March 10 2008 / by Marisa Vitols
Category: Energy Year: General Rating: 12
It’s only a matter of time before solar hits the mainstream, fueling a desperately needed energy boom. With such a future taking shape and the economics falling into place, a lot of resources are now flowing into companies dedicated to either solar manufacturing or deployment.
To help make sense of the booming solar industry, the authors of our two preceding energy pieces, Dick Pelletier and Eriks Brolis chipped in to help us piece together the following list of 13 solar companies helping to change the world:
1. AVA Solar: Manufacturer of low-cost PV modules; currently scaling up with plans to enter large-scale production in 2009.
2. Clear Skies Group: Delivers turnkey solar electricity installations and renewable energy solutions. Prides itself in design and integration of solar power systems, sourcing components, quality, experience.
3. Dow Building Solutions: Built on Dow Chemical materials, engineering, design, fabrication technology. Works to incorporate solar energy generation materials directly into building materials. Received $20 million in 2007 from Solar America Initiative Pathways Program from the U.S. Department of Energy.
4. Evergreen Solar: Manufacturer whose solar panels are assembled using String Ribbon wafer technology, producing the most environmentally friendly solar panels in the business.
5. GreenStar: Non-profit that builds solar-powered community centers to deliver electricity, clean water, health & education info, and wifi to villages in the developing world. They record art, music, photography, legends, and stories in traditional communities and bring them to global markets. Revenues get cycled back through to communities promoting sustainable development.
6. GE Global Research: Centralized research arm of GE doing research in numerous energy-related fields. Announced in January 2008 that Nano Photovoltaics (PV) team has demonstrated a scalable silicon nanowire-based solar cell, which has the potential to achieve up to 18% efficiency and produces at dramatically lower cost than conventional solar cells, making PV systems more economical for consumers.
7. Namaste Solar: An employee-owned (!!) solar electric company dedicated to bringing renewable energy technologies to its Boulder, CO community. Utilizes a holistic approach in measuring success of the company by factoring in effects on the environment, community, and workplace well-being.
8. Nanosolar: Manufacturer of low-cost PV modules. Has developed technology that enables production of “100x thinner solar cells 100x faster.”
9. Octillion Corp.: An “alternative energy technology incubator” focused on identification, acquisition, development, commercialization of emerging market technologies. Researching and developing Octillion’s NanoPower Window which could convert conventional windows into those capable of converting solar energy into electricity via silicon nanoparticles.
10. Solarbuzz: Aims to become the leading solar photovoltaic (PV) energy consultancy in the world. Expertise lies in large vertically integrated photo-voltaic companies.
11. SunEdison: The leading solar energy service provider in North America. Handles all phases of the process on various scales, from design to installation to maintenance.
12. SunPower: Designs, manufactures, delivers high-efficiency solar electric technology globally.
13. XsunX: Developing amorphous thin silicon photovoltaic (TFPV) solar cell manufacturing processes. Has begun to build multi-megawatt TFPV solar module production facility in US to meet growing demand for solar cell products and plans to grow manufacturing capacities to over 100 megawatts by 2010.
Heard of any other solar organizations making strong, smart moves? If so, drop us a link in the comment thread.