Published on June 24th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan0
Cleantech Weekly Roundup
June 24th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
Here’s an extremely lengthy end-of-week roundup of cleantech stories. To make scrolling through your interests more manageable, I’m splitting it up into a few pages based on topic. Starting on this first page with the fan favorite, solar energy. Then, going on to:
BAODING, China (AP) – Solar panels jut out of streetlights in China’s self-proclaimed Clean Energy City. Tiny wind turbines twirl atop public buildings.Schools are due to teach students about “green living.”
In the scramble to profit from demand for clean energy, this city southwest of Beijing is promoting itself as a manufacturing center for solar, wind and other gear by transforming into a living showcase of environmental technology.
“Baoding is following a path of ecological civilization,” a deputy mayor, Zhou Xingshi, told a group of visiting reporters….
I had a chance to chat today with Dr. Charlie Gay, the President of Applied Material’s solar division. You may recall, we broke the story in the blogosphere 5 years ago about Applied’s entry into solar, which was anchored with a highly touted and very aggressive strategy for turnkey large format amorphous silicon and tandem cell plants called SunFab….
Siemens has acquired a minority share (approximately 16 percent) in U.S. solar company Semprius. Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Semprius develops high concentrating photovoltaic (HCPV) modules. Siemens will act as a strategic investor to help Semprius develop this technology to market maturity. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price….
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $150 million loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies for the development of a multicrystalline wafer manufacturing project. The project will be capable of producing approximately 700 to 1,000 megawatts (MW) of silicon-based wafers annually using a manufacturing process called Direct Wafer. The process could reduce manufacturing costs of the wafers by approximately 50 percent, cutting the cost of solar power. Phase 1 of the project will be located in Lexington, Massachusetts and is expected to generate 70 permanent jobs and 50 construction jobs. The company is evaluating site locations for another planned phase, which they anticipate will create hundreds of additional jobs….
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $275 million loan guarantee to Calisolar to commercialize its solar silicon manufacturing process. Calisolar’s process should produce silicon for use in solar cells at less than half the cost of traditional polysilicon purification processes, which will reduce the overall cost of solar modules and panels. At full production, the manufacturing plant is expected to produce 16,000 metric tons (MT) of solar silicon annually, equivalent to more than two gigawatts of solar power generation per year. The project will be built in three phases of 5,333 MT capacity each, and is expected to be located in a former General Motors stamping plant in Ontario, Richland County, Ohio. Calisolar estimates that the facility will generate, at its peak, nearly 1,100 permanent jobs and up to 1,000 construction jobs….
Just as Germany announced its intentions to maintain its current feed-in-tariffs rates to bolster softer than projected figures, a key player in the U.S. solar market may take a different approach and cut into its incentive program….
Enphase Energy, the Petaluma, Calif.-based pioneer of inverter technologies for the solar industry, filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock….
CleanPath announced the close of an equity and credit facility to invest in the development and construction of large-scale solar PV projects in North America. CleanPath will manage two revolving facilities to invest over $800 million into 1,000+ megawatts in large-scale solar PV projects over the next 60 months….
GTM Research just launched our U.S. Utility PV Market Tracker, a real-time source of information on one of the fastest-growing PV market segments in the world. The tracker includes, among other things, a database of every operating and contracted utility PV project in the country, as well as most earlier-stage projects (a total of 391 projects as of today). It also includes market analysis and ongoing news flow….
We cannot win the future without winning the clean energy race, which is why President Obama laid out a clear goal to increase our nation’s clean energy share and continue to build a 21st century clean energy economy. Last fall, to underscore the Obama Administration’s commitment to clean and renewable energy, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley announced that the Energy Department would lead a project to install American solar photovoltaic panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House….
Design aesthetics, engineering, marketing appeal — these are just a few of the elements Solar Decathlon houses will be evaluated and scored on. But new this year to the competition is the Affordability Contest. Teams are encouraged to think creatively and strategically not only about the overall structure and functioning of the house, but also on how accessible they can make their design to everyone….
The number of households powered by solar energy in Bangladesh has passed the one million mark — the fastest expansion of solar power in the world, according to Bangladeshi officials. Aided by non-governmental organizations that provide low-cost loans to install solar panels, Bangladesh’s rural households — most of which are off the electricity grid — have driven a dizzying expansion of solar power in recent years….
Two Chinese banks are providing as much as $10 billion in funding to a group of three Chinese makers of solar equipment to build sun-powered energy projects in Europe….
Solar energy developer, Nur Energie, has been working on developing a utility-scale solar power plant in the North African country of Tunisia for a couple of years and now, according to the company, it has reached a milestone that brings its plans to export solar energy from Tunisia closer to reality.
Nur Energie says that it has worked out technical details with Italian high-voltage transmission network operator, Terna, to lay a transmission line between Tunisia and Italy to accommodate an estimated 2000 megawatts of clean energy generated electricity….
Chinese panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd is getting into the solar lease business to compete with venture-backed start-ups such as SolarCity and SunRun, the vice president of project finance for its U.S. business said on Wednesday….
Oil major Total SA’s $1.3 billion takeover of SunPower Corp will help the U.S. solar panel maker double its market share over the next 18 months, SunPower Chief Executive Tom Werner said on Wednesday….
With ambitions to boost green power to 20 gigawatts by 2020, India is well on their way. According to The Economic Times, the country is set to produce 700 megawatts of solar power at a cost of $2.2 billion by December of this year….
A solar field containing 3,575 solar panels expected to produce 1,500 megawatt-hours each year for a co-op sprung up this week in Rifle, Colorado.
The solar field is a cooperative between Holy Cross Energy, the Clean Energy Collective and Garfield County, according to multiple reports…
A Scottsdale, Arizona based company recently introduced an all-inclusive solar panel kit designed for installation on homes and light commercial buildings.
Kyocera Solar Inc. will produce the MyGen solar energy kit, a pre-engineered system that will have everything required to complete a solar installation on a home or business. There will also be the option to accommodate a future expansion or upgrade….