U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke recently appointed the new chair of the U.S. Manufacturing Council, a body that advices the Commerce Department on issues relating to American manufacturers. With his selection, Locke sent a clear message that the U.S. renewable energy industry -- specifically the solar energy sector -- is and will continue to be a considerable engine to U.S. economic growth.
In order to pull out of the solar energy development business, Edison Mission Group (EMG) had to sell of a string of projects already under way. Thin-film industry darling First Solar (FSLR), the integrator with whom EMG had been working, bought the whole set for an undisclosed number. Stocks have suffered a bit in the wake of the surprise decision. EMG is leaving solar development for wind projects, not for financial reasons, and with more than 10 GW of solar assets under the group's belt, they'll still be very much on the scene.