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From: Lahcim Leinad4/30/2012 2:53:54 PM
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Nanosolar: Nanosolar Successfully Completes Grant Specifications from U.S. Department of Energy

By Nanosolar Communications - April 26, 2012

Solar America Initiative Technology Pathway Partnership Program Focused on Lowering Cost of Large-Scale Commercial PV Installations

San Jose, Calif. – April 26, 2012 – Nanosolar Inc., today announced that it has successfully achieved or surpassed all 10 major tasks in completion of a $42 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for a Solar America Initiative (SAI) Technology Pathway Partnership (TPP) program. Nanosolar was awarded the grant in 2006 to develop large-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems for commercial buildings that offer the best price per watt performance in the industry and received sign off from the Energy Department in early April 2012.

Major achievements included the following:

Nanosolar reached more than 13% cell power conversion efficiency on the production floor, which has been built out to a nameplate annual capacity of 115 megawatts (MW).

Nanosolar deployed 3.4 MW of panels specifically for pilot installations for this project, a 550 kW deployment for Camp Perry based in Ohio, and a 2.88 MW deployment based in Oregon. In addition, as of December 2011, Nanosolar has produced, sold, and deployed at 14 sites around the world.

Based on third-party estimates, Nanosolar will reach grid parity economics by 2015 as per DOE program goals.

Nanosolar continues to collect performance and reliability data from third-party testing laboratories, and analysis of this data is carried out by independent engineering firms and institutions.

“Upon completion of the TPP grant, the Department of Energy indicated that Nanosolar met or exceeded every qualification,” said Eugenia Corrales, CEO of Nanosolar. “The close of this grant validates Nanosolar’s ability to execute to plan. We continue to drive toward delivering the most cost-efficient solar electricity.”

Nanosolar worked with three partners to complete this TPP project, which started in September 2007, and focused on developing solar electric solutions for flat commercial rooftops that can deliver grid-parity with other non-renewable energy resources. The team included Nanosolar’s innovations in cell and module technology, inverter technology and systems optimization from Conergy AG and mounting technology from Sunlink LLC in a pilot installation by Suntechnics.

The SAI team focused on using Nanosolar’s uniquely scalable PV cell technology in large-scale commercial building installations to deliver grid-parity PV systems through the development of an integrated suite of system components and designs based on innovations in module, inverter and mounting technologies.

About Nanosolar, Inc.

Nanosolar designs, engineers, and manufactures innovative thin film solar cells and panels based on printing CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenium) and nanoparticle inks. The company’s first product, the Nanosolar Utility Panel, enables competitively priced peak power and installed system economics at utility-scale. With headquarters in San Jose, CA, Nanosolar operates the industry’s first roll-to-roll solar cell printing factory in San Jose, California and a panel-assembly factory in Luckenwalde, Germany. For more information, please visit nanosolar.com






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From: Eric4/30/2012 11:18:40 PM
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Three Charts That Illustrate Why Solar Has Hit A True Tipping Point

A new report from the prominent global consulting firm McKinsey shows why solar photovoltaics have hit a tipping point. As the economics of solar PV continue to improve steadily and dramatically, McKinsey analysts conclude that the yearly “economic potential” of solar PV deployment could reach 600-1,000 gigawatts (1 million megawatts) by 2020.

In the year 2000, the global demand for solar PV was 170 megawatts.

That doesn’t mean 1 million megawatts will get built per year after 2020; it’s just an estimate of the economic competitiveness of solar PV. When factoring in real-word limitations like the regulatory environment, availability of financing, and infrastructure capabilities, the actual yearly market will be closer to 100 gigawatts in 2020.

That could bring in more than $1 trillion in investments between 2012 to 2020.

The McKinsey report, appropriately named “Darkest Before Dawn,” highlights three crucial factors that are giving the solar industry so much momentum — even with such a violent shakeout occurring in the manufacturing sector today.


1. Because solar mostly competes with retail rates, the economic potential for the technology in high resource areas is far bigger than actual deployment figures would suggest. McKinsey predicts that the cost of installing a commercial-scale solar PV system will fall another 40 percent by 2015, growing the “unsubsidized economic potential” (i.e. the economic competitiveness without federal subsidies) of the technology to hundreds of gigawatts by 2020.



2. The most important cost reductions in the next decade will come not through groundbreaking lab-scale improvements, but through incremental cost reductions due to deployment. The McKinsey analysis shows how the dramatically these cumulative cost improvements can change the economics of solar. (For more, see: Anatomy of a Solar PV System: How to Continue “Ferocious Cost Reductions” for Solar Electricity.)


3. Solar is already competitive in a variety of markets today. As the chart below illustrates, there are at least three markets where solar PV competes widely today: Off-grid, isolated grids, and the commercial/residential sectors in high-resource areas. Of course, the competitiveness of the technology varies dramatically depending on a variety of local factors. But this comparison shows just how steadily the cross-over is approaching.



Wait, solar is actually competitive? Didn’t the death of Solyndra mean the death of the solar industry? Addressing the solar skeptics, the McKinsey analysts counter the notion that the solar sector is down for the count:

“Those who believe the solar industry has run its course may be surprised. Solar companies that reduce their costs, develop value propositions to target the needs of particular segments, and strategically navigate the evolving regulatory landscape can position themselves to reap significant rewards in the coming years.”

The short-term picture for solar is extraordinarily challenging, particularly for manufacturers trying to figure out how to make a profit with such a massive oversupply of panels on the market. But this is not an industry in its death throes; these are natural pains for a disruptive, fast-growing industry. The tipping point is upon us.

thinkprogress.org

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From: Dennis Roth5/1/2012 8:34:05 AM
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Signs Of A Near-Term Bottom
Upgrading Solar Sector; YGE, SPWR, TSL, AEIS and WFR All Buy
Timothy M Arcuri +1-415-951-1734 timothy.arcuri@citi.com
1 May 2012 ¦ 38 pages
ir.citi.com

Inflection point in sell-through; 2H biased to upside — Our field work indicates
product sell-through – particularly in Europe – has increased significantly in the
past 1-2 weeks and utilization rates at Tier 1/2 cell/module producers have begun
to spike higher. This indicates a clearing of inventory and suggests CQ2 should
ultimately represent a cyclical bottom in margins at cell/module producers. This is
being driven in part by pull-ins ahead of mid-year FiT cuts in 6 European countries;
typically, this might result in a falloff in demand for CQ3 but this time we see other
mkts w/demand elasticity that can more than offset any CQ3 European softness.
These include China, India, US, Japan (new FiT in July is among the highest in the
world) and many other smaller countries where free market economics, rather than
FiTs, are driving demand elasticity.

Upstream (poly) still has downside, but this is lagging indicator— Field
checks indicate spot polysilicon @$21-22/kg w/some wafers now selling <$0.30/W.
Even at these prices, the least efficient Tier 1 producer (OCI, in our view) is still
making ~20% cash margin w/cost leaders like Hemlock >40% which means prices
can, and likely will, still go to mid-high teens. However, we are now just ~20-25%
from Tier-1 cash cost and downstream demand improvement is the first leading
indicator for poly price stability, not to mention adding leverage for low-cost
cell/module producers like TSL/YGE + downstream players like WFR (albeit
partially offset by some solar wafer sales).

Supply not created equal; demand will start to outstrip integrated supply
While headline cell/module supply should continue to far outstrip demand, we
estimate there is only ~15GW/yr of “integrated” capacity to convert poly into a
module. With demand bottoming at ~4GW/Q in CQ1:12 and likely expanding to as
much as ~8GW/Q in CQ3:12, demand should start to far “outstrip” integrated
supply. This should not only provide pricing stability, but also allow major integrated
producers to realize ~20%+ cash margins – enough of a catalyst for stocks in light
of such negative sentiment.

YGE (upgrade), SPWR (upgrade), TSL, AEIS, WFR all Buys; favor REC in
Europe — Earlier this year, many stocks were 50-60% higher than today based
solely on small Germany pull-ins; if we are right about a real turn, upside should be
significant across the board. Upgrade YGE/SPWR to Buy, reiterate Buy on TSL,
AEIS and WFR. FSLR should benefit but has technology risk while STP liquidity
concerns limit upside there.

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To: Dennis Roth who wrote (13277)5/1/2012 8:55:41 AM
From: Eric
   of 15283
 
Dennis,

Thanks for the post. We are getting close...

Eric

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From: Glenn Petersen5/1/2012 9:25:10 AM
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SolarCity has filed a "draft" registration statement, though it is no yet available for public viewing:

SolarCity Takes Step Toward Public Offering

By DIANE CARDWELL
DealBook
New York Times
April 30, 2012, 8:46 pm

SolarCity, a leading installer of rooftop solar energy systems, said on Monday that it had filed a draft registration statement for an initial public offering of stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

A company spokesman declined to say anything further because the filing was confidential while it is under review by the agency.

The broader solar industry has been struggling with the new realities of lower government subsidies for solar power, overcapacity in panel making and competition from Chinese makers of solar panels, which has rapidly driven prices down.

BrightSource, a start-up firm formed to build solar thermal power plants, abruptly canceled a long-anticipated I.P.O. a few weeks ago, while Enphase Energy, which makes solar inverters, settled for selling shares at half its original target price. Leading manufacturers like First Solar and SunPower are scaling back operations.

But interest in solar energy has been growing rapidly, with installed capacity doubling last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Business has increased for developers and installers, especially in states with solar or renewable energy mandates and high electricity prices at peak demand.

SolarCity, based in San Mateo, Calif., is one of a group of companies making solar systems affordable to a wide range of customers through long-term leases or power purchase agreements.

The company was founded in 2006 by the brothers Lyndon and Peter Rive.

In a recent interview, Lyndon Rive declined to comment on potential plans to take SolarCity public, but he said that raising money to finance installation projects had not been difficult because investors saw electricity bills as a stable source of income.

“It’s not like borrowing money for somebody who’s looking at buying a boat, or getting the latest and greatest car,” he said. “This is borrowing money for someone who’s lowering their energy cost.”

dealbook.nytimes.com

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From: Eric5/1/2012 9:28:08 AM
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Karl Rove, Robert Gibbs To Speak At AWEA WINDPOWER Conference

by NAW Staff on Monday 30 April 2012

Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address the attendees of the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition on June 5 in Atlanta to express bipartisan support for wind energy.

Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speakers at the conference’s Tuesday morning general session.

According to AWEA, their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate and point out where party perspectives overlap - highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan solidarity in support of wind power.

“These are major opinion leaders, and a goal of AWEA and WINDPOWER is to get the amazing wind success story in front of every opinion leader in the country - whatever their position - to help inform the national debate on energy and secure broad support for wind energy,” says AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

nawindpower.com

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From: Eric5/1/2012 9:41:42 AM
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FuelCell Energy: Strong Quarter and a Shot at Fuel Cell Profitability

“Fuel cells have to produce grid-parity power without incentives.”

greentechmedia.com

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To: Eric who wrote (13281)5/1/2012 5:36:49 PM
From: Sam
   of 15283
 
Durham startup included on list of world's most promising technologies
By John Murawski - jmurawski@newsobserver.com
Published in: Local/State
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/01/2036231/durham-startup-included-on-list.html

A Durham technology company that claims to have set a world record for solar panel efficiency was named on a prestigious list of the world’s most important emerging technologies.

Semprius is among 10 companies, including Facebook, that made the annual list compiled by Technology Review, a journal published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MIT’s criterion for selecting emerging technologies is their potential to change the world.

Semprius’ high-performance solar cells are expected to significantly lower the cost of solar power and will be produced near Henderson, where the company is planning to open a manufacturing plant in the second half of this year. The company is now involved in global demonstration projects for its advanced solar cells.

The Semprius cells convert nearly 34 percent of sunlight into electricity, beating the previous record by about 50 percent.

Among technology cognoscenti, the six-year-old company has long been on the short-list of potential blockbuster technology companies. The startup netted a $3 million federal stimulus grant to help develop its solar technology, and Semprius co-founder John Rogers won a $500,000 “genius grant” in 2009 for his work in applied physics and semiconductors.

Semprius has raised $44 million from venture capitalists and Siemens, the European conglomerate that recently bought a 16 percent stake in the startup.

Last year Semprius qualified for state and local incentives exceeding $18 million for building its solar cell manufacturing facility near Henderson, where the company plans to add 256 jobs over five years.

Semprius is not the only North Carolina winner of the MIT award. In 2010 MIT named an “intelligent transformer” developed by N.C. State University’s FREEDM Systems Center, which develops smart grids and related technologies.

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From: Hugh Bett5/1/2012 10:38:28 PM
4 Recommendations   of 15283
 
Primer on Energy: Institute for Energy Research
A Primer On Energy
Earlier today, the Institute for Energy Research released an excellent short piece on the basics of energy policy, titled Hard Facts: An Energy Primer. It is an excellent starting point for understanding America’s energy resources and the basics of a sound energy policy. The publication includes a number of illuminating graphics, like this one, which shows how America’s energy consumption has remained in check even as GDP has risen rapidly, with pollution, meanwhile, declining drastically:



It is remarkable how environmental doom-mongering has persisted over the decades, in the face of what should be obvious realities. (But then, Steve Hayward is the expert on that phenomenon.) You really should read the whole thing, but here are a few short excerpts:

The reality is that we have more combined oil, coal, and natural gas resources than any other country on the planet. We have enough energy resources to provide reliable and affordable energy for decades, even centuries to come. The only real question is whether we will have access to our abundant energy resources, not whether sufficient resources exist. … According to the Congressional Research Service, we have the most fossil fuel resources of any country on Earth, but most of these resources are off-limits due to federal policies.
***
Energy use per person in the United States fell 12 percent between 1979 and 2010 from 359 million BTUs to 317 million BTUs per person.
***
China’s CO2 emissions increased by 167 percent between 1999 and 2009, while CO2 emissions from the United States decreased by 4.4 percent over the same 10-year period.



Total federal subsidies in fiscal year 2007 were $24.34 per megawatt hour for solar-generated electricity and $23.37 per megawatt hour for wind, compared with $1.59 for nuclear, $0.67 for hydroelectric power, $0.44 for conventional coal, and $0.25 for natural gas and petroleum liquids. In fiscal year 2010, the subsidies were even higher. For solar power, they were $775.64 per megawatt hour, for wind $56.29, for nuclear $3.14, for hydroelectric power $0.82, for coal $0.64 and for natural gas and petroleum liquids $0.64.

Electricity costs around $100 per megawatt hour. Do the math.

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From: Glenn Petersen5/2/2012 5:26:16 PM
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Electricity generation from non-hydro renewable sources varies by state

U.S. Energy Information Administration
May 2, 2012

Wind accounted for most non-hydro renewable generation in 2011, but sources of renewable generation vary from state to state. However, the states with the most non-hydro renewable generation in 2011 also tend to have significant generation from wind. In 2011, renewable generation (including hydro) made up 13% of total generation.

In 2011, wind accounted for more than half of the non-hydro renewable generation in nine of the top ten states for non-hydro renewable generation. This pattern is in stark contrast to 2001, when wood-based fuels and other biomass accounted for the majority of non-hydro renewable generation in nearly all states. While solar is an important component of distributed generation, state-level solar estimates for utility-scale generation (presented here) are not yet available for all 50 states.



Source:
U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, Power Plant Operations Report.

Note:
Solar generation is excluded from this graph because the contribution of utility-scale solar (i.e., plants with a capacity of 1 megawatt or greater) to total renewable generation was less than one percent of the national total in both 2001 and 2011. In addition, state-level solar generation data for 2011 are not yet available for all states. States are listed by postal code.

Download CSV Data

In regions with less wind resource, wood-based fuels and other biomass still account for the majority of non-hydro renewable generation. Although non-hydro renewable generation has grown substantially in most states over the past decade, hydro generation still accounted for over 60% of total renewable generation in 2011. When considering hydro, wind, biomass, and geothermal sources of renewable electricity generation, hydro was the top renewable source for eight of the top ten states.



Source:
U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, Power Plant Operations Report.

Note:
Solar generation is excluded from this graph because the contribution of utility-scale solar (i.e., plants with a capacity of 1 megawatt or greater) to total renewable generation was less than one percent of the national total in both 2001 and 2011. In addition, state-level solar generation data for 2011 are not yet available for all states. States are listed by postal code.

Download CSV Data

Incentive programs and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) play an important role in encouraging the development of renewable electricity generation. However, because multiple renewable technologies generally qualify for such standards, these programs are usually technology-neutral or technology-flexible. As a result, such programs may have a greater effect on the overall level of renewable electricity development, while the ultimate distribution of renewable generation type is affected more by renewable resource cost and availability.

Wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal electricity plants can only generate power where there is an adequate on-site resource. While there is some flexibility in the range of solar and wind resource that is considered adequate for generation, geothermal power generation has very specific temperature requirements for the geothermal resource. Hydroelectric generating plants tend to form regional clusters around resources. Hydroelectric output varies dramatically from year to year and was particularly high in 2011.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has mapped resource potential for onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar, and geothermal resources. NREL's wind resource map illustrates that the strongest resource potential for wind falls primarily in the central part of the United States, while the Southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions have relatively little area suitable for wind generation. This resource distribution correlates well with the level of wind penetration in individual states. It is important to note, however, that states with particularly strong wind resources have also generally been more successful in passing RPS legislation, creating a dual incentive to develop wind projects in such states.

Biomass generation capacity is not limited by geography to the same extent as other renewable resources because the fuel can be transported. However, because of the low heat content per unit weight of biomass fuel, the cost of transporting biomass is generally prohibitive except over relatively short distances. This factor encourages the development of biomass generation capacity in areas where there are significant resources. NREL has also compiled a biomass resource map, which encompasses wood and agricultural biomass as well as waste fuels such as landfill gas and biogenic municipal solid waste. States with significant biomass generation (e.g., Florida, Alabama, and Maine) also have considerable biomass resources.

eia.gov

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