Thursday, May 31, 2012

Germany's Day in the Sun: Solar Hits 22 GW Mark

New Hampshire, USA — With the sun beaming overhead and the nation hard at work, Germany turned to solar like never before last Friday and Saturday as the nation's PV installations fed 22 gigawatts of electricity into the grid at one point, providing nearly half of the country's energy needs.

In doing so, Germany answered some critical questions as it reshapes its policy away from nuclear power and toward renewable sources like solar, wind and biomass. Chief among the concerns is how much intermittent solar Germany can seamlessly integrate into its grid without causing major disruptions.

During one 24-hour period, Germany’s PV accounted for nearly a third of the nation’s energy needs on midday Friday when the nation’s factories and offices were humming along, and then it approached 50 percent midday Saturday as residents enjoyed a sun-filled weekend.

The milestone comes at a critical crossroads for a country that is eager to move on from its dependence on nuclear power, but has been increasingly at odds over which path to take. If nothing else, the achievement is certain to add to the growing confidence that solar can fill much of the nuclear void. Germany currently gets about 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources, with solar contributing about 4 percent annually.

According to the International Economic Platform for Renewable Energies in Muenster, the power produced at its weekend peak was greater than the capacity of 20 nuclear power plants. The timing of the peak is particularly important since it comes during times when energy use is at its highest.

"It is often underestimated that the sun brings significant power if and when it is needed most. In the peak time for lunch," said institute director Norbert Allnoch. Because of this, the group says that expensive peak load power plants are increasingly rare or no longer used.

Germany is by far the world leader in installed PV capacity with more than 26 GW. Last year alone, the nation added nearly 8 GW and it has continued its rapid expansion through the start of 2012. Concerns over the speed of installation and the growing cost of government support pushed legislators to adopt a steeper than expected cuts to the Feed-in Tariff that is credited with fueling the installation boom in recent years. That cut, however, has run into some political barriers and a separate mediation panel is now charged with finding a resolution.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Welspun plans 500 MW of solar power projects

The Welspun group plans to put up 500 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity by 2016-17, the rating agency CARE has said.
CARE, which recently rated a debt instrument of one of the Welspun group companies, said the group today has a capacity of 30 MW under various special purpose vehicles.
Last week Welspun successfully bid for a 125 MW solar energy project in a tender floated by the Madhya Pradesh Government, quoting a tariff of Rs 8.05 a unit.
In the first two rounds of bidding under the National Solar Mission, Welspun had won 50 MW and 5 MW of solar photovoltaic projects each.
The Welspun Group has diversified business interests with a presence in power generation, exploration and production of oil and natural gas, steel pipes, home textiles, retail and infrastructure.
In addition to 500 MW of solar projects, the group intends to own 1,000 MW of wind power capacity. The group has said it would invest Rs 15,000 crore on renewable energy in the coming years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How will China affect your PV Company?

China’s impact on global supply and demand is radically changing the PV industry. Find out how this will affect your company.
The global solar industry has been growing at a phenomenal rate, with the Greater China region emerging as a key player in the overall supply and demand mix.

During the Solarbuzz China PV Conference, leading PV market analysts from Solarbuzz and senior executives from top-tier manufacturers such as JA Solar, Jinko and Hareon will explore the most pressing issues affecting the PV industry today:

Which emerging countries and regions will drive new PV demand out to 2016?
Which technologies are the key candidates to drive cell efficiencies above 20%?
What are the leading indicators affecting future ASPs through the PV value-chain?
The 2012 Solarbuzz China PV Conference will provide an opportunity to network with global industry players and key Solarbuzz analysts. Attendees will obtain the latest market information across the whole supply chain, explore important trends in the PV industry, and identify competitive strategies for corporate success.

To view the full list of speakers, register to attend or review a detailed agenda, please visit

Monday, May 14, 2012

India’s Solar Capacity Rises to 979 Megawatts, Ministry Says

India’s solar power capacity has risen to 979 megawatts, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said in a statement today.
The western state of Gujarat led installations in the country with 655 megawatts of grid-connected solar power plants, according to the statement.
The ministry said in December that 180 megawatts had been built.
To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at