Magazine Archive 01-2011

South Tyrol beckons

Italy: The northern Italian province of South Tyrol has the most ambitious goals for renewable energy in Italy, including plans for an increase in installed solar power capacity. To achieve these, foreign expertise and investments are welcome.

Spot market for PV panels: Not too sharp

Module prices: The anticipated price reduction on the spot market in November was not as sharp as previously expected. This was particularly true for high performance modules that were stored in Europe.

A new prince in the inverter world

Power-One: The California inverter maker has risen in prominence as it overtakes competitors to become the second ranked inverter supplier worldwide.

Sublime solar skin

Building integration: Suspended 100 meters in the air, French consulting engineers SECM have constructed a winding roof with 800 glass photovoltaic modules on top of a new eco high-rise on the edge of Paris. This was then ingeniously placed on the movable so-called spider brackets.

China’s construction boom: a big opportunity for BIPV?

econet china: From green building to promoting efficiency and sustainability in the Chinese photovoltaic industry. A new initiative spearheaded by German industry and the German Chamber of Commerce in China seeks to market German photovoltaic technology and know-how to the Chinese photovoltaic industry.

Supply-demand concerns

Ardour Solar Index: Low valuations spark some buying, but the 2011 macro outlook is still cloudy.

Crash in its infancy

France: With new installations totaling 500 to 550 megawatts, 2010 was the most successful year in the history of the still young French solar market. Now, however, the French Government is putting further growth on hold. During a three-month suspension of installations, it will revise the regulations for incentives. An annual cap of 500 megawatts and new incentives for systems building integrated or not are under debate.

Tin and zinc sprinkled dream

CZTS: Reports streamed out of the IBM labs confirming the arrival of this new absorber for thin film solar cells. Research work into the copper-zinc-tin-sulfur/selenium (CZTS/Se) combination has been on-going for years now, but its value, cost-effectiveness and green mark remain shadowy. Whether the newbie in the thin film photovoltaic scene lives up to its hype remains to be seen.

Different system concepts

Roof-integrated systems: On slanted roofs, solar panels can replace conventional roof tiles and shingles. Manufacturers of insulation systems and module makers both offer systems for the roof-integration of photovoltaics. A number of new systems simultaneously perform multiple building functions.

US market: sunny with a chance of downpour

PV power plants: Market research points to a robust growth in the U.S. market driven by utility-scale projects. But the outlook might dim if a shift in political power leads to policies that put a brake on the pace of project development.

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