Solar Energy Crisis

John Perlin, “Let It Shine: The 6,000 Year Story of Solar”

John Perlin's new book is the most complete history of solar power ever written and represents a lifetime of research on the part of its author. As Perlin explains in the preface, it is a greatly expanded version of his 1980 book, “A Golden Thread,” incorporating an extra thirty years of research.


Solar News 7-23-12

Back to basics: GE suspends CdTe thin-film production plans - PV Tech

Why Our Innovators Traffic in Trifles - Wall Street Journal

Into Thin Air: The Disappearance of Dozens of Chinese Solar Companies - REW

Update: Centrotherm’s file for bankruptcy protection accepted by Ulm district court - PV Tech

Assault On Solar? House Republicans Fire Off 'No More Solyndras Act' - Solar Industry Mag

LDK Solar Gets Portion of Debts Paid by China's Xinyu Government - REW

China is star of the show: 92% surge in clean energy investments in Q2, 2012 - PV Tech

Where The $376 Million In Solar Venture-Capital Funding Went In Q2 - Solar Industry Mag

Intersolar’s missing CSP companies - noticeable by their absence - PV Tech

Renewable Energy Faces Financing Challenges with End of Federal 1603 Grant Program - REW

Q-Cells Insolvency Administrator Says Company Can Be Rescued - Solar Industry Mag

Kevin Smith: Energy loans are a success story, not a scandal -

Solar Cells for Windows Take Another Step Forward - Cleantechnica Abound Solar Hearing: Politics, China And 'Secret Emails' Dominate Debate - Solar Industry Mag


Solar News 6-19-12

Solar Provides 10 Percent of Germany's Electricity in May - REW

Solar shakeout: Solarwatt files for insolvency with loss of 480 jobs - PV Tech

Solar shakeout: Further financial woes at centrotherm photovoltaics - PV Tech


Solar News 5-29-12

U.S. Slaps High Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels - New York Times

PG&E Seeks Approval to Invest in Solar Manufacturing - REW

Chart: The death spiral of solar bankruptcies (& counting) - Gigaom

Calls For Germany’s Near-Bankrupt Solar Industry To Be Nationalised - Global Warming Policy Foundation

Future of Renewables Overshadowed by Shale Gas - Suite 101

German Solar Industry Could Soon Collapse - Technology Review

World’s biggest CIS (CIGS) power plant completed - PV Mag


Solar News 4-30-12

BrightSource’s IPO failure ends golden age of VC solar investment - PV Tech

Novel solar reactor may enable clean fuel derived from sunlight - R&D Mag

GOP running out of gas on Solyndra - Politico

Lower Risk, More Deals: Why Venture Capitalists Still Like Solar Firms - Solar Industry Mag

Surviving The Shakeout: With PV Stocks Plunging, Where Are We Headed? - Solar Industry Mag


Solar News 4-16-12

Solar shakeout: Italian module manufacturer closes doors - PV Tech

Lower Risk, More Deals: Why Venture Capitalists Still Like Solar Firms - Solar Industry Mag

Italian government to drastically cut renewable energy incentives - PV Tech

Report: How Global Solar Installations Can Thrive In A Post-Subsidy World - Solar Industry Mag

Obama administration to install 3GW on military installations - PV Tech

Treasury's Section 1603 Program Created Widespread Positive Economic Impact - Solar Industry Mag

Carbon nanoparticles improve lithium-sulfur batteries - R&D Mag

PV Manufacturers Changing Strategies As Wafer Prices Plummet - Solar Industry Mag

BrightSource Energy Withdraws Planned IPO, Citing Difficult Market Conditions - Solar Industry Mag

SunPower to stop using Fab 1 facility - PV Tech

Resurfacing urban areas could offset 150 billion tons of CO2 - R&D Mag

As ice cap melts, militaries vie for Arctic edge - AP


Solar News 3-28-12

U.S. Senate Rejects Amendment To Extend Section 1603 Program - Solar Industry Mag

Evergreen Solar to Abandon Massachusetts Factory - WSJ

PV systems wise up to California’s smart-grid future - PV Tech

Palestinians prepare to lose the solar panels that provide a lifeline - The Guardian

China dominates top ten global solar manufacturers - PV Tech

UK government loses final FiT appeal - PV Tech

Germany Expected To Be 36% Powered By Renewable Energy By 2020 - Solar Industry Mag

New Figures Reveal Another Record Year For PV Projects In Germany - Solar Industry Mag

German solar industry unites to fight FiT cuts - PV Tech

A Welcome Reprieve? Germany Delays FIT Cuts Following Industry Protest - Solar Industry Mag


Sustainability makes firms more profitable, MIT report shows

Over 1/3 of 2800 worldwide firms surveyed have explicitly adopted green manufacturing techniques and innovations, and these firms tend to be more profitable than their competitors.


New York Times Articles Examine Apple Outsourcing and Supply Chain Worker Abuses

New York Times article details Apple’s gradual outsourcing of labor during its explosive growth period, leading to the present situation, wherein almost no Apple products are manufactured or assembled in the U.S.


Bloomberg New Energy Finance Podcast


Rocky Mountain Institute, "Reinventing Fire"

The Rocky Mountain Institute, an organization founded by famed physicist and "soft energy paths" theorist Amory B. Lovins and his wife L. Hunter Sheldon to partner with industry to innovate technologies to increase energy efficiency and help transition to a soft energy infrastructure...


Solar News, 12-9-11

Why Solar Will Win - Forbes 5 Stocks for the Solar Surge - MSN Money Q-Cells reports record CIGS aperture area conversion efficiency of 17.4% - PV Tech Despite Solyndra's notorious failure, a few investors put new money in the sector - Wall Street Journal ‘Green’ Jobs, the IT Analogy - The New Republic Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2011 - EIA Report



Andrew Revkin’s New York Times blog is part travelogue, part science blog, and part musings on the challenges of a future marked by the radical alteration of the earth by its human inhabitants. Revkin travels to various environmental conferences and summits around the world to do a sort of meta reporting—many of his posts are about the activities and viewpoints of other journalists linked in a global network of writers working in this field. He also covers a lot of basic science of environmental and energy concern, and U.S. and international energy, science, and environmental policy.


Adam Rome, "The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism"

Rome's book explores, among other things, the brief rise and precipitous fall of the solar home vis-a-vis tract housing. His chronicle of the triumph of one material technology over another is rooted at the social intersection of the post-war mass migration to the suburbs and the rise of the environmental movement. In the 1950s, most individuals concerned about the degradation of the environment were conservationists. Their primary concern was the preservation of wilderness areas, not urban and suburban pollution...


B Von Roedern, H Ulal, "Critical issues for commercialization of thin-film PV technologies"

This article serves as a summary of the state of thin-film photovoltaic cell technology, circa February 2008. It notes that thin-film technology is rapidly taking increasing its share of the solar market (from 6% to 44% in the US in under three years). Particular attention is given to First Solar's 40MW solar field, in the process of being installed at the time in Saxony, Germany...


Kelly Sims Gallagher, "Acting in Time on Energy Policy"

The general theme of this book, which comprises a number of essays treating different facets of U.S. Energy policy, is that the U.S. government has been consistently short-sighted in its responses to looming energy crises, doing just enough to satisfy short-term goals and nothing more. If we remain on this path, it will lead to drastically increased costs down the road. The sooner we act, the less it will cost. Kelly Sims Gallagher discusses Climate Change in her chapter (which kicks off the book). She details international attempts made since 1990 to combat climate change, noting that while a number of industrial countries have met or exceeded their emission reduction goals (related in particular to the Kyoto protocol), the world's two largest emitters, the U.S. and China—together accounting for 46% of global GHG emissions—have increased their emissions drastically in the past twenty years.


Richard Newell, "A U.S. Innovation strategy for Climate Change Mitigation"

Newell here analyzes the market difficulties that act as barriers to climate change mitigation, along with the role played by science and technology innovation in the U.S., and outlines a plan to optimize federal investments in basic and applied research. Newell's plan is fiscal in nature; he focuses directly on the question of how federal money should best be spent. He identifies as two main barriers to climate change mitigation efforts a lack of market incentive to adopt GHG-reducing technologies and the underfunding of basic research in industry due to difficulty in recouping such long-term, public-interest investments.


Solar News 8-6-12

California's solar power increasingly Chinese made - Grist

Michael Mann on climate wars: 'the hockey stick did not suddenly appear out of left field' - Guardian

China Quadruples 2015 Solar Energy Target to Aid Demand, Prices - REW

U.S. solar plan creates energy zones, excludes sensitive lands - LA Times

First Solar Profit Surges 81% on Shift to Sales of Power Plants - REW

Solar Shakeout: PV project developer SunStrom goes bankrupt - PV Tech

Solar Advocates Concerned About Severe Funding Cuts To Popular Program - Solar Industry Mag

Breakthrough in colloidal quantum dot films leads to record efficiency for next-generation solar cells -


Solar News 7-2-12

Q.Cells resumes cell and module production - PV Magazine

LDK Posts Steep Loss Amid Mounting Industry Pressure - REW

US: New CIGS PV roadmap announced - PV Magazine

Two Closures Illustrate the Need to Chart a New Course for Solar - REW

Global Solar Shuts Down German Factory - Solar Industry mag

Boost of Solar Power Projects Emerge in China's Xinjiang Region - REW

SoloPower Adds More VC Funding for Flexible CIGS Solar Panels - Greentech Media

Abound Solar To File for Bankruptcy, Another Solyndra? - REW

Solar shakeout: Schott Solar announces surprise exit from c-Si manufacturing - PV Tech


Solar News 6-11-12

Staying Alive: Could Thin-film Manufacturers Come Out Ahead in the PV Wars? - REW

Can Chinese Tariffs Save U.S. Solar Factories? - Solar Industry Mag

Thin-film Organic Solar PV Maker Konarka Technologies Files for Chapter 7 - REW

Photovoltaic cells tap underwater solar energy - R&D

LDK Solar’s key equipment supplier terminates contracts - PV Tech


Solar News 5-17-12

America’s failing powerhouse - Salon

Solar optimists strategize to survive austerity and future-proof industry - PV Tech

Global Woes Continue with LDK Solar's Quarterly Earnings - REW

China Dims 'Golden Sun' Solar Subsidy - REW

Subsidy Reform to Power U.S. Clean Tech - WRI

Italy Jumped To First Place In PV Installations Last Year - Solar Industry Mag

Hollande Victory Signals Shift in France's Renewable Energy Policy - REW

US military takes solar to the frontline - PV Tech

First Solar and SunPower sales fall in first quarter - PV Tech

German Solar Module Manufacturer Soltecture Files For Insolvency - Solar Industry Mag

China Reduces Solar Subsidy on Declining Costs of Components - Bloomberg

Trade Tensions Rise: Chinese Solar Modules Hit With Major Tariffs - Solar Industry Mag


Solar News 4-23-12

Race for Renewables' Game-changers Heats Up - Renewable Energy World

DOE-backed Abound Solar cuts factory line - CNET

Germany Expects Installation ‘Rally’ to Beat Solar Cuts - Bloomberg

Major Closures for First Solar, Sunpower - Renewable Energy World

Developer of 1,000-MW Blythe Solar Project Files for Chapter 11 - Renewable Energy World

Areva Solar to Build Asia's Largest CSP Plant - Renewable Energy World University of Minnesota researchers clear major hurdle in road to high-efficiency solar cells - Understanding Nano

Developers eye Chilean solar market with 2500MW of proposed projects - PV Tech


Solar News 4-8-12

Odersun files for bankruptcy, seeks buyer through courts - PV Tech

Q-Cells Files For Bankruptcy In Germany Following Restructuring Efforts - Solar Industry Mag Solyndra report: No smoking guns - Fortune

A Cautionary Solar Story? New Solyndra Report Details A Dramatic Fall - Solar Industry Mag

Germany Cuts Solar Aid to Curb Prices, Panel Installations - Bloomberg

UCLA Engineering researchers use electricity to generate alternative fuel - UCLA

A Solar Developer's Bankruptcy Aftermath: Will Blythe Be Built? - Solar Industry Mag

New York Power Authority Authorizes New $30 Million Solar Initiative - Solar Industry Mag

Renewable Energy Posts Strong Growth Under Obama Administration - Solar Industry Mag

Innovation Moves Outside the Proverbial Box - R&D Mag

Japanese FiT proposals boost Solar Frontier’s potential in Asia - PV Tech

PV Installations Expected To Increase By Up To 21% This Year - Solar Industry Mag

Touch of gold improves nanoparticle fuel-cell reactions - Nano Mag

Graphene supercapacitor holds promise for portable electronics - Nano Mag

Weighing the merits of solar power plants using concentration photovoltaics - Photovoltaics International


Solar News 3-13-12

Will Clean Tech Be Bigger Than Web 2.0? - Inc.

California grid parity dawns as developers chase the sun - PV Tech

Researchers create more efficient hydrogen fuel cells - R&D

Solar Frontier pushes CIS thin-film aperture area efficiency to record 17.8% - PV Tech

Will 2012 Be The End Of The World For Renewable Energy? - Forbes

Some CIGS thin-film firms entering mainstream, says Lux Research - PV Tech


NASA: Modeling the Sun

NASA has recently made two advances in studying the sun's effects on the Earth. The first is a new study that measures the Earth's "energy imbalance," the difference between the amount of energy it absorbs from the sun and the amount it releases back into space...


Solar News, 1-23-12

Mission-Sensitive Solar: Can We Site Large Arrays On Critical Military Bases? - Solar Industry Mag

Q-Cells sets two new world records for multicrystalline and quasi-mono solar modules - PV Tech

Engineers to pour water into volcano to make power - R&D

SDG&E opens up solar power to the masses - PV Tech The high price of climate change - R&D

Cleantech venture investment in 2011 reaches “the highest level since 2008” - PV Tech

Using Debt-To-Equity Ratios To Identify Potential Solar Downturn Survivors - Seeking Alpha

Top executives from 14 leading Chinese PV manufacturers gather to fight SolarWorld - PV Tech

A Clean-Energy Promise: Hope Meets Hype - New Haven Independent


Solar News, 12-30-11

In Solar Power, India Begins Living Up to Its Own Ambitions - New York Times

Dark Times Fall on Solar Sector - Wall Street Journal

Understanding End-User Markets For Grid-Scale Energy Storage - Seeking Alpha

Incredible UK solar installation figures revealed - PV Tech

PV installations to hit 23.8GW, a 34% increase over 2010, according to IHS - PV Tech

Report claims 50% of Chinese solar firms have ceased production - PV Tech

Buffett’s $2 Billion Solar Bet Receives ‘Attractive’ Power Rates - Businessweek


Report Finds Nano-Energy to be "Greenwashing"

This extensive 2010 report, released by international environmentalist organization Friends of the Earth, surveys many nanotechnology products being researched, developed, or already on the market related to energy production and storage. The authors of the report note that nanotechnology advocates have been promising huge gains in energy generation and storage efficiency and flexibility for many years; for the most part, these gains haven’t been realized. More troubling, according to the authors of the report, are the lack of life cycle analysis of various nanotech products, and “greenwashing” that take the form of claiming great gains in energy conversion in the field while completely ignoring the energy costs that have gone into the making of the products themselves, as well as the environmental risks associated with releasing nanoparticles into the environment.


Yahya M. Madra and Ceron Özselçuk: "Jouissance and Antagonism in the Forms of the Commune: A Critique of Biopolitical Subjectivity"

Madra and Özselçuk find that with regard to the construction of subjectivity, both the governmentality literature (as typified by Foucault) and the post-Fordist literature (as typified by Hardt and Negri) are compromised by embedded forms of behaviorism in their attempts to theorize the neoliberal subject. Foucault errs in assuming that neoliberalism actually produces the rational subject that it posits, when in fact this subject is a fiction (that even the neoliberal literature doesn’t assume is real at the level of the individual).


Travis Bradford, "Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry"

Bradford argues in “Solar Revolution” that a transition to a worldwide energy economy based primarily upon solar collection is not only inevitable but in fact imminent. This is a surprising stance given that solar energy accounts for less than 1% of today’s electricity generation, is critically underfunded with regard to its competitors, and is generally considered to be economically uncompetitive. Bradford’s argument, however, is predictive rather than prescriptive...


Langdon Winner, "Do Artifacts Have Politics?"

Langdon Winner's classic article argues, in the vein of “soft” technological determinism, that technology determines certain social foundations. In this case, that (at least some) technology is inherently political: certain technologies are democratic, others autocratic, by their very nature. That is, regardless of the intent behind their invention or deployment, they have concrete social consequences that can be qualified in political terms. While it is energy production that is ultimately at stake, Winner's most salient example is the series of expressways erected around Long Island by Robert Moses in the 1930s.


Charles Weiss, William B. Bonvillian, "Structuring an Energy Technology Revolution"

In this thoughtful, comprehensive book, Weiss and Bonvillian argue for a coherent, long-term approach to U.S. energy policy that balances market/demand pull and technology push. The former, they insist (embodied in a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system) is not sufficient to fundamentally change either U.S. energy independence or GHG emissions. They call for "a new integrated analytic framework." The framework would need to be technology neutral; it must stimulate private sector competition, not promote or require any particular technology. It must also take into account that new technologies don't face an open, new market, but rather one saturated with cost-effective, politically supported, popular incumbent technologies; we should think of this competitive space as an "anti-commons."


Narayanamurti, Venkatesh, Laura D. Anadon, and Ambuj D. Sagar, "Institutions for Energy Innovation: A Transformational Challenge"

The authors of this paper focus on key concepts that they believe must be appreciated in order for government-funded research to effectively spur technological innovation in the energy sector. They note that energy technology innovation is particularly complex and nonlinear. Energy technologies are often large-scale, must compete with incumbent technological systems (and thus must fight “lock-in”), and incommensurability in the scope and nature of goals between public and private sector. They recommend a model of “open innovation,” which encourages research organizations to share and look for knowledge with external institutions: individual inventors, start-ups, established labs, and various spin-offs.