Tag: Opinion & Commentary

The Effect of Natural Disasters on Electricity Prices

Solar leasing promoters have long claimed that electricity costs will keep rising, but we haven’t see this happening – yet.  Actually, almost all of the standard generation sources are benefiting from lower costs – natural gas is low, coal is low, and nuclear is… well it’s not dramatically more expensive than it has been. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that prices are going to go up.

Do Solar Owners Love Solar the Way Gun Owners Love Guns?

There has been talk for years about the need for the industry to mobilize rooftop solar owners into one group that together would represent one large voice in favor of solar-friendly local, state and federal policy. With more than 1,000,0000 installations in the U.S., that voice would certainly be loud and strong.

A loud, centralized voice couldn’t be more important in U.S. politics right now, where the Trump administration is eying tariffs, policies and rules that could crush the solar industry. One such initiative is the recent DOE directive that is looking to re-write the rules around compensation for power plants, a move that would pay solar and wind facilities less than coal or nuclear generation for the energy they produce. 

All PV Predictions Were Wrong

At the Intersolar Middle East Conference, which took place on September 26 and 27 in Dubai, 86 international speakers presented past, present and future solar PV market developments. A total of 408 attendees made the Intersolar conference in Dubai the …

Jobs and Gigawatts: How To Position Your Solar Company In Light Of The Suniva Trade Case

How should you position your solar company in light of the Suniva/SolarWorld trade case? To address that question, I recently participated in a Renewable Energy World webcast with Abby Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, and Matthew Nicely, a lawyer representing SEIA. For NEXTracker, our position is clear: We fully support SEIA’s efforts to convince the U.S. International Trade Commission to recommend the least harmful remedy, for two simple reasons: jobs and gigawatts.

The Mobile Microgrid: Is It Almost Here?

Life without our mobile phone seems pretty unimaginable, doesn’t it? We now carry along our phone/camera/computer in our hands, and, if you want to believe a recent movie, some of us even fall in love with the personal assistant. “(You) Siri – why am I here?…(Siri) I can’t answer that for you, can I?”

But what about microgrids, why not have a personal mobile i-power source? If you bear with me I’ll show you why that isn’t so farfetched. The mobile “i-uGrid” may already be on the way.

On the Solar Trade Case: SolarWorld and Suniva are neither Villains nor Victims

First – SolarWorld and Suniva are not villains, nor would I call them victims.  The current low prices in our industry are, unfortunately, the responsibility of all participants.  We, as an industry, have celebrated the low prices for over a decade and have focused on ever cheaper prices without considering the effect of these prices on quality and manufacturing viability. 

India Solar — Unboxing Valuation

Some really interesting developments are taking place in the Indian solar space. Module prices are hardening and there is talk of Discoms reneging on previous high tariff power purchase agreements (PPA) in light of declining tariffs, while developers are reportedly seeking to exit low tariff commitments in light of rising module prices. It’s all happening there! 

Listen Up: Roof Attachment Products for Solar — Key Considerations

With much higher volume manufacturing, prices for solar panels have come down tremendously over the past 20 years — from about $1,000 each to less than $200. But solar panels are still very time consuming to install on a roof in a way that will last 25+ years without leaks. The majority of this rooftop work is on the flashings, roof hooks, and special roof mount components.