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Magazine Archive 10-2014

More grid independence

CEO interview: Bill Watkins, CEO of Imergy Power Systems, speaks with pv magazine about the company’s vanadium-based flow battery energy storage products and why they make sense for PV developers. Imergy is headquartered in Fremont, California, and has operations in Gurgaon, India.

Moving forward

Investment policies: UBS and Citigroup are advising investors to prepare for a move away from fossil fuels towards solar, thanks to the rise of electric vehicles and the falling cost of battery storage. The question now is whether their investment bank peers will follow suit.

“Uninterrupted, affordable, clean sources of energy”

IEA Executive Director interview: In September, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report entitled Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency. The study concluded that energy efficiency is a crucial “hidden fuel” whose value goes far beyond the cost effects of energy savings. pv magazine attended the report’s release in Berlin and spoke with IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven about energy efficiency and the role of PV in IEA energy scenarios.

New on the block

Ghana: An interview with Steffen Behrle, Team Leader Renewable Energy in Ghana for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), which implements projects on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

25 years of optimizing

Trackers: Utility-scale single axis trackers may one day cover much of North America’s Southwest desert, including half a dozen states in the United States and in Mexico. The combination of strong insolation, readily available flat land, lowered cost, and well-refined engineering have made single-axis the design of choice for utility-scale PV installations in the region.

Optimization in the cloud

Energy management: Start-up company Tado made news with an intelligent control unit that activates heating or air-conditioning systems when the owners approach their home. The devices will soon be available for use with solar electricity as well.

A bright future: solar in Brazil

Brazil: The Intersolar South America trade show was held in late August, right in the middle of the mild winter that Southern Brazil experiences. However, many of the conference-goers who had come from around the world to São Paulo were talking more about spring, and specifically a certain date in October.

Resource adequacy

Capacity markets: Amid the normal European fragmentation on energy matters lies an unresolved capacity market question, with the UK proposing radical plans. If introduced, what role can renewables – including solar PV – play in building upon the growth of capacity markets in the UK and beyond?

ABB going big on storage and renewables

Batteries and power conversion: Last month in London ABB gathered journalists and investors from around the globe to unveil its strategic and financial plan for the vast business. Much was made of the company’s 2014 acquisition of inverter manufacturer Power-One and the fact that ABB is now the second biggest inverter manufacturer in the world. Otto Preiss, the group’s senior vice president, and head of the power conversion unit, spoke with pv magazine about the role the former PowerOne is playing in ABB’s business and its collaboration with BYD in the battery space.

Singed birds and bad PR: Solar and wildlife issues

Wildlife: Solar scaremongers had reason to take flight earlier this year when images of fried birds at solar parks in the U.S. hit the headlines. But solar’s role in avian mortality is nothing to get in a flap about, as pv magazine discovered.

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