Recent Posts:

Suntech Gobbles Up Another Poly Producer

Daniel Englander: May 30, 2008, 9:51 AM
Suntech Power painted a gloomy picture for investors back in February. The company's fourth quarter and full year earnings came in below estimates, and its failure to lock in sufficient polysilicon supplies forced Suntech to revise down its 2008 production estimates from 700 MW to 530 MW. Rising spot market prices and difficulties finding suppliers with enough capacity to sign long term deals during 2006 and 2007 turned the company conservative on its production numbers, forcing it backload planned output until prices came down. But that was then. Since the pounding investors handed the company on February 20, when its stock price fell 23.9 percent in intraday trading before...

Former Employee to Imperium: You’ve Been Served

Daniel Englander: May 30, 2008, 6:37 AM
A former Imperium Renewables employee has sued the beleaguered biodiesel company. Kenneth Orr, the company's former managing director of trading and commodities, is suing his former employer for $12 million, seeking double damages, attorney's fees, and interest. Orr had earned $58 million buying and selling biodiesel commodities and, according to the complaint, he was entitled to a 10 percent bonus on his trading activities that was never paid out. Prior to his firing in January 2008, Orr alleges Imperium closed down the company's commodity trading section and transferred his bonus to a group of Imperium subsidiaries as a way to stem the company's capital hemorrhage. January...

Germany Feed-in Tariff Cuts Compromise Reached

Daniel Englander: May 30, 2008, 2:19 AM
A 2:00 A.M. Friday morning a compromise was reached between the Christian Democratic Union and the opposition Social Democratic Party to cut feed-in tariffs at a rate lower than the initial 25 percent to 30 percent proposed earlier this month by CDU MP Joachim Pfeiffer. Herman Scheer, president of Eurosolar and an SDU MP, acknowledged an agreement was made, though he wouldn't give specifics on the tariff cut. Scheer did say the biggest facilities could face a subsidy cut of close to 10 percent in 2009. Solar stocks were up in morning trading across Europe, with Q-Cells surging 8.8 percent in early action, while REC also moved up 6.8 percent. The speculation regarding a possible...

The Morning Feedstock

Daniel Englander: May 30, 2008, 1:30 AM
Crude oil prices settled down $4.41 to close the day at $126.62 in New York trading. This is lowest price level since May 16, and the largest single day drop in the price of light sweet crude since March 31. The drop came in only after a sharp spike in morning trading following the release of a Department of Energy report that found U.S. crude supplies had fallen down 8.8 million barrels to 313 million, surprising analysts who thought supplies had moved up. But those analysts, they're a silly sort. By mid day yesterday most analysts had decided that part of the shortfall was artificial, resulting from fog at U.S. oil terminals that prevented supply unloading. Most of the missing...

Q-Cells to Dump Its Stake in REC?

Daniel Englander: May 29, 2008, 6:30 AM
Rumors spread yesterday that Germany's Q-Cells was planning to sell its 17.9 percent stake in Renewable Energy Corporation. Q-Cells, the world's largest solar cell manufacturer, declined to comment on the rumor that sent its stock down 3.7 percent to €73.53. Norway-based REC is currently building 1.5 GW manufacturing plant in Singapore that will combine its wafer, cell, and polysilicon fab works. It's been a tough few weeks for Germany's publicly traded solar, whose stocks are down across the board over investor concerns that the CDU will succeed in its bid to cut the country's feed-in tariff by 30 percent within the next year. The rumor follows on news from the end of April...

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to get into solar with help from Applied Materials

Michael Kanellos: May 29, 2008, 2:57 AM

Abu Dhabi is shopping its way into the solar industry.

Masdar PV, the solar subsidiary of the multibillion-dollar cleantech effort, will invest approximately $2 billion into thin film silicon solar plants. The first plant, in Erfurt, Germany, will be open by the third quarter of next year. A second facility in Abu Dhabi will be open by the second quarter of 2010. The two plants will have a production capacity of 210 megawatts.

 Masdar PV wants to have 1 gigawatt of capacity by 2014, which would make it one of the largest manufacturers in the world relatively quickly. The world will have approximately 10.2 gigawatts of solar manufacturing capacity in 2008 and the figure is...

Rumor: GE to get into LED streetlights

Michael Kanellos: May 28, 2008, 10:37 AM
I haven’t confirmed this, but sources tell me that General Electric, the big kahuna in energy efficiency and green tech, will talk about street lights made with light emitting diodes (LEDs) at Lightfair, a large trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week. LEDs use far less power than conventional light sources and can provide more lumens per watt than most light sources. To top it off, they last far longer—50,000 hours or more—than a lot of other light sources, which means maintenance costs are lower. Cree has already been putting LED-based street lights in cities such as Austin and Beijing. GE sells LED-based traffic lights and LED lights for home. But the streetlight...