The Week In Cleantech (Aug. 10 to Aug. 16) – Big Solar Getting Ready To Rival Big Wind

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On Sunday, Tom Philpott at Peak Energy told us about The End of Food. The book, that is. While food is neither alt energy not cleantech, it is a key environmental theme in my view and will grow in importance as the effects of climate change are felt across the globe. On Monday, David McClellan at Solve Climate argued that the costs of nuclear energy were rising out of reach. A good attempt at coming up with a comparison of wind and nuclear prices, and interesting in the context of my earlier article on power plant costs. On Tuesday, Matthew McDermott at TreeHugger told us about a new software that allows windfarms to predict output to four days in advance. Whenever I cheer wind on, and I do that a lot, I get comments to the effect that wind won`t ever count for much because of predictability and dispachability problems. To that I answer: if you`re paying no attention to technological developments on the storage and predictability fronts, you`re missing the boat. On Wednesday, Andy Hoffman and Derek DeCloet at the Globe & Mail informed us that Timminco had faded under market glare. And so it goes for Timminco (TIMNF.PK), arguably the biggest solar story of 2007 because no one saw it coming. Moral of the story? Solar remains marred in technology risks. This is an industry that is in flux and not unlike the internet in the 1990s; it’ll be game-changing one day but there is no way to tell today what the industry will look like once it’s reached maturity. In such volatile times as these, handle with care… On Thursday, Matthew L. Wald at the NYT told us about two large solar plants planned for California. Now that’s the kind of news we like to get out of the solar sector! This is the sort of scale that rivals wind, and declining costs should make more of these of possible. On Friday, David Ehrlich at Cleantech.com reported on the future of the US wind market. Potentially bright indeed, although keep on eye on headwinds over the next few months in the form of an expiring PTC, higher financing costs and higher capital costs. The Week In Cleantech is a collection of our favorite stories from the past week generated by our Cleantech News service. Register your site with us if you want your articles to appear here.

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