The state of open source in solar

The state of open source in solar

Solar technology is exploding, despite what the cynics say. And so is progress. Companies like Solyndra, which looked like a good bet because it claimed a 30% gain in price-performance, crashed before take-off this year because price-performance improved 50%.

In such an environment, the benefits of keeping a new technology proprietary far outweigh the benefits of crowdsourcing. There are a host of companies at various places in the solar power business process, from planning commercial roll-outs to scaling production to delivering prototypes to researching new solutions. Each is going in a different direction.

Which is not to say open source has no place in solar. It does. In niches. » Read more