The Next Solar Hotspot, India?

Venturebeat has an interesting article on India as the next solar hotspot.

Which country will emerge as the next best market for solar energy? Surprisingly, the answer is India, with its abundant sunlight, exploding demand, and gigantic, mostly off-grid population.

Venturebeat’s article references this report from Lux Research.

Finding the New Germany: Solar Seeks 2011 Subsidies
As Germany winds down its red-hot solar subsidies next year, industry players will be scrambling to find the next big growth market, says Lux Research.
Boston, MA – January 5, 2011 – Germany currently represents roughly half the total global market for solar components – all thanks to explosive growth it fueled over the past decade through attractive solar subsidies. However, as the country is now dialing back its subsidy programs, solar companies will be scrambling to find the next big growth market for 2011 and beyond. New analysis from Lux Research indicates no single country will match Deutschland’s meteoric growth over the past few years, and it provides strategic insights on which markets offer the strongest potential in 2011 and beyond.
Titled “Global Subsidy Roundup: Solar Beyond Germany,” Lux Research’s report provides a detailed overview of the subsidy and regulatory structures for 15 markets, and provides timely guidance into which of them are most capable of fueling future demand as Germany’s star fades.
“Component manufacturers looking to maintain margins in the face of rapidly falling prices will find short-term relief from markets offering attractive subsidies in 2011,” said Jason Eckstein, a Lux Research Analyst and the report’s lead author. “However, to be able to plan for long-term solar growth, companies also need to consider other factors, such as the size of a country’s electricity market, what other generation sources it can tap, and the quality of its electrical distribution infrastructure.”
The report constructs a quantitative model for all 15 markets, based on the value of subsidies, market size, solar generation’s proximity to grid parity, and numerous other factors. It ranks each country on two axes – measuring short-term demand drivers and long-term market potential. Based on their positioning in either axis, markets fall into one of four market classes: Fast Burners, Top Targets, Slow Movers, and Weak Prospects.
• Cyprus, Israel, and Malaysia are Fast Burners. Although these markets offer some of the most valuable subsidies, they all face fundamental limits on the extent to which solar can grow. Cyprus in particular cannot support more than a few hundred megawatts of solar installations, while Israel and Malaysia are capped close to 3 GW.
• India stands out as a Top Target, but South Africa and the U.K. could also be game-changers. India combines a heavily-funded subsidy scheme with a grid in great need of distributed generation and huge projected electricity consumption. South Africa has a significantly more attractive subsidy scheme but is limited to utility-scale applications and faces regulatory uncertainty. The U.K. has a comparatively weak solar resource, but faces tight natural gas supply, has a broad set of feed-in tariff (FIT) incentives, and boasts a potential market size over 20 GW.
• Russia, Brazil, and Mexico are all Slow Movers. All offer huge electricity markets with over 10 GW of solar development potential, but lack incentive schemes. Brazil cancelled an FIT policy early last decade, yet it’s one of the markets closest to grid parity and offers massive potential demand. Mexico has enforced a national net metering policy, making it a likely future champion of solar as a distributed resource. Meanwhile, Russia offers few demand drivers in 2011, but the largest potential addressable solar market at over 80 GW.
“Global Subsidy Roundup: Solar Beyond Germany,” is part of the Lux Solar Systems Intelligence service. Clients subscribing to this service receive ongoing research on market and technology trends, continuous technology scouting reports and proprietary data points in the Lux Research Solar Systems Journal, and on-demand inquiry with Lux Research analysts.
About Lux Research
Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit for more information.
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The Berlin Solar Atlas project

The city of Berlin is a big fan of solar energy and has poured recources into the Solar Atlas Berlin project which shows the solar potential of buildings in the city. You can search the city and see how much your building could be saving energy with a solar power system.

Berlin Solar Atlas Project - Swan Energy Perth - Solar Power Stations

The Solar Atlas Berlin shows the city’s solar potential down to the individual building. Property owners and investors can use the Atlas to determine whether a building’s roof is suitable for a solar installation and whether the investment will pay off. The Atlas provides key information at a glance on such matters as the potential power output, reductions in CO2 emissions, and investment costs.

Using the Berlin Solar Atlas

There are two ways to use the Berlin Solar Atlas:

A 2D web application with no plug-ins required allows you to start the Solar Atlas in your browser directly. Simply enter any address and click on a building to obtain information about its solar potential.
Start the Berlin Solar Atlas

Experience the Berlin Solar Atlas in three dimensions using Google Earth! To access the Solar Atlas in Google Earth, you must install Google Earth and download a launch application. To try it, follow the installation instructions to the right.
It’s also available in 3D in Google Earth.
Read more about solar power here >>

Flood Safety Advice for Households with Solar Power Systems

Sharp has released a set of safety guidelines for those with solar power systems in flood affected areas.

If your solar system is at risk of being subjected to a flood, this is what you should do:

1) Turn off the solar system by following the “Shutdown procedure” marked on or near your solar inverter or meter box.
2) If in doubt, follow this procedure:
a) Turn off the inverter AC mains isolator (usually in the meter box).
b) Turn off the PV array isolator (usually next to the inverter).
c) If there is a risk that the water level will reach the cables and inverter, arrange to turn off the roof top array isolator also.

If your solar system is under extreme flood

(ie. The inverter and cables are in water) do not attempt to turn the system off because you may receive a lethal electric shock from the solar panels, even if the utility has turned of the mains power in the street.

If your solar system has been affected by a flood, this is what you should do:

1) Do not attempt to operate any switches, residual moisture could cause the switches, inverter and wiring to be live and you could receive a lethal electric shock from the solar panels, even if the utility has turned of the mains power in the street.
2) Call your installer and request them to recommission the system or, if your installer is not available, ask a licensed electrician to check the system for you.
3) In the case where the inverter has been submerged, or partly submerged in water, the inverter should be replaced.

Full Article –

Solar systems offer hope for remote towns – ABC Article

The Little River catchment implements a 1MW solar power station.

Concentrated Solar Power systems could offer new hope for rural communities to attract industrial development. CSP systems use heat from the sun to produce steam which drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Research from the University of Western Australia found that many places in the Western Australia have the required environmental conditions of flat land, sunshine and access to water to fuel the systems.

Small or medium size systems could generate enough electricity to power a small town or run a mine site. Associate Professor Bryan Boruff says finding enough electricity is hard for rural communities. “Currently the system is running at capacity and so the idea was if we understand the physical parameters and some of the planning parameters, understand where we can put these things, then we can maybe use that to attract other industries,” he says.

Full Article –

Read more about solar power stations here.

Clean Energy in Australia – The Clean Energy Council

Parliament House to get a Solar Power System

Solar panels will be installed on Parliament House’s roof as part of an effort to find long-term solutions to the building’s energy needs, according to a senior official.

Parliament’s cooling and heating systems were 22 years old and would need to be replaced in a few years, Department of Parliamentary Services secretary Alan Thompson said.

At the same time, the department was looking at alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.

Read further:

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