Archives: Exclusive Articles

Reversing Russias Reluctance

A recent study to quantify renewable energy deployment in North America by the US-based National Academies of Science found that, in terms of national wind power potential, Russia came way ahead of its nearest rivals, with more than 118 Pwh (Petawatt hours). Next on the list was Australia, with a meagre-looking 86 Pwh. No wonder,… Read more »

Offshore wind heads for record year

118 new offshore wind turbines were fully connected to the grid in the first half of 2010 according to new statistics released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). PES takes a closer look at the trends and figures behind the headlines in this exclusive report. Top-line statsIn the first six months of 2010, 118… Read more »

Power stations on the high sea

Words: Birgit Niesing The wind is always more constant at sea than on land – and much stronger. That’s why the wind energy industry is increasingly looking to offshore facilities. The first German wind farm in the North Sea – the ‘alpha ventus’ test and demonstration site – went online just a few months ago…. Read more »

PES essential: EWEA study

In order to fight climate change, improve energy security, enhance Europe’s competitiveness, and maintain our technological leadership, the European wind industry – together with the European Commission and Member States – has developed a 10-year research and development programme. PES brings you the exclusive highlights of this recently-published study. With a €6bn budget, approximately half… Read more »

Giving Europe a breath of fresh air

It’s an incredibly busy and interesting time to be involved in the European wind industry, Bruce Douglas, COO, EWEA tells PES. Among other ways to get more involved are adopting a wind turbine as your own and attending one or more of the many trade fairs that are taking place throughout Europe … If you… Read more »

Floating platforms: technical challenges

A week ago, Statoil AS, Norway’s largest energy company, revealed plans to build a demonstration site testing floating offshore wind turbines off the coast of Scotland. It’s a move that rubber-stamps the industry’s gradual shift to floating platforms, but is the technology up to the task. PES takes a look at the various engineering challenges…. Read more »

Analysis: wind farms can boost local economies

New energy generation constitutes a major investment, often to the value of hundreds of millions or potentially billions of Euros. And such spending results in widespread economic development, in the form of increased work opportunities, higher salaries, and new customers for local business. PES examines the greater impact of channelling wind farm investment into the… Read more »

Why is Google buying into wind?

So you thought Google was just a highly successful internet search engine? The company’s energy arm recently signed a deal to buy 114 megawatts of energy from a wind farm in Iowa, marking the first deal done by the company’s energy subsidiary A Google spokesman said the company had signed a 20-year power purchase agreement… Read more »

Japan rethinks wind power

Although Europe is a vast, sprawling continent bursting with innovation, our Asian cousins are old hands at taking a sideways look at the world – as these ingenious turbines from Japan clearly illustrate. At the recent Yokohama Renewable Energy Exhibition, Japanese technology threw-up some exciting developments for the sector, including this revolutionary turbine system that… Read more »

face-to-face interview with the Director of Marketing and Sales, Gerhard Janssen

PES regularly publishes exclusive features from Rickmers-Linie, but we’ve never had the honour of a face-to-face interview with any of the company’s executives. Until now. We travelled to Hamburg to catch-up with the Director of Marketing and Sales, Gerhard Janssen, to find out a little more about him, his organisation, and his thoughts on the… Read more »

Fight is on to retain key members of staff as competition increases

Gavin Brown, Reward Information Consultant at global management consultancy Hay Group, tells PES why companies are worried about retaining talent in the renewable energy sector with an increasing number of managers in the renewable energy sector worrying about holding on to their best talent… While other areas in our national economies are battening down the… Read more »

Spanish rendezvous for great and good of PV industry

All eyes in the industry will shortly be on the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition taking place from 6-10 September at the Feria Valencia fairground in Spain. Here PES presents its exclusive preview of the event which could not have come at a more crucial time for the industry. This year’s PV… Read more »

PV Power Shift Will Europes Fit Cuts Play Into Americas Hands

As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once memorably observed: “Everything is in a state of flux.” If a modern-day proof of this axiom were required, we need look no further than the renewable energy industry where it looks like a paradigm shift – involving the US and Europe – is about to take place …… Read more »

Planning for the future: developing wind farms under a coalition government

The UK has just entered into an historic period of coalition government, which promises to throw the nation’s hard-fought wind power policies into disarray. The coalition governments of Germany, Italy and Austria on the other hand, are forging ahead with inspired legislation, which may shine a light on Britain’s efforts. However, until these governments’ pioneering… Read more »

Poland An Overlooked Offshore Resource

The first offshore wind park globally was installed in Denmark in 1991. Since then the offshore wind energy market has been developing slowly. Currently, majority of the installations in Europe are located in Denmark and the UK, countries that possess rich wind resources. There is no doubt that offshore installations offer higher productivity when compared… Read more »

Wind energy world focus moves to small German town

For as long as there has been a global wind industry, Husum, a town on Germany’s North Sea coast between Hamburg and the Danish border, has been the venue for its leading trade fair. Yet Husum was showing the latest developments in wind turbine technology long before the industry went global… Technology, innovation, training, and… Read more »

Last Word

The size of both turbines and wind farms have increased exponentially in recent months thanks to a potent mix of technical improvements, legislation, subsidies and public awareness. Naturally, everyone’s got an opinion on the supersizing of the wind industry… “There is a wonderful race on. It’s very tight and the prize is domination of the… Read more »

Barriers to success

High costs of welcoming Hungary to the fold The time taken to connect wind farms to the grid, and the high costs of doing so, are the main barriers to wind energy development in Hungary, it has been revealed in Budapest at a workshop organised by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Hungarian… Read more »

A world-class competitor: two years on

PES last spoke to Robert Bürkle GmbH’s Managing Director in 2008, when Hans-Joachim Bender was bullish about the company’s future prospects. Indeed, he said: “Bürkle orientates itself on the known forecasts for developments in the photovoltaic industry. This has resulted in a strategy that is valid until the year 2012, and during this time the… Read more »

Breeding continued success in a challenging and volatile market

Upsolar is a global company, specialising in the design, engineering and manfacture of solar photovoltaic modules. It adheres to a policy of strict quality control in its manufacturing process to provide itsworldwide customers with reliable, excellent products for all residential and commercial projects. Here PES speaks to Adrien Pellarin the company’s Technical Support Manager …… Read more »

Achieving Thermal Uniformity in Photovoltaic Applications

Family-owned Watlow was founded in 1922 and holds more than 50 patents, employing 2,000 employees, working in 11 manufacturing facilities in the US, Mexico, Europe and Asia. The company has sales offices in 14 countries around the world and a global distributor network. Jake Lindley is a senior engineer at the company, where he specialises… Read more »

A clear target of improving yield and throughput while maintaining quality

As Director of Sales and Marketing of the Optical Sensor Systems Group forCarl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH, Jürgen Gobel is at the beating heart of the PV industry. Having witnessed several revolutionary changes, he’s upbeat about the future of the industry and the technical progress his company continues to make. Welcome back to PES. How has… Read more »

Moving PV to the next level

For more than 50 years, Italian-based Bottero has been a world leader in every sector of the glass industry including hollow glass, special engineering, flat laminated and monolithic glass. The company offers a wide range of reliable products thanks to its policy of continuous investment in research and development … Back in the 1970s when… Read more »

Innovative strength and social sustainability

In 2001, Canadian Solar began with the vision of helping to create a clean, sustainable energy future through solar power. With advanced technology and superior manufacturing capabilities, the company brings higher quality and better value to the marketplace. It is Canadian Solar’s commitment to develop socially responsible, sustainable and innovative practices in every part of… Read more »

Emerson unveils innovative transformer-free central inverter system

US-based Emerson is poised to unleash a ground-breaking transformerless central inverter system for utility scale photovoltaic power plants. The Missouri company says this is set to maximise investor returns through optimised availability, efficiency and yield …. Control Techniques’ SPV is constructed using 145kWp, 176kWp and multiple 176kWp parallel connected inverter modules to produce any desired… Read more »

Goodbye to thin film

Thomas Rossmann, Sales Director Photovoltaic Solar TechnologyGrenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH Grenzebach is a corporation with six plants in three continents, more than 1,500 staff and a global customer base. The German-based company is a leading manufacturer of line and equipment for the production of flat and float glass, front- and back ends for thin film lines… Read more »

Producing 100 per cent of the energy while expending 50 per cent less silicon and energy

Sustainability is at the heart of how business is carried out at Sovello, the German-based company, Romy Haase-Dotschko their spokesman says. Now one of the world’s largest module manufactures, their STRING RIBBON wafers are produced through an economically and ecologically-balanced production process. “That’s how we preserve our environment over the long term,” he adds …… Read more »

Is Portugal punching above its weight?

While Spain seems to get all the publicity and all the plaudits from the European PV industry, Portugal’s efforts to establish a thriving solar future seem to be very much in the shadow of its big next-door neighbour. Even though the country has one of the highest solar irradiations available in Europe and has a… Read more »

PV Goes Greener Triple Green

‘Triple Green’ is the new motto in photovoltaics: the drive to produce modules that generate clean energy, that are recycled and – what’s more – ecologically produced. It’s an effective way for the solar industry to further boost its image and sustainably cut costs. However, this perfect triad is difficult to implement because “green factories”… Read more »

Introducing Print-on-Print to the solar industry

A progressive process that has nevertheless been utilised in other industries for several years, Print-on-Print involves the printing of one conductor grid directly on top of a previously printed and dried grid. PES asked acknowledged pioneers DEK for an in-depth explanation of this revolutionary procedure. A simple Internet search will reveal that the photovoltaics industry… Read more »

Mixed prospects for European PV industry

The recently-published European Photovoltaics Industry Association (EPIA) Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics from 2010 to 2014 is a key publication for the PV sector. Here PES publishes an exclusive extract … The EPIA Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics (PV) from 2010 to 2014 is based on an internal analysis of market data from industry members,… Read more »

A glimpse into the future

Ever wondered what effect our efforts to limit global warming to two degrees will have on the European economy and labour market by 2050? A new study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) provides some illuminating answers. Klaus Jacob, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft As demonstrated most recently by events in Copenhagen, international climate conferences… Read more »

Squeezing more out of modules

Many industries have, not surprisingly, attempted to talk themselves out of the global downturn, but very few have the statistics to back up their optimism. Thankfully, the PV industry is one of this select few. And it seems as if module production is leading the charge… Last year, PV panel makers and their suppliers were… Read more »

Testing times for thin-film?

Thin-film is apparently coming under pressure despite the knowledge is that modules made from thin-film silicon can be manufactured more cost-effectively than thick crystalline ones. It seems that the technology is trailing far behind its efficiency and cost objectives, whereas crystalline innovations are developing at a greater pace. PES investigates. Sunfilm and Signet Solar have… Read more »