Offshore Wind Energy is supposed to increase from around 3 GW today to 75 GW by 2020 as countries in Europe,Asia and North America heavily support this industry.Onshore wind energy growth on the other hand is expected to slow down as 38 GW of Wind Capacity were installed in 2010 with Western Markets showing a sharp slowdown.Note every industry sees costs declining with large capacity except the mature industries.For example Wind Energy has seen a 10% decline in costs for every 100% increase in installed capacity.Note offshore wind projects offer even more Wind Energy Advantages than normal Land Based Wind Farms.The only problem facing offshore wind power is high costs as the industry still is on the learning curve.PWC has come up with a survey where most of the participants say that it will take 10-15 years for offshore wind energy to reach grid parity.What this means is that Offshore Wind Energy Companies will continue to depend on government subsidies like higher electricity prices,tax breaks,low interest loans to survive.
European companies have largely been absent in the Indian solar energy scene except for Siemens,Areva which are moving aggressively in the whole green energy sector.Note US and Chinese companies have already established solid beacheads in the country.India’s solar energy sector is poised for exponential growth in the coming decade further boosted by JNNSM.European home markets are maturing for European companies and India is the rising star,so it is essential that the sales teams of the Europeans get in early.Schott Solar is one of the biggest manufacturer of solar panels in Germany.Though not big on the world stage,Schott Solar is present in large parts of the Solar PV and Solar Thermal Supply Chain.It recently established a JV with Chinese company Hareon and plans to build 700 MW of solar panel capacity in emerging markets around the world.It has won a contract to supply 20 MW of thin film modules to Indian Solar Company Premier Solar with 10 MW of supply in 2010 and 10 MW in 2011.Note Premier Solar is a small company and seems they are building the 20 MW for a state government and not under the JNNSM scheme.Note,Schott is not a big name in solar either and its thin film modules are certainly not famous either so makes a good combination.Solar Energy in India finally sees entry of European companies Abengoa and Schott
USA recently signed a Military Law which obliges the US Defense Forces to buy Solar Panels which are made in the USA.This “Buy American” proposal directly contradicts US actions and policy which advocates free trade in Green Energy.The US Steelworkers Trade Union recently filed a petition with the US Administration against subsidies being given to the Green Industry by China.US government officials also spoke against the “domestic content” requirements of the Indian Solar Subsidy Policy JNNSM.However when it comes to their own solar panel procurement,the US government has foolishly forced its military forces to buy USA made panels.Not that this will help in boosting the US industry too much,as a number of foreign solar panel producers like Solarworld,Suntech already have module making factories in the United States.Also it remains doubtful about how many solar panels the US Military will buy in the coming years.It will remain a fraction of the global solar demand.Instead of supporting US Solar companies like Evergreen Solar,Energy Conversion Devices which are fighting to survive,the administration has given billion dollar loans to a Spanish Solar Thermal Producer.
The Desertec Initiative is the Biggest Green Energy Project ever conceived with a vast scale and an ambitious vision.However Desertec falls short on many parameters which are described above for it to ever reach fruition.While small scale versions of this Concept can be implemented like that by Solar Millennium in Egypt,the massive energy framework conceived by Desertec is not feasible.The Huge Subsidies and High Costs make it uneconomical despite its Clean Energy Promise.
Although the global financial crisis has pushed governments to sharply cut aid to the renewable sector, it has had little effect on costs in the solar mirror power sector compared with the photovoltaic (PV) sector, which uses solar panels to generate power.
“We’ve see some reduction in prices, but nothing like in the PV sector. Costs per megawatt are between 4 and 5 million but they can reach up to six depending on the kind of power storage system you use,” Seage said.
Sector analysts put the average cost of CSP per megawatt at about 5 million euros before the global financial crisis, about six times more than for conventional gas-fired power generation.
The high cost of CSP makes it unlikely to be competitive with conventional energy until the next decade, and that also depends on reasonable charges for carbon dioxide emissions.
“We see CSP power becoming competitive between 2020 and 2030, depending on a country’s levels of radiation,” Seage said.
Spanish Government Facing a Tough Fiscal Situation;Plans Green Energy Subsidy Change The Spanish Government has been facing a tough budgetary situation due to sovereign debt problems afflicting Europe.The government is trying to structurally reform its Energy Sector to make it more competitive and dynamic.Spain has one of the largest Renewable Energy Capacities in the world […]