Wednesday, February 24, 2010

S.1208 SC Senator Joel lourie introduces job creation bill

This bill would allow a 40% tax credit for 2010, 35% for 2011 and 30% thereafter for residential solar systems.

This bill has the commercial tax credit equal to NC but weights the availability of the credit so that business’s would have a greater return on capital and a huge incentive to start this projects sooner rather than later.

The residential tax credit is also weighted at 40% for 2010, 35% for 2011 and 30% therafter, increasing the probability that SC will grow quickly.

This bill would also allow a donation to a non-profit for solar to receive the same tax credits of 35% thus enabling charities to solicit for RE projects. This bill also has a tax credit for builders to incorporate solar into new construction (which has been a barrier to adoption up to now)

This is a great bill and would facilitate a lot of growth for solar in SC which in turn would enable job creation, energy independence and a hub for economic activity.

Senator Hugh Leatherman, Senator Paul Campbell and Senator Glen McConnell need to hear your support of these measures.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunstore partners with,

Sunstore brings founder into the fold creating simply the best EPC in the Southeast


all work together to promote solar power in the Carolina's.

Energy is prosperity, lets mine the sun.

2010 PV market

Solar market begins recovery in 2010
While module shipments on a gigawatt basis are expected to show recovery in 2010, revenue recovery won’t be fully evident for a few more years, experts say.
By Ann Steffora Mutschler, Contributing editor -- Electronic Business, 1/12/2010
Simply put, 2009 was a very difficult year for the PV (photovoltaic) industry. For the first time, the PV market experienced a major market downturn during which contraction occurred on both a megawatt and revenue basis, with the revenue contraction much more severe due to ASP (average selling price) pressures.

According to experts, there are some reports of strengthening market conditions in the latter part of Q4, evidenced by the recent report that financing of $715 million (500 million Euro) has opened up for a solar PV projects portfolio in France and Italy.

Germany also appears to have some strength, according to James Hines, research director for semiconductors and solar at market research company Gartner Inc. “We’ve even heard of some products seeing increasing lead times as a result of an uptick in demand out of Germany particularly for some of the invertors and certain premium suppliers of panels have reported that they are sold out. In fact, SunPower is one of them and suggested they are sold out in their residential and commercial rooftop segments going into 2010.”

While this is an encouraging sign, he pointed out that it is limited at this point and not a broad-based market condition – there are a lot of suppliers that still have excess capacity and Gartner expects pricing pressure to continue through 2010. “The way we would characterize the market in 2010 is that this is the start of the recovery, but we will continue to have ASP weakness throughout the year,” Hines noted.

All eyes on the US

With the United States being one of the biggest developing markets, there is much interest here as to how it will fare in 2010.

Paula Mints, principal analyst for the PV services program and associate director of the energy practice at Navigant Consulting observed, “The US is still a developing market. There is only one state that continues to have incentives significant enough to drive the market, and that would be California. It’s not just the RPS [renewable portfolio standard], it’s not just the stimulus money which doesn’t all go to us; it’s also the debt markets recovering because this is expensive stuff to invest in.” For 2010, she projected sales of between 530 and 800MW into the US market.

However, the stimulus money is only part of the drivers, pointed out Henning Wicht, senior director and principal analyst at iSuppli Deutschland GmbH. “We expect the first wave of ground installations for utility scale projects to start especially in California. This is more about asset evaluation for the utility companies. So we definitely see strong growth in California.” He predicts installations will grow from 305MW in 2009 to 650MW in 2010 in the state.

“The issue in the US, and maybe to a lesser extent in Europe, is that we have two things that a coming together to drive some demand going forward,” Hines said. “One is the loosening up of credit markets and availability of project finance, which appears to be getting better but it is a very slow thaw. The other factor is the availability of stimulus funding. There is a fair amount of money in the US stimulus package that is available for solar projects but it has taken a long time to go through the administrative gauntlet to get the money actually into the hands of people that can actually do something with it and that continues to be an issue but we certainly see some of it starting to flow now.”

Gartner expects that to increase in 2010 and drive some of the demand. The company also expects a certain amount of latent demand from 2009 to begin to materialize in 2010 as these government incentive programs kick in and finance starts to free up, but it is a slow process, Hines reminded.

Gartner has raised its global PV solar module forecast since September, when it projected 4.6GW. It now it expects the 2009 figure will be closer to 5.3GW, growing to 20.9GW in 2013. This projection translates to $11.2 billion in 2009, growing to $26.5 billion in 2013, Hines said. (See figures below.)

In terms of PV shipments to the first point of sale, Mints projected between 5 and 6GW being shipped into the global market in 2010, from 4.7GW in 2009.

She asserted that it is important to look at shipments to the first point of sale in the market because due to the low cost of product in the market, many people are buying instead of making, which causes some numbers to be skewed based on recounting. “You can’t turn one megawatt into 10, no matter how many times you sell it,” Mints said.

She also believes 2010 will be “a wild and wacky year in terms of trying to size the industry. … Another interesting point on assessing 2009 is that because the year began with so much inventory – with just a bit remaining going into 2010 – installations as opposed to lagging sales in 2009 are probably going to be stronger than sales, and that may be confusing.”

For 2009, Mints expects revenue to be approximately $10 billion to $11 billion, for technology to the first point of sale (not resales) down by $20 billion from 2008. She projects $15 billion in revenue for 2010.

In terms of recovery, Gartner believes on a gigawatt basis, there will be growth from the earlier peak in 2008, but the same is not the case for revenue. Full recovery won’t happen there until 2012, Hines remarked.

“Between now and then, we’re going to have a market that has two faces to it. One is we’re going to get back to some fairly robust growth numbers, especially as we head into 2011 and 2012 in revenue terms. But at the same time, it’s going to be a market in which the total opportunity until 2012, is less than what it had been in its previous peak and therefore there will be margin pressure throughout the supply chain and the shakeout that’s been expected for several years is going to happen, and is already starting to happen,” Hines said.

The shakeout will begin to pick up steam in terms of M&A (merger and acquisition) activity with some start-up companies not making it in 2010 and 2011, while other suppliers show success during this period, and still others are either absorbed or go by the wayside, Hines said. “The large players with low cost structures – in particular – the ones that have managed their cash well are in a position to survive and even benefit from the opportunities created by these changing market conditions,” he added, pointing to Suntech Power and Yingli – both in China – as strong contenders, along with Sharp.

Overall, Wicht believes the market is doing better. “What we see from a supply/demand perspective is that the gap between module supply and installation is not getting bigger. From that point of view, we see that the oversupply of modules has peaked already. There is still a huge oversupply and there is a lot of capacity coming online in [2010] but the price collapse we have seen [in 2009] … will be smaller.”

Interesting to watch for in 2010 is whether or not any large semiconductor companies will invest in the solar industry. Indeed, TSMC recently confirmed it will invest approximately $193 million (NT$6.2 billion) in solar cell manufacturer Motech Industries Inc as the foundry expands operations in the solar arena.

Companies including Samsung, LG, and some Japanese vendors are also said to be looking closely at the solar market opportunity. Gartner estimates the total available market for semiconductor vendors in the PV space to be approximately $2 billion in 2013 for solar-related applications, most of which would be invertors and power optimization devices.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bill Gates, energy and joeseph Romm

Global Warming
Monday, Mar 9, 2009 04:55 EDT
The heat is on Bill Gates

By Joseph Romm

"A big challenge in achieving this goal [of tripling incomes] is that climate change will be making weather conditions more extreme -- triggering both droughts and floods -- in the tropical areas where most of the poor live. The negative effects will fall almost entirely on the poor, even though they did not cause the problem. I hope that the increased public interest in reducing climate change will also increase the political will to provide aid that will help the poor mitigate its negative effects. It is interesting how often the impact of climate change is illustrated by talking about the problems the polar bears will face rather than the much greater number of poor people who will die unless significant investments are made to help them."

If they haven't already, they should read "Design to Win: Philanthropy's Role in the Fight Against Global Warming," funded by six foundations whose work was overseen by leading scientists and energy technologists. The report details clean energy strategies for China and India, and how to implement market-based solutions to preserve tropical forests in Africa, Asia and South America.

Since the Gates Foundation has seen the benefits of making U.S. investments in education, the options for action are almost limitless. One leading foundation, which works in the area of international development, on issues similar to those of the Gates Foundation, is contemplating a major effort to help develop a consensus-based process to speed the transition to a smart green grid in the United States.

Gates does not have to enter the messy political realm to make a major contribution. As a technology junkie who has built his foundation around technological fixes, he could champion transformational clean technologies, like concentrated solar thermal power (CSP), what I have called the "technology that will save humanity." A small piece of the north African desert could provide that continent (and Europe) with all of its electricity, sustainably, forever. Indeed, one of the big advantages of CSP is that it operates best in deserts. Employed near coasts, CSP can simultaneously provide clean power and desalinated water, another critical component for developing countries in a climate-changing world.

Even devoting a mere 15 percent of his current grant-making to clean energy strategies, a $500 million annual investment, would make Gates the leading grant-maker in this area. His leadership would focus the global climate effort on sustainable development for the poorest. And it would underscore the commitment that he and his wife have to spend out all the foundation's money by 2100. Which is just when the world's poor will need it most if we don't act now to preserve a livable climate.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chinese Solar Giants will steal our chance to build solar

When will South Carolina get in the game, yesterday I read of a 200,000 sq ft distribution center for Chinese panels and a solar center showcasing said panels when we NEED a SC based manufacturer to create jobs and compete. Solar is hi-tech and less labor intensive we can compete with anyone given the right tools. Let's wake the sleeping giant, US manufacturing today in SC!

Financial Crisis Paves the Way for Chinese Solar Giants - Renewable Energy World

Monday, February 8, 2010

she was my good girl

I buried my beagle today, she was 14. Molly had been sick since December and I knew she was dying but selfishly I let the vet try one drug after another as she slipped away. Molly was a malnourished little pound puppy when I got her. Sweetest little thing you ever saw. She (or I) over compensated for her poor beginnings and she never had a lean day in her adult life. (she lost weight this last two months and I knew in my heart she was getting ready to chase squirrels again.) She didn't wag her tail when she went which I needed but I know she feels better now, I buried her in a blanket with her head propped up and her paws crossed like she always did whenshe was basking in the sun. Molly was the kind of good who would put her wet nose on you when you were troubled to say," pet me, I know you'll feel better...and you would. My winter has been surrounded by death, my life is full of so many blessings that I feel selfish asking but please give me a little respite this week, just a little. This post is for my Molly, she was my good girl.