Power Plants

February 4, 2010
After significant polysilicon and wafer price declines in 2009, MEMC executives have become more upbeat about demand and price stability entering the first quarter of 2010 and beyond. In a conference call to discuss fourth quarter results, the company noted that capacity utilization of silicon wafer production was at approximately 80%, with a demand recovery underway in the semiconductor industry, enabling a firming in prices to that sector. In solar, price declines were said to have moderated and the company was now shipping wafers to 10 of the top 25 PV manufacturers, compared to having made shipments to only 2 solar customers at the beginning of 2009.
February 1, 2010
The UK feed-in tariff rates have now been finalized, offering its residents a financial incentive for producing renewable energy. The government has confirmed the proposed rate, which will begin to take effect from April 1, 2010.
January 19, 2010
After a fair amount of digging and the much needed help of our German correspondent we can now confirm that the reports of a 16-17% cut in feed-in tariff rate for Germany were true, and the cuts are to go ahead from April 1, 2010. Click here to see the analyst's thoughts on these cuts.
December 16, 2009
Possibly the largest ever dichlorosilane (DCS) redistribution process (RDR) project has been successfully completed by Dynamic Engineering (DEI) for GCL Solar’s polysilicon plant. The RDR project for GCL was designed to process 10,000 mta of DCS, which eliminates the byproduct through conversion of DCS to trichlorosilane (TCS). GCL Solar is planning to expand polysilicon production to 18,000 MTA by end of 2009 and 21,000 MTA by end of 2010.
December 2, 2009
Organic photovoltaics developer Solarmer Energy has achieved the highest conversion efficiency recorded so far for a plastic OPV champion cell—7.9%. The aperture-area test results, recently certified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, represent an improvement over independent exams conducted a few months ago at Newport Corp.’s Technology and Application Center’s PV Lab, where cell efficiencies of 7.6% and module efficiencies of 3.9% were recorded.
September 28, 2009
Earlier this month, the two main bodies in the Italian renewable energy world, Gruppo Imprese Fotovoltaiche Italiane (GIFI), the Italian Photovoltaic Association, and Federazione Nazionale Imprese Elettrotecniche ed Elettroniche (ANIE), proposed a new set of Feed in Tariffs (FiT) for Italy, which are planned for 2011, according to a Barclays Solar report.
July 3, 2009
DuPont and the U.S. Department of Energy will collaborate in a $9 million solar research program to develop ultrathin moisure-barrier material solutions for flexible thin-film photovoltaics. Some $3 million of the funding for the three-year effort comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with DuPont contributing the remaining $6 million.
June 22, 2009
Taiwan based AU Optronics Corp is to make an initial US$125 million investment in Japanese polysilicon producer, M.Setek with the aim of gradually becoming the majority shareholder in the company as it makes a move to strengthen its position in the renewable energies market.

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