The Donald Trump of China Invests in Solar Companies

After several tough years for the solar industry, when numerous companies either held massive debt (in China) or closed their doors (US/Europe), the industry is on the upswing again, and a Hong Kong entrepreneur is taking advantage of that. Zheng Jianming, a real-estate tycoon based in Hong Kong, is quietly buying stakes in Chinese solar companies at fire sale […] Read more

Solar Deployment Exceeds Wind in 2013

More new solar photovoltaic (PV) generating capacity was added throughout the globe than wind energy in 2013, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2014 report issued by clean-tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge, Inc. Last year also marked a significant transition in the history of clean energy: for the first time since Clean Edge began tracking […] 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

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

Tesla’s Chinese Eco-mark Lawsuit

A previous post reported on Tesla’s Chinese trademark problem.  Apparently, a businessman named Zhan Baosheng had registered the TESLA (or “Te Si La” transliterated) trademark in China, blocking  the American automaker from using the mark there. Mr. Zhan was also operating a web site using the Tesla China domain (, and operating a Tesla-branded account on the […] Read more

In Focus: Eco-Friendly Toys

When it comes to toys, most parents are aware of how important it is to select age-appropriate products for their little ones. However, there are other issues with toys that go beyond whether they are a choking hazard or not. Most toys, for example, are not made with the environment in mind; in fact, some […] Read more

Energy Storage and Community Solar Farms

While a number of local residents, businesses and institutions have installed solar panels on their roofs or elsewhere to reduce electrical costs and CO2 emissions, many others do not have the correct roof orientation or size required. In addition, because a number of business and residential properties are rented, the occupants do not have the […] Read more

China Has 2x As Many Smart Meters As Total US Households

Bloomberg released a report on 18 February 2014, that shows how much money China, the United States and several European countries spent on smart meters in 2013. I’ve included just the information about China and the U.S. China installed 62 million…

Goldman Sachs: Investing $40 Billion into Renewable Energy

That’s right, Goldman Sachs is betting on renewables for the long haul and they say it will be good business for them and their clients. Big Banks Betting on Solar In the last two years, solar has seen a surge in interest from investment banks. In 2012, Morgan Stanley backed a $300 million fund to finance residential solar in […] Read more

Revisited: The Sale of Fisker

The sale of electric car company Fisker is turning out to be quite a soap opera. A decision by US Bankruptcy Court has put the remains of the company up for public auction. A late bid by Wanxiang, China’s largest auto parts manufacturer has reopened the bidding on Fisker’s DOE loan debt. Although it looked […] Read more

In Focus: Solar Powered Factories

You probably have read or heard how industrialization has damaged our environment. The factories around the world are responsible for churning out daily staples and necessary products without which we cannot imagine life. Industrialization may have contributed to the rising rates of environment pollution but it has also helped in the progress of the human […] Read more

Polymer Solar Cell Efficiency Goes Ballistic

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found an easy way to modify the molecular structure of a polymer commonly used in solar cells. Their modification can increase polymer solar cell efficiency by more than 30 percent (from 5.6% to 7.5%). Polymer-based solar cells have two domains, consisting of an electron […] Read more

Ford to Announce Solar Car at CES

Solar panels on cars are nothing new. The Toyota Prius has has offered solar panels on its roof for a number of years. But they only power a fan to ventilate the vehicle. Solar-powered cars zoom across the Australian countryside every other year as part of the World Solar Challenge. But these are one-off vehicles made […] Read more

Can Solar Hit 49 GW in 2014?

It’s close to the end of the year and while children are waiting to hear the sound of reindeer on rooftops, businesspeople are looking forward to 2014. Among them the solar industry, which is hoping to put the sound of boots on rooftops rather than hooves, and it’s anticipating continued growth into the new year […] Read more