Solar energy

This British startup is building a super solar material

Perovskite — have you heard of it? It’s a material that is getting a lot of buzz in the world of solar research. Now a U.K. solar startup plans to bring what it believes is a game-changing technology to make perovskite solar cells to the market.

A debate emerges: are solar panels a commodity yet?

Solar panels have been described as commodities, but are they? A solar project investor says that is not quite true given the uneven quality of solar panels he has seen. And that begs the question: is solar really a low-risk investment?

The energy-water nexus Part II

Water is undeniably important to our physical survival, and energy is the main physical ingredient in our development of modern society. Shortages in either could have major impacts.

The U.S. solar market is booming this year

The U.S. solar market is shaping up to be larger than anticipated and could end up installing nearly 3.3 GW of solar panels in 2012, a roughly 18 percent jump from the previous forecast of 2.8 GW, according to a report released Wednesday.

Korean funds back tenKsolar’s wave solar

Solar startups have been a favorite target for Korean conglomerates looking to boost clean power investments. TenKsolar certainly has caught the attention of one of them, Hanwha, which just led a series B round of $15.5 million the companies said Wednesday.

Solar thin film maker ECD files for bankruptcy

Solar thin film maker Energy Conversion Devices held on for much longer than what some industry watchers had expected, but at the end, the Michigan company couldn’t resuscitate its downward spiral and on Tuesday announced it’s filing for bankruptcy.

The dilemma of creating and cutting solar jobs

Both job creation and layoffs are particularly sensitive topics during a weak economy, let alone an election year, so the big layoff at Amonix’s solar factory in Nevada raises questions about the health of the Kleiner Perkins-backed company and its promise to bring many jobs

Commerce Dept steps into Chinese solar trade war

A trade complaint filed against Chinese solar makers, accusing them of benefiting from illegal subsidies, has drawn a line in the sand for the U.S. solar industry. Now the Commerce Department has issued a finding that tilts the case in favor of the petitioner, SolarWorld.

The new year brings continued solar strife

The turning of the new year didn’t make the solar industry any easier for solar manufacturers. Power electronics maker, Satcon Technology, announced Wednesday that it’s laying off 35 percent of its workers and shutting down its factory in Canada.

The tough market for solar in 2011

Companies continue to bow out of the solar market in 2011. This week it’s BP Solar, which is shutting down, as well as Solar Mlillennium, which has filed for insolvency. Last week it was German solar panel company Solon, which also filed for insolvency.

How solar can make data centers more efficient

Paring solar with data centers may not be a novel idea, but you will have a hard time finding companies that rely solely on solar electricity to power their servers. But what if the use of solar could help data center owners save energy?

An exercise in galactic-scale energy

Follow physics professor Tom Murphy on an exercise in galactic energy that points out the absurdity that results from the assumption that we can continue growing our consumption of energy forever.

The dark side of solar and compensation tactics

On Thursday JinkoSolar issued a lengthy explanation of an environmental controversy surrounding its solar cell factory in China that led to a massive protest and plummeting share prices. The disclosure raises questions about what and how JinkoSolar should have disclosed this as a public company.

Solar struggles: Calisolar lays off 80

Solar silicon maker Calisolar is laying off about 80 employees in its Silicon Valley factory as part of its shift in business focus, the company said on Wednesday. The layoff represents about 23 percent of the company’s labor force globally.

7 ways to give the solar market a big bounce

What has to happen for the solar industry to recover from the slump? That’s been on the minds of manufacturers, service providers and investors in recent months as solar panels were piling up in warehouses and prices were falling faster than a Russian rocket.

Google embraces solar skylight from EnFocus

Startup EnFocus Engineering’s technology replaces an ordinary skylight with a high-tech version that features solar cells and optics to manage the light that flows into a room. The company will be installing a prototype system at Google.

What the U.S. can learn from Germany to promote clean power

Germany has sprinted ahead of the U.S. when it comes to embracing clean energy and becoming the world’s largest solar market. That means Germany has learned some lessons that the U.S. could benefit from, including ways to drive down the cost of solar electricity fast.

How farmers are clean power pioneers

When it comes to adopting new technologies, particularly solar, farmers and owners of ag-related operations have often led the way. We list some recent projects that rely on agricultural producers to demonstrate new technologies.

Solar Policy Play: UK Could Curb Large Solar Projects

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.

Solar Industry Facing "Gross Oversupply"

What happens to an industry when the price of a core component suddenly drops, the credit crisis hits, and countries look to pull crucial subsidies? Well, for the traditional solar industry that means 2010 will be a year of “gross oversupply.”

Daily Sprout

Renewables Take the Lead: Global investors spent about $250 billion building new power capacity last year, and for the first time ever…

Daily Sprout

Senate Could Snip Green Strings Attached to Auto Bailout: They made it through the House, but environmental clauses included in the $14…

Soliant Energy Focuses With $21M

Soliant Energy, maker of rooftop concentrating photovoltaic systems, has raised almost $21 million in new venture capital, including $2.5 million from GE…

Startups Should Team Up to Grow

[qi:021] Earlier this week, MeeVee, an online television guide, decided to acquire Top Ten Sources, a Boston-based social news and information site.…

Do they know 2.0?

How many of you remember Paul Young and his smash hit – Come Back & Stay? The song is playing on the…

This week on jkOnTheRun

Top Stories: Kevin Tofel joins jkOnTheRun! Kapsel Media Center; small enough to carry along Sling TV progamming on your Mac via Windows…

Full Quicksilver Demo Movie 1

Let’s try this again. Here’s the full video, starting with the setup and an explanation. Then you’ll see a demo of selecting…

What is this web site?

I just ran across an intriguing web site that is obviously some kind of teaser. The web site is and it…

VSNL Buys Tyco Network

India’s Videsh Sanchar Nigam, a Tata Group owned long distance provider has bought the Tyco Global Networks for $130 million. The deal…

Flarion’s ultimate push

This is the kind of day most start-ups wait for. Flarion has just learned that that Siemens will build wireless equipment based…

Do you feel safer?

On this anniversary of one of the most senseless acts in modern history, many people in the US are asking “Do you…

The Telecom Bus

Arnold Kling notes in the Washington Times how the FCC is being guided into a pro-market stance by it’s chairman, Michael Powell.…