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'One Million Solar Homes,' Tanzanian Style

Can the SolarCity leasing model light up Africa?The East African country of Tanzania, in an effort led by startup Off-Grid Electric, along with the support of the international development community, just set a goal of having “One Million Solar...

Posted February 23, 2015    

First Solar Hits Record 21.5% Conversion Efficiency

First Solar crushes the previous CdTe cell efficiency record.Last year at this time, First Solar crushed the conversion efficiency mark for cadmium telluride with a world record 20.4 percent.That figure has been easily eclipsed a year later with a...

Posted February 14, 2015    

Obama Budget Aims to Make Solar and Wind Incentives Permanent

The administration asks to maintain the ITC and PTC as part of $7.4 billion in renewable energy support.President Obama just unveiled a $3.99 trillion budget for 2016 that asks Congress for a permanent extension of tax credits for the solar and wind...

Posted February 4, 2015    

'Unconventional' Accounting From China's Hanergy Solar, Owner of MiaSole, Alta, and Solibro

Hanergy chief exec: “No one else can do what we do with solar power embedded in glass windows.”Li Hejun, the rags-to-riches billionaire CEO of China's Hanergy, has suggested that his firm will be a global leader in solar technology. But reports on...

Posted January 30, 2015    

First Solar Now Officially in the Silicon PV Production Business

First Solar’s TetraSun silicon solar photovoltaic production line is officially in service. The line, located at First Solar’s Kulim, Malaysia manufacturing facility, has capacity for 100 megawatts of annual module production. This was initially...

Posted January 21, 2015    

Desert Sunlight, Another 550MW Solar Farm From First Solar, Now Fully Operational

The title of world’s largest solar farm is fleeting with California adding solar capacity in half-gigawatt chunks.Yet another half-gigawatt solar power project is coming on-line in California.Late last year, the 550-megawatt capacity Topaz Solar...

Posted January 16, 2015    

Boston-Power Aims to Rival Tesla With Gigawatt Battery Factories

Will the lithium-ion batterymaker be able to build its own Giga factories to power EVs?Late last December, lithium-ion battery builder Boston-Power announced that it had received $290 million in "financial support" from Chinese government agencies...

Posted January 13, 2015    

Can an Advanced Nuclear Reactor Design Ever Be Approved in the US?

U.S. DOE, private sector and National Labs are very slowly developing molten salt nuclear reactors.This week, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. announced that it has entered a collaboration with Canadian firm Terrestrial Energy to...

Posted January 12, 2015    

Cleantech Venture Capital: Why Are These Investors Smiling?

I'm going to suggest that cleantech venture capital, as measured by societal impact, has been a spectacular success in 2014 and over the last few years. For the moment, I'm not going to allow conventional wisdom, hard financial data or actual...

Posted January 8, 2015    

A Setback for SolarWorld and a Trade Case Win for Chinese Solar Manufacturers

On Saturday morning, in a preliminary review of Chinese solar panel imports from May 2012 to November 2013, the Department of Commerce found that China was dumping product -- but just a little bit.Commerce's findings slow some of the momentum in...

Posted January 5, 2015    

The Sol-Wind IPO: Can a Renewable YieldCo Win Master Limited Partnership Benefits?

A new renewable project YieldCo goes after the tax-code advantage of MLP status.Last week we covered Sol-Wind's IPO filing for its modestly sized YieldCo, but I neglected to highlight that the movement toward a master limited partnership (MLP)...

Posted January 4, 2015    

Cleantech IPOs: Predictions Revisited, 2014 Winners, 2015 Picks

An IPO or acquisition is the promised land for VC-funded startups -- but there have been relatively few cleantech IPOs over the past few years. The fact is that most cleantech companies require a longer time frame, a bigger budget, and a different...

Posted December 20, 2014