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 -
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.