Contains selective news articles I select

Archive for the ‘Solar Energy’ Category

Macron pledges $700 million euros for new solar projects

New Delhi (AFP)

March 11, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday pledged hundreds of millions of dollars for solar projects in developing countries, as world leaders met in India to promote greater investment in renewable energy.

Macron, who in December warned that the global shift to a green energy future was too slow, said France would extend an extra 700 million euros ($861.5 million) through loans and donations by 2022 for solar projects in emerging economies.

France had already committed $300 million euros to the initiative when it co-founded with India a global alliance in 2015 to unlock new cash for solar projects in sunny yet poor nations.

“We need to remove all obstacles and scale up,” Macron said at the launch of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who has committed to reducing India’s sizable carbon footprint through a massive scale-up in renewable energy — said it was vital that nations were not priced out.

“We have to make sure that a better and cost effective solar technology is available to all,” Modi told the gathering of investors and world leaders from about 20 mainly African nations.

“We will have to increase solar in our energy mix.”

India, the world’s third-largest polluter, is undergoing spectacular growth in its solar sector and is on track to become one of the world’s largest clean energy markets.

It pledged at the Paris climate summit in 2015 to source at least 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030, mainly via solar.

The energy-hungry giant of 1.25 billion people is banking on solar to electrify homes for hundreds of millions of its poorest citizens without adding to its considerable emissions output.

Macron and Modi hope the alliance will spur $1 trillion in new solar spending by 2030 in 121 countries lacking investment in the sector.

These countries have “the paradox of being the sunniest in the world while enjoying the least solar energy,” said S?gol?ne Royal, a former French minister in India as a special envoy for the alliance.

Macron told world leaders in Paris in December that “we are losing the battle” against climate change and urged faster action to combat global warming.

The French leader called on private sector attendees in New Delhi to engage more actively because “solar investments are becoming more profitable”.

He and Modi will open a new 100 megawatt solar plant near the holy Indian city of Varanasi on Monday. The French leader will also visit the Taj Mahal in Agra later Sunday.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Macron_pledges_700_million_euros_for_new_solar_projects_999.html.

Advertisements

China solar supplier grows in India to avoid trade controls

February 06, 2018

BEIJING (AP) — One of China’s biggest makers of solar panels said Tuesday it will invest $309 million to expand manufacturing in India in a move to guard against what it complained is a rising threat of import controls in the United States and other markets.

Longi Solar Technology Ltd.’s announcement follows the Trump administration’s Jan. 24 decision to impose an extra 30 percent duty on imported solar modules. An Indian regulator says it is considering a “safeguard tariff” of 70 percent on solar panels from China and Malaysia.

Chinese manufacturers dominate global solar panel production. Their explosive growth has helped to propel adoption of renewable energy by driving down costs. But the United States, Europe, India and others complain unfairly low-priced exports hurt their manufacturers and threaten thousands of jobs.

The United States, Europe and other non-Chinese markets account for only 10 percent of Longi’s sales, according to its strategy director, Max Xia. But he said Longi wants to promote global sales of its latest technology this year.

“We think sooner or later anti-dumping and trade protection will be happening in several countries,” said Xia at a news conference. “This is why we choose to do the investment in Malaysia and also in India, because we don’t know when and where it will happen, this kind of anti-dumping. So we prepare to counter it.”

Xia’s comment represented an unusually explicit statement by the Chinese industry that it is moving production to avoid trade controls. Other Chinese producers have set up factories in India and Southeast Asia but usually say they are getting closer to customers or taking advantage of local talent and supply chains.

That migration has complicated efforts by the United States, the European Union and other governments to control imports from China. Some Chinese solar manufacturers responded to earlier U.S. and European trade measures by supplying those markets from factories outside China, avoiding higher tariffs and quotas on Chinese-made products.

Longi already has a solar module factory in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The latest investment will double production there, the company said. Xia repeated warnings by Chinese manufacturers that import controls are hampering efforts to encourage adoption of renewable energy.

“That possibly could start a ‘green energy trade war,'” he said. “That is, with the whole world concerned about climate change, what people who want to solve energy problems and realize green development aren’t willing to see.”

Longi, headquartered in the western city of Xi’an, ranked No. 7 among global solar panel producers by 2017 output, according to PV Tech, an industry journal. The South Korean-German supplier Hanhwa-Q Cells was the only non-Chinese competitor in the Top 10.

India is regarded by the solar industry as one of the most promising markets but low-cost Chinese imports have undercut the New Delhi government’s ambitions to develop its own solar technology suppliers. Government data show imports, mostly from China, account for 90 percent of last year’s sales, up from 86 percent in 2014.

India’s Finance Ministry said Jan. 5 it was considering adding a temporary 70 percent “safeguard tariff” on solar equipment from China and Malaysia to prevent “further serious injury” to the Indian industry. The ministry said Chinese exporters shifted their focus to India in early 2017 after the United States and Europe stepped up import controls.

Indian Space Agency Test-Drives Solar Electric Hybrid Vehicle

New Delhi (Sputnik)

May 04, 2017

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) added another milestone to its list of achievements by successfully showcasing a solar-electric hybrid vehicle. ISRO’s different engineering branches at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram developed the vehicle.

The team working on the project developed a solar panel to fit on the roof of a car, along with an internal gearbox, control electronics for the battery and solar panel, and a conversion kit for fitting an electric motor to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.

The vehicle was powered by ISRO’s famed Lithium-ion batteries, with a high power supercapacitor to meet the power demands to achieve required torque. ISRO also ensured to not compromise the safety while integrating various subsystems.

The vehicle was successfully test-driven, including an uphill drive. The space agency will now focus on building indigenous Lithium-ion fuel cells, supercapacitors and an electric motor.

“ISRO is doing a lot of things in addition to launching satellites. And all projects are interlinked and laying down the foundation for an industrial complex which will boost innovation and job creation. They have started sub-contracting many of their product building processes, which again will help in the growth of industries,” Dr. Mayank N. Vahia, Department of Astrophysics, at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, told Sputnik.

India is aiming to push the use of electric vehicles to tackle rising pollution in its cities with the government setting a target of 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.

The sales of electric vehicles in India is currently very low, rising 37.5 percent to 22,000 units in the year ended March 31, 2016, over 16,000 in 2014-15, according to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles. Of these 22,000 vehicles, only 2,000 were cars and other four-wheelers.

The high cost of batteries, a majority of which are imported, is a major hindrance to the development of the sector. Yet another challenge is to create a network of docking stations or charging stations for electric vehicles although that is more of a demand-related problem.

“A helping hand is required to create the infrastructure… There are two concerns for electric vehicles-first is cost and second is infrastructure,” Mint quoted Abdul Majeed, partner and national auto practice leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers as saying.

The government recently asked ISRO to share its technology on Lithium-ion batteries with other public and private sector firms to give a push to the production of batteries in India and bring down the cost of electric vehicles.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Indian_Space_Agency_Test_Drives_Solar_Electric_Hybrid_Vehicle_999.html.

California Reaches Solar Milestone, Electricity Prices Turn Negative

Climate Nexus

12 April

Solar power met roughly half of California’s electricity demand for the first time on March 11, according to new estimates from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).

EIA estimated that almost 40 percent of electricity on the grid between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. came from California’s large-scale solar plants, with smaller solar installations on homes and businesses supplying the rest. When factored with other sources of clean energy in the state, renewable energy accounted for more than 55 percent of power on the grid on March 11.

The abundant supply of solar in California this winter and spring has driven wholesale prices near zero or into the negative during certain hours.

“In March, during the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatthour (MWh),” the EIA said in its report.

“In contrast, average hourly prices in March 2013–15 during this time of day ranged from $14/MWh to $45/MWh. Negative prices usually result when generators with high shut-down or restart costs must compete with other generators to avoid operating below equipment minimum ratings or shutting down completely.”

Source: EcoWatch.

Link: http://www.ecowatch.com/california-solar-energy-prices-2357256997.html.

Britain buying solar-powered Zephyr 8 drones from Airbus

Toulouse, France (UPI)

Feb 18, 2016

Airbus Defense and Space has received an order from Britain’s Ministry of Defense for its solar-powered Zephyr 8 unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Zephyr 8, described by Airbus as a high-altitude pseudo-satellite craft that provides persistent surveillance and communications links for about a month at a time before it needs to land for refurbishment.

Its altitude ceiling is about 65,000 feet. Its wing span is about 72 feet, and it weighs about 30 percent less than its predecessor, the Zephyr 7.

Solar panels on the aircraft charge its batteries from sunlight during the day and maintain the aircraft’s high altitude at night.

Airbus said Britain ordered two of the aircraft. Other contract details were not disclosed.

The first Zephyr 8 ordered is being built at an Airbus facility in England and is due to fly in mid-2017.

Source: Space War.

Link: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Britain_buying_solar-powered_Zephyr_8_drones_from_Airbus_999.html.

Neo Solar Power to Invest in BlueChip Energy’s 120 MW Sorrento Solar Farm Project

Lake Mary FL (SPX)

Oct 11, 2011

BlueChip Energy has announced it has signed a letter of intent with Neo Solar Power, a Taiwan-based solar cell manufacturer, for an equity participation in BCE’s 120 MW Sorrento Solar Farm project.

As part of the agreement, Neo Solar Power will contribute at least 10 MW of its high efficiency solar cells for an equity stake in the project, which is currently under construction in Lake County, FL. The cells will be converted into solar panels by Advanced Solar Photonics, BCE’s manufacturing subsidiary. Neo Solar Power focuses on high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar PV cells. As of the second quarter of 2011, the company had installed capacity of 1.3 GW.

“We are delighted to be working with NSP as a partner. They are one of the largest cell producers in the world, their product is top quality and, most importantly, NSP’s executive management understands that to truly thrive in the PV industry, it is necessary to put your product to work in project generating electricity revenue,” said Yongshuang Wang, VP of Strategic Development for BCE.

The LOI between BCE and Neo Solar Power is a major milestone in the US solar power industry as it marks the introduction of a new business model for developing solar power projects, without the use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) and financed by manufacturers themselves, rather than financial institutions.

BCE’s new solar power development model will be described in more detail in an upcoming series of Executive Briefings to be released by the company over the next few weeks.

The Sorrento Solar Farm is unique among announced solar power projects in the United States in that is:

+ Fully permitted: Rezoning authorization issued by Lake County Zoning Board and the Lake County Board of Commissioners; Environmental Permit issued by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (permit No ERP35-0307272-001-SI);

+ Ideally Located: The project is located on land owned by BCE, gently sloping from north to south (eliminating the need for grading) and adjacent to two substations owned by Progress Energy Florida and SECO; and

+ Federally Licensed: The project has Qualifying Facility status (FERC Docket Number QF11-240-000) and Wholesale Generator status (FERC Docket Number EG11-58-000) certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Neo_Solar_Power_to_Invest_in_BlueChip_Energy_120_MW_Sorrento_Solar_Farm_Project_999.html.

Vast desert sun farm to help light up Morocco

By Jalal Al Makhfi

Ouarzazate, Morocco (AFP)

Dec 13, 2015

On the edge of the Sahara desert, engineers make final checks to a sea of metal mirrors turned towards the sun, preparing for the launch of Morocco’s first solar power plant.

The ambitious project is part of the North African country’s goal of boosting its clean energy output with what it says will eventually be the world’s largest solar power production facility.

Morocco has scarce oil and gas reserves, and is the biggest importer of energy in the Middle East and North Africa.

The plant is part of a vision to move beyond this heavy dependency and raise renewable energy production to 42 percent of its total power needs by 2020.

About 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside Ouarzazate, half a million U-shaped mirrors — called “parabolic troughs” — stretch out in 800 rows, slowly following the sun as it moves across the sky.

Spread over an area equivalent to more than 600 football pitches, they store thermal energy from the sun’s rays and use it to activate steam turbines that produce electricity.

King Mohamed VI launched construction of the plant, called Noor 1, in 2013, at a cost of 600 million euros ($660 million) and involving roughly 1,000 workers.

Its start of operations by the end of this month was set to coincide with the conclusion of high-stakes COP21 global climate talks in Paris.

“Construction work has finished,” said Obaid Amran, a board member of Morocco’s solar power agency.

“We are testing components of the production units with a view to connecting them to the national grid at the end of the year.”

The project’s next phases — Noor 2 and Noor 3 — are to follow in 2016 and 2017, and a call for tenders is open for Noor 4.

– ‘A million homes’ –

Once all phases are complete, Noor will be “the largest solar power production facility in the world”, its developers say, covering an area of 30 square kilometers (11.6 square miles).

It will generate 580 megawatts and provide electricity to a million homes.

The solar power project will also help reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy ministry estimates that its first solar power plant will allow the country to reduce CO2 emissions by 240,000 tonnes per year initially, and by 522,000 tonnes with the second two phases.

That is equivalent to nearly one percent of Morocco’s CO2 emissions of around 56.5 million tonnes in 2011, according to World Bank figures.

The so-called “greenhouse effect” is a natural phenomenon — an invisible blanket of gases including small amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) — that has made Earth warm enough for humans to survive on it comfortably.

But human activities such as burning coal and oil inject additional CO2 into the atmosphere, leading to global warming.

Humanity’s annual output of greenhouse gases is higher than ever, totaling just under 53 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2014, according to the UN.

Morocco, to host next year’s COP22, aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2030 as it develops renewable energy production.

“We have a project to introduce 6,000 megawatts to the existing electricity production nationwide,” Energy Minister Abdelkader Amara said recently.

“Two thousand megawatts will come from solar energy and 2,000 megawatts from wind and hydroelectric power.”

Morocco started producing electricity at Africa’s largest wind farm in its southwestern coastal region of Tarfaya last year.

“Things have been going well so far,” the minister said. “We’re likely to go beyond 2,000 megawatts by 2020 in the area of wind power.”

But Rabat has not abandoned fossil fuels altogether — last December, Amara announced a multi-billion-dollar project to step up Morocco’s search for natural gas to produce electricity.

Source: Solar Daily.

Link: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Vast_desert_sun_farm_to_help_light_up_Morocco_999.html.

Tag Cloud