Posts Tagged ‘ solar ’

Three grids, two not ready for alternative power

Dec 31st, 2015 | By

In our first two posts, we talked about how our reliance on turbine technology and carbon-fueled generation is not going to be going away anytime soon, even though it is inefficient. Our next few posts will be looking at the problem of power distribution.

The growth of alternative energy technology has fueled a movement toward distributed generation over grid distribution, which is what we more commonly employ.  Grid power in the US comes mostly in direct current (DC) generation, resulting from Thomas Edison winning the debate over the benefits of DC power offer Nikola Tesla’s alternating current (AC). We …



Analysis: Time for the semi and wafer industries to make nice

Apr 9th, 2014 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director

Last week we did a piece on the dysfunctional relationship between the semiconductor industry and the silicon wafer industry.  Both have the potential of healing the rift and ensuring a profitable give and take for several decades, but there is also the potential that, if attitudes do not change within the next decade, it will get even worse.

IBM is recycling silicon wafers for solar use

IBM is recycling silicon wafers for solar use

Last week’s article pointed out that the wafer companies stuck it to the semi industry when the solar boom hit 10 years ago.  Wafer fabs shifted resources to …



Economics and Vengeance wreak havoc with wafer market

Apr 1st, 2014 | By
Deliveries are up, revenues are down for silicon wafters

Deliveries are up, revenues are down for silicon wafers

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director

As Semicon West approaches in two months, there will be a rising chorus of predictions for 450mm manufacturing and test equipment. But silicon wafer industry revenues are heading in the wrong direction, dramatic technology advances in test and reclamation, and an overall urge for revenge among their customers over gouging during the solar boom.

In February, SEMI issued its annual report on the state of silicon wafer industry that showed a small increase in the delivery of wafers to customers in spite of a well-known …



Can Solar survive Solyndra aftermath?

Nov 1st, 2011 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director, Footwasher Media

Solar industry is feeling much better now.

The recent collapse of a few high-profile solar energy companies, like Solyndra and Beacon Power, has caused even the most ardent fans of alternative energy to ask, “Can this industry survive?”  The answer is a resounding, yes and no.  It all depends on what government on all levels does.

Current public impressions of the health of any industry are colored by recent history.  The financial failings of companies and industries considered “to big to fail” are what most people think of when hearing news about …



The fall of Solyndra was expected, and the DoD is happy

Oct 31st, 2011 | By

By Lou Covey
Editorial Director, Footwasher Media

The collapse of Solyndra has been the subject of both major news coverage and a foundational bit of political discourse recently.  A closer look at the facts reveals that the reality of Solyndra and the solar industry is far from the speculation, especially when viewed from a military perspective.

Did Solyndra burn Obama? Maybe not.

In the wider scope, industry analysts and observers wonder what all the kerfuffle is  about because everyone who knew the industry knew that Solyndra was not going to make it, especially in the current market.

“Solyndra’s CIGS solar panels were …