Feedback from the 23rd European Photovoltaic Conference in Valencia, Spain
Calgary, Alberta - September 11, 2008 - Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd. (TSXV: STG), ("the Company" "STG" or "Sustainable") has filed its Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the Quarter ending June 30, 2008. These documents are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.sustainableenergy.com.
In the MD&A is a discussion of significant and far reaching structural changes in the solar industry which we believe are very important to Sustainable Energy. The highlights of this discussion are found below. We also refer you to the new Corporate Presentation which can be found on our website under Investors.
Last week Sustainable exhibited at the 23rd European Photovoltaic Conference in Valencia, Spain. The highlights below incorporate feedback from those in attendance at the Conference.
"2009 will be a whole new deal for Sustainable Energy," according to Greg Nelson, a solar industry veteran, who recently joined the Company as a Director and Executive Vice President (News Release: April 10, 2008). "Massive investment lower cost/watt thin film production capacity will change the rules for everyone beginning in 2009.
"These changes create an opportunity for Sustainable that was simply not foreseeable six months ago. The Company's patented technology delivers value for thin film PV systems that will lever thin film's cost/watt advantages into a major competitive force in the rooftop and building integrated market."
"The feedback and interest that we received from leading thin film manufacturers and others during last week's European PV Conference in Valencia Spain was very encouraging. Not only did it validate our take on the market dynamics, but we also received a strong endorsement of the massively parallel value proposition for thin film technologies," added Nelson.
Highlights of Business Outlook
Massive investment in PV module capacity, especially thin film technologies, will drive down PV module prices making solar power more economic, and accelerating industry growth at rates of 35% - 45% per year. Demand for solar inverters will grow from C$1.3B (per ISM Research) in 2007 to the C$3 - C$4B/yr range in 2010 and the C$5B - C$6B/yr in 2012.
By the end of 2009, PV module production capacity will exceed demand by as much as 3.8 GW (total installations in 2007 were less than 3GW) and module prices will decline by 36% by 2010 says the prestigious Prometheus Institute (In Perspective: The Spectacular Growth of the Thin Film industry, Munich: Jun 11, 2008.)
"Off the shelf" amorphous thin film tooling - the same tooling used for large screen TV - is bringing new players into the market, especially from Asia. With very low input costs these companies have the margins to reduce prices and run plants 24/7 to meet unit volume targets (See Corporate Presentation: Thin Film Has the Edge).
According to Prometheus, thin film production will grow tenfold from 400MW in 2007 to almost 4,000 MW by 2010. Goldman Sachs (July 23, 2008) is projecting more than 6,000 MW of production capacity by 2012.
Sustainable's "massively parallel" approach for solar PV systems increases total system yield and reduces the balance of cost for thin film solar PV systems in rooftop and building integrated applications. Solar rooftop and building integrated systems will represent 70% of the European market, and 55% of the North American market by 2010, according to Photon International (Detailing Demand: Where Will all the Volume Go Spring 2008)
Massively parallel systems - where each module operates at its optimum level independently of others in the string - reduce and/or eliminate losses resulting from shading, variable orientation of the modules and manufacturing tolerances can increase total system yield under real world conditions by 5% - 15%.
Conventional high voltage inverters require long strings of identically matched interdependent modules to meet high voltage input specifications. Avoiding the effect of shading - which changes in different times of the year - with long module strings is what complicates system design increases installation cost and limits area coverage.
Sustainable's announced (News Release May 27, 2008) collaboration with one of Spain's largest construction companies will market thin film rooftop "bundles," which can be installed anywhere by anyone, to deliver the lowest cost/watt solution for industrial and commercial rooftops.
An industry first, the massively parallel kits (consisting of thin film PV modules, inverters, pre-cut racking and wiring assemblies) reduce the balance of system cost and expand the addressable market for systems aggregators by simplifying system design, reducing installer time on the roof, reducing wiring and connector costs, and accessing more available rooftop for power generation.
Assuming unit sales at 2.85 per watt, 2MW per month in Spain alone (est. 12% of Spanish rooftop market) would yield $54.9M in annual revenues to Sustainable.
Although exclusive for Spain, the proposed joint venture is easily replicable in other markets. A key goal of the joint venture is to demonstrate to global thin film module manufacturers the power of STG's massively parallel approach in penetrating rooftop and building integrated solar PV markets.
At the EU Conference in Valencia we met with several of the leading thin film manufacturers. None appeared to know of our technology; all quickly recognized and bought into the value of massively parallel wiring approach; all were interested in pursuing business relationships us.
Over the past year, the Company has modularized its inverter platform so that a single power electronics platform will support multiple power ratings. Early manufactured cost estimates indicate that Gen II will have the lowest manufactured cost/watt in its class in the industry. Product rollout for all the major markets is planned for calendar Q1, 2009.
The lower cost/watt of the modular approach enables a flexible OEM strategy to access channels of PV module manufacturers, national and international distributors and leading systems integrators looking to replicate the bundling model.
About Sustainable Energy
Based in Calgary Alberta, Sustainable Energy Technologies designs, manufactures and distributes power inverters for distributed alternative energy applications, including solar PV and small wind power systems and energy storage systems, such as batteries and stationary fuel cells.
Sustainable technology differs from conventional solar inverters technologies in the market in its ability to convert low-voltage, high-current DC inputs into grid quality AC at very high electrical conversion efficiencies enabling solar PV modules to be arranged in "parallel" instead of the more common "series" configuration.
Parallel systems reduce losses from partial shading of the PV modules, variances in the orientation of the PV modules and variances in module to module power output resulting from manufacturing tolerances.
Forward Looking Information
The reader is advised that most of the information and the views expressed herein constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning assigned by National Instruments 51-102 and other relevant securities legislation. In particular, we include: statements on the future size of the solar PV market and segments thereof as well as the size of the solar inverter market; statements concerning the impact of changes in the industry on our business prospects; and statements concerning the performance of our technologies. Except where expressly noted, the conclusions expressed represent management's perspectives on the industry and the Company's technology.
Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and involves a number of risks and uncertainties, only some of which are described herein. Many factors could cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements, or future events or developments, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speaks only as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking information contained herein to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.