Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SunMizer DC power optimizer to be introduced at Solar Power International 2009

PETALUMA, USA: Xandex Solar, the solar products and services division of Xandex Inc. announced today that its new SunMizer DC power optimizer for photovoltaic panels will be introduced at Solar Power International 2009 in Anaheim, CA , October 27-29 in booth # 2252.

SunMizer is a new DC power optimizer that increases solar energy harvest by recovering power that is lost when shade falls on a solar panel. By isolating the shaded solar panel(s) from the rest of the panels in a series connected string, SunMizer prevents the shaded panel from drawing down the power output of the unshaded panels. At the same time, SunMizer harvests power from the shaded panel and contributes that power to the string. The result is recovered power that would normally be lost due to shade.

"Our real world test cases show that we can recover over 50 percent of system level power loss with SunMizer installed on only a portion of the panels in a string or array," said Tim Kubes, Solar Products Sales and Marketing Manager for Xandex Solar.

"With selective installation only on shaded panels, SunMizer costs less to install, and that means faster payback. . . unmatched payback compared to similar products that require full string installation."

Each SunMizer unit will ship with a limited 20 year warranty that includes a provision for replacement labor. Product shipments to the US will begin in Q1 2010.

More details on China Sunergy's REC Wafer injunction granted in Norway

NANJING, CHINA: China Sunergy Co. Ltd, a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has provided additional insight regarding the injunction granted by the Salten District Court in Norway related to the ongoing proceedings with REC Wafer.

On September 11, 2009 the Norwegian court granted a preliminary injunction, based on China Sunergy's petition, prohibiting REC Wafer Norway AS from drawing on the $50 million in bank guarantees.

One of the key reasons for this decision is the fact that the original party to the contract, REC SITECH AS, no longer exists given its merger with REC ScanWafer AS, which later changed its name to REC Wafer Norway AS after the merger. China Sunergy was never informed of this merger despite the contractual obligations of REC to do so prior to any such action.

The court refers in particular to the fact that it has been impossible for China Sunergy to extend the guarantees. The reason for this is that the original party to the contract and supplier has merged with another company, namely REC Wafer. The court has not found evidence that Nordea Bank has consented to the merger and thus has consented to the change to the parties on the rights side.

Despite the fact that REC SiTech AS never informed China Sunergy of its dissolution after the merger, even though the merger plans had come far by the time the contract was entered into, the inability of China Sunergy to extend the guarantees in the name of REC SiTech AS has been stated as a basis for REC Wafer's current claims. The preliminary injunction inhibits REC Wafer's ability to draw on the bank guarantees before the legal situation is clarified.

Salten District Court has also noted that there must be a breach of contract on the part of China Sunergy in order for REC Wafer to be able to draw on the guarantees. There have been no wafer shipments from REC Wafer to China Sunergy, and the court has found that REC Wafer has not pleaded that any fundamental breach of the contract with China Sunergy exists. The court states that the conditions for drawing on the guarantee are therefore not present.

The preliminary injunction is in effect until October 15th, 2009. The court has stated that China Sunergy and REC Wafer should clarify the legal issues that the merger has created by that time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Amtech announces follow-on multi-system solar order

EU PVSEC 2009, TEMPE, USA: Amtech Systems Inc., a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers, announced that its solar subsidiary, Tempress Systems Inc., has received a follow-on multi-system order for its diffusion processing equipment from an existing customer in Asia.

The order for multiple systems is expected to ship within the next six to nine months.

J.S. Whang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented: "We are pleased to see follow-on orders coming from our growing customer base in Asia, further demonstrating the continued acceptance and demand for our premier brand, Tempress solar products.

"The EU PVSEC 2009 exhibition in Hamburg, Germany has been tremendously successful for us based on the activity and interest shown in our solar products. We continue to be optimistic about the long-term growth opportunities in the solar market and our ability to capture that growth by offering multiple solar production tools as a technology turnkey product supplier to the diffusion, PSG, and PECVD markets."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spire establishes Spire Taiwan LLC branch office

BEDFORD, USA: 2009 Spire Corp., a global solar company providing capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) modules and turnkey manufacturing lines has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Spire Taiwan LLC, that will have an office in Hsinchu County, Taiwan.

“Spire Taiwan will provide rapid customer communications and will enhance its growing position within the region,” said Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire. “It is a headquarters for equipment service operations and will support customers throughout China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines, as well as others in the region. The branch is also staffed with multilingual sales and service engineers, allowing our customers to receive immediate care. Spire will also be establishing a regional spare parts inventory warehouse in Taiwan.”

“And of course, Taiwan itself is a major player in solar manufacturing, having recently established the Taiwan PV Standards Committee and has initiated government incentives to stimulate the industry,” he concluded.

Tata Group invests in Swiss start-up producing PV solar modules

INDIA: The Tata Group has invested in Flisom (Flexible and lightweight solar modules), a Switzerland-based company, to mark its interest in the solar photovoltaic industry and focus on developing the next generation of clean energy as a future growth area.

Further, a private Swiss investor with business interest in start-up companies who provided initial support and investment to scale-up the technology has increased the investment.

Flisom specializes in flexible and lightweight thin-film photovoltaic solar modules and is in the process of setting up a 5 MW pilot plant in Duebendorf, Switzerland for commercializing its breakthrough technology. The estimated cost is approximately 25 million Euros and in a phased approach, the company intends to scale up to over 100 Megawatt of annual capacity. These solar cells will provide electricity at ultra-low costs and will enter the mass market globally.

The plant will use superior technology and develop high quality flexible solar cells which in turn will produce electricity at ultra-low cost. These high performance and low-cost solar cells will create a significant impact on clean and sustainable solar electricity generation.

With over 10 employees at present, Flisom plans to further increase its personnel with experienced manufacturing and technical specialists. Flisom will also raise additional funding in the near future in order to accelerate the production ramp-up and commercialization of its lightweight flexible solar cells.

Kishor Chaukar, Managing Director, Tata Industries said: “Flisom is an innovative start-up company, which is on its way to enter the international market. It is led by a team of highly motivated and talented individuals. Depending on the performance of the company and the growth of the sector we would be looking at furthering our association with them. We see value in this technology and the resultant product not only as manufacturers or sellers but also as users of it. It is a positive step to actively stimulate the market for renewable energy, especially solar."

Added Anil Sethi, Chief Executive Officer, Flisom: “The Tata group has a significant presence in the energy sector and is known worldwide for its quality consciousness and constant endeavours for improvement and innovation. We have leadership in next-generation flexible thin-film solar cells that have the potential to deliver electricity at costs competitive with nuclear or fossil fuels. Tata group has instilled their faith and trust in our breakthrough technology and we are confident of delivering a quality product.”

The global market for PV has grown at about 30 percent annually for over 10 years. The cumulative solar energy production still accounts for less than 0.1 percent of the global energy demand. PV growth is set to accelerate in the coming years as it becomes cost-competitive with the retail price of electricity in many parts of the world.

Flisom aims to produce flexible thin-film solar cells with low-cost roll-to-roll manufacturing technology. The solar cells are based on the compound CIGS, which absorbs light extremely efficiently. Tiny amounts of material and energy are required for their manufacture, and light-toelectricity conversion efficiencies are high. This offers significant advantages over prior-art technologies – from application, business, as well as from environment points of view.

The solar cells are prepared on a polymer (plastic) foil. They are thinner than a sheet of paper and extremely lightweight. The absorbers are intrinsically stable and hardly degrade during use – on Earth and in space.

Flisom’s edge on clean energy
The Flisom technology is based on the concepts that led to the world record for light-to-power conversion efficiency (14.1 percent) of solar cells on plastic, developed at ETH Zurich.

The cost of electricity produced with such solar cells will be significantly lower than with the solar cell technologies common today. Roll-to-roll manufacturing technology allows continuous deposition of thin films onto flexible plastic substrates at high speeds. Coating in vacuum enables fabrication of very pure materials that reach highest efficiencies.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The National Solar Mission, a SEMI India perspective

INDIA: Policy and government support for solar PV in India continues to strengthen driven by the country’s push to meet its vast power needs and still growing deficit as well as the need to move to clean and renewable sources of electricity. Recent months have seen activity on key policy fronts.

Momentum on India’s National Solar Mission has been growing, and once fully operational it could open up enormous opportunities as well as supply side challenges across the PV supply chain for Indian and global PV companies. The NSM and a recent scheme from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to promote urban solar PV applications are outlined.

The National Solar Mission background
On August 3, 2009, the Government of India announced ‘in principle’ approval, in New Delhi, of the goal of the National Solar Mission (NSM) to achieve 20,000 MW of solar power generation (both PV and thermal) in the country by the year 2020.

Now christened the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, after India’ first Prime Minister, it is one of eight missions that form the core of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The NSM’s 20 GW target reflects an increase of over two orders of magnitude from India’s current installed PV power generation capacity.

A draft version of the NSM that has been in public circulation for a few months calls out the following longer term targets as well:Source: SEMI India

Other targets called out in the draft NSM are:
* India solar manufacturing capacity ramp to 4-5 GW by 2017.
* Target to electrify 3 million households by 2012 and 20 million by 2020.
* Target of 1 million rooftop systems by 2020.

Financial provisioning approaches to enable these plans include:
* INR 5,000 crore (~US$ 1B) initial investment by the Government in a ‘solar fund’ by 2012 with continuing contributions thereafter;
* Total government funding of up to INR 92,000 crores (~US$18.4b) over a 30 year period via a variety of incentives, grants, subsidies, etc.;
* Fund generation is proposed through a ‘cess’ (taxation) on coal, petrol, and diesel, direct budgetary allocations and possibly via international funding through mechanisms under the UNFCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change).

The announcement of the Government’s ‘in principle’ approval has enthused India PV industry leaders several of whom have welcomed the move as one that would bring the benefits of scale to local manufacturers and even larger benefits to the country as a whole.

The opportunities, even in the timeframe until 2020, presented by such an expansion, are enormous both for India’s domestic PV industry as well as for global PV players in every segment of the PV supply chain – from cells and modules to PV systems (both off and on grid) and in project implementation and maintenance.

Stayed tuned for updates on November 16, 2009, directly following SOLARCON India 2009 (November 9-11, 2009, Hyderabad, India), being held in association with Intersolar India 2009. SOLARCON India’s technical conference will spark relevant discussions that will bring the spotlight to bear on this potentially transformational piece of legislation that could usher in a solar revolution in the country.

Source: SEMI USA/SEMI India

PV revenues rebound but margins fall in Q2’09, strong Q3’09 outlook for chinese players: YMR

AUSTIN, USA: Young Market Research (YMR) has released the first issue of its Weekly PV Supply Chain Health Report.

This unique report provides its users with all the data and insights released by publicly traded PV supply chain companies in their quarterly earnings reports, stock exchange filings, press releases and conference calls along with unbiased analysis with 24 hours of their earnings calls with historical data back to Q1’07.

The financial and industry data, covering over 100 different metrics, is incorporated into a pivot table which makes comparisons by company, country, technology, level of integration, etc. extremely easy. The results are also aggregated to provide industry and financial metrics and trends on a weighted average.

Analysis is provided in a PowerPoint file which can easily be incorporated into internal presentations. The first issue, covering Q1’07 – Q2’09 results and guidance for Q3’09 and beyond, amounted to over 330 slides covering 25 different companies.Highlights from the first issue include:

Revenues rebound: After falling 44 percent from Q3’08 to Q1’09, revenues rebounded 18 percent Q/Q in Q2’09 to $4.65B as shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1: Q1’07 – Q2’09 Revenues for 25 Publicly Traded PV Supply Chain ManufacturersSource: YMR’s PV Supply Chain Health Report. Includes Arise Technologies, Bosch Solar, Canadian Solar, China Sunergy, DelSolar, Energy Conversion Devices, E-Ton Solar, Evergreen Solar, First Solar, Gintech, JA Solar, LDK, MEMC, Motech, Neo Solar Power, Q-Cells, REC, ReneSola, Sanyo, Sharp, Solarfun, SunPower, Suntech, Sunways, Trina Solar and Yingli Green Energy.

However, the gains are not being shared equally by all segments, regions or companies. The cell/module suppliers are growing faster than the polysilicon/wafer suppliers, 18 percent to 5 percent Q/Q in Q2’09, as polysilicon prices fall faster than cell/module prices and cell/module shipments outpace polysilicon/wafer shipments on significant inventory at cell/module suppliers.

Margins continue to decline: Profit margins continued to worsen from Q1’09 to Q2’09 as shown in Fig. 2 on lower prices and the fact that slower than expected demand made it difficult for manufacturers to sell-through their high-priced polysilicon/wafer inventory.

Fig. 2: Q1’07 – Q2’09 PV Supply Chain MarginsSource: YMR’s PV Supply Chain Health Report

Some companies were not able to take advantage of the rapid decline in polysilicon spot prices as they were struck in long-term, fixed price contracts or reduced shipment volumes prevented them from turning over their expensive polysilicon or wafers. Cell/module manufacturers again outperformed polysilicon/wafer suppliers, with gross margins of 19 percent vs. 8 percent, due to large inventory write downs at wafer manufacturers.

North American suppliers grew the fastest and were the most profitable: Unlike all other regions, North American suppliers’ revenues rose from Q3’08 to Q2’09, up 11 percent, including 25 percent Q/Q growth in Q2’09 thanks to First Solar’s cost leadership, rapid capacity growth and high utilization.

In addition, only North American suppliers were profitable when aggregated by region with average gross profits of 38 percent, operating margins of 19 percent and net margins of 17 percent, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Q1’07 – Q2’09 Cell/Module Manufacturers; Gross, Operating and Net Margins by RegionSource: YMR’s PV Supply Chain Health Report. Germany includes Bosch Solar, Q-Cells, Sunways and SolarWorld. China includes Canadian Solar, China Sunergy, JA Solar, Solarfun, Suntech, Trina Solar and Yingli. Taiwan includes DelSolar, E-Ton Solar, Gintech, Motech and Neo Solar Power. North America includes Arise, Energy Conversion Devices, Evergreen Solar, First Solar and SunPower.

Chinese manufacturers experienced the largest decline, fastest growth: Chinese cell/module manufacturers experienced the largest declines from Q3’08 to Q1’09, down 61 percent, and experienced the fastest growth in Q2’09, up 32 percent, but are still off 48 percent from their Q3’08 results.

Chinese companies improved their gross margin performance from 10 percent to 16 percent, and had positive operating margins but experienced -8 percent net margins due to write-offs from Solarfun and Yingli. Excluding the charges, all Chinese suppliers had positive operating margins.

German manufacturers lost less ground than Chinese manufacturers with higher gross margins: German manufacturers’ revenues rose 11 percent in Q2’09, but are still off 33 percent from Q3’08, losing less ground than their Chinese competitors.

German companies had the second highest gross margins at 24 percent, but experienced negative operating margins due to write-offs from Bosch Solar and Q-Cells, which experienced a surge in inventories and negative operating profits as the market favors the more vertically integrated companies due to their greater visibility into end market demand and greater control over their cost structure.

All Taiwan suppliers achieved negative operating margins in Q2’09: Taiwan suppliers, which are all cell-only suppliers, had the worst gross and operating performance in both Q1’09 and Q2’09 which is indicative of the lack of leverage cell-only manufacturers have in today’s PV market.

All the Taiwan suppliers experienced negative operating margins in Q2’09. Taiwan manufacturers experienced the smallest revenue increase in Q2’09, up just 1 percent, and are tied with Chinese manufacturers for the largest decline since Q3’08, down 48 percent.

Q3’09 looks to be strongest quarter of the year: Seasonally, Q3’09 looks to be the strongest quarter of the year although the development of the USA and China markets could potentially enable Q4’09 to be just as strong.

Some manufacturers are expecting Q3’09 to be exceptionally strong as a number of projects were deferred from 1H’09 as project developers waited for prices to fall further and at the same time developers are looking to finish projects before the end of the year fearing budget reductions and lower subsidies/feed-in-tariff rates. However, the gains are not expected to be shared evenly.

Chinese companies have brightest outlook: Chinese companies are expecting rapid growth in Q3’09 as seen in Table 2. At these growth rates, some of these manufacturers expect to achieve full utilization.

Table 2: Chinese PV Manufacturers' Q3'09 Shipment Guidance Source: YMR’s PV Supply Chain Health Report.

On the other hand, European companies have a much different outlook and are reducing capacity utilization or taking capacity offline as shown in Table 3 due to excessive inventories from slower than expected 1H’09 demand. Taiwanese companies are hoping to return to profitability in 2H’09.

Table 3: European Manufacturers’ Q3’09 OutlookSource: YMR’s PV Supply Chain Health Report

As their c-Si competitors close the cost gap and to spur demand in a weak financing environment, First Solar implemented a rebate program in Germany which it expects to cost $40-$60M in 2H’09 which along with slower capacity growth implies slower Q/Q growth for the leading North American company.

In addition to balance sheet and income statement data, users of this report will also gain insight into key trends on topics including shipments, production, ASPs, polysilicon costs, wafer costs, silicon to module costs, silicon consumption per watt, wafer thickness, efficiencies, existing and future capacity, capital expenditures, regional shipment trends, company supply chains, company guidance, California market share and much more.

According to YMR President Ross Young: “The Weekly PV Supply Chain Health Report is ideal for industry analysts, financial analysts and anyone in strategic marketing or finance departments within the PV supply chain. It will save its users hundreds if not thousands of hours in tracking and compiling this information freeing them up to make important decisions derived from this report.”

ICP Solar sees initial demand for Energizer line

MONTREAL, CANADA: ICP Solar Technologies Inc., a developer and marketer of innovative, proprietary solar panels and products, announced that the company has received positive feedback from two of its largest customers and several new retail prospects regarding the launch of its upcoming Energizer branded solar chargers.

These well-known retail channel partners plan to help market the new products and provide significant exposure on shelves. Initial shipments are still anticipated for the fourth quarter.

“Strong brands build strong bonds with their customers, and our retail partners know this is the case with Energizer branded products,” said Sass Peress, Chairman and CEO. “Our retailers expect high demand for Energizer solar chargers – anticipated to out sell all other brands in the category – and we will likely have firm orders in place before the end of the third quarter.

"In addition to traditional retail channels, the upcoming November launch of the e-Commerce focused website, as well as several social media initiatives, are expected to increase overall consumer awareness, visibility and sales of Energizer branded solar solutions. Our products will form part of the Energizer ‘Complete Solution’ for portable, rechargeable energy storage worldwide, and we are excited to move forward with this rollout as soon as possible.”

PV Supply Chain Health Report from Young Market Research

USA: Young Market Research has recently announced its PV Supply Chain Health Report.

This product provides its users with all the data and insights released by publicly traded PV supply chain companies in their quarterly earnings reports and conference calls along with unbiased analysis within 24 hours of their earnings call.

Both financial and industry data is incorporated into a pivot table which makes comparisons by company, region, technology, level of integration, etc. extremely easy. It also aggregates the results to provide industry metrics and trends on a weighted average.

Analysis is provided in a Powerpoint file which can easily be incorporated into internal presentations. This product is sure to save its’ users hundreds if not thousands of hours over its subscription duration.

In addition to balance sheet and income statement data, users of this report will also gain insight on key trends such as shipments, production, ASPs, polysilicon costs, non-silicon costs, silicon consumption per watt, wafer thickness, efficiencies, existing and future capacity, capital expenditures, regional shipment trends, company supply chains, company guidance, California market share and much more.

It is available on a one-time basis or as an annual subscription with weekly updates as data becomes available.

The Q3’09 issue covers the following companies:

Arise Technologies
Canadian Solar
China Sunergy
Energy Conversion Devices (UniSolar)
E-Ton Solar
Evergreen Solar
First Solar
JA Solar
Trina Solar
Yingli Green Energy

The next issue will add equipment suppliers, pure module suppliers and installers/system integrators. In addition, companies that report every six months will be added as well.

Ascent Solar signs multi-year supply agreement with TurtleEnergy for up to 67MW

THORNTON, USA: Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., a developer of flexible thin-film solar modules, has signed a multi-year direct supply agreement with TurtleEnergy LLC, a premium photovoltaic (PV) systems integrator headquartered in Linden, New Jersey.

John Millard, founder of TurtleEnergy, stated, “Ascent Solar is well-positioned to reduce the cost of PV systems and enable introduction of innovative product solutions to the marketplace with its lightweight, flexible and high efficiency PV modules. This is a perfect compliment to our company as a leader in introducing new and unique value-added solutions for clients.

“Under our development agreement with Ascent Solar, we have gained considerable experience working with its product over the past ten months and are now pleased to become a customer as we plan to be the first solar systems integrator to come to market using our leading-edge approach using these materials.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Ascent Solar expects to deliver up to 67 MW of its high efficiency flexible CIGS photovoltaic modules during the five year contract period. Ascent Solar is scheduled to begin shipping products to TurtleEnergy from its Thornton, Colorado manufacturing plant early next year.

Ascent Solar President and CEO Farhad Moghadam added, “We believe that this order will help establish Ascent Solar in one of the fastest growing markets in the United States. We are focused on enabling companies like TurtleEnergy to address new market opportunities, add value to existing lines of business and set a higher performance standard for flexible PV. TurtleEnergy is an excellent partner to have in reaching our new target markets.”

SunRay and SunPower ally for largest solar power plant in Italy

FLORIANA, MALTA & MILAN, ITALY: SunRay Renewable Energy and SunPower Corp., a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, have announced an agreement under which they are building a 24-megawatt solar electric power plant in Montalto di Castro, Italy.

The 80-hectare Montalto di Castro solar project is being financed by a consortium of primary international and Italian banks and, upon its completion at year-end, will be the largest operating solar power plant in Italy.

The plant began construction earlier this year, and has created more than 200 local jobs. The clean, renewable solar power generated by the plant will provide electricity locally, and contribute to Italy's national electric grid. The site will also have a fully equipped visitor center focusing on the education of the local community and school children about renewable energy.

"In addition to delivering commercial benefits to the community, Montalto di Castro is designed to integrate seamlessly into the surrounding countryside and preserve the local ecosystem," said Giora Salita, head of business development for SunRay. "SunPower's unrivaled global experience in the design and construction of solar power plants will help ensure that the finished project is the pride of the local community today and for many generations in the future."

SunRay is the developer and owner of the project and selected SunPower to design and construct the power plant and provide on-going operations and maintenance services. SunPower is installing SunPower panels, the most efficient solar panels commercially available, and the proprietary SunPower Tracker technology at the site.

The Tracker follows the sun during the day and delivers up to 25 percent more energy than fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements. This project is the first phase of a planned 100-megawatt development that is expected to be fully operational in 2010.

"The Montalto di Castro project is an important milestone for our industry, confirming solar power plants are financeable today when you combine a world-class developer with an industry-leader offering technology and unparalleled experience in solar power design and construction," said SunPower European Sales Director, Mario Riello. "We are very pleased to partner with SunRay to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the community and to the rapidly expanding Italian market."

SunPower has installed more than 200 megawatts of solar power plants globally, including a 5-megawatt plant in Tolentino, Italy, and the 18-megawatt Olivenza plant in Spain. The company's Italian operations are located in Milan and Faenza.

Solar Power executes sales agreement with Solarmarkt

ROSEVILLE, USA: Solar Power Inc. has signed a sales order agreement to supply German solar project developer Solarmarkt Sued Park with up to 25 megawatts of SPI’s high-performance 200 and 205-watt modules for a project currently being executed by Solarmarkt Sued Park.

The agreement also includes up to 50 megawatts of SPI’s proprietary SkyMount commercial rooftop racking systems. Under the agreement several megawatts of SPI solar modules and SkyMount racking are to be delivered during the remainder of 2009. The sales order agreement is set to extend through 2010 with product orders commencing immediately.

Solarmarkt Sued Park is a leading solar project developer focused on developing large-scale commercial photovoltaic solar systems throughout Germany. “The
performance of SPI’s solar modules is world-class. We share a common commitment to quality and place high value on their solutions-based approach to commercial systems,” said Frank Weckerle, President of Solarmarkt Sued Park.

“The quality and design features of Solar Power, Inc.’s SkyMountTM rooftop racking system are superior. We have selected SPI’s SkyMount system because it is an adaptable solution for a variety of unique installation requirements and offers an innovative non-penetrating option. We look forward to working with SPI as we execute both our current book of business and our developing project portfolio,” Mr. Weckerle concluded.

“The German solar market is very important to us. Our agreement with Solarmarkt Sued Park represents significant progress as we continue to pursue our international product sales strategy,” said Bradley Ferrell, President of Solar Power, Inc’s Commercial Sales Division. “As a large-scale project developer with an excellent reputation and strong demand for their services, we are very pleased to have our products play a significant role in the solar systems they are installing across Germany.”

Solar Power will immediately commence processing orders to meet Solarmarkt Sued Park’s active project requirements through the remainder of 2009. The balance of the agreement will be fulfilled throughout 2010. SPI continues to advance international sales of its high-performance modules, proprietary SkyMountTM racking systems, and its Peaq solar canopies.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

IMEC's large area solar cells with 18.4pc conversion efficiency, featuring Cu-plated contacts

LEUVEN, BELGIUM: At the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, IMEC presented a large-area solar with a conversion efficiency of 18.4 percent.

Compared to the standard i-PERC cell process, IMEC’s solar cell features a shallow emitter and advanced front metallization using copper plating. The results were obtained on large-area cells (125cm2), proving the industrial viability of the process.

The shallow emitter results in an enhanced blue response, and thus in a higher conversion efficiency than with a standard emitter. For the front contacts, a novel metallization stack is added which is applied to local openings in the antireflective coating.

Dr. Joachim John, team manager at IMEC, said: “Using copper instead of silver adds to the sustainability of solar cell production. IMEC was able to do this because it has extensive experience with copper plating on silicon. A similar efficiency result was obtained with screen printed contacts, but the long-term sustainability and low-cost potential of Cu-based contacting solutions and the fact that this was a first result obtained without dedicated fine-tuning makes this result particularly encouraging.”

Dr. Jef Poortmans, IMEC’s Photovoltaics Program Director, stated: “These cells and the new metallization stack involved are a further successful step in IMEC’s target to develop ever more cost-effective, efficient crystalline Si solar cells –- eventually targeting cells that are only 40µm thick with efficiencies above 20 percent.”

Suntech sets another world record for multi-crystalline module conversion efficiency

HAMBURG, GERMANY & WUXI, CHINA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd announced that it has beaten all previous records for multi-crystalline silicon module conversion efficiency, including its own record achieved last month.

The new world record conversion efficiency (aperture area only) was measured at 16.53 percent by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

Suntech's world record breaking multi-crystalline silicon module is powered by Pluto PV cells utilizing solar grade silicon with each PV cell having a conversion efficiency well over 17 percent.

In August, Suntech surpassed the previous record of 15.5 percent set by Sandia National Labs 15 years ago. The latest record is well above previous records and is a reaffirmation that Suntech's Pluto powered multi-crystalline modules have the highest conversion efficiency in the world.

"We are very pleased to announce that our Pluto technology has been recognized as the most efficient multi-crystalline silicon technology in the world," said Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech's Chief Technology Officer. "This shows that it is possible to combine both first class R&D and low cost manufacturing into a commercially viable business model that will bring clean alternative energy to the world's growing energy demands."

Dr. Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and member of the Progress in Photovoltaics Committee said, "The 16.53% conversion efficiency Suntech module has a clear margin over other multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic technologies. It has set the new benchmark for the highest performance multi-crystalline module."

Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO, was scheduled to present a paper on the technology required to produce the Pluto powered multi-crystalline cells on a commercial scale at 2:45pm German time on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference at the CCH Congress Centre and International Fair, Hamburg, Germany.

Oerlikon Solar customer Tianwei SolarFilms signs large deals with Thailand Green Energy

EU PVSEC HAMBURG, GERMANY: Just three weeks after production officially began, Oerlikon Solar’s Chinese customer Tianwei SolarFilms has signed one of the largest deals in thin film silicon PV history with Thailand Green Energy Co. Ltd.

Under the terms of this agreement, Tianwei SolarFilms will provide 70MW of thin film solar panels to rapidly emerging markets across Southeast Asia. “We are already seeing significant market opportunities for our cutting-edge solar PV modules. Our decision to go with the clear market leader, Oerlikon Solar, is already paying dividends”, explains Ma Wenxue, General Manager, Baoding Tianwei SolarFilms Co. Ltd.

“We congratulate Tianwei on securing this landmark agreement, which demonstrates both the rapidly-growing market for solar energy in the Asian market and the advantages offered by our own fast-ramp thin film PV production technology,” comments Jeannine Sargent, CEO, Oerlikon Solar. “This deal is just the latest milestone on the journey towards making solar power economically viable and we look forward to working together with our customer’s rapid development”, she adds.

At Tianwei SolarFilms, Oerlikon Solar has installed its amorph IHIGH PERFORMANCE, a technology using a special high-performance front and back contact method in its production lines. A Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD) process is used to generate a Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) layer, which is superior to conventional methods.

The light transmission and scattering properties of this layer are very important to achieve the efficiency with which the solar module is able to convert sunlight into electrical energy. The high performance of the Tianwei PV modules and the outstanding line productivity clearly demonstrate Oerlikon Solar’s technological leadership in this market.

Total, GDF SUEZ, and Photovoltech join IMEC’s silicon solar cell research program

LEUVEN, BELGIUM: The two major energy companies Total and GDF SUEZ and their common solar cells manufacturing subsidiary Photovoltech join the IMEC industrial affiliation program (IIAP) on next generations of crystalline silicon solar cells.

The multi-partner R&D program concentrates on sharply reducing the silicon use, whilst at the same time increasing the efficiency of solar cells. This will substantially lower the cost for solar energy.

With its IIAP, IMEC sets up a research ecosystem with the aim to create innovative processes to fabricate the next generations of silicon solar cells. GDF SUEZ, Total and Photovoltech will dedicate researchers to this program. Thus, researchers from energy companies, solar cell manufacturers and material and equipment suppliers will work together with IMEC’s solar experts on developing these advanced processes and testing them on a semi-industrial pilot line.

Luc Van den Hove, President and CEO at IMEC said: “We are excited that such major energy companies and Photovoltech join our research program. This agreement shows the importance of our research for the global energy market. By 2025 at least 20 percent from the worldwide energy supply will come from renewables. Solar energy will ensure at least 10 percent of the total electricity supply, but to achieve this, we need to join forces to strongly reduce the cost of solar technology.”

Philippe Boisseau, President Gas and Power at Total also said: “This agreement with IMEC, a world-class research center and historic partner of our branch Photovoltech, will give us access to promising new technologies for silicon solar cells. It will strengthen our skills and our scientific and technical commitment in new energies.”

“This program reinforces our partnership with IMEC and will allow us to develop key competitive positioning in the crystalline silicon solar cells technology”, said Henri Ducré, Member of the GDF SUEZ Executive Committee in charge of the Energy France business line. “This collaboration will also strengthen our position in a market where R&D choices are crucial and will extend our research capacity in the solar energy field.”

Johan Nijs, General Manager of Photovoltech said: “In order to cope with market requirements in terms of price and quality we need to deliver solar cells with ever improving electrical, optical and mechanical characteristics at lower cost. Collaborating with an outstanding R&D-center like IMEC offers unique opportunities to meet these challenges.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Suntech's 60 cell module for residential and commercial rooftop systems

HAMBURG, GERMANY & WUXI, CHINA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, the world's leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, announced the introduction of a 60 cell multi-crystalline PV module to be marketed under the product name Wd.

The new Wd module series features positive peak power tolerance of 0/+5 watts, which will assure that all Wd modules will produce at, or outperform, the nominal power rating.

"The new 60 cell module, which weighs about 20kg, will be ideal for customers that have plenty of roof space, but want to avoid the challenges of mounting a heavier 72 cell module," said Andrew Beebe, Suntech's VP of Global Product Strategy.

"With high quality components and extensive vetting through our 52 step quality control process, we believe this will be one of the most reliable modules on the market and well-suited to operate in extreme weather conditions. This new product reflects our commitment to developing products to suit our customers' evolving needs through close collaboration and consideration of customer feedback."

The 60 cell Wd module series will be available in two power ratings, 220 watt or 225 watt, and is designed to complement Suntech's 54 cell and 72 cell multi-crystalline modules to provide customers with a powerful and light weight option for residential and commercial rooftop applications.

In addition to positive peak power tolerance of 0/+5 watts, the new modules will also feature the latest IP67 rated junction box with enhanced thermal isolation, 4mm thick glass and a durable and easy to install 50mm aluminum frame.

Illustrating Suntech's commitment to producing the most reliable modules in the industry, the Wd module series will be backed by Suntech's 25-year power output warranty, and has also received IEC 5400Pa certification that verifies the modules' ability to withstand high wind-pressure and snow load.

The Wd module series is already available for purchase and will be on display at this year's European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition from September 21-24 at booth B7/75, CCH Congress Centre and International Fair, Hamburg, Germany. Interested customers can also contact their local dealerships or visit Suntech's website for additional information.

Applied Materials awarded multi-year service contract from ENN Solar Energy

SANTA CLARA, USA: Applied Materials, Inc. announced today that it has signed a five-year contract with ENN Solar Energy Co., Ltd. to support ENN’s solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in Langfang, China, which features an Applied SunFab Thin Film Line.

Through its highly flexible SunFab Performance Service program, Applied will provide ENN with continuous operating cost reductions while enabling optimal performance from the SunFab™ production line at a predictable cost that scales with factory loading. Applied’s SunFab Performance Service program has been selected by all of Applied’s customers currently producing single and tandem junction modules on SunFab lines.

“ENN sees joining with Applied Global Services as a powerful strategy to optimize the return on our investment in our SunFab line,” said Dr. Rick Wan, General Manager of ENN Solar.

“This agreement will allow us to replace much of our fixed cost infrastructure with a variable alternative that can flex as the market changes. This flexibility will free us to focus on successfully delivering high-performance, low-cost modules to our customers, helping them win in the marketplace."

“We believe the combination of the revolutionary SunFab Thin Film Line and SunFab Performance Service delivers the fastest path to the lowest cost-per-watt and maximized megawatt output,” said Charlie Pappis, vice president and general manager of Applied Global Services. “The fact that all of our SunFab customers producing modules have selected SunFab Performance Service for ongoing support is a strong testament to the value proposition we offer.”

Under the agreement, Applied will leverage its dedicated, world-class service infrastructure to provide ENN’s SunFab Thin Film Line with preventive and corrective maintenance, spare parts management, and analytical services.

Using an unmatched range of engineering, logistics and automation software technologies, highly experienced local support experts will optimize equipment performance, maximize manufacturing output and assure consistent cell characteristics. In addition, Applied and ENN will work together to develop continuous improvement programs that aim to increase module efficiency and lower operating costs.

GE in agreement to help bring smart grid technologies to Korea

ATLANTA, USA: GE has signed an agreement to help bring the performance, efficiency and reliability gains of smart grid technology to Korea. GE will work together with Korea'’s NURI Telecom Ltd to build an advanced smart grid infrastructure in Korea.

“GE recognizes the importance of collaborating with technology and delivery partners to realize the promise of a smarter grid,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE Energy’s transmission and distribution business. “NURI’s products and global expertise, especially in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), fit well with GE’s end-to-end smart grid capabilities.”

"As Korea continues to raise its global economic profile, the need for a complete set of smart grid solutions becomes more critical," said Song-Man Cho, president and CEO of NURI Telecom. "We are excited about working with GE so that our complementary technologies can help deliver reliability and performance gains throughout Korea's energy infrastructure."

Korea is currently embarking on several Smart Grid initiatives, including the development of a smart grid road map and a smart grid pilot project on Jeju Island.

Through industry collaborations, GE will deliver one of the broadest portfolio offerings in the industry to modernize the electrical systems from the power plant to the consumer. From smarter appliances to technologies for plug-in hybrid vehicles, to providing renewable technologies and smart meters, GE has the breadth and knowledge needed to increase energy productivity all the way up and down the lines.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oerlikon Solar presents record cell efficiency confirmed by NREL

EU PVSEC HAMBURG, GERMANY: Oerlikon Solar, the world’s leading supplier of thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) production equipment, today announced that it has achieved a new stabilized record efficiency level for amorphous silicon (a-Si) single junction PV cells.

Recent test results reconfirmed and approved by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) show efficiencies of more than 10 percent power conversion. These results set a new world record for amorphous thin film silicon PV technology. The R&D group of Oerlikon Solar in Neuchâtel was able to consistently reproduce cells with similar record efficiencies, demonstrating a stable and repeatable process.

“This achievement impressively demonstrates Oerlikon Solar’s unique ability to rapidly drive thin film silicon PV technology towards grid parity,” said Jeannine Sargent. High cell efficiencies on amorphous silicon are a key driver for both, amorphIHIGH PERFORMANCE and proprietary Micromorph® PV technology.

The excellent performance of the record cells demonstrates the advantage of Oerlikon Solar’s thin film silicon PV technology, once more verifying the company’s comprehensive R&D roadmap. Oerlikon Solar’s advanced deposition equipment technology and its vast process know-how result in an optimized cell design that enables the achievement of higher conversion efficiencies. The recent success on a-Si cell efficiency serves as basis to achieve Micromorph® production modules at stabilized efficiencies of 10% or more.

Leading R&D and fastest time to market
Oerlikon Solar is the clear technology and market leader in the field of thin film silicon PV technology, investing significantly in research and development efforts. This record is the latest result of Oerlikon Solar’s ongoing development program and reinforces its role as a technology and market leader.

“We successfully implemented several innovative modifications of key processes, leading to this new record in stabilized cell efficiency which presents a historic milestone for amorphous silicon technology,” said Dr. Johannes Meier, CTO Thin Film at Oerlikon Solar: “We are confident that our ability to repeatedly achieve record results can be transferred into mass production soon.”

Thin film silicon solar offers cost advantages over traditional crystalline silicon and is demonstrating increasingly impressive efficiency gains. Oerlikon Solar occupies a unique position in this rapidly growing market.

To date, the company has supplied manufacturing facilities with a total capacity of over 450 megawatts, and has established a strong execution track record, with each of its customers achieving their technology and commercialization milestones on time.

By the end of 2010, the company aims to launch the first PV module production lines that are price competitive compared to conventional energy sources in suitable regions.

Monday, September 21, 2009

PV Group announces new SEMI Standards Committees in Japan and Taiwan

HAMBURG, GERMANY (EU PVSEC, Stand B2U/16a): The PV Group announced an important milestone in the scope and coverage of PV global standards efforts through the formation of Photovoltaic Standards Committees in Japan and Taiwan.

The initial focus of work in the Japan Committee will be to standardize the dimensions of thin-film substrates, while Taiwan recently started developing standards for crystalline-silicon cell appearance as well as a vibration test method. The new standards development groups join SEMI Standards committees in Europe and North America, which have been active since 2006.

Industry stakeholders believe that creation of consistent cross-border manufacturing standards and safety guidelines can dramatically lower costs, improve quality and accelerate innovation in the PV industry. SEMI has 36 years of experience and proven expertise in this area with nearly 800 manufacturing standards and safety guidelines currently in place.

The PV Group, a special interest group of SEMI, promotes standards development for all aspects of PV manufacturing including thin films, machine interface, process control and others through the SEMI International Standards process and in collaboration with partner associations around the globe.

The PV Standards Committee’s charter is to explore, evaluate, discuss, and create consensus-based standard measurement methods, specifications, guidelines, and practices. Through voluntary compliance, these consensus-based standards will promote mutual understanding and improved communication between users and suppliers of photovoltaic manufacturing equipment, materials and services— enhancing manufacturing efficiency, shortening time-to-market, and reducing PV industry manufacturing cost.

In 2008, a Taiwan PV Standards Working Group was formed. The group held more than 30 meetings over the last year, consolidating the needs and requirements of the Taiwan PV industry. The Taiwan PV Standards Committee consists of key players from all segments of the PV manufacturing chain— manufacturers of materials, equipment, wafers, cells, modules, thin films, as well as academia, local industry associations and research institutes. Committee leaders include staff from Chroma, DelSolar, UL Taiwan, and ITRI.

The Japan PV Committee will work to include liaisons and synergies with other SEMI technical committees for the development of PV-related standards. The PV Standards Committee will explore and develop standards that pertain to common criteria, guidelines, methods for control and comparison of PV-related process/metrology equipment, materials, components, or manufacturing operations.

It will seek to support the international need for increasing PV product/process yield and reducing related PV costs per Watt peak. This committee will investigate opportunities towards harmonization of PV-related efforts with other SDOs. In addition to the above, the committee will facilitate any industry initiatives towards product standardization needs.

Recently, the SEMI PV Group released a Standards Guidance Document that identified 64 SEMI Standards topics as “Applicable” to the PV industry. Thirty-one SEMI Standards topics were rated as “Top Priority” for their potential to deliver immediate cost benefits to the industry with limited revision.

This summer, an important Standard was passed that defines a unified equipment communication interface for PV production systems (PV2-0709). Earlier in the year, a standardized test method for detecting elemental impurities in photovoltaic silicon feedstock was approved (PV1-0309).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stimulus keeps Sun shining on California’s solar market

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Installations of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems in California are set to more than double in 2009 compared to 2008 because of incentives from the US stimulus package, defying a major downturn in the global market, according to iSuppli Corp.

Installations in California, measured in terms of Megawatts (MW) of electricity production, are set to rise by 120.1 percent in 2009, compared to a 26.9 percent decline for the entire world. California’s outperformance is expected to continue in 2010 even as global installation growth will resume, as presented in the figure.

iSuppli: Photovoltaic Percentage Growth Installation Forecast in California and Worldwide 2008-2013 in MegawattsSource: iSuppli, Sept. 2009

“The market for PV solar energy systems has been severely impacted by the ongoing economic crisis gripping the world,” said Dr. Henning Wicht, senior director and principal analyst for PV at iSuppli.

“The debt financing of solar plants for commercial customers and investor syndicates has slowed dramatically across Europe, the United States and other regions that had been steadily growing in solar installations prior to the fourth quarter of 2008.

Wicht said, however, that those looking to install PV systems in the country have been helped by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—also known as the stimulus program—as well as the Solar Investment Tax Credit of 2008.

The government programs allowed 30 percent of a project’s cost to be rebated and also created loan guarantees for commercial projects. Because of this, iSuppli believes these initiatives will help offset, to a limited degree, the negative factors that have impacted the US PV market.

The new sunshine state
In particular, California has taken advantage of these incentives, causing installations in the state to rise even during the worst phases of the economic downturn.

At the height of the credit crunch in the first quarter, California’s installations increased to 77MW, up from just 38MW during the same period in 2008. Applications for rebates continued to increase, reaching 65MW in the second quarter, with only half the quarter counted in this data.

“This is a very encouraging sign for the solar market,” Wicht said. “It’s extremely beneficial for those investors wishing to take advantage of the new federal tax credit. It’s also a boost for those wanting to install residential household systems using the higher incentives from the California Solar Initiative Program (CSI).

Overall, iSuppli expects 350MW worth of solar systems to be installed in California during 2009. This is far and away the most of any state in America. The rest of the country is expected to install only 132MW in 2009.

Italy’s hot and cold
California isn’t the only region still pushing ahead with plans for PV installations. The Italian electricity administration authority, Gestione Servizi Electriche (GSE), in April announced that 338MW had been installed in 2008.

This far exceeds the 220MW that iSuppli originally forecasted for the country. Because of this, iSuppli is increasing its Italian forecast for 2009 to 580MW, up from 350MW.

Solar hotspots
According to iSuppli’s latest figures and feedback from companies, about 4 Gigawatts (GW) worth of new PV systems will be installed worldwide in 2009, with the majority of these installations coming from Germany at 1.5GW, Italy at 580MW and another 300MW to 400MW coming from Spain, California and Japan each.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Future trends in PV inverters and PV installation design

LYON, FRANCE: Yole Développement has released a new market & technology study dedicated to the photovoltaic inverters: PV Inverter Trends.

This analysis presents the existing PV inverter solutions and their main parameters evolution (size, efficiency, cost, reliability). PV Inverter Trends report allows to understand better the main technical challenges, current solutions and future trends regarding those parameters.Source: Yole Développement

This market and technological study also includes an important topic, which has recently appeared as a key point for PV inverter business: the evolution of its environment.

Photovoltaic plants can have highly diversified structures due to plenty of characteristics: local configuration, presence of sources of shadow, distance between buildings, available area, and size of the installation, thus, one of the objectives of this report is to apprehend the evolution tendency for those architectures, and see the consequence on PV inverter systems and on players’ strategy.

Inverter market forecasts according to our segmentation – residential, industrial and buildings, solar farms – are shown and analyzed taking into account the 2009 crisis and impact on PV industry.

Market trends
PV inverter business is following general PV market trends: the latter being driven by financial supports provided by governments and development of well-established companies.

Yole Développement has estimated the 2008 PV inverter market a bit more than €2.5 billion, mainly driven by Spanish solar farm segment and German market. And Yole Développement does not expect 2009 PV inverter business to overcome this amount.

“Effectively, 2009 has faced the crisis and seen Spain cut out of its economical advantages, explained Brice Le Gouic, Market Analyst, Power Electronics & Compound Semiconductors at Yole Développement. On the other hand, 2009 has also seen the birth of new countries ready to implement PV as a new source of energy, meaning very interesting feed‐in tariffs and loans. And PV inverter for residential segment is now entering in a standardization era.”

Newest PV inverter developments have shown interesting results at different levels: evolution of key characteristics, efficiency, cost, reliability, use of new materials (SiC, GaN), and adoption of disruptive technologies like micro‐inverters -- all those parameters imply an important variety of players strategy.

Those latest advancements are having and will have consequent impacts on PV inverters themselves and on the environment into which they evolve: high-sized installation demand induces an increase of inverter size and centralization, and new inverter solutions provide atypical plant architectures.

Indeed, besides centralization trend and the objective to provide bigger inverters, micro-inverters appear as an alternative solution, challenging every well‐established characteristics of classical inverter industry.

Moreover, the recent acquisition of OKE by SMA is a revealing fact of micro‐inverters introduction on the market. As a consequence, those recent items have a significant impact on classical PV inverter business, industry and players.

Nevertheless, the early stage of production adoption of those technological products justifies Yole Développement’s estimation: “Micro‐inverters technology will stay below 1 percent of 2009 market, says Brice Le Gouic, from Yole Développement”.

Those technological breakthrough and the high opportunity that PV inverter market represents have a serious impact on players’ behaviors: most of them who used to consider the inverter as a final product, now sees an interest in integrating new functionalities for a quick return on investment of the global installation:

• Monitoring
• Electrical protection
• Services like on‐site maintenance, warranty, free software…

Thus, vertical integration of the PV supply chain keeps on evolving and companies are working closer on common objectives for an accurate and complete offer.

PV Inverter Trends: Catalogue price: Euros 3,690.

SOLARCON India 2009 to be held in Hyderabad, Nov. 9-11, 2009

BANGALORE & HYDERABAD: Dr Farooq Abdullah, Honorable Minister for New and Renewable Energy, today launched SOLARCON India 2009 the global exhibition-cum-conference which is to be held in Hyderabad from November 9-11 2009.

SOLARCON is aimed to be an annual event of international relevance and is to attract exhibitors and delegates to the three day event. This year nearly 75 exhibitors and 500 delegates are expected to participate .The event is hosted by Fabcity with India Semiconductor Association (ISA) and Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI).

The event aims to showcase the demand of the local market in renewable energy and also bring together industry leaders in solar PV manufacturing and applications on a common platform.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdullah reiterated the growing significance of renewable energy and the huge potential of applications in the Indian PV market place especially in rural households. Hyderabad has attracted the bulk of investments in the sector and with the right support and exposure could create a cluster with representatives of the entire ecosystem.

Also present on the occasion were, B.P. Acharya IAS, Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corp. (APIIC), Ms Poornima Shenoy, President, India Semiconductor Association (ISA) and Sathya Prasad, President, SEMI India.

Watch for fallout in equipment companies as solar crisis hits in 2010

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: Solar equipment companies will feel the impact of a looming solar industry crisis in 2010 according to the report: Opportunities in The Solar Market For Crystalline and Thin Film Solar Cells, published by The Information Network.

“In our release on September 3, we forecast that in 2010 the solar industry will exhibit capacity utilization of 25.7 percent, inventory will be stretched to 133 days, average selling prices could drop below $1 per watt in 2010 and $0.50 in 2011, and as many as 50 percent of the more than 200 solar manufacturers, mired in red ink with current selling prices above $2.00 per watt, may not survive,” noted Dr. Robert Castellano, President of The Information Network.

In addition to the failure and consolidation of the solar panel manufacturers, companies supplying equipment to manufacture panels will be severely impacted. Two things will happen. The obvious impact will be the loss of customers of equipment suppliers.

Solar manufacturers, in their exuberance to increase capacity from 17.6GW in 2009 to 24.2GW will initially purchase equipment only to have it sit idle in factories as inventory stretch to 133 days. As these companies close or consolidate, this equipment will then be sold on the secondary market, further exasperating revenue growth for equipment vendors.

Currently, the equipment companies are experiencing a slowdown because even though solar customers want to buy, financing is still tight. Going forward, the largest solar manufacturers will survive as a customer base. Chinese solar manufacturers, who prefer to purchase low-cost equipment from Taiwan, will also survive, as the Chinese government will subsidize their survival by stimulus packages, generous subsidies, free land, and cash for R&D.

Solar panel manufacturers that have reported losses just in the past few weeks include Energy Conversion Devices Inc, JA Solar, LDK Solar Co., ReneSola Ltd, Solar Power Inc., and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.

“Interestingly, five of the six companies are Chinese. They continue to increase inventory, lose money, and affect the entire solar panel industry. Perhaps, it is an attempt to become the worldwide leader in the solar market by eliminating the competition,” added Dr. Castellano.

In 2008, the top 10 equipment manufacturers of the $4 billion market were:

Table: Ranking of Top 10 Equipment ManufacturersSource: The Information Network, USA

Applied Materials and GT Solar are the only two U.S. manufacturers in the top 10.

Advanced Energy intros European version of Solaron 500 kW PV inverter

FORT COLLINS, USA: Advanced Energy Industries Inc. has introduced the Solaron 500E, a European model of its high-efficiency, transformerless, grid-tie photovoltaic (PV) inverter.

Operating at 500 kW, the Solaron 500E enables European commercial and utility-scale PV installations to achieve the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in the industry by increasing energy harvests and by reducing balance-of-system (BoS) and operating and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Rated at a record-setting 97.5 percent CEC-weighted (97.7 percent European-weighted) efficiency, the Solaron inverter enables higher energy harvests through its robust controls and patented soft-switching technology.

The Solaron inverter's transformerless design eliminates the need for a step-up transformer and makes it smaller and lighter than competitive products. The design of the Solaron inverter also allows multiple inverter connections to a single medium-voltage transformer, minimizing the number of such transformers required for a system.

Additionally, the Solaron inverter comes in an outdoor-ready IP45 enclosure that eliminates the need for and the cost of additional heating and cooling systems. To reduce O&M costs, Advanced Energy offers industry-leading service and support, including extended warranties up to 20 years and customizable SafeGuard(R) service programs.

"Following the successful rollout of the Solaron platform in the US market, we are pleased to now offer the same industry-leading, high performance features to the European market," said Dr. Hans Betz, president and CEO of Advanced Energy Industries Inc.

"We believe our Solaron product delivers the most effective inverter solution and allows customers to achieve maximum power and cost performance from their systems."

Renewable energy remains at core of GCC's long-term energy and sustainability strategy

DUBAI, UAE: OGS 2009, the 16th edition of the premier oil, gas, renewable energy and automation event, has launched the Alter Energy Convention 2009 as a conference-led exhibition dedicated to the management of carbon and water footprints in the Middle East using alternative energies.

The Alter Energy Convention 2009 will be held Oct. 27-29 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and aims to leverage the increasing role of renewable energy in the long-term strategy of GCC countries, as several billion dollars worth of projects have been earmarked to enable the energy supply to keep pace with the rate of economic development.

The Convention will focus on how alternative energies can reduce carbon footprints while meeting growing energy needs.

Statistics from the Emirates Energy Award have revealed that between $160 to $200 billion will be invested across the GCC in various energy projects, including several projects in renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and hydrogen.

In Abu Dhabi alone, a total of $15 billion in renewable investments have been launched, aiming not just to develop conventional renewable energy sources but also to focus on carbon reduction and management, sustainable development, education, manufacturing and research and development.

Numerous initiatives in the Middle East, such as the MASDAR Initiative and the Mediterranean Solar Plan, have also put renewable energies and green technology investment high on public and private sector agendas.

Anselm Godinho, managing director, International Conferences and Exhibitions (IC&E), the organizers of OGS, said: "Renewable energy continues to account for a small fraction of the total energy resources of the region and around the world. At the same time, new technologies are allowing industry the leeway to become more productive while being greener.

"There are many possibilities and opportunities in renewable fuels, sustainable energy and green technology, and it is the intention of the Convention to create the ideal platform to cultivate new ideas and promote business-to-business activities.

"The Alter Energy Convention is the event where international experts, regional decision-makers and suppliers of ‘green’ technology and renewable energy infrastructure meet and debate the relative merits of alternative energies versus fossil fuels from both a business and ethical vantage point."

The Alter Energy Convention is being held in conjunction with OGS 2009, which will feature its traditional oil and gas focus, as well as offer a trading platform for automation, industrial, infrastructural and manufacturing and process control technologies. OGS 2009 will be held concurrently with the Emiratization Forum 2009, which invites senior HR leaders to interact with public and private sector policy-shapers on the benefits of Emiratization.

The event will also be co-located with the Engineering Careers Expo 2009 and the Excellence in Engineering Forum 2009, where young engineers will meet with industry leaders to secure employment and internship opportunities.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Canadian Solar selects Camstar to improve product efficiency, enable operational growth

CHARLOTTE, USA: Camstar Systems, Inc. announced that Canadian Solar Inc., a leading vertically integrated provider of ingots, wafers, solar cells, and solar modules, has selected Camstar’s SolarSuite, configured for the solar industry on the Camstar Enterprise Platform, to help reduce cell and panel cost per watt and create a more effective manufacturing process environment.

Canadian Solar will deploy the solution in its cell manufacturing site in Suzhou and its module manufacturing site in Changshu, both in Jiangsu Province, China.

“In order to create optimal efficiency and deliver top quality while growing and innovating, Canadian Solar strives to continuously improve its processes and methods,” said Dacheng Fang, VP of Business Integration at Canadian Solar.

“The platform will help us improve manufacturing control, visibility and traceability of cell and module processes and materials, and consistent application of operational standards. Reliable, timely information will help us more quickly resolve issues and make fact-based decisions.”

“Standardizing on one platform for both cell and module production is key to support growth,” said Benny Zhang, Corporate IT Director for Canadian Solar. “Camstar’s successful deployment track record and customer satisfaction levels were also major factors in selecting Camstar.”

“A comprehensive platform for manufacturing execution and quality enables gathering and analysis of volumes of data to quickly optimize yields and reduce unit costs – an imperative for technological innovation and competitive advantage,” said Rong L Chen, Acting President of SEMI China. “It is extremely encouraging to see that Canadian solar, a successful pioneer in the solar industry, is investing in the infrastructure required to strengthen their leadership position in the market.”

“As the solar industry races to bring innovative products to market, we are seeing rapid adoption of Camstar’s solutions,” said Manash Chakraborty, General Manager of Camstar for the Asia Pacific region. “The leaders, like Canadian Solar, know that to win the cost per watt battle and grow, they need technology to support continuous product and process improvement.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

Industrial Nanotech announces recent orders from India

NAPLES, USA: Industrial Nanotech Inc., an emerging global leader in nanoscience solutions, announced that the company has received an order of a pallet of product from a client of Independent Sales Representative, P.R. Ramanathan.

The order is from Kon Chem India Pvt. Ltd of Bangalore and will ship in 10 business days.

The customer is a large manufacturer of concrete designer tiles and related chemicals. Other recent orders from India include Devi Polymers, who have already received their initial order and completed the application of the coatings, and New Chemical Industries, who ordered Nansulate coatings previously in 2009 and this month have reordered the company’s new roof coating, Nansulate Crystal.

“I met with P.R. Ramanathan and his son in June of this year and we reviewed his company’s marketing plan,” stated Francesca Crolley, VP Business Development for Industrial Nanotech.

“I was impressed with the number of opportunities that he had identified for rapid introduction of our energy saving coating technology in India, a market we have great interest in, and we are now seeing the benefits of the execution of the marketing plan for this country.

“It is a region that is growing exceptionally fast and there are many manufacturing, construction, transport and related industries who are all seeking reduction in energy consumption. There are many other clients with whom Ramanathan’s company is working and we expect to see sales in India for Nansulate continue to accelerate exponentially throughout this year and beyond.”

Distributed solar energy generation -- distributed PV market forecast to grow to 9.7 GW by 2013

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Distributed Solar Energy Generation" report to its offering.

Distributed energy generation, using a variety of renewable power technologies, is one of the most important tools for addressing the challenge of meeting the world's growing electricity demand.

Within the Renewable Distributed Energy Generation (RDEG) market, sub-utility scale solar photovoltaics (PV) are by far the largest and most significant segment, representing approximately 98 percent of the total.

Solar PV growth has been spearheaded in recent years by markets such as Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States. Remaining countries in the European Union are starting to pick up strong momentum as well.

Emerging markets in India and China show significant promise in the longer term. Of all the opportunities in PV, Pike Research finds that the most compelling growth potential lies in decentralized electricity generation, whether in small rooftop or large commercial installations.

PV has the advantage of being truly modular, as it can reach cost efficiencies with installations that are just a few kilowatts to 20 MW or even 200 MW. For purposes of our study, distributed PV is considered to be those systems less than 20 MW in size, where electricity does not pass through the traditional transmission and distribution system prior to being used.

The estimated size of the distributed PV market in 2008 was 3.6 GW, and we forecast that it will grow to 9.7 GW by 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 22%. This translates into a $30 billion market in 2008, growing to nearly $60 billion by 2013.

This report analyzes the market for distributed solar PV in the context of the broader RDEG market, which also includes small wind energy generation and fuel cell technologies. The study covers key business issues and drivers of demand for sub-utility scale solar power, including government-driven legislation and incentives as well as market-based factors.

Technology and cost issues are examined in depth, as are a number of key industry players. Market forecasts include distributed solar energy generation capacity, system revenues, and installed prices through 2013 for installations in all regions of the world, with line-item segmentation for 12 key countries.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Evergreen Solar's new line of solar panels for off-grid market

MARLBORO, USA: Evergreen Solar Inc., a manufacturer of STRING RIBBON solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer manufacturing technology, introduced its new ES-C Series solar panels, designed to substantially expand the company’s offering for the global off-grid market.

This new line of 80, 120 and 125 W panels will be manufactured by Evergreen Solar’s contract manufacturing partner, Jiawei Solarchina Co. Ltd, using cells supplied by Evergreen Solar.

The ES-C Series of panels are suitable for direct 12, 24 or 48V battery charging in a wide variety of off-grid applications. The panels provide higher voltages for superior battery charging performance, particularly in hotter climates. Similar to the current line of Evergreen Solar panels serving on-grid markets, the ES-C line of panels deliver more electricity with the least environmental impact of any silicon based solar panel currently available.

“The ES-C Series enables Evergreen Solar to capitalize on the expanding off-grid solar market and further positions the company as a leader in the global solar industry,” said Dr. Terry Bailey, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales.

“Like all Evergreen Solar products this product line has been designed with differentiating performance characteristics to distinguish them from commodity-like competitors and provides better battery charging capability than other major brands. At the same time, we are proud to lead the industry in environmental credentials with the smallest carbon footprint and the quickest energy payback of any silicon-based panel available today.”

The ES-C Series panels are constructed with conduit-ready, multi-configuration junction boxes for easy, flexible installation. The panel’s double-walled, high-strength frame allows it to withstand the harshest of wind or snow conditions.

The panels are also designed to fully comply with UL 1703 (for US and Canada) and IEC standards (approval pending) and carry with them a five-year workmanship and 25-year power warranty. Evergreen is accepting orders now for initial shipments beginning in October.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Solar powered parking-lot light delivers affordable off-grid illumination

VICTORIA, British Columbia: Carmanah Technologies unveiled the newest design in solar LED lighting: the EverGEN 1710 solar-powered area light.

Designed as a compact stand-alone lighting alternative for off-grid parking lots and other municipal, commercial or industrial areas, the new EverGEN 1710 light combines advanced motion-sensing capabilities with a range of energy saving operating profiles to ensure bright, reliable illumination whenever and wherever it’s needed.

Featuring a dark-sky friendly LED fixture designed by industry-leading lighting manufacturer BetaLED, the EverGEN 1710 solar light incorporates all of the elements of a complete solar power system in a compact, pole-mounted design developed by world-renowned global innovation firm frog design.

According to Ted Lattimore, Carmanah CEO, Carmanah and frog design shared a common goal throughout the design process: to present a powerful new lighting alternative characterized by elegance of design and efficiency of operation.

“We knew this light would be special — delivering big system performance in the smallest form factor yet — so when it came to the design, we wanted the very best,” said Lattimore.

“Working closely with the team at frog, we settled on a unique design that reflects the essence of renewable energy: clean, simple, practical and efficient. Although it’s a tough, high output, industrial-strength light, the quality finish and distinctive, contemporary styling would look great just about anywhere,” said Lattimore. “But best of all it performs better than anything in its category — it’s a practical, cost-effective renewable energy alternative.”

Since 1969, frog design has pioneered some of the world’s most groundbreaking designs for trendsetting companies such as Apple, Logitech, Microsoft and Sony. In discussing the partnership with Carmanah, Doreen Lorenzo, president of frog design, said: “The opportunity to partner with Carmanah to create a solution that is both beautiful and functional was one our designers embraced. It is a great example of innovation positively affecting our environment.”

Built on nearly two decades of experience developing self-contained solar-LED lanterns and beacons for the marine, traffic and aviation industries, Carmanah’s solar-powered street, parking lot and urban lighting products help businesses and communities introduce outdoor area lighting wherever it’s needed, without trenching, cabling, grid access, or a monthly utility bill.

With over a quarter of a million units deployed, Carmanah products are widely used and recognized around the world for durability, performance and dependability — operating safely and reliably in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

As an environmentally responsible alternative, Carmanah’s solar-powered EverGEN 1710 area light is assembled using safe, recyclable materials in strict accordance with the European Union’s guidelines for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronic equipment (RoHS).

The EverGEN 1710 solar light is scheduled for availability in early 2010.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

AMSC India to address India's rapidly growing wind energy and power grid markets

DEVENS, USA: American Superconductor Corp., a global energy technologies company, has formed AMSC India to serve India’s rapidly growing wind energy and power grid markets with AMSC’s power electronics and superconductor-based solutions. With its regional head office in Delhi and a service office in Pune, it will provide local applications engineering, sales, business development, and field service support.

“India is beginning to tap into its renewable energy resources and is making significant investments to vastly improve the throughput and reliability of its power grid,” said Greg Yurek, founder and chief executive officer of AMSC.

“Our advanced power electronics and superconductor solutions are well positioned to address these needs both in the near and long term. AMSC India has been formed to provide high-quality local technical support for our new wind power customers and build a strong foundation for future sales into India’s broader renewable energy and power grid markets.”

According to the World Bank, roughly 40 percent of residences in India are without electricity, and blackouts are a common occurrence throughout the country’s main cities. To address this shortfall, the Indian government has established an ambitious “Power for All by 2012” plan that will require the country’s installed generation capacity to grow from 140,000 megawatts (MW) to nearly 225,000 MW by 2012. It also will require billions of dollars of investment in India’s transmission and distribution infrastructure.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council’s Global Wind 2008 Report, India now ranks fifth in the world in terms of total installed wind power capacity. Capacity in the country grew by 22 percent in 2008 to 9,600 MW. The Indian Wind Energy Association estimates that the country has 65,000 MW of wind power potential.

AMSC’s first two wind turbine manufacturing customers in India are Ghodawat Energy Limited and Inox Wind Limited. Both licensed AMSC Windtec turbine designs within the past 18 months. AMSC, which is the exclusive power electronic system supplier for all Ghodawat and Inox wind turbines, announced today that it has received initial orders for five wind turbine electrical systems from Ghodawat and three wind turbine electrical systems from Inox.

Ghodawat, based in Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra, India, will use the electrical systems for its initial production of 1.65 MW wind turbines designed by AMSC Windtec. Ghodawat, in collaboration with AMSC Windtec and AMSC India, has successfully erected and tested its first reference 1.65 MW wind turbine.

Inox, located in Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, plans to begin volume production of 2 MW wind turbines designed by AMSC Windtec in 2010. Inox is in the process of collaborating with AMSC Windtec and AMSC India to erect its first reference wind turbine prior to initiation of volume production in 2010.

CIGS solar manufacturer selects Veeco deposition equipment

PLAINVIEW, USA: Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that it has received a multi-million dollar order from GroupSat (Hong Kong) Ltd for its suite of FastFlex Web Coating Systems.

This complement of tools will be shipped to GroupSat’s factory in Suzhou, China, and is comprised of one Mo (Molybdenum) deposition system, one TCO (Transparent Conductive Oxide) deposition system and two CIGS (copper, indium, gallium and selenide) deposition systems. Veeco currently expects to ship these systems in early 2010.

Nasir M. Ameriar, CEO of GroupSat, commented: “We have an aggressive plan to become the first true CIGS thin film solar manufacturer in China. As a provider of flexible solar products, we will cater to markets in China, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, and have chosen Veeco’s FastFlex Web Coating Systems because we are convinced that their technology and process support will help us achieve our goals.”

David Bruns, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Veeco Solar Equipment, said: “We are pleased to be selected by GroupSat for their expansion plans. Our FastFlex systems feature the industry’s only fully integrated thermal evaporation sources, which we believe provides our customers a high throughput, low cost manufacturing solution. Ultimately the success of CIGS technology is tied to increasing cell efficiency and driving down manufacturing cost per watt.”

CIGS is emerging as the next generation solar technology, offering combined benefits of higher efficiencies and lower costs when compared with silicon. Market research firm Greentech Media estimates that CIGS production capacity will grow from 264 megawatts in 2009 to 1.7 gigawatts in 2012 (a CAGR of 86 percent).

CIGS solar cells offer the broadest range of applications of any thin film solar technology –- they can be used in solar farms, in BIPV (building integrated PV), flat and pitched roofs, rooftop shingles and in portable devices.

Veeco’s FastFlex platform features flexible architecture with high uptime that can be configured to specific needs, with a choice of rotary or planar magnetrons for high throughput, high temperature effusion sources, and substrate sizes up to one meter wide.

India mainly an off-grid solar PV market with only 2.12 Mw of PV power being grid connected

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of GlobalData's new report "Indian Solar Sector: Dawn of a New Era" to its offering.

The future of solar PV development in India looks encouraging and is expected to be driven by the government incentives and PV support programs. India is mainly an off-grid solar PV market with only 2.12 MW of PV power being grid connected.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched various financial support programs like the generation based incentives (feed-in tariff) of Rs 15/KWh ($0.30 / KWh) to encourage grid connectivity in India. Semiconductor policy in India is providing capital subsidy for PV manufacturers.

This initiative has attracted investments worth Rs 796.46 billion ($18 billion) from manufacturers of PV equipment. Financial incentives along with other PV support programs like the Solar Cities program is aimed at promoting solar PV installations in the country.

First Solar to team with Ordos City on major solar power plant in China desert

TEMPE, USA: First Solar announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese government to build a 2 gigawatt solar power plant in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China.

Pursuant to the MOU, signed in the presence of Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, the solar project in Ordos will be built over a multi-year period.

Phase 1 will be a 30 megawatt demonstration project that will begin construction by June 1, 2010 and be completed as soon thereafter as practicable. Phases 2, 3 and 4 will be 100 megawatts, 870 megawatts, and 1,000 megawatts. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed in 2014 and Phase 4 will be completed by 2019.

“This major commitment to solar power is a direct result of the progressive energy policies being adopted in China to create a sustainable, long-term market for solar and a low carbon future for China,” First Solar CEO Mike Ahearn said at the signing ceremony. “We’re proud to be announcing this precedent-setting project today. It represents an encouraging step forward toward the mass-scale deployment of solar power worldwide to help mitigate climate change concerns.”

The project will operate under a feed-in-tariff which will guarantee the pricing of electricity produced by the power plant over a long-term period.

“The Chinese feed-in tariff will be critical to this project,” Ahearn said. “This type of forward-looking government policy is necessary to create a strong solar market and facilitate the construction of a project of this size, which in turn continues to drive the cost of solar electricity closer to ‘grid parity’ –- where it is competitive with traditional energy sources.”

The MOU contemplates that during the implementation of the initial phases of the project First Solar will actively review the possibility of module and supplier manufacturing sites in Ordos, and other considerations required to support a First Solar investment.

First Solar also intends to facilitate expansion of the supply chains in China for thin film photovoltaic module production and for the recycling of photovoltaic modules after use.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with one of the solar industry’s global technology leaders in a project of such significance to Ordos’s low carbon future,” said Cao Zhichen, vice mayor of Ordos Municipal Government. “Discussions with First Solar about building a factory in China demonstrate to investors in China that they can confidently invest in the most advanced technologies available.”

The MOU sets forth the agreement in principle of the parties concerning the project and related activities. Final agreement between the parties is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements among the parties.

KYOCERA Sakura solar energy center marks 25 years

KYOTO, JAPAN: Since 1975, Kyocera Corp. has continuously been developing its solar energy business with the business rationale, “To bring the power of the sun to the world.” To achieve that goal, in August 1984, Kyocera established the Sakura Solar Energy Center just outside of Tokyo for the R&D and promotion of solar power generating systems. This month, the Center marks its 25th anniversary.

At the time of the establishment of the Sakura Solar Energy Center in 1984, use of solar power generating systems was limited to special applications such as unmanned lighthouses, satellites and wireless repeater stations; and not many people were aware of the possibility of solar power as an energy source used in daily life.

The concept behind the establishment of the Center was to create a comprehensive facility at which to conduct research into solar power products and to facilitate understanding of the benefits of solar energy by introducing it to the world.

Serving our mission, “To deliver light to areas without electricity,” set-up within the facility are solar power generating systems for real-life examples of housing, agricultural pumps, and village electrification that are typically found in areas without electricity in developing countries in Africa and Asia. Kyocera has focused particular attention on experiments and R&D with these installations.

The Center is conveniently located close to Narita International Airport — the gateway to Japan — in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, and has been receiving various groups from state visitors and important guests to technical staff and engineers from all over the world for training on solar power applications. In the 25 years since it was established over 50 thousand visitors have come to the Center to learn about solar power technology — contributing to increased global solar energy awareness.

The technology and experience cultivated at the Center is presently being put to work around the world in mainstream grid-connected systems. With the rise in concern for global environmental issues solar energy first started drawing wide-spread attention as a clean energy source in the 1990s. Anticipating this trend, in 1991, Kyocera was the first company to provide commercial grid-connected systems in Japan.

The Center is also equipped with a 43kW solar power generating system that was installed in 1984, and which to this day continues to provide power for the facility’s indoor and emergency lighting. At a time when few other large-scale solar power generating systems existed, the installation was a unique and unprecedented experimental system.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Intersolar expands into India!

HYDERABAD, INDIA: Intersolar, the world's largest trade show for solar technology, is expanding into India.

Intersolar India will take place for the first time in 2009 in association with SOLARCON India, being held in Hyderabad from November 9-11. Alongside the Intersolar events in Munich and San Francisco, the trade show will now have a third international location.

Together with SOLARCON India, Intersolar India is the leading conference for the photovoltaics industry in India. The three-day program will be complemented by an inaugural accompanying exhibition which is due to be greatly expanded for 2010 and onward.

The collaboration in India sees Intersolar further increases its well-established partnership with SEMI PV Group, the leading global industry association for the semiconductor and photovoltaics industry and organizer of SOLARCON.

This year's conference will focus on the development of the Indian PV market. The event will be inaugurated on November 9 by key officials from the Government of India, Government of Andhra Pradesh and industry leaders. Prof. Eicke Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) of Freiburg is slated to deliver the keynote.

Upcoming Indian solar market
India has long been considered a potentially attractive market for solar technology by the industry. With the new "National Action Plan on Climate Change" that was adopted by the Indian government in 2008, that hope is now being realized.

According to plans drawn up by the "National Solar Mission" at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, solar installations with a total capacity of 20 gigawatts (GW) are to be installed in India by 2020. To achieve this objective, photovoltaic installations, including rooftop, ground-based arrays and off-grid applications, as well as solar thermal power plants, will be key.

It is an ambitious goal. As only a few projects have been implemented to date, most of the planned 20GW will have to be realized within the next 11 years. This amounts to annual installation of approximately 1.8GW.

If achieved, India would join the current leading nations in rate of annual installed solar technology. Therefore, the opportunities in the Indian market are particularly robust at the present time, and ever-more international solar companies are reacting to this new development.

SOLARCON India and Intersolar India 2009
Intersolar India, just like Intersolar North America, is being jointly organized by Solar Promotion International GmbH and Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI).

SOLARCON India is being organized by PV Group, which is an initiative of SEMI, the global association for the semiconductor and photovoltaics industry. SOLARCON India and Intersolar India are supported by the leading Indian solar companies.