Recent Posts:

Horseshoes, Hand Grenades & Demand Projections

Daniel Englander: September 3, 2008, 1:01 PM
Valencia, ESP (Actually, in Hong Kong right now) - The solar market is funny in that it exhibits many of the inefficiencies associated with markets that move according to artificial price signals. In this case, the artificial price signals are policy and incentive programs designed to increase deployed capacity. These range from renewable portfolio standards to tax credits to REC programs and ancillary credit markets to feed-in tariffs to something the French have that I’m not sure even they understand. Such programs play a key role in setting local prices and, by extension, determining demand in those markets. Easy, right? Setting a feed-in tariff to EUR 0.42/kWh or an REC to...

An Energy-Efficient Endless Summer for Plants

Michael Kanellos: September 3, 2008, 6:23 AM
COPENHAGEN — Plants need food, water, red and blue. Red and blue light that is, according to John Erland Ostergaard, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark, who has come up with a lighting system based around LEDs that he says could drastically cut the power consumption in greenhouses. (We met at Copenmind, a technology conference taking place this week in Copenhagen. Also to note, Toyota downplays lithium-ion batteries and an Irish scientist makes plastic with bacteria.) In the system, microcontrollers adjust the amount of red and blue light, the portion of the light spectrum that plants need to grow to ensure optimal growth, coming from the LEDs. The amount of red...

CPV, Pt. 1: Stuck in the Middle

Eric Wesoff: September 3, 2008, 4:00 AM
In the spectacularly high-growth $20 billion dollar global solar market, CPV is a zero billion-dollar market segment with only a few megawatts deployed, stuck in the middle between the rapidly commodifying silicon solar market and the well-financed high-output concentrated solar thermal market. Concentrated Photovoltaic Technology (CPV) has received more than $350 million in venture capital funding since 2005, tens of millions from the Department of Energy (DOE), and tens of millions from public markets to fund development of this promising solar technology. But to a great extent, CPV has been overshadowed by other solar sciences, notably concentrated solar power (CST or solar...