Monday, August 28, 2017

Why China Is Dominating the Solar Industry

Between 2008 and 2013, China’s fledgling solar-electric panel industry dropped world prices by 80 percent, a stunning achievement in a fiercely competitive high-tech market. China had leapfrogged from nursing a tiny, rural-oriented solar program in the 1990s to become the globe’s leader in what may soon be the world’s largest renewable energy source.

“They fundamentally changed the economics of solar all over the world,” said Amit Ronen, director of the Solar Institute of George Washington University, one of many scholars following the intense competition in the emerging $100 billion industry that supports the world’s growing solar energy demands.

China’s move eclipsed the leadership of the U.S. solar industry, which invented the technology, still holds many of the world’s patents and led the industry for more than three decades. Just how China accomplished that and why it did is still a matter of concern and debate among U.S. experts.

One clear result is that the U.S. solar industry was hit hard by plunging prices and can no longer supply more than a third of rapidly growing U.S. appetite for solar panels, according to a recent Department of Energy report exploring “opportunities and challenges” of solar manufacturing.

China’s new dominance of nearly all aspects of solar use and manufacturing—markets that are predicted to expand by 13 percent a year, according to the report—came through a “unique, complex and interdependent set of circumstances” that is not likely to be repeated.

But if the United States innovates, cuts costs and nurtures newer technologies, it might emerge as the world’s second largest solar panel manufacturer by 2020, the report concludes.

The timeline of China’s rise began in the late 1990s when Germany, overwhelmed by the domestic response to a government incentive program to promote rooftop solar panels, provided the capital, technology and experts to lure China into making solar panels to meet the German demand.

“The Chinese took it and basically ran with it,” said Donald Chung, one of the authors of the DOE report, who studies the solar industry for DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

China, according to Chung, had “dabbled” in solar energy only as a source of electricity to help impoverished rural areas remote from its power grid. But then some of its pioneering companies became intrigued by the income that manufacturing solar panels for export to Germany might bring in. When Spain and Italy began their own rapidly expanding solar incentives, adding to the demand, China began scouring the world, hiring more solar experts and shopping for machinery and polysilicon supplies to meet the expected surge of orders for solar panels.

According to some veterans in the U.S. solar industry, China bought solar companies and invited others to move to China, where they found cheap, skilled labor. Instead of paying taxes, they received tax credits.

Chung notes that China’s government was also generous in other ways. Making solar panels is difficult. To make them efficiently, the business requires large, semiautomated factories.

“It is not easy to add small bits of capacity to meet growing demands; you have to add it in big chunks,” he said. He called it a “yo-yo effect” that tends to create more and more capacity. That made solar still more attractive to China.

China’s solar companies have shareholders who want profits, Chung said. But the government “has other constituencies that are demanding jobs and factories to be put up.” That pressure came from provincial and local governments that found, according to DOE, that the federal government was willing to chip in as much as $47 billion to help build its solar manufacturing into what it calls a “strategic industry.”

Expanding renewable energy became one of seven categories of business that receive special attention including loans and tax incentives under China’s five-year plans.

The result was that in building up the world’s largest solar manufacturing industry, one that became the price leader in most aspects of the world’s market—beginning with cheaper solar panels—China had helped create a worldwide glut. There were roughly two panels being made for every one being ordered by an overseas customer.

According to Ronen, the expert from George Washington University, China then decided to follow Germany’s lead again, developing its own “feed-in tariff” that paid handsome prices for electricity generated by rooftop solar. The result was a surge in domestic demand for solar.

The demand was so great that in two years, by 2015, China’s domestic market bypassed Germany’s to be the largest in the world.

China tried to reduce the subsidy this year by setting a deadline for ending it, but that spurred another surge in domestic buying. “China put in 20 gigawatts in the first half of this year. The entire U.S. capacity is around 31 GW. The Chinese market appears enormous,” said Ronen.

China dominates the solar market in PV installation as well as total installed capacity, with the United States a distant third and fourth, respectively. Photo courtesy of the International Energy Agency.

U.S. experts are divided on where China’s policies on solar energy appear to be headed. Some think it’s a matter of government policies that ran out of control. After spending 30 years in the U.S. solar industry and in DOE watching solar markets, Ken Zweibel has recently retired, but he worries that there may be more to it than that. He calls it “black box economics.”

“If there was ever a situation where the Chinese have put their whole governmental system behind manufacturing, it’s got to be solar modules,” Zweibel said. “I think they think they can wipe out all the competition in the world. It makes all kinds of sense if you have the staying power.”

Wyatt Metzger, a principal scientist at NREL, takes a more benign view. “They have a centralized government and terrible pollution problems. They understand the need to get away from coal and to invest in clean energy,” he said.

Whatever the reasoning was behind China’s massive investment in solar module manufacturing, the impact on its U.S. competitors has not been benign. SunEdison of Belmont, Calif., filed for bankruptcy in April. The stocks of two other leading companies, First Solar and SunPower, were in the triple digits a decade ago. Now they are treading water, floating between 13 and 6 percent of their former values.

“[W]hat’s left of the solar universe is showing severe signs of stress, and given the tricky accounting and the prevalence of China-based companies among the panelmakers, that stress may very well be understated,” wrote Jim Collins in a recent market analysis for Forbesmagazine.

“People tend to view negatively that China has taken over [solar] module market share,” said David Mooney, director of NREL’s strategic energy analysis center. “It would have been better if that capacity had stayed in the U.S.”

“Another side of the coin, from my perspective,” he said, is 250,000 American jobs in the solar panel assembly, installation and maintenance business, many of which wouldn’t have happened without the push from China that dramatically lowered solar module prices.

“Those jobs can’t be outsourced,” he said.

Moreover, China’s plan for the global growth of the solar market is still a work in progress. In October, Liu Zhenya, former chairman of China’s state-owned power company, State Grid Corp., came to the United Nations to shed more light on his nation’s evolving solar ambitions, which he said are part of a plan aimed at organizing a global power grid that could transmit 80 percent renewable energy by 2050.

He calls his idea the Global Energy Interconnection. His speech invited U.N. support for a new international group to plan and build the grid. It’s called the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), and China has named Liu its chairman. He ticked off the reasons for a global grid that would transmit solar, wind and hydroelectric-generated power from places on Earth where they are abundant to major population centers, where they are often not.

He gave three reasons for his new mission. Expanding energy demands will exhaust coal, oil and natural gas supplies over the next 110 years. Environmental pollution from fossil fuels will exacerbate serious pollution and health problems. And world leaders need a mechanism to cut the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by half to prevent a potential 4-degree-Celsius rise in the Earth’s average temperature, a possibility that Liu called “seriously threatening human survival.”

His grid’s development would take shape in three phases. First, Liu explained, individual nations would redesign their own power electric grids. He noted that China’s effort is already underway, generating 140 GW of wind power and 70 GW of solar power, “more than that of any country of the world.” By completing a network of long-distance, high-voltage direct-current power lines to move renewable power from the north to the south and from the east to the west, China could finish its new grid by 2025, he predicted.

The second phase, Liu described, would be an international effort to build regional grids that would be able to transmit substantially more power across national borders in Northeast and Southeast Asia, between Africa and Eurasia, and between nations in both North and South America. The third phase would build power lines and undersea cables that would connect the regional grids. The upshot would create what he called a “win-win situation” by generating clean electricity in places like Africa and Central America that are among the richest when it comes to sunshine, and selling the clean energy to major cities that have the biggest need for it.

The process would also bring more energy and energy-generating income to poorer nations, to help them develop. “In the Americas, we will speed up the development of Canada’s hydropower and clean energy in southwestern and central U.S. and northern Mexico to be delivered to load [demand] centers in [the] East and West coasts of North America,” he said.

There would be plenty of work for “all global players” to coordinate the effort, to share and innovate new technology, and to develop global standards and rules for cooperation, Liu promised. He closed his U.N. presentation with a glimpse of a future world where a combination of renewable energy, a network of high-voltage direct-current transmission lines and “smart grid” operating systems can serve the planet the way the human “blood-vascular system” serves the human body.

When the global grid is completed, “the world will turn into a peaceful and harmonious global village with sufficient energy, green lands and blue sky,” he predicted.

Just how much harmony China’s GEIDCO proposal might generate remains to be seen, but a U.N. press release noted that the meeting was attended by representatives of 70 organizations, including government organizations, businesses and universities. The U.S. delegation included people from DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and Stanford University. During his visit to the United States, Liu also met separately with representatives of the Electric Power Research Institute, which serves American utilities.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How can couples counseling help us

The therapist may do some psycho-educational bits on gender addiction and also co-addiction to normalize each individual's feelings and further decrease blame. Nothing could be done to the standard of the union unless every individual devotes to a private program of recovery: an "S" assembly for the enthusiast, and trauma therapy or even S-Anon for your own trauma therapy NYC. The few can come from the shadow of pity about living with sex addiction treatment NY through identifying with other people that have gone through similar experiences. Here, ultimately, they locate people they could talk to about what they have been hiding from family members and friends. Regular attendance at meetings provides structure and responsibility into the lifetime of their sex addiction therapy NYC. A co-addict who functions on the measures with a trustworthy host is renewing her devotion to concentrate on her own difficulties, renouncing her attention and preoccupation together with the enthusiast.
trauma psychologist

sex addiction treatment NYC and sensual co-dependents normally have never undergone healthy bonding together and nurturing from their parents. This frees their ability to have powerful bonding and disturbance in following relationships in adult life. The therapist may build a trauma psychologist that is a graphic depiction of 3 generations of every individual's family. It reveals physical and psychiatric issues throughout the generations like divorce, alcoholism, hospitalizations, etc.. The trauma therapists NYC also shows the quality of family connections, suggesting where there was enmeshment and at which there was distance. With a transparent comprehension of family-of-origin problems, the few can comprehend themselves and each other and create awareness of what causes are coming from yesteryear.

Couples counseling allows the couple to achieve a stage of mutual interdependence where both spouses have lives beyond their connection, but also feel committed to it. The partners need one another but are comfy with separate lives of their own. As time passes, every develops a new awareness of "self"-in connection.

Both members of their connection are invited to take mutual responsibility for the dysfunction in the relationship. Provided that one spouse is blaming another for all their few issues, progress will be slow. Recounting the history of this connection is going to be a component of the procedure. How have one another's dependence and co-addictions influenced the connection? What consequences are experienced? What plans have the spouses attempted to cure themselves which have not worked? Which will be the repetitive arguments and struggles? What's the character of the collective pity in the connection? How can each partner activate the other's problems?

Each person in the couple learns how to swap immediate gratification to the joy of continuing intimacy. sex addiction therapy NY discover this closeness and the confidence, mutual understanding, and also the emotional/spiritual/physical closeness it generates from getting done the job could be qualities that many couples ever experience.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Properly Setting Up Game Cameras | Avoiding the Most Common Trail Camera Mistakes

                                            Image result for game camera

The amount of knowledge a person can obtain from properly setting up trail cameras is almost incalculable. From a land and wildlife management point of view, trail cameras are one of the best tools to utilize. Of course, a trail camera is just like any other tool in the land manager’s arsenal. It is only useful if used properly. Fortunately, one need not be a camera expert to extract valuable information. While there are many ways to set up a trail camera, here are a few tips and techniques to avoid in order to get the most from your cameras.

The most common mistake committed by hunters and land managers is their eagerness to check their cameras. Waiting to pull the memory card on a trail camera unit can rival Christmas morning as a child. The excitement and anticipation can lead one to spending too much time in the woods, doing more harm than good. The frequency in which a memory card should be removed varies, but a rule of thumb is to let the camera sit for at least two weeks and even longer if the camera is set up at a new location. A trail camera can be set up on the best spot on your property but if the wildlife is patterning your movement, instead of vise-versa, then you aren’t going to obtain the desired results from that particular camera.

It’s happened to most hunters…they get to the camera site only to find the memory card they have is either full or already has numerous photos on it. Not clearing the old photos from a pulled card can lead to confusion and misinterpreted data. Moultrie all in one timer kit will prevent that kind of problems. You probably save some of the photos you capture, so be sure when you hit the field you have a clear, fresh memory card that can be plugged into your unit. If the card is full, you made a trip to the trail camera location for no reason, causing unneeded disturbances. If the card is partially full, the camera may not accept the card for new photos. This depends on the particular device. If the camera does accept the card you will have photos from various times, and possibly different locations, on one card. This can be confusing when attempting to pattern wildlife, especially one particular animal. A reliable memory card case allows an arranged organization of your memory cards and is a must when setting up trail cameras in the field.

The next mistake very similar to the aforementioned, your batteries need to be fresh and ready for the elements. It’s no surprise that cold weather can work on batteries harder than warmer weather, so keep this in mind. Most pro staffers and biologists will recommend switching out the batteries and memory cards when setting up cameras in new spots for an extended period of time. Using discount batteries and old memory cards have the same results, and neither one benefits you. To avoid this problem, refrain from picking up discount batteries and hoping they will last for as long as you need when setting up trail cameras. In some instances an external battery pack can be used to extend the life of your camera unit in the field. When setting up your trail camera, be sure to use the correct battery pack with the proper camera model.

Lastly, ensure the date, time, moon phase and any other information on the data strip correct. It can be tricky deciphering various photos if the built-in information stamp that appears on the bottom of captured photos is incorrect. This also provides insight if you record the data from your photos so you can easily look back and track the wildlife patterns over time, so accuracy is key. The main benefit of the trail camera data strip is the ability to decipher what wildlife was doing at a particular time. For this reason, make sure the data strip that shows up on captured photos is correct.

The goal of any trail camera setup is to extract information for hunting and management purposes. By properly setting up trail cameras and following these tips, it will be easier to acquire your desired results.

Friday, March 10, 2017

8 Important Questions Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Must Answer

8 Important Questions Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Must Answer

Social media has become a necessary and important marketing tactic for nearly every business, helping brands and marketers build brand awareness, share and interact with customers and prospects, and create another vital touch point in the evolving customer journey.

But as the social media landscape continues to evolve, competition for audience attention is stiff. In fact, 40% of marketers say social media marketing has become more difficult for them in the last year, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Industry Report. As a result, many brands and marketers feel their social media marketing strategy needs to incorporate a little bit of everything to compete.

However, adding more channels and tactics to your strategy isn’t sustainable, let alone the key to getting the growth, engagement and ROI you’re looking for. The real key is crafting a social media marketing strategy that strikes a balance between your audience’s needs and your brand’s unique business goals.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This NYC Startup Sells New Watches at Used Prices By Doing This…

When thinking of what condition to buy an item, we generally think of new or used. While this is almost always a correct assumption, there is now a third category; shopworn items. Taking advantage of display items at luxury stores, ShopWorn makes sure you can buy these like-new items at a used price. With watches jewelry and other high end items available from top brand names, there has never been a better opportunity to take advantage of ShopWorn deals.

AlleyWatch chatted with CEO Richard Birnbaum about the Startup and how the company is changing how we think about used items.

Tell us about the product or service. is a luxury e-commerce site that exclusively sells designer display-model watches, jewelry, and accessories sourced from authorized retailers around the world. The concept is that of a luxury trunk show, and website merchandise is constantly being updated. All products have never been pre-owned and have only been gently handled in-store before arriving on Since our launch in November 2016, our impressive brand roster has grown to include Omega, pre owned Tag Heuer watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Maurice Lacroix, Tudor, Montegrappa, Zenith, Dior, Chopard, Cartier, Hublot, Celine, Stephen Webster, and many more with some products offered up to 84% off of market rates.

How is it different? has carved out a new niche in e-commerce because of our unique product sourcing strategy. Therefore, we don’t compete with current product offerings at the retail level or with other e-commerce sites, and we don’t sell second hand goods. ShopWorn introduces an entirely new category in luxury shopping with “shopworn” products.

We are also able to offer a unique opportunity to authorized retailers to purchase their aging inventory and allow them to free shelf-space to purchase new merchandise direct from the brand.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

ShopWorn caters to the luxury collector, enthusiast, or gift-giver. Our customer is typically very well educated on the product and values both quality and authenticity. Our new niche, selling authentic “shopworn” luxury products, allows the consumer to get a fantastic deal without compromising on the quality of their purchase.

On the supply side, the market is unlimited. Swiss watchmakers exported over $20 billion worth of products in 2016, and a third of that inventory is stock balanced every year. That means $6 billion worth of goods that are available for us to buy and resell to our customers.

What is the business model?

ShopWorn is the only website to exclusively sell store-display merchandise purchased directly from authorized retailers. In addition to our e-commerce and customer service staff, we also have a dedicated procurement team that travels the world purchasing designer goods from retailers.

What inspired the business?

We got our start in the early dot com days of the late 1990s selling luxury items on Ebay. Our early success caught the eye of Fortune Magazine who interviewed us in 2000. From then on, we knew that luxury would always have a place on the internet. In the fall of 2015, we recognized an opportunity to both assist luxury retailers struggling to sell their stock inventory and resell it to a broader audience online. With this concept in mind, we proceeded to assemble a team of industry professionals to source inventory from the world’s finest luxury retailers. We quickly discovered that savvy consumers would much prefer to own a ShopWorn product which is virtually indistinguishable from new than a pre-owned version at a similar cost. As we only source our items from authorized retailers, there is never a question of the authenticity of our merchandise.

Why is a platform like yours necessary?

The combination of authentic luxury products, superior value, and high-touch customer service offered by can’t be matched by other e-commerce sites out there today. The consumer benefits by purchasing an authentic product at a fraction of the retail cost.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

From launching in November 2016, we did $1.3 million in the first 90 days. We project within 6 months to have monthly sales between $700,000 – $800,000. We will be adding dozens of new retail vendors to our existing supplier base to bring even more luxury products to our site. Within the next 6 months we expect to sell 100 brands on our site.

What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?

“Stay self-funded as long as possible”

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

A VC who shares our vision and has access to the brain power for us to scale more quickly.

Why did you launch in New York?

We grew up in Brooklyn and have spent our entire lives in the NY metropolitan area. As the luxury capital of the US, there was never another city to consider operating in. We are always traveling to Manhattan for business to coordinate products, meet with stylists, or manage photo shoots.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after-work drink?

We are big fans of Marea on Central Park South. It’s elegant with a superb wine list and amazing antipasti, which is not surprising given two Michelin stars.

Monday, February 27, 2017

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits All Marketers Need to Break NOW

We all have bad habits. Whether it’s biting our nails, constantly driving like we’re on a racetrack or something you’d rather not admit to, we’ve all got them. Some are easy to break while others quickly find their way back into our lives. The same can be said for social media marketing habits. Once you get in a routine, it can be hard to break habits that are helping, but may possibly be hurting your brand.

Within social media marketing there is a lot of opportunity for brands to create great experiences for their communities, create brand affinity and influence purchasing decisions. A recent study found that 84% of CEOs and VPs say that they use social media to make purchasing decisions.

If you want to be one of those companies that has a positive impact on your community and generates tremendous value for your brand, make sure you’re not following ANY of these 7 weird social media marketing habits.
7 Weird Social Media Marketing Habits to Break NOW

#1 – Automating EVERYTHING

When you sit down and look at the mountain of tasks in front of you each day it can be tempting to try and automate as many of your social media marketing tasks as possible. While many social media tools can be a marketer’s best friend, it’s best to use them in moderation.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How Social Media Can Drive Success on Your Content Marketing Roadtrip

How Social Media Can Drive Success on Your Content Marketing Roadtrip

I think most marketers would agree that social media and content marketing compliment each other nicely. Need proof? Recent research has found that 93% of B2B marketers list social media as one of their top five content marketing tactics.

I like to think of social media as the vehicle that drives your content where you want it to go. But as social media continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that we’re not driving down a one-way street. Social media presents more opportunities than just a dissemination platform. It can also be used as a means for engaging your online community, publishing and targeting specific content and building brand awareness.

So how do we leverage social media in a way that drives our content marketing efforts forward? Well, as a person and marketer who’s taken a few road trips in her day, I can tell you that ensuring that the social media marketing and content marketing wheels are aligned is essential. Here are some best practices and tips to ensure you’re ready to roll.

Map Your Route

Anyone who sets out on a road trip maps out the route to their end destination So when it comes to using social media to amp up your content marketing efforts, create a social media content plan to act as your roadmap.