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Magazine Archive 03-2013

Main driver for the technological development

Interview: The president of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Jochen Flasbarth, on the role of storage, power to gas (PTG), power to liquid (PTL) and PV in a renewable energy scenario.

Tied up in knots

Indian solar market update: India’s antidumping investigations are introducing unwanted uncertainty to its solar market. Raj Prabhu, Managing Partner of Mercom Capital Group, provides an overview of the first quarter 2013 and the current Indian state policies.

The battle over the EEG

Germany: At the end of January, Peter Altmaier, the German Federal Minister for the Environment, had announced a proposal to introduce a so-called “electricity price protection” measure. This would be a catastrophe for the development of renewable energies. However, the chances of success for his proposal are quite limited.

Strong upward trend

Ardour Solar Index: Warren Buffett provides a vote of confidence as pricing stabilizes. Companies with downstream presence get a second look.

Some live longer

Comparison of life spans: How long a battery lasts when used for a certain photovoltaic application depends on the circumstances. The manufacturer’s specifications are derived under favorable laboratory conditions. Thus in practice such values may often vary. Ulrich Ehmes explains how such information can be evaluated.

Solid as a rock

On-roof mounting systems: Extreme wind speeds seem to be on the rise. The consequences for the design of solar mounting systems are explained by Sandy Schnitzer, Director Engineering at Mounting Systems, one of the largest manufacturers of solar mounting racks, founded in 1993 and based in Rangsdorf near Berlin.

Silver lining for cost savings

Replacing silver: Silver is a metal with a volatile price; it can bring big gains or cause huge tumbles. With the International Monetary Fund predicting a 3.6% global expansion in 2013, from 3.3% in 2012, silver remains a sought-after commodity worldwide and in PV. Of late possible substitutes like copper, nickel and tin, among others, have been seeing success.

Seoul shows the way forward

Dear readers, Although the PV industry is currently exposed to severe headwinds, particularly in Germany and Europe, there are renewed signs of hope and new beginnings. While the Spanish module manufacturer Isofotón is struggling with a high debt burden and, according to Spanish daily papers, has already instituted pre-insolvency proceedings, Phoenix Solar has also pulled […]

Self-consumption by the back door

Spain: Lower module prices and high levels of insolation mean photovoltaics is attractive in Spain even without government support. As a result, more and more companies are installing their own solar power systems to reduce electricity bills – although the government in Madrid has yet to pass any clear legislation regulating self-consumption.

Rock bottom prices

Industry ranking: Falling silicon prices have once again given wafer manufacturers a bit of breathing room. Covering production costs is still a challenge, even for the market leaders. Analysts believe that wafer prices have bottomed out.

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