Reuters: SMA Solar to Cut 1,600 Jobs as European Demand Slides

SMA Solar, Germany's biggest solar company, is set to cut about 1,600 jobs, or about one-third of its workforce, as it expects no relief in the short term from an industry-wide demand slump, sending its shares to a record low.

SMA's core European market has come under pressure over the past two years as governments have pared back support payments on which solar energy still depends.

In addition, Asian rivals have made inroads into SMA's markets, putting pressure on equipment prices and profit margins.

Chicago Tribune: Former Opponent Touts Nuclear Power at Chicago Event

Not too long ago, Carol Browner would have sided with the activists clad in white hazmat suits protesting nuclear power outside the City Club's lunch Tuesday in downtown Chicago.

Instead, Browner, the former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator and a self-professed environmentalist, was inside, a featured speaker touting the benefits of nuclear power.

With 6 percent of nuclear power in the U.S. under financial threat, nuclear proponents are attempting to win over environmental activists. Who better to send the message that nuclear power is a "clean" form of power and worth saving than Browner, who changed her mind and began advocating for nuclear power in 2011.

Washington Post: White House Opens Up Southern Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration on Tuesday outlined a politically fraught plan for allowing oil drilling in U.S. coastal waters, announcing steps to open parts of the southeastern U.S. coastline for oil leasing while imposing new restrictions on environmentally fragile waters off Alaska’s North Slope.

The proposals, intended to set a course for coastal energy development into the next decade, sought to strike a balance between soaring demand for energy production and White House priorities to protect sensitive environments, particularly in the Arctic.

EE Markets: Who Got What in Energy Efficiency Venture Capital?

So it may seem like energy storage is the big star these days. But it turns out that there were just as many energy efficiency venture capital deals  last year, according to a new report.

CB Insights ranked energy efficiency and energy storage as tied for third place, along with green/environmental software for venture capital deals in 2014. The three each captured 8 percent of the greentech VC pie,  according to the data company’s report, “The 2014 U.S. Venture Capital Year in Review.”

Internet software/services came in second place with 13 percent. And what was the big winner? No surprise there. Renewables took 20 percent.

Raw Story: Researchers Tout Solar Panels Made With ‘Perovskite’ Mineral

A new generation of solar panels made from a mineral called perovskite has the potential to convert solar energy into household electricity more cheaply than ever before, according to a study from Britain’s Exeter University.

Super-thin, custom-colored panels attached to a building’s windows may become a “holy grail” for India and African countries, Senthilarasu Sundaram, one of the authors of the study, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“In those countries, these types of materials will be like a holy grail: they can both shade windows…and at the same time produce electricity,” he said.