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Warren Buffett says "The first rule of Investing is don't lose money; the second rule is don't forget rule #1."
When the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF) foundations were put in place in 2015, many fishermen were worried. How would these giant metal formations set into the ocean change the game for commercial and recreational fisherman? Would they restrict fishing, causing these small business-owners to lose money and their livelihood?
Electric grids are mighty complicated. Of course, if you’re in the industry, you don’t need me to tell you that. When we created these huge networks of wires to pass electricity from generator to user, we simultaneously needed to track where the energy originated and where it went so we could figure out how to pay people for the energy they provided.
A few years ago, a U.S. manufacturer began feeling pressure from unfair overseas competition. The company found itself losing money and market share to Asian competitors that seemingly popped up from nowhere. The manufacturer found that the conventional remedies of cutting costs and gaining efficiencies would not help much since competitors were selling similar products below production costs and receiving significant help from their government in the form of subsidies.
Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit returns. The Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX) sports a 17 percent gain. The Guggenheim Solar Energy Index ETF (TAN) is up 37 percent. All 12 clean energy ETFs are beating the market, and their combined assets just topped $1 billion.
Paula Mints, Navigant Consulting, speaks with senior technical editor Debra Vogler about the "S" word: Solyndra. She also explains why grid parity is "almost meaningless."
Now you see it now you don't – disappearing margins for PV manufacturers are not a magician's trick, nor are they the phenomenon of current solar times. The low to zero to negative margins un-enjoyed by today's technology manufacturing sector are the result of years of choices made by an industry stalwart in its belief that solar is the answer yet beset by end users who, having many choices, many times choose something else.
In a video from Intersolar North America, Paula Mints, Navigant Consulting, says that a lot of capacity is being held, primarily in China. Systems are being un-installed because of poor quality module assembly, in a small portion of solar installations. She relays news about feed-in tariffs (FITs). Also included are Mints' latest columns on photovoltaics.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's campaign to limit climate change with an energy system based on renewable sources is cutting into profits of companies that still provide 57 percent of the power that keeps Europe's biggest economy humming.
Excess manufacturing capacity, the global economic crisis and tight credit, and Spain's incentive policy dented PV end-demand in 2009 and pushed prices down >25%--but those lower costs, demand diversification, and wider incentives will substantially boost demand in the coming year, according to an analysis from DisplaySearch.