Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FW: IEA report offers support for renewables and opines on REC markets vs.FIT markets

November 29, 2011
Despite the common opposition argument that renewable energy is not cost
effective without subsidies, a growing number of governments around the
world have begun to invest in that area. Now Reuters reports that the
International Energy Agency believes that renewable energy sources will
become increasingly cost-effective in coming years. 

The report, entitled "Deploying Renewables 2011: Best and Future Policy
Practice," especially emphasizes the important role that government
subsidies will play in bringing down the cost of the currently expensive
clean energy prices. However, it argues that some better-established
technologies are already competitive with traditional fossil fuels. 

"The portfolio of RE technologies, which includes established hydropower,
geothermal and bioenergy technologies is now, therefore, cost-competitive in
an increasingly broad range of circumstances, providing investment
opportunities without the need for specific economic support," the report

Environmental Finance notes in particular the comparison of feed-in tariffs,
common in Europe and Asia, and renewable energy certificate markets. The
reports finds that both policies encourage substantial investment in
renewable energy technology, but RECs tend to cost substantially more for
the impact that they produce.

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North American Photovoltaic Market Set to Double Year over Year in Q4’11 | Solarbuzz

NOTE THIS ONE: North American solar PV market forecast - ElectroIQ

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North American solar PV market forecast
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November 29, 2011 -- The North American solar photovoltaic (PV) market is
affected by strong utility-scale project demand, declining solar incentives
in distributed generation applications, module over-supply, and significant
policy uncertainty, finds NPD Solarbuzz in its North America PV Markets
Quarterly report.

With grid parity on the horizon in some North American regions, PV is
"positioned to take significant market share from other energy sources,"
said Craig Stevens, president of NPD Solarbuzz. "Downstream companies are
facing enormous challenges to adapt to rapidly changing channel structure
and business models in order to successfully participate in that
opportunity," he added.

In Q4 2011, the North America photovoltaic market is forecast to grow 33%
Q/Q and 101% Y/Y. Q4 2011 installations of more than 0.8GW of PV capacity
are expected, resulting in a total demand of over 2.2GW in 2011.

The next four quarters carry significantly more downstream uncertainty than
normal. The SolarWorld Chinese anti-dumping petition has split the US PV
industry, with clear evidence that some Chinese manufacturers and project
developers have already started to delay shipments and installations. Taken
together with the expiration of the US federal cash grant, deferral of
module supplies awaiting a price bottom will slow 2012 growth. The North
American market, however, is still forecast to triple in size by 2015, with
the ground-mount installations securing the largest market share of 42%.

In Q3 2011, the US PV market grew by 32% from Q2 2011. It could reach 1.9 GW
for the year, which would mean that the market has doubled in size for the
second consecutive year. The United States will account for 84% of North
American demand in Q4 2011; Canada, dominated by Ontario, has the remaining
16%. When viewed at a state or provincial level, California remains the
largest single market in Q4 2011, with 21% of market share. Ontario is
forecast to become the second-largest region (16%), followed by New Jersey
(11%). Demand in the United States market has spread to many states beyond
California, but in Canada, Ontario is 99% of the national market, which
creates significant policy risk.

The Canadian market is continuing its growth in Q4 2011, and is projected to
increase 35% Q/Q and 33% Y/Y, as utility-scale projects continue
development, most under Ontario's previous incentive scheme. The province's
current incentive program, a feed-in tariff, stimulated approximately 16 MW
of residential installations during Q4'11 and will continue to be Canada's
primary driver of PV uptake. In terms of policy developments, most attention
is now focused on the FIT program's review, which is being conducted by the
Ontario Power Authority. Expectations are that FIT rates will decline, but
other aspects of the policy, such as local content requirements, will remain
largely unchanged.

The primary driver in Ontario has been the feed-in tariff (FIT), while
American states have been driven by a combination of policies and
regulations at both state and federal levels. More recently, the US federal
government played a critical role in the US solar marketplace, providing
investment tax credits (ITC), cash grants, depreciation bonuses and loan
guarantees as vehicles to make PV more financeable. By the end of Q3 2011,
the federal government cumulatively awarded over $1.4 billion in cash grants
for solar systems, which is equivalent to 800MW of installed capacity. The
California Solar Initiative, the largest state-level incentive program in
the US, has supported over 650 MW since its inception in 2007.

In Q4 2011, ground-mount installations are forecast to have 38% of the
market, followed by building-mount, non-residential systems (>100 kW), which
will have 37% of the market. The ground-mount segment benefited from demand
from Ontario and from large-scale installations in California and Arizona
geared toward meeting the state RPS requirements.

Figure. North America market segmentation Q3 2011 (611MW, left) vs. Q4 2011
(811MW, right). Source: NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly
For large-scale non-residential and utility-scale projects in Q3 2011 and Q4
2011, the scheduled expiration of the US federal cash grant has encouraged
progress to meet qualifying requirements; ongoing installation will continue
throughout 2012, stimulated by the progress requirements for these cash

The NPD Solarbuzz North America PV Markets Quarterly report explores the
opportunities and risks facing downstream companies in the North American
region. NPD Solarbuzz is a globally recognized market research business
focused on solar energy and photovoltaic industries. For more information,
Subscribe to Photovoltaics World
Follow Photovoltaics World on via editors Pete Singer, and Debra Vogler,
Or join our Facebook group

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MA urging Municipalities to install solar on 400+ landfills

North America

Massachusetts encourages municipalities to invest in renewable energy projects

28.11.2011: According to local news outlet Enterprise News, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is urging towns and cities in the state to install photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy systems on 496 former dumps. MassDEP has already issued permits for 12 such projects, but it wants to encourage more municipalities to redevelop closed landfill sites. To do so, MassDEP has introduced a streamlined permitting process and is publicizing incentives. … Source: Enterprise News; Summary: PHOTON



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Algonquin buys Effi Solar Projects

Note: APCo buying them when they reach FIT Contract, but probably paying an option fee for the ones in the queue.


Algonquin Power to acquire 10 MW PV project

28.11.2011: Canadian utility Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. announced that its power generation subsidiary Algonquin Power Co. (APCo) has signed an agreement with Canadian solar power project developer EffiSolar Energy Corp. to acquire Cornwall Solar Inc., a 10 MW (AC) solar power project near Cornwall, Ontario. Under the terms of the agreement, APCo also has the option of acquiring 10 additional solar projects being developed in Ontario. Feed-in-tariff (FIT) applications have been submitted for all 10 of the projects, which have a combined capacity of 100 MW (AC). The $45 million Cornwall project has already been granted a 20-year Ontario FIT contract by the Ontario Power Authority. Construction on the project is expected to begin in the second half of 2012 and should be completed by early 2013. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011. … Source: Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. ; Summary : PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Halfway to a Million Solar Roofs| RenewablesBiz

Monday, November 28, 2011

FW: EPA, DOE evaluate feasibility of solar power production on New Jersey, other landfills

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy

EPA, DOE evaluate feasibility of solar power production on New Jersey

November 22, 2011
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

TheU.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy's
National Renewable Energy Laboratory are evaluating the feasibility of
developing solar power production on the Price's Pit Landfill in
Pleasantville and Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The assessment is part of the
RE-Powering America's Land Initiative through which EPA will help revitalize
abandoned sites, clean up the environment and lay the groundwork for
renewable energy and job creation.

"America faces serious environmental and economic challenges caused by our
over reliance on fossil fuels," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional
Administrator. "Part of the solution is to use previously contaminated land
to generate clean energy. This strategy will revitalize communities, cut air
pollution and create new jobs."

For a comprehensive listing of power and petroleum careers worldwide,
including renewable positions, visit PennEnergy Jobs today.

The Price's Pit Landfill property consists of 26 acres that had functioned
as a sand and gravel excavating operation from the early 1960s until 1968.
In 1969, the site became a commercial solid waste landfill and it began
accepting both drummed and bulk liquid waste. Landfill operations were
stopped in 1976. As part of an ongoing Superfund cleanup, EPA and DOE will
assess the potential for solar power production at the site. Because the
site will be level with sparse vegetation once the cap is installed, it may
be a good candidate.

EPA and DOE selected 26 sites across the country where wind, solar, biomass,
or geothermal energy production may be possible. EPA and DOE will determine
the potential energy generating capacity of the sites, the optimal location
for placement of the renewable energy technology on the sites, the return on
the investment, and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

FW: Solar in the USA: A House Divided - Power Engineering

Solar in the USA: A House Divided
By LindsayM
Just when solar power was starting to gain tremendous momentum in the U.S.,
the industry has hit a colossal bump in the road. Surprising to some, that
bump is not in the form of oil tycoons funding politicians threatening to
cease government subsidies to solar companies (though post-Solyndra, many
would expect that to be the demise of the solar industry). No. The bump in
the solar industry is the solar industry itself, which has become a house
divided over the last couple weeks.
Much like the NBA, the solar industry is spiraling into an inward debacle.
On Oct. 9, SolarWorld and six unnamed solar panel manufacturers filed a
complaint with the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade
Commission (ITC) alleging that Chinese solar panel makers and cell
manufacturers are making it hard to compete in the U.S. market. The
companies claim Chinese panel makers and cell manufacturers are receiving
unfair subsidies from the Chinese government and dropping their prices at
artificially low levels.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen solar companies formed the Coalition for
Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) last week in response to SolarWorld's filing.
CASE asserts that the competitive PV prices the U.S. has benefitted from
over the last couple years has…well…benefitted us.
Kevin Lapidus, senior vice president of legal and government affairs for Sun
Edison, and one of the Coalition founders, said that the companies filing
the complaint have not taken into consideration a number of issues that have
caused the continuing price decline of solar modules. These issues include
declining incentives for solar developments in the U.S. and the continuing
price decline of polysilicone, which has fallen 40 percent this year.
"In order to succeed, each step in the production chain must reduce its
cost," Lapidus said. "Only if this is achieved across the entire solar
industry can we be successful."
After a visit to Trina Solar's manufacturing facility in Chanzhou, China in
May this year, I got a peek of how Chinese manufacturers reduce production
chain costs. It's true, they do pay less for labor. While the middle class
is burgeoning by the day, China is still at a point economically where it
can pay less for labor. Aside from labor costs, Chinese PV manufacturers
also have a highly streamlined system that some American and European
counterparts have not quite been able to duplicate. These elements result in
Chinese manufacturers being able to offer PV products that are on average 10
percent cheaper than their European, Japanese, or American competitors.
But the crux of SolarWorld and crew's argument is not just that Chinese
modules are cheap, but that the prices have been dumped at illegal rates.
According to a report by investment bank Jefferies, the Department of
Commerce is looking at a few factors to determine whether or not panel
prices are being illegally dumped:
1)      "Has money been granted outright, or below market rates
2)      Are taxes lower for targeted industries, or by regions.
3)      Is land given, or
4)      Are there other subsidized inputs."
In the end, it won't matter if the U.S. is simply benefitting from low
prices. What will matter is if illegal dumping has indeed taken place. If
the case goes through, SolarWorld and friends may end up looking like the
goody two-shoes kid in class tattling on the bad kid. And even if the case
does not end in SolarWorld's favor, the company has paid a heavy price over
the last month as its stock has dropped dramatically. But more importantly,
if their case does go through, the cost of modules will go up and solar jobs
in the U.S. will be impacted.
About a month ago, before any of this frenzy began, Tom Doyle, president and
CEO of NRG Solar, took part in our Power Engineering Renewable Energy
Executive Roundtable, which will run in the January 2012 issue. His point of
view – the developer's point of view – is ultimately what should matter to
PV manufacturers. Here's what he had to say about the matter:
"What's important to developers right now is the intense competition to
drive down PV panel pricing," Doyle said. "It's such an aggressive market
that it's significantly surpassed our expectation of what we thought we
could see as a buyer of PV products."
This entry was posted on Wed Nov 16 09:28:10 CST 2011 and filed under Solar.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the Atom feed. You can
leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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FW: Argentina, Hungary and Israel are best renewables’ growth areas, says report - Power Engineering International

Argentina, Hungary and Israel are best renewables' growth areas, says report
By Kelvin Ross
Deputy Editor

The balance of power in the renewable energy market is shifting from the US and Western Europe to the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
That's the conclusion of analysts at Ernst & Young in their latest quarterly global renewable energy Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI) report, published yesterday.
The report scores 40 countries for national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and their suitability for individual technologies.
It concludes that the greatest short-term growth opportunities for renewable energy lie in countries such as Argentina, Hungary, Israel, Tunisia and Ukraine, which all share "an acute need for more renewable power".
Gil Forer, Ernst & Young's global cleantech leader, said: "The mature renewable energy markets of Western Europe and the US have been hit by a perfect storm of reduced government incentives, restricted access to capital and increased competition from abroad.
"At the same time we are seeing growing support for renewable energy in emerging markets. Such countries, with a strongly growing energy demand, are seizing this opportunity to leap-frog fossil fuel generation to secure a low carbon and resource efficient future in renewable energy, with 15 emerging markets being added to the CAI in the past two years."
The top three countries in the poll remain China, the US and Germany, which was the only top-ten European country to rise in the index following news that state-owned bank KfW is to provide more than €100bn of funding to ease the country's transition from nuclear to renewables.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

LDK Solar Plans to Triple Polysilicon Capacity as Material Prices Fall - Bloomberg

FW: Solar claims rain down on Spain: Spanish solar investors press ahead with legal challenge



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


From: Monty Bannerman []
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 3:36 PM
To: 'Charles Wassell'; 'Timmins, Thomas'
Subject: Solar claims rain down on Spain: Spanish solar investors press ahead with legal challenge


How’s this for a lesson in retroactivity?

Friday, November 25, 2011

FW: Ireland gets EUR235m finance for Smart Grid projects - Power Engineering International

No doubt the Mainstream CEO had a hand in this.

By Kelvin Ross
Deputy Editor

The European Investment Bank and Ireland's largest electricity utility ESB
have signed a EUR235m ($317m) loan deal to develop Smart Grids. 
The loan will provide half the funding for a total investment programme of
EUR470m which is to be delivered over two years.
The project includes plans to enhance transmission and distribution links
from wind farms and to improve the efficiency and capability of the
electricity networks to facilitate greater integration of renewable energy
The programme also includes the technical design phase of a national smart
metering rollout and the construction of more than 270km of new high voltage
lines to reinforce existing transmission links from the southwest, west and
northwest of Ireland – which has significant wind generation capacity – to
the main population centres in the east.
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FW: Germany cannot sustain pace of offshore grid work, warns TenneT - Power Engineering International

Offshore transmission is the most expensive and technically complex of all,
by far.

Germany cannot sustain pace of offshore grid work, warns TenneT
Social Media Tools
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By Kelvin Ross
Deputy Editor

Transmission system operator TenneT has told the German government that it
cannot continue with the country's programme to connect offshore wind farms
to the grid.
The company claims that it has reached saturation point of "human, material
and financial resources".
TenneT has written to the German Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry
of Economics and the Federal Environment Ministry to warn them that "the
construction of connecting cables for offshore wind farms in the North Sea
is no longer advisable and possible under current conditions and in the
current speed".
Currently, there are nine projects in preparation to connect wind farms in
the German North Sea, and TenneT says it will honour these contracts.
However it told the government that "if additional offshore wind farms are
to be connected, general conditions must be improved"
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Monday, November 21, 2011

FW: EPA approves new hybrid gas, solar power plant project in California

Virtuous combo.

EPA approves new hybrid gas, solar power plant project in California

November 18, 2011
The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a new project in Palmdale,
California, looking to combine gas-fired generation with solar power,
according to Reuters. 

While solar power has grown increasingly popular across the U.S. in recent
years, it remains a minuscule portion of the country's total power
generation capacity, in part because of difficulty in scaling and because of
cost. Natural gas power generation, though still smaller than coal in the
U.S., has been the fastest growing segment of the market because of low
costs, lower pollution levels and easy scaling. 

The $950 million Palmdale Hybrid Power Plant project looks to reduce both
the costs of solar and the emissions of natural gas-fired generation by
producing some of the steam used to power the plant's turbine through the
use of solar thermal energy, focusing sunlight with parabolic mirrors. At
its peak the solar system could contribute as much as 10 percent of the
plant's 50 megawatt capacity, while the presence of natural gas-fired
generation will remove concerns about intermittent power.

The 377-acre power plant site is part of an approximately 600-acre
city-owned property that is bounded by Sierra Highway to the west, Columbia
Way to the north, and U.S. Air Force Plant 42 on the south and east.
Commercial operation of the project is planned for the summer of 2013. 

This summer at POWER-GEN Europe 2011, General Electric (NYSE:GE) introduced
plans for the world's first Integrated Renewables Combined Cycle Power Plant
to be located in Karaman, Turkey. The even larger 530-megawatt hybrid
project will seamlessly integrate natural gas, wind and solar thermal power
and is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2015.



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State Dept Creates Energy Bureau, Steers World Toward Clean Energy Future

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FW: PHOTON Newsletter from November 15, 2011

Lots of news of demand falling.


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


From: []
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 7:16 AM
Subject: PHOTON Newsletter from November 15, 2011


Personal Newsletter for Monty Bannerman

from 15.11.2011


Jinko downgrades guidance

14.11.2011: Chinese photovoltaic (PV) product manufacturer JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. downgraded its guidance for fiscal year 2011, stating that it expects lower revenues and shipment volume than previously forecast. The company estimates module shipments for the year will reach approximately 770–800 MW, down from the company's previous guidance of between 950 MW and 1 GW. The company blames weak demand and declining average selling prices throughout the solar supply chain for the lower shipment volumes and revenues. During the last three weeks, First Solar, Trina Solar and Yingli Energy also downgraded their guidance. ... Source: JinkSolar Holding Co., Ltd.; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:


North America

ECD reports heavy losses during the last quarter

14.11.2011: Solar laminate manufacturer Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD) announced the results of its first quarter of fiscal year 2012. The company reports a net loss of $57.5 million for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $15.4 million for the first quarter of 2011. Revenues for the quarter were $22 million, down from $65.3 million in the same period last year. Last week, ECD announced that it has suspended manufacturing operations at all three of it plants as part of an inventory control measure. The company stated that production will resume after existing inventory has been sold and after the solar market has improved. ECD said that it is reassessing every aspect of the company's strategy as part of it ongoing corporate restructuring plan. … Source: Energy Conversion Devices Inc.; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:


North America

Greg Wilson to lead National Center for Photovoltaics

11.11.2011: Gregory M. Wilson has been appointed director of the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), effective Nov. 28. Wilson previously served as director of business development at wafer manufacturer MEMC. … Source: National Center for Photovoltaics; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



LDK Solar downgrades guidance for the third quarter and fiscal 2011

14.11.2011: Chinese photovoltaic (PV) product manufacturer LDK Solar Co., Ltd. downgraded its guidance for the third quarter of 2011 and for fiscal year 2011. LDK Solar now expects to report revenues of $460 to $470 million for the quarter, down from a previous forecast of $630 to $680 million. For fiscal year 2011, LDK Solar now forecasts revenues of $2.2 to $2.25 billion. Previous guidance suggested revenue would be between $2.5 and $2.7 billion. The company's revised fiscal 2011 guidance estimates that wafer shipments will be between 285 and 290 MW for the quarter and between 1.55 GW and 1.65 GW for the year. Third quarter module shipments are expected to be between 185 MW and 190 MW, while the annual total will be between 550 MW and 650 MW. … Source: LDK Solar Co., Ltd.; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Q-Cells reveals wider-than-expected loss

14.11.2011: German photovoltaic (PV) module maker Q-Cells SE reported that in the third quarter of 2011, losses before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached €47.3 million. In comparison, the operating profit for the third quarter of 2010 was €36.7 million. Revenues for the third quarter of 2011 were €228.8 million, down from €401.6 million last year. Q-Cells expects that it will achieve revenues of about €1 billion in fiscal year 2011, but its operating result will be in the negative three-digit million euro range. Q-Cells also revealed tha it is struggling with liquidity problems and that it might not be able to fully repay a convertible bond due in February 2012. The cell and module maker also announced that Marion Helmes resigned as chief financial officer. ... Source: Q-Cells; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



SolarWorld sales and profits fall

14.11.2011: German solar company SolarWorld AG reported that in the third quarter of 2011, its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached €20.6 million, down from €49.8 million in the third quarter of 2010. Revenues for the quarter were €237.8 million, compared to €342.1 million in 2010. CEO Frank Asbeck said the company's weaker results were due in part to price declines caused by market oversupply, which Asbeck claimed was mainly from state-subsidized low-price providers. Despite the deterioration of the global solar market, SolarWorld estimates that its revenues for fiscal year 2011 will exceed €1 billion. … Source: Solar World AG; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Sunways reports third quarter losses

14.11.2011: German photovoltaic (PV) module maker Sunways AG reported that in the third quarter of 2011, its losses before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached €11.8 million. In comparison, the operating profit for the third quarter of 2010 was €4 million. Revenues for the quarter reached €23.3 million, compared to €58.4 million for the same period in 2010. In the third quarter, the company shipped 11.4 MW of solar modules, worth €14 million. In the same quarter last year, the company shipped 11.3 MW of modules, but the value of those modules was €19.6 million. The company said the ongoing public debate concerning the future of solar subsidies and the deepening debt crisis in several European countries has led to a noticeable reluctance among consumers and investors in Europe. ... Source: Sunways AG; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:


South America

Cemig to start construction of 3 MW Brazilian PV project in January

11.11.2011: Brazilian energy company Cemig and Spanish photovoltaic product manufacturer Solaria announced that construction of a 2.95 MW pilot PV project, to be located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, will start in January. Cemig stated that the installation, which is scheduled to be completed by April 2012, is a pilot project that will enable the energy company to evaluate how it will incorporate solar into its energy mix. … Source: Cemig; Translation and summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



ForVEI buys two Italian solar farms for €33 million

14.11.2011: Investment company ForVEI has acquired two photovoltaic (PV) plants in the Italian region of Piedmont from Spanish solar energy developer OPDE. The transaction cost €33 million ($45 million) and will add 7.93 MW to ForVEI's PV portfolio. The two plants rely on Trina and Canadian Solar PV modules, SMA inverters and Mecasolar single-axis solar trackers. In September, ForVEI, a joint venture of Palladio Finanziaria SpA, Assicurazioni Generali SpA, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Quercus Asset Selection Sarl and Foresight Solar VCT plc, acquired three Italian PV plants with a joint capacity of 13.2 MW from OPDE. … Source: OPDE; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Universal Sun and trs energies plan 2.9 MW of rooftop PV in Sardinia

14.11.2011: German investment company trs energies GmbH and Italian renewable energy company Universal Sun Srl will jointly develop a 2.9 MW photovoltaic (PV) project in Sardinia, Italy. Under the agreement, Universal Sun will install and maintain four rooftop PV installations for trs energies. The installations are expected to be connected to the grid in the first half of 2012. ... Source: Universal Sun; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Senersun to increase solar panel production capacity

14.11.2011: French photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer Senersun announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a stake in Shinew Photoelectronic Technology for an undisclosed amount. The deal will enable Senersun to increase its manufacturing capacity of PV modules. The company stated that despite poor global demand for PV modules, Senersun has been growing steadily over 2011. ... Source: Senersun; Summary: PHOTON

The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:


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Except in solar. Ontario has an opportunity to change this story.

APEC trade talks could bring end of supply management in Canada | Full Comment | National Post

Poultry and dairy farmers may be more interested in revenue than they were last week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Analyst: Big plunge in 2012 PV equipment sales, no V-shape recovery - ElectroIQ

Chip fab manufacturing equipment forecast declines are  a second-stage market signal (after fundamentals like silicon bar stock prices) that the supply side is contracting significantly. Bankruptcies and M&A among the panel manufacturers has already begun, and this will contribute further to sopping up excess capacity supply.

This means downward pressure on pricing will begin to ease off. Offsetting this (and my own prediction) is that price decline and margin compression will continue through 2012 because demand is softening at the same time due to economic and political uncertainties in the world market, but the rate of decline will moderate.

FW: Top five emerging energy storage technology companies

Top five emerging energy storage technology companies

November 10, 2011
Source: Lux Research

The new Lux Research Grid Storage Tracker reveals that the lineup of leading
emerging energy storage suppliers is indeed seeing a significant shake-up.
Japanese molten salt battery producer NGK Insulators has historically
dominated the grid storage market for emerging technologies (excluding
pumped hydro, compressed air, and traditional lead-acid batteries). After
capturing over 76% of the total market at the end of 2010, NGK's market
share plummeted to just 53% of operating grid storage projects as of
September 30th of this year, according to Lux Research's Grid Storage

2011 Installed Grid Storage
Market Leaders

2011 Market Share

NGK Insulators

Xtreme Power

Beacon Power

International Battery

A123 Systems

Source: Lux Research

NGK's monopoly withered and allowed other players with a variety of
technologies to make waves into the grid storage market, including Xtreme
Power's advanced lead acid battery, Beacon Power's(Nasdaq:BCON)flywheels
(although Beacon's share will drop after filing Chapter 11 last week), and
lithium ion batteries from International Battery and A123 Systems
(Nasdaq:AONE),. The strong traction of these players resulted in a 56%
increase in the number of installed megawatts in 2011 over 2010. Based upon
announced and ongoing projects, NGK's market share will sharply drop by the
end of 2012 with A123 Systems capturing nearly one quarter of the market. 

The Lux Research Grid Storage Tracker, built upon data gathered from primary
interviews with technology developers, is a customizable database and tool
that keeps track of grid storage projects around the world from conception
through operation and completion. The Grid Storage Tracker details each
project's technology, technology provider, status, size, location, cost, and
applications and breaks down the market for battery components by cathode,
anode, separator, and electrolyte. 

The Tracker is a flexible platform that allows the user to input proprietary
data and manipulate Lux Research's underlying assumptions. This dynamic tool
supports an almost infinite quantity of easily customized graphical and data
outputs ready for instant insertion into any reporting format.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

FW: China solar cell output to hit 11.5 GW this year - ElectroIQ

China, the world's largest solar cell manufacturer, is on course to produce
11.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar cells this year, an association executive said
at an industry meeting in Beijing Oct. 31.
National solar cell output totaled 9.17 GW from January to September,
according to Cao Guoqing, Vice Secretary General of the China Battery
Industry Association. The provinces of Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang were the
top three manufacturers, Cao said.
According to the Earth Policy Institute, a U.S.-based environmental think
tank, Chinese solar cell production last year doubled for the seventh
consecutive year to hit 10.8 GW. In comparison, Taiwan was a distant second
with 3.6 GW produced, followed by Japan with 2.2 GW, Germany with 2 GW, and
the U.S. with 1.1 GW.
Speaking at the China New Energy Battery Industry Investment Forum, Cao
attributed the substantial growth in recent years to a favorable policy
environment and healthy competition from the growing presence of foreign
manufacturers in China.
China's solar cell exports surged 48.2 percent year-on-year to 245 million
units in the first three quarters of the year, Cao said.
The dominance of Chinese solar cell manufacturers in the global industry has
sparked trade concerns from overseas markets, particularly the U.S. On Oct.
19, seven American solar panel manufacturers filed a broad trade case with
the U.S. Department of Commerce, accusing Chinese companies of receiving
huge government subsidies and dumping solar products in the U.S. at less
than the cost of manufacture.

Copyright 2011 Interfax News Agency
All Rights Reserved
Wire News provided by 

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FW: Solar Power Could Get Boost from New Light Absorption Design | Product Design and Development

Solar power may be on the rise, but solar cells are only as efficient as the
amount of sunlight they collect. Under the direction of a new McCormick
professor, researchers have developed a new material that absorbs a wide
range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive
solar technology.

A paper describing the findings, "Broadband polarization-independent
resonant light absorption using ultrathin plasmonic super absorbers," was
published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

"The solar spectrum is not like a laser – it's very broadband, starting with
UV and going up to near-infrared," said Koray Aydin, assistant professor of
electrical engineering and computer science and the paper's lead author. 
"To capture this light most efficiently, a solar cell needs to have a
broadband response. This design allows us to achieve that."

The researchers used two unconventional materials – metal and silicon oxide
– to create thin but complex, trapezoid-shaped metal gratings on the
nanoscale that can trap a wider range of visible light. The use of these
materials is unusual because on their own, they do not absorb light;
however, they worked together on the nanoscale to achieve very high
absorption rates, Aydin said.

The uniquely shaped grating captured a wide range of wavelengths due to the
local optical resonances, causing light to spend more time inside the
material until it gets absorbed. This composite metamaterial was also able
to collect light from many different angles – a useful quality when dealing
with sunlight, which hits solar cells at different angles as sun moves from
east to west throughout the day.

This research is not directly applicable to solar cell technology because
metal and silicon oxide cannot convert light to electricity; in fact, the
photons are converted to heat and might allow novel ways to control the heat
flow at the nanoscale. However, the innovative trapezoid shape could be
replicated in semiconducting materials that could be used in solar cells,
Aydin said.

If applied to semiconducting materials, the technology could lead to
thinner, lower-cost, and more efficient solar cells, he said.

Aydin comes to McCormick from the California Institute of Technology, where
this research was conducted in the group of Professor Harry Atwater and
supported by the DOE Light-Material Interactions Energy Frontier Research
Center (EFRC). While at Caltech, Aydin served as a research scientist in
applied physics and materials science and as the assistant director of the
DOE Light-Material Interactions EFRC. Previously Aydin received his BS and
PhD in physics from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

He said he was drawn to Northwestern because of its collaborative work
environment and its proximity to unmatched facilities, such as Argonne
National Laboratory.

"When I came to interview in the electrical engineering department at
McCormick, I interviewed with not just that department's faculty, but also
met with members of the materials science department," Aydin said. "That
showed me how much the school values collaboration and interdisciplinary

This fall, Aydin is teaching an undergraduate course, EECS 223, Fundamentals
of Solid State Engineering, and is looking forward to involve undergraduate
students in active research.

For more information visit


Click he
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This is what we can expect from the right republican and tea party
movements. Every problem with the electrical system will be blamed on
Renewables and the best path forward will be what the public utilities,
coal, oil & gas and nuclear industries want to happen.

Unfortunately the Democrats can't get out of their own way (as usual) and
can't separate themselves from tax consumers, and the majority of the public
that believes in evolution and climate change and supports the shift will be
faced with no clear choice on the matter.

The following information was released by the New Jersey State Senate,
Senator Michael J. Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations
Committee, issued the following comments regarding the continued and
pervasive power outages throughout New Jersey:
For years, the state legislature has passed bills that require money from
our utility bills to be re-directed to fund alternative, green energy
programs. These government mandates have taken away valuable resources that
could have been used to maintain and upgrade our electrical power grid.
As a result, New Jersey now has the dubious honor of having among the
highest energy costs in the nation, while our citizens sit in cold,
powerless homes.
New Jersey energy suppliers, forced to comply with expensive environmental
mandates, were required to divert their maintenance dollars to satisfy the
politically correct whims of well-funded special interests. It is clear that
this policy is bad for New Jersey, and is diametrically opposed to the
survival needs of our senior citizens and families. The time has come to
reprioritize our energy goals so that New Jersey has an electrical power
system that is economical and dependable.
We must get our priorities straight. Given the choice between a warm home
and more green energy projects involving solar panels and windmills, we must
choose to invest our resources in a reliable electrical energy
infrastructure that provides dependability and safety for our residents.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities must be held accountable for
allowing the creation of regionalized maintenance programs that do not
allocate adequate resources to the needs of New Jersey's customers. The
needs of New Jersey's existing power customers must be the number one
priority, now and in the future.
I will ask the State Board of Public Utilities to hold public hearings on
this issue to prevent these power outages from happening in the future.

Copyright 2011 States News Service
Wire News
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Friday, November 4, 2011

FW: Robot Moves Like a Soldier

In case that last link didn’t work. See last item.


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


From: Product Design & Development []
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2011 3:28 PM
Subject: Robot Moves Like a Soldier


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November 4, 2011


PD&D Design Daily 2.0


PD&D Webinar, Sponsored by Protocase


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Fully Functional Flexible Memory
The team of Professor Keon Jae Lee has developed fully functional flexible non-volatile resistive random access memory (RRAM) where a memory cell can be randomly accessed, written, and erased on a plastic substrate....  continue


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Scientists Carve Nanowires Out of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Thin Films
A team of scientists has successfully carved ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) thin films into nanowires, boosting the material's functionality and providing potential improvements to the fabrication of biosensors...  continue


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Weld-Environment Sensor Cables from Pepperl+Fuchs
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AEC-Q200 Qualified 0402 CAN BUS Varistor
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Omron 3G3MX2 AC Drives Offer EtherNet-IP Interface
Omron Industrial Automation has expanded the industrial communication options for compact Omron 3G3MX2 AC Drives to simplify integration into production lines and work cells ... continue

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'PETMAN' Robot Moves Like a Soldier
A humanoid robot designed to test chemically resistant clothing has been revealed by its maker, Boston Dynamics ... continue


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