Category: Solar

Solar Panel information, ideas and do-it-yourself suggestions.

Solar Power Inc. Agrees to Buy Controlling Stake in Convertergy

Solar Power Inc., a renewable-energy project developer backed by China’s LDK Solar Co., agreed to buy a 76.8 percent stake in Convertergy Energy Technology Co., a provider of energy-monitoring services.

Solar Power is paying $13.8 million in stock and assuming a $1.5 million loan, the Shanghai-based company said in a statement Friday. The transaction is subject to closing conditions. The solar developer will use Convertergy’s technology to enhance its photovoltaic, or PV, applications.

“The ability to offer advanced technology applications such as power optimization and big data analysis to traditional PV is increasingly becoming a major differentiator in the global solar industry,” Chairman Xiaofeng Peng said in the statement.

LDK owns about 24 percent of Solar Power, which moved its headquarters to Shanghai from California in January.

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg

Lead image: Handshake. Credit: Shutterstock.

Germany’s Powerhouse Feels Pinch of Merkel’s Shift to Renewables

North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state that’s home to utilities RWE AG and EON SE, is losing its standing as the country’s powerhouse as wind and solar energy begin to displace conventional sources.

Electricity consumers in the western state, which has one-third of Germany’s installed conventional power capacity, last year paid 3.1 billion euros ($3.5 billion) more to subsidize clean energy generation than producers there were awarded, the BDEW utility lobby said in a report Tuesday. The biggest recipient was Brandenburg in the east with a positive balance of 838 million euros.

 

 

The New Normal? Renewables, Efficiency, And “Too Much Electricity”

Just over a decade ago, the state of California faced serious concerns about whether its utilities could generate and/or buy enough power to assure that the world’s seventh-largest economy could keep the lights on. The infamous California energy crisis, which affected several other western states as well, was a complex tangle of poorly structured deregulation, significant market manipulation (remember Enron?), and other causes. Along with rolling blackouts, California endured an official state of emergency that lasted 34 months, led to the recall and replacement of Gov. Gray Davis, and cost the state and its ratepayers billions of dollars — a cautionary tale for all states of electricity supply unable to meet demand.

Summers’ Law Strikes Again

Lawrence Summers famously wrote, “there are idiots, look around” in an attack on the theory that markets are rational. What some have called “Summers’ Law” certainly applies to the markets’ response to the slide in the price of oil as it relates to stocks of renewable energy companies.

Why Fracking May Support Renewables

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shunned by the environmentalists that laud renewable energy sources. However, by not supporting both initiatives, they may be working at cross purposes. Natural gas, booming largely because of fracking, complements…

First Lady Announces Solar Industry Plan to Hire 50,000 Military Veterans by 2020

I’ve written before about how the solar industry and the nation’s veterans make a great team. That’s why First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement last week that the solar industry has committed to hiring an additional 33,000 veterans and their spouses by 2020 is such very good news for our country. “Veterans bring rich and diverse skills, leadership and experience that can help in every portion of the industry value chain,” said Tom Kimbis, vice president for executive affairs & government counsel at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the country’s major solar trade group, about last week’s announcement. “We are not talking about installers alone; veterans can excel from rooftop to boardroom.”