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Author Topic: Photvoltaics (PV)  (Read 5352 times)

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AGelbert

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Photvoltaics (PV)
« on: October 11, 2013, 07:03:47 pm »


Solar Growth Outpaces Wind for First Time 

 Tildy Bayar, Associate Editor, Renewable Energy World 

LONDON -- A strong showing from global solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, coupled with a sharp fall in new wind capacity, has led to solar growth outpacing wind this year – for the first time ever.

Analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 36.7 GW in new solar PV capacity will be added worldwide in 2013, compared with 35.5 GW in new wind installations (33.8 GW onshore and 1.7 GW offshore).

Both wind and solar PV broke records last year, with onshore and offshore wind adding 46.6 GW and solar PV adding 30.5 GW. But 2013’s slowdown in the two largest wind markets, China and the U.S., is opening the way for the rapidly growing PV market to overtake wind, BNEF said.

Justin Wu, BNEF’s head of wind analysis, said, "We forecast that wind installations will shrink by nearly 25 percent in 2013, to their lowest level since 2008, reflecting slowdowns in the U.S. and China caused by policy uncertainty.”

In the U.S., the repeated last-minute extension of the Production Tax Credit has created what analysts have called a perpetual boom-and-bust cycle. This year’s uncertainty led to a drop in investment, causing significant layoffs and facility closures across the wind supply chain.

In China, where the industry has suffered from curtailment due to insufficient infrastructure and tightened standards for wind turbines have slowed development, the sector has been expecting further policy announcements after the government raised this year's new-capacity target to 18 GW in January.

In particular, developers say China’s feed-in tariff (FiT) for offshore wind is too low given the higher costs of offshore development, leading to predictions that the nation will fail to meet its offshore goal of 5 GW by 2015. The government has said it will re-think the FiT, but has offered no timetable.

Globally, demand for wind turbines is predicted to shrink by 5 percent this year, for the first time since 2004.

But wind is still far from dire straits, BNEF reassured. “Falling technology costs, new markets and the growth of the offshore industry will ensure wind remains a leading renewable energy technology,” Wu said. 

In the solar sector, "the dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in volumes," said Jenny Chase, BNEF’s head of solar analysis.

In Japan, the fourth country to reach the 10 GW mark in cumulative solar capacity, the attractive FiT has led to rapid growth over the past year, with demand surging in the commercial and utility segments. China, which will be the largest solar market this year according to BNEF, has raised its renewable energy surcharge and revamped its subsidy regime, expanding performance-based incentives for distributed solar power in a bid to grow the domestic market after solar trade spats with Europe and the U.S.  The nation aims to more than quadruple its solar power generating capacity to 35 GW by 2015.

Growth in Asia will offset PV’s decline in traditional leading regions. "Europe is a declining market,” Chase said, “because many countries there are rapidly moving away from incentives, but it will continue to see new PV capacity added."

While the immediate future looks brighter for solar than wind, BNEF predicted that, despite 2013’s rankings upset, the maturing onshore wind and solar PV sectors will contribute almost equally to the world’s new electricity capacity additions between now and 2030. On- and offshore wind will grow from 5 percent of total installed power generation capacity in 2012 to 17 percent in 2030, while solar PV will increase from a lower base of 2 percent in 2012 to 16 percent by 2030, BNEF said.

 The analysis also predicted that technology suppliers in both wind and solar may see a move back to profit as soon as this year, after a prolonged period of oversupply and consolidation.

Michael Liebreich, BNEF’s chief executive, commented: “Cost cuts and a refocusing on profitable markets and business segments have bolstered the financial performance of wind turbine makers and the surviving solar manufacturers. Stock market investors have been noticing this change, and clean energy shares have rebounded by 66 percent since their lows of July 2012."

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/09/solar-growth-outpaces-wind-for-first-time

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AGelbert

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 09:25:29 pm »
Solar VC Funding: "The Fear Is Gone" For Investors


Funding for solar energy projects and M&A soars, as investors and developers continue to confidently ride the demand wave.

 James Montgomery, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com 
 October 09, 2013

New Hampshire, USA -- Project funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the solar energy sector reached record levels from July-September of this year, reflecting an improved outlook for solar demand, according to a new report from Mercom Capital Group.

Global funding for solar energy spiked to $2.18 billion, more than twice the funding seen in 2Q13 ($915 million), Mercom says. Top VC recipients in the quarter included Solexel ($40 million, high-efficiency silicon solar cells), eSolar ($22 million, concentrated solar power developer), Clean Power Finance ($20 million, third-party solar PV financing), HelioVolt ($19 million, thin-film), and Dyesol ($16 million, dye-sensitized/organic solar cells). On the M&A side, the Applied Materials-Tokyo Electron deal was a major shakeup in the semiconductor sector but less so for silicon solar manufacturing.

The new normal is now. It's time to stop comparing today's levels of solar energy investment to the heady days of two or three years ago, when $400-$500 million quarters were routine and money flowed freely to solar technology developers jostled for positioning. "We're not seeing anything over $200 million in the last 3-6 quarters," noted Mercom CEO Raj Prabhu. "This is where we are: the new normal."

Strategic investors are stepping up. SK Group put more money into Heliovolt. Saudi conglomerate Tasnee invested in Dyesol. Over the past year Hanergy and Hanwha have been extending their reach into solar. Big strategic partners with a ton of money continue to hedge some bets on technology, possibly where they can leverage manufacturing experience.

Solar leasing's hot. Third-party solar finance companies raised approximately $584 million in the past quarter, with SolarCity, Sungevity, SunRun, etc. raising funds with help from banks. So far with three months to go, third-party solar leasing firms have raised roughly $2.5 billion this year, compared to just $2 billion in both 2012 and 2011. "This shows that it's still pretty healthy out there," Prabhu said. "Everything we're seeing is going up." Of course the ability to pull down lots of funding is especially important to third-party firms; it's not just enough to raise a few million of VC or private equity funding, but they need to raise tens and hundreds of millions of dollars and put that right into rooftop installations, Prabhu pointed out. "If they're not doing that they have a problem."

Also noteworthy during 3Q12 was SolarCity's acquisition of sales channel partner Paramount Solar, underscoring the importance of customer acquisition in the solar leasing model. "At the end of the day, anyone can go install" solar, Prabhu pointed out, but "the ability to go out and land the residential customers makes you unique."

Projects are popular


Full article here:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/10/solar-vc-funding-the-fear-is-gone-for-investors?cmpid=WNL-Friday-October11-2013

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With more funding in hand and a DOE loan in its pocket, 1366 Technologies is launching a search for a 250-MW factory here in the US.

James Montgomery, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com 
 October 16, 2013 

New Hampshire, USA -- Solar silicon wafer innovator 1366 Technologies has landed new funding led by newest partner Tokayama, and is ready to scale up to a 250-MW production line ahead of an anticipated upswing in demand.

Ten months ago 1366 moved into a new 25-MW pilot facility in Bedford, Massachusetts, to nail down process and tweak equipment for its solar silicon wafering technology to take the next step toward commercialization.

Five months ago 1366 inked a R&D deal with Japanese silicon producer Tokuyama with hints that it could expand to an equity investment.

Since then, the company has ramped its output from about 50 wafers per furnace per day to more than 1200 now thanks to what CEO Frank van Mierlo referred to as some "important engineering decisions" and unspecified process modifications, though he acknowledged partner Tokayama has "good insights with respect to silicon" such as unparalleled measurement of silicon impurities.

Over the next year they aim to get that up to 3,500 wafers/machine/day, roughly equivalent to 5 MW worth of wafers, but the core process rate allows for more than 4,000 wafers/machine/day with some further improvements to some automation and materials handling, he said.

Typical silicon solar wafers are made by melting silicon chunks in a large quartz crucible, then cooling and forming the mass into a rectangular block and sawing out individual wafers. 1366's Direct Wafer process uses a much shallower container, forming thin layers on the surface which are skimmed off as wafers -- CEO Frank van Mierlo likened it to the icy surface formed on a wintry pond. Lasers instead of saws are then used to more precisely trim the wafers down to a standard 156 × 156 size.



The end result is several process steps condensed into one, less consumables, less materials waste (kerf loss from sawing), and labor to make a silicon solar wafer at a third of the costs of traditional solar wafer manufacturing.

Once the process is scaled up onto full production lines, fully-loaded wafer costs will be just $0.10/Watt, vs. legacy wafers at $0.29/W, according to Mierlo.

The process also uses a lot less energy: Mierlo cited an energy payback of a typical silicon solar panel is 20 months, but just 11 months made with the company's silicon.

The company claims its silicon wafers are translating into cell efficiencies of 17.2 percent in customer trials, based on what Mierlo called "vanilla cell architecture" (screen-printed silver on the front, aluminum paste on the back); earlier this year the company showed a 17.5 percent efficient cell made with more a complicated highly passivated backside. (That 17.2 percent also is around the range of other recent industry marks for standard-sized multicrystalline solar cells.) The company has had successful customer trials with four customers so far, he added.

The next steps are to achieve a "copy exact" transition to a second furnace and then move forward with the bigger plan: start building out a 250-MW production factory (~60 million wafers/year) sometime in 2014. For that the company will pool this latest round of funding, plus about $50 million of the $150 million DOE loan guarantee in its back pocket matched dollar-for-dollar with private investment (the company has accumulated roughly $62 million in equity and VC backing), and some of its own cash ("we are cash-flow-positive this year," Mierlo said). The company is exploring sites across the U.S. including vacated buildings that might be a more cost-effective route, but it's still searching for one that meets all its criteria of low costs and electricity prices and strong local government support and worker quality. Most silicon solar cells are made in Asia now, but Mierlo reiterated he wants to see this silicon wafer factory here in the U.S. both to protect the company's IP and because "I personally believe that the U.S. can compete in manufacturing."

With the gap starting to narrow between solar manufacturing capacity and end demand -- general industry consensus is that global solar demand will surge to 40-45 GW next year, and maybe 50-60 GW a year or two beyond that  ;D -- silicon prices are showing signs of recovery again, and that makes 1366's low-cost position even stronger, according to Mierlo. "Even at today's low silicon prices we have a competitive offering." And inserting a drop-in higher-quality silicon wafer will help lay the foundation for higher-efficiency cells, he noted. And higher conversion efficiency is one of the first and best ways to lower total system costs.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/10/1366-secures-more-funding-launches-search-for-250-mw-factory?cmpid=rss

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AGelbert

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The ENERGY in One Minute of Sunlight
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 12:24:43 am »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmWrGPKcMNM&feature=player_embedded
One Minute of Sunlight has as much energy as th entire world civilization uses in One Year!  :o
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Multicrystalline Silicon Modules To Dominate Solar PV Industry In 2014

A new report from NPD Solarbuzz states that the production of multicrystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar photovoltaic (PV) modules is set to dominate the PV manufacturing industry for 2014, “with p-type multi c-Si technology accounting for 62% of all modules produced.”
This, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report, and underlines solar industry expectations for a strong 2014.
According to the report, solar PV manufacturers are gearing up to increase module production by 25% in 2014, up to 49.7 GW of modules compared to 39.7 GW produced in 2013. The production increase matches NPD Solarbuzz’s own end-market solar PV demand predictions of 45-55 GW by next year.

“PV manufacturers continue to prioritize cost-reduction across the entire c-Si value-chain, with improvements in efficiency coming mainly from higher-quality multi c-Si wafers,” said Finlay Colville, vice president at NPD Solarbuzz. ”While there will inevitably be short-term supply issues throughout the year, polysilicon and wafer supply is considered adequate for 45-50 GW of c-Si module shipments in 2014.

Chinese cell and module suppliers will continue to operate a flexible manufacturing strategy, with new capacity expected to come online during 2H’14.”


Source: NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly

In a blog post to their website on Friday, NPD’s Michael Barker noted that “companies across the industry chain are preparing new strategies to seize on the opportunities stemming from renewed optimism about the prospects for the PV industry in 2014 and beyond.” Reporting on the Solar Power International conference in Chicago, Barker noted the tough past 18 months and pointed to “record shipments in 2013 and increased demand and production in 2014″ as confirmation that there is an upward trend currently suffusing the solar industry.

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/29/multicrystalline-silicon-modules-dominate-solar-pv-industry-2014/#OlEwalbHosI3H5if.99
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Solar Industry Rebounds!
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 02:29:42 pm »
The Worst Is Over? Solar Industry Rebounds         
 


 Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg 
 October 31, 2013 

NEW YORK CITY -- Solar industry manufacturers are rebounding from a two-year slump faster than technology companies recovered from the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.


The benchmark BI Global Large Solar Energy Index of 15 manufacturers, which slumped 87 percent from a February 2011 peak through November 2012, has regained 55 percent of its value in the past year. The technology-dominated Nasdaq Composite index reached its post-bubble low in October 2002 and regained 37 percent of its March 2000 peak value in the next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Suppliers including California’s SunPower Corp., which has gained more than fivefold this year, and China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. are driving the rally as panel prices stabilize. Installations at power plants and on roofs will swell 40 percent this year from a 6.1 percent pace last year.

“The worst is probably behind us,” Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview. “We’ve just gone through a big trough in solar supply.”

Investors poured $205 billion into clean-energy projects in the past year, soaking up some of the global oversupply of panels. The recovery will continue in 2014 with prices remaining stable, Chase said. Manufacturers are “a lot less depressed.”

Optimistic Analysts

Analysts have become more optimistic about solar shares in recent months. The average rating for SunPower, the biggest U.S. supplier of polysilicon-based solar panels, is 3.5, up from 2.4 in December and the highest in more than two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A 5 rating indicates investors should purchase the shares, and 1 means they should sell.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., the only Chinese solar manufacturer to report a profit in the second quarter, has an average rating of 3.7, up from 2.3 in May, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Its shares have more than tripled this year.

Investors have rushed back into shares of the biggest panel makers even before they’ve returned to profit. Yingli, which has more than doubled, is forecast to report narrowed losses compared with 2012. Canadian Solar Inc., which has risen almost sevenfold, is forecast to return to profit of $27 million from a $195 million loss in 2012.

‘Improved Significantly’


“It’s pretty clear over the last nine months that things have improved significantly,” Robert Petrina, Yingli’s managing director for the Americas, said in an interview.

Yingli, based in Baoding, China, was the biggest panel maker last year based on 2.3 gigawatts of shipments, and the company expects that figure to increase as much as 43 percent this year. The global photovoltaic industry may install as much as 42.7 gigawatts of panels this year, 40 percent more than in 2012, according to New Energy Finance.

The strongest companies are now selling panels above cost, according to Chase. A year ago, more than half the Chinese panel-makers in the Large Solar Energy index reported negative gross margins. That’s a strong sign that the industry is starting to turn the corner from the last two years, when factories were overbuilt.

The top 10 manufacturers boosted their total panel- production capacity 19 percent to 20.6 gigawatts in 2012 from two years earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those factories came online as demand waned. Panel installations more than doubled from 2009 to 2010. The pace slowed to 58 percent in 2011, and then slumped to 6.1 percent last year.

Some of the “illogical elements of the market” have disappeared, Chase said.

Demand is climbing in Japan, where the country is promoting wider use of renewable energy instead of nuclear power, 
 and China, where the government expects its installed capacity to double  :o this year. The two countries will be the top solar markets this year, according to New Energy Finance.

Solar Bankruptcies

The solar slump had casualties, driving more than two dozen manufacturers into bankruptcy, and some companies are still struggling, said Chase.

“I don’t think we’re out of the woods. There may still be some bankruptcies,” she said.

Those failures may benefit the industry as weaker companies are forced out and larger ones absorb their customers and assets, said Mark Mendenhall, president for the Americas at Trina Solar Ltd. The Changzhou, China-based company expects to ship as much as 2.4 gigawatts of panels this year, up 50 percent from 2012, and its shares have more than tripled this year.

Other Threats

“You’re going to see a greater separation between the well-run companies from those that are trying to operate purely on a low-price basis,” he said. “This is an industry that’s gotten out of its childhood, emerged from adolescence and is poised to enter adulthood. That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Other potential threats to the solar rebound are increased costs for raw materials, including aluminum and polysilicon, he said.

Most of the companies in the Large Solar Index are still unprofitable. Only Jinko, SunPower and First Solar Inc. reported net income in the second quarter.

The oversupply drove down panel prices 52 percent in 2011 and 20 percent last year. That was bad for suppliers and better for customers, helping boost sales, according to Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower. So far this year, prices have rebounded 9 percent.

The company, based in San Jose, California, expects to recognize sales of as much as 1.03 gigawatts of panels this year. The company said yesterday it will boost capacity by 25 percent.

Cost of solar is more competitive with conventional energy,”   Werner said in an interview. “Things are substantially different from a year ago. For us, sunnier skies started earlier this year.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/10/the-worst-is-over-solar-industry-rebounds

Added to the above, now that the 5th largest economic block in the world by GDP has decided make polluters PAY the REAL price of carbon, ALL Renewable energy competitive financial power has been given ROCKET FUEL!
 
                                           
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 03:51:45 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 06:07:03 pm »
Largest Solar Power Station In Japan Opened By Kyocera 


The president of Kyocera Corporation, Goro Yamaguchi, has announced the launch of a 700 MW solar power plant in the Kagoshima Prefecture of Southern Japan. According to the Kyocera press release, it is the largest in Japan.

It is called the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, and it can generate enough electricity to power approximately 22,000 average households. The plant went online on November 1, 2013.

The electricity from this plant will be sold to a local utility company under the terms of Japan’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program.


70 MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant.
Image Credit: Kyocera Press Release (E-mail).


The plant is to be operated by Kyocera Solar Corporation and Kyudenko Corporation. It was constructed by Kyocera Solar Corporation, Kyudenko Corporation, and Takenaka Corporation.
This helps Japan’s nuclear phaseout effort in light of the Fukushima incident. Believe it or not, Japan is still struggling to contain the Fukushima nuclear reactors after all these years, as scientists don’t really have a suitable backup plan in the event of nuclear reactor malfunctions such as these. As the Kyocera press release put it:

Expectations and interest in solar energy have heightened to a new level in Japan with the need to resolve power supply issues resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. To further promote the use of renewable energy, the Japanese government launched a restructured FIT program in July 2012, which stipulates that local utilities are required to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts (kW) for a period of 20 years.

Source: Kyocera Press Release (E-Mail).

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/07/kyocera-opens-70-mw-solar-power-station-japan/#oFVY5rPqQo8wWDC3.99


First Solar Reports Largest Quarterly Decline In CdTe Module Cost Per-Watt Since 2007
Originally published on Solar Love.
Thin-film solar market leader First Solar recently reported its largest quarterly decline in CdTe module costs per-watt since 2007, as part of its third quarter 2013 financial results report.
The notable decline represents a significant milestone in the company’s goal of becoming the lowest-cost PV manufacturer in the industry. First Solar attributes the achievement to the implementation of its manufacturing cost reduction program — a program which was detailed earlier in the year at the company’s “Analyst Day” event.
“We have reduced our module manufacturing cost per watt to US $0.59 from US $0.67 last quarter, an US $0.08 per watt or 12% reduction quarter-on-quarter,” stated Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, in the conference call. “This is the best quarter-over-quarter cost improvement in six years on a per watt basis and highest percentage reduction since our IPO (in 2007).”
PV Tech provides more:
Hughes went on to highlight even lower manufacturing costs, noting that First Solar’s conversion efficiency roadmap targets and manufacturing improvement program as well as cost saving initiatives, revealed a US $0.57/W, excluding plant underutilization. Importantly, the company demonstrated that it had met its conversion efficiency roadmap targets this year.
First Solar also said that in October, 2013 it’s lead production line averaged module efficiencies of 13.9% and expected all lines to reach 13.9%, over the next few quarters. Taking the 14.1% module efficiency achieved on its best line at its Perrysburg facility, First Solar said that this pointed to a cost per watt of US $0.49.

“If we take the additional impact of excluding freight warranty and recycling cost, we would be in the low 40s, so I think that’s kind of the competitive benchmark that we should all keep in front of us,” Hughes continued. “We have the capability today, (14.1%) which we equate to an apples to apples comparison (with conventional c-Si cell/modules in real-world temperature conditions) across our profile (of) the low US $0.42/W to US $0.43/W.”
By comparison, Solar Frontier recently reported that its latest record-holding CIS thin-film module had achieved a conversion efficiency of 14.6% — with volume production modules currently somewhere above about 13%. Mainstream multi-crystalline modules currently possess an average conversion efficiency of about 15%.


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/07/first-solar-reports-largest-quarterly-decline-cdte-module-cost-per-watt-since-2007/#Zh4oscK166wGTbBu.99
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 06:16:24 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 06:24:23 pm »








  First Solar Reports Largest Quarterly Decline In CdTe Module Cost Per-Watt Since 2007

Originally published on Solar Love.

Thin-film solar market leader First Solar recently reported its largest quarterly decline in CdTe module costs per-watt since 2007, as part of its third quarter 2013 financial results report.

The notable decline represents a significant milestone in the company’s goal of becoming the lowest-cost PV manufacturer in the industry. First Solar attributes the achievement to the implementation of its manufacturing cost reduction program — a program which was detailed earlier in the year at the company’s “Analyst Day” event.

“We have reduced our module manufacturing cost per watt to US $0.59 from US $0.67 last quarter, an US $0.08 per watt or 12% reduction quarter-on-quarter,” stated Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, in the conference call. “This is the best quarter-over-quarter cost improvement in six years on a per watt basis and highest percentage reduction since our IPO (in 2007).”
PV Tech provides more:

Hughes went on to highlight even lower manufacturing costs, noting that First Solar’s conversion efficiency roadmap targets and manufacturing improvement program as well as cost saving initiatives, revealed a US $0.57/W, excluding plant underutilization. Importantly, the company demonstrated that it had met its conversion efficiency roadmap targets this year.

First Solar also said that in October, 2013 it’s lead production line averaged module efficiencies of 13.9% and expected all lines to reach 13.9%, over the next few quarters. Taking the 14.1% module efficiency achieved on its best line at its Perrysburg facility, First Solar said that this pointed to a cost per watt of US $0.49.


“If we take the additional impact of excluding freight warranty and recycling cost, we would be in the low 40s, so I think that’s kind of the competitive benchmark that we should all keep in front of us,” Hughes continued. “We have the capability today, (14.1%) which we equate to an apples to apples comparison (with conventional c-Si cell/modules in real-world temperature conditions) across our profile (of) the low US $0.42/W to US $0.43/W.”

By comparison, Solar Frontier recently reported that its latest record-holding CIS thin-film module had achieved a conversion efficiency of 14.6% — with volume production modules currently somewhere above about 13%. Mainstream multi-crystalline modules currently possess an average conversion efficiency of about 15%.


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/07/first-solar-reports-largest-quarterly-decline-cdte-module-cost-per-watt-since-2007/#Zh4oscK166wGTbBu.99
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 06:37:12 pm by AGelbert »
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Your solar panels are probably facing the wrong way
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2013, 12:00:49 am »
Your solar panels are probably facing the wrong way 

By Sarah Laskow

The conventional wisdom about solar panels — the ones that don’t move as the sun does, at least — is that they should face south, catching rays from the east in the morning and the west in the afternoon.

But a new study says that’s wrong: Solar panels should simply face west. Gizmodo writes:

Researchers at the Pecan Street Research Institute did a study of homes with solar panels in Austin, Texas and found that when homeowners faced solar panels west they were able to generate 2% more electricity in a day. And they also generated more electricity in the afternoon, when power grids experience peak demand.

And there’s another benefit to west-facing solar panels, too: They help save more money on electricity. Quartz:

[Q]uantifying the way that favoring late-day sunlight helps homeowners save money and utilities flatten out demand could lead to a simple but effective hack for the world’s solar installers: Simply re-orienting solar panels could shorten the amount of time it takes for them to pay for themselves.

This is less than helpful advice for people who’ve got their panels locked down in some specific configuration on a slanted roof. But it’s good advice for anyone who’s still looking to install one — or can get up on their roof and re-orient the ones they’ve already got.

Source

Most of the world’s solar panels are facing the wrong direction, Quartz

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things. Follow her on Twitter.

http://grist.org/list/your-solar-panels-are-probably-facing-the-wrong-way/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520Nov%252011&utm_campaign=daily
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NYC's Largest Solar Array Tops Closed Landfill
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 07:10:16 pm »
11/26/2013 02:15 PM            

NYC's Largest Solar Array Tops Closed Landfill

SustainableBusiness.com News

Years ago, Mayor Bloomberg announced that New York City's closed landfills would be the future locations of solar parks, and now that's coming to fruition.

The largest solar installation in NYC will be built on its largest closed landfill, Freshkills, which is being converted into a 2200-acre park.

SunEdison won the bid to build and operate a 10 megawatt (MW) solar park on 47 acres on Staten Island. It will sell the electricity to NYC. There's room for another 10 MW of renewable energy there, which probably will come from wind.

"Freshkills was once the site of the largest landfill in the world.   :P" Soon it will be one of the City's largest parks, and the site of the largest solar power installation in the five boroughs," says Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the last 12 years we've restored wetlands and vegetation and opened new parks and soccer fields at the edges of the site. Thanks to the agreement today we will increase the amount of solar energy produced in New York City by 50% and it is only fitting that Freshkills, once a daily dumping ground, will become a showcase urban renewal and sustainability." 




Although this solar park will electrify only 2000 homes, the longer term plan is to use NYC Solar Maps to find 250 acres appropriate for solar, generating electricity for 50,000 homes.

The Freshkills project "will help us understand how renewables can integrate into our energy networks at a much greater scale, and sends a signal to the market place that renewable energy is both achievable within the city, and that it will continue to grow and become a major component of New York City's energy supply," says Sergej Mahnovski, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. "This project will also push existing regulations to their boundaries.

Interconnection with the utility system will have to be clarified, State programs aimed at increasing renewable energy will have to be expanded, and landfill post-closure care will have to be rewritten; and these are only a few of the challenges ahead. But this is a necessary undertaking in order to shift our power sector to a cleaner, more reliable energy future."

NYC has about 700 kilowatts of solar on the roofs of police precincts, park buildings and firehouses. Recently, it signed an agreement to install 2 MW of solar on four city-owned buildings - a wastewater treatment plant, two high schools in the Bronx, and on the Staten Island Ferry Maintenance Building.
Mayor Bloomberg's ambitious PlaNYC sustainability plan targets a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases in NYC by 2030.The updated PlaNYC includes initiatives and targets for: Land, Water, Air, Energy and Transportation, including the very creative Zone Green, which fosters green buildings.


http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25368?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SBGeneralNews+%28SustainableBusiness.com+General+News%29
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Japan Attains 3.9 GW Of PV Installations Since FiT Introduction

Since Japan’s feed-in tariff (FiT) was introduced (July 2012), its solar photovoltaic generation capacity installed has amounted to 3.9 GW. In all, approximately 4.086 GW of renewable power generation capacity was added since July 2012, including solar, wind, small and medium-sized hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal.

Solar accounted for 90% of the renewable energy capacity added in that time period, according to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which sees this is an indication that its adoption of solar power is proceeding smoothly. 3.9 GW of growth over 16 months is at the top of the league. (This is an average of about a quarter of a GW per month).
According to PV-Tech:

The 3.9GW figure for installed solar energy capacity includes the figure for residential installations as one category and utility-scale or commercial use as a separate category. According to METI in the year between July 2012 and the same period of this year, around 1.521GW of residential solar was installed along with just under 2.4GW of commercial and utility scale.

As has been widely reported, the figure for completed utility-scale ‘mega solar’ projects in particular has not been matched by the amount of capacity put in the ground. The ministry’s figures reveal that the 2.4GW of installed commercial scale solar capacity is still dwarfed by the corresponding figure for approved utility scale projects – around 20.3GW. In contrast, for around 1.521GW of installed residential capacity, the approved figure was 1.751GW.


This is good news for the country, which has been deterred from nuclear power by the Fukushima Daiichi incident, which prompted a nuclear phase-out and, after years, is still not quite under control:P

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/26/japan-attains-3-9-gw-pv-capacity-since-fit-introduction/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29
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FERC Hands Down Key Decision; Solar Growth Explodes in October

Rhone Resch

November 25, 2013

Even though they were overshadowed by the Senate’s historic decision to eliminate the use of the filibuster when it comes to most Presidential nominees — the so-called “nuclear option” — there were some major developments this week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that are critically important to solar and renewable energy.

First, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who proclaimed earlier this year that, “solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything,  announced that he’s officially leaving his position at the end of the week. Chairman Wellinghoff has been a true champion to solar, and we wish him well in all of his new endeavors.

But before leaving, Wellinghoff presided over one last Commission meeting on Thursday as a new rule was approved by FERC that will expedite and reduce the cost of solar project interconnections, while maintaining the reliability and safety of the electric grid. In a nutshell, this action — which SEIA has championed for nearly two years — will help to spur new solar deployment nationwide. The rule was approved by a 4-0 vote with Chairman Wellinghoff abstaining because of a possible conflict of interest.

Here’s the back story. In 2005, FERC issued Order No. 2006, which — for the first time — established national interconnection procedures applicable to generation projects that are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in size and subject to FERC’s wholesale jurisdiction.

Order No. 2006 was groundbreaking at the time, and the procedures were voluntarily adopted by many states to also apply to the retail interconnection process. However, demand for solar energy has grown dramatically since the original order was issued more than seven years ago, and certain aspects of the order have resulted in needless barriers to cost-effective and timely interconnections >:(.

The rule approved today will allow solar projects that meet certain technical requirements to qualify for a “fast track” interconnection process, thus eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming studies. Most importantly, today’s decision will help to reduce interconnection bottlenecks.
 


As an association, we applaud FERC for recognizing the challenges facing wholesale distributed generation development, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of America’s solar energy industry. But it’s important to point out that the new rule also maintains electric system safety and reliability, making it a win all the way around.

This is the way government should work. We deeply appreciate FERC’s open-minded approach and willingness to revisit this issue based on unforeseen developments. We look forward to working with FERC and all other interested stakeholders in the future to help further the deployment of clean, reliable and affordable solar energy nationwide. SEIA is also urging state regulators to consider using FERC’s new rule as a model and starting point for updating their own interconnection rules.

And, finally, this brings me to the other really good news coming out of FERC this week. According to the agency’s “Energy Infrastructure Update” report, 99.3 percent of all new electric generation placed in service during the month of October came from renewables — with solar leading the way by a country mile!

Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new capacity last month. This is truly astonishing, not to mention historic, and should serve as a reminder to everyone in Washington and in state capitals that smart public policies — such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) — are paying huge dividends for America. ;D

Today, solar is one of the fastest-growing sources of new energy in the United States. More than 30 utility-scale, clean energy solar projects are still under construction, putting thousands of electricians, steelworkers and laborers to work and helping to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. These facilities, along with rooftop solar on homes, businesses and schools, will generate electricity for generations to come.

There are now more than 9,400 megawatts (MW) of cumulative solar electric capacity installed in the U.S. — enough to power more than 1.5 million American homes — and that number is expected to hit nearly 13,000 MW by the end of this year.

In addition, SEIA recently released a comprehensive new report outlining ways to create 50,250 new American jobs and save more than $61 billion in future energy costs by expanding the use of innovative and cost-effective solar heating and cooling (SHC) systems across the nation.

Today, solar employs nearly 120,000 Americans at more than 6,100 companies, most of which are small businesses spread across the United States, making solar one of the fastest-growing industries in America. Part of this amazing growth is attributed to the fact that the cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years, making solar more affordable — and more popular — than ever. And as solar continues to scale up, costs will continue to come down.

So in a week filled with high drama on Capitol Hill, you could say that solar — in its own way — has become the new “nuclear option”   when it comes to helping America meet its future energy needs.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2013/11/important-week-for-americas-solar-energy-industry#comment-127965
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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 06:14:42 pm »
US Solar Industry Records Explosive Growth in Third Quarter  ;D


Rhone Resch 
December 11, 2013

When it comes to renewable energy, you could call it the “shot heard round the world.”



According to a new report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. installed 930 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2013, up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and 35 percent over Q3 2012. This represents the second largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations.

Even more importantly, 2013 is likely to be the first time in more than a decade that the U.S. installs more solar capacity than world leader Germany.  Since 2005 – just before the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was enacted – cumulative PV installations in the U.S. have grown from 171 MW to a “no-one-expected this” 10,200 MW through Q3 of this year. As the Germans would say:  Wunderbar!

FIGURE: Cumulative PV Installations by Quarter, U.S. vs. Germany



Source: U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2013

When all of the numbers are finally in, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry.  We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity.

This unprecedented growth is helping to create thousands of American jobs, save money for U.S. consumers and reduce pollution nationwide.  When it comes to preparing for America’s future, clean, dependable and affordable solar energy has become the “Little Engine That Could,” defying expectations and powering economic growth – and, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our industry’s enormous potential.

But let’s take some time to soak up what’s happened this year.  Most impressively, the residential market continues its rapid growth. Through Q3, residential PV installations were up 45 percent year-over-year, driven largely by increasingly attractive economics and fair net metering policies.

The utility market continues its steady ascent, as well, and is forecasted to exceed 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity in the fourth quarter, including Abengoa’s Solana, the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. This will be the first time any individual market segment has hit that mark.

The non-residential (commercial) market, on the other hand, remains pretty much flat over last year – although blue chip companies like Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Apple and IKEA continue to invest heavily in solar.

But here’s the real takeaway:  When you add all segments of the industry together, solar is the second-largest source of new electricity capacity in the U.S. this year, trailing only natural gas.


The U.S. Solar Market Insight: 3rd Quarter 2013 predicts that 5.1 GW of PV and CSP will be installed this year.  Cumulative capacity has already surpassed the 10 GW threshold, which means solar is now generating enough electricity to effectively power more than 1.7 million homes across the United States.

Here are some other key findings of the report:

•Strong growth is forecast for the non-commercial market in 2014.

•Blended average PV system prices fell 4.2 percent in Q3 2013 compared to the previous quarter, reaching a new low of $3.00/W.

•The U.S. is expected to install a total of 4.3 GW of new PV in 2013 – up 27 percent over 2012.

•The 392 MW Ivanpah CSP project, one of the largest solar projects in the world, is scheduled to begin delivering electricity to the grid before the end of 2013.


According to yet another new report, FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Update, a whopping 99.3 percent of all new electric generation placed in service during the month of October came from renewables – with solar leading the way by a country mile!

Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new capacity in October.  This is really remarkable, not to mention historic, and should serve as a reminder to everyone in Washington and our state capitals that smart public policies – such as the solar ITC, Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) – are paying huge dividends for America.

And if that news doesn’t make you smile during the holidays, then here’s one other thing to remember – 2014 looks even better for solar!

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2013/12/u-s-solar-industry-records-explosive-growth-in-third-quarter?cmpid=rss

 

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Do Many Companies Have Solar Panels on Their Roofs?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 11:24:13 pm »
Do Many Companies Have Solar Panels on Their Roofs?


An estimated 32,800 companies in the US had solar panels — or modules that convert sunlight into electricity — installed on their roofs, as of 2013. This was a 40% increase from 2012.

Walmart is the company that used the most solar power in terms of wattage, and it also had the most installations in 2013, at more than 200.

Furniture retailer Ikea had solar roof panels on stores in the most US states, at 20. Ikea also was the company with the highest percentage of facilities being solar powered, at 89%. The increase in companies installing solar panels on their roofs is thought to be the result of a desire to cut electricity costs, which is often one of the top operating expenses for a business.

More about solar energy:

One out of every three Americans are estimated to live within 20 miles of at least one company that has solar panels on its roof.

Solar energy has been used by the space industry to provide energy on board spacecrafts since the 1960s.

The cost of installing solar energy systems in the US dropped by about 50% from 2002 to 2012.


http://www.wisegeek.com/do-many-companies-have-solar-panels-on-their-roofs.htm

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Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 03:46:57 pm »
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