Posts Tagged ‘Photovoltaics’

15 July

GTAT Bringing Merlin To Solar Industry

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This is an interview with the team (Sr. Vice President/General Manager Dr. Venkatesan Murali, Sr. Director of Marketing Jeff Nestel-Patt, and Vice President of Sales Andrew Barta) from GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) at San Francisco, CA, during InterSolar North America 2014, on July 9, 2014,overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens on top of Moscone North. Video below:


As the global demand for solar energy continues to grow while the industry is facing downward pricing pressure, reduced subsidies, and solar trade tensions, it becomes increasingly important for PV manufacturers to achieve further cost reductions and improved cell efficiency. GTAT accomplishes this by introducing the innovative metallization & cell interconnect technology (Merlin Advanced Metallization Technology) that transforms the solar module into a less expensive, more efficient panel that is easier to install.

The Merlin Advanced Metallization Technology enables greater performance than the traditional modules by:

  1. Eliminating up to 80% of the expensive silver paste used in the traditional cells and modules, leading to cost reduction.
  2. The same screen printing equipment installed in cell line can be used to print the segmented fingers onto the cell
  3. Flexible grid that eliminates silver bus bars: a plated copper grid is attached to the segmented fingers on the top of the solar cell. The combination of segmented fingers and flexible grid makes it easier to move current off the cell. The flexible grid provides 20 paths/highways for the current to travel along rather than the three bus bars found on the traditional solar cells.
  4. Reducing shading by bus bars and increasing electrical connections on the surface of the cell  lead to increased cell efficiency and increased power output (by 3-5% compared to standard module).
  5. Improving the interconnection between cells by eliminating the need for stringing and tabbing of the old technology, providing highly flexible and durable way to connect cells while eliminating the bus bar tabs of traditional cells. Cells can therefore be connected closer together, allowing a smaller and more flexible module than the conventional module.
  6. The flexible tabs at the end of each grid solve the problem generally associated with breakage of modules during transport resulting from metal fatigue when ribbons break due to dynamic loading conditions during shipping.
  7. GTAT is almost 50% lighter than the conventional modules.
  8. Easier installation results in lower balance of system costs

(Please also refer to this video for visual demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf2E_Uq3Lzw)

GTAT is already working with select customers to implement Merlin, involving custom-made copper meshes soldered on to PV cells instead of bus bars. GTAT will produce and sell customized copper meshes to customers, and expects to reach a production capacity of 100 MW annually by the end of 2014. In early 2015, it will begin to offer a wire attachment tool to customers, which will replace the tabbing stringer. Orders may be taken in last quarter of 2014, so in 2015, solar PV module makers will be able to work with this new technology to replace silver bus bars with a customizable copper mesh, reducing silver usage, increasing power output, and allowing lighter modules to be transported and installed.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is a global provider of polysilicon production technology and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the global solar, LED, and other electronics industries and specialty markets. The company’s products and services accelerate the adoption of new advanced materials that improve performance and lower the cost of manufacturing. For additional information about GT Advanced Technologies, please visit www.gtat.com.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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18 March

Aussie’s Transition Into Renewable Energy Age

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Adelaide Airport, where solar PVs are installed on the roof, resulting from solar feed-in-tariff introduced by Premier Mike Rann (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Due to our previous post on Darwin’s Blackout, let’s take a look at some of the recent developments of Renewable Energy policies in Australia.

Back in 2006, about 9,500 GWh (gigawatt-hours) of Australian electricity came from renewable sources, representing less than 4% of  nationally generated electricity. By 2011, that number moved up to approximately 29,302 GWh and to 29,678 GWh by 2012, representing 13.14% of the total production in Australia.

Similar to many other countries, government policy in response to concern for climate change, energy independence, and economic stimulus has been the driving force behind encouraging the development of renewable energy. A key policy that has been in place since 2001 to encourage large-scale renewable energy development is a mandatory renewable energy target (MRET), which in 2010 was increased to 41,000 GWh of renewable generation from power stations. There is also the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, an uncapped scheme to support rooftop solar power and solar hot water and several State schemes providing feed-in tariffs to encourage photovoltaics. In 2012, these policies have been supplemented by a carbon price and a 10 billion-dollar fund to finance renewable energy projects.

Based on a survey result indicated in Angus Reid Global Monitor (June 25, 2007), there is/was considerable public support for the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia.

It has also been suggested that with sufficient public and private sector investment and government policy certainty, Australia could switch entirely to renewable energy within a decade by building additional large-scale solar and wind power developments, upgrading to transmission infrastructure and introduction of appropriate energy efficiency measures.

The amount of installed PV capacity in Australia has increased 10-fold between 2009 and 2011. Feed-in-tariffs and mandatory renewable energy targets specifically designed to assist renewable energy commercialization in Australia have largely been responsible for the rapid increase.  In South Australia, Premier Mike Rann introduced a solar feed in tariff for households and an educational program that involved installing photovoltaics on the roofs of major public buildings such as the Adelaide Airport, State Parliament, Museum, Art Gallery and several hundred public schools. In 2008 Premier Rann announced funding for $8 million worth of solar panels on the roof of the new Goyder Pavilion at the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds, the largest roof top solar installation in Australia, qualifying it for official “power station” status. South Australia has the highest per capita take up of household solar power in Australia. The first commercial-scale PV power plant was opened in 2011, the Uterne Solar Power Station, a 1MW capacity grid-connected solar photovoltaic system located 5 km south of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The second opened in 2012 at Greenough River Solar Farm with a capacity of 10 MW. The price of photovoltaics has been decreasing, and in January of 2013, was less than half the cost of using grid electricity in Australia.

A closer look at some of the incentive policies mentioned above will be presented in the following posts.

Related article/site below:

http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/

http://www.adelaideairport.com.au/assets/pdfs/sustainability/factsheets/AAL_Solar_display_fact_Sheet.pdf

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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5 March

U.S. Solar Market Had Record Growth of 41% In 2013!

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Hubbert Peak Oil Plot (credit: Hankwang at en.wikipedia & sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Great News from SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) Press Release, below:

New Report: U.S. Solar Market Grows 41%, Has Record Year in 2013 

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BOSTON, MA – Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013, photovoltaic (PV) installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts (MW). In addition, 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) came online. Solar was the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., exceeded only by natural gas. Additionally, the cost to install solar fell throughout the year, ending the year 15 percent below the mark set at the end of 2012.

At the end of 2013 there were more than 440,000 operating solar electric systems in the U.S. totaling over 12,000 MW of PV and 918 MW of CSP.

FIGURE: New U.S. Electricity Generation Capacity, 2012 vs. 2013


Source: GTM Research, FERC

The U.S. installed 2,106 megawatts in the fourth quarter alone, 44 percent of the annual total. This makes Q4 2013 by far the largest quarter in the history of the U.S. market, exceeding the next largest quarter by 60 percent.

“Perhaps more important than the numbers,” writes Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, “2013 offered the U.S. solar market the first real glimpse of its path toward mainstream status. The combination of rapid customer adoption, grassroots support for solar, improved financing terms, and public market successes displayed clear gains for solar in the eyes of both the general population and the investment community.”

FIGURE: U.S. PV Installations and Average System Price, 2000-2013


Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year-in-Review

“Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2.2 million homes – and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of our industry’s enormous potential,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  “Last year alone, solar created tens of thousands of new American jobs and pumped tens of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  In fact, more solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.  That’s a remarkable record of achievement.”

California continues to lead the U.S. market and installed more than half of all U.S. solar in 2013. In fact, the state installed more solar last year than the entire United States did in 2011. Despite installing the second-most PV in 2013 with 421 megawatts, Arizona didn’t live up to its 2012 total of 710 megawatts. On the other side of the spectrum, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia had major growth years, installing a combined 663 megawatts, more than doubling their combined total from the year before. On the whole, the top five states (California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) accounted for 81 percent of all U.S. PV installations in 2013.

FIGURE: US SOLAR INSTALLATION MAP

Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year in Review

GTM Research and SEIA forecast another strong year in 2014 with 26% growth in the U.S. solar market. This will bring annual installations up to nearly 6 gigawatts and the cumulative total will be just shy of the twenty gigawatt milestone.

Report Key Findings:

  • The U.S. installed 4,751 MW of solar PV in 2013, up 41 percent over 2012 and nearly fifteen times the amount installed in 2008.
  • There is now a total of 12.1 GW of PV and 918 MW of CSP operating in the U.S
  • There were 140,000 individual solar installations in the U.S. in 2013, and a total of over 440,000 systems operating in total today.
  • Q4 2013 was by far the largest quarter ever for PV installations in the U.S. with 2,106 MW energized, up 60 percent over the next largest quarter (Q4 2012).
  • More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.
  • The market value of all PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion.
  • Solar accounted for 29 percent of all new electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10% in 2012. This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas.
  • Weighted average PV system prices fell 15% in 2013, reaching a new low of $2.59/W in the fourth quarter.
  • We forecast 26 percent PV installation growth in 2014, with installations reaching nearly 6 GW. Growth will occur in all segments but will be most rapid in the residential market.
  • The U.S. installed 410 MW of concentrating solar (CSP) in 2013, increasing total CSP capacity in the U.S. more than 80%.
  • The wave of concentrating solar power installations slated for completion at the end of 2013 into 2014 kicked off with the 280 MWac Solana project and the Genesis Solar project’s initial 125 MWac phase. In early 2014, Brightsource’s iconic Ivanpah project also began operating and SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes project began commissioning.

About U.S. Solar Market Insight:
The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2013 report is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes deep analysis of solar markets, technologies and pricing, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market’s current and forecasted trajectory.

For more information, visit www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi

Downloadable charts are available at: http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-report-2013-year-review

About GTM Research:
GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. GTM Research’s analysis also underpins Greentech Media’s webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green energy industry including solar power, smart grid, energy storage, energy efficiency and wind power sectors. www.gtmresearch.com

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org

Media Contacts:
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President, Communications:  202.556.2885, kjohnson@seia.org
Mike Munsell, GTM Research, Marketing Manager: 617.500.7764, munsell@gtmresearch.com
Shayle Kann, GTM Research, Senior Vice President: 617.500.4216, kann@gtmresearch.com

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Similar Topic in one of our previous posts: Are We Moving Fast Enough Toward Solar-Wind-Water-Geothermal-Biomass?

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23 August

U.S. Military Going Solar

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In recent years, with all the cut backs of U.S. military and rising oil prices, “The U.S. military, across the board, has decided that energy is a strategic issue that affects their operations and budget in profound ways,” said former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry. “When oil goes from $60 to $100 a barrel, the amount that the Air Force and the Navy have to spend on fuel goes up dramatically…. A spike in the price of oil means fewer airplanes they can buy.” He added, “From an operational point of view, getting fuel to a site in Afghanistan is very expensive.”  With the cost-conscious Pentagon and Department of Defense, there had been many projects in the U.S. military, aiming to rely on renewable energy sources for 50% of their power by 2020.  Besides the Navy’s pledge to have a “Green Strike Group” by 2012 (using biofuels and nuclear rather than fossil fuels), Army being the biggest purchaser of electric cars in U.S., and U.S.Army working on “zero-footprint” camps (using self-sufficient vehicles and base camps), it is clear that renewable energy and many of its applications are simply more cost effective and safer in many ways than fossil fuels.

According to Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus,  “Fossil fuel is the number-one thing we import to Afghanistan, and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people.” The convoys delivering fossil fuel are often targets of insurgent attacks, which can impair both the delivery system and the lives of civilians and soldiers–a study found that roughly one civilian or soldier is killed for every 24 fuel convoys sent (New York Times). And given that fuel often makes up, 30%-80% of every convoy’s load, that’s a lot of danger.

Among its many renewable projects that will prove safer and more cost effective: such as portable solar panels; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields providing shade and electricity;solar chargers for computers and communication equipments, etc. These flexible, portable, lightweight photovoltaics, the solar-powered tent structures converting light energy into electricity, would remove the need to haul

Using flexible photovoltaics, this solar tent/shade can generate up to 2 kilowatts of electricity from the sun (Credit: U.S. Military)

U.S. Military Solar Panel in Afghanistan (Major Paul Greenberg-U.S.M.C.)

large amounts of fuel or heavy generators.

 

 

 

 

 

As these military projects continue to evolve, I would like to share with you several of these that will likely make its/their way into civilian/main stream applications in the future.  Can you visualize yourself camping out in the forest in one of these tents some day:

Mobile Home Design of the Future-Solar Tent...all started from U.S. Military

As our society becomes even more mobile or if you belong to the group of modern and dynamic people who wants to move from one place to another to avoid boredom, or if you prefer to live close to the nature, then this mobile solar tent/home design may be what you are looking for.

Below, you will see a video clip of such a summary by some one who share the same view as I do :


I would like to share another interesting item in our next post, also resulting from initial military needs, but have proven to meet the needs of many.

 

Mobile Home Design Concept (solar powered, at night) (Credit:U.S.Military)

Until we meet again, I wish you will

~ have a bright and sunny day~

researched, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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2 August

Feed-In-Tariff Is Fuel For Solar Markets In Asia

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

I can really feel the momentum and growth activity as multiple feeds came in today.  It’s given me a great deal of hope that our combined efforts will be able to solve much of earthlings’ problems.  Reports  from Solarbuzz is expecting Asia-Pacific PV markets to account for 26% of global demand by 2015, compared to the 11% it represents in 2010.  The top five markets, China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Korea, will more than likely to account for 3.3 GW of demand in 2011 alone, with China and Japan leading the region.    This anticipated growth may be due to major policy structure changes in the Asia-Pacific market, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations).  China, India, and Australia are building on-grid markets.  China, Japan, and South Korea are all energizing their respective domestic demands through various national and provincial programs. It will not be surprising that  China’s 2011 market will reach 174% of its 2010 level.  Much of these developments are due to the help of Feed-In-Tariff.  Please read more at  http://www.solarbuzz.com/our-research/recent-findings/major-asia-pacific-photovoltaic-markets-reach-26-global-demand-2015

Soon afterward, I came across the new announcement by Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) detailing its new national photovoltaic FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) scheme.  Rates of around one Renminbi (rmb) per kilowatt hour (US$.156/kWh)will be paid, and projects are subject to NDRC approval (unclear process at the moment).  The FIT  rate is expected to change since photovoltaic system costs decline over time and an initial rate of 1.15rmb/kWh will be paid for projects approved before July 1, 2011 and completed by the end of the year whereas projects approved after July 1, 2011 will be at the rate of around 1 rmb per kWh. Please refer to: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/china-announces-fit_100003763/

Once again, I would like to call for action for those of us residing in Florida and USA.  We have seen how  carefully planned and executed Feed-In-Tariff (FIT)/CLEAN Program may benefit other countries/communities by creating jobs and economic prosperity.  We have always enjoyed the fruit and labor of our founding fathers, our freedom, our liberty, and our pursuit of happiness.  It is time for us to shoulder the burden of our democratic society.  Let us create more local jobs and economic and energy security by learning more about Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program (by going to the search box at right and type in feed-in-tariff, then read the post and view/listen to the video), and talk to your friends, relatives, neighbors, and write/email your legislators asking them to consider implementing Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program.  Keep on coming back to this site, http://sunisthefuture.net and check for the petition that I will be setting up soon.  Together, we can create many local jobs and economic prosperity for the communities we reside in and make the transition into Renewable Energy Age.

For a quick review of Feed-In-Tariff (FIT), I would like to share a clip from a previous post, showing you how Feed-In-Tariff has already benefited Gainesville, FL region:


 

 

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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20 May

Incentive For Solar (13)-Feed-In-Tariffs-UK

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Now, let’s take a look at a country, UK, that had implemented Feed-In-Tariffs more recently, in addition to its renewable energy quota scheme (ROCS). The UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband presented details of the scheme for Feed-In-Tariffs in the United Kingdom back in July of 2009 and UK’s FIT began in April of 2010.  Below you will find the specifics of UK’s FIT listed in Wikipedia:

The Feed-In Tariff applies to small-scale generation of electricity, paying a fixed sum for eligible technologies. Payments through the mechanism are intended to replace the ROCs available through the Renewables Obligation for small-scale renewable energy generators and is based on a few key elements:

  • The tariff is available only to renewable sources producing up to 5 MW power. Specific rates are set for different technologies and at different scales of installation for those technologies. Generators of renewable electricity larger than 5MW remain eligible to earn Renewables Obligation Certificates within the existing Renewables Obligation quota mechanism. To prevent companies from moving large scale (for example big wind) projects from the ROCs to the Feed-in Tariff programme, a number of anti-gaming provisions has been inserted in the policy design; this should avoid the breaking up of bigger projects into several small ones, to fit within the 5 MW energy size cap.
  • The contract term is 20 years, 25 years for solar photovoltaic projects: this means that, starting from 2010, British providers of Wind Energy, Hydropower, Energy from Biomass and Anaerobic Digestion eligible for the FiT scheme will be rewarded with a tariff rate guaranteed for the next 20 years – 25 years for Solar PV generators.
  • The tariff made available to generators will be subject to digression. That is, the tariff level available for new generators will decrease annually. the rate of digression will vary by renewable energy technology. The price for individual renewable energy generating plants is fixed once the plant becomes operational.
  • Costs for the programme will be borne by all British electricity consumers proportionally: all consumers will bear a slight increase in their annual bill, thus allowing electricity utilities to buy renewable energy generated from green sources at above-market rates set by the government.
  • The new UK’s Feed-in Tariff Programme review is scheduled for 2013.

  • When the government review the current Feed-in Tariff in 2012/2013 they are expected to reduce the amount paid out by around 15% and continue to reduce it every 2 years.

The UK FiT design has a few distinguishing aspects: One new feature is the inclusion of tariffs for Combined Heat and Power (CHP), which only a few other systems provide for. Another is the provision of two distinct tariffs, one for small solar photovoltaic installations on new houses and the other for existing homes.

The government estimated that feed-in tariffs to support small-scale low-carbon generation would cost £8.6 billion up to 2030 and produce monetized carbon savings worth £0.42 billion

University of London has assessed the first year of UK’s FIT scheme through interviews with users of the FIT and government figures. The study suggests that technologies have a variety of factors affecting their performance in terms of installation levels, such as  cost, size, availability, standardization of the technology, planning issues, ease of installation, perceived sensory impact (sight, sound and smell) and administrative complexity. Domestic PV scores very positively on all these factors, while small hydro and AD do far less well.

In March of 2011 the new coalition Government announced that support for large-scale PV installations (greater than 50 kW) would be cut. The proposed changes to the tariff levels for PV have been met with anger by many in the solar industry, but the FIT policy, along with the Green Investment Bank and now carbon reduction targets, are widely understood to be threatened by the Treasury department. This is due to the schemes being considered as liabilities on the UK national balance sheet.  In this next clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it6TTFllaPQ&NR=1  you will see/hear interviews with users of UK’s FIT scheme and more detailed explanations of UK’s FIT.

 

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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18 May

Incentive For Solar (10)-Feed-In-Tariffs-Australia

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Greetings! Yes, I am still well and alive…just been seriously contemplating and researching on the topic of Feed-In-Tariffs (FIT) for Renewable/Solar Energy by looking at various countries’ experiences over the years and trying to figure out how we may be able to optimally utilize this very powerful and effective incentive program in US or elsewhere and FL without any negative ramifications. Within recent years, I have traveled to other countries to discuss and interview those who have been affected by Feed-In-Tariffs of Renewable and Solar Energy. Please be patient with me as I take you through a series of discussions and video clips from various parts of the world (such as Australia, UK, Taiwan, Italy, Canada, Spain, China, etc.)and in US regarding Feed-In-Tariffs. The consensus is that Feed-In-Tariffs is a very affective incentive program for renewable energy that would accelerate the transition into renewable energy era and increase local jobs, opportunities and economic growth, but the optimal level and pace at which FIT is set would determine how successful the implementation of FIT would be.

In the video clip below, we will see/hear Australian Senator Christine Milne speaking at the Greens National Council on Nov. 9, 2008, proposing Nationwide Solar Feed-In-Tariff Bill. Feed-in tariffs in Australia have been enacted by several State Governments for electricity generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Feed-in tariff (FIT) are a premium rate paid to producers of renewable energy. They are a way of subsidizing renewable energy and are implemented in conjunction with mandatory renewable energy targets. Both net and gross feed in tariffs have been introduced by various governments. Net FIT’s generally pay comparatively little to the producer (generally a household) because electricity produced by solar photovoltaic or other renewable energy just offsets the producer’s usage. Gross tariffs provide a more certain financial return and pay the household for all electricity produced, even if it is consumed by the producer, reducing or helping meet peak demand. The ACT and New South Wales have gross feed-in tariffs. Other Australian State Governments have enacted net feed-in tariff schemes which have been criticized for not providing enough incentive for households to install solar panels and thus for not effectively encouraging the uptake of solar PV. A uniform federal scheme to supersede all State schemes has been proposed by Tasmanian Greens Senator Christine Milne, but not enacted. National feed-in tariff systems have been enacted in numerous countries including Brazil, Canada, China and many EU countries. Please take a look/listen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3PzLeX8Bow

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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29 April

Incentive For Solar (7)-Building Integrated PV

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

My friends and readers, Dow Solar Shingles were not just discovered yesterday.  In the 1970’s PV (photovoltaics) applications for buildings began appearing, with aluminum-framed PV modules connected to, or mounted on buildings that were usually in remote areas without access to an electric power grid.  In the 1980’s PV module add-ons to roofs surfaced. These PV systems were usually installed on utility-grid-connected buildings in areas with centralized power stations.  In the 1990’s building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), construction products designed to be integrated into a building envelope (physical separator between the interior and exterior environments of a building) such as the roof, skylights, or facades, became commercially available. These materials are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with BIPV modules as well.  According to Business Wire of April 5, 2011,  “the global BIPV market will see strong growth in the coming years, with annual wholesale revenues rising from $744 million in 2010 to nearly $4 billion in 2016….”

Building-Integrated Photovoltaic modules are available in different forms: Flat roofs (a thin film solar cell integrated to a flexible polymer roofing membrane is the most widely installed flat roofs to date);Pitched roofs ( solar shingles are modules designed to look and act like regular shingles, while incorporating a flexible thin film cell and extending normal roof life by protecting insulation and membranes from ultraviolet rays and water degradation…this is accomplished through elimination of condensation because the dew point is kept above the roofing membrane.);Facades (modules are mounted on the facade of the building, over the existing structure, providing old building a new look and increase the appeal of the building and its resale value);Glazing (semitransparent modules can be used to replace elements made with glass or similar materials, such as windows and skylights.).

In some countries, additional incentives are offered for building-integrated photovoltaics in addition to the existing feed-in tariffs for stand-alone solar systems. (I promise I will go into details in explaining “feed-in-tariffs” in future posts).  Since July 2006 France offered the highest incentive for BIPV, equal to an extra premium of EUR 0.25/kWh paid in addition to the 30 Euro cents for PV systems. These incentives are offered in the form of a rate paid for electricity fed to the grid.

please take a look at the next clip….>

 

 

 

European Union

Please refer to:  http://www.cler.org/info/article.php3?id_article=3281,    http://www.leonardo-energy.org/drupal/node/897http://wn.com/BIPV

  • France + EUR 0.25/kWh
  • Germany – former EUR 0,05/kWh facade bonus expired in 2009
  • Italy + EUR 0.04-0.09 kWh
  • Spain, compared with a non- building installation that receives 28,00 cent€/kWh (RD 1578/2008):
    • <= 20 KW, 34,00 cent€/kWh
    • >20 kW: 31,00cent€/kWh

USA

Please refer to: Sunisthefuture.net  April 15 , Sunisthefuture.net April 18, Sunisthefuture.net April 24, of 2011 posts

  • USA – Varies by state. Check Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for more details. http://www.dsireusa.org/

China

Please refer to: http://www.snec.org.cn/Read_e.asp?ID=8582 ,    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/here-comes-chinas-3b-golden-sun-projects/ ,   http://www.pvgroup.org/events/ctr_031358

Further to the announcement of a subsidy program for BIPV projects in March 2009 offering RMB20/watt for BIPV systems and RMB15/watt for rooftop systems, the Chinese government recently unveiled a photovoltaic energy subsidy program “the Golden Sun Demonstration Project”. The subsidy program aims at supporting the development of photovoltaic electricity generation ventures and the commercialization of PV technology. The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Energy Bureau have jointly announced the details of the program in July 2009. Qualified on-grid photovoltaic electricity generation projects including rooftop, BIPV, and ground mounted systems are entitled to receive a subsidy equal to 50% of the total investment of each project, including associated transmission infrastructure. Qualified off-grid independent projects in remote areas will be eligible for subsidies of up to 70% of the total investment. In mid November, China’s finance ministry has selected 294 projects projects totaling 642 megawatts that come to roughly RMB 20 billion ($3 billion) in costs for its subsidy plan to dramatically boost the country’s solar energy production.

What can I say….we need MORE  INCENTIVES  FOR  SOLAR in US if we are truly aiming for SunShot Initiative and truly aiming to lead in the renewable energy era !!

More discussions remain in future posts on incentive for solar….

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunistehfuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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28 March

Sunshine For All of Us-Insolation

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Dear friends and readers, here is the continuation from March 20, 2011 post on “There Is Plenty of Sunshine For All of Us”:

I  found a wonderful site that has explained the concept of  insolation with more graphical presentatioins: http://www.scribd.com/doc/2410121/Insolation .  Various parts of the world or planet earth may also be seen through this collection of World Insolation Maps, available via: http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&biw=1420&bih=1000&q=world+insolation+maps&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=eLSFTZXBKu2C0QGOnvHOCA&ved=0CCUQsAQ.
To get a general idea of how much solar radiation there is available in USA, I’d like to share with you some data collected by U.S. Government of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) for different states, made available at this site, http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/redbook/ So, let’s take a look at some data together:  Firstly, if you’d click on the sunshine state of Florida (specifically Daytona Beach, FL), solar radiation for flat-plate collectors facing South at 0 degree tilt,  during the month of January, produces at minimum 2.7  kWh/m2/day, at maximum 3.7 kWh/m2/day (which average to 3.1 kWh/m2/day).   kWh/m2/day, kilowatt-hour per meter squared per day, is the unit of measurement for energy, in this case, for solar radiation.  Under similar circumstance in Chicago, IL (by clicking on Illinois), the measurement at minimum was 1.5 , at maximum was 2.1 and averaged to 1.8 in the month of January while in Alpena, MI, measurement at minimum was 1.4, at maximum 1.8, and averaged to 1.6 kWh/m2/day. To get an overview of how much solar radiation/sunshine there may be available for the month of January in USA, please take a look at the map below.  Definitely, there will be monthly and seasonal variations.

January PV Solar Radiation (Flat Plate, Facing South, Latitude Tilt) of USA

To determine how much, on the average, solar radiation may be available annually, we simply multiply the amount of   solar radiation or energy is available daily by 365. For  an example of a quick overview of the average annual solar radiation  data (for USA) produced by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) , take a look at this map located at this site:  Annual PV Solar Radiation (Flat Plate, Facing South, Latitude Tilt)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Us_pv_annual_may2004.jpg .

Annual PV Solar Radiation (Flat Plate, Facing South, Latitude Tilt) of USA

Insolation is a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area in a given time.  In the case of photovoltaics it is commonly measured as kilowatt hours per year per kilowatt peak rating.  In case any of you is wondering, peak rating is the amount of energy produced at the moment or instant when highest amount of solar radiation is produced at specifically given conditions.  Recall  my previous post (of March 20, 2011) regarding single or 1- axis vs. dual or 2-axis tracking  device, these trackers are great for optimizing the amount of energy produced for current pricing structure of the solar modules/panels/plates;dual or 2-axis tracker yields about 40% more power than fixed/flat plate (source:  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/11/dual-axis-tracking-generates-more-power ) while single or 1-axis tracker yields about 20-30% more power than fixed/flat plate (source: http://us.sunpowercorp.com/power-plant/products-services/trackers/ .  But as the cost of solar modules/plates continue to drop,  the desirability of these tracking devices may also diminish for the fact that there is added initial costs and movable parts (translating to higher maintenance cost).  If solar modules/plates are cheap enough, it may eventually be more economically feasible to simply add more solar modules/plates rather than adding tracking devices. Please keep in mind that the economic feasibility will continue to change as the cost of solar module/panel/plate decreases and price of oil increases.

My friends in USA and  throughout planet earth, we really do have plenty of sunshine, waiting to be tapped.  So let’s try to put it to use.  It is true that at different parts of the world, there may be different  level of availability.  I guarantee that the cost of using solar energy/technology will continue to drop.  The sooner that more of us start to use solar energy, the faster the cost will drop.  More discussions on economic feasibility and various contributing factors will be disclosed in my future posts.  I hope you will have a sunny day, wherever you may be….

 

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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