Everywhere you look, there’s a different solar power project going on, and one of the most interesting are solar roads. From American startups to French prototypes and beyond, solar roads have gone through their trials and tribulations. Where’s the technology at? Will we be seeing them in the near future? Let’s get into the details about their place in the world, and if they’re really worth it.
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SolarWorld is struggling to stay afloat, and is in danger of becoming the latest American-made solar panel manufacturer to bite the dust, despite a recent cash infusion of $6 million.
This is just the most recent in a string of stories where U.S. solar manufacturers are unable to compete with their Chinese counterparts. Suniva, the bankrupt module maker and now defining chapter of the ongoing crisis, got a small victory last week when the ITC decided to move forward under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 to investigate whether they deserve protection from their Chinese competitors.
Great news for the U.S. solar market, right?
Well, many at Intersolar North America seem to think not. The pending decision is causing a lot of developers to hold off on new solar projects, causing a ripple effect of delays and indecision.
“The uncertainty we’re seeing in the U.S. market is not good,” said Jefferson Gerwig, purchasing manager for Indiana-based developer Inovateus Solar. “It’s putting a real damper on a lot of development, and the market will continue to worry until the case is finally decided – and even then, with no certain outcome, the effects could linger.”
Developers are trying to snatch up as many modules as possible because of abject fear at what could happen if Suniva is granted relief under its petition, Gerwig said. Adding to the shortage is the fact that the Chinese and Indian markets are still growing fast. So manufacturers are selling any excess inventory into those markets – markets where they can have a reasonable expectation of continued growth moving forward.
Frank Andorka from pv magazine has the whole story here.
There's a mafia that controls an entire bus industry, and it's threatening violence if environmental regulatory measures are enforced. But this group doesn't hang out at the Bada Bing in North Jersey...this is in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
Official attempts to modernize the busy, highly polluted metropolis of Nepal have been blocked by a local faction of "entrepreneurs" called the National Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs (NFTE). Political donations help the group maintain their influence, which keeps about 2,500 of their technically non-street-legal buses on the road. This contributes to air quality more than 6 times the particulate threshold as recommended by the World Health Organization.
When approached by an undercover reporter about starting an operation of new buses along their route, Dharma Rimal, the Bagmati Zone Chief of the NFTE, warned “Careful, there might be problems for you if your new buses operate without our consent...it is we who decide who is allowed and who is not on this route. You will regret it if you defy us.” #SolarNews (sources: Digital Journal, Nepali Times)
Despite how the President chooses to approach energy policy, the U.S. military is marching on with its pro-solar agenda.
"The Department of Defense plans to forge ahead under the new administration with a decade-long effort to convert its fuel-hungry operations to renewable power," senior military officials told Reuters.
"The reasons have nothing to do with the white-hot debate over climate change. In combat zones, green energy saves lives by, for instance, reducing the need for easily attacked convoys to deliver diesel fuel to generators at U.S. bases. Mobile solar-power units allow soldiers to prowl silently through enemy territory." #mythmonday
Source: Reuters (https://goo.gl/kUKJDy)