Germany-based SMA Solar is to acquire Danfoss’ solar inverter business.
Danfoss will acquire 20% of SMA’s shares with a value of €302 million (US$415 million) in return for selling its inverter unit.
It will receive SMA shares at a price of €43.57 50% premium on the average price during (US$59.86) the past 60 days.
The alliance between SMA and Danfoss brings together respectively the world's largest and seventh largest inverter manufacturers by market share, according to an IHS study published in May.
“The strategic alliance with Danfoss strengthens SMA’s leading position in the global photovoltaic market. We are faced with a highly competitive market environment and increased price pressure,” said Pierre-Pascal Urbon, chief executive of SMA.
“In this context, SMA will benefit from Danfoss’ years of experience in automated drives. This market has been characterised by fierce competition for a long time. Accordingly, the strategy of the Danfoss group targets continuous cost improvements through global sourcing and cost down initiatives. By establishing a close cooperation there is significant potential to improve the cost position in both companies,” added Urbon
The inverter market has been hit by the emergence of bigger utility projects that require larger but fewer inverters, and the rise of new players in the microinverter market that have stolen share in the residential sector.
SUNLIGHT is free, but that is no reason to waste it. Yet even the best silicon solar cells—by far the most common sort—convert only a quarter of the light that falls on them. Silicon has the merit of being cheap: manufacturing improvements have brought its price to a point where it is snapping at the heels of fossil fuels. But many scientists would like to replace it with something fundamentally better.
John Rogers, of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is one. The cells he has devised (and which are being made, packaged into panels and deployed in pilot projects by Semprius, a firm based in North Carolina) are indeed better. By themselves, he told this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, they convert 42.5% of sunlight. Even when surrounded by the paraphernalia of a panel they manage 35%. Suitably tweaked, Dr Rogers reckons, their efficiency could rise to 50%. Their secret is that they are actually not one cell, but four, stacked one on top of another.
Solar cells are made of semiconductors, and every type of semiconductor has a property called a band gap that is different from that of other semiconductors. The band gap defines the longest wavelength of light a semiconductor can absorb (it is transparent to longer wavelengths). It also fixes the maximum amount of energy that can be captured from photons of shorter wavelength. The result is that long-wavelength photons are lost and short-wave ones incompletely utilised. Cont'd
A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the American West.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opened Thursday after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating protected tortoises to assessing the impact on Mojave milkweed and other plants.
"The Ivanpah project is a shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy," U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement after attending a dedication ceremony at the site. "This project shows that building a clean-energy economy creates jobs, curbs greenhouse gas emissions and fosters American innovation."
The $2.2 billion complex of three generating units, owned by NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy, can produce nearly 400 megawatts enough power for 140,000 homes. It began making electricity last year.
China is projected to install 12,000 megawatts of solar power in 2014, giving it the "gold medal" in the figurative 2014 Solar Olympics, according to GTM Research.
That amount will be greater than what the United States has installed in all of its solar history.
Japan will take "silver" in 2014 with 7,500 megawatts forecast. The U.S. will take bronze at 5,300.
"China's rise to the top in global PV installations has been impressive, to say the least," GTM Research solar analyst Adam James said in the release. "Although transparency continues to be a problem in accurately sizing the market, GTM sees the shift to production-based incentives and increased downstream financing support driving deployment to new heights over the next few years."
For the first time in the past four year period, no European country will feature on the podium.
"While European feed-in tariff markets have been great at the short-distance events, the global solar market is clearly aiming toward the long-distance contenders in Asia and North America," said Shayle Kann, senior vice president at GTM Research. "But don't count out emerging markets. By the time the Summer Olympics roll around in Rio, Latin America will be a PV force to contend with."
One-third of all Americans who work in solar power live in California, according to an annual survey released Tuesday.
And their numbers are growing fast.
The solar industry employed 47,223 Californians last year, up 8 percent from 2012, according to the survey from the Solar Foundation, a research and advocacy group.
Nationwide, the solar industry employed 142,698 people. And while the rate of solar job growth nationwide was faster than in California, nearly hitting 20 percent last year, the Golden State still dominates the business.
"California is, by far, the leader," said Andrea Luecke, the foundation's executive director. "It's not by accident that the solar industry is based there."
Most of California's solar jobs, however, focus on panel installation and financing versus research and development efforts to create new technologies.
Starting more than 10 years ago, California officials made a concerted push to foster the solar industry. They forced the state's utilities to buy more renewable power and offered rebates to homeowners who bolted solar panels to their roofs.
The effort appears to have worked. Most of the country's largest solar companies are based in California, particularly in the Bay Area. The foundation's survey counted 21,653 solar jobs around the bay.
Sunrun and Mainstream Energy Corp. today announced that Sunrun has acquired the residential division of REC Solar, AEE Solar and SnapNrack. The companies represent Mainstream Energy's residential solar sales, design and installation; wholesale distribution; and mounting systems and hardware businesses, respectively. In the commercial market, REC Solar will continue as an independent organization under the legal name REC Solar Commercial Corp. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
"Sunrun pioneered solar service to remove the most significant barriers to going solar. We continue to innovate our business to further drive down costs, increase quality and broaden our reach to consumers so more homeowners have access to affordable home solar," said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. "The residential solar market is growing rapidly and this acquisition marks the next step in our multi-channel growth strategy. REC Solar's residential division, AEE Solar and SnapNrack complement our thriving channel business and further enable us to fulfill the enormous market potential for home solar nationwide."
REC Solar is a national leader in solar electric system design and installation, with more than 11,000 customers across seven states. Since becoming Sunrun's first installation partner in 2007, REC Solar has helped thousands of homeowners elect solar energy with Sunrun's solar service, which allows homeowners to pay a low rate for clean energy and fix their electric costs for 20 years.
"REC Solar is the industry leader in customer satisfaction and high quality construction, while AEE Solar and SnapNrack bring capabilities that allow us to make solar energy affordable for more consumers, provide superior systems and service, and lay the foundation to become a major energy company," Jurich said.
With taller wind turbines, the new program is also expected to open up an additional 237,000 square miles of wind-friendly areas for wind power potential, which is about the size of Texas (the image above compares the area change in square kilometers between the hub height of 96 and that of 140).
The areas of the US most likely to benefit from the improved wind technology are mainly located in the Southeast, where alternative energy is starting to find a friendly reception despite pushback by certain legislators from those states.
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