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Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:56 AM

The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed

The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed
BY JEFF SPROSS ON AUGUST 9, 2013 AT 10:18 AM


This year’s second quarter saw a massive surge in solar panel shipments, with three of the four largest manufacturers outdoing projections by as much as 32 percent, Bloomberg reports. Much of that was due to rising demand in Asia, where China and Japan could soon make up half the global demand for solar — with China in particular planning to double its solar capacity to about 10 gigawatts this year, and increase it by five times by 2015. According to Stefan Linder, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), that swelling demand should soak up much of the oversupply solar manufacturers were recently struggling under. At the end of July, BNEF reported recovering solar stocks as well.

Solar’s prices may soon compete with those of traditional utilities without the aid of subsidies — something that Deustche Bank’s latest market research calls a “third growth phase.” That doubles down on a similar finding the Germany-based financing and banking giant put out earlier this year. Thanks to balancing levels of supply and demand in both China and the rest of the global market, the cost of solar modules is stabilizing at 60 to 70 cents per watt, while the cost of installation has reached $1 to $1.20 per watt. Put it all together and solar’s levelized cost — the overall price at which it can deliver electricity generation when accounting for all its lifecycle inputs — is between 10 and 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for large portions of the globe.

According to Deutsche Bank, that leaves solar power hitting grid parity in eleven major markets worldwide — Los Angeles, Hawaii, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Greece — meaning its levelized cost can compete unsubsidized with traditional sources of electricity. The report also sees the potential for solar to cross that threshold in 10 to 20 other markets within the next 3 years. As soon as 2014, according to Deutsche Bank, three-fourths of the global solar market could be “sustainable” — i.e. competitive without subsidies.

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On the research and development end, Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) is working on rooftop solar kits that can be assembled like an IKEA product and attached to a roof without drilling or infrastructure. A compact wireless system would then integrate with the local utility using a preset system. In essence: a user-friendly plug-and-play solar system that should escape the need for rooftop inspection or permitting processes. CSE just received $11.7 million from the Department of Energy to try to develop the system within 5 years.

Now, critics of government subsidies might...


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/09/2441061/how-asias-booming-market-heralds-a-worldwide-turnaround-for-solar/

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Reply The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed (Original post)
kristopher Aug 2013 OP
Rosa Luxemburg Aug 2013 #1
oldhippie Aug 2013 #2
kristopher Aug 2013 #3
oldhippie Aug 2013 #4
kristopher Aug 2013 #6
oldhippie Aug 2013 #8
kristopher Aug 2013 #9
NNadir Aug 2013 #5
kristopher Aug 2013 #7

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:09 AM

1. Good news

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:32 AM

2. That sounds interesting, but I have to wonder about .....

 

On the research and development end, Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) is working on rooftop solar kits that can be assembled like an IKEA product and attached to a roof without drilling or infrastructure. A compact wireless system would then integrate with the local utility using a preset system. In essence: a user-friendly plug-and-play solar system that should escape the need for rooftop inspection or permitting processes.


A kit that the homeowner can assemble on the roof? Without drilling or infrastructure? And without inspections or permits?

And a "compact wireless system" that integrates with the utility? Does that somehow include the electrical connection of power to/from the grid? Again, without inspections and permits?

It would be nice, but I'd like to hear a lot more about how that would work and how they get around the permitting and inspection processes.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:30 PM

3. Plug-And-Play Residential Solar In Five Years? (More from Forbes)

Plug-And-Play Residential Solar In Five Years? Fraunhofer USA And Partners Are Working To Make This A Reality

Imagine going into your Home Depot HD -1.34%, Lowes, local hardware store, or ordering online to pick out your solar system. It might have PV modules that are peel and stick. It might have really simple residential rooftop mounting technology. You go to the counter and have the option of having somebody come to install it for you in an afternoon – or doing it yourself. The Lego set of solar will be as easy as IKEA . You put the ladder up on the rooftop, line up the pieces, connect to the pre-packaged inverter, and plug into a PV-ready utility outlet. You type in a code, and the system searches for and connects to your utility – taking advantage of the recent revolution in smart microelectronic devices – notifying it that you now have a PV system installed. With a grant from the DOE SunShot Initiative, the Fraunhofer USA is striving to make that a reality within five years.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the newly renovated Boston location of Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. You may not have heard of Fraunhofer – it keeps a relatively low profile - but there is a good chance it has touched your life in one way or another. Fraunhofer was started in Germany after World War II, funded as part of the Marshall Plan for helping European industry get back on its feet. The idea was to provide independent third-party research and development capabilities to help companies do what they could not readily do themselves, and to share the fruits of those investigations where appropriate.

With more than eighty sites around the world, Fraunhofer is partially government funded, but mostly supported by its clients, and dedicated to “application oriented research.” Its website states “We shape technology. We design products.” And Fraunhofer does just that. In health, safety, transportation, communications, and other fields. Among other things, it has developed – and holds the patent for - MP3 music technology (I told you Fraunhofer has probably touched you).

Fraunhofer USA now has eight centers in the U.S., including a Center for Manufacturing Innovation, and two locations in Michigan that focus on coatings and laser technologies and applications. There is also a focus on energy. A new center in Storrs, Connecticut is dedicated to research on storage and fuel cells. The Boston-based Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, which includes a laboratory location in Albuquerque, focuses on solar, building energy technology, and distributed electrical energy systems, and is a prime example of how they use applied research to make energy technology better and cheaper.

Let’s start with the Boston building itself...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2013/08/07/plug-and-play-residential-solar-in-five-years-fraunhofer-usa-and-partners-are-working-to-make-this-a-reality/

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Response to kristopher (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:14 PM

4. I am good with all of that, and ...

 

... it sounds like a lot of good application development.

But, as above, I wonder about the part:

... connect to the pre-packaged inverter, and plug into a PV-ready utility outlet.


I can't imagine any National Electrical Code AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) allowing laymen to string conductors from the array to the inverter, and "plug into" whatever a "PV ready" utility outlet may be, without an electrical inspection. I think the homeowner's fire insurance company may also have some qualms about that.

Maybe someday all residences will have some approved backfeed device already integrated into the entrance panel or utility meter enclosure. The connectors may become standardized, like our appliances are. If the conductors (or cable) from the PV array is standardized, comes in a long enough length that it doesn't have to be modified, and is vastly over-engineered for safety, maybe it can get something like a UL approval and can be plugged into the receptacle in the entrance panel. That would be pretty neat and convenient. But the downside of that versatility and over-engineering would be decreased efficiency and increased cost. Many will think the benefits would outweigh the downsides.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye on this. If it actually happens it could be a real milestone.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:24 PM

6. You "can't imagine" anything good related to solar

That is your express purpose for being on this forum.

The article describes a legitimate technological research goal that is realistically within the reach of existing hardware limits. Since the goal is a system design that can form the template for national standards your criticisms are, as usual, inane negativists bullshit.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 04:12 PM

8. You "can't imagine" anyone .....

 

.... looking at renewable energy with other than religious fervor. The Church of the Renewables.

I had nothing against the technological research. It's not a technical problem. The problem I see is regulatory. And saying the goal is a system design that can form a national template is just that, a goal. I can have a goal of a national election system that is designed to only elect Democrats. Nice goal, but ain't gonna happen.

The goal here may be doable, but it isn't going to be any easier than trying to get any other building or construction code consistent across 50 states and even more jurisdictions. It's a good goal, and I hope they can do it, but 50 years of observation and experience tells me it's gonna be worth watching.

And does anyone else here think I am only on this forum to dis anything solar?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1127&pid=46765

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 04:46 PM

9. "looking at renewable energy with other than religious fervor. The Church of the Renewables"

Standard rightwing rhetoric.

A self professed solar lover that is on a mission to malign solar? Nah, not a freaking chance.
If anyone doubts your intent, all they need to do is google your screen name and read your 'contributions' to DU. To paraphrase the bible, by your words you shall be known.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:44 PM

5. Yeah. They're going to distribute huge amounts of intractable toxic elements all over the face...

...of the earth, fuck the atmosphere even more with crap like NF[sub]3[/sub], fail to address climate change, suck huge amounts of money from those who can least afford it, and receive mindless cheering from people who know no science.

Wonderful.

i note that after sixty years of insipid chanting about the potential of the solar industry, the entire production of the entire industry can't even keep up with the increases in energy demand, never mind displace dangerous fossil fuels.

The use of dangerous fossil fuels is at the highest level ever observed, as is rate of the degradation of the atmosphere. If one monitors the Mauna Loa, one can easily see that 2013 may well prove to be the first year in which the increases in carbon dioxide over the previous year exceed 3.0 ppm in a single year. I note that 2013 will push 2012 into third place, after 1998, 1998 being the year when that total ass Joe Romm - another clueless avatar of the "solar will save us" money sucking scam - was running the climate office.

I'd like to congratulate the toxic unsustainable solar industry in actually out doing Bernie Madoff in running a Ponzi scheme. Bernie, afterall, only managed to skim 60 billion bucks, small change when compared to the "solar will save us" scam.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:27 PM

7. Yeah yeah yeah...

The nuclear fan club's #1 cheerleader doesn't like solar or wind.

Surprise.

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