This British startup is building a super solar material

Perovskite — have you heard of it? It’s a material that is getting a lot of buzz in the world of solar research. Now a U.K. solar startup plans to bring what it believes is a game-changing technology to make perovskite solar cells to the market.

On the road to IPO, Enphase Energy doubles sales

Enphase Energy, which makes solar electronics and filed for an IPO last June, is still waiting for the right time to make its public market debut. But in the meantime, it’s been doubling its sales.

Some good news: Fewer solar projects in Cali will fail in the future

The failure rate of developers to fulfill their renewable energy contract in California has historically been around 30-40 percent, but that failure rate is expected to come down now that utilities are seeing better prepared and managed projects — and more developers who are in the game.

The dilemma of creating and cutting solar jobs

Both job creation and layoffs are particularly sensitive topics during a weak economy, let alone an election year, so the big layoff at Amonix’s solar factory in Nevada raises questions about the health of the Kleiner Perkins-backed company and its promise to bring many jobs

Commerce Dept steps into Chinese solar trade war

A trade complaint filed against Chinese solar makers, accusing them of benefiting from illegal subsidies, has drawn a line in the sand for the U.S. solar industry. Now the Commerce Department has issued a finding that tilts the case in favor of the petitioner, SolarWorld.

First Solar sets record for thin-film solar tech

First Solar has broken its own record. The company announced Tuesday that it’s able to produce a thin-film solar panel that can convert 14.4 percent of the sunlight that hits it into electricity. The new record exceeds the 13.4 percent it achieved last year.

The new year brings continued solar strife

The turning of the new year didn’t make the solar industry any easier for solar manufacturers. Power electronics maker, Satcon Technology, announced Wednesday that it’s laying off 35 percent of its workers and shutting down its factory in Canada.

Solar struggles: Calisolar lays off 80

Solar silicon maker Calisolar is laying off about 80 employees in its Silicon Valley factory as part of its shift in business focus, the company said on Wednesday. The layoff represents about 23 percent of the company’s labor force globally.

Turning a building into a solar honeycomb

Fusing solar technology with buildings is an area that tends to invite creative ideas. An intriguing design caught our attention at Intersolar in San Francisco this week: It’s a solar panel with a honeycomb structure that replaces the glass facades of a building.