Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Air Liquide is a leading France-based supplier of gases for industry, health and the environment. The group, established as a small company back in1902, offers innovative solutions based on constantly updated and advanced technologies and produces air gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon and other rare gases as well as hydrogen. PES talks to Olivier Blachier, Worldwide Business Director, Photovoltaic, about the company's past, present and future. PES: Our readers would like to know about current trends in the gas industry, can you give us an outline?Olivier Blachier: What we have seen over the last few months has been a tremendous expansion of c-Si capacity, with potentially up to 3GWp added to the worldwide capacity between Q3 2009 and Q2 2010 alone. Most of the top tier companies are proceeding with capacity additions which were long-planned, but got approved only once the German market switched to an over-heating mode from July 2009 onward. Suntech is building significant capacity in Shanghai and converting lines to Pluto technologies in Wuxi, Yingli & JA Solar are each adding 500MWp capacity, Trina Solar and Solarfun complementing this trend: the leading Taiwanese players have all announced expansion plans; Sunpower is building a new campus

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As the world becomes ever more conscious of the need to conserve fossil fuels and move towards greener methods of energy production, the EC's Joint Research Centre remains at the centre of efforts to spread the word. Here the group gives PES an overview of the current state of play and looks into its crystal ball to predict some possible future trends.Spiking oil prices at $147.27 per barrel in July 2008 and speculations about when the oil price will exceed $200 per barrel have already become a reality. The enormous price fluctuations of oil prices during the last 12 months due to the volatility of the financial markets and economic turmoil, have highlighted our strong dependence on oil and have added an additional argument for the introduction of renewable energies: minimisation of price volatility risks. The Gas Crisis at the beginning of 2006 and the interruptions of the gas supply in the summer of 2008 and early 2009 have demonstrated that Europe is highly vulnerable with regards to its total energy supply. A possible solution is the diversification of supply countries, as well as the diversification of energy sources including renewable energies and photovoltaics (PV). In June 2009, the new

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