quinta-feira, 29 de novembro de 2012

India starts anti-dumping investigation, China considers making proposed import duties retroactive

India’s Department of Commerce has launched an anti-dumping investigation into silicon and thin-film photovoltaic (PV) cells imported from the US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. The investigation seeks to determine whether foreign manufacturers have engaged in unfair trade practices that have materially damaged the Indian solar industry. The period of investigation runs from Jan. 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, while the injury period goes back to April 1, 2008.
The investigation was opened in response to a complaint filed by the Solar Manufacturer’s Association, which represents solar producers Indosolar Ltd., Jupiter Solar Power Ltd. and Websol Energy Systems Ltd. Indian producers have long complained that solar imports – mainly those from the US – are negatively impacting India’s local PV industry. To combat this trend, India’s national solar program includes a domestic content requirement for crystalline silicon products. The requirement, however, has not been as successful as was planned since it does not apply to thin-film installations.
In a similar development, earlier this week, China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) launched a supplementary investigation to determine whether anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on solar-grade polysilicon imported from the US, South Korea and the EU should be levied retroactively. Mofcom will issue its ruling on the probe when it publishes the results of the associated anti-dumping and countervailing investigations next year. The original investigation into polysilicon imports from the EU was launched earlier this month, while the US-Korea investigation was launched in July. The original investigations will each last at least one year.



terça-feira, 27 de novembro de 2012

The Solar Industry May Soon Face a Shortage of Skilled Labor

The growth of the solar industry may soon face the reality of not having enough skilled workers to satisfy demand, suggests a recent report by The Solar Foundation and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Despite a dragging economy overall, installed solar capacity has increased dramatically in the past few years. In 2011 alone, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the United States nearly doubled from 2,095 MW to 3,950 MW. Should the industry continue along the base-line forecast, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) forecasts that 75% of the U.S. solar market will attain grid-parity by 2015. This could unlock even higher levels of adoption and create a real distance between the demand and supply of solar installation professionals.

Maior usina solar da América Latina será em Manaus

O Estado [do Amazonas] tem um projeto que atestou a viabilidade técnica e econômica para a implantação de uma usina solar com capacidade para abastecer o consumo de 1 a 4,5 megawatts (MW). A estrutura será a maior do Brasil e da América Latina. Os municípios do interior, que continuarão isolados do Sistema Interligado Nacional (SIN), mesmo com a implantação do Linhão de Tucuruí, são os que mais poderão se beneficiar com a megausina. O projeto prevê recursos de R$ 26 milhões em funcionamento e foi feito para abastecer o entorno da Arena Amazônia, assim como realizado em outros estádios das cidades-sede da Copa do Mundo de 2014.
A instalação do sistema em Manaus teria suporte para abastecer o Ginásio Amadeu Teixeira, o Centro de Convenções do Amazonas e os dois estacionamentos construídos na redondeza. Placas fotovoltaicas seriam fixadas na cobertura desses locais e transmitiriam energia para os mesmos, além de injetar energia excedente na rede elétrica pública, já que esse sistema é interligado.
O sistema não abastecerá a Arena porque a cobertura da mesma não suporta o peso da placa, como explica o coordenador de Energia da Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (SDS) e um dos responsáveis pelo projeto, Anderson Bittencourt. “Nossa cobertura suporta algo em torno de 0,9 quilo por metro quadrado e a menor placa era de 3,6 kg/m². O projeto seria para o entorno e para alavancar algo que poderia ser usado em outras localidades”, disse.

European markets begin to achieve PV grid parity

PV Parity: New Press Release
The PV Parity Project – a consortium made up of various European energy authorities, companies and institutions – reports that PV has begun to achieve grid parity with residential electricity tariffs in Germany, Southern Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Northern Italy, Portugal and Austria will follow within the next two years, according to the consortium. The PV Parity Project concludes that by the end of the decade, grid parity could be achieved in all 11 countries targeted by the consortium: this includes Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Greece and the UK. Last week, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported that PV would soon reach grid parity with residential electricity tariffs in many markets around the world due to rapidly declining PV costs.

segunda-feira, 26 de novembro de 2012

Antidumping dispute: INTA urges EC to proceed faster with the investigation

The Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament has asked the European Commission (EC) to proceed faster with its anti-dumping investigation on Chinese solar imports, because of the alarming situation of the European PV industry. The French news-portal lemoci has revealed that the European deputies of INTA claim that European solar companies cannot wait until July and that the solar sector urgently needs measures to support its further development. The EC has started its anti-dumping investigation on Chinese solar imports in early September. The anti-dumping investigation, launched in response to a complaint filed by EU ProSun in July, will investigate Chinese imports of crystalline silicon PV modules, cells and wafers. The EC expects it will take 15 months to complete the investigation. The EC has also launched an anti-subsidy investigation on Chinese PV imports on Nov. 8

terça-feira, 20 de novembro de 2012

Portugal's installed PV capacity tops 188 MW

DGEG - Direcção-Geral de Energia e Geologia
Mainland Portugal had 188 MW of installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity at the end of August 2012, according to the latest statistics from Portuguese energy authority DGGE. The country added 11 MW of grid-connected capacity in August, bringing the total amount of new PV capacity added so far this year to 45.6 MW. At the beginning of the year, Portugal cancelled incentives for new PV projects over 250 kW in size. The moratorium does not affect microgeneration and minigeneration projects, and larger PV projects approved before the moratorium came into effect can still be built this year

terça-feira, 6 de novembro de 2012

China files WTO complaint over EU solar subsidies

China on Monday filed a complaint to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) accusing some European Union (EU) member states of violating solar subsidies rules.
Subsidies issued by some EU member states have violated WTO rules and seriously damaged China's photovoltaic exports, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement, requesting for a consultation. According to laws of Italy and Greece, electricity generated by photovoltaic solar installations is eligible for a specified amount or proportion of feed-in tariffs, if main components of the facilities are produced in the EU or the European Economic Area.

Also on the New York Times and the WTO website.

German PV output covered 6.1% of electricity demand in the first nine months of 2012

BDEW German Energy Blog
According to the latest figures by the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) for January to September 2012, solar power generation increased by 50% year-on-year. Renewables contributed 26% to electricity consumption in the first nine months of this year. (...) Wind energy remained the largest contributor of renewable energy in the first three quarters, accounting for 8.6% (2011: 8.0%), followed by photovoltaics accounting for 6.1% (4.1) and energy from biomass with 5.8% (2011: 5.4%). Hydro power contributed 3.8% (2011: 3.3%) and power from waste incineration plants and other renewable energies accounted for an unchanged share of 0.9%.

sexta-feira, 2 de novembro de 2012

Sahara solar plan loses its shine

Dimming prospects for solar energy have caught up with a massive renewable-energy project planned for the Sahara Desert. By 2050, according to its backers, DESERTEC, a network of solar plants and other renewable sources scattered across North Africa and the Middle East, could generate more than 125 gigawatts of power that could be used locally or delivered to Europe through high-voltage direct-current cables beneath the Mediterranean Sea. But one of its major backers, Siemens, based in Munich, Germany, now says that it will leave Dii, the consortium trying to advance DESERTEC, by the end of the year.

China opens antidumping and antisubsidy investigation into EU polysilicon imports

Ministry of Commerce Announcement
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) has opened an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into solar-grade polysilicon imports from the EU. Through the investigation, Mofcom will attempt to determine if EU polysilicon producers have engaged in unfair trade practices or have unfairly benefited from government subsidies. If Mofcom determines they have, it will assess the extent to which these practices have damaged the Chinese polysilicon industry over the last four and a half years (Jan. 1, 2008 to June 30, 2012).
The probe covers the period from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 and specifically targets three subsidies: Germany’s Common Task: Improving Regional Economic Structure investment grants; the East Germany Investment Allowance incentive program; and European Investment Bank policy loans. Mofcom expects to issue a final determination on the investigation on Nov. 1, 2013, but the probe could be extended by six months to May 1 under special circumstances.
Mofcom opened similar investigations into US and South Korean polysilicon imports in July. All three investigations were launched at the request of four Chinese companies: Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon, LDK Solar, Sino-Silicon and Daqo New Energy. In August, the European Commission opened an investigation to determine whether Chinese solar manufacturers are illegally dumping crystalline silicon PV modules, cells and wafers on the European market. The EU antidumping probe is expected to last 15 months.

segunda-feira, 29 de outubro de 2012

REC Is Merger Candidate as Solar Takeovers Loom

Renewable Energy News Article
Renewable Energy Corp., the Norwegian solar-energy company struggling with falling demand and excess capacity, said it's a merger candidate as the industry gears up for a probable consolidation.
“We won’t be surprised if there are more mergers in the time ahead” and REC is involved in discussions with possible partners, Chief Executive Officer Ole Enger said in an interview in Oslo today after presenting REC’s third-quarter results. “When results are like now, you must always be open for solutions that can give better results.”

LDK Joins China State-led Solar Bailout

The nascent state-led bailout of China's struggling solar industry has taken another step forward with word that LDK has just sold a big chunk of itself to a partly state-owned consortium for enough cash to perhaps fund its operations for another month or 2. This new rescue package values LDK at just $140 million, which is probably still too high a figure for one of China's weakest solar panel makers in an industry where everyone losing big money due to a huge supply glut.

Photovoltaics in Italy: more than 6,000 jobs at risk

The Italian photovoltaic industry is in the balance: economic crisis, unstable political situation and new legislation  don't favor the growth and competitiveness of the PV companies. The regulatory changes that occurred in 2012 have challenged a sector that, until 2011, employed more than 100,000 people with an average age of less than 35 years. There are already many signs of downsizing and closures.
A survey conducted among 200 member companies of the Italian association of photovoltaic industry ANIE / GIFI, representing a turnover of 13.5 billion euro in 2011, concludes that the employment in the Italian photovoltaic industry has dropped  24% in 2012 , to which must be an expected decline of 7% in 2013 should be added .
"We are worried - explains Valerio Christmas, President of ANIE / GIFI - that over 6 000 workers will lose their jobs. Engineers and technicians are in danger. Highly qualified personnel for which companies have invested heavily in their training."

quarta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2012

Será que o telhado da minha casa tem potencial energético?

in Cidades do Futuro | Expresso - Expresso.pt
Será que o telhado da minha casa tem potencial energético? 
Um trabalho de um grupo de investigadores do e-GEO, unidade de investigação da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCSH-UNL) e do DEGEE da Faculdade de Ciência da Universidade de Lisboa, tem uma solução que permite estimar a rentabilidade da instalação de sistemas fotovoltaicos dos telhados das habitações, Para já, este sistema de informação geográfica tem como área de demonstração a freguesia de Alvalade, em Lisboa [aqui]. Mas, segundo Teresa Santos, investigadora da FCSH-UNL, o e-GEO é uma plataforma que foi concebida para ser replicada noutras zonas de Lisboa e cidades portuguesas.

Germany's Siemens to give up solar energy business

Siemens AG announced plans to give up its loss-making solar business and concentrate its renewable energy business on wind and hydroelectric power. The German industrial conglomerate, whose products range from trains to turbines, said Monday it's in talks with possible buyers, but offered no details. It said the move is part of a wider effort to increase its productivity and efficiency. (...) Siemens said that "due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets, the company's expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met." Several German solar manufacturers, including Q-Cells SE and Solar Millennium AG, have filed for insolvency over the past year. Another German company in the solar market, SMA AG, announced last week that it will slash up to 1,000 jobs — about a fifth of its global workforce — amid falling revenues and a possible annual loss in 2013 due to the growing price pressures.

Intersolar China cancelled

Intersolar News
The organizers of Intersolar China have decided to postpone the event until 2013. Against a background of ongoing consolidation in several areas of the solar industry, factors such as economic trends in the photovoltaics (PV) sector played a crucial role in the decision. Intersolar China is now being supported by its new partner, the China Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA), a collaboration that in the future will create even greater links between industry and politics at Intersolar China. The Intersolar China Conference is taking place as planned at the Intercontinental Hotel Beichen in Beijing from December 11–13. Some 500 national and international industry experts are expected to attend.

Q.Cells has a new owner

Q-Cells SE’s insolvency administrator Henning Schorisch has transferred the photovoltaics company to its new owner today. More than 80 per cent of jobs were thus secured, despite the insolvency proceedings.
The company was bought by an indirect subsidiary of Hanwha Chemical Corporation, which is part of one of the largest South Korean corporations with 2011 sales of USD 31.6 billion. (...) “This is particularly positive news as the solar industry in Germany, but also globally, is currently going through a heavy crisis and many companies are facing failure,” Schorisch emphasised today, after the company was handed over to Hanwha. “In Hanwha, Q-Cells found a new owner committed to the locations in Saxony-Anhalt and Berlin.” Following Solon, Solibro and SunStrom, Q-Cells is the fourth larger solar company this year having been saved under the management of an insolvency administrator from the law firm hww wienberg wilhelm.
In context of a transferred restructuring process, Hanwha takes over more than 80 per cent of the workforce – roughly 1,300 out of a total of 1,500 employees are keeping their jobs – as well as the far larger part of the entire Q-Cells Group: in Germany, this pertains to the site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen with solar cell and module research, development and production as well as the sales location in Berlin; abroad, the site in Malaysia with an unchanged number of about 500 employees as well as the sales companies in the US, Japan and Australia. The integration process entailed job cuts in Q-Cells’ administration department, as there are overlaps with the Hanwha organisation, as well as in production, which is also due to the progress in modernising the production line at the Thalheim site, which was accomplished during the insolvency process.

terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2012

Interim WTO Ruling Finds Canadian Renewable Energy Scheme Discriminatory

According to a confidential interim WTO dispute settlement report, a three-member panel has sided with the EU and Japan in their challenge of renewable energy support provided by the Canadian province of Ontario, sources told BioRes this week. The two countries had argued that the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system - put in place in 2009 - violates WTO rules because it requires participating electricity generators to source up to 60 percent of their equipment in Ontario

segunda-feira, 15 de outubro de 2012

US Department of Commerce Issues Final Trade Ruling…Does it Change Anything?

Overview of the final ruling of the US Department of Commerce.
"CASM has indicated that once the ITC rules in the affirmative, it will seek another investigation against solar PV modules assembled in China regardless of their cell origin. If initiated, this would bring the U.S. investigations more in line with those being conducted in the European Union and - compared to the current ruling - would have a much greater effect on Chinese imports into the U.S. market. Ultimately however, this ruling is yet another part of an escalating global trade war that could engulf the solar industry and cause more pain by preventing supply/demand rationalization from taking place."

Cunene terá central fotovoltaica

Angola Press
A província do Cunene vai contar em 2013 com uma central fotovoltaica, com capacidade de 13 megawatt, informou quarta-feira, em Ondjiva, o governador António Didalelwa. (...) Actualmente está em fase de conclusão os trabalhos da segunda linha de alta tensão para a cidade de Ondjiva, com capacidade de 132 quilowatts de energia vinda da localidade de Onumu, República da Namíbia, com vista a reforçar os 6 MW actuais para 10. A colocação dos postes e dos cabos ao longo do troço Ondjiva/Santa Clara, zona limítrofe entre os dois países, está concluída. Neste momento aguarda-se o serviço de ordem técnica por parte da Napawer, empresa namibiana encarregue da empreitada. Assiste-se ainda em Ondjiva à construção de uma nova central térmica, com capacidade de 10 MW.

segunda-feira, 1 de outubro de 2012

China Solar Giant Suntech Power Gets Rescue Package

Struggling amidst a severe downturn of orders for photovoltaic solar panels, China’s behemoth solar panel maker, Suntech Power Holdings was given a $32 million lifeline on Friday. The loan comes from the government of Wuxi city in East China’s Jiangsu province. Zhu Kejiang, the mayor of the city, went to Suntech with a finance offer from a consortium of several banks, including Bank of China, on Thursday, aimed at helping it weather its financial difficulties, local media reported on Saturday.
According to reports from China Business News on Friday, Suntech has about 1 billion-yuan in short-term debts due by the end of the year. In the first quarter of this year, its debts totaled $1.79 billion. The company was unavailable for immediate comment late Saturday, however, to confirm the reports.
The lenders are granting short-term bridge loans to help service its debt, and stop shedding jobs. Suntech is the world’s largest maker of solar panels.
China’s photovoltaic industry has had an awful year thanks to U.S. anti-dumping charges and protectionism, and European cutbacks on green energy spending. Suntech reduced its production plan for the fourth quarter and last week they announced they would cut 1,500 workers from the labor force nationwide, something the Chinese government has frowned upon given the ongoing economic downturn.

quarta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2012

EDP adquire projectos de energia solar na Roménia

Jornal de negócios
A Energias de Portugal chegou a acordo para adquirir um conjunto de projectos de energia solar na Roménia, com uma capacidade total de 60 megawatts (MW), de acordo com o jornal romeno Ziarul Financiar, que cita Monica Cojocaru, a advogada responsável pela operação.De acordo com os cálculos do jornal, citado pela Bloomberg, a EDP pode investir até 120 milhões de euros nos projectos. Além dos projectos de energia solar, a EDP também adquiriu um projecto de energia eólica na Roménia, com uma capacidade de 28 MW.

terça-feira, 18 de setembro de 2012

Portal dá a conhecer o potencial energético solar das casas

A agência municipal de energia de Lisboa, a Lisboa E-Nova [lançou a] Carta Potencial Solar da capital, uma ferramenta online que permite saber qual o potencial de instalação de sistemas solares nas coberturas das residências.(...) A carta [que] pode ser consultada no website da Lisboa E-Nova apresenta o "potencial de instalação de sistemas solares" nas residências lisboetas, de acordo com "a orientação e inclinação das coberturas, obstáculos e sombreamentos na envolvente". Além disso, a informação disponibilizada para cada cobertura é ainda complementada com a "estimativa da produtividade associada a coletores solares térmicos e sistemas solares fotovoltaicos instalados".
Segundo explicou Joana Fernandes, através da análise do potencial de todos os edifícios de Lisboa concluiu-se que "28% de todas as coberturas [residenciais] de Lisboa estão otimamente orientadas para o aproveitamento da energia solar", ou seja, recebem mais de 1600 quilowatts-hora por metro quadrado por ano de radiação solar, livres de obstáculos e sombreamentos. Outra das conclusões da carta é que utilizando 4% dessa área "otimamente orientada" seria possível satisfazer 70% das necessidades de águas quentes sanitárias de todas os residentes de Lisboa, adiantou Joana Fernandes.
Segundo uma nota da Lisboa E-Nova, "se a restante área [ótima] fosse aproveitada para a instalação de sistemas solares fotovoltaicos seria possível produzir cerca de 590 Gigawatt por ano, ou seja, 17% do consumo eléctrico do concelho de Lisboa". Este aproveitamento energético seria possível nas coberturas "otimamente" orientadas, normalmente viradas a sul, a coordenadora da Carta Potencial Solar de Lisboa acrescentou que as casas orientadas a Oeste (radiação da ordem dos 1400 quilowatts-hora por metro quadrado por ano) poderiam "colmatar cerca de 40% das necessidades elétricas de Lisboa através de tecnologias solares". Apesar de estas coberturas não terem uma orientação ótima, apresentam "valores sobejamente superiores aos registados na Europa Central onde estas tecnologias estão amplamente disseminadas".

Suntech cuts jobs

Suntech - Press Releases
Suntech today announced that in order to reduce production cost and operating expenses, the Company has temporarily closed a portion of its solar cell production capacity in Wuxi, China and will continue to optimize its organization.David King, Suntech's CEO, said, "In this rapidly evolving solar market, it is crucial to evaluate market trends and adapt our business to suit. In light of the preliminary U.S. anti-dumping tariff, the European anti-dumping investigation, and oversupply of solar modules, we have decided to right-size our production capacity and continue to optimize our organization. With a smaller manufacturing base we will be able to lower production cost, increase utilization rates and improve product performance. With these and other initiatives we target to create a sustainable business model and return to positive operating cash flow in 2013."
Post the restructuring, Suntech's operational solar cell capacity will temporarily be reduced to 1.8GW, module capacity will remain at 2.4GW and wafer capacity will remain at 1.6GW. The consolidation of solar cell capacity is expected to affect approximately 1,500 employees in China.

India may launch solar panels anti-dumping probe

India may launch an anti-dumping investigation against solar panels made in China, after theUS and Europe launched similar probes, the Guangzhou Daily reported on Monday.The Indian anti-dumping authority said that they have received an application from local companies, asking them to start investigating solar panels made in China, including Taiwan, Malaysia and in the US, the Guangzhou Daily said.About 90 percent of the solar panels made in China are for export. Europe and the US are the major destinations.The solar industry in China is struggling, due to sluggish demand and the previous anti-dumping probes.
Li Hui, a researcher with Essence Securities, said that if India decides to launch the anti-dumping probe, it will have a limited impact on Chinese companies because India is not a majormarket.

quinta-feira, 13 de setembro de 2012

Dois novos parques de energia solar começam este mês a produzir eletricidade

Dois novos parques de energia solar fotovoltaica, em Silves e Albufeira, vão começar a produzir ainda este mês eletricidade equivalente ao consumo doméstico de mais de 17 mil pessoas, revelou à Lusa o porta-voz da empresa construtora. (...) Os dois parques vão depois ser explorados pelo BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners, atual detentor das licenças, tendo a Martifer Solar sido a empresa escolhida há dois anos pela Direção Geral de Energia e Geologia para construir as unidades. O parque instalado em Alvalades ocupa uma área de 412.520 metros quadrados (41,3 hectares), tem 60.080 módulos e uma capacidade de produção de 15,6 MWp (unidade de medida de potência elétrica). De menor dimensão, o parque de Ferreiras foi construído em 160.760 metros quadrados (16,1 hectares) e pode, com os seus 28.320 módulos, produzir 6,8 MWp, segundo as informações avançadas pelo construtor.
A construção dos dois parques envolveu 200 trabalhadores, 120 em Alvalades e 80 em Ferreiras e, no conjunto contarão com mais de uma dezena de pessoas para a sua operação e manutenção, frisou o responsável.

sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2012

Europe Investigates Chinese Solar Panels

The European Union began a broad investigation Thursday into whether Chinese companies have exported solar powerequipment for less than the cost of making it, in what amounts to history’s biggest anti-dumping investigation by value. The case covers imports from China worth €21 billion, or $26.5 billion, last year, a hefty 6.5 percent of all E.U. imports of Chinese goods. The European case is four or five times larger by value than a similar investigation under way in the United States, because the Union is the biggest export market for Chinese solar panels. (...)  European leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, wary of retaliation by China, had urged the commission to seek a negotiated solution. China could, in response, impose duties on products it imports from Europe, including polysilicon, one of the main components of solar panels. (...) EU ProSun [coalition of companies assembled by SolarWorld ], said China had been dumping solar panels on the European market for two years, contributing to the bankruptcy of 20 European manufacturers this year alone. Milan Nitzschke, the president of EU ProSun and a vice president of SolarWorld, said that prices of Chinese solar equipment sold in Europe would have been 60 percent to 90 percent higher last year had the products not been dumped on the market.

Reaction: Chinese PV manufacturers respond to EU dumping investigation

quarta-feira, 5 de setembro de 2012

Energia Governo chega a acordo com operadores de parques eólicos para redução de subsídios

O Governo anunciou hoje que chegou a um acordo de princípio com operadores de parques eólicos cobertos por legislação anterior a 2005 para reduzir o valor dos subsídios atribuídos, numa poupança estimada em 140 milhões até 2020. O acordo alcançado abrange mais de 70 por cento da "potência eólica elegível", havendo, do lado do Governo, uma "forte convicção de que será possível obter a adesão voluntária da quase totalidade da potência elegível".
Segundo comunicado do Ministério da Economia e do Emprego, "os produtores eólicos aderem a um regime em que efetuam pagamentos ao Sistema Elétrico Nacional destinados à diminuição das tarifas para os consumidores e a abater o défice tarifário", ficando "vinculados a um sistema de preços máximos e mínimos durante um período de cinco a sete anos após o fim da atual tarifa bonificada que recebem"-

segunda-feira, 27 de agosto de 2012

S.Korea's Hanwha signs deal to buy insolvent Q-Cells

South Korea's Hanwha Corp intends to buy solar Group Q-Cells, the insolvent German group said in a statement on Sunday.

quarta-feira, 22 de agosto de 2012

Solar Trade War: China Retaliates

Greentech Media
SolarWorld-led tariffs on Chinese solar panels have seemingly coaxed further retaliatory trade measures from the Chinese governmentThe solar trade war, almost a year old now, has ushered in tariffs on Chinese solar panelssold in the U.S. A tariff might be imposed in the European Union as well. The tariffs are hitting small U.S. solar producers as we've reported here and here -- with a dubious impact on Chinese PV panel prices in the U.S. But the serious blowback from the SolarWorld-led tariffs is coming from Chinese ministries.

We reported on China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) inquiry into anti-dumping and anti-subsidy claims on U.S. imported polysilicon. That could hit firms in the U.S., such as Hemlock, MEMC, OCI, and REC.
Today's trade salvo, reported by Platts, has China's Ministry of Commerce claiming that six renewable-energy projects across five U.S. states are "illegally subsidized and violate World Trade Organization rules."
The announcement on the Ministry's website claimed that state support of these projects is "distorting normal international trade" under the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and urges the U.S. to eliminate the aid for these projects. At this time, it's just a complaint, not yet in arbitration.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has also made a preliminary determination in the anti-dumping investigations of imports of utility-scale wind towers from China and Vietnam. Commerce preliminarily determined that Chinese and Vietnamese producers/exporters sold utility-scale wind towers in the United States at dumping margins of 20.85 percent to 72.69 percent and 52.67 percent to 59.91 percent, respectively. Additionally, the European Union has asked for WTO arbitration over China's export caps on rare-earth metals, which are used in wind turbines and other renewable energy applications.

REC ASA to File for Insolvency of Norway Solar Wafer Unit

Renewable Energy News 
Renewable Energy Corp. ASA, a solar- energy group grappling with falling demand, will stop funding its Norwegian solar-wafer division and plans to file for the insolvency of the unit after shutting down all production. REC Wafer Norway AS’s liabilities exceeded its assets by about 1.2 billion kroner ($203 million) at the end of July, making a solvent winding-up of the unit dependent on more money from REC, the Sandvika, Norway-based group said in a statement today. Costs related to the bankruptcy are expected to be about 400 million kroner, the company said. (...) The bankruptcy of REC Wafer Norway won’t affect REC’s solar and silicon units, it said today. (...) REC, whose shares have slumped 99 percent since listing six years ago, fell as much as 1.3 percent and traded 0.8 percent lower at 1.928 kroner as of 10:27 a.m. in Oslo.

Efacec to build 1 MW PV plant on Eletrosul HQ roof in Brazil 

Eletrosul (Florianópolis, Brazil) announced that it has selected Efacec Megawatt Solar Consortium to build a one megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Eletrosul's headquarters building. The consortium, consisting of Portuguese Efacec and its Brazilian subsidiary, was selected in a bidding process.
The proposed PV plant, named Megawatt Solar, will use about 4,000 solar PV modules, which will be installed on the roof of the building and on the roof of car parks, totaling an area of about 10 million square meters.
The plant will be connected to local power grid, and is expected to generate an average of 1.2 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year, which equivalent to the annual consumption of about 570 homes.

sexta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2012

Sistema de energia solar na ilha de Santo Antão em Cabo Verde

Macauhub Portuguese
O sistema de produção e distribuição de energia solar em Monte Trigo, na ilha de Santo Antão, projecto que contou com o financiamento da União Europeia, vai ser inaugurado dia 13 de Agosto corrente, informou a agência noticiosa cabo-verdiana Inforpress. A inauguração desta central, que funciona em regime experimental desde Fevereiro passado, acontece no mesmo dia em que será lançada a primeira pedra para o projecto de interligação energética para o Tarrafal, zona vizinha de Monte Trigo, projecto igualmente financiado pela União Europeia.

terça-feira, 31 de julho de 2012

Trade War Brews Between EU and China Over Solar Panels

Spiegel online
This week, a group of European solar panel firms asked the European Commission to levy punitive tariffs on their Chinese rivals, who they accuse of selling products at unfairly low prices. Chinese manufacturers are outraged, warning on Thursday that a trade war could be brewing.

BBC News
Chinese solar panel manufacturers have urged Beijing to respond to a threat of European anti-dumping restrictions.

“Germany-based SolarWorld has once again demonstrated that it is willing to undermine the world’s solar industry in a desperate effort to avoid competition in the marketplace,” added the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy . “The entire global solar industry – manufacturers, suppliers, installers and consumers – has benefited from the sharp decline in the price of solar cells, and our industry’s future success is predicated on our ability to continually improve the economics of solar electricity generation.”

sexta-feira, 20 de julho de 2012

Trade War Continues: China Investigating Whether U.S. Dumped Solar-Grade Polysilicon

China has reportedly launched an investigation into whether exporters from the U.S. and South Korea illegally dumped solar-grade polysilicon, according to a report from Bloomberg, which cited China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
The probe was launched after four companies - GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., LDK Solar Co., Daqo New Energy Corp. and China Silicon Corp. - filed complaints with the MOC, the Bloomberg report states.
These latest developments intensify the ongoing trade disputes between China and the U.S. following a ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it would impose countervailing duties on Chinese solar cells and modules imported into the U.S.

Germany Considering Anti-Dumping Proceedings Against China

The German government is reportedly considering initiating solar module anti-dumping proceedings against China, according to a report from Reuters, which cited comments made by the German environment minister to German television station ZDF.
The news comes after many German solar companies have suffered from the effects of plummeting silicon and module prices, and following a preliminary determination from the U.S. Department of Commerce that China illegally dumped Chinese solar cells and modules into the U.S.

Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months

The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened. (...) [T]he company began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells, in an online auction Wednesday. (...) [A] former material and supply manager at Amonix, said the plant has been idle since May 1, when he was laid off. At its peak, the plant had about 700 employees working three shifts a day to produce solar panels for a utility in Amarosa, Colo.

quarta-feira, 11 de julho de 2012

Centrotherm Joins the List of German Solar Insolvencies

centrotherm photovoltaics AG (Blaubeuren, Germany) on July 10th, 2012 has submitted an application to the relevant District Court of Ulm for the launching of insolvency protection proceedings (pursuant to the German Act Relating to the Further Simplification of the Reorganization of Companies [ESUG], and Section 270b of the German Insolvency Directive [InsO]), and for the opening of insolvency proceedings under its own administration in connection with this application.

German photovoltaic panel manufacturers are faced with reduced feed-in tariffs, increased competition from China, and a global oversupply of solar modules. Solar manufacturing tool and production line vendors vendors like centrotherm are faced with the same massive and persistent solar overcapacity.  GTM Research (...) estimates module supply to be in excess of global demand by nearly 100 percent this year, or roughly 59 gigawatts of total supply compared to 30 gigawatts of total demand. It's a dire situation for any equipment vendor. Centrotherm joins Germany's Q-Cells, Soltecture, Odersun, Inventux, Solar Millennium, Solarhybrid, and Sovello in the group of the country's extremely troubled or shuttered PV firms. Q-Cells was Germany's -- and once the globe's -- largest solar manufacturer. It is now on the brink of bankruptcy. As Shyam Mehta, GTM Senior Solar Analyst, has said, "'Consolidation' is a nice word that refers to a lot of ugly things.”

segunda-feira, 9 de julho de 2012

More affluent, older, rural residents installing more solar

The U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released a new report which finds that solar photovoltaic (PV) installations through the nation's feed-in tariff (FiT) are concentrated in more affluent households with higher energy consumption. "Identifying trends in the deployment of domestic solar PV under the Feed-in Tariff scheme" also finds that rural areas have a greater density of domestic PV installations, as do areas with more educated, older residents.

segunda-feira, 2 de julho de 2012

Schott Solar to quit crystalline silicon PV manufacturing

Citing "sever deterioration in market conditions" Schott Solar AG (Mainz, Germany) has announced that it will close its crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing business in 2012. (...) The company will continue to manufacturing amorphous silicon thin film PV modules in Jena, Germany, as well as components for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. Schott has more than 54 years of experience in PV manufacturing. The company began producing PV cells for space travel in 1958, and for terrestrial applications in the 1960's. The company began series production of PV modules in Europe in 1978.
A large number of German PV manufacturers have either left the business or declared insolvency since December 2012, including former PV manufacturing market leader Q-Cells SE, Inventux, SOLON SE, Soltecture GmbH and Sovello GmbH.

China warns EU against solar industry restrictions

[Shen Danyang,] spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce told reporters at a press conference today that the European Union would hurt its own solar industry if it imposes restrictions on Chinese products.(...)
The spokesman stressed that he did not wish to see such a mutually beneficial situation compromised, and warned the EU that European firms would also suffer if restrictions were placed on Chinese solar firms.
"We do not want such a win-win situation being undermined or damaged," he said. "Faced with such a grave world economic situation, we think that China and the EU should enhance policy coordination and refrain from using trade protection measures."
He added that China has so far imported a total of 40 billion yuan (US$6.3 billion) worth of equipment to produce solar batteries, with 45 percent being purchased from Europe.
Shen warned that any sanctions against the Chinese solar cell industry would hurt EU firms as China buys a large volume of European raw materials in order to make photovoltaic products.

South Korea's Hanwha may buy Q-Cells

South Korean group Hanwha may buy insolvent German solar group Q-Cells, once the world's largest maker of solar cells, a spokesman for Hanwha Corp said on Friday.

terça-feira, 19 de junho de 2012

Japan approves renewable subsidies in shift from nuclear power

Japan approved on Monday incentives for renewable energy that could unleash billions of dollars in clean-energy investment and help the world's third-biggest economy shift away from a reliance on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. (...) Nuclear power accounted for almost 30 percent of Japan's electricity supply before an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year triggered the Fukushima disaster. Near Sendai on Japan's northeast cost, which was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami, memories of power cuts are fresh, prompting a drive for self-sufficiency."People had to queue for hours several times a week to charge their cell phones during the blackouts, which lasted for up to three weeks," said Naoaki Ando, the manager of an office near Sendai of Sekisui House, Japan's biggest home builder.
(...) The scheme requires Japanese utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal at pre-set premiums for up to 20 years. Costs will be passed on to consumers through higher bills. Utilities will pay 42 yen (53 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour (kWh) for solar-generated electricity, double the tariff offered in Germany and more than three times that paid in China.
Wind power will be subsidised at least 23.1 yen per kwh, compared with as low as 4.87 euro cents (6 U.S. cents) in Germany.

segunda-feira, 18 de junho de 2012

PV Feed-in tariff dispute continues in German government

The German federal and state governments have failed to come to a compromise on solar photovoltaic (PV) feed-in tariff reductions during an official government arbitration session, which will now continue on June 27th, 2012. (...) Analysts have noted that while the Bundesrat may hope to change certain provisions of the cuts, including timing, the overall scope of the cuts are unlikely to change.
The division over the feed-in tariff cuts falls both upon party and state lines. While left parties including Social-Democrats, Greens and The Left are opposed to the cuts, these parties form a minority in the current government. Additional opposition has come from inside Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party in Bavaria, the CSU.

segunda-feira, 11 de junho de 2012

Solarworld threatens China dumping case in Europe?

Solarworld AG , Germany’s biggest solar-panel maker, expects an anti-dumping case to start against Chinese competitors in Europe this month after the German government said it may support such a move. While Solarworld hasn’t filed a complaint with the European Commission, individual European Union member states or the commission itself could initiate proceedings, Solarworld Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck said today.

sexta-feira, 1 de junho de 2012

Unlikely Firms Jump Onto Solar Power Bandwagon

Japan Real Time
When Japan’s government decided last month that big power utilities would have to buy electricity from renewable sources at around double current retail rates, many unlikely companies jumped on the renewable energy bandwagon in the hopes of a quick profit. The major Osaka-based wool maker Japan Wool Textile Co., for instance, said it would shut its 15-hectare loss-making golf course by the end of September to build a 10-MW solar farm on the land. (...) Other companies have similar ideas.

segunda-feira, 28 de maio de 2012

Germany sets new solar power record

German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity [ and nearly 50 percent of the nation's midday electricity needs]- through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday

sexta-feira, 25 de maio de 2012

Students Create Award-Winning Robot That Cleans Solar Panels

Solar panels must be regularly cleaned and maintained in order to keep them operating efficiently and maximize the amount of sunlight they convert into electricity. With this in mind, a group of students from CalTech and UCLA have developed an impressive robot that cleans solar panels. The design won a third of $200,000 in prize money in the DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

sábado, 19 de maio de 2012

UPDATE: PV trade war

Tariffs Levied Against Chinese Module Manufacturers
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) levied a second round of preliminary tariffs against Chinese solar module imports in the ongoing trade war between U.S. solar manufacturers and their Chinese counterparts. The following are the anti-dumping tariffs handed down in the ruling:
  • Suntech: 31.22 percent
  • Trina: 31.14 percent
  • Named Chinese firms: 31.18 percent
  • Firms that did not provide info to Dept. of Commerce: 249.96 percent
[GTM comment] At these margins, China-based manufacturers would certainly have to raise U.S. prices to turn a profit. It is not feasible for them to maintain prices at tariff-free levels and still be profitable. In the short term, this is likely to lead to module price increases in the U.S. which would serve to dampen demand and installation growth. If the Chinese were to absorb the tariff, it would place their costs close to parity with many U.S.-based suppliers.”“However, Chinese firms are hardly likely to stand still. Broadly speaking, they have two strategies: set up cell manufacturing outside China, or use the tolling services of Taiwan-based suppliers to turn wafers into cells there, and then assemble the modules in China. Both strategies would allow the Chinese to bypass import tariffs. We estimate that tolling cells to Taiwanese firms would increase Chinese costs by 6 percent to 12 percent, which is meaningful but manageable

Suntech responses to preliminary decision on antidumping tariffs for PV cells from China:"As a global company with global supply chains and manufacturing facilities in three countries, including the United States, we are providing our U.S. customers with hundreds of megawatts of quality solar products that are not subject to these tariffs," continued Mr. Beebe. "Despite these harmful trade barriers, we hope that the U.S., China and all countries will engage in constructive dialogue to avert a deepening solar trade war. Suntech opposes trade barriers at any point in the global solar supply chain. All leading companies in the global solar industry want to see a trade war averted. We need more competition and innovation, not litigation," continued Mr. Beebe.

SolarWorld comment: “The verdict is in,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld. “In addition to its preliminary finding that Chinese solar companies were on the receiving end of at least 10 WTO-illegal subsidies, Commerce has now confirmed that Chinese manufacturers are guilty of illegally dumping solar cells and panels in the U.S. market. We appreciate the Commerce staff’s hard work on this matter.”

Background history: here

sexta-feira, 18 de maio de 2012

Czech Constitutional Court backs state over solar clampdown

Czech Position
The Czech Constitutional Court has ruled that the government was fully within its rights to slap a retroactive tax on solar power plant investors to curb a solar boom in the country. (...) The main feature of the retrospective government step to put a brake on the costly solar boom was a 26 percent tax on profits from solar plants which were connected to the overall power network in 2009 and 2010. (...) It added that the effects of the government’s blanked action could nonetheless have had a serious impact on some solar investors, such as small producers who had taken out high interest bank loans on the basis of a planned fast return on the investment. The boom was party sparked by a sharp fall in the price of solar panels while long-term guaranteed Czech prices for solar-produced power remained at previous high levels. This produced a stampede to set up solar power plants in the country before the government belatedly began to count the cost of the investment fever on electricity users and the government as it tried to cushion the effects on consumers.

quarta-feira, 2 de maio de 2012

Qual o potencial solar do seu telhado?

Um grupo de investigadores do Centro de Estudos de Geografia e Planeamento Regional (e-GEO) da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa e do Departamento de Engenharia Geográfica, Geofísica e Energia da Universidade de Lisboa, está a estudar o potencial fotovoltaico da cobertura dos edifícios.
O objectivo é estimar a rentabilidade da instalação de sistemas fotovoltaicos em áreas urbanas, através de uma solução que a equipa desenvolveu que cruza elementos como a área de telhado disponível, o rendimento alcançado por cada painel solar e custo da instalação.
Segundo explicou a engenheira florestal do e-GEO, Teresa Santos Silva, ao Ciência Hoje, o projecto “permite que as pessoas saibam quanto é que têm de investir e quanto tempo demora a retornar esse investimento na conta da electricidade”.

Para isso, basta aceder ao site e “facilmente se consegue obter o potencial energético do edifício”, desde que se localize na freguesia de Alvalade, em Lisboa, e numa parte da freguesia de Carnaxide, em Oeiras, onde por enquanto está disponível o serviço.
Para extrair informação relevante ao estudo, o grupo de investigadores utilizou a detecção remota/imagens aéreas. De entre os diferentes dados recolhidos por este meio, a equipa destaca os obtidos por varrimento laser (LiDAR – Light Detection And Ranging), que “têm mostrado ser uma fonte de informação útil sobre edifícios em meio urbano”.
Portugal tem poucos recursos em energias fósseis e enorme dependência energética do exterior, ainda que seja um país com índices de irradiação solar elevado: 1,74 MWh/m2/ano, bastante superior à média europeia (1,16 MWh/m2/ano). “Estes valores justificam, só por si, o crescente interesse em soluções energéticas mais amigas do ambiente”, sublinha Teresa Santos Silva.
Actualmente “em negociações para saber se o projecto segue em frente”, os próximos passos no estudo incluem a avaliação do potencial solar térmico e da possibilidade de reconversão de topos de edifícios em ‘coberturas verdes’.
Estas ‘coberturas verdes’ são jardins com certas características em cima de telhados que permitem, entre outras coisas, “uma grande eficiência térmica dos edifícios”, exemplifica a investigadora.

segunda-feira, 30 de abril de 2012

New Solar Feed-In-Tariff Levels Announced In Japan

New feed-in tariffs (FITs) for PV installations in Japan are expected to begin in July. Under the proposal, nonresidential systems under 10 kW will receive 40 yen/kWh [38c€/kWh] for 20 years, excluding tax. Residential systems under 10 kW will receive 42 yen/kW[k] for 10 years, including tax. The FIT levels are in line with a proposal from the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association.
"We would expect a financing component to be introduced with low-cost, easily accessible financing," the Jefferies analysts write. "With this, the program will be one of the most attractive globally. We estimate Japan will grow to over 10 percent of the global PV market by 2013 from [approximately] 5 percent of the total today."

sexta-feira, 20 de abril de 2012

Governo trava eólicas e corta energia solar em mais de 60%

Jornal de negócios
A revisão do Plano Nacional de Acção para as energias renováveis (PNAER) dará menos espaço para o crescimento de fontes como a eólica e a energia solar. Face ao anterior plano, delineado pelo Governo de José Sócrates, o PNAER do Executivo de Pedro Passos Coelho reduz em 23% a meta de capacidade eólica em 2020 e corta em 63% a fasquia de potência solar.

Energia Portuguesa DST Solar vai fabricar e instalar mais 2 mil painéis fotovoltaicos no Norte do país

A empresa DST Solar anunciou hoje que ganhou três novos contratos para fabricar e instalar mais dois mil painéis para centrais fotovoltaicas no Norte de Portugal, num investimento global de 1,5 milhões de euros.
Os projetos ganhos pela DST Solar, do grupo Domingos da Silva Teixeira, implicarão um aumento da potência instalada em cerca de 600 kW e refletem "a aposta estratégica" no segmento de mercado das energias renováveis, disse o presidente do grupo, José Teixeira.
A fábrica Global Sun, outra das empresas deste grupo, vai também beneficiar com estes três novos projetos, porque irá produzir os painéis fotovoltaicos.

quinta-feira, 19 de abril de 2012

France drafts rules for 10% FIT bonus for PV products made in Europe

The French Department of Ecology for Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing has drafted a rule to create a 10% bonus to the nation's feed-in tariff (FIT) for use of solar photovoltaic (PV) components produced in the European Economic Area (EEA) [which also includes Norway]. (...) The regulation specifies that at least 2/3 of the PV production processes for crystalline silicon technology from silicon ingots to PV modules must be performed in the EEA to qualify for the bonus. (...) This would mean that both the slicing of wafers and processing of wafers to cells, or the slicing of wafers and assembling of cells into modules, or alternately the processing of wafers to cells and assembly of cells into modules, must take place in EEA member states.
The rule did not mention thin-film PV modules, and is scheduled to take effect from January 1st, 2013.

quarta-feira, 18 de abril de 2012

Ricardo Leandro vence competição europeia Energy2B

Ciência hoje
Ricardo Leandro venceu a competição europeia Energy2B com a ideia para criar um colector solar térmico de baixo custo, acoplável a um módulo fotovoltaico.

“Com o colector, as famílias podem reduzir a sua conta da electricidade e de gás”, afirma o aluno da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL) ao Ciência Hoje. Isto porque o colector solar térmico transparente“resolve problemas” de consumo e produção de electricidade, de tempo de vida dos materiais constituintes do módulo fotovoltaico e de consumo de gás para aquecimento de água.

O investigador garante que o sistema“é de operação simples, fácil instalação, com elevada durabilidade e usa materiais de baixo custo”.

terça-feira, 17 de abril de 2012

First Solar Restructuring, Closing Frankfurt, Idling Lines in Malaysia, RIF in US and EU

Greentech Media
First Solar is closing its Frankfurt (Oder) manufacturing facility and indefinitely idling four production lines of the 24 lines in Kulim, Malaysia. The firm reports that it expects a savings of $100 million to $120 million annually as a result. First Solar also paid down $145 million in debt. The company is slashing headcount by 2,000 positions -- about 30 percent of its workforce. The firm wants to get opex down to 8 percent of revenue.

quinta-feira, 12 de abril de 2012

70MW Solar Power Plant in Japan

News release | KYOCERA
Kyocera , IHI  and Mizuho CB today announced that the three companies have reached a basic agreement to construct a 70-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in southern Japan and to further explore a business model for utility-scale solar power generation. The “mega-solar plant” is being built to help solve Japan’s power supply issues caused by the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to make a contribution to environmental protection, including the reduction of CO2 emissions.

quarta-feira, 4 de abril de 2012

Q-Cells files for insolvency

Q-Cells SE has announced that it will file for insolvency proceedings on April 3rd, 2012 in Dessau, Germany.
The company states that this decision follows an intensive review of alternative concepts for financial restructuring, and that it will work with a preliminary insolvency administrator to assure the continuity of the company.

terça-feira, 27 de março de 2012


R&D Mag
Building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in 3D configurations. Amazingly, the results from the structures they've tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area. The biggest boosts in power were seen in the situations where improvements are most needed: in locations far from the equator, in winter months and on cloudier days. The new findings, based on both computer modeling and outdoor testing of real modules, have been published in Energy and Environmental Science. (...) "Even 10 years ago, this idea wouldn't have been economically justified because the modules cost so much," Grossman says. But now, he adds, "the cost for silicon cells is a fraction of the total cost, a trend that will continue downward in the near future." Currently, up to 65% of the cost of photovoltaic (PV) energy is associated with installation, permission for use of land, and other components besides the cells themselves.
Check the original paper for details.

quarta-feira, 21 de março de 2012

US tariffs on Chinese solar panels

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that it would impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that the Chinese government provided illegal export subsidies to manufacturers there.

Grentech Media
The Department of Commerce's preliminary verdict on unfair subsidies for Chinese solar panels was handed down today, along with what amounted to surprisingly low tariffs. The preliminary determination indicates the DOC’s intention to impose a duty of 4.73 percent on U.S. imports from Trina Solar, 2.9 percent from Suntech, and 3.59 percent from all other remaining Chinese manufacturers.
These tariffs should not have a significant impact on the price of solar panels, although SolarWorld can contest the figures between now and the final determination. The other shoe to drop will be the dumping finding and any potential tariffs related to that finding, the announcement of which is scheduled for May. Any additional tariffs will be added to the unfair subsidies tariff.

PV magazine
Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) is calling on all seven members of the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), including the four remaining anonymous companies, to disclose a complete list of the government (state, federal and foreign) subsidies they have received over the past decade [since] public records show that SolarWorld, Helios Solar Works, and MX Solar have together received hundreds of millions of dollars in government subsidies.

quinta-feira, 8 de março de 2012

PV price!

Thousands march as political cracks appear in German FIT plan

Backed by Germany’s largest trade union, thousands of people marched to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate today in protest at impending cuts to the country’s solar feed-in tariff (FIT). The protest highlights the political resonance of the issue and comes amid a growing schism within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. The Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU) – the sister party to Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – is breaking away from a plan that would impose a new round of FIT cuts from 9 March.
Sunny Bavaria has reaped huge economic benefits from Germany’s generous solar support. In particular, CSU parliamentarians oppose the swiftness with which the FIT cuts would be imposed – they were only announced in late February – as well as a measure that would see all support eradicated for arrays larger than 10MW.

PV outlook darkens in Europe

The European Union will probably launch an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of Chinese photovoltaic solar panels soon, said Li Zhi, director of the Bureau of Fair Trade for Imports & Exports of the Ministry of Commerce. (...)It is estimated more than 80 percent of China's solar cell-related exports go to the European market. In 2010, shipments of Chinese solar panels reached $30.5 billion.

terça-feira, 6 de março de 2012

Dia aberto

No âmbito do Dia Aberto da FCUL, o grupo de Energia nas Escolas da Comissão de Alunos do mestrado integrado em Engenharia da Energia e do Ambiente vai dinamizar uma sessão sobre Energias Renováveis que inclui palestras, visitas a laboratórios de investigação e campo de ensaios de sistemas solares e um workshop sobre carrinhos solares.
Esta iniciativa também faz parte dos Dias Europeus do Sol que vão estar a decorrer nessa semana.
Para inscrições e outras informações ver isto.

France adds 10% premium to feed-in tariff for PV modules made in EU

The government of France has announced that a 10% premium will be added to rates paid through its feed-in tariff for solar photovoltaic (PV) generation, when 60% of the value of the PV modules used are representing European manufacturing, beginning in April 2012.

segunda-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2012

German Government to cut PV feed-in tariffs by up to 30 percent

Germany's Minister of Economics Philipp Rösler (Liberal Party) and the German Minister for the Environment, Norbert Röttgen (Christian Democratic Party) , according to media reports and information from government and industry sources plan to reduce the solar PV feed-in tariff by 20 to 30%.
According to the new plans the originally scheduled tariff cut in July will be pre-drawn to April 1st, 2012. In addition the new feed-in tariff is intended to be limited to a maximum of 90 percent.

quarta-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2012

Suspende com efeitos imediatos a atribuição de potências de injeção na Rede Elétrica de Serviço Público

Diário da República
As orientações de política energética previstas no Programa do XIX Governo Constitucional apontam para a necessidade de ponderar e reavaliar o enquadramento legal da produção de eletricidade em regime especial, designadamente a partir de recursos endógenos renováveis e de tecnologias de produção combinada de calor e de eletricidade, tarefa que obriga a um estudo aprofundado e a uma criteriosa harmonização dos diversos interesses a considerar.
Entretanto, a evolução verificada no mercado, com a retração da procura, e a implementação das medidas dos Memorandos de Entendimento acordados com o Fundo Monetário Internacional, a Comissão Europeia e o Banco Central Europeu, apontam para a necessidade de moderar desde já as intenções de novos investidores que se perfilam para apresentarem pedidos de informação prévia de forma a permitir a receção e entrega de energia elétrica proveniente de novos centros eletroprodutores (...)Entende o Governo, por isso, que existe a necessidade de suspender, com efeitos imediatos, a atribuição de potências de injeção na Rede Elétrica de Serviço Público (RESP) (...) ainda que ressalvando a possibilidade de poderem vir a ser excecionados casos de relevante interesse público, em termos a regulamentar por resolução do Conselho de Ministros.

quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2012

Hybrid PV cell with up to 44% efficiency 

Researchers at Cavendish Laboratory have developed a "hybrid" solar photovoltaic (PV) cell which can reach up to 44% efficiency by utilizing a greater portion of the spectrum of sunlight.
The new cells not only absorb both red and blue light, but by adding the organic semiconductor pentacene the cells are able to generate two electrons for every photon from the blue light spectrum. Cambridge University Professors Neil Greenham and Sir Richard Friend led the team, which published its research in the journal NanoLetters concurrent with the announcement.
Paper at NanoLetters

terça-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2012

Minigeração na Universidade de Evora

Jornal Online da Universidade de Evora
A Universidade de Évora inaugurou um sistema pioneiro em Portugal de miniprodução de energia no Colégio dos Leões. A instalação consiste na injeção de energia elétrica produzida por um sistema solar fotovoltaico produzido em Portugal e tem uma potência de 60kW.
O sistema solar fotovoltaico, que converte a radiação solar em energia, pretende compensar os gastos avultados em energia, foi integrado na arquitetura do edifício do Colégio dos Leões e concebido pela empresa Lobosolar e por ex-alunos da Universidade, que colocam em prática a teoria aprendida nas salas de aula.

segunda-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2012

Criado Instituto Português de Energia Solar

Jornal Online da Universidade de Evora
O Instituto Português de Energia Solar pretende ser agregador, pragmático e eficaz, das competências dos seus associados na área da Energia Solar, buscando um valor acrescentado para cada um deles, em termos individuais e em termos colectivos, impulsionando e catalisando actividades de I,D&D+I, bem como proporcionando projeção e orientação estratégica à indústria solar.
O IPES pretende ainda posicionar-se para poder servir de interlocutor ao Governo em aspetos relevantes da política energética na área da Energia Solar e é seu objetivo ir desafiando e integrando outros atores e competências, no sentido de se constituir como uma entidade incontornável e de referência nesta área, em Portugal e no exterior, com uma aposta clara na criação e exploração de oportunidades para a realização de exportação de conhecimentos, tecnologia e equipamentos desenvolvidos pelos seus associados.
Os associados fundadores são a Universidade de Évora, a ADENE, Lógica, AREANATejo, ISQ, EDPi, Martifer Solar, EFACEC, TUV, DREEN/DeVIRIS, Siemens Solar, MAGPOWER, AGPower, Open Renewables, GENERG, Schreder, WS-Energia, Enercoutim, Yunit, Sun Aid.
O primeiro diretor do IPES é o Prof. Manuel Collares Pereira, titular da Cátedra BES- Energias Renováveis da Universidade de Évora.

quinta-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2012

China installs 2.9 GW in 2011, leads Asian PV market growth

China's solar photovoltaic (PV) market grew five-fold to reach 2.9 GW in 2011, as part of a total of 6 GW of PV installed in the Asia Pacific region during the year.
"The China PV market was reshaped in 2011 by the release of the national FIT," said NPD Solarbuzz Analyst Ray Lian. "Approximately 1 GW ground mount projects were installed in the Qinghai province alone."
Japan [is] the second-largest market in the region: PV market grew 30% in 2011 to 1.2 GW. [Although Japan's 2012 FIT arates have yet to be announced] the Japanese market will grow an additional 40% in 2012.
India has also emerged as a significant market [where] installations grew by 125% in the fourth quarter of 2011 as developers attempted to complete projects by deadlines. (...) During the full year 2012, the company predicts that India will approach a 1 GW market.
In contrast (...) the Australian market is contracting, with a 10% decline in the fourth quarter of 2011 [and] will fall a further 20% in the first quarter of 2012 due to a reduction of a number of incentives.

quarta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2012

Donauer investe 10 milhões de euros em nova central portuguesa

Portal Ambiente Online
A Donauer Solar Systems vai investir 10 milhões de euros na construção de uma central de 4 MW no Pinhal Novo. A empreitada deverá estar concluída em Setembro, altura em que a empresa espera produzir energia para fornecer 2400 habitações.
São 18 mil painéis policristalinos, cada um com uma potência de 240 watts. Os painéis serão assegurados por estruturas específicas da marca Intersol e equipados com um total de 12 inversores centrais para transformar a energia solar em energia elétrica contínua.
«É um investimento num produto sólido, de futuro e amigo do ambiente. Com uma produção de 1500 kWh/kWp por ano e uma compensação de 0,257 euros por kWh, esta central é altamente rentável, conseguindo rendimentos de 19,2% sobre o capital próprio», sublinha Ana Cristina Arnedo, directora-geral da Donauer Solar Systems.

terça-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2012

Global PV market reaches 27.7 GW in 2011

European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA, Brussels, Belgium) announced the release of a new report which finds that 27.7 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was commissioned globally in 2011, with 75% of the new global capacity in European nations. (...) "The PV industry is at a crossroads," said EPIA President Ingmar Wilhelm. "Whilst European markets have always outpaced home production, this will presumably no longer be the case in the years to come."
"New markets around the world will have to be opened up to drive PV development in the coming decade just as Europe accounted for it during the last decade."
These new capacities bring the world to an estimated 67.4 GW of global PV capacity at the end of 2011.
Contrary to the findings of other researchers, the EPIA ranks Italy as the world's largest market in 2011, followed by Germany, China, the United States, France and Japan, all of which installed more than 1 GW of new capacity.
EPIA states that the diversification of the global PV market can be considered the single most important achievement in the PV industry, but that many of these markets have addressed only a small part of their potential.

quarta-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2012

Germany Installed More Than 2 GW of Solar in December

Greentech Media
The U.S. installed about 1.7 gigawatts of photovoltaic panels in 2011, according to GTM Research. Germany installed more than 2 gigawatts of solar in the month of December alone. (...) December traditions in Germany involve Christmas, stollen, and a rush to install solar panels before the feed-in tariff subsidy drops. Installations for the full year will be nearly 7 gigawatts according to a press release from the BSW (Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft, the German Solar Industry Association). Germany installed 7.4 gigawatts of solar panels in 2010. The feed-in tariff was subjected to a 15 percent reduction on January 1, 2012 and will likely be cut another 15 percent on July 1.

SolarWorld To Mount Additional Chinese Solar Trade Complaint In Europe

SolarWorld AG, the Germany-based parent company of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., plans to file an anti-dumping complaint against its Chinese competitors in Europe. CEO Frank Asbeck told Bloomberg that the company has sought to partner with other European companies when it makes its case to the European Commission's competition agency. According to Asbeck, China-based manufacturers dumped their PV modules on the German market at below-market prices, contributing to Germany's year-end installation boom. In October 2011, SolarWorld Industries America filed a similar anti-dumping complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Investigation into the complaint is ongoing.

sexta-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2012

Governo suspende novas injecções de energia na RESP

Portal Ambiente Online
Por decisão do Conselho de Ministros, foi suspensa - com efeitos imediatos - a atribuição de potências de injecção na Rede Eléctrica de Serviço Público (RESP), ressalvando a possibilidade de poderem ser excepcionados casos de relevante interesse público, em situações a regulamentar por resolução do CM. (...) O Estado decidiu acabar com seis contratos de investimento e de concessão de benefícios fiscais, devido a incumprimento. Itarion Solar, Lda e Agni Inc - Desenvolvimento de Sistemas para Energias Alternativas, S.A. Estão entre o lote, estas ligadas às renováveis.
Destaque também para a criação da Comissão Reguladora para a Segurança das Instalações Nucleares - que funcionará junto da Secretaria-Geral do Ministério da Educação e Ciência. A criação do regulador vem na sequência da transposição da Diretiva n.º 2009/71/Euratom, que estabelece um regime para a segurança das instalações nucleares.

segunda-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2012

Algarve: Três primeiras centrais solares prontas em setembro produzirão energia para 26 mil pessoas

Em setembro de 2012 o Algarve terá três centrais de energia solar, com 142 mil painéis e capacidade de produzir energia para 26 mil pessoas [33 MWp], disse à Lusa fonte da empresa responsável pela construção e manutenção das centrais.
Instaladas nos concelhos de Silves, Albufeira e Loulé, as centrais ocuparão cerca de 65 hectares e serão as primeiras centrais algarvias a recolher energia solar com base em energia solar foto voltaica para consumo público, informou Elsa Ferreira, da Martifer Solar.