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Western Europe

European solar demand fell 20% in 2016, says SolarPower Europe

While global solar power demand increased 50%, new European installations were down 20% compared to 2015, falling to 6.9 GW of new capacity on the continent.

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Schmid develops new multi wafer texturing process

The German production manufacturer has announced the development of a new process for the texturing of diamond wire cut multi silicon wafers. Schmid says that it will ship the first systems featuring the new technology in the second quarter of 2017.

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UK solar funds feeling warm glow of Brexit, finds BNEF

Data from Bloomberg reveals doubling in trading volume of leading U.K.-listed solar funds since last June’s EU referendum as the weaker pound and higher power prices makes solar investment more attractive.

EU project aims for improved solar-based hydrogen

The €2.5 million EU Horizon 2020 project coordinated by HZB tests materials to stabilize a membrane for photovoltaic-based hydrogen production.

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Wacker’s polysilicon divison reports strong Q4

The German chemical giant finished off 2016 with increased sales and profit in its polysilicon division, as it remains the only Western polysilicon maker to sell directly into China.

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SolarWorld plans to shift domestic cell production within Germany

The firm is considering concentrating all of its German cell production capacity at Arnstadt, shifting volume from Freiberg where wafer production is poised to be scaled up.

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UK failing to meet EU’s modest renewable targets, finds European Commission

Policy changes have slowed the U.K.’s progress towards 2020 renewable energy goals as the country wrestles with the forthcoming Brexit turmoil. France and Netherlands also on watchlist, says Commission.

Germany installs 450 MW of solar in December

End of year surge in installations pushes annual total towards 1.5 GW – a slightly higher figure than that recorded in 2015. Tumbling module costs in Europe have aided this upturn, with small-scale solar installations predominant.

Allianz snaps up 100 MW UK solar portfolio from BayWa r.e.

Allianz Renewable Fund 2 acquires three large scale solar PV plants from Germany’s BayWa r.e., amounting to 100 MWp of additional solar capacity.

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Energy expert survey finds admiration for German energy policy, but they don’t plan on copying it

A recent survey of energy experts from 42 countries conducted by the German member committee of the World Energy Council has found that the majority of the experts follow and admire the German policy, but do not consider it to be the blueprint for the rest of the world.

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