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Solar Showdown Looms in California

By Jennifer Kho June 9, 2009
Source: Green/New York Times

Rooftop solarMax Whittaker for The New York Times Some critics in California say too much of this too soon could reduce the stability of the grid and raise costs for other customers.  Solar installations could grind to a halt in California, industry advocates say, unless a legislative proposal, which the state Senate is considering this month, passes.  Some opponents, including electrical and utility workers, disagree.


Indian company Emmvee Photovoltaics begins solar-module production on 3S turnkey line

Source: /28 May 2009

3S Swiss Solar Systems has delivered a solar-module turnkey production system to Emmvee Photovoltaics, which has begun manufacturing on the 25-MW line at its factory near Bangalore, India.  “We are extremely satisfied with the line supplied by 3S because we are able to produce a high yield on a very low breakage rate,” explained D.V. Manjunatha, managing director of Emmvee Photovoltaics, which has already ordered the tools necessary to expand its module output to 50 MW. (more…)

Italy solar installations rise to 485 megawatts-GSE

Rome,  May 24, 2009
Source: Reuters India

More than 38,000 photovoltaic (PV) installations that turn sunlight into power are currently on stream in Italy with a total capacity of 485 megawatt, the state-run power management agency GSE said on Sunday. PV installations mushroomed in Italy from about 22 MW in early 2007 after the government launched a new incentive plan, considered by analysts to be among the most generous in Europe. (more…)

Solar Energy Can Power 25% of the World’s Electricity Needs by 2050

Source: Environmental 26, 2009

Concentrated solar power (CSP), using hundreds of mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays, could meet up to 7 percent of the world’s power needs by 2030 and 25 percent by 2050, according to a new joint report from Greenpeace International, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA) and IEA SolarPACES. Even with moderate assumptions for future market development, the world could have a combined solar power capacity of over 830 gigawatts (GW) by 2050, with annual deployments of 41 GW, representing 3.0 to 3.6 percent of global demand in 2030 and 8.5 to 11.8 percent in 2050, according to the Global CSP Outlook 2009 report. (more…)

Global Concentrating Solar Power Outlook 2009

Source: May 2009

With advanced industry development and high levels of energy efficiency, concentrated solar power could meet up to 7 percent of the world’s power needs by 2030 and fully one quarter by 2050.  This is the 3rd joint report from Greenpeace International, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA) and IEA SolarPACES since 2003. With every edition we have increased the projected market volume significantly, and it finally turned over a billion dollars in 2008, this amount could double in 2009. While we highlighted in our first joint report the huge market potential, we were able to move to another message in 2005 when we launched the second report in Egypt: “CSP is ready for take off!”. (more…)

Cyrium touts >40% efficient multi-junction solar cells

by CCN Matthews, Ottawa, Ontario, May 21, 2009
Source: Solid State

Cyrium Technologies Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high efficiency photovoltaic solar cells, announced today that multi-junction solar cells produced by the company now exceed the performance of all commercially manufactured solar cells.  “Cyrium is pleased to set new performance standards for the solar cell suppliers to the Concentrator PhotoVoltaic (CPV) industry,” said Dr. Simon Fafard, founder and CTO of Cyrium Technologies. “We believe the exceptional performance of our 10mm square cell will enhance CPV’s business case and is a key to moving the cost of renewable solar energy toward grid parity.” (more…)

Toyota eyes solar powered green car

Tokyo, May 24, 2009

Toyota Motor Corp is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy in an effort to turn around its struggling business with a futuristic ecological car, a top business daily reported Thursday.  The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market. Toyota’s offices were closed Thursday and officials were not immediately available for comment. (more…)

A conversation with First Solar’s Bruce Sohn, Part II—‘We sell electricity’

by Tom Cheyney, PVTech, 26 May 2009

Although First Solar has indeed ramped 23 module production lines across its three manufacturing sites (with the 24th soon to follow), the company remains notoriously guarded about the inner workings of its processes and manufacturing facilities as well as its R&D activities. Not coming close to taking the bait, Sohn won’t answer any specific questions about film thickness uniformities or process temperature ranges or whether the research team is working on next-generation tandem-junction CdTe or even its own version of copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide (CIGS). Nevertheless, he does shed some light on the company’s overall approach. (more…)

A conversation with First Solar’s Bruce Sohn, Part I—Developing ‘copy smart’

by Tom Cheyney, PVTech, 25 May 2009

At First Solar’s corporate headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, a morale-boosting slogan adorns posters stuck to the outside of cubicle partitions: “MILESTONE MADE! TEN ONE ONE.” That’s “Ten,” for 10 years in business–at least in the company’s First Solar incarnation. The original firm Glasstech Solar, led by visionary Harold McMaster, actually set up shop in 1984, then became Solar Cells, Inc. in 1992, which begat the present entity in 1999. The middle “One” stands for the gigawatt’s worth of panels produced in the solar module factories in Ohio, Germany, and Malaysia – as well as the annual production capacity that will be ramped by the end of 2009. The final “One” stands for perhaps the biggest accomplishment of all–the dollar-per-manufactured-watt standard beaten by two cents by First Solar in the final quarter of 2008, a cost that has since shrunk to 93 cents per watt in the first quarter of 2009. But then, “Ten/One/0.93” doesn’t quite have the same ring. (more…)

Renewable Energies: The Promise Of Organic Solar Cells

Source: ScienceDaily, Apr. 10, 2009

In the race to renewable energy, organic solar cells are now really starting to take off. They can be manufactured easily and cheaply, they have low environmental impact, and since they are compatible with flexible substrates, they could be used in many applications such as packaging, clothing, flexible screens, or for recharging cell phones and laptops.  Teams at the Laboratoire d’ingénierie moléculaire d’Angers in Angers (CNRS/Université d’Angers) and at the Laboratoire des matériaux, surfaces et procédés pour la catalyse in Strasbourg (CNRS/Université Strasbourg 1) have recently obtained record conversion efficiency with solar cells based on organic molecules. (more…)

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