and distribution of  renewable energy, such as economics, politics, science and technology policy,...[read more]

Cleantech Firms Paying the Price for Subsidies

February 2, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

In observing the recent struggles of various segments of the global cleantech industry, including renewable energy and advanced energy technology firms, a pattern is emerging. Today's Wall St. Journal reports "Wind Power Firms on Edge," as the US wind industry hunkers down pending the renewal or expiration of a key subsidy at the end of...[read more]