On August 1, 2011, the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced a national feed-in tariff (FiT) for solar PV. Although details are still being released, the plan looks like a serious first step toward unleashing significant demand for solar PV in China.
Italy has become the latest European country to introduce cuts to their solar photovoltaic (PV) energy subsidy. In a move that will certainly upset the industry and put its development in peril, the Italian government has recently made it official that the country’s feed-in tariff program will be subject to 18 to 20% cuts as of 2011, a figure that will be increased by 6% in each of the following two years. Hence Italy joins the long list of European Union (EU) Member States that in the last few months have seen their financial support to the solar industry reduced in the context of the austerity measures that are currently being pushed through.
Despite the fact that Germany has far fewer renewable energy resources than the U.S., Berlin is surging ahead of Washington in terms of green job creation. In just the last eight years, Germany has generated 300,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector (their fastest-growing in fact), while the U.S. has struggled to keep the renewable energy jobs it does have from being outsourced. Which begs the question: how did a country that has fewer sunny days per year than Seattle become such a clean energy powerhouse? In a word, policy.
The Spanish government has recently brought forward rather contradictory policy developments concerning renewable energy sources (RES). On the one hand, the Industry Ministry has presented the country’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan. It foresees that, by 2020, 22.7% of the country’s final energy consumption will come from renewable sources. This is great news, considering that Spain’s RES European Union (EU) target is 20%. On the other hand, the government announced soon after that it would introduce retroactive cuts in the feed-in tariff program for the photovoltaic (PV) industry in the context of the austerity measures the country is currently undergoing.
Earlier this month, I attended the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry, Intersolar Europe, which reflects the dynamic developments along the entire value added chain in the areas of photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal technology. Under the principle of connecting solar businesses, Intersolar brings together solar industry manufacturers, suppliers, institutes and associations, many of which use this time to discuss industry trends and challenges.
The Government of India had announced the launch of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and the first phase of the mission is under implementation. One of the key targets in the first phase is to have 1,000MW of grid connected photovoltaics (PV) by 2013.
Applied Materials chairman and CEO Mike Splinter met with the Honorable Claudio Scajola, Italian Minister of Economic Development, at the company’s research and development campus in California on Friday for a demonstration of the Applied SunFab panel, the world's largest and most powerful solar panel.