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Thread: U.S. Solar Industry Employs 100,00 a Growth of 6.8%

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline

    U.S. Solar Industry Employs 100,00 a Growth of 6.8%

    That figure is 100.000.
    If you listened to people like S&L and others you would think it had all collapsed.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/0...?via=spotlight

    20, 2011 AT 08:01 AM PDT
    US Solar Industry Employs 100,000, a Growth of 6.8% Over Last Year.
    byHoundDogFollowforKosowatt

    While the bankruptcies at Solyndra and Evergreen are sad, as a whole, the US solar industry is largely, healthy and still growing, despite global price and trade wars. Shakeouts in rapidly growing new industries are not unusual. Brian Merchant, reports in Treehugger, that U.S. Solar Industry Now Employs 100,000 People, Grew 6.8% Since August 2010 I don't mean to ignore the possible need for a US industrial policy to help protect the solar industry from unfair international competition, especially from China. After inventing most of the technology, and leading the way in research and development, the US now has only 7% of the global market share of the rapidly growing and vital solar photovoltaic industry.

    Don't let the Solyndra talk fool you: The clean energy sector is still booming. ... In fact, renewable energy remains one of the few sectors to see consistent growth over the last couple years.
    A new report highlights that health, revealing that the solar industry employs over 100,000 people, and added over 6,700 jobs in the last 12 months alone.

    •"As of August 2011, there are 100,237 solar workers in the U.S. in all 50 states.

    •Across the solar supply chain, from installers to balance of system (BOS) manufacturers, to yes, even solar PV manufacturers, that's a 6.8% growth rate since August 2010.

    •In terms of exact numbers, there were net 6,735 new solar jobs created since August 2010.

    While the failure of Solyndra and Evergreen are troubling, the reasons are complicated, so we should be cautious of the conclusions we draw. Part of the extra challenge that US producers face is that China has targeted dominance of the emerging solar industry as a top national economic goal, in the same way the Japanese targeted auto, consumer electronics, and computers industries in the 1950 and 60s.

    Large government subsidies tied with an aggressive low-cost producer strategy enabled the Chinese to drop prices for solar voltaic by 42% percent this year, after over 50% in the previous 2 years.

    Solyndra's technology promised lower cost in the long-term, based on a new copper indium gallium selenide, CIGS, technology, however trying to ramp up new technology R+D prototypes during an industry price war and global trade war proved too challenging. They did not expect the prices to fall 42% this year so far, and 50% in the previous two years when making their business plans.

    Other companies, are still trying to gain competitive advantage with the new CIGS approaches, and may succeed.

    In Analysis: Solar startups plough ahead despite Solyndra, Nicholas Groom reports that industry experts suggest that the CIGS technology used by Solyndra still has price advantages, new entrants may be able to exploit. The challenge is not the technology but their ability to raise capital at a time when poly-silicon manufacturers are aggressively cutting prices, 42% in this last year, and especially those manufacturers based in China.

    While the thin film panels using CIGS, or copper indium gallium selenide, have been slow to penetrate the market, one maker, Heliovolt, got a boost on Monday when it announced that South Korea's SK Group would make a $50 million investment to help commercialize its technology.
    Last month, Solyndra succumbed to industry pressure -- saying it could not get its costs down quickly enough to compete with Chinese rivals and had failed to secure additional funding. It filed for bankruptcy a few days later. ...

    CIGS solar panels have long been seen as potential challengers to traditional silicon-based panels because they cost less to manufacture and have the potential to generate close to as much electricity from the sun's light. ...

    Nanosolar, which has raised about $400 million in venture funding, said its manufacturing costs will be below $1 per watt next year. That compares with manufacturing costs of about $1.10 for the lowest-cost silicon manufacturers, but is still well above the 75 cents a watt of industry cost leader First Solar Inc, which uses cadmium telluride in its panels.

  2. #2
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    That figure is 100.000.
    If you listened to people like S&L and others you would think it had all collapsed.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/0...?via=spotlight

    20, 2011 AT 08:01 AM PDT
    US Solar Industry Employs 100,000, a Growth of 6.8% Over Last Year.
    byHoundDogFollowforKosowatt

    While the bankruptcies at Solyndra and Evergreen are sad, as a whole, the US solar industry is largely, healthy and still growing, despite global price and trade wars. Shakeouts in rapidly growing new industries are not unusual. Brian Merchant, reports in Treehugger, that U.S. Solar Industry Now Employs 100,000 People, Grew 6.8% Since August 2010 I don't mean to ignore the possible need for a US industrial policy to help protect the solar industry from unfair international competition, especially from China. After inventing most of the technology, and leading the way in research and development, the US now has only 7% of the global market share of the rapidly growing and vital solar photovoltaic industry.

    Don't let the Solyndra talk fool you: The clean energy sector is still booming. ... In fact, renewable energy remains one of the few sectors to see consistent growth over the last couple years.
    A new report highlights that health, revealing that the solar industry employs over 100,000 people, and added over 6,700 jobs in the last 12 months alone.

    •"As of August 2011, there are 100,237 solar workers in the U.S. in all 50 states.

    •Across the solar supply chain, from installers to balance of system (BOS) manufacturers, to yes, even solar PV manufacturers, that's a 6.8% growth rate since August 2010.

    •In terms of exact numbers, there were net 6,735 new solar jobs created since August 2010.

    While the failure of Solyndra and Evergreen are troubling, the reasons are complicated, so we should be cautious of the conclusions we draw. Part of the extra challenge that US producers face is that China has targeted dominance of the emerging solar industry as a top national economic goal, in the same way the Japanese targeted auto, consumer electronics, and computers industries in the 1950 and 60s.

    Large government subsidies tied with an aggressive low-cost producer strategy enabled the Chinese to drop prices for solar voltaic by 42% percent this year, after over 50% in the previous 2 years.

    Solyndra's technology promised lower cost in the long-term, based on a new copper indium gallium selenide, CIGS, technology, however trying to ramp up new technology R+D prototypes during an industry price war and global trade war proved too challenging. They did not expect the prices to fall 42% this year so far, and 50% in the previous two years when making their business plans.

    Other companies, are still trying to gain competitive advantage with the new CIGS approaches, and may succeed.

    In Analysis: Solar startups plough ahead despite Solyndra, Nicholas Groom reports that industry experts suggest that the CIGS technology used by Solyndra still has price advantages, new entrants may be able to exploit. The challenge is not the technology but their ability to raise capital at a time when poly-silicon manufacturers are aggressively cutting prices, 42% in this last year, and especially those manufacturers based in China.

    While the thin film panels using CIGS, or copper indium gallium selenide, have been slow to penetrate the market, one maker, Heliovolt, got a boost on Monday when it announced that South Korea's SK Group would make a $50 million investment to help commercialize its technology.
    Last month, Solyndra succumbed to industry pressure -- saying it could not get its costs down quickly enough to compete with Chinese rivals and had failed to secure additional funding. It filed for bankruptcy a few days later. ...

    CIGS solar panels have long been seen as potential challengers to traditional silicon-based panels because they cost less to manufacture and have the potential to generate close to as much electricity from the sun's light. ...

    Nanosolar, which has raised about $400 million in venture funding, said its manufacturing costs will be below $1 per watt next year. That compares with manufacturing costs of about $1.10 for the lowest-cost silicon manufacturers, but is still well above the 75 cents a watt of industry cost leader First Solar Inc, which uses cadmium telluride in its panels.

    It has not collapsed, YET. But it is a distinct possiblity as countries across the globe realize that they cannot tax the rich enough to support the subisides.

    As you may know, me and the global corporation I work for are personally enriched by the commercialization of solar applications.

    I would love them to proliferate.

    Have I shared with you the fact that I will no longer pay social security tax in 2011?
    Last edited by SiriuslyLong; 09-20-2011 at 09:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
    So its a "distinct possibility" that the U.S. solar industry will collapse? Thats what this article addressed among things: the hyperbole of those opposing alternative energy.
    I think your anger over possibly tax raises on the wealthy has go the better of you. Go cut some grass, play with your kids etc.

    "Don't let the Solyndra talk fool you: The clean energy sector is still booming. ... In fact, renewable energy remains one of the few sectors to see consistent growth over the last couple years.
    A new report highlights that health, revealing that the solar industry employs over 100,000 people, and added over 6,700 jobs in the last 12 months alone."
    Last edited by Havakasha; 09-20-2011 at 11:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Havakasha is offline
    GREEN TECH | 9/20/2011 @ 11:03PM |963 views
    Beyond Solyndra: Five Reasons Solar Is Still a Good Bet

    Read and educate yourself S&K because you clearly seem to have caught your Republican compatriots fever.

    "Yes, Solyndra, the first recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, not to mention billions in venture capital funds, has gone bankrupt. The company is being used by Republicans as a prime example of the failure of Obama’s stimulus package, and by Democrats as … well the Democrats haven’t quite figured out what to do with the story yet.

    But here’s the thing: Whether or not Solyndra was a good investment, whether you think the government should be making bets on any particular technology or company, whether Solyndra is, as one blogger recently opined, ”collateral damage in a trade war with China,”and whether or not there was some sort of political back-scratching involved, solar remains a good investment. That might sound ridiculous given the fact that Solyndra isn’t the first U.S. solar company to go under this year, by a longshot. But when you look at the reasons behind all those bankruptcies, what you see is not an industry in trouble but a market that is maturing.

    Despite the tendency to want to simplify it, the solar industry is complicated. It’s a global energy industry influenced by a host of market forces, including everything from the availability of supplies to technological innovation to policy in vastly different countries. Amongst all that, right now there are five very straightforward reasons the solar market is behaving the way it is; they happen to also be reasons solar is still a good investment, bankruptcies and downgraded earnings notwithstanding.

    1. The Price of Polysilicon Has Dropped 89 Percent Since 2008 A few years ago polysilicon was scarce and the price of the stuff was sky-high. That prompted a lot of the excitement around thin-film technologies like Solyndra’s, which had lower materials costs. Then polysilicon started to fall faster than anyone predicted and all of a sudden photovoltaics have the price advantage. The price of polysilicon is continuing to fall, so much so that some solar players are saying PV is already at grid parity. “What’s happening is solar is basically at grid parity, but it’s sort of a staggering thing. We all thought it would happen further off in the future,” says Dan Shugar, CEO of Solaria and founder of PowerLight.

    2. European Feed-In Tariffs Are Changing Feed-in tariffs–artificially high rates paid by the government for renewable energy in an effort to speed installations and bring costs down more quickly–made Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom attractive markets for U.S. solar companies over the past decade. Those tariffs are set to expire as installations increase, but that doesn’t always happen in a predictable way. Spain unintentionally flooded its market, causing a boom and bust cycle. France, Italy and the United Kingdom have slashed feed-in tariffs, catching some solar companies off-guard. Germany has reduced its tariff more gradually, but there are still those who miscalculated it. While all of this has had some companies scrambling for new markets, those (like First Solar) that can claim to manufacture products in the European Union still qualify for high feed-in tariffs. Others saw the writing on the wall and began looking early for new markets, a move that is paying off now.

    3. India’s Solar Market Is Heating Up The Indian government has a preference for local manufacturers, but the country’s high temperatures necessitate the use of different materials. Companies able to provide those materials, partner well with local Indian companies or sort out the country’s complicated financing hurdles are finding a booming market there. Colorado-based Abound Solar produces Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) panels that can withstand incredibly hot temperatures; the company has shifted its focus from Europe to India, where that virtue is incredibly desirable. “The only problem in India is that they can’t get enough CdTe panels,” says Julian Hawking, a spokesman for the company.

    4. Enterprise and Utility-Scale Solar Suddenly Make Sense With the price of PV panels low and companies competing to keep it that way, utilities are seizing the opportunity to move forward with large-scale projects they’ve mostly just paid lip service to previously. “Just to give you an idea of scale, there’s about .3 gigawatts of PV operating in California right now. There’s 8.6 gigawatts contracted for from PPAs and over 10 gigawatts announced,” Shugar explains. “A lot of those contracts are at what’s called the market price reference – basically the price of new natural gas, determined by the California Energy Commission. Utilities would only sign on to these contracts at those levels. So a lot of folks signed up for these, but at the price that existed when they did so, it was kind of a joke. Well now those projects are actually possible at these new prices, and they can get financed.”

    Meanwhile, on the enterprise side, low PV prices are not only encouraging companies to buy their own systems (rather than purchase solar through a Power Purchase Agreement, wherein the system is owned by the provider), but also jump starting projects that had been sidelined. “The low prices mean that our solar initiatives are pencilling out much better now,” says Joseph Roth, Director of Public Affairs for IKEA.

    A recent report from ABI Research predicts that the United States will be the largest market for photovoltaics by 2013, thanks mostly to these large installations. Given that the majority of U.S. solar panels are currently shipped overseas, that prediction is a pretty big deal.

    In fact, all signs point to a boom in utility-scale solar. Completely separate from the market fluctuations of photovoltaic panels, Abengoa’s Concentrating Solar Plant (CSP) in California’s Mojave Desert quietly received a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy this week. It will no doubt be watched closely thanks to the Solyndra debacle, but that probably lends itself more to the project’s success than anything else.

    5. Now that Modules Are Cheap, the Industry Is Targeting Other Improvements With PV modules cheap, the solar industry is looking to reduce balance-of-system costs (essentially the cost of everything but the module). A recent Greentech Media report predicted that these costs would outstrip module costs as early as 2012, but the industry appears to be attacking this issue from all sides with companies, National Renewable Energy Lab researchers and nonprofits like the Rocky Mountain Institute all working on the issue. Meanwhile, the dearth of capable installers and consultants that long plagued the industry shows signs of being over. Installer jobs are increasing and customers are starting to notice a greater level of knowledge and skill. “There are more solar providers and installers out there and they’ve been out there for longer, so that makes for a more competitive marketplace and it has also created a deeper expertise among those who are out there,” IKEA’s Roth says. “As solar purchasers, we feel like we have a really good pool to choose from when selecting a provider.”
    Last edited by Havakasha; 09-21-2011 at 01:53 AM.

  5. #5
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    Recall that I have a vested interest in the success of solar here and worldwide. It is part of my incentive program. I make money on the growth of the solar business.

    This is news you will not read on the websites you and Typical frequent. One major electronics company recently had it's 3rd or 4th layoff resulting in no engineering team for solar. Another just laid off all of there sales team. Something is clearly going on as these companies are adjusting their staffing.

    I know alternative energy is a sacred belief of yours , and any remarks remotely disparaging are heretic, but staffing for solar is being reduced here in the US, and it is causing me fits.
    Last edited by SiriuslyLong; 09-21-2011 at 10:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Havakasha is offline
    Then how come you NEVER post postive articles on the subject. Thats what leads me to a feeling that your Ideological beliefs are in conflict with your work.

    I will always be a big supporter of the alternative energy industry until the time that those products become integrated into the average persons energy systems.
    I think its clearly an industry that will continue to grow around the world.
    Obviously during recessions there are going to be cutbacks as in most other industries. I have attached articles to this site for years talking about how China would overtake the U.S. industry. Its a real shame that many years were wasted here in this country not supporting this industry. Those years of potential progress could have been extremely helpful to our economy and were stymied due to pollitical and ideological bias.
    Last edited by Havakasha; 09-21-2011 at 08:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Havakasha is offline
    STILL no answer by S&L as to whether he has EVER posted a POSITIVE article on the alternative energy industry (especially solar industry which he has business with). Beyone bizarre that he hasnt.

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