In his satire, Network, Paddy Chayefsky gave the following lines to his character Howard Beale: (shouting) “Edward George Ruddy died today! Edward George Ruddy was the Chairman of the Board of the Union Broadcasting Systems, and he died at 11:00 o’clock this morning of a heart condition, and woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”

In honor of the NCPV hotline: “The NCPV Hotline died on August 16!  The NCPV Hotline provided a quick, unambiguous and unbiased link to its followers to solar industry news and it died on August 16 and woe is us!  We’re in a lot of trouble!”

Well not really trouble, but a valuable and eminently simple tool for industry participants to keep abreast of the myriad and often whacky goings on of the fragmented and PR laden solar industry is gone.  It may be replaced by a commercial entity – if so, it will not be the same.

Readers have checked into the NCPV hotline since its inception in September 1999. Jack Stone, the father of the hotline said about it: “We’re not looking to replace any of the excellent PV newsletters and magazines-our niche is in rapidly communicating the latest PV news to PV specialists around the world.”  As NREL put it in another newsletter published in 2000, “If you were a subscriber to the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) Hotline, you’d know a lot. And you’d know it instantly, as soon as the news is available.” 

Jack Stone passed away on May 9, 2003, but he had already passed the reigns to Carol Riordan.  Carol more than ably kept the worldwide solar community informed and updated with the ever timely hotline. 


When asked, a former Hotline reader had this to say about the demise of the hotline: “It was my first introduction to the solar industry, it was crisp and clean, basic and informative – it was an elegant way to aggregate content without judgment.”

Unfortunately, the hotline fell victim to budget pressures.  It will be missed.