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Magazine Archive 06-2014

Searching for a sustainable solar model

Europe: The European solar PV market is adjusting to a new reality of domestic strife, economic trouble and a systematic shake-up of support schemes designed to help the industry stride confidently forward. So how is the continent handling its place in the new world order? pv magazine investigates.

PV’s presidential push

US: President Barack Obama has announced plans to inject $2 billion of government funds into the PV sector as he pushes for more solar capacity across federal buildings, greater use of commercial rooftop space and the creation of more jobs in the solar and clean energy sectors.

Prejudices about heating

Heating with light: Now PV is also forcing its way on to the heating market, causing a stir in the solar thermal energy sector. But a fundamental debate such as this cannot resolve which solution will be the best for customers. These are the most common arguments.

Monitoring and data logging services multiply

Solar monitoring and data logging: There has been a virtual explosion of solar PV monitoring and data logging companies offering services in the global market over the past few years, and consolidation is the watchword. In the U.S. market alone, the number of companies has risen from a few dozen to several hundred, begging the question of what standard services are, and at what price.

“Otherwise, someone else will do it”

Add-on business: More and more municipal utilities in Germany are selling and leasing PV systems to their customers. The power companies view such activity as a new business area with added value, especially for creating customer loyalty.

In the red

Ardour Solar Index: The trade case and China’s distributed PV focus cast uncertainty on volume growth.

Global FIT overview

Feed-in tariffs: In emerging markets, both Algeria and Costa Rica locked in comprehensive new feed-in tariff schemes and Bangladesh is thinking about adopting its own scheme. Up north, Germany and Slovenia have continued with planned degressions.

Focus on self-consumption

Switzerland: Owners of solar PV systems in Switzerland are allowed to consume their electricity themselves for the first time. This is guaranteed by an amendment of the country’s national energy law. The reform should be good for the PV market, not least because the state will provide one third of the investment for systems up to ten kilowatts as of this year.

Dramatic slump in the European market

Module prices: Is PV still a model for the future in Europe? The current situation casts doubt on that.

Distributed PV: primed, but not yet ready to shine

China: On January 2014, the National Energy Administration announced a target of 8 GW of distributed solar PV and 6 GW of utility-scale PV for 2014. Distributed PV will play an increasingly important role in China’s energy mix in the next years as part of the country’s efforts to tackle air pollution.

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