Archive for Global
Designed to help determine what services your company needs to prosper and grow market share in the solar renewable energy markets. Facilitators include Facilitators Jim Haider, PE, energy specialist, Dale Reckman, director of field services for WIRE-Net’s Great Lakes WIND Network™ both with BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, and Chris Wright, a business improvement consultant with The University of Tennessee’s Center of Industrial Services.
When: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Time: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Central Time Zone
Where: UT Center for Industrial Services 193 Polk Ave., Suite C, Nashville TN
Cost: None, attendance and parking is free
For more information or registration: RSVP to Chris Wright, UTCIS (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 615-532-862511/7/12. Space is limited.
By Paula Mints, Navigant Consulting
September 6, 2012
Falling prices for PV technology – new average price for inventory, $0.65/Wp, off brand b- and c-grade modules, falling margins, failing PV companies, fraud, poorly installed systems and even counterfeit module product that carries a name brand and is really an off brand – good grief, what’s an industry to do?
As manufacturer failures pile up like a massive traffic accident it should be impossible to deny that prices are too low, yet, sadly, many continue to claim that the low prices are progress. In the U.S. the decision to apply tariffs (retroactively) to PV technology from China has divided the industry. The common goal of deploying solar has been largely put aside in favor of industry infighting. Rhetorical question … can a small, emerging industry afford to expend its energy in this manner? Meanwhile, acceptance of lower quality products at low prices has become commonplace and this will likely cost us dearly.
read the original article here
“The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy,” President Clinton said, “the more success it will have in Washington.”
In a keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit, former President Bill Clinton recounted a visit to BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power plant at which he observed many of the 370-megawatt project’s all-union construction crew to be both enthusiastic about renewable energy — and visibly tattooed.
“The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy,” President Clinton said, “the more success it will have in Washington.” And, he added, “You win the tattooed vote and we’ll have the damnedest environmental policy anybody ever saw.”
China is investigating whether exporters from the U.S. and South Korea sold solar-grade polysilicon below cost, a practice known as dumping, as part of a probe following complaints from four domestic companies.
The world’s biggest supplier of solar panels also started a countervailing duty investigation into the commodity from the U.S., China’s Ministry of Commerce said in two separate statements.
The actions escalate a trade dispute between the world’s biggest economies after the U.S. said in May it will impose duties on Chinese solar cells, which are devices made from polysilicon and assembled into panels that convert sunlight into electricity.
China will examine a tax-exemption program for the “advanced-energy manufacturing industry” promoted by the U.S. federal government and 15 state-government sponsored programs in Michigan, Tennessee, Washington and Idaho, the ministry’s statement on the countervailing duty investigation said.
TSEA is grateful to our Senator Alexander for the keen and meaningful remarks of a fellow Tennessean about the well being of our valley. In the remarks he also mentions our other estimable Senator Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga, actions to improve the air quality of his city. It would seem to me that both should be strong advocates of solar energy and its impact on our air and water quality.
Both are correct in saying that we got to get solar prices down before we can get wide acceptance. Both our senators know that the vast majority of our citizenry want solar. How to we make it all happen? We believe that the goal of improving our solar adoption is not price alone, but that public adoption of clean energy is paramount.
At the moment TVA customers are asked to donate money to purchase pure solar at $8 per unit. What if we use old fashioned American wisdom and modified the program from a donation to an investment? We do not expect a business to donate money so that some bank can reap the profit, so why should we expect the average citizen of the Tennessee valley under the current economic situation to give us its disposable income other than the belief that it is good for our nation? TSEA will be posting its submission to the Department of Energy for a Sunshot grant to show how we can create a program that will allow the average citizen to invest in solar and reap a return on that investment. More on this later.
Right now TSEA wants you to read the excellent comments of our senator regarding the clean air bill.
I would agree the EPA has become a happy hunting ground for goofy regulations. But as the late William F. Buckley once said, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And on this rule — this clean air rule and the earlier interstate rule — I believe EPA is right.
The effect of upholding this rule will be to finally require that most coal plants in America will have to install two kinds of pollution control equipment: scrubbers and SCRs. This will basically finish the job of capturing sulfur and nitrogen oxides, fine particles, and the 187 toxic pollutants that were specifically identified by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has already committed to install this equipment by 2018. But TVA alone can’t clean up Tennessee’s air, because dirty air blows in from other States. So let me say what upholding this rule will do for the people of Tennessee.
First, it will hasten the day when Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville are not three of the top five worst asthma cities — which they are today — and Nashville is not competing to be in the top 10.
Dr. William Lawson of Vanderbilt University, who treats patients with respiratory diseases in Nashville said in a recent article that: “Pollution from these power plants means my patients suffer more. Pollution increases their chances of being hospitalized. Some of these toxic emissions even cause cancer and can interfere with our children’s neurological development.”
Secondly, upholding this rule means that visitors will soon not even think of calling the Great Smoky Mountains the Great Smoggy Mountains because it is one of the most polluted national parks in America.
Third, this rule should mean fewer health advisory warnings for our streams that say “don’t eat the fish because of mercury contamination.” Half of the manmade mercury in the United States comes from coal plants, and as much as 70 percent of the mercury pollution in our local environment, such as streams and rivers, can come from nearby coal plants.
Fourth, we have seen that had Nissan been unable to get an air quality permit in Nashville in 1980, it would have gone to Georgia. And if Senator Corker had not, as mayor of Chattanooga, improved the air quality in that city in the mid 2000’s, the Volkswagen site there would be a vacant lot today.
From the heart, thank you Senator Alexander
What steps can the U.S. take to keep up with the Johanneses?
According to the BSW, average German system prices in the second quarter of 2012 were estimated at EUR1.776 per watt peak, or $2.24 per watt peak at current exchange rates. Since Germany is dominated by rooftop systems (72 percent of installations in 2011), this is an impressively low number. Assuming a module price of around $0.90 per watt peak, this implies an average balance of system cost of $1.34 per watt peak.
GTM Research is currently estimating 2012 installations in Germany to come in at around 6.5 gigawatts, compared to 7.5 gigawatts in 2011.
On the other hand — as just detailed in GTM Research’s U.S. Solar Market Insight – the U.S. average system price was $4.44 per watt in the first quarter of 2011.
Residential system prices fell by 4.8 percent from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012, with the national average installed price falling from $6.18 per watt to $5.89 per watt. Non-residential system prices fell by 6 percent quarter to quarter, from $4.92 per watt to $4.63 per watt. Utility system prices declined for the eighth consecutive quarter in a row, dropping from $3.20 per watt in Q4 2011 to $2.90 per watt in Q1 2012.
This is an enormous discrepancy in the average price per watt in Germany versus the U.S.
Assuming the module and inverter pricing is roughly the same for both countries, the culprit for the high prices in the U.S. lies in the soft costs of permitting and financing, as well as in the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) process. Add in the potential increase in module pricing due to the China trade tariffs, and the U.S. market faces some headwinds in driving down the cost of solar.
Full Article at Green Tech Media
The Scientific Method for Getting Technology to Market
A Webinar with Steve Blank
Thursday, June 21st
Presentation: 1:00-2:00 pm EDT
Live Q&A Discussion: 2:00-2:30 pm EDT
Join us for an encore broadcast of The Scientific Method for Getting Technology to Market followed by a live Q&A discussion with entrepreneur, Steve Blank.
Great technologies don’t automatically attract users and thrive in the real world. Successful entrepreneur and professor Steve Blank will show how hypothesis-driven discovery and experimentation can turn your innovations into successful products with societal impact. Learn how to hone in on the true value of your technology through early and effective engagement with customers, and see why Silicon Valley startups, corporations like GE, and the National Science Foundation have adopted this methodology to advance their leading innovations.
Be sure to register to participate in the live event. If you attended Mr. Blank’s presentation during the 2012 Summit, then you can opt to join us at 2:00 pm for the live Q&A discussion only.
NOTE: In order to watch the rebroadcast from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, you will need to log into the webinar from a high-speed internet connection. If you experience buffering issues, then we will provide you with a direct link to the recording and a PDF of Mr. Blank’s slides.
This is the second in an intended series of rebroadcasts of practical seminars originally delivered at the 2012 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit. Each seminar focuses on a different core concept or skill that can help transition breakthrough technologies into successful commercial products.
Sandia National Laboratories and Forest City Enterprises – Partnering for a Secure and Sustainable Energy Future
In Albuquerque, N.M., a smart grid-solar-energy storage project backed by a consortium of Japanese giants is testing out a key element of the net-zero energy community: how to harness mass-market solar to balance the grid inside and outside the neighborhood’s borders. This project could take the claim of the first fully functioning microgrid in the country, said Manny Barrera, Mesa Del Sol’s director of engineering.
Renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind, coupled with smart grid and microgrid technologies, energy storage, and energy efficiency are viable options to address the problem of system integration. However, integrating these systems require full understanding of operational challenges and establishing a return on investment.
To address these challenges, Sandia National Laboratories and Forest City Enterprises are collaborating to advance research and provide real-world test beds to Mesa del Sol project. As the centerpiece of the venture is the 78,000-square-foot Aperture Center which has been set up to run on its own solar power with its 440-kilowatt peak load covered by a 50-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, an 80-kilowatt fuel cell, a 240-kilowatt natural gas powered generator and a 160-kilowatt-hour battery storage system.
The technology — and funding — comes via Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which is investing about $10 million in the Mesa Del Sol project as well as U.S. private and government funding.
German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour—equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity—through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022.
They will be replaced by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.
Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs.
“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity,” Allnoch told Reuters. “Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over.”
The record-breaking amount of solar power shows one of the world’s leading industrial nations was able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday, and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed.