Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

From a major operation in Europe to success in China; DEK Solar - as a world leading provider of screen printing equipment - play a crucial role in the PV supply chain. PES speaks to Alternative Energy Business Manager Darren Brown.PES: Welcome back to the magazine, what's your on-the-ground assessment of the state of the industry in 2011? Has business been good for you so far?Darren Brown: 2011 started off as a record year with bookings well up for Q1, however we, like all equipment manufacturers experienced a definite slow down through Q2, and Q3 looks to be similar. Encouragingly, we are seeing signs of a pickup in Q4.PES: What kind of obstacles stand in your way to further growth? And what steps are you taking to address these?DB: The main obstacle at the moment is the current uncertainty in the marketplace with reductions of FIT's across Europe. This has led to the reduction in demand for panels, which in turn has revealed a glut in the supply chain.PES: When we last spoke, you were talking about the advances that Print on Print technology has facilitated. What has been the reaction from cell manufacturers?DB: We are seeing that many manufacturers

Read More

With operations in over 40 countries, and a portfolio of products and services spanning numerous industries, Air Products Strategic Marketing Planning and New Business Development Director Andy Tuan speaks to PES about bringing 70 years of innovation to the worldwide PV market.PES: Welcome back to PES. When we last spoke, you were optimistic about the solar PV industry in 2010. How did the year shape-up for you, and do you still feel the same optimism for 2011?Andy Tuan: 2010 was a good year. The industry saw 100 per cent plus growth and we were pleased to keep up with the growth. With the recession impacts dwindling, we anticipate 2011 will be good and more inline with historical trend line growth. A lot of capacity expansions that were announced in 2010 are now under way in 2011, so we expect positive year-on-year growth, the magnitude is highly dependent on how all the incentives are adjusted throughout the year.PES: The company famously evolved in pace with the semiconductor industry - do you find that you are evolving your products and services to meet the needs of PV?AT: From semiconductors to LCD (liquid crystal display) to PV, our understanding of film properties

Read More

Redpoint Energy consultants Marc Daube and Edmund Phillips explore some of the potential consequences of the rapid growth in solar capacity on Europe's power markets.First of all: the result of the quality processThe solar photovoltaic market has seen rapid growth in Europe. According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, total installed solar PV capacity reached 40 Gigawatts (GW) globally last year. This has the potential to generate sufficient electricity for more than 10 million households. The total was reached after 17 GW of new capacity was added during the year, of which the EU accounted for more than 13 GW. This rapid growth in Europe is largely attributable to Germany, which is pushing for aggressive carbon reduction targets far beyond EU commitments. The latest revisions to Germany's energy strategy sets a minimum requirement of 35 per cent of renewable energy in electricity supply by 2020, 50 per cent by 2030, and 80 per cent by 2050. In comparison, EU targets do not extend beyond 2020.Other countries have also seen significant growth in 2010: the Czech Republic experienced a burst of 1.5 GW and Italy passed 7 GW of total installed solar PV capacity from almost 250,000 systems. Meanwhile, France installed

Read More

A Calgary-based company has been given the green light from provincial regulators in Alberta to construct what is expected to be the country's largest wind energy project. The Alberta Utilities Commission has granted final approval to construct and operate the Blackspring Ridge I Wind Project which could be online as soon as 2013. PES reports . . .Upon completion, the Blackspring Ridge I Wind Project is expected to be Canada's largest operating wind energy project with a total generating capacity of 300 MW. The project is located in Southern Alberta in Vulcan County near the Village of Carmangay, about 165 kilometers south east of Calgary."This is the last major regulatory approval we require to commence construction on the Blackspring Ridge project," says Dan Balaban, President and CEO of Greengate Power. "Our next step is to finalize the financing and the detailed engineering on the project. We are in the process of finalizing the selection of the contractor. We are planning to start construction on the project in 2012, with completion set for 2013," he said. "We worked with Stantec for the environmental assessment of the project and GL Garrad Hassan completed the wind design, engineering and assessment work." 

Read More

In this far-ranging and prescient report, Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power in the United States: Assessment of opportunities and Barriers, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examines the state of play for the wind industry in the US as well as examining the vital steps the continent needs to take in order to ease the pressure on fossil fuel and presage a more sustainable, wind-led future.Offshore wind power is poised to deliver an essential contribution to a clean, robust, and diversified US energy portfolio. Capturing and using this large and inexhaustible resource has the potential to mitigate climate change, improve the environment, increase energy security, and stimulate the US economy.The United States is now deliberating an energy policy that will have a powerful impact on the nation's energy and economic health for decades to come. This report provides a broad understanding of today's wind industry and the offshore resource, as well as the associated technological challenges, economics, permitting procedures and potential risks and benefits. An appreciation for all sides of these issues will help to build an informed national dialog and shape effective national policies.Opportunities in offshore wind power In common with other clean, renewable, domestic sources of energy, offshore wind

Read More

Although wind energy only produces about two per cent of the current electricity demand in the US, the Department of Energy, in collaboration with wind industry experts, has drafted a plan that would bring the installed wind capacity up to 20 per cent of the nation's total electrical supply. To meet these expectations, wind energy must be extremely reliable. Structural health monitoring will play a critical role in making this goal successful. Here PES takes an exclusive look at Wind Energy's New Role in Supplying the World's Energy: What Role will Structural Health Monitoring Play? Apart from anything else, the paper shows just how far our industry has come in a few short years around the world, as well as looking at the all-important safety issues surrounding the industry . . .Wind energy has expanded dramatically since the early 1980s when smallturbines dotted the hillsides of California. Those machines had rudimentarycontrols, no condition monitoring, were unreliable, and required extensivemaintenance. The utilities considered them an insignificant passing fad. Today, wind turbines have multi-megawatt ratings, sophisticated controls, and condition monitoring systems on most of the drive-trains. A typical wind plant today may have more than 200 multi-megawatt turbines installed and it represents

Read More

The US Department of Energy has recently published its Rebuilding After Disaster: Going Green from the Ground Up report - a document which brings to mind the words of Theodore Roosevelt: "The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value". Here, PES publishes an extract from the document, which is essential reading for all of us in the industry who want to see the green message spread throughout all corners of North America.Information in the guide is based on the real-life experiences of two US Department of Energy (DOE) teams. One team worked with city leaders in New Orleans, Louisiana, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, while the other assisted community leaders in Greensburg, Kansas, after a devastating tornado in 2007. Although the two communities are quite different, the teams learned common lessons and found that the reasons for going green from the ground up are compellingOne way to rebuild devastated communities like New Orleans and Greensburg is by redefining them as models of sustainability. This means reducing energy use, using energy more efficiently, incorporating more renewable energy, and much more.

Read More