The 4th Most Read Article of 2012:
Into Thin Air: The Disappearance of Dozens of Chinese Solar Companies
by Ucilia Wang, Contributing Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
Published July 11, 2012
The bankruptcies of roughly two dozen U.S. and European photovoltaic manufacturers have framed much of the story about an oversupply of solar panels and crashing prices over the past year. What's less known is the impact on the PV manufacturing industry in China, where over 50 companies also have closed, said John Lefebvre, president of Suntech Power's American operations, during Intersolar in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The 4th Most Read Blog of 2012:
Solar Grid Parity 101
by John Farrell
Published January 12, 2012
Solar grid parity is considered the tipping point for solar power, when installing solar power will cost less than buying electricity from the grid. It’s also a tipping point in the electricity system, when millions of Americans can choose energy production and self-reliance over dependence on their electric utility.
But this simple concept conceals a great deal of complexity. And given the stakes of solar grid parity, it’s worth exploring the details.
The Cost of Solar
For starters, what’s the right metric for the cost of solar? The installed cost for residential solar ($6.40 in 2011), or commercial solar ($5.20) or utility-scale solar ($3.75)? Even if we pick one of these, it’s difficult to compare apples to apples, because grid electricity is priced in dollars per kilowatt-hour of electricity, not dollars per Watt.