The greatest challenge for backsheet manufacturers is to develop product that meets strict performance requirements and industry standards, at a time when there is increasing pressure to reduce costs.
Here's an interview with economist Ed Dolan who lets us in on a few secrets about oil prices, the prospects for cheap energy, Russia's growing uncertainty and how the natural gas boom is hindering renewable energy efforts. Contributed by Oilprice.com
Here are 4 diversified project case studies illustrating how small wind systems can make a difference.
The exceptional operational safety and ease of use are important criteria for the installation on Star Island, because technical support here usually is not available at short notice.
The rooftop installation consists of 2,200 panels producing approximately 650KW annually. The funds received are credited to the Jamieson utilities account and are offsetting almost 20% of the electricity bill.
Hanwha has the development capital and balance sheet that financiers look for in a partner. This is a tremendous differentiator given the current market conditions.
Women as a group are the most powerful communication vehicle in the world. When women believe in something, they spread the word faster and more effectively than any advertising can. When it comes to buying power and buying power: They rock.
Hanwha Group, a top 10 Korean business group and Fortune Global 500 company with businesses in manufacturing, construction, finance, retail and resorts, today launched Hanwha Q.CELLS. The launch marks the completion of the acquisition of German solar company Q.CELLS, one of the worlds' largest solar cell manufacturers and a leading photovoltaics company. Mr. Charles Kim will lead Hanwha Q.CELLS as CEO, joining the company from Hanwha SolarOne. Mr. Min Su Kim will replace Mr. Charles Kim as the president of Hanwha SolarOne and joins the company from Hanwha Group. The launch of Hanwha Q.CELLS establishes Hanwha as the third largest solar manufacturer in the world. Hanwha's 2.3 GW of manufacturing capacity is distributed across Germany, Malaysia and China, a competitive advantage to supply any region in the world, free of trade sanctions.
According to the latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects, 433 MW of new electrical generating capacity was added in the U.S. in September -- all from solar and wind sources. The total consisted of five wind projects totaling 300 MW and 18 solar projects totaling 133 MW. For the first nine months of 2012, 77 wind projects (4,055 MW), 154 solar projects (936 MW), 76 biomass projects (340 MW), 7 geothermal projects (123 MW), 10 water power projects (9 MW), and 1 waste heat project (3 MW) have come on-line. Collectively, these total 43.8% of all new generating capacity added since the beginning of 2012. By comparison, new natural gas capacity additions since January 1, 2012 totaled 61 projects (4,587 MW) or 36.8% while 3 new coal projects added 2,276 MW (18.3%). Nuclear and oil represented just 1% and 0.1% of new capacity additions respectively. The new renewable energy generating capacity added in 2012 represents a 29% increase over the level recorded for the same period in 2011. Renewable energy sources now account for 14.9% of all installed U.S. electrical generating capacity.
The U.S. wind industry reached a milestone during the third quarter, surpassing 50 GW of total installed generation capacity, according to a new American Wind Energy Association report. The industry installed 1,832.7 MW during the quarter, bringing total wind power capacity installations to 51,630 MW. Wind capacity additions in 2012 have totaled 4,728 MW so far, AWEA said in its third-quarter market report. At least 40 electric utilities own or have contracted wind from projects currently online through the third quarter, the association said. The third quarter saw a 52% increase in installed capacity over the year-ago quarter. Twenty-seven wind projects were installed in 15 states during the quarter. The wind industry installed 40% more capacity during the first three quarters of 2012 than the same period in 2011, primarily due to developers racing against the clock to complete projects before the production tax credit, or PTC, expires. The PTC provides wind plants that are in service by Dec. 31 with a tax credit for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale turbines. "This is what a successful policy looks like when it's working, but whether wind will continue to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy now depends on whether Congress acts to extend the production tax credit by the end of the year," AWEA CEO Denise Bode said in an Oct. 18 statement.
Siemens AG announced plans to give up its loss-making solar business and concentrate its renewable energy business on wind and hydroelectric power. The German industrial conglomerate, whose products range from trains to turbines, said Monday it's in talks with possible buyers, but offered no details. It said the move is part of a wider effort to increase its productivity and efficiency. The solar power industry has been hit by falling subsidies, weaker sales and increasingly stiff price competition, especially by Chinese manufacturers. Siemens said that "due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets, the company's expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met." Several German solar manufacturers, including Q-Cells SE and Solar Millennium AG, have filed for insolvency over the past year. Another German company in the solar market, SMA AG, announced last week that it will slash up to 1,000 jobs — about a fifth of its global workforce — amid falling revenues and a possible annual loss in 2013 due to the growing price pressures.
The energetic use of solid biomass such as wood will increase to a larger extent than ever before in the years to come. At present, more than 2,200 biomass power plants are operational throughout the world. They have a total capacity of about 32,000 megawatts (MW). In Europe alone, there are more than 1,100 active biomass power plants. Another 130 coal power plants co-incinerate biomass. Over the past five years, about 150 biomass power plants went operational per year worldwide, each one with an average capacity of 11 MW, which is more than ever before. However, this growth will once more accelerate in the future: by 2016, 165 plants with an average capacity of more than 15 MW will be commissioned per year. Investments in new construction and maintenance of biomass power plants will increase from currently 10 to more than 14 billion euros annually. The trend for developing biomass follows the trend for developing renewable energies. More and more countries introduce feed-in tariffs for electricity from biomass. The increasing prices for fossil energy sources, the fact that many countries aim at increasing the use of domestic raw materials and the introduction of CO2 certificates for fossil fuels in Europe have over the past years improved the competitiveness of electricity generation from biomass.
GTM Research says many PV solar panel makers will go under or be acquired soon. The global marketplace is simply over-saturated, the company’s report states, so dramatic changes are coming. The difference in PV supply and demand could be 35 GW a year. About 88 companies are predicted to shutter PV factories, mainly in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The cost of solar panels and their manufacture has dropped so much it is simply too costly to produce them competitively in certain parts of the world. The number of companies affected by the fast-changing market conditions is huge, and very sad for the demise of their once promising ventures. “Manufacturing costs for firms in Europe, the U.S. and Japan are currently over 80 cents per watt. The cost for their Chinese competitors is between 58 cents and 68 cents per watt. The writing is on the wall: these companies will either take what they can get via acquisition or they will bow out,” said the report’s author, Shyam Mehta, Senior Analyst at GTM.
Battery maker A123 Systems, a one-time darling of the U.S. electric car industry and recipient of millions in government funding, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday. The filing highlights the controversy over federal subsidies for "green energy" companies that has been a part of the 2012 presidential campaign. A123 has $144 million in debt and missed a $2.7 million interest payment on Oct. 15. In 2009, A123 received $249 million in federal funding for advanced battery technology manufacturing at two sites in Michigan -- Romulus and Brownstown. The funding was part of $2.4 billion in stimulus funds designed to jump start advanced vehicle manufacturing in the United States.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) with support from the US Energy Department and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has developed a set of recommended practices for using existing standards to plan, design, construct and operate offshore wind facilities in compliance with federal and state regulations. The recommended practices drawn up by AWEA’s Standards Development Board cite four levels of existing standards: international, American National Standards, classification society such as DNV, Germanischer Lloyd and The American Bureau of Shipping standards, and commercial standards and guidelines, These standards address five critical areas: structural reliability; manufacturing, qualification testing, installation, and construction; safety of equipment; operation and inspection, and decommissioning. The 63-page Recommended Practices for Design, Deployment, and Operation of Offshore Wind Turbines in the United States was unveiled at AWEA’s offshore windpower conference here.
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Sierra was the first to introduce a combination volumetric vortex and multivariable mass flow meter in 1997. Today, Sierra's completely redesigned InnovaMass® iSeries™ 240i/241i builds on two decades of success measuring five process variables for gas, liquid and steam with one connection. Now, with the latest hyper-fast microprocessors, robust software applications, field diagnostic and adjustment capability, and a new state-of-the-art flow calibration facility, Sierra's vortex iSeries delivers precision, performance, and application flexibility never before possible.