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The popular California Solar Initiative (CSI) program has been so popular that it’s set to run out of money sooner than expected. What will happen if the state doesn’t authorize more money for the program? Consumers will lose some important protection from unscrupulous solar service providers. Read more »

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California has led the country in solar policy and solar rooftop installations, but keeping its lead won’t be easy. The president of California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Peevey, laid out some of the challenges to promote renewable energy generation by homes, businesses, schools and government agencies. Read more »

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Renewable energy is enjoying a rising profile at the expense of nuclear power. But nuclear power producers and technology developers aren’t necessary the losers there. Some of them have been snapping up solar and wind companies and power plant projects, and the trend will continue. Read more »

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Solar equipment installers and manufacturers have pointed out for some time now the hassles of dealing with disparate permitting rules and costs from one city or county to the next. A new report highlights this challenge in Colorado, where a bill is pending to cap fees. Read more »

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Enphase Energy has made a name for itself as a trailblazer of the microinverter market. But keeping that lead won’t be easy, and the company is launching a series of new products that are smaller and lighter and more tailored for different customer types. Read more »

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General Electric has shown no lack of ambition to be a big player in the solar energy market, but how well it’s doing developing cadmium-telluride (CdTe)-based technology — and become a major CdTe solar panel makers — remains a bit of a mystery Read more »

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Entrepreneurs and investors have long believed water tech represents the next big market. ET Water Systems hopes to ride this wave and announced Monday that it had raised $2 million for a new irrigation control and management technology. Read more »

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Solar water heater market may not be brand new, but it’s attracting a lot of new comers in recent years as more state and local incentives crop up. Sunnovations, which launched its first water heating system last year has raised an A round funding. Read more »

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BrightSource

BrightSource Energy has upped its latest fundraising goal from $100 million last December to $125 million and plans to use the money for both the U.S. projects and international expansion, the company’s spokesman, Keely Wachs, told us Tuesday. Read more »

Concentrix

Can solar concentrating photovoltaic technology ever become mainstream? There’s a new project that shows it can: Tenaska Solar Ventures will build a 150 MW of CPV systems that will produce electricity for San Diego Gas & Electric. The largest CPV installation to date is 1 MW. Read more »

Thin Film Solar Underdog MiaSole Looks Ahead to New Plant, Solar Shingles

Developers of copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar panels may be finally making that leap to mass production, but they have a lot of catching up to do to be competitive. An NREL expert and Morgan Stanley analyst outlines some of the technical and market challenges. Read more »

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A few years ago, solar-loving venture capitalists were excited to talk about solar cell and panel makers with novel manufacturing processes that could make them industry giants. Today, they want to talk about software, services and materials that don’t require hefty capital investments. Read more »

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Will solar panels generate buzz like a Tesla Roadster or boredom like an efficient water heater? Solar service providers are hoping for a Tesla response, and are increasingly turning to social media tactics in an attempt to create engaged communities around the sunny clean power. Read more »

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California lawmakers have passed a bill to require all public and private utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity supplies from renewable sources by 2020. If becomes law, the legislation would make the state home to the toughest renewable energy mandate in the country. Read more »

First Solar Beats on Revenue, Profit But Margins Slump

Hunting for new markets has become a bigger priority for First Solar, whose executives sounded a cautious note about the market outlook on Thursday and reported declining sales and net income for the fourth quarter. Read more »

U.S. Geothermal Nabs $102M DOE Loan Guarantee

Geothermal energy has long been touted as a good alternative to fossil fuel-based power plants because it’s able to generate power around the clock. A project in Oregon is underway, and the DOE has finalized a $96.8 million loan guarantee for U.S. Geothermal. Read more »

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Californians may see a big jump in their energy bills due to the fact that the state utilities’ clean power projects under contract will be billions of dollars more expensive than what the utilities would otherwise pay for power from natural gas plants. Read more »

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While many Silicon Valley thin-film solar companies have finally moved into commercial production, here comes Solar Frontier, a division of Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell, who has leapt over everyone to open a near-gigawatt factory and has drawn customers such as GE. Read more »

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Less than two months after Tessera Solar announced the sale of its crown-jewel solar project, it has sold another big project, a 709-MW development, to AES Solar. The sale underscores the difficulties of developing a mega solar project in California’s desert. Read more »

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President Obama unveiled his proposed budget Monday that calls for boosting funding to the Department of Energy by nearly 12 percent. The spending plan would focus on research and deployment of technologies he’s championed repeatedly: renewable energy, electric cars, biofuel, energy efficiency and nuclear. Read more »

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Renewable energy advocates like to say their causes are bi-partisan because they are fighting for cleaner energy and job creation. Not for many Republicans. In fact, some already are working hard to weaken regulations for adding more solar, wind and others. Read more »

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American manufacturers, project developers and policy makers have always had a keen interest in feed-in tariffs, which guarantee premium rates for renewable electricity. The U.K. indicated Monday that it will likely cut the pricing for large-scale solar projects because it wants to promote smaller, rooftop installations. Read more »

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A U.S. Treasury grant program popular among renewable energy developers has become a subject of lawsuit and a federal judge has denied part of the government’s wish to dismiss the case. The lawsuit could have wide-ranging ramifications, including opening the door to follow-on lawsuits. Read more »

SolarCity

Citi isn’t new to investing in solar energy projects, but the bank previously backed solar projects built for businesses and public agencies. But it has now jumped solidly into the residential solar installation market by agreeing to back $40 million in solar installations by SolarCity. Read more »

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