Solar Energy

Articles related to Solar Energy

August 25, 2010

Why is Japanese Technology Giant Toshiba entering the Solar EPC business?

Note the Solar EPC business typically is a low margin business like the general Enginereering Procurement and Contract (EPC) Sector.A number of Solar Companies like Q-Cells,MEMC,Sunpower and First Solar in recent times have entered this segment to generate a captive demand for their solar products.Nobody derives significant profits from this part of the supply chain due to its lower margin structure.With low barriers of entry and little bargaining power,this part of the Solar Food Chain is the last place you would expect a high technology company like Toshiba to enter.The Nikkei report says that Toshiba wants to enter the Smart Grid business by leveraging its experiece of the Solar EPC business.
August 25, 2010

Will Repeated Solar Feed in Tariff Changes by France Drive Away Investors

Even Germany has imposed yearly changes on FIT , still it has managed to become the solar capital of the world.2010 was an exception due to a mid year change,still Germany is going to install more solar capacity in 1 month than US's entire historical installed capacity.This is due to a well laid out policy which instills confidence in investors.The French Government's FIT cut has good reasons since ground mounted plants have lesser costs and most European countries like Spain are trying to boost residential solar installations.However rapid fire changes are not the answer to a well thought of careful FIT policy.
August 24, 2010

Trony Solar plans an IPO listing in HongKong after getting rebuffed in New York

Note HK listed Chinese solar firms like GCL and Comtec solar have performed much better than their NY listed Chinese peers.The HK market has also outperformed the US markets which are presently suffering from Double Dip Scares.If Trony manages to list successfully in Hong Kong it will give an impetus for other Chinese Green Companies like Daqo and others to list in HK as well.With continued apathy towards Chinese solar stocks,it is not inconceivable that you might see NY listed firms apply for a dual listing in HK as well.
August 20, 2010

Poorer Cousin Concentrated Photovoltaics(CPV) getting Traction through as PV Efficiency reaches Upper Limit

Note CPV like the Thin Film Technology saw investments during 2007-2008 when the Polysilicon Prices were quite high at $400/kg.With prices crashing to $50/kg in 2009 and 2010,these technologies ran into a lot of problems.CPV is making a comeback as traditional c-SI based cells are reaching the upper limit of their efficiency.Sunpower which makes the most efficient PV cells recently said that it would look at CPV technology to improve the efficiency of their 24% cells further.Note that Efficiency improvements is the most important cost cutting measure for Solar Technology which would lead to its mass adoption.
August 20, 2010

US States Support Green Energy through Local Policies even as Federal Government is "Asleep at the Wheel"

the administration had done nothing.Instead of setting out a Renewable Energy Standard or a Feed in Tariff Policy,the President seems busier in giving speeches and photo-ops.The result has been that USA is lagging far behind Europe and China in the Green Energy area.Deutche Bank Asset Management which invests $6-7 billion out of its $700 Billion corpus in the Green Sector,has made a scathing attack on the lack of US Federal Support for Green Industry.The Bank said it would totally bypass US in making Green Investments and concentrate its energies on China and Europe.Solar Companies are already outsourcing Green Jobs to Mexico and China. US Companies are already recognizing China as a Leader in the Clean Technology Area .
August 19, 2010

Ontario Cuts Feed in Tariff for Micro Solar Ground Mounted Plants but Honors Former Contracts under Strident Opposition

Ontario had ample opportunity to learn from past experience and its Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy is on the whole quite good.However one part of the FIT program which gave a very generous 80.2c/KwH to micro installations of solar projects under 10 KW was faulty.It led to 160 MW of project applications which were ground mounted with very high production as they used trackers.There was no discrimination between roof and ground mounted micro installations leading to this problem.Note its not possible to install trackers on roofs which can increase the energy by 30-35%.The large number of applications were not factored in by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) which proposed to retroactively cut those tariffs by 27% for ground plants.
August 18, 2010

Is Blackstone Gambling $300 million on Moser Baer or India's Growth Story

Now Blackstone has decided to gamble on India's Power Deficit Story by investing $300 million for an undisclosed stake in the company.With investment plans of $6.5 billion and parent company sinking under loads of debt,Moser Baer Projects desperately needed equity which has been provided by Blackstone.Its previous track record in Solar and Optical Media does not inspire a lot of confidence.But India's 8-9% Growth Rate is like a Rising Tide which will lift all sorts of Boats.Blackstone is perhaps gambling more on that rather than on Moser Baer.
August 18, 2010

TSMC makes further Green Investments through investment in LED production

TSMC has made a smart entry into the Solar Energy space through investments into CIGs technology.Beside investing in a solar fab in Taiwan using Technology from […]
August 17, 2010

Extremely Low Feed in Tariff Rates of 10.8c/unit seen in Bidding for Second Phase Chinese Solar Projects

The 10.8c/KwH Tariff will be almost 35% lower than the earlier project awarded in the Ningxia province.For comparison 10.8c/KwH is generally given to Wind Energy which has considerably lesser costs than Solar Energy.Parts of USA and Europe have electricity tariffs of greater than 20c/KwH at present.Such low tariffs may not be useful as they might lead to project delays if not cancellations.
August 16, 2010

Taiwan's Massive Solar PV Cell Industry Finally gets a Domestic Source of Polysilicon

A Number of new Solar Companies have followed Motech into this industry and are currently challenging it for Pole Position.Gintech,Neo Solar,DelSolar are some of biggest Solar Cell Producers in the world now gaining from the worldwide boom in solar demand in 2010.These companies have reported sold out capacities in 2010 and strong profits benefiting from the generous European subsidies for Green Energy.However these companies are vulnerable to demand fluctuations as they lack the vertical integration capabilities of mainland Chinese companies like Trina and Yingle
August 16, 2010

First Solar's Showpiece 2000 MW Solar Plant in Inner Mongolia gets Stalled by Chinese Protectionism

China has come under a lot of criticism recently from conglomerates like GE and Siemens over discrimination being practised against non-Chinese companies.Massive implicit and explicit subsidies are bolstering Chinese companies against the Western ones as the government pushes the creation of National Champions in Green Technology.Through clever use of regulations and subsidies,Chinese companies are even challenging Western and Japanese companies in their own turf.
August 15, 2010

Sikhism's most Holy Shrine the Golden Temple to become Solar Powered

Sikhism’s most Holy Shrine the Golden Temple situated in Amritsar,Punjab will be now a part of the Green Energy Movement.The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has […]
August 12, 2010

USA losing Green Jobs as Solar Companies shut US plants and Outsource Production to Mexico and China

This trend goes contrary to what US administration is advertising as the creation of a large number of Green Jobs due to the Stimulus.The Senate has given up on the Climate and Energy Bill while EPA's regulation of carbon emissions is also uncertain.Big investors are shunning the USA while putting money into Green Manufacturing and Investments as China takes over the Global Green Energy Leadership .
August 12, 2010

China's 280 MW of Solar Projects sees Stiff Competition;Would Lead to Zero to Negative Investor Returns

The competition has been extremely high for these projects leading to zero to negative returns for investors.This is due to a) low electricity rates on offer b) Aggressive bidding leading to even lower rates.This new phase of projects seems to be repeat of the old program.Giant state utilities can easily bid to win even if they lose money in the process.
August 5, 2010

Thailand's attractive Solar "Adder" electricity tariff leads to Installation Rush;Suntech and Sharp in the Lead

Thailand has proposed to generate 20% of its electricity from Renewable Energy by 2022 and has implemented an "adder" electricity tariff for Green Energy plants.This "adder" tariff is similar to the Feed in Tariff (FIT) schemes prevalent in other parts of the world which gives a higher electricity payment to Renewable Energy Power Generators.Under this policy Thailand is set to give the "adder" tariff for 500 MW of plants till 2020 after which the tariff might be reduced
August 5, 2010

Well Designed Feed in Tariffs leads to Mini Solar Energy Boom in United Kingdom

United Kingdom has been a laggard in climate change and global warming issues especially compared to its European neighbours.While countries like Italy,Germany and Spain have installed […]
August 4, 2010

AUO's Gigawatt Solar Ambitions hit an Environmental Bump over Manufacturing in Taiwan

Taiwan and South Korean Companies have been making massive investments in the Solar Energy Space through both greenfield and brownfield expansion.South Korean Hanhwa has used the […]
August 3, 2010

South Korean Conglomerate Hanwha follows LG,Samsung into Solar Energy;Acquires controlling stake in 4th Largest Chinese Solar company Solarfun cheaply

South Korean Conglomerate Hanwha subsidiary Hanwha Chemicals has taken a controlling 49.99% stake buying 36 million shares fro m Solarfun at $10.72 (4.6% premium) and the complete shareholding of promoters Good Energies (controls German Q-Cells as well ) and Chairman Mr. Yonghua Lu .Solarfun is the 4th largest Chinese company which has been executing well on a vertical integration strategy.
August 3, 2010

Sharp becomes an Independent Power Producer (IPP) through JV with Enel to build utility scale solar plants

a-Si technology has much lower efficiency in the range of 7-9% compared to the mainstream crystalline solar technology.a-Si cost advantages over the c-Si technology has also disappeared with falling polysilicon costs.This makes a-Si only feasible for utility sized plants as a-Si's larger area requirements makes unsuitable for residental and commercial segments.The IPP JV is a good move as it will provide captive demand for Sharp's a-Si modules.
August 2, 2010

Spain's new Solar Feed in Tariff Policy to shift the market towards small residential installations like Germany

Spain has been in the media spotlight for its proposed retroactive solar subsidy cuts which were strongly opposed by the Solar Industry Association in Spain.These Feed […]
July 29, 2010

TSMC decides to focus on Solar CIGs technology instead of mainstream c-Si

SMC seems to have made a strategic call to focus on the thin film Cadmium Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGs) Technology instead of the mainstream crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology.Note CIGs technology is the most promising thin film technology with yields much higher than the other technologies like Cadmium Tellurium (CdTe) used by First Solar and amorphous Silicon (a-Si) which was used by AMAT's Subfab division.
July 28, 2010

Germany adds as much Solar Energy in just 1 month as USA's entire Installed Solar capacity

According to the German Federal Agency,Germany added 1.7 GW of Solar Energy in the month of June.This bring the cumulative installed capacity for 2010 to 3.4 GW capacity compared to the 3.8 GW capacity installed in the entire 2009.The reduction in Feed in Tariffs in July 2010 has propelled the developers to finish all the projects by June 30 in order to qualify for the much higher electricity rates.
July 21, 2010

Applied Materials conducts euthanasia on its long suffering Amorphous Silicon thin film Sunfab division

Applied Materials has finally shut down its SunFab Thin Film division after continuous losses in the last couple of years.The Solar Thin Film Technology has seen […]
July 20, 2010

Green Investing – ABB increasing its marketshare in the Global Smart Grid and Renewable Energy Industry

ABB, the European Giant which was formed by merger of Asea and Brown Boveri in 1989 is increasing its lead in the Smart Grid Industry.The company […]
July 18, 2010

Chinese Solar,Wind and Smart Grid companies face Fierce Price Wars in Domestic Market

Chinese Green Companies are being forced to look at overseas market for Profits as their Domestic Market is being ravaged by fierce price wars.Wind,Solar and even […]
July 17, 2010

Green Investing in India – Favorable government policies make Gujarat a top Renewable Energy destination

India’s Western state of Gujarat is one of the most developed regions in the country and has shown tremendous economic growth over the past decade.The state […]
July 14, 2010

General Electric gets aggressive in Green Energy through Ecomagination $10 Billion R&D Investment

General Electric or GE as it is popularly known is one of the biggest players in the Green Industry globally.It generated $18 billion in Ecomagination revenues […]
July 14, 2010

Green Investing in South Korea – Hyundai plans to double solar capacity by 2011

LG and Samsung have already committed themselves to billion dollar investments into crystalline solar manufacturing.Not to be left behind South Korea’s Hyundai Industries which is known […]
July 12, 2010

Italian Solar Feed in Tariff Subsidy Cuts for 2011 will fail to stop the Boom in Solar Demand

Italian Solar Feed in Tariff Cuts to be More Moderate than Market Expectations The German government allowed a face saving gesture to the Upper House by […]
July 12, 2010

Germany's 2010 one off Solar Feed in Tariff Cuts finally pass after 9 months of Negotiations

German Feed in Tariffs Cut Passes with Minor Change The German Solar Feed in Tariff  Cut was finally passed after byzantine twists and turns over a […]