Solar Latest News Round-Up Issue 42

This issue covers:

US support for India solar PV expansion

The USA has backed plans for a $160 billion solar expansion programme in India.

Without giving any detail, President Obama has said the U.S. will “stand ready to speed this advancement with additional financing.” at a press conference in New Delhi as India confirmed plans to install five times as many photovoltaics as the U.S. has now by 2022.

The new programme would spread solar panels across an area the equivalent of three times the size of India’s most populous city, Mumbai.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, has moved solar energy up the national agenda since he took office in May, replicating policies he brought from Gujarat. In the industrial province in India’s west, Modi implemented India’s first incentives for photovoltaics in 2009, a year before the national government backed the technology.

The solar program would help answer how India will reduce fossil-fuel pollution as the United Nations pushes all countries to adopt targets in time for a climate summit in Paris in December. India’s emissions are the third highest in the world behind the USA and China. Full story here.

US to impose import duties on some solar products

A US trade panel has cleared the way for import duties on certain solar cell products made in China and Taiwan, saying they were hurting the US solar industry.

The US International Trade Commission said it had determined there was a negative impact on US producers from the imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from the two sources, after the Commerce Department showed that they were being dumped, or sold at below market value, and that they were being unfairly subsidized.

The Commerce Department has said it will issue countervailing duty orders on imports of these products from China and antidumping duty orders on imports of these products from China and Taiwan.

At issue are imports of products that include crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, modules and panels, imported as separate components or integrated with other products.

The value of the solar product imports under investigation was more than $2.1 billion in 2013, with an estimated $1.5 billion in imports from China and $656.8 million from Taiwan, according to the Commerce Department. Full story here.

Report highlights falling costs of solar PV

A new report claims cost of solar power is falling faster than any other technology.

The study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claimed that power from utility-scale PV plants has fallen 50% since 2010 while the cost of installation fell 65% between 2010 and 2014 and the cost of residential solar installs fell 70% since 2008.

The report made specific reference to a recent tender in Dubai that will see a 200MW solar PV plant developed in the Emirate at a cost of less than $0.06kWh.

“Renewable energy projects across the globe are now matching or outperforming fossil fuels, particularly when accounting for externalities like local pollution, environmental damage and ill health,” said Adnan Z. Amin, the Director-General of IRENA. Full report here

UK solar PV surge

Figures in the latest UK DECC Energy Trends report illustrate the increased activity of solar PV developers ahead of the removal of funding arrangements for Renewables Obligations (RO) Certificates for large scale solar farms.

The figures showed that solar PV generated more electricity in the UK in the third quarter of 2014 than any previous quarter. During this period, solar PV generation increased from 0.8 TWh in 2013 Q3 to 1.5 TWh in 2014 Q3.

Overall installation of new generating capacity from renewable sources increased by 3.8GW in the same period one year earlier, and solar PV was the largest contributor to this growth, by adding 1.9 GW, a 74 per cent increase.

With the majority of this coming from large-scale schemes accredited under the RO, commentators anticipate that this period of consistent and substantial growth could be threatened by the closure of the RO to solar farms above 5MW unless the commercial rooftop sector steps up. More details at www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/

PV150 PV Testing Kit

Visit Seaward at Elex Harrogate UK

Seaward will be exhibiting at the Elex Show on the 6-7th March at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, UK.

Visit the company on stand R28 and get hands-on with the Solar PV testing range.

More information at www.seaward.co.uk/events