Category: PES Essential

Shaping a wind sector to be proud of

Energy and climate are THE challenges of our time – both globally and in my corner of the Pacific Northwest – and no set of challenges will have a greater impact on our nation’s economy, environment and quality of life in coming decades. Indeed, no other issues have bigger implications for the planet and coming… Read more »

Offshore WINDPOWER 2013 arrives as industry lays foundation for growth

With offshore wind energy now open for business and milestones continually being reached, the sector is getting set for North America’s premier offshore wind event of the year – the AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER 2013 Conference & Exhibition. Given all that’s happened this year in the U.S. offshore arena – and what’s to come in the… Read more »

Death of a wind farm

Research and guidance on restoration and decommissioning of onshore wind turbines. In 2010, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) published guidance on good practice during wind farm construction – a report that was embraced by operators the world over. Today, the organisation has crafted a report that covers the other end of a wind farm’s life cycle… Read more »

The big debate

Once again, we’ve asked some of the most incisive and intelligent commentators from the world of PV to contribute to our roundtable debate – the most talked-about feature in PES. Our experts are here to offer invaluable analysis from the forefront of the industry. PES: Welcome to the magazine. Before we head into the main… Read more »

Predicting the PV future

Industry leaders SEMI have come together to produce a roadmap that will push our technology forward, and provide a more efficient future for the sector. PES takes a look between the lines in an exclusive extract… The photovoltaic industry has to provide power generation products that are competitive with conventional and other renewable sources of… Read more »

Shifting Markets Projections To 2018

If the industry has learned anything in the past 12 months, it’s that the world is changing; new markets are springing up in untapped territories while hitherto buoyant regions are becoming decimated by Feed-in Tariff reductions and fierce competition. The IEA has just taken the temperature of the global situation, and we’re delighted to be… Read more »

Lighting the way in Africa

It’s hard to imagine, but there are 600 million Africans living without connection to the electricity grid. However, a new social enterprise is taking an approach to this fundamental problem that could bring light to the darkest corners rural Africa. PES investigates… As highlighted by President Obama at the launch of his Power Africa Initiative,… Read more »

Market intelligence: MENA

As cuts to FiTs threaten expansion across Europe, we take a look further afield at The Middle East & 
North Africa region – a potential sleeping giant in the PV market. MENA has amongst the world’s best conditions for solar power: abundant sunshine, low precipitation, plenty of unused flat land close to road networks and… Read more »

PV GRID: one year on

In 2012, a consortium of 21 partners from 16 EU countries started the PV GRID project with the objective to prepare the grounds for the large-scale integration of photovoltaic systems in distribution grids across Europe and bring forward concrete suggestions on how this can be achieved. In this follow-up feature, we discover what progress has… Read more »

Why European Solar Developers Are Failing On Entryand How To Avoid Joining The Ranks

Considering expanding your operation into the bustling ‘new’ U.S. market? You’d be in good company and the rewards are surely there for the taking. However many international firms come up short, as Haresh Patel of Mercatus explains. Here, he outlines how to succeed where others have failed. At the recent Intersolar in San Francisco, the… Read more »

SPI: something out of the ordinary

Solar Power International (SPI), one of the solar energy industry’s most powerful and comprehensive educational conference and product exhibitions, will be held this October in Chicago, Illinois. We take a closer look. More than 15,000 exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees from the solar energy world (and related fields) will come together for four days of action-packed… Read more »

CSP focus: achieving Grid Parity

Concentrated Solar Power is a technology that’s in a global ascendancy right now, and it seems that small components can be key in helping it achieve the Holy Grail of Grid Parity. It’s all about getting the balance right… The last few years have been rocky for the solar energy industry. The on-going effects of… Read more »

Global Market Outlook 2013-2017

We go back time and again to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association publications for one very simple reason: they’re the most reliable, and the most incisive, industry barometers available. And this newly-released report is no different, collating as it does all the essential data from our global sector. We’re poud to present an exclusive extract…. Read more »

Thermal imaging cameras: a fast and reliable tool for testing solar panels

Quality assurance is of fundamental importance for solar panels. The failure-free operation of the panels is a prerequisite for efficient power generation, long life, and a high return on the investment. To ensure this failure free operation a fast, simple and reliable method to evaluate a solar panel’s performance is required, both during the production… Read more »

On The Up

While some European countries have effectively snubbed growing PV markets by slashing FiTs, several fresh untapped markets are emerging in different parts of the planet. We identify the world’s new solar hotspots… In 2011, Europe accounted for more than 70 per cent of the world’s new PV installations; in 2012 this number was around 55… Read more »

building the solar pyramid

We take a look at this ambitious Scottish design, which posed an immense challenge for its project planners due to its steep inclination of almost 45 degrees…Tom King has come full circle. The managing director of Sustainable Renewable Technologies (SRT) began his career as a land surveyor in the coal mining industry in exactly the… Read more »

The big debate

‘Do you believe the European Commission should impose trade duties on Chinese module manufacturers?’ Now there’s a question. We put together this cross panel interview two weeks before we went to press – just before the recent trade duties announcement – and the answers we received were pleasingly polarised. Find out what our interviewees thought… Read more »

State aid, community energy, the European Commission and UK Government policy

imon and Sarah are part of a working group co-ordinated by Carbon Leapfrog which is assisting community energy project, MOZES, to challenge the UK Government’s policy on state aid and community energy projects. Here, they outline the impact of the policy and compare to elsewhere within continental Europe where the legislation has been more liberally… Read more »

Towards low cost, efficient and stable Organic Photovoltaic Modules

The Organic PhotoVoltaics (OPV) shared research program addresses efficiency, lifetime and production costs for (near) future OPV applications. The balance of these three parameters depends on the envisaged application, but in the end, OPV should be able to compete somehow with Si PV in the future. We take a look at the notable collaborative work… Read more »

We can make the weather

Introducing the high-level photovoltaic simulator PVS from Spitzenberger & Spies. The amount of generated energy of a solar panel field (and therefore the profitable efficiency) mainly depends on varying weather conditions such as cloudiness and adverse weather situations. To achieve the maximum energy rate at heavily varying irradiation, modern intelligent solar inverters are used. The… Read more »

Lessons from Africa

This illuminating personal insight is care of Andrew Jones, Managing Director, EMEA, of S&C Electric Company. Can the UK – not to mention other industrialised European nations – learn from Kenya when it comes to smart grids? Very much so, argues Andrew… Adoption of smart grid technology in emerging markets is rising, and fast. It… Read more »

Module cost structure update: path to profitability

With severe oversupply and recently crashing polysilicon prices, module prices have dropped precipitously – as low as $0.70/W from top-tier Chinese players. However, the cost of goods sold (COGS) for modules has largely not reached this level, resulting in massive net losses for a majority of module manufacturers. With pressure from competitors, customers, and policy-makers… Read more »

Helping solar cell producers stay ahead of the game

Longstanding contributors to the magazine, Merck, and RENA deliver an upgrade concept that opens the door to excellent profitability. PES explains more…We are living in turbulent times and, where there is overcapacity and shrinking margins, solar cell manufacturers tend to look for solutions that will improve competitiveness and profitability. And while short-term strategies are necessary,… Read more »

Are you getting the best out of your employees?

John Sylvester, motivation expert and Executive Director of P&MM Motivation, discusses how an engaged workforce can benefit the solar industry and contribute towards its growth. Maximising staff performance is fundamental to the success of any organisation, no matter what their industry, but it is of particular importance when cost controls are at a premium yet… Read more »

Efficient PV Connectors Mc3 Mc4 Why It Pays To Choose The Original

Longstanding contributors to PES, Multi-Contact is one of the leading manufacturers of PV connector systems worldwide with more than 15 years of experience in the field, offering solutions for all kinds of installations. We take a look at the MC portfolio of original connectors. MC is a true pioneer in PV connectivity; in 1996, the… Read more »

Europes Big Gamble

The latest tit-for-tat EU-China trade disputes could signal worse to come, and both sides have a lot to lose if things get out of hand and harm the much-needed economic growth they seek. PES asks: with so much to lose, what’s to gain? In May this year, China and the EU have locked horns over… Read more »

Gas contamination control in photovoltaic applications

Chemical purity is important to the manufacture of photovoltaic cells for many critical process steps, and acknowledging this, the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International Corporation (SEMI) PV Group has established standards for gases specifically for the photovoltaic industry. PES investigates. The standards outlined by SEMI include PV6-1110 for bulk argon, PV7-1110 for bulk hydrogen and… Read more »

Breaking into Europe: a user guide

When a company operating within the solar sector expands from its heartland into new territories, there’s a steep learning curve and the faint threat of failure. On the other hand, there’s an overwhelming sense of opportunity. Olivier Jacques talks us through his organisation’s expansion into Europe, and the lessons he’s learned. In less than five… Read more »

Connecting solar business

Last year, 66,000 visitors from 160 countries and 1,909 exhibitors from 49 countries descended on to Intersolar Europe 2012 and firmly established the event as the biggest and best on the industry’s calendar. Can this year’s show deliver even more of an impact? PES investigates… From June 19-21, the international solar industry will once again… Read more »

Analysis: renewables 2020

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical arm, has just released the most recent and comprehensive analysis available of the continent’s renewables use. In this edited extract, we drill down into the latest trends. The share of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption in the EU-27 reached 12.5% in 2010 and is showing steady… Read more »

The big debate

The wind industry in Europe is so fickle at the moment that while some will want to forget all about the past 12 months, others will champion them as a watershed period for growth and prosperity. As always, we’ve gathered together a clutch of executives from throughout the sector with a range of differing perspectives…. Read more »

Making Europes Offshore Wind Schemes Commercially Viable The Supply Chain Opportunity

It’s a fuel that will never run out. The raw material is abundantly available across many parts of Europe and the ‘extraction’ is based on clean technology. The ‘fuel’ in question, of course, is offshore wind and across the region many countries have ambitious plans to make it a key part of their future energy… Read more »

Failure Is Not An Option

Operation, maintenance and survivability are key issues for offshore, and, as we report, software reliability is vital to those three pillars. The ‘failure’ headline is a famous and inspirational quote attributed (wrongly) to Gene Kranz during the Apollo mission in 1970. Whoever coined the phrase is not important, but 40 years on it is still… Read more »

New polyurethane adhesive developed

Faster rotor blade bonding thanks to new technology. The energy turnaround and the push to expand renewable energy generation is posing major challenges for manufacturers of wind energy plants. To ensure economic viability, efforts are focusing first on improving the availability and productivity of existing production facilities. One of the wind energy industry’s top priorities… Read more »

Infrastructure: keeping wind competitive

As wind energy grows in Europe, so must infrastructure development. The European Parliament has considered all the renewable energy sectors in the regions and explored how projects are financed in the current programming period of structural funding. PES took a look at the existing and future measures for renewable energy infrastructure as well as electricity… Read more »

Countdown to an internal energy market

A recent report by the European Wind Energy Association argues that EU electricity market rules must reflect the energy generation mix of the future, and help usher in a flexible power system with a large-scale uptake of wind power and other renewable energy sources. A number of recommendations have been made – many of which… Read more »