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.