Solar Industry Highs and Lows – All in One Week

Solar energy in America has seen its ups and downs, and this week both have hit together.

Bankruptcy News

Solar power developer Solar Trust of America filed for bankruptcy this week, putting into jeopardy a number of projects, including the Blythe Solar Power Project, a 1,000-megawatt power plant which would have been built in the Mojave Desert. The Blythe project had secured a $2.1 billion guaranteed federal loan, but with Solar Trust’s parent company, German developer Solar Millennium filing for bankruptcy late last year, something apparently had to give!

German solar developers are struggling as Germany reduces it’s support for the industry, while the cheaper Chinese panels flood the market.

There is still hope for the Mohave Desert project, if a company with deeper pockets buys it, and given that it is already licensed and includes transmission rights, it may make an attractive option.

LA Approves Feed-in Tariff

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council this week approved a measure to allow a feed-in tariff to be offered in Los Angelos. A feed-in tariff allows local property owners to install roof-top solar power systems and sell the power generated back to the local power company (in this case the local Department of Water and Power), making solar power a legitimate investment for business and home owners alike.

Image courtesy of

If the feed-in tariff goes ahead, it would make LA the largest city in the US to implement one, and would change the breakdown of renewable energy in the city from being mostly imported from outside the LA basin, to being locally generated. Because large amounts of electricity are lost when transported long distances, this would be a boon for efficiencies.
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Are DIY Solar Panel Guides Scams? A Quick Caution For Newbies


This is another guest article from the authors of Since the market of solar power has exploded the last decade or so, the market for selling DIY guides and eBooks has taken root. They usually offer to teach you how to generate your own free electricity by sourcing components yourself for a few hundred bucks (if you buy their guide of course). Are these DIY guides actually holding their promises or is it all just a scam? Let’s dig […] Read more »

Zinc-Air Batteries: A Game Changer in Grid-Scale Energy Storage?

Image credit: ReVolt Technology

This article is a contribution from the good folks over at Solar and wind energy will rapidly increase over the coming years all over the globe. Unfortunately our grid is not suited towards these two renewable energy sources. The first reason for this is that, as with the weather forecast, both of them are highly unpredictable. Calculating wind and sun exposure into the future is incredibly hard and we seldom get accurate results. This simply won’t cut it for […] Read more »

Why Solar Power Continues to Dominate the Alternative Energy Headlines


This article is a contributed piece by the authors of Sustainable Suburbia The rising cost of fossil fuels is inevitably leading to a greater interest in renewable energy sources the world over. While there are many ways energy can be produced, only a few are practical and economically viable for home use. Heading the list is, of course, solar power. But the use of wind power and geothermal power are also on the rise, although their viability for widespread use […] Read more »

Energy from CO2, Hot Air & Volcanoes – New and Interesting Ways To Produce Power


Talk of clean, green and renewable power will most likely, in the minds of most, conjure up images of bright and shiny solar panels basking in the glory of the sun as well as slim and tall windmills. And while it is probably right to assume that these two methods of producing renewable and environment-friendly energy are indeed the most popular today, it might be that things are bound to change sooner or later, especially if the groups or companies […] Read more »

A Basic Look At The Ubiquitous DC To AC Converter (a.k.a. Power Inverter)

Cobra CPI 480 400-Watt 12-Volt DC to 120-Volt AC Power Inverter with 5-Volt USB Output

These days, we have more devices than ever that are going to require some form of electrical power to run. Aside from the power that we get from our home’s power outlets, we also rely on batteries which have become the primary method of portable power or energy storage. Most of us probably come across a DC to AC converter, also known as a power inverter, on a regular basis and although we have come to take their ubiquity for […] Read more »