90 % of Chinese solar panel producers reduce production
WHEN SUBSIDIES GO, SOLAR YGE IS TOAST
Solar industry gaining strength from home [Chinadaily]
Based on industrial association data, it is estimated that over 90 percent of Chinese solar panel producers have reduced or halted production since last year.
However, many, like Shanghai-based JA Solar, Jiangxi's Jinko Solar, and LDK Solar, one of the world's largest manufacturers of solar wafers, have recently resumed production.
Fang Peng, JA Solar's chief executive officer, said in the company's quarterly report that domestic shipments "more than doubled" in the third quarter from the previous quarter.
The pick-up comes as the Chinese government has moved to boost demand and confidence in the home market.
According to a report released by the National Energy Association on September 12, China will expand its installed solar power generation capacity to 21 million kilowatts by 2015, a five-fold increase from the 3.6 million kilowatts seen at the end of 2011.
In a circular released on Sept 14, the administration asked each provincial-level region to make plans for building on-site photovoltaic generation demonstration centers to buoy the domestic solar sector.
One factor limiting domestic demand for solar panels is the difficulty in integrating PV technology with the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the country's largest power transmission network. It has reason to be fearful that more on-site generation plants could mean less consumption of power provided by the SGCC.
In light of the sector's tough situation, however, the SGCC made concessions and said in October that it will allow solar generators with less than 6 megawatts of installed capacity to be connected to the grid.
"With the series of new incentive programs in place, we believe the China market will embrace a very promising future," said Miao Liansheng, Yingli's chairman and chief executive officer.
What also may cheer the market is the latest order from a US company. Bucking sharp declines in the European market, Yingli announced on Wednesday that it had inked a $10 million order with America's Fluor Corporation, marking the Chinese PV industry's biggest supply agreement from the US since the imposition of US anti-dumping tariffs.
Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that more than 90 percent of Chinese solar products are for export, with 70 percent going to the eurozone and 10 percent to the US market.
Yingli Green Energy Supplies 25 MW of Solar Modules to Arizona's Queen Creek Solar Farm, One of America's Largest Operational Solar Projects 12/10/12 | PR Newswire
All electricity produced by the Queen Creek Solar Farm is being purchased by the Salt River Project, the nation's third-largest investor-owned utility, through a 20-year power purchase agreement. The installation used over 90,000 Yingli 72 Cell Solar modules affixed and operating on a single axis solar tracking system to maximize performance, and will generate enough electricity to power approximately 3,300 homes in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.The Queen Creek Solar Farm is one of several large-scale solar projects situated in
that use Yingli Solar modules, which have a strong track record of success in arid conditions.
PV CURRENTLY CHEAPER in DESERT APPLICATIONS THAN FOSSIL FUELS
20. JUNE 2012 | APPLICATIONS & INSTALLATIONS, INDUSTRY & SUPPLIERS, MARKETS & TRENDS, SOLAR
According to a new study, adding photovoltaics to the Texan electricity grid would "significantly" reduce energy prices.
Further savings could have been made through the avoidance of costs associated with fossil-fuel plants.
The Brattle Group, which undertook the study – The potential impact of solar PV on electricity markets in Texas – for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Energy Foundation, concluded that if photovoltaics had been added to the grid in Texas last summer, which saw unseasonably hot conditions, consumer electricity rates* would have vastly decreased.
In 2011, wholesale electricity prices were said to be high in many parts of the U.S. state, due to the hot summer, which in turn led to electricity scarcity. According to SEIA, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had to issue six conservation alerts as a result of the "record" electricity usage.
However, the Brattle Group found that between $0.6/MWh and 2.9/MWh could have been saved by installing more photovoltaics. Specifically:
One GW of photovoltaics would have reaped savings of $0.6/MWh
2.5 GW of photovoltaics would have reaped savings of $1.5/MWh
Five GW of photovoltaics would have reaped savings of $2.9/MWh
"This would have lowered total wholesale energy payments by $155-$281 for each MWh of solar PV generation," wrote the group. It was additionally found that further savings of $52/MWh could have been made through the avoidance of fuel, and operations and maintenance costs associated with fossil fuel plants.
In addition to lowering wholesale electricity costs, it said that incremental photovoltaic generation could "significantly reduce" total electricity production costs and greenhouse gas emissions "as it displaces generation from conventional fossil-fuel plants and these effects last through the lifetime of the solar PV assets."
Overall, the study found that the total value of avoided emissions, production costs and wholesale power costs, could have been between $216 and $343/MWh.
Texas has an "energy-only" market, which is said to allow energy prices to hit as high as $3,000/MWh during scarcity conditions. This summer, the state is again predicted to suffer from tight electricity supply and higher rates. In addition to helping to lower costs, photovoltaics is said to be particularly effective since it can: be deployed in a decentralized manner; requires little lead time; does not face many regulatory hurdles; and it can be continuously scaled.
* Note: the study looks at the impact of photovoltaics on the average ratepayer and does not distinguish between system owners and other customers.
There is a common misconception that photovoltaics is more expensive than traditional forms of energy generation. Last year, for instance, Reuters reported that it "is up to eight times more expensive than conventional forms of power like coal and gas." However, as has been starkly highlighted, the reality does not reflect the rhetoric.