(Reuters) – Germany’s fifth-biggest solar power park emerges as a smudge on the horizon long before you reach it on the outskirts of the small, sleepy village of Eberswalde, an hour’s drive north of Berlin. “In the far distance, you can see it,” Peter Kobbe says, pointing through heavy December snowfall as he steers his Citroen van along an icy road.
Consider that only one-quarter of residential rooftops are suitable for solar PV and that one-third of Americans are renters who are typically unable to install a solar system on their landlord’s roof. That adds up to a whole lotta energy consumers who simply can’t go solar in the usual way.
New community solar models aim to
As I have mentioned, the Solar Power International show a few weeks ago was a beehive of activity: 27,000 people busily learning, networking, excitedly establishing new business connections. As Americans, we need to be proud of this industry. Here are a few data points
If the American public were to have its way, solar energy would be powering the country now.
A new survey commissioned by Schott Solar and carried out nationally by independent polling firm Kelton Research, found that 94 percent of Americans think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy.
A market analysis of the U.S. solar industry predicts that nearly 1 gigawatt of added capacity will be installed in 2010, a 114 percent increase from last year. About 314 megawatts were added during the first six months of the year, according to the report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade organization. And with a major concentrated solar power project and
President Obama took the occasion of Independence Day to announce that the federal government will authorize $2 billion of Recovery Act funding to support the solar industry. Administered by the Department of Energy, the funds will target two companies: Abengoa Solar and Abound Solar Manufacturing.
Abengoa – an international solar firm with its roots in Spain—plans to build the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant in Arizona. The company says the facility, dubbed the Solana Project, will produce enough energy to power 70,000 households. The plant will use thermal storage equipment to parabolically recover energy for a 280 MW output capacity. The administration says the project will create 1,600 construction jobs.
China is the world’s largest manufacturer of solar photovoltaic panels, providing roughly 40 percent of the global market share in 2008. China’s domestic solar market is on the cusp of a boom thanks to new solar incentives announced this year cutting the cost of purchase and installation by as much as half.
With over 150 attendees, including international senior executives, top-level Chinese government officials, industry experts and leading production and technology directors, the China Solar Energy Technology and Investment Congress organized by Noppen in close co-organization with Huhhot Municipal Government took place on 10-11 December in Huhhot, Inner Mongolia, China. The focus of the event was how to drive down the cost per installed watt and the future growth of the solar energy market in China.
Opening speeches at the conference, welcoming the top experts and industry leaders to Huhhot, were given by the Mayor of Huhhot, Mr. Tang Aijun and Vice Mayor of Huhhot, Mr. Lv Huisheng. Subsequently, the first presentation of the day was given by Hu Runqing, National Development and Reform Commission, on solar power development, challenges and future advances. Mr. Liu Min, Director General of Development and Reform Commission of Huhhot, introduced to the audience the incentive policies of developing solar industry and the current state of the solar industry in Huhhot. Keynote speaker Frank Haugwitz, former EU Renewable Energy Manager, EU-China Energy & Environment Programme (EEP) gave a detailed introduction of Europe’s solar energy development and its future trend.
Industry leaders gave their most up-to-date technology and investment information. Enfinity’s presentation was given by Zhou Jing, General Manager, Enfinity China; Gaёtan Borgers, Global Industry Executive Director at Dow Corning spoke about reducing ownership costs with more durable and efficient silicon-based materials; Wayne McMillan, VP at BT Imaging highlighted the advantages of using inline photoluminescence inspection; and EUROTRON, represented by Bram Verschoor, CCO, made a presentation on high speed production lines for back contacted solar cells.
Highlights at the conference included the presentation by Lee Seong Hooi, Group Manager Field Engineering, FM Engineering International Ltd, Japan Branch, which dealt with risk management strategies for solar panel manufacturers and other presentations from top domestic experts, like Wen Lishi, Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering; Jiang Liping, Vice President of State Power Grid Energy Research Institute; and Xu Honghua, Vice Director General, Institute of Electrical Engineering Chinese Academy of Sciences, were all very well received. Some of the other topics discussed include the opportunities and challenges facing solar industry technologies in China, key technologies of large scale solar farm development and operation, and promoting the development of the silicon industry in China through international methodologies.
Article by Roger Greenway, appearing courtesy of ENN