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Old Posted Feb 26, 2013, 5:21 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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Solar-powered cell towers bring off-grid energy to remote communities
Derek Markham
Technology / Clean Technology
February 25, 2013

The mobile revolution is empowering developing communities by enabling real-time communication and access to the internet, and the number of cell towers (base stations) is rapidly growing, especially in areas that are off-grid. In fact, in many areas of the developing world, mobile phones are so important that people purchase them before they have a place to charge them.

Most of the off-grid cell towers that service remote communities are powered by diesel generators, which can be expensive, unreliable, and dirty to run. But a different approach is powering these base stations with wind and solar power, and then developing 'micropower' or community power grids, which can then offer extended access to clean, reliable, and cheap electricity.
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-tech...mmunities.html
http://sierraclub.typepad.com/compas...ity-power.html

Quote:
Lanco Seeks Investors to Boost Solar Capacity: Corporate India
26 February 2013

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) — Lanco Infratech Ltd., India’s second-biggest non-state power generator, is seeking private- equity investors to help expand its solar capacity fivefold as a coal shortage roils its thermal business and payment defaults by state utilities widen the group’s losses.

Lanco needs funds to meet a plan of adding 500 megawatts annually in three years, with 350 megawatts to be built for customers and the rest coming from its own plants, V. Saibaba, chief executive officer of the New Delhi-based company’s Lanco Solar unit said in a telephone interview. Government policies to promote alternative energy sources will make the investment attractive, he said.

“The political intent in India is very strong,” Saibaba said, speaking from his office in Gurgaon near New Delhi. “Constraints like coal availability and fuel import bills will ensure India will have to focus on renewable energy.”

Lanco is joining Tata Power Co., India’s biggest non-state utility, which said Feb. 5 that it is scouting for investors and planning to sell shares at its solar unit as India extends grants to cut solar project costs and ease curbs on equipment imports. A plan announced last year by the Lanco group to raise $750 million selling stake in its conventional power unit to private-equity funds has stalled amid losses that have surged nine times in the first three quarters of the financial year.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/lanc...orate-india-4/

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Uruguay Plans 200 Megawatts of the World’s Cheapest Solar Energy
25 February 2013

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) — Uruguay will offer contracts next month to buy power from 200 megawatts of solar farms at the world’s cheapest rates as the South American nation seeks to add low-cost generation.

President Jose Mujica plans to sign a decree in two weeks that will require Uruguay’s national power utility Administracion Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Electricas to purchase electricity from the projects at a set rate of about $90 a megawatt hour, Ramon Mendez, director of energy at the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, said today in a telephone interview.

Uruguay will produce some of the world’s cheapest wind energy and expects to do the same with solar power as the cost of photovoltaic panels fall, he said.

The price the government is offering is probably the lowest in the world and may not attract developers, according to Jenny Chase, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich.

“That level of compensation is very optimistic,” Chase said in a telephone interview today. “Most countries where solar is being built offer higher rates than that, or extra tax incentives, as in the U.S.”

China, which has some sites that receive as much sun as Uruguay, offers $160 a megawatt hour and cloudy Germany offers 118 euros ($154.53) a megawatt hour, Chase said.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/urug...-solar-energy/

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Japan’s Quarterly Domestic Solar Shipments More Than Double
25 February 2013

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s domestic shipments of solar cells and modules more than doubled to 1,003 megawatts in the three months to December 31, the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association said today.

Local shipments were 406 megawatts in the same quarter in 2011. Imports, counted in domestic shipments, more than tripled to 342 megawatts from a year. Exports fell 66 percent to 111 megawatts, the association said in a statement on its website.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/japa...than-double-2/

Quote:
Two Record-Holding Solar Tech Companies Join Forces
February 26, 2013

The solar power industry just got a little more interesting this week, with the announcement that Solar Junction and Amonix have signed an agreement to work together on the next generation of low cost, ultra-high efficiency concentrated photovoltaic systems. If you’re expecting another long slog through the R&D phase, guess again. According to Amonix CEO Pat McCullough, “The results of this collaboration, and its lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), will be revealed soon.”
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/26/...t-solar-power/

Quote:
PV Grid Integration Database Exposes Implementation Shortfalls
February 26, 2013

A major update to the PV grid integration database has taken place, shedding light on the relative ability of differing European countries to integrate PV into their electricity distribution grids.

The database allows installers and developers to drill down into the obstacles which impede different countries’ progress in delivering PV grid integration, such as legal and administrative requirements.

For example, it can take four times as long to get residential and commercial systems online in France as it can in Germany, with the legal requirements taking up to ten times longer.

Similarly, whilst Greece is nearly three times quicker to install residential systems than France, it is twice as slow at installing commercial systems. This is despite the manufacturing, delivery, and installation phases of a project being markedly quicker in Greece.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/26/...on-shortfalls/

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Deutsche Bank: Sustainable solar market expected in 2014
26. February 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz

Buoyed by bullish demand forecasts, and increasing utilization rates and pricing, Deutsche Bank forecasts a solar market transition from subsidized to sustainable in 2014.

The German bank has raised its 2013 global solar demand forecast to 30 GW – representing a 20% year-on-year increase – on the back of suggestions of strong demand in markets including India, the U.S., China (around 7 to 10 GW), the U.K. (around 1 to 2 GW), Germany and Italy (around 2 GW).

Rooftop installations are, in particular, expected to be a main focus, says Deutsche Bank. A trend for projects being planned with either "minimal/no incentives" has also been observed, despite the belief that solar policy outlooks are improving, particularly in the U.S., China and India, and "other emerging markets".

Looking at India, Deutsche Bank predicts that due to state and RPO programs, demand is likely to be strong, at between 1 to 2 GW. Meanwhile, it says, "grid parity has been reached in India even despite the high cost of capital of ~10-12%."
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...014_100010338/

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US announces $27 million in solar funding
26. February 2013 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz

Under its SunShot Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that up to US$15 million will be paid out to the solar manufacturing industry. It has also made up to $12 million available under the Solar Rooftop Challenge II.



By providing up to $15 million in funding, SolarMat’s goal is to support those technologies that can make a "significant market or manufacturing impact in 1 to 4 years," with a primary focus on cost reduction and efficiency gains. Both photovoltaics and concentrating solar power will be focused on.

With regards to photovoltaics, the proposed technologies must address three areas: (i) how they differentiate from what is already available; (ii) how they affect key manufacturing metrics at the photovoltaic module level; and (iii) how these translate into cost per Watt cost reductions.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ing_100010343/

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EuPD Research: Germany to add 3.9GW of new capacity in 2013
By Mark Osborne - 26 February 2013, 11:12
In News, PV Modules, Power Generation

A significant reduction in new PV capacity in Germany has been forecasted by EuPD Research for 2013.

The market research firm has guided that it expects only 3.9GW of new capacity to be installed in the country this year, compared to 7.6GW installed in 2012.

Reductions in FiT rates have been cited by many industry observers to finally curtail new installations in Germany, yet to date this has not happened as module prices have declined to compensate for the ROI shortfall.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/eupd_res...pacity_in_2013

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Panasonic introduces 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project
By Julia Chan - 26 February 2013, 12:05
In News, Power Generation

Electronics giant Panasonic has launched its 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project which will see the company donate a total of 100,000 solar LED lanterns to people around the world with no access to electricity.

As part of the first phase of the project, Panasonic has donated 3,000 compact solar lights to four non-profit organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for distribution to people in Myanmar. The four organisations are Bridge Asia Japan, Greater Mekong Initiative, Japan Heart and Myanmar Red Cross Society.

In March, the electronics giant will donate an additional 5,000 compact solar lights to an NGO in India as well as 2,000 lights to a refugee camp in Africa.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/panasoni...antern_project

Quote:
400MW Chinese modules exported to Japan in Q4 2012; JA Solar sees a huge leap
By Huangye Jiang - 25 February 2013, 19:47
In News, PV Modules, Finance

According to China-based Solarzoom, nearly 400MW of Chinese modules were exported to the Japanese domestic market in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In the list of top sales for the whole year, Suntech won first place with module sales of US$100 million, followed by JA Solar with US$70 million in sales, presenting itself as the most mentioned brand in the Japanese market. Canadian Solar earned third place with US$60 million in sales, according to Solarzoom.



According to the updated export data from the customs office, in the past two months, JA Solar had an imposing performance in Japan, and has raised its shipment guidance for the fourth quarter and full-year 2012. The company said that it expected fourth quarter shipments to be in the range of 480MW to 500MW, significantly exceeding its previous guidance of shipments being between 380MW and 420MW. Solarzoom’s data shows that the company’s shipment has doubled several times, and its growth in Q1 this year remains strong.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/Module_s...pany_were_clos

Quote:
NEWS RELEASE
UC Santa Barbara Scientists Develop A Whole New Way of Harvesting Energy from the Sun
February 25, 2013

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– A new method of harvesting the Sun's energy is emerging, thanks to scientists at UC Santa Barbara's Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Materials. Though still in its infancy, the research promises to convert sunlight into energy using a process based on metals that are more robust than many of the semiconductors used in conventional methods. The researchers' findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

"It is the first radically new and potentially workable alternative to semiconductor-based solar conversion devices to be developed in the past 70 years or so," said Martin Moskovits, professor of chemistry at UCSB.

In conventional photoprocesses, a technology developed and used over the last century, sunlight hits the surface of semiconductor material, one side of which is electron-rich, while the other side is not. The photon, or light particle, excites the electrons, causing them to leave their postions, and create positively-charged "holes." The result is a current of charged particles that can be captured and delivered for various uses, including powering lightbulbs, charging batteries, or facilitating chemical reactions.
http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=2950

Quote:
Research to Probe Deep Within a Solar Cell

Feb. 25, 2013 — Engineers and scientists from the University of Sheffield have pioneered a new technique to analyse PCBM, a material used in polymer photovoltaic cells, obtaining details of the structure of the material which will be vital to improving the cell's efficiency. The findings are published in Applied Physics Letters.

Working with the ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the researchers are the first to use a cutting-edge neutron scattering technique called SERGIS to analyse PCBM. The technique -- still very much in development -- has so far only been tested on samples with well-known, regular structures, such as diffraction gratings.

The experiment focused on crystallites of PCBM which were on the surface of a thin film of the solar cell material as the researchers could then verify their findings using other analysis techniques, such as atomic force microscopy. But they believe the technique could in future be used to analyse the material's structure deep inside the active layers of a solar cell. This will enable them to understand how different fabrication methods impact on the cell's structure, and therefore its efficiency.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0225102553.htm
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  #162  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2013, 4:49 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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First Solar Sets New Solar Efficiency Record for Thin Film
February 27, 2013

Solar innovator First Solar has just announced a new word record for solar cell conversion efficiency, for its cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin film solar cell. That’s significant because CdTe solar cells can be made more quickly and cheaply than conventional silicon solar cells, bringing down the cost of solar power. The title of solar efficiency record holder is also significant politically because it was only last spring that First Solar was caught in the crosshairs, when certain members of Congress tried to manufacture scandals out of the Obama Administration’s support for the U.S. solar industry.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/27/...ciency-record/

Quote:
Canadian Solar supplies more modules for off-grid PV projects in Tanzania
By Julia Chan - 27 February 2013, 14:54
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus



Under the agreement, Canadian Solar will deliver an additional 85kW of modules to Zara Solar for off-grid PV projects in Tanzania. Including this latest order, Canadian Solar will have supplied more than 350kW of PV modules to Zara Solar.

The modules vary in size, from 15 watts to 90 watts, and are ideal for off-grid projects as well as for the local environmental conditions in Tanzania, Canadian Solar states.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/canadian...ts_in_tanzania

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Activ Solar completes 29.3 MW PV plant in Ukraine
27. February 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

Activ Solar has commissioned a 29.3 MW photovoltaic plant in the Mykolaiv region of southern Ukraine.

Overall, the Voznesensk Solar Power Station is comprised of 121,176 multicrystalline photovoltaic modules and 27 inverter stations. According to local content requirements, over 15% of the materials, equipment and technologies used came from the Ukraine.

Austria-based Activ Solar has installed over 200 MW of photovoltaics in the country to date, including in the Odessa and Crimea regions. This latest project is the company’s first in Mykolaiv.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ine_100010360/

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PV Expo Tokyo: Solar spring continues
27. February 2013 | Top News, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Hans-Christoph Neidlein

The sixth PV Expo Tokyo kicked off today, February 26, with optimism. The world’s most generous photovoltaic FITs, coupled with a high environmental awareness, continue to lure many international solar companies to Japan. Insiders at the event expect new photovoltaic installations to top three to four GW this year.

Most obvious on the first day of Japan’s largest solar tradeshow is the growing presence of Chinese photovoltaic module manufacturers and project developers. All of the usual Chinese tier 1 suspects, including Suntech, Yingli, Canadian Solar and Trina, are in attendance. Dozens of tier 2 and 3 manufacturers, like Phono Solar, China Sunergy and Wuxi SaijingSolar, are also present.

According to Kuniko Misawa, general manager marketing division at Suntech Japan, Suntech is expecting to increase its Japanese market share from 8% in 2012 to 10% this year. Meanwhile, Julian Itagaki from Yingli Japan’s marketing division, states, "With the growing business in Japan, and in emerging markets like Latin America and Africa, we are trying to absorb declines in Europe and the U.S."
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ues_100010367/

Quote:
Japanese total shipments reach 2.5GW
By Nilima Choudhury - 27 February 2013, 13:36
In News, Cell Processing, PV Modules, Power Generation

Over 2.5GW of PV cells and modules were shipped both within Japan and overseas in the first nine months of fiscal year 2012.

Domestic shipments have more than doubled with 445MW in the first quarter of 2012 and over 1GW in the third quarter. According to the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA), approximately 1,399MW of this total came from Japanese producers, while the remaining 676MW was imported.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/japanese...ts_reach_2.5gw

Quote:
Solar Power Feed-In Tariff For Poland In March?
February 26, 2013 in Solar Policy

Poland is about ready to put into place a solar feed-in tariff policy similar to that used to propel solar power growth in Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Japan, and other leading solar power countries. I recently gave a guest lecture to a group of renewable energy graduate students here in Poland and happened to talk with one of the people who has helped create the policy (one of the group’s professors). He mentioned that it would be similar to Germany’s solar feed-in tariff (at least when it comes to the technical matters he was working on), but would of course be slightly different.

Word on the street is that the law may be passed in March. However, even if so, it wouldn’t go into effect until mid-2014 sometime due to the European Commission notification process (which seems a little absurd to me, but I’m not familiar with the details here).


http://solarlove.org/solar-power-fee...land-in-march/

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Solar Business News: Renusol America Adds Midwest Distributors
February 26, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

Renusol America has added two distribution partners, Wholesale Solar, based in Northern California, and Werner Electric Supply, which has 11 locations in Wisconsin and across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“Renusol mounting solutions are now in place in solar projects in 30 states across the US,” stated Renusol CEO and President, Bart Leusink. “Werner Electric Supply and Wholesale Solar are well-known for their high levels of customer service and having them as distribution partners means that even more installers can take advantage of simpler, more cost-effective mounting solutions for their solar projects.”

The Renusol VS is a flexible and light on-roof system for easy installation of photovoltaic systems for pitched roofs. Pre-assembled clamps, fastener-free splice connectors, and slide-free L-feet minimize installation time. Stainless steel hardware and aluminum rails provide strength and long life along with high strength-to-weight ratio rail design with spans up to 12 feet that keeps cost low This system offers a “one-size-fits-all” mounting solution, easy inventory maintenance and simple installation.
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...-distributors/

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UConn Professor’s Patented Technique Key to New Solar Power Technology
February 4, 2013
By: Colin Poitras
Category: Science & Health
(2) Comments

A novel fabrication technique developed by UConn engineering professor Brian Willis could provide the breakthrough technology scientists have been looking for to vastly improve today’s solar energy systems.

For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power.

The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20 percent of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels.

But while nanosized antennas have shown promise in theory, scientists have lacked the technology required to construct and test them. The fabrication process is immensely challenging. The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.
http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/02/...er-technology/
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  #163  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2013, 4:40 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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US: California fast tracks 750 MW PV project
28. February 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

California’s Governor, Jerry Brown has announced the fast tracking of NextEra Energy Resources LLC’s 750 MW photovoltaic project, set to be located in Riverside County, near Blythe.

The US$1 billion McCoy Solar Project has been granted expedited review under Governor Brown’s Jobs and Economic Improvement Act of 2011 (AB 900); the threefold aim of which is to cut red tape, create new jobs and generate clean energy.

The project, to be built, owned and operated by NextEra subsidiary, McCoy Solar, LLC on 4,315 acres of federal land and 477 acres of private land, is expected to generate enough energy to supply around 264,000 homes when complete.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ct-_100010381/

Quote:
Abakus solar plans 18 MW of PV plants for UK
28. February 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

Abakus solar AG's British subsidiary has been awarded an EPC contract to realize three photovoltaic parks worth 18 MW across the U.K.

Abakus will be responsible for both EPC and Operation & Maintenance services for the project, owned by Inazin Power. Together with Low Carbon, the company will install a 7 MWp park on the Isle of Wight and in Dorset, respectively, and one 4 MWp park also in Dorset.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...-uk_100010379/

Quote:
Isofotón and government of Honduras sign deal for 150MW PV project
By Julia Chan - 27 February 2013, 17:04
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

Isofotón, a Spanish PV project developer, has signed an agreement with the government of Honduras to develop a utility-scale PV project with an initial capacity of 150MW.

The agreement was signed on 26 February by Diego Serrano, Vice President of Isofotón, and the Minister for Energy and General Manager of the Empresa Nacional de la Energía Eléctrica (ENEE), Emil Hawit.

Isofotón will begin developing the utility-scale project — which it claims will be one of the largest PV plant in Central America — at the end of 2013. When operational, the facility will generate around 240,000MWh of electricity ever year which is said to be enough to provide power to 140,000 Honduran families.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/isofoton...0mw_pv_project
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  #164  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2013, 6:19 AM
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scalziand scalziand is offline
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Originally Posted by amor de cosmos View Post
UConn Professor’s Patented Technique Key to New Solar Power Technology

http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/02/...er-technology/
I find it staggering the technologies that are in the pipeline that will continue to drive down the cost and increase the capacity of soar modules. Today's prices might be low because of a glut due to overcapacity, but due to these coming innovations, the price is not going to be headed back up.
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  #165  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2013, 5:19 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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300 Reasons Utilities Should Do These 3 Things For Distributed Solar
March 1, 2013

In the next decade, over 300 gigawatts (GW) of unsubsidized solar energy could be deployed across the United States, generating electricity for the same or less-than retail electricity prices. But many utilities remain blissfully unaware of the coming solar storm or how to handle it, as evidenced by a Public Utility Commission hearing in Minnesota last fall.

In October, the Xcel Energy presented their long term planning process (called an Integrated Resource Plan) to the Commission and the public. In their plan, the state’s largest electric utility indicated an interest in adding 20 megawatts (MW) of solar power to their Minnesota system (in comparison to a current statewide capacity of around 13 MW).

If that seems small, consider that ILSR’s recent report on commercial solar grid parity indicates an opportunity to construct 940 MW of commercial rooftop solar at a price (without subsidies) that matches or beats retail electricity prices in Minnesota. The opportunity for residential solar is 2-3 times greater. Combined, 4400 MW of unsubsidized rooftop solar could compete with utility retail prices statewide by 2022.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/01/...ributed-solar/

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Pay-As-You-Go Solar Startup Bringing Cheap, Clean Lighting To Kenya
February 28, 2013

A new pay-as-you-go solar startup in Kenya is aiming to provide a cheap and pollution-free replacement for the ubiquitous kerosene lamps there. Currently, most rural residents in Kenya use kerosene lamps for lighting their homes, which is not only rather expensive, but also creates a great deal of indoor pollution. By offering a clean and affordable replacement for these lamps, the residents in these areas stand to benefit greatly.



With the initial deposit being only about $30, and the daily rate hovering around $0.46, the system is within the grasp of many people in the country. The entire unit can also be paid off rather quickly, typically in less than a year. Since kerosene lamps cost, roughly, about $0.70 a day, the M-KOPA system is significantly cheaper. And because of the nature of the pay-as-you-go system, even those without steady employment can benefit, simply using it when they can afford to. And, once paid off, the system is completely free, potentially opening up funds for a level of personal entrepreneurship not typically available to the poorer people in Kenya.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/28/...ting-to-kenya/

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Big Solar Looks to Grow With Precise Cloud Forecasts
Weather gurus look to give solar plant operators three-day forecasts that break down expected sunlight and power production by 15-minute increments.

Earthtechling, Pete Danko: March 1, 2013

The forecast is looking better for getting more solar energy onto the grid and at lower cost, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research say.

A team at the federally funded research and development center in Boulder, Colorado is embarking on a three-year project aimed at giving solar power plant and grid operators three-day forecasts that break down expected sunlight and power production by 15-minute increments.

“It’s critical for utility managers to know how much sunlight will be reaching solar energy plants in order to have confidence that they can supply sufficient power when their customers need it,” Sue Ellen Haupt, director of NCAR’s Weather Systems and Assessment Program and the lead researcher on the solar energy project, said in a statement. “These detailed cloud and irradiance forecasts are a vital step in using more energy from the sun.”
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...loud-forecasts

Quote:
More in Home Solar Rooftop Financing
The surge of financing money flooding into residential solar continues.

Eric Wesoff: February 28, 2013

The surge of financing money flooding into residential solar continues.

OneRoof Energy just announced that it added another $100 million to its financing with support from Morgan Stanley and Main Street Power Company and debt financing from other banking sources.

This fund brings the total announced funds for residential solar projects in the U.S. to $3.6 billion, and $350 million already in 2013, according to Shayle Kann, Vice President at GTM Research and author of a just-published report on the U.S. residential solar PV financing industry.
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...ftop-Financing

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California City Wants to Require Solar on Every New Home
A Republican mayor campaigns for a historic requirement for solar on new homes.

Herman K. Trabish: March 1, 2013

Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, California, wants every new home in his city to host solar. And starting next January, that could be a reality.

Yesterday in Lancaster, homebuilder KB Home celebrated its 1,000th new home with solar panels from SunPower. Speaking at the event, Mayor Parris announced his city will institute a first-of-its-kind requirement that solar be installed on every new single-family home built in Lancaster after January 1, 2014.

The new law will be written into Lancaster’s “Residential Zones Update” on residential solar. Along with a range of green building provisions, it specifies that new single family homes meet minimum solar system requirements.
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...every-new-home

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Materials News
Research Hints at Graphene’s Photovoltaic Potential
Newly observed properties mean graphene could be a highly efficient converter of light to electric power.

By Mike Orcutt on March 1, 2013

Researchers have demonstrated that graphene is highly efficient at generating electrons upon absorbing light, which suggests that the material could be used to make light sensors and perhaps even more efficient solar cells.

Conventional materials that turn light into electricity, like silicon and gallium arsenide, generate a single electron for each photon absorbed. Since a photon contains more energy than one electron can carry, much of the energy contained in the incoming light is lost as heat. Now, new research reveals that when graphene absorbs a photon it generates multiple electrons capable of driving a current. This means that if graphene devices for converting light to electricity come to fruition, they could be more efficient than the devices commonly used today.

Previous theoretical work had inspired hope that graphene had this property, says Frank Koppens, a group leader at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Spain, who led the research. He says the new result, described this week in Nature Physics, represents the first experimental proof.
http://www.technologyreview.com/news...aic-potential/

Quote:
January 2013 PV installations in Germany reach 275MW
By Mark Osborne - 01 March 2013, 12:39
In News, Power Generation

New PV capacity added to the German grid in January 2013 totalled 275MW, according to official figures from the German Federal Network Agency.

Typically a slow month for installations due to adverse weather conditions, installations were significantly down from the same month a year ago when new capacity added was 517MW. However, installations in December 2012 were around 330MW.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/january_...ny_reach_275mw

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$5.6 Million In Electricity Savings At California Schools In 2012 Thanks To Solar Power
March 1, 2013 in Solar $, Solar Projects

World-leading solar panel manufacturer SunPower has installed solar power systems at 92 California public schools (K-12). In 2012, the total savings from these solar power systems came to $5.6 million, SunPower announced this week at the California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) annual conference in Sacramento.

“Over the next 25 years, SunPower solar power systems are expected to generate $140 million in school district savings that can be used to support and promote academic excellence. As a California company, with roots firmly in California education, it is extremely rewarding to deliver these valuable savings to our public schools,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions.
http://solarlove.org/5-6-million-in-...o-solar-power/
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  #166  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2013, 4:21 PM
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Infographic — Structural Changes In Germany
March 2, 2013

Throughout history, there have been times when the introduction of technology met the needs of the public and a fundamental shift was set in motion. This has been the case with the steam engine, the automobile, the telephone, the computer, the internet… just to name a few. While all of these technology-driven structural changes had huge macro-economic benefits, they were not beneficial for every one. Especially those with business models that used to provide similar, but inferior, services faced marginalization or even extinction. This process was sometimes painful, but usually not a loss.


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/02/...es-in-germany/

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Shell Bullish On Solar Despite Dropping Solar (But Much More In Its New Scenarios Than That)
March 3, 2013 in CO2 Emissions, Market Research, Solar $, Solar Perceptions & Polls, Solar Policy, Solar PV Manufacturing, Solar Research

The solar manufacturing industry is now a highly competitive industry. Solar module companies that can’t compete are dropping like icicles on a warm spring day. Shell dropped out of the solar module race in 2006, giving its solar business to SolarWorld.

Nonetheless, Shell is still quite bullish on solar energy in the long term. In one of the two future energy scenarios it just released (the New Lens Scenarios), it projected that solar would become the largest source of energy by 2070.

Solar industry enthusiasts (which I assume most of you are) know that solar power has grown tremendously in the past several years — to be specific, from about 1 gigawatt (GW) in 2000 to about 102 GW at the end of 2012. It is still a small piece of the energy or even electricity pie, but it’s growing fast. And, most importantly, it looks like it will have a very bright future.

In both of Shell’s new scenarios, which are led by Jeremy Bentham (Vice President Business Environment and Head of Shell Scenarios), the company sees global CO2 emissions dropping to zero by 2100, but through very different means. In the first, its projection is that solar will account for 37.7% of primary energy use by 2100. The company is also bullish on natural gas, electric vehicles, hydrogen (as a transportation fuel source and resource for electricity storage), biofuels, and wind power (compared to other energy sources). But there’s much more to the story than these simple statements.


http://solarlove.org/shell-bullish-o...ios-than-that/

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  #167  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2013, 3:56 PM
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Texas: Phase 1 of 400 MW San Antonio solar scheme under way
04. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Max Hall

OCI Solar Power will tomorrow (Tuesday March 5) officially break ground on construction of the first phase of its 400 MW San Antonio project – the largest solar development in Texas.

The 41 MW Alamo I solar farm covers 445 acres and is the first stage of the larger scheme, which will supply electricity through a PPA with CPS Energy.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...way_100010440/

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California: 266 MW PV farm to be finished in early 2014
04. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news | By: Max Hall

AES Solar is expected to complete construction of the first phase of one of the world’s largest photovoltaic developments, located in Antelope Valley, California, in early 2014.

Construction began on the 266 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm in Imperial County in November. Pre-construction development partner 8minutenergy has now handed over the project for AES Solar to perform the remaining construction and operation works on the US$636 million scheme.

Mount Signal is the first part of the three-phase 800 MW Antelope Valley development and is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs across the 1,963-acre project.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...014_100010434/

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France installed over 4GW of PV in 2012
By Nilima Choudhury - 04 March 2013, 13:54
In News, Power Generation

France added 1.08GW of PV capacity in 2012, represented by over 34,500 plants, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy, Ecology and Sustainable Development.

The majority of this capacity, 763MW, was added in the first half of 2012. However, in Q4, the French market was at its lowest since 2008 at 75MW.

Furthermore, this is a 39% decrease of installations compared to 2011 but France has another 2.84GW of PV projects awaiting approval. This has increased France’s cumulative capacity by 37% to over 4GW.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/france_i..._of_pv_in_2012
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  #168  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2013, 4:27 PM
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Italy: PV generation rose 11% in February
05. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz

While overall electricity consumption fell 8.1% in Italy last month, photovoltaic power generation increased by 11.2%.

Italy’s total electricity consumption in February fell by 8.1% compared to the same period last year, equaling 25.7 billion kWh, according to the latest figures by Italian transmission grid operator, Terna. 83.2% of demand was met with national resources, while the remaining 16.8% was imported.

While net national production – 21.6 billion kWh – fell 14.7% year-on-year, renewable energy production increased, with wind power growing 19.1% and photovoltaic power 11.2%.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ary_100010461/

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Panasonic and Pristine Sun unveil 50 MW PV partnership
05. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

Panasonic Eco Solutions Energy Management North America and Pristine Sun will install 50 MW of photovoltaics in California, the U.S., over the next 24 months. The generated energy will be sold to PG&E.

In a statement released, the two parties say they have begun work on the first phase of their photovoltaic portfolio.

Overall, 50 MW worth of solar farms are expected to be developed and grid connected over the next 24 months. The generated electricity – enough to power around 50,000 homes – will be sold to PG&E.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...hip_100010457/

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Solar industry backs US Energy Secretary nomination
By Ben Willis - 05 March 2013, 11:23
In News, Going Places

The US solar industry has welcomed the nomination of physicist Ernest Moniz as the country’s new Energy Secretary.

President Barack Obama yesterday named Moniz as his nomination to lead the Department of Energy, replacing the outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Moniz, a physicist, currently directs the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative and was a former energy undersecretary in the Clinton administration.



Rone Resch, Chief Executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said Moniz would have a key role in boosting the fortunes of solar in the US.

“The DOE has been a critically important partner in the solar industry’s efforts to make solar technology more affordable and help break down barriers to solar deployment across the nation to establish America as a leader in clean energy.

“Dr. Moniz’s prior leadership at DOE and MIT will be instrumental in promoting the innovation across the solar value chain to develop a strong clean energy economy.”
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solar_in...ary_nomination

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SolarCity installs 4.7MW of PV capacity for Walmart in Ohio
By Julia Chan - 05 March 2013, 08:52
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

US retail giant Walmart has expanded its solar presence in the US with its first solar installations in the state of Ohio.

PV installer SolarCity installed PV arrays with a combined capacity of 4.7MW on the rooftops of 12 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across the state.

The Walmart and Sam’s Clubs stores equipped with solar power systems are located in Mason, Xenia, Greenville, Austintown, Middletown, Franklin, Youngstown, Toledo, Milford, Loveland and two systems in Cincinnati.

In total, the PV installations will generate an estimated 6 million kWh of electricity every year. Each PV array will supply around 5-20% of each store’s electricity needs.

“Walmart's installation of solar on 12 store rooftops is the largest solar commitment ever made by a retail business in Ohio,” said Bill Spratley, Executive Director of Green Energy Ohio. “At more than four and a half megawatts, it represents almost a tenth of all the solar installed in Ohio currently. It is exciting to see that Walmart's solar arrays will also eliminate 5,500 tons of CO2e or the equivalent of taking the emissions of 1,152 cars off the road each year.”
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solarcit...almart_in_ohio

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Alta Devices dual junction solar cell verified at 30.8% conversion efficiency
By Mark Osborne - 04 March 2013, 18:08
In News, Thin Film, III-V, PV Modules

The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has verified a new ‘dual junction’ thin film solar cell technology from Alta Devices with a conversion efficiency of 30.8%.

Chris Norris, president and CEO of Alta Devices said: “Alta Devices has been setting efficiency records since 2010. This new dual junction record at 30.8% is a testament to our technology and our world-class team. It’s also an important step toward our target of 38% efficient cells.”
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/alta_dev...sion_efficienc
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  #169  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2013, 4:42 PM
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MIT’s “Artifical Leaf” For Solar Energy Storage & Fuel Moves Forward
March 6, 2013

Bringing the concept of an “artificial leaf” closer to reality, a team of researchers at MIT has published a detailed analysis of all the factors that could limit the efficiency of such a system. The new analysis lays out a roadmap for a research program to improve the efficiency of these systems, and could quickly lead to the production of a practical, inexpensive and commercially viable prototype.

Such a system would use sunlight to produce a storable fuel, such as hydrogen, instead of electricity for immediate use. This fuel could then be used on demand to generate electricity through a fuel cell or other device. This process would liberate solar energy for use when the sun isn’t shining, and open up a host of potential new applications.

The new work is described in a paper this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by associate professor of mechanical engineering Tonio Buonassisi, former MIT professor Daniel Nocera (now at Harvard University), MIT postdoc Mark Winkler (now at IBM) and former MIT graduate student Casandra Cox (now at Harvard). It follows up on 2011 research that produced a “proof of concept” of an artificial leaf — a small device that, when placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, would produce bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/06/...moves-forward/

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Duke Explores Rooftop Solar as Panels Slow Demand, CEO Says
By Jim Polson - Feb 28, 2013 12:54 PM PT

Duke Energy Corp. (DUK), the largest U.S. utility owner, may expand into rooftop solar as wider use of photovoltaic panels by customers cuts into demand for electricity in states including California, Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers said.

Rooftop panels are gaining popularity as the industry faces “anemic” growth in power demand that may redefine the traditional utility business model, Rogers said at an analyst meeting in New York today.

“It is obviously a potential threat to us over the long term and an opportunity in the short term,” Rogers said in an interview after the meeting. “If the cost of solar panels keeps coming down, installation costs come down and if they combine solar with battery technology and a power management system, then we have someone just using us for backup,” he said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...recasting.html
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/06/...ricity-demand/

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  #170  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 4:08 PM
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Greece Adds 300 MW Of Solar PV In January (More Than Germany), Bill Looks To Cut Solar Red Tape
March 7, 2013 in Market Research, Rooftop Solar, Solar Policy, Solar Projects, Solar Research

The latest figures from Greece indicate that the country installed 300 MW of solar PV in January (more than Germany’s 275 MW). The stats come from LAGIE, which is the operator of the Greece electricity grid. Here are some more stats from LAGIE:
  • This 300 MW January total is over 1/3 the new capacity Greece installed in total last year (890 MW).
  • This 300 MW January total is over twice as much as LAGIE projected would be installed in a report published just last month (121 MW).
  • 282 MW were from ground-mounted solar PV projects, while the remaining 18 MW were from rooftop solar installations.
  • Current cumulative solar PV capacity in Greece is 1.72 GW.
  • New projections have Greece’s cumulative solar PV capacity at 2.58 GW by the end of 2013, and 2.82 GW by the end of 2014.
http://solarlove.org/greece-bill-loo...r-pv-red-tape/
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  #171  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2013, 3:46 PM
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China Drives Record Solar Growth Becoming Biggest Market
8 March 2013

March 8 (Bloomberg) — The $77 billion solar-energy industry is forecast to expand the most since 2011, as China becomes the biggest market for the first time and drives annual global installations to a record.

New generation capacity will rise about 14 percent this year to 34.1 gigawatts, equal to about eight atomic reactors, according to the average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would beat the 4.4 percent growth in 2012, when demand shrank in Italy and France after subsidies were cut.

China, after building scores of factories that helped cut panel prices 20 percent in the past year, is poised to become the biggest consumer of the devices after doubling its 2013 target for new projects in January. Tumbling prices are benefiting installers including Solarcity Corp. and SunPower Corp. of California while hurting manufacturers such as LDK Solar Co. of China and Norway’s Renewable Energy Corp. ASA.

“Solar demand is proving very resilient and will keep growing this year even as European markets slump,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich. “A further increase in installations driven by record- low prices, however, won’t do much to help manufacturers’ margins.”
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/chin...iggest-market/

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Energy Project Developers See Solar as Easier Than Wind
Surprisingly, the biggest difference is mineral rights.

Herman K. Trabish: March 7, 2013

Some developers have moved back and forth between wind and solar in response to shifting and uncertain policies and incentives. OwnEnergy VP and former Baker Botts attorney Steve Krebs asked two developers and a banker, all of who have played in both sectors, to compare.

“The solar comes a bit easier,” said multinational energy giant Macquarie Group’s (NYSE:MIC) Managing Director Thomas Houle at the Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association (TREIA) Renewable Energy Finance Forum. “But it does present unique challenges. One is land rights and producing a clean title.”

In markets where developers are unfamiliar with commercial and utility-scale solar, he said, “there can be a view that issues like mineral rights will sort themselves out. But when you get to financing, there is nothing more important than having a clean title and good title insurance.”

With a wind project, it is less crucial, he said, “because you are not covering the vast majority of the land area with equipment. You’re only using 2 percent to 5 percent of your land area for all the roads and foundations and the rest.”
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...sier-Than-Wind

AT LAST another story from Canada...

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New Technique Promises More Efficient Solar Cells, Say U of T Engineering Researchers
March 7, 2013

A new technique developed by Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Professor Ted Sargent, Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology, and his research group could lead to significantly more efficient solar cells, according to a recent paper published in the journal Nano Letters.

The paper, “Jointly-tuned plasmonic-excitonic photovoltaics using nanoshells,” describes a new technique to improve efficiency in colloidal quantum dot photovoltaics, a technology which already promises inexpensive, more efficient solar cell technology. Quantum dot photovoltaics offers the potential for low-cost, large-area solar power – however these devices are not yet highly efficient in the infrared portion of the sun’s spectrum, which is responsible for half of the sun’s power that reaches the Earth.

The solution? Spectrally tuned, solution-processed plasmonic nanoparticles. These particles, the researchers say, provide unprecedented control over light’s propagation and absorption.

The new technique developed by Sargent’s group shows a possible 35 per cent increase in the technology’s efficiency in the near-infrared spectral region, says co-author Dr. Susanna Thon. Overall, this could translate to an 11 per cent solar power conversion efficiency increase, she says, making quantum dot photovoltaics even more attractive as an alternative to current solar cell technologies.
http://www.engineering.utoronto.ca/A...esearchers.htm
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  #172  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2013, 4:14 AM
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Seven Next-Generation Energy Technologies Showcased by ARPA-E
Companies showed off their latest clean energy innovations at the ARPA-E Summit.


Martin LaMonica
March 8, 2013



Early-stage startup Ubiquitous Energy has developed solar cells that absorb ultraviolet and infrared light, rather than the visible light portion of the spectrum. That allows it to make solar cells that generate electricity but are transparent. This photo shows its cells layered onto glass next to traditional window glazing on the table. The company hopes the technology will be used on power-generating windows or placed over screens of e-readers and tablet computers to recharge them.
http://www.technologyreview.com/view...slide/2/#slide
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  #173  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2013, 3:28 PM
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“Solar Freedom Now” Unveils Plan For Cutting Red Tape, Solar PV Soft Costs 50%
March 8, 2013

Permitting, zoning, financing, contracting, installation, hooking up to the grid, and maintenance — the so-called “soft” costs of powering a home, office or business with solar energy — account for as much as 40% of the total installed cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, according to the Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge.

Aiming to cut the red tape and streamline the solar PV system installation process, Solar Freedom Now (SFN), “a grass roots initiative to make solar power more affordable and accessible for all Americans,” on March 4 released, “A Roadmap for Reducing Solar Costs by 50%.” As SFN states in a press release, its “goal is to make 2013 the year of eliminating the paperwork and red tape that burdens solar installations.”


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/08/...soft-costs-50/
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  #174  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2013, 4:20 PM
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Solar In Canada — Yes, Please! (Infographic)
March 10, 2013

Here’s a great infographic a friend passed along. It’s focused on solar power in Canada, but it actually has a lot in it that’s relevant elsewhere. The infographic comes from Solar Income Fund (as you can see on the bottom). Have a look:


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/10/...e-infographic/
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  #175  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2013, 3:23 PM
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Analysis: Renewables turn utilities into dinosaurs of the energy world
By Geert De Clercq
PARIS | Fri Mar 8, 2013 4:13am EST

(Reuters) - Every new solar panel installed on European rooftops chips away at power utilities' centralized production model. Unless they reinvent themselves soon, these giants risk becoming the dinosaurs of the energy market.

The industry faces drastic change as renewable energy turns consumers into producers and hollows out the dominance of utilities. With their stocks at decade lows and a millstone of debt around their necks, Europe's utilities have little margin for error.

In Germany, where 22 percent of its electricity came from renewable sources in 2012, the big four utilities - E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall Europe - are nearly absent in this new sector.

Of the 71 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity installed at the end of 2011, the four owned just 7 percent, environment ministry data show. A gigawatt roughly corresponds to the capacity of one nuclear plant.

Individuals owned 40 percent of renewables capacity, energy niche players 14 percent, farmers 11 percent, various energy-intensive industrial companies 9 percent, and financial companies 11 percent. Small regional utilities and international utilities owned another 7 percent.

In the solar industry the big four are even more marginal, having ceded 97 percent to investors from outside the power industry, Lueneburg University researcher Mario Richter said.

"Utilities produce electricity, and here's a new technology for producing electricity, and they are not in there. They have completely missed the opportunity," Richter said.

Richter, who has interviewed 20 German utilities managers about the impact of renewables on their firms, said it has taken them years to acknowledge the potential of solar and wind.



WINNERS IN THE POWER GAME

If utilities are the losers in this game, the winners are solar panel and windmill makers, the hundreds of small firms that install solar systems, and the thousands of consumers who have turned their roofs into mini-power plants.

Other winners are companies in the energy efficiency business: building materials firms like Saint Gobain that sell double glazing, chemical firms like Recticel that sell insulation, and heating systems manufacturers like privately owned Vaillant and Viessmann, which sell heat pumps, solar systems and energy-saving equipment.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...92709E20130308

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SolarAid sales increase by 600%
By Nilima Choudhury - 06 March 2013, 10:29
In News, Power Generation

SolarAid, a British charity, has announced that sales of its solar lights to the African market will exceed 320,000, forecasting £2.08 million (US$3.14 million) by the end of March this year.

The charity’s aim is to eradicate the need for kerosene for lighting from Africa by 2020 by bringing light to nearly 60 million African households.

From April 2011 to March 2012 SolarAid sold 51,811 units which rose to 228,000 at the end of 2012, beating last year’s sales by almost 600%. By finding a route to mass market in Africa, it claims it is on course to make solar lanterns an everyday household item.

Pippa Palmer, Managing Director of SolarAid, said: “Solar has a crucial role to play in the developing world where countless communities are trapped in a cycle of perpetual poverty by costly and deadly kerosene. By offering the chance to buy a clean tech alternative, SolarAid makes a life-changing difference to these communities and the children within them – a difference that could ultimately change the environmental and economic fortunes of Africa.

“We are filled with excitement at the prospect of achieving the hugely ambitious mission we have set ourselves: leading the world in eradicating the kerosene lantern from Africa by 2020.,” said Palmer.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solaraid...ncrease_by_600
http://solarlove.org/solaraid-sees-6...ease-in-sales/

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  #176  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2013, 4:08 PM
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Solar Could Produce 5X More Energy Than Oil In Libya
March 11, 2013

Libya exports close to $12 billion a year in petroleum products and they are seventy percent of its total exports. This north african nation also has an estimated 48 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves. In other words, oil is a critical part of the national economy there, and has been for years.

Recent research has indicated the solar potential is even greater than the petroleum productivity. If Libya used just 0.1% of its landmass for solar power, it could generate the equivalent of seven million barrels of oil per day, which would be about five times the 1.4 million barrels it currently produces. Some critics of solar power say it takes up took much land, but Libya has a great deal of open space (desert) and only about six million people. So there is plenty of land available for solar power installations.

What makes solar power even more attractive in Libya is the high levels of daily solar radiation. On a coastal plane, that rate is 7.1 kilowatt hours per square metre per day, and in a southern area it is 8.1. The average solar radiation rate in the UK is less than half of that.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/11/...-oil-in-libya/

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Japan: PV demand growing faster than expected; new FIT rates proposed
12. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends, Top News | By: Izumi Kaizuka

The Japanese photovoltaic market has significantly changed since the introduction of FITs last July. With domestic demand growing faster than expected, Japan's Government has proposed a FIT reduction of around 10%.

As expected, a committee of experts in Japan yesterday, March 11, proposed that photovoltaic tariffs should be cut by around 10% from April 1. As per general practice, the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) will hold public hearings to discuss the proposal for around the next two weeks. The Minister of METI will then announce the tariff before the fiscal new year.

According to METI, almost 4 GW of PV projects have been approved under the FIT program from July to December 2012, which saw tariffs of 42 Yen/kWh (around US$0.44; €0.34) paid to projects. The newly proposed tariffs can be seen in the table below:
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...sed_100010534/

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JA Solar ships 35 MW of PV modules to Israel
12. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

JA Solar has commenced shipments of its modules to a 35 MW photovoltaic project in Israel.

Overall, the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer is supplying modules to five plants in Israel, three of which are located in the Arava Desert, and two in the Negev Desert. While the Arava Power Company owns the plants, Siemens is acting as EPC contractor.

Overall, JA Solar has been contracted to supply 122,936 of its polycrystalline modules. While delivery began in January, the last of the modules are scheduled to be shipped this May.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ael_100010532/

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Peru: 40 MW PV project inaugurated
12. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

Gestamp Solar and Solarpack have officially inaugurated two 20 MW photovoltaic plants in Peru. A total of US$196 million was invested in the project, which was completed last October.

The two 20 MW plants are located in Tacna (Tacna Solar 20TS) and Moquegua (Panamericana Solar). They have been operational since October 31, 2012, and December 31, 2012, respectively. The generated energy is being sold to the National Interconnected System (SEIN) for a period of 20 years.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ted_100010527/

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Energy department nominee Moniz pro nuclear and natural gas but ‘bullish’ on solar
By Felicity Carus - 12 March 2013, 09:49
In Editors' Blog

President Barack Obama might have selected another boffin to replace his much-respected first appointee at the Department of Energy, but Ernest Moniz may turn out to be a very different political animal from Steven Chu.

Like Chu, Moniz is a physics professor plucked from a prestigious university, this time from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rather than Stanford University. But where the Nobel Prizewinner wore kid gloves to massage data and science into government funded programmes, such as ARPA-E and the SunShot Initiative, Moniz could become Obama's prize-fighting scientist, having already done time on Capitol Hill, including a stint as Bill Clinton's Undersecretary of Energy.
http://www.pv-tech.org/editors_blog/...but_bullish_on

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Australia may have up to 10GW of solar PV by 2017
By Giles Parkinson on 12 March 2013

The Australian solar PV market could tip the 10,000 mewagatt (10 gigawatt) mark as early as 2017, and could reach the “saturation” levels for owner-occupied houses in many areas in coming years, according to a new report.

The five-year forecast prepared by leading market analysts Sunwiz and Solar Business Services says that the Australian solar PV market – currently at 2.5GW – will likely grow to between 6GW and 10GW by 2017.

The actual outcome will depend on the speed of the growth in the largely untapped commercial sector, the pace of large, utility-scale solar farms, and the industry’s ability to penetrate more challenging parts of the residential sector.

One of the most extraordinary findings of the report is that many parts of Australia could reach “saturation” point in the owner-occupied residential solar market. The analysis shows that the national average penetration rate is running around 20 per cent, many areas are at greater than 35 per cent, and some localities are already at 90 per cent. (see separate story). It concludes that penetration rates in the range of 50 per cent and 75 per cent are “entirely probable.”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/aust...-by-2017-71720

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Solar Photovoltaic Demand Could Reach 31 GW This Year
March 11, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

Solar photovoltaic (PV) demand will increase 2 GW, from 29 GW to 31 GW during 2013, up 7% Y/Y according to the new NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz 2013. For the first time, China will outpace Germany to become the leading PV consumer, while the top 10 PV territories will still account for 83% of global PV demand.

“2013 will represent another transition year, as the PV industry adjusts to softness across legacy European markets,” according to Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “The Chinese end-market will largely compensate for the downturn in demand from Germany, which previously led PV demand.”
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...-gw-this-year/

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Analysis: Solar trade war promises order bonanza for Taiwan
By Swetha Gopinath and Clare Jim
Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:53pm EDT

(Reuters) - Business has been booming for Taiwanese solar companies since they became the middlemen in a trade war between the United States, China and Europe over the multi-billion dollar solar power equipment market.

Green Energy Technology Inc (3519.TW), which makes wafers used in solar cells, is receiving so many orders from Chinese firms seeking to circumvent U.S. import duties that the company is considering renting extra capacity.

If, as expected, the European Union also introduces punitive tariffs on Chinese-made solar equipment, Taiwanese companies may inch back toward profitability after posting losses for at least the last six quarters.

"There could be short-term investment opportunities in Taiwanese solar stocks," said Edward Guinness, co-portfolio manager at Guinness Atkinson Asset Management.

A supply glut and a sharp drop in demand from Europe, the No. 1 solar market, have led to a 75 percent decline in panel prices since 2008. European and U.S. manufacturers have accused Chinese competitors of flooding the market with low-cost panels.

For Taiwan, the story gained momentum in November.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...92A0UH20130311
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  #177  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2013, 4:09 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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Solar batteries could be utilities' next headache
By Christoph Steitz and Stephen Jewkes
FRANKFURT/MILAN | Fri Mar 8, 2013 4:13am EST

(Reuters) - Renewable energy is constantly evolving and challenging traditional utilities but one growing sector could make home-generated power much easier to use and cut customers' dependence on energy companies dramatically - solar batteries.

A major conundrum with solar panels has always been how to keep the lights on when the sun isn't shining.

Solar batteries allow homes and businesses to store solar power to use in the hours of darkness and can also help to create "smart grids" that react to sudden power swings and free stored energy when needed.

The technology is still expensive and not widely used but with energy bills soaring for consumers, it could quickly gain market share and reduce dependence on utilities, which are already struggling with overcapacity and weak demand.

Italy has some of the highest power prices in Europe and is looking at how to cut costs to allow its businesses to compete.

Nicola Cosciani, head of energy storage at Italy's top industrial battery maker Fiamm, says heavy power users like cement and steel makers are looking at generating and storing their own solar power - and even selling excess power from their batteries on to the grid.

"Germany and Italy will be explosive markets for residential storage and big energy users are also starting to show an interest. This is a game changer," he told Reuters.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...92709O20130308

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India: Domestic PV manufacturing capacity reaches 2 GW
13. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz

According to India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), domestic manufacturing capacity of photovoltaic cells and modules has grown to 2 GW. It also estimates India’s potential solar power per square kilometer to be 30 to 50 MW.

Since the launch of its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) in 2010, which aims to install 20 GW of solar power by 2022, India’s domestic manufacturing capacity of photovoltaic cells and modules has increased from around 200 MW to 2 GW, says MNRE.

While domestic content requirements, among other benefits for local manufacturers, have been stipulated under the first phase of the mission – and more stringent rules are being considered under the second – there have been complaints by some in India that imported photovoltaic goods, particularly from the U.S., are causing problems for India’s manufacturers.

In response, the government launched an anti-dumping investigation into solar cells from the U.S., China, Taiwan and Malaysia. It also, however, offers concessional customs duties to imports of finished solar products and equipment, in its bid to reduce solar power costs.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...-gw_100010548/

Quote:
Bringing Solar Power To Affordable Family Housing In Chicago
March 13, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments

Kyocera Solar Inc. is supplying solar modules and its MyGen Pro installation systems to VGI Energy for affordable, multi-family housing units in urban Chicago. VGI’s retrofitted buildings throughout Chicago have been outfitted with 20-kW rooftop solar arrays, providing electricity from the clean, renewable energy of the sun and contributing to VGI’s goal of achieving zero-net-energy-capable buildings.

Since 2010, VGI has installed Kyocera solar modules on six Chicago buildings ranging in size from 18 to 70 units, providing more than 600 people with the opportunity to use renewable energy in their daily lives.

“Our housing developments aim to enhance the quality of life for each resident with programs that integrate independent lifestyles with a sense of community; utilizing solar energy to reduce the environmental footprint is a key component,” said Van Vincent, CEO, VGI Energy. “Our partnership with Kyocera plays a very strategic role in our commitment to bringing solar power to an underserved sector of the population: residents of low-income, urban areas.”
http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com...ng-in-chicago/

Quote:
Catalysts that produce "green" fuel
12 March 2013 Sissa Medialab

The energy produced by solar panels, be it heat or electricity, has to be used right away. It is hard to store and preserve and also its transportation can be rather complicated. Creating solar cells capable of producing energy in an easily storable and transportable way, that is to say fuel, is therefore the future challenge of solar energy. For this reason the scientists at SISSA are working on a catalyst that imitates and improves what nature has been able to do for millions of years.

Plants turn solar energy into sugars, the true “green” fuel, through photosynthesis. In such process a key role is performed by catalysts, molecules that “cut and paste” other molecules, and that in this specific case oxidize water, that is to say separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. Hydrogen (already a fuel itself, yet very hard to handle) is used at a later stage in the synthesis processes that produce sugars from hydrogen and carbon atoms. But scientists are seeking to obtain artificially the same typology of process by using inorganic catalysts, which are faster and more resistant than natural ones (which are very slow: just think of how much time a tree needs to grow). Effective yet costly and limited materials already exist in nature.
http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem...CultureCode=en
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  #178  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2013, 4:26 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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India Set to Auction More Solar Capacity Than Planned This Year
14 March 2013

March 14 (Bloomberg) — India, which plans to raise solar capacity eightfold by 2017, will probably auction more megawatts than planned this fiscal year in a bid to cut chronic power shortages in the world’s second most-populous nation.

The government will tender 750 megawatts of capacity in the first week of May, kicking off the second phase of its National Solar Mission, said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the New and Renewable Energy Ministry. India expects to auction more than the 1,650 megawatts targeted for the year through March 2014.

The South Asian nation, where power cuts shave an estimated 1.2 percentage points off annual economic growth, has published draft legislation that would enable the solar industry to get direct grants covering as much as 40 percent of upfront construction costs, a model previously used to build roads, ports, railways and fossil-fuel power plants in India.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/indi...ned-this-year/

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US approves nearly 1 GW of PV projects for California
14. March 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Beetz

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar has given the go ahead for two photovoltaic projects worth 900 MW in California.

Salazar approved the two photovoltaic projects yesterday, in San Francisco. They include the 750 MW McCoy Solar Energy Project, set to be located around 13 miles northwest of Blythe.

If completed, the project, which has been proposed by NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary, McCoy Solar, LLC, will cover approximately 7,700 acres of BLM-managed lands and 477 acres of private land. A total of 503 construction and 34 permanent jobs are expected to be created, and enough energy should be generated to power around 225,000 homes. No construction timelines were released.

The second project approved was the 150 MW Desert Harvest Solar Farm, to be located six miles north of Desert Center. When complete, it is expected to encompass around 1,208 acres of BLM-managed lands. Overall, 250 construction and eight permanent jobs are expected to be created, and enough energy generated to power around 45,000 homes. Again, no construction timelines have been released.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...nia_100010564/

Quote:
US hits 7.7 GW of cumulative PV capacity
14. March 2013 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By: Cheryl Kaften

On the back of another record year for the U.S. PV market, which saw 3.31 GW installed, 2013 forecasts are for 4.3 GW of new capacity. However, while utility-scale projects dominated the PV landscape in 2012, the sector is not expected to lead this year. Three future trends have further been identified.

The "powers that be" in the U.S. energy industry have accepted, adopted – and now are advocating for – solar power, according to a new report conducted on behalf of the Washington, DC-based Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) by Boston-based GTM Research.

Overall, U.S. utility-scale PV sector (1 MW and larger) grew more than any other in 2012, more than doubling its 2011 results to reach 1.782 GW or 132% growth in installed capacity.



Instead, the report, "U.S. Solar Market Insight Report: 2012 Year in Review," finds that America saw a historic spike in installations. Specifically, U.S. PV deployments grew by 76% over 2011, to a record-breaking total 90,000 installations or 3.31 GW in 2012, with an estimated market value of US$11.5 billion (€8.8 billion). As such, cumulative PV capacity is now sitting at 7.7 GW.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...ity_100010555/

Quote:
Hannover Messe 2013
Open software platform to bring down energy costs
Research News Mar 01, 2013

Energy is getting more and more expensive, and experts are predicting record electricity and heating prices. A software platform promises to lighten the load for households and businesses by making it easier for consumers to put renewables to good effect.

For years now, electricity and heating bills have constantly been on the rise, and 2013 is no different – prices are shooting up. Germans are keen to do something about it. A survey conducted by inspection company Dekra revealed that one in two people is turning down the central heating, while the great majority are cutting back on cooking and laundry and actively looking to reduce consumption. This is where a new software platform comes in: it makes it easier to find a smart approach to energy issues, not only for homeowners and tenants but also for business and industry, and helps to bring down costs. Connecting energy users and producers with the control centers of grid companies and energy suppliers, this free Java-based framework for energy management is called OGEMA (Open Gateway Energy Management Alliance). The name is shared by the OGEMA 2.0 project, in which – with funding to the tune of five million euros from Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) – the Fraunhofer Institutes for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES in Kassel, for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, and for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen are taking the solution to the next level.
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/re...rgy-costs.html
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  #179  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2013, 4:32 PM
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Japan Adds 1,178 Megawatts of Mostly Solar Energy in Nine Months
15 March 2013

March 15 (Bloomberg) — Japan added 1,178 megawatts of mostly solar clean-energy capacity in the nine months to the end of December as the country curbs its reliance on nuclear power.

Japan added 1,119 megawatts of solar to the 4,800 megawatts already installed, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on March 13. Wind rose 34 megawatts and biomass 22 megawatts, according to the government figures.

The country began an incentive program for clean energy in July to boost use of renewables after the 2011 Fukushima atomic disaster. The ministry approved applications for above-market rates for clean energy worth 5,236 megawatts until the end of December, including 3,857 megawatts of non-residential solar.
http://about.bnef.com/bnef-news/japa...n-nine-months/

Quote:
Solar To Be #2 Source Of New Power In 2013
March 14, 2013 in CPV, CSP, Market Research, Rooftop Solar, Solar $, Solar Projects, Solar PV Manufacturing, Solar Research

In an on-air Google Hangout today, Recurrent Energy CEO and Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) Chairman Arno Harris noted that more solar power capacity is projected to be installed in 2013 than from any electricity source other than natural gas. And, by 2016, solar energy may actually be the #1 source of new power for at least one year.

That’s pretty astounding. Just a handful of years ago, solar power was tremendously more expensive than other electricity sources (and nearly absent across the U.S.). But, as noted in a SEIA press release about 2012′s solar numbers, and later in the Google Hangout referenced above, the average price of solar systems has dropped 70% in the U.S. since 2000, and the past few years have seen especially steep drops.
http://solarlove.org/solar-2-source-...power-in-2013/

Quote:
Financial breakthroughs propel solar from alternative energy to mainstream industry
15. March 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By: Ilias Tsagas

New financial models are expected to help propel solar from being an "alternative energy" to a mainstream industry, states U.S.-based Clean Edge. It adds that PV revenues are forecast to grow to $123.6 billion by 2022. Meanwhile, solar energy will continue to expand as a major economic force, with an increasing focus on the technology's deployment.

Overall, the clean technology research and consulting firm has identified five clean energy trends in its latest "Clean Energy Trends 2013" report, and provided an overview of the renewable energy systems (RES) market.

In its solar energy market predictions, Clean Edge highlights that it is not just the big investors that are shifting focus toward deployment. Distributed solar financing will also come of age this year, and will be one of the main trends to watch.

In fact, the report authors argue that the near to mid-term will be all about getting assets in the ground. That is where the action will be and it will take many forms, from large corporate investments to crowdfunding, and will span the world, from the U.S. to Japan.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/deta...try_100010571/

Quote:
Government of Uruguay inaugurates country’s first solar power plant
By Julia Chan - 15 March 2013, 11:06
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

The government of Uruguay will celebrate the country’s first solar power plant at an inauguration ceremony due to be held later today.

Owned by Uruguay’s energy regulator Dirección Nacional de Energia (DNE), the 481kWp installation has been constructed alongside the Salto Grande hydroelectric dam near the border with Argentina.

The site was chosen for the project because the area receives high levels of sunshine which are comparable to irradiance levels in Andalucia, Spain, the government said. In addition, the project has been built within a park that is guarded, thus preventing vandalism.

The US$4 million PV system is equipped with 2,240 modules and two 250kw inverters. DNE will be responsible for providing operation and maintenance services for a period of 10 years.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/governme...ar_power_plant

Quote:
Indian solar market estimated at US$2.05 billion for 2013
By Nilima Choudhury - 14 March 2013, 14:43
In News, Finance

Business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan estimates the Indian solar market will be worth US$2.05 billion in 2013, up from US$1.05 billion last year.

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) by the government of India is driving growth in the solar industry, specifically, the manufacturing of cells and modules, states Frost & Sullivan’s latest report Indian Market for Chemicals and Materials Used in Photovoltaics.

The JNNSM is driving new opportunities to invest in the market for chemicals and materials used in the local manufacture of solar products. The demand for chemicals and materials used in solar cells and modules is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 22.2% till 2015, with the growth for module components estimated at over 25% CAGR for the same time period.

"With high peak power deficit, erratic crude oil prices, coal shortages and uncertainty of nuclear power, renewable energy sources such as solar power will be the future of sustainable power generation," noted the report. "New opportunities to explore in the market for chemicals and materials used in solar cells and modules are presented with the JNNSM mandating indigenisation of solar cells and modules."
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/indian_s...llion_for_2013
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  #180  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2013, 5:22 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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India Aims For 30 GW Of New Renewable Energy By 2017
March 16, 2013 in Solar Policy, Solar Projects

India has been on the eye of solar enthusiasts and insiders for a long time. It has excellent solar resources, a large population in need of reliable electricity, and the country’s leaders have been talking about solar for awhile. Actually, India and some of its individual states have incorporated some strong solar policies. Unfortunately, the political system and economy there are not at the level of many other countries, including neighbor China, limiting what has been achieved. Nonetheless, the future looks bright.

Most recently, the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has formulated an energy roadmap aimed at adding 30 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2017, with solar as a significant portion of that. MNRE intends to get India’s solar capacity up from 2 GW to about 10 GW by 2017.

To put all this into a bit of perspective, about 30 GW of solar power were installed worldwide in 2011, and then again in 2012.
http://solarlove.org/india-aims-for-...nergy-by-2017/

Quote:
34.5 GW Of Solar In 2013, Mercom Capital Projects
March 16, 2013 in Market Research, Solar Policy, Solar Projects, Solar Research

I’ve seen two or three projections for new solar power capacity in 2013. They seem to be hovering between 30 GW and 35 GW. Mercom Capital Group is reportedly projecting 34.5 GW.

Mercom is attributing the solar power growth to low solar module prices as well as strong policies and potential in China, India, and Japan. As I just reported, India is aiming to add 8 GW of solar power by 2017. China is allocating $2 billion for solar power projects included in its Golden Sun Program, and is also giving out direct subsidies of 40 cents per watt. Meanwhile, Japan has a strong feed-in tariff for solar that has gotten its biggest banks into the solar game and bullish on the emerging market (not to mention citizens and investors from outside Japan).
http://solarlove.org/34-5-gw-of-sola...ital-projects/

Quote:
Solarcentury set to develop 70MW of solar across the UK
By Nilima Choudhury - 14 March 2013, 15:26
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

Engineering, procurement and construction contractor Solarcentury has announced 70MWp of solar PV projects across the UK, reports PV-Tech's sister site Solar Power Portal.

The majority of the installations are ground mounted PV parks, all of which are due to be completed by the end of March 2013. The latest site to obtain planning consent was the 11.6MWp Stratton Hall Solar Park near Felixstowe in Suffolk.

“After the 70MWp is completed, we aim to keep up the pace with an additional 100MWp this year,” said Frans van den Heuvel, CEO, Solarcentury. “We are always interested in offers of developed sites and to hear from potential investors.”
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solarcen...p_to_portfolio

Quote:
REC Solar installs 3.5MW of PV for Arizona schools
By Julia Chan - 15 March 2013, 12:57
In News, Power Generation, Project Focus

REC Solar, a solar power developer and a subsidiary of Mainstream Energy Corporation, has developed and installed 3.5MW of PV capacity for 12 public schools in Arizona, US.

The company installed PV systems at the following schools: Greenway Elementary School (117kW); Lowell Primary School (158kW); Bisbee High School (412kW); Tombstone High School (301kW); Meyer Elementary School (133kW); Copper Rim Elementary School (275kW); High Desert Middle School (350kW); Evergreen Elementary School (309kW); Mesquite Elementary School (349kW); Glassford Hills Middle School (349kW); Coyote Springs Elementary School (349kW); and Granville Elementary School (349kW).

The PV arrays are owned and operated by Arizona Public Service (APS) as part of the utility’s Solar for Schools Program. They have an operational lifetime of more than 20 years and are expected to generate enough electricity to offset the schools’ electricity bills by up to 20%.
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/rec_sola...rizona_schools

Quote:
Solar R&D Heavyweights Join In Effort To Drive Down Thin-Film CIGS Costs
March 15, 2013

The US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are partnering to drive down the cost of manufacturing thin-film copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. PVMC is aiming to reduce the total installed cost of solar energy systems by 75%, a goal set in its U.S. Thin-Films PV Roadmap.

The public–private partnership is the latest in a nationwide effort involving some of the highest-powered solar energy industry players and research and development (R&D) organizations, an effort led by the State University of New York-Albany’s (SUNY) College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and Sematech, a consortium of leading semiconductor industry participants that represent 50% of the worldwide chip market. The partnership is a part of the Obama Administration’s SunShot Initiative.
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/15/...lm-cigs-costs/
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