These are great questions, folks. Thanks for them. It's so nice to know what information is valuable to you.
Thank you for these great comments. @Tom, from what I've been told, poor-quality product is out there and IS being returned and/or replaced but because of non-disclosure agreements, we never hear about it (and never will). My sources tell me that these things are happening but don't want me to print any specifics. Can you imagine what would happen to a manufacturer if it got out that their product that was supposed to last 25 years was returned after 2, 3, 5 years? Death!
But because there is no "public evidence" that I could point to, I really did struggle with this story. I wondered, as you stated, why we would want this story to be told at all? But that's why I directed it to developers in the developing world. I was told time and again that most North American and European developers know what to ask about and what to look for when they are purchasing panels. But developers in India and China and other emerging markets might be more tempted by lower prices and not know how important it is to look for those certifications and standards...and to make sure the certification is up to date and the standard is the most recent standard. I hope they read this piece and I hope it helps them develop great projects.
Thank you for your comment, which is much appreciated. My point here is that hydropower can be done correctly and there are technologies and experts out there who know how to do it. Rather than dismiss hydropower all together for the sins of its past, I feels it's time we revisit the contribution that it can make to the renewable energy industry.
awb, that's a good point but I'm sure of the answer. How could we find that out?
Scott! You make a great point. I guess I was thinking of the learning you can get from the tech tours and talking with exhibitors on the show floor, which is why you should GO to the show. I think the headline should have said 'Face-to-Face learning" or as you suggest "In-Person learning" but it just sounded off to me so I went with "Hands-on." More importantly though, the deadline has NOT passed. I don't know why the links aren't working, we are trying to fix them. Copy and paste this link or click the red bar across the top of the screen.
Steven, thanks for your insightful comment. At this point the interconnector is really just something they are studying. No determinations have been made as to its size, who will build it, how it will be financed, etc. It's no more than an idea. As for the President's expertise on electricity markets, I think your observation may be correct. He is an enthusiastic geothermal supporter and loves his country very much and yet even Icelanders will tell you that he is more of a figurehead than an expert. They have told me that, like many political figures, he is someone that they 'love to hate' and they often disagree with his statements.
Hi Richard, I appreciate your two cents! Thanks so much.
@chris-geiger: Thanks so much for the comment. I attended a session at Renewable Energy World North America conference and expo last week that was a panel of energy policy experts from many energy sectors (nat. gas, nuclear, solar, hydro, coal). When this topic came up, there seemed to be universal support from the all of the representatives, meaning that there might not be much opposition to renewable energy projects being allowed to use this type of financing. I think the main hurdles now are simply working out the details. SEIA's Rhone Resch told me since it's a complicated issues, the bills that have been introduced in Congress may not be what ultimately come into law. However, simply their introduction is a good start. We should be posting that video interview soon.
@doug-mckenzie: Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
@marco Thank you for the comment and the request. Unfortunately at this time, we don't have the ability to stream conference sessions. I will be attending that session however and will try to post a summary of it on Thursday.
@JoeBerwind Very interesting comment. Thank you for it. The erosion of quality in the PV supply chain will indeed be terrible for all. Do you feel this is inevitable?