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Giant Mirrors Tap Sun, Subsidies in Europe’s Clean Power Bid

By Simon Clark, Sept. 24, 2008

As the sun rises over Seville in southern Spain, its blinding light bounces on a field of 624 mirrors surrounded by sunflowers.  The moving mirrors reflect sunbeams onto a 115-meter-high white tower that uses the concentrated heat to boil water, making steam that spins an electric turbine 97 times a second. This is Europe’s first commercial solar-thermal-electricity plant, at the forefront of a growing movement for green power. (more…)

Fraunhofer ISE raises Euro PV efficiency record to 39.7%

September 25th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV Industry - Europe, R&D reports

Source:,  23 September 2008

After in mid-July announcing a European record of 37.6% for solar cell efficiency, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) of Freiburg, Germany has achieved a new record of 39.7% (closer to the world record of 40.8% set in August by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory).  The new cell uses the same metamorphic (lattice mismatched) triple-junction structures consisting of more than 30 layers (including Ga0.35In0.65P, Ga0.83In0.17As and Ge) grown on a germanium substrate by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) using a reactor from Aixtron of Aachen, Germany. However, the higher efficiency has been achieved by improving the contact structures of the solar cells through using a front-side network of thin metal wires that transport large currents but with low resistance, according to Frank Dimroth, head of the III-V – Epitaxy and Solar Cells Group. (more…)

Solar PV industry in India: Strategy for success

September 25th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV-General, R&D reports, Solar Energy - general

To avoid repeating the wafer fab fiasco for solar PV too, government policies to promote it must be realistic
by Dev Gupta, CTO, APSTL
Scottsdale, USA & Bangalore, India, September 23, 2008

Nearly four years since promoters first descended on India to hawk multi-billion dollar wafer fabs for semiconductor chips and for nearly as long since local booster associations (composed mostly of software/design types with rather thin credentials in expertise e,g. physics or materials science, critical to semiconductors) jumped on the bandwagon to advocate wafer fabs, not a single new fab has come up anywhere in India! (more…)

Thin-film solar cell makers look to First Solar as a benchmark

Nuying Huang, Taipei; Esther Lam
Source: DIGITIMES, 11 September 2008

While more new thin-film solar cell players from Asia are entering into polysilicon volume production in 2009, many of them have noted that their capacity has already been fully booked. However, their claimed success does hide potential risks as compared to the achievements made by leading players. Given that leading player First Solar has already introduced its cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film solar modules into volume production, smaller-scale players have looked into the segment more closely. (more…)

Taiwan government plans cooperation with China to boost Taiwan’s solar energy industry

by Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang
Source: DIGITIMES, 12 September 2008

Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is planning to invite Chinese government officials responsible for making renewable energy policies to attend a solar energy symposium tentatively scheduled for early 2009 in Taiwan, in an attempt to foster cooperation with the China government to promote the development of Taiwan’s solar energy industry including Taiwan-based solar energy makers’ investment in production in China, according to industry sources. (more…)

Thin-film capacity to hit 29 GWp by 2015, says NanoMarkets

Press release, September 17; Michael McManus
Source: DIGITIMES, 17 September 2008

Manufacturing capacity for thin-film and organic photovoltaics is expected to grow from approximately 2 GWp (Gigawatts at peak sunlight) this year to 29 GWp by 2015 according to a new report from NanoMarkets, an industry analyst firm. While First Solar will be hard to pass in the cadmium telluride (CdTe) sector, the race for dominance in the CIGS and OPV sectors has just begun. By 2015 these two sectors combined will account for 19% and 10% of aggregate capacity. At the same time, the value of manufacturing equipment purchased by thin-film PV (TFPV) and organic PV (OPV) firms will grow from US$450 million in 2008 to US$4.8 billion in 2015. (more…)

Solargiga extends solar cell production to polycrystalline segment

September 25th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV Industry - Asia, SC Company Reports

Commercial Times, September 18, 2008/ Adam Hwang
Source: DIGITIMES, 18 September 2008

Solargiga Energy, a China subsidiary of Taiwan-based silicon wafer maker Wafer Works, has signed with Hoku Materials, a Hawaii-based supplier of polycrystalline silicon material, to extend its production of solar cells from monocrystalline models to polycrystalline ones, according to the Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times (CT). (more…)

Solartech expanding production capacity

September 25th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV Industry - Asia, SC Company Reports

by Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang
Source: DIGITIMES, 24 September 2008

Solartech Energy, a Taiwan-based producer of crystalline silicon solar cells, is expanding its production capacity through the construction of a new factory in northern Taiwan. Total annual capacity is to increase from the current 60MWp at its existing factory located elsewhere in northern Taiwan to 1,200MWp in 2013, according to company chairman KS Liu.  Solartech is setting up the new factory at a 36,360 square meter site, Liu indicated. Solartech will extend its production from only crystalline silicon solar cells to include high-concentration solar cells produced at the new factory, Liu said. (more…)

Neo Solar Power (NSP) and Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG Entered MOU for 20+ Solar Cell Project to Advance Conversion Efficiency

September 25th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV Industry - Asia, SC Company Reports

Source: Neo Solar Power Press Release, August 19, 2008

Neo Solar Power (NSP, 3576 TT), a leading manufacturer of high quality solar cells, and Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG (Centrotherm), a global dominant solar equipment provider, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on research and development collaboration to significantly improve solar cell efficiency targeting at over 20% for mass production. This collaboration project, 20+ solar cell project, aims to develop through production process improvement and eventually a re-engineering on device structure of conventional solar cells. The 20+ solar cell project will emphasize on improvement of conventional solar cell through better spectral response and effective light trapping; and innovative device structure design to substantially raise cell efficiency from current level. Through efficiency advancement, both partners expect to benefit from value created on manufacturing cost reduction and gross profit upturn in solar cell production. (more…)

Neo Solar Power (NSP) Sealed a 7-year Wafer Supply Contract with REC For a Total Value of US$442 Million

September 25th, 2008 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV Industry - Asia, SC Company Reports

Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, September 25, 2008
Source: Neo Solar Power Press Release

Neo Solar Power, a leading manufacturer of high quality solar cells, announced today it sealed a 7-year long-term wafer supply contract with REC ScanWafer AS, the world’s largest manufacturer of multicrystalline silicon wafers. Under the contract, REC will provide NSP solar wafers worth of US$442 million (NT$13 billion) for the period from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2015. Adding REC to its well diversified wafer supplier base, NSP expects to further lower supply concentration risk. (more…)

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