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Magazine Archive 01-2012

Let the light shine through

Solar panel cleaning: Dust, leaves, bird excrement – when they fall on your car window, they are easy to clean. But if they accumulate on your PV modules, it’s a bit tougher to wipe them off. But do you really have to? Just how much dirt actually translates into reduced performance and when do owners of solar energy installations need to get their panels professionally cleaned – and how should they do that?

On the way to implementation

Ontario: Despite significant financial incentives and a large project pipeline, comparatively few photovoltaic systems have been installed in Ontario thus far. The solar industry is now relying on faster approval phases, greater acceptance on the part of the banks and dynamic adjustment of the feed-in tariffs (FITs) to declining prices.

ASEAN parity

ASEAN: With complications in policy and politics as well as the emergence of the eastern nations in the PV market, attention has fallen on the ASEAN region. Who are the leaders and is grid parity, subsidized or unsubsidized, within their reach?

Pushing renewable investment

Emerging markets: 2011 may well have been characterized by a number of controversial issues, including declining module prices, insolvencies, production cutbacks, consolidation, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the U.S.-China trade dispute. However, not all is lost: while many of the traditional solar markets are suffering, a number of emerging markets are working hard to fill the void.

Ballast-free through bonding

Flat-roof installation market overview: Aerodynamically optimized flat-roof systems came to market four years ago. They are just as popular now as they were then. But now manufacturers are taking things a step further by bonding the systems to the roof skin.

Settling down in China

Foreign investment: Low production costs used to be the driving force behind foreign investment in China. Now the country’s domestic market is becoming the key driver, as the examples of Coveme and other manufacturers show.

Changing growth trends

Solarbuzz market report: In 2012, the global PV demand profile will be similar to 2011, but growth trends point to a shift away from Europe as the dominant region.


Ardour Solar Index: The Index resumes a downward slide. Capital is diverting from capacity expansion to R&D.

Combating the evil under the sun

Theft protection: Solar parks are not only interesting for project planners and investors. Criminals have also discovered large installations with numerous modules and inverters as a worthwhile source for lucrative stolen property. However, the operators are defending themselves against pilferers with a variety of ideas – a look at four countries.

Solar awakening

Middle East: Solar projects and activity are beginning to build up across the Middle East as governments look to ease energy supply challenges and nurture the high-tech industrial opportunities afforded by solar.

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