terça-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2013

German government to introduce new subsidies for solar energy storage

The German Federal Ministry of the Environment has announced that new incentives for energy storage systems for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations will begin in February 2013.
The three-year subsidy program will have a EUR 50 million (USD 67 million) budget and will be available for PV systems with a capacity smaller than 30 kW, providing a grant of EUR 800 (USD 1,080) per kWh of storage. No additional certification will be needed, and self-consumed solar power will not be eligible for participation in the nation's feed-in tariff.

quinta-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2013

PV, CSP supply 4.3% of Spanish electricity generation in 2012

The Electricity Network of Spain (REE) reports that solar photovoltaic (PV) technology supplied 3.0% of electricity generated in the nation over the course of 2012, with an additional 1.3% supplied by concentrating solar power (CSP).
This is the highest percentage of CSP generation in any nation to date. Together, solar electric technologies supplied a total of 4.3% of Spanish electricity in 2012, second only to Germany and Italy.
When wind, renewable thermal, and hydroelectricity are added, renewable energy rises to almost 32% of Spain's generation in 2012, higher than either Germany or Italy.

sexta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2013

Empa reaches 20.4% efficiency with flexible CIGS solar PV cell 

On January 17th, 2013 Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa, Zürich, Switzerland) announced that it has achieved a world record 20.4% efficiency with a copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar photovoltaic (PV) cell on a flexible substrate.
The new record was verified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Freiburg, Germany), and also exceeds the current 20.3% world record for CIGS PV cells.

terça-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2013

France launches rescue plan for solar power industry

France has doubled its capacity target for photovoltaic power generation and offered more financial support to small solar power farms that use European-made panels in a bid to rescue the country's ailing solar industry. Energy Minister Delphine Batho announced the measures, which are expected to spur investments worth more than 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), during a visit to a solar panel factory in Western France.
The Socialist government is seeking to rescue an industry which has lost about 15,000 jobs in the last two years, after the previous conservative government tried to dampen a speculative bubble in new solar power installations. In 2012 the industry employed 18,000 people, down from 32,500 in 2010.
(...) France will also add a bonus of up to 10 percent on the subsidy for feed-in-tariffs paid to generators of solar power through consumers' power bills for small solar farms using panels made in the 30 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). (...) Batho acknowledged the government was taking the risk of having its "Made in Europe" bonus challenged by foreign competitors in international trade courts. "In terms of legal risk, I don't think there is one at the European level. But at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) level, it would take years (to challenge it), so the government did well," Bal said.

Germany Added Record Solar Panels in 2012 Even as Subsidies Cut

Renewable-energy developers in Germany, the world’s biggest solar market, added a record number of panels last year even after subsidies were cut back. Solar installations climbed to 7,634 megawatts, up 2 percent from 7,485 megawatts in 2011, according to figures from the Bundesnetzagentur grid regulator and the Environment Ministry. That was more than double the government’s maximum target of 3,500 megawatts. (...) “More than 80 percent of installations came in the first nine months,” he said today by phone. Environment Minister Peter Altmaier expects developers to add 4,000 megawatts to 4,500 megawatts this year, Strube said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has cut solar-power subsidies to reduce the burden on consumer electricity bills of Germany’s renewable-energy expansion. Still, the above-market tariffs remain at levels that allow developers to profit, while component prices have continued to drop amid an oversupply.