Applied Materials

Solar Industry Delivering on Economic Growth

Everyone in Washington is scrambling to understand how we jumpstart our economy and deliver long term economic growth – especially in the midst of rising oil prices which threaten our fragile economic recovery. One ray of sunshine – solar. Last week, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, the President of the Solar Industry Association, Rhone Resch, delivered some good news on solar’s role in spurring economic growth. The US solar industry grew from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $6.0 billion in 2010, a growth rate of 67%. Today, there are over 100,000 American citizens employed by the solar industry – the industry is a robust, fully functioning ecosystem.
Applied Materials

Italy Cuts Feed-in Tariff for Solar

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.
Applied Materials

Sunny with a Chance of Gigawatts

The recently posted 2010 predictions for solar market was a stimulus for reflections on local business opportunities. Being Italian, it comes natural to contribute to this blog with a discussion about the solar photovoltaic (PV) market in Italy and the innovation potential.Italy's goal is to have 3 gigawatts (GW) of PV by 2016. Today, Italy has 0.3 - 0.6 GW of solar PV installed (although statistics on installed capacity vary widely). According to Enel SpA, the cumulative PV capacity in Italy is 0.4 gigawatts peak (GWp), split 17% ground-connected (grid), 60% commercial rooftop and 23% residential rooftop.Financial analysts see the market growing to 0.6 - 1 GW in 2010. If the 1 GW in 2010 scenario comes true, then Italy will need to grow the PV installed capacity by 20% a year to reach the 2016 goal. GIFI Italia (Gruppo Imprese Fotovoltaiche Italiane) expects 1.3 GWp installed during 2016 alone for an overall cumulative capacity of 7.2 GWp. Is this growth feasible operationally, technologically or financially?