On this page we present news from a variety of sources, attempting to bring well rounded facts from a wide pool of thought.
Global installed PV
capacity surpassed 101 GW in 2012, according to data published by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Between 30 and 32 GW was connected to the grid and made operational globally in 2012, roughly the same amount added in 2011- a boom year. In 2012, the top three European PV
markets were Germany (7.6 GW), Italy (3.3 GW) and France (1.2 GW).
Outside of Europe, the top three markets in 2012 were China (between 3.5 and 4.5 GW),
the US (3.2 GW) and Japan (2.5 GW). EPIA will publish the final
figures for 2012 in May. Germany and Italy remain the largest solar markets by far in
terms of Total Installed Capacity. At the end of 2012, Germany had 32.4
GW of installed PV power and Italy had approximately 16.2 GW.
For news you won't here from the mainstream US 'press' ...
According to the head of Duke Energy Corp.'s renewable-energy development unit, the U.S. will add more solar power in 2013 than wind energy for the first time. The U.S. added 13.1 gigawatts of wind power last year, beating natural gas for the first time. The U.S. installed about 3.2 gigawatts of solar power last year and may reach 3.9 gigawatts this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Steve Reeves, CTO of PureSolar, Inc. will be talking to the E&P program
at The Evergreen State College on Friday, February 8, from 3-5 pm. He’ll
discuss the path to PureSolar, exploring real-world aspects of
entrepreneurship. Attendees will walk away understanding the basics of PV
systems and the manufacturing of PV modules, as well as key success steps of
PureSolar and its history. PureSolar’s product line, customer base and future
goals will be uncovered, discussion of the companies competencies and available services. The presentation will show the
current manufacturing tools, both hardware and software, and delve into our unique
PureSolar – locally manufacturing your energy
13.2% US solar job growth in the last year - New PV installations in 2012 will grow by around 11% on 2011 to 31GW worldwide
The Solar Foundation (TSF) announced statistics that show despite recent setbacks and reports of layoffs, the U.S. solar industry is expanding at nearly six times that of the overall economy. The report, National Solar Jobs Census 2012
, states that 13,872 new jobs have been added by the solar industry in the U.S., bringing the total number 119,016. Compare that with an overall U.S. economy rate of 2.3% and -3.77%
for fossil fuel electric generation industry, which lost 3,857 jobs in
the same period (coal industry is relatively small, employing just 86,000 people in 2011 - that is less than 0.06% of all US jobs). The report states that manufacturing compromises just under 14% of total jobs, while sales and EPC services rounds up most of the remaining positions. These are distributed clean-energy jobs all over the country.
The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power nearly a million households. Currently, total installed solar capacity in the U.S. adds up to 5.7 gigawatts
(5,700 megawatts). By the end of 2012, it is expected that another 3.2
gigawatts will be added, nearly doubling last year’s growth. Estimates
indicate that 2013 will see the addition of another 3.9 gigawatts of
solar capacity in the U.S.
September 2012, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar) published a report naming the companies using the most solar on their facilities in the U.S. The "Top 20" (in terms of on-site solar capacity deployed) are: Walmart
(WMT), Costco (COST), Kohl’s Department Stores (KSS), IKEA, Macy’s (M),
McGraw-Hill (MHP), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Staples, Inc. (SPLS),
Campbell’s Soup (CPB), Walgreens (WAG), Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY),
Toys ‘R’ Us (TOY), General Motors (GM), FedEx (FDX), White Rose Foods,
Dow Jones (DJ), Snyder’s of Hanover (LNCE), ProLogis (PLD), Hartz
Mountain Industries, and Crayola. See the full report at www.seia.org/SolarTop20
. The "Top 20" installations generate a combined estimate of $47.3 million worth of electricity each year.
Other companies that are significant users of solar include Apple,
Bloomberg LP, Del Monte Foods, GE, Google, Intel, JC Penny, Kaiser
Permanente, Lackland Storage, Lord & Taylor, L’OREAL USA, MARS
SNACKFOOD, US Foods LLC, Stop and Shop, Merck, REI, SAS Institute Inc.,
and Tiffany & CO. “These companies know that solar energy allows them to reliably manage
their long-term energy costs and in turn also helps to keep their
customer prices low,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Solar
helps these top American companies focus on their core business by
reducing overhead costs.”
"The United States pays $22 in subsidies to oil, coal, and nuclear power
for every $1 invested in renewable energy" - former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, addressing the 2012 Solar Power International trade show. He went on to say "An enormous number of people
don’t know that solar is affordable now" and "The U.S. has paid oil subsidies since 1916, (the oil companies) sink dry wells and still get the tax credit.” Even Texas alone employs more clean tech workers than there are coal workers in the entire country.
In getting a grasp of the energy industry, the report “Red White & Green: The True Colors of America’s Clean Tech Jobs", by Nancy Pfund and Michael Lazar
- “Three states all by themselves each have more clean tech
workers than all the coal mining workers in the USA.”
- “The total number
of Americans working in clean tech is many times the size of those in
- "Clean tech may mean a debate in Washington, but it means jobs everywhere else.”
So if the key phrase is "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs", then we all should be saying "Clean Tech, Clean Tech, Clean Tech". For PureSolar that would be "PV, PV, PV"!
Tumwater, Washington, June 18, 2012. Ray LaForge, former founder and owner of Olympic Outfitters, Inc., an outdoor recreational equipment retailer, and a former owner of Ramblin' Jacks restaurant was recently hired as CFO of fast-rising PureSolar, Inc. Ray is a past president of the Olympia Downtown Association and was awarded the association's "Man of the Year" designation. Other board memberships have included Olympia Rotary Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Thurston County and Thurston-Mason Red Cross. Ray is currently serving on the SPSCC Foundation Board and the Thurston First Bank Board.
PureSolar, Inc. (PSI) is a manufacturer of simpler,
safer & smarter photovoltaic modules and surfaces in a brand new,
state-of-the-art facility located at the site of the former headquarters of
Harbor Wholesale Foods in Tumwater, WA. PSI’s technology contains advancements
internally and externally to speed up installation, assure higher standards of
safety to installers, end-users, service personnel and firefighters, and closely
monitor performance for quality and warranty assurances.
PureSolar also provides EPC (Engineering,
Procurement and Construction) services for commercial and industrial level
photovoltaic installs. They specialize in projects that conform to the WA State
Community Solar definition (an example of which is the community solar project
at the new Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, WA set to be unveiled later
this year), but also have experience on board for traditional solar projects. PureSolar
can design the installation, provide the legal structure, procure the necessary
materials, and project-manage construction - all as a one stop shop.
Other projects for the solar firm include the introduction of the iStop™, a fully autonomous solar structure instantly deployed on your site with capabilities for electric-vehicle or portable device charging, wireless internet access, led lighting, and touch screen digital displays. iStop™ will be sold through a
distributor in Seattle, WA, and through PSI for some local and large-scale commercial
While its products and services are tailored
towards large commercial and industrial entities, PureSolar’s next generation photovoltaic
modules will be made available to the general public in 2013.
PureSolar's Steve Reeves was invited to participate in the Alumni Entrepreneurs Workshop (http://www.evergreen.edu/40/return/workshops.htm#Entrepreneurial%20Life)
at the The Evergreen State College's 40th Reunion event as well as give a talk at Evergreen's Synergy
Conference (two weeks later). Both events focused on the experiences starting PureSolar, solar module
manufacturing, and the current events in PV.
UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Commerce made its final determination, Chinese manufactures have been found guilty of importing crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules into the U.S. at dumping margins of between 18.32 and 249.96%.
Antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CV) duties will be applied to all
crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, modules, laminates and panels
coming into the U.S. from China (see Table below).
Less export subsidy
Along with the strong consolidation of the Chinese PV and solar cell manufacturing companies, the US Department of
Commerce plans to impose new anti-dumping duties on
crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules imported from China. The imposed
preliminary margins are: 31.14% for Trina Solar, 31.22% for Suntech,
31.18% for 59 other producers and 249.96% for all other Chinese solar
Piling on more pain for the Chinese manufacturers, US Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Sherrod Brown (OH) have
introduced legislation that will require PV system
owners to use domestically produced solar modules to
receive the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the 30% Residential
Energy Efficient Property Credit. Under the proposal, 70% of the parts
of qualifying solar panels will have to be made in the US.
Alternatively, if the solar panels are manufactured in the US, 50% of
their parts would have to be US-made.
Currently Italy, India, Canada, and France have domestic content requirements for government supported credits/FITS to the PV industry. Other countries considering domestic content requirements include Saudi Arabia (expected to install 16GW of PV) and Germany (the largest PV market in the world).
PureSolar is not directly competing with Chinese commodity module manufacturers, PureSolar's higher quality PV products are targeted at a wide variety of different market segments.
Photovoltaics (PV) is following the same path to commercialization as other
traditional energy sources spurred by federal incentives, according to
the new independent research report released by the Howard H. Baker Jr.
Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville -
"Assessment of Incentives and Employment Impacts of Solar Industry
Deployment". In fact, according to the report, diffusion of PV technology in the energy markets is very similar to the paths that many
American industries have traveled to become mainstream. The
report finds that traditional fuels have been subsidized for decades –
some like coal and oil for a century – and followed similar growth
trajectories toward majority adoption. Like oil, coal, natural gas,
nuclear, and all other traditional energy sources, the Baker Center
finds, PV has received support from the federal government to promote
its usage in order to drive our economy. Every significant energy
resource deployed in the US today has had approximately 30 years of
innovation and early adoption before beginning rapid growth that brought
about mainstream adoption. Federal level subsides occurred during the
Carter, Bush Jr. and Obama administrations, and are set to continued
until 12/31/2016 (among other incentives, a tax credit of 30% of total expenditures on
installing PV for individuals and companies).
- Pike Research forecasts that distributed photovoltaic systems (just the residential and commercial grid-connected systems) will grow from around US$66
billion in 2010, to over $154 billion by 2015 – a compound annual growth
rate of 18 percent. Meanwhile, it predicts that total installed
capacity of distributed photovoltaic systems will increase from 9.5
gigawatts (GW) to more than 15 GW.
- The recently released Pew Charitable Trust's 2011 edition "Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race?" states that the largest investment sector was in solar. Solar attracted more than half of all clean energy investments in 2011, at $128 billion, up 44 percent from 2010. Solar deployment was up 54 percent, to 29.7 GW in 2011. This was
particularly notable in Italy, where solar has hit grid parity. Grid
parity means that power from solar panels now costs the same as grid
electricity. Italy has added about 8GW of distributed photovoltaic capacity, about the same production as two large nuclear reactors.
- Research analysts forecast the U.S. solar industry to reach
installations close to 3 GW in 2012 and 26.9 GW worldwide.
- Over the last 10 years, the total installed PV capacity in the world has multiplied by
a factor of 27, from 1.5 GW in 2000 to 39.5 GW in 2010 - a yearly growth rate
- Global installations reached a record high
of 18.2 GW in 2010; this represents growth of 139% year to year.
- Global installations reached 7.3 GW
in 2009, an increase of 20% over 2008.
- The German government
has subsidized businesses in the solar sector through the Renewable Energy
Act over the past ten years. After the devastating earthquake and
tsunami in Japan
a year ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed the cabinet to
phase out nuclear power and replace it with renewable energy sources by 2022.