Category: Ask the Experts

Challenges and solutions for recruitment and training ..

Despite the current economic gloom, the green energy sector is looking towards a future of exponential growth. But how can we capitalise on this, if we can’t attract the necessary workforce?Tens of thousands of new jobs are expected to be created across Europe by the expansion of wind farms alone.   {pagebreak}  Indeed, Lord Hunt,… Read more »

Wind power is key to future of EC electricity generation

TradeWind – the European project funded under the EU’s Intelligent Energy-Europe programme – has recently published an essential 100-page paper on the state of the European wind power industry. In this exclusive extract from the comprehensive, hard-hitting report, PES picks out all the important and salient issues facing us all as we move into an… Read more »

Global industrial gas company with a growing presence ..

Air Products has more than 35 years’ experience of supplying essential gases and chemicals to the semiconductor industry. PES spoke to Jeff Handelman. General Manager, Photovoltaics about the company’s success story and about its commitment to the environment. Welcome to PES magazine. Can you first explain a little about the background of your company and… Read more »

Together with our customers, we race..

A globally-renowned company with headquarters in Belgium, Bekaert group is a market leader in drawn steel wire products and applications, and a technological leader in its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings. The group is also very active in the PV sector, and has become the world’s biggest supplier of… Read more »

Meeting even the most critical quality …

The Carl Zeiss brand is well known in a variety of global consumer sectors, and yet it is also one of the PV industry’s leading lights. Here, Jürgen Gobel tells PES about the company, its future goals and its broad spectrum of applications within the sector.Can you tell us a little bit about the history… Read more »

Reaping the rewards of teamwork

A vertically-integrated manufacturer of ingots, wafers, cells, solar modules and custom-designed solar power applications, Canadian Solar delivers solar power products of uncompromising quality to customers worldwide. We talk to President Gregory E. Spanoudakis about the firm’s meteoric rise and its plans for future expansion. {pagebreak}  PES: Welcome to PES. Can you explain a little about… Read more »

Ensuring optimised control of a thin film..

The Grenzebach group is a global PV player with production facilities in Germany, the USA and China. Its staff of 1500 designs, manufactures and delivers fabrication lines and components for the production and processing of flat glass and thin film photovoltaic modules. The company is also a specialist in equipment for display glass production. Here,… Read more »

Actively pursuing further European growth

A leading manufacturer of high-performance solar cells, JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. is one of the industry’s leading lights. The company sells its products to solar manufacturers worldwide, who assemble and integrate solar cells into modules and systems that convert sunlight into electricity for residential, commercial, and utility-scale power generation. PES spoke to Ming Yang,… Read more »

Culture and emotion defeat strategy ..

Luvata is a world-leader in metal fabrication, component manufacturing and related engineering and design services. The now-global company prides itself on its ability to partner its customers – through its Partnerships Beyond Metals philosophy – to help them increase their competitiveness. PES spoke to Justin Roux, Senior Vice-President of Communications, about the company and its… Read more »

The research side of PV in Europe

In recent years, the interest for renewable energy has grown dramatically, not only from the research and academic world and from the policy makers, but also from the industry, that has reckoned renewable energy as a new growth market. As a result, the PV industry has grown with more that 30% yearly over the last… Read more »

The IPVEA one year on

Last year, PES met Bryan Ekus of the newly-formed International Photovoltaic Equipment Association, a major trade group aiming to meet the needs of PV manufacturers and suppliers. We caught up with the busy Managing Director 12 months later to see how things have progressed and whether establishing a trade association where none existed previously was… Read more »

PV Comes Of Age Solar Power And The

Has the PV industry finally come of age? The statistics certainly look good, even if the economic downturn has – temporarily, perhaps – slightly dented the industry’s image as one which seemed to offer unlimited growthAnd, credit crunch aside, there is still much to celebrate, particularly in Europe.  {pagebreak} The continent accounted for no less… Read more »

Increasing the political power of PV via standards…

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries, and member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Here, Steve Buehler, Sr. Director, Communications, puts forward a future vision for the industry that is built… Read more »

Screen printing paves the way to ..

As a critical part of the photovoltaic manufacturing process, metallization is applicable to both crystalline silicon and thin-film technologies. As such, it’s not only important that manufacturers get it right, but also, that they do so while driving down cost-per-watt and increasing cell efficiency. Then and only then will we arrive at that coveted milestone… Read more »

Water is our element. Shipping is our business

 PES meets Niels Stolberg, President and CEO of Beluga Shipping GmbH, the world’s market leader in the project- and heavylift sector, and discovers that the US wind industry is a highly important and burgeoning market segment for the company. PES: Welcome to PES magazine. Firstly, can you give us a basic overview of Beluga Shipping… Read more »

Only by anticipating our customers’ demands ..

A world-renowned manufacturer within the PV industry, Bruker-Spaleck has built its business upon innovation and diversification. Heinrich Schillings talks to PES about the past, present and future of the company.  {pagebreak} PES: Bruker-Spaleck is well-known for its manufacture of flat wires which are used in a variety of applications. Can you tell us something of… Read more »

Going back to basics for massive gains in speed ..

Going back to basics for massive gains in speed and yield A company built on simple solutions to complex issues, Eurotron offers a complete solution for the photovoltaic module manufacturing process for backside contact cells. They’ve developed a flexible production line which can adapt to your customised production needs, and in doing so, have pioneered… Read more »

24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy ..

  24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference: “The most inspiring platform for the global PV solar sector The health of Europe’s PV industry is reflected in the high demand for space at this year’s Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, being held in Hamburg in September, with the total exhibition area booked already exceeding the area of… Read more »

Germany powers ahead

‘They seem to do it well in Germany’ is a familiar phrase that enters into conversation whenever there is a complaint to be made about another country’s industrial shortcomings. Whether it is the automotive sector, the transport system, the manufacture of electrical goods or simply the high standard of living, the Germans always seem to… Read more »

Fridges unite to save the world

It’s a careful public relations trick. Look at the brochures of electricity companies, check out their websites and watch their adverts and you’ll see green pictures full of wind farms and sunshine, waves pounding on a beach or kites blowing in the air. These are the images that now surround electricity generation. {pagebreak} But however… Read more »

Cutting costs to keep value

Economic news makes for grim reading these days, and we have entered a new era of corporate austerity. Cost-cutting has become a major focus and belts are being tightened across the board. {pagebreak} For those charged with slashing expenditure it is tempting to simply rush around rationing the stationery, instituting redundancies and slashing the IT… Read more »

Energy and the environment: an essential report

12 hours before this magazine went to press, the European Environment Agency published its annual Energy and Environment Report. This wide-ranging snapshot of the industry today is essential reading for executives throughout the renewables industry. PES is proud to present an exclusive extract… {pagebreak} 1 What is the impact of energy production and use on… Read more »

New trade group aims to meet needs of PV ..

New trade group aims to meet needs of PV manufacturers and suppliers The International Photovoltaic Equipment Association (IPVEA), founded just last year, is an independent organisation of 70 manufacturers and suppliers of photovoltaic (PV) fabrication equipment and related raw materials used in PV ingot, wafer, cell (crystalline and thin-film), and panel manufacturing. {pagebreak} The association’s… Read more »

More renewables power to the energy mix

Growth in energy demand combined with the increasing deterioration of existing energy networks, means energy generation and management are now vitally important. The International Energy Agency’s ‘alternative scenario’ commissioned by the G8 reported that most OECD countries are at a critical point in their energy investment cycles, with the need for replacement enabling them to… Read more »

Automating Solar Manufacturing ..

Automating Solar Manufacturing: Taking Advantage of Lessons Learned Solar Energy and Grid Parity There’s no doubt that the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is hot. According to Solarbuzz, LLC an international solar energy research and consulting company, world solar photovoltaic (PV) market installations reached a record high of 2,826 megawatts (MW) in 2007, representing a growth… Read more »

Wind And Solar In The Carbon Market ..

WIND AND SOLAR IN THE CARBON MARKET – CURRENT STATUS AND OUTLOOK During the first two weeks of December 2008, Poznan, Poland’s fifth largest city, hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the United Nation Framework Convention on Client Change (UNFCCC). {pagebreak} The negotiations… Read more »

The Mediterranean Solar Plan A Necessity

The Mediterranean Solar Plan – a necessity, not an option Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, makes an impassioned plea for the diversification of solar initiatives in Europe. {pagebreak} When Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006, European supplies were not seriously affected. When it did so this year,… Read more »

The critical role of gas and chemical suppliers in PV cell manufacture

Gases and chemicals contribute a significant part of the bill of materials for PV cells, and as the industry grows, material suppliers will face a number of key challenges to meet demand. Kaytie Lilley of Linde Electronics offers PES an illuminating view of the sector.   The production of photovoltaic (PV) electricity has doubled every… Read more »

Copenhagen must build the road

Copenhagen must build the road to a sustainable global energy future In February, Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner responsible for the environment, delivered an address to EU Sustainable Energy Week 2009, in which he impressed upon delegates the importance of the imminent Copenhagen United Climate Agreement {pagebreak} – described as: “the world’s last chance to bring… Read more »

European BIPV projects grow ..

European BIPV projects grow – but legislation is still urgently needed A recent report has shown that the European Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) market in last year was estimated at €143 million with a total installed capacity of 25.7 MW for the commercial, residential, industrial and public markets combined. {pagebreak} Currently, there is substantial amount… Read more »

How clean is solar?

In the race to produce the cleanest and most efficient forms of renewable energy, a vital point is often overlooked – that the renewables themselves need to become a lot more renewable. This theme emerged at a recent Energy Conference in London, with delegates hearing that the most advanced “renewable” technologies are too often based… Read more »

Melting Markets, Melting Ice Caps

Are the current targets for cutting carbon emissions realistic or setting us up for a fall? Dr Thomas R. Schneider, member of the IEEE, a professional association for the advancement of technology, investigates. {pagebreak} Carbon targets While the European Commission has been working to allocate member countries with their own specific targets by 2012, the… Read more »

Solar The Militarys Secret Weapon

Blessed with massive budgets, the military is often an ‘early adopter’ when it comes to technology. Recent reports suggest that US is putting up massive funding for three ground-breaking projects – all of them centred on solar power. {pagebreak} Portable power packs During a battle, the ability to redeploy troops swiftly and without detection can… Read more »

My vision

In this enlightening interview, Joachim Melis, Vice President Worldwide Sales for Adept Technology GmbH, puts forward his personal take on the current state of the industry and looks to the future… PES: How did you come to be involved in the renewables industry? {pagebreak} Joachim Melis: Adept Technology has been active in the solar industry… Read more »

2009: A World Of Seismic Change

At a time of worldwide recession, increasing scarcity of basic commodities and with an untried president in the White House, 2009 will be a year of profound change and turbulence. Old economic rules will be obsolete, the international banking system re-engineered and all the old certainties called into question. {pagebreak} Against this formidable backdrop of… Read more »

UK fires up global renewables market

In this exclusive column, written especially for PES, Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, argues that Great Britain serves as an excellent springboard for renewables growth across the world. {pagebreak} The global energy sector currently represents one of the most exciting export opportunities for UK companies. UK energy companies already generate revenues… Read more »