Category Power for the World

Early PV Markets and Solar Solutions in South Asia

Neville Williams

Founder, Solar Electric Light Company, Co-Founder, SELCO-INDIA,

Founder and Former Chairman, Standard Solar Inc., USA "True, they don’t have any electricity and solar could provide it," John Corsi, CEO of Solarex Corporation told me in 1990, "but they also don’t have any money." We were talking about the two billion people in the world without access to electric­ity. The head of America’s largest solar company, later absorbed into BP Solar, headquartered near my home in Maryland, expressed doubts about my idea of starting a non-profit organization to bring solar lighting to rural people in the developing world. This could be the world’s largest potential market for solar photovoltaics (PV), I told him.

He wished me luck, and said "At least your organization and our compan...

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A Sunny Future for Geneva

As the objectives of the "5 MW Solar" project had been more than met, SIG has adopted one even more ambitious goal: 8 MW of PV capacity by 2010 and 15 MW by 2015. The new objectives are supported by the following strategic initiatives:

• Promotion of voluntary incentives through "SIG Vitale",

• Participation in the Swiss federal "Feed-in Tariff" initiative,

• Support for local solar generation by fixing attractive tariffs (for the solar elec­tricity produced locally).

The Geneva Canton has the ambition to pursue these efforts even though they amount to a small impact on the planet. But they confirm Geneva’s leadership for solar development in Switzerland.

Подпись:Mr. Philippe Verburgh joined SIG (Geneva Industrial Services) in January 2001...

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The "5 MW Solar" Project and the "SIG Vitale Range&quot

Since 2004, SIG has embarked on the "5 MW Solar" project and committed itself to grow solar production in Geneva ten-fold within five years. This objective was already achieved after three years whilst most people had considered it unrealistic at the time it was started. SIG has set up a voluntary support policy with the products "Green SIG Vitale" and "Sun SIG Vitale". This pioneer initiative in Switzerland was followed by Zurich in 2006 and Bern in 2007.

As of end 2009, 15% of all power consumers in Geneva buy "green electricity" adding up to 180 million kWh annually; a part of it was produced from PV. The commitment of Geneva’s SIG was recognized internationally in 2008 when it was awarded the Prize from the Swiss Solar Agency.

Power for the World by W. Palz

Copyright © 2011 by Pan Stan...

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Solar Power in Geneva, Switzerland

Philippe Verburgh

SIG-GE, Switzerland

1. A First-Class Solar Potential

The Geneva region benefits from a substantial solar resources. A study con­ducted on behalf of the Geneva State Council found that all public buildings had a total roof area suitable for PV installations of 0.7 km2; it could produce 50 million kWh per year. If one adds all private, commercial and residential buildings in Geneva, one finds an outstanding solar resource in the State. The Geneva Industrial Services SIG develop this potential on behalf of the State Council and together with the Geneva people by means of an innovative and ambitious strategy.

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Terrestrial Photovoltaic Industry — The Beginning

Peter F. Varadi

P/V Enterprises, Inc. Chevy Chase, MD, USA

The successful utilization of Photovoltaic (PV) cells to supply the electric needs of satellites used for various purposes gave the idea and an assurance that PV could also be used successfully for large scale terrestrial applications. The obvious prob­lem was that at that time the price of PV cells made for the satellites was about $300/Wp.[155] By 1972, several of the US government organizations, which had needs for telecommunication in remote areas, decided to try to use PV systems to power those equipment. The two US manufacturers of solar cells and panels for space use, Heliotek (Spectrolab) and Centralab, both located in California, were contacted to supply PV cells connected in a module to provide 12 V dc power...

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Today, 25 years after our fledgling start as Eos, SunPower is a billion dollar com­pany with 5000 employees and a global presence. We are proud to be part of the dynamic PV industry that is helping the world wean itself off of fossil fuel. The next decades will see continued dramatic changes in our industry as we grow to become a major energy source. Some think PV is too expensive to be taken seriously. This is not the case. For example, SunPower, as well as our competitors, routinely bids large power plant projects that guarantee an electricity cost of less than the so-called market price referent in California, which is around 12 cents per kilowatt hour. Peaking power often costs utilities well in excess of this...

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One of SunPower’s largest customers was PowerLight. PowerLight had pio­neered a new way to install PV panels on flat commercial roofs that involved no roof penetrations. Prior to their invention, the common wisdom was that panels should be mounted on steel frames that tilted the panels south to receive the most sun. Installing the frames required many roof penetrations for anchoring, a tedious and time consuming task that was disliked by building owners due to the potential for roof leaks. Tom Dinwiddie, PowerLight’s founder, discovered a way to interlock panels that simply lay on the roof such that wind could not blow them off. This resulted in vastly reduced installation cost and time, and catapulted PowerLight to the PV largest installer in the world...

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Big changes were afoot in the PV business as the decade progressed. The market had grown dramatically in the latter half of the 1990s driven by the Japanese rooftop incentives. The mantel would soon pass to Germany, which passed a far reaching PV incentive program called the Renewable Energy Law in 2000. Companies were expanding production at a rapid pace to serve the new demand in Germany. In order to grow into a major manufacturer we would need more capital than Cypress could supply alone. It was time to look to the public markets. There had been very little investor interest in PV in the US, and only two solar initial public offerings (IPOs) in the last 20 years. The situation in Germany was better. A hand­ful PV companies had gone public on the German stock exchanges, starting with


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