In Focus: Lean Six Sigma

Developed in manufacturing environments in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, Lean and Six Sigma are improvement processes focused on quality and waste elimination. Combined into a synergistic system of procedural control called Lean Six Sigma, the methods in these programs are applicable to industrial, manufacturing, transactional and customer service processes. As a flexible methodology for eliminating inefficiencies and harnessing […] Read more

Nanotube Networks: Efficient Solar’s Special Sauce?

Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have discovered that a controlled placement of carbon nanotubes into nanotube networks produces a huge boost in electronic performance. Carbon nanotubes, CNTs, are one dimensional nanoscale cylinders made of carbon atoms that possess very unique properties. For example, they have very high tensile strength and exceptional electron mobility, which […] Read more

Solar Growth: Silicon Valley Who?

Solar power is making a splash this year Solar power is growing at such a rate that it had its hottest year for growth in the history of solar power, and the future still looks bright. According to Forbes top 25 growing business, solar is beating the tech company average as an industry. Already in the […] Read more

Bill Gates Talks Climate Change

In the March 27 issue of Rolling Stone,Jeff Goodell interviews Bill Gates on issues ranging from polio to Edward Snowden to climate change. Goodell describes this world’s wealthiest person as perhaps also its most optimistic because he sees the world is a giant operating system that just needs to be debugged. The idea that animates his life is that the code for these […] Read more

Solar: 100GW by 2018

In 2018 the annual deployment of photovoltaics is anticipated to grow to 100 gigawatts a year. That’s according to NPD Solarbuzz’ latest Marketbuzz report, which said that by then PV will be a $50 billion worldwide market. The report anticipates that the solar PV industry will grow to 3 percent of the world’s energy supply in 2018, assuming that […] Read more

Microinverters vs. String Inverters

If you’re a homeowner or an installer doing residential or small scale commercial solar installations, you essentially have three choices for converting the solar system’s DC power into AC power: You can either go with new microinverters or with string inverters—with or without DC power optimizers. All will work, but there are differences, especially in […] Read more

Utilities 2.0 is Coming

Last month, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel called “Utilities 2.0: The Role of Distributed Generation and Demand Response in Evolving Utility Business Models.” The topic may sound esoteric, but to the more than sixty people in attendance, and at least fifty more watching online, the event, which was sponsored by clean energy […] Read more

Battery Swapping: Never Say Never

John Voelcker at Green Car Reports, in an article today argues it will never happen. () . John is a very smart, well read and well respected writer on Green Cars, but, I have to say “Never, say Never”.  Battery swapping for EV’s won’t happen right now, but, it will likely happen in the next […] Read more

CPV: Call it a Comeback?

The most efficient form of solar power, concentrated photovoltaic (CPV), is the least commonly used right now. Last year the U.S. alone saw multiple gigawatts PV installed. The whole world is likely to have about 357.9 megawatts of CPV installed in 2014. That could change, according to a new report from GlobalData, which anticipates that […] Read more

How Clouds Affect Solar Panel Arrays

How do clouds affect solar panels? Sandia researcher Matt Lave has been working to understand that drawback and determine just how much clouds affect solar power plant output. Typically, sunlight is measured using a single irradiance point sensor, which correlates nicely to a single photovoltaic (PV) panel. But that doesn’t translate to a large PV […] Read more

First Solar Sets 17% Efficiency Record

First Solar, Inc. announced it has set a world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module conversion efficiency, achieving a record 17.0 percent total area module efficiency in tests performed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The new record is an increase over the prior record of 16.1 percent efficiency, which the company […] Read more

4 Major Types of Solar Energy

Putting solar panels on your roof in Southern California? It’s very likely that you are installing solar electric panels (or PV panels as we say in the solar industry). However, there is a whole world of solar energy outside of solar electric systems! The different types range from solar thermal systems to large-scale “CSP” installations, […] Read more

In Focus: Solar YieldCos

There has been a lot of excitement around YieldCos and their ability to improve the financing prospects for solar. Major solar companies like Canadian Solar, First Solar, JinkoSolar, SunEdison and SunPower all seem to be investigating the possibilities of launching their own YieldCos. These companies have good reason to be interested: YieldCos have the potential to create […] Read more

Can Solar Stock Super Returns Continue?

Any way you slice it, solar investing has been on a tear for the last year. Of the 69 solar stocks that the Roen Financial Report tracks, three quarters are up for the year. On average solar stocks have gained 85% for the year, with 60% of solar companies up in the double digits. What is most impressive is […] Read more