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Magazine Archive 05-2011

In search of a niche

Fab Managers Forum: With intensified cooperation along the value chain, European cell and module manufacturers aim to lower costs while ensuring quality. To this end, they presented an International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics at the 5th Photovoltaic Fab Managers Forum of the SEMI PV Group in Berlin. However, it remains to be seen whether or not this will suffice to counter the dominance of Asian manufacturers.

The glass is more than half full

Turkey: At the end of last year the Turkish government adopted a law on subsidies for renewable energies. According to the new law the subsidy for solar electricity will amount to a total of 13.3 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour. However, the subsidy is not regarded as huge breakthrough. Nevertheless, an increasing number of solar companies are setting up business in the country, as evidenced by the Solarex trade exhibition.

Interconnected solar markets

Global PV forecast: The first installment of pv magazine’s exclusive quarterly global PV updates, delivered by Mercom Capital Group, looks at the impact of Japan’s nuclear disaster and why 2010 was solar’s best year.

The power flower

Offshore renewable energy: Offshore renewable energy platforms are a common sight, especially the speed at which the wind energy sector has developed and the platforms that have popped up far out at sea. Solar energy has not gone that far offshore yet but developments are emerging. Hann-Ocean’s Hexifloat is an offshore solution that promises to tie in four of nature’s power suppliers, solar, tidal, wave and wind, with solar leading the way.

“Now solar is sexy”

Greece: While Greece’s economy plods along and the country’s financial market fights for its life, the Greek photovoltaics industry is showing splendid development. The sector has the country’s government to thank, which is clearing the way for photovoltaics step by step.

Living in a research lab

Gaita House: Buildings with low energy consumption don’t have to be closed boxes. A Parisian architect has achieved a synthesis of aesthetics and energy efficiency. The result is an energy-plus house with photovoltaic sun protection and natural ventilation.

The recall

Module replacement: First Solar brought thin film modules on the market which showed a significant drop in performance after just a few weeks. They are currently being replaced, which is a test of nerves for the company, the installers and plant operators.

“The key factor is market proximity”

Interview: In the middle of March, First Solar announced construction of a new module factory in Mesa, Arizona. In an interview, President Bruce Sohn describes the background of the project and the prospects for growth on the U.S. market.

More upward activity

Green Energy Expo: The expo this year in Korea drew large crowds despite the uncertainty of the environment in the region. Daegu stands firm on its decision to establish itself as a solar city.

The second edition of the PV Roadmap

Roadmap for PV: Industry collaboration is a must to reduce costs. The Roadmap, a product of the last twelve months, paves the way for this.

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