The US Solar Utility Market has been the preserve of the 2 largest US Solar Module Players Sunpower and First Solar.While other Solar Panel Makers have won small deals,these 2 companies have dominated the US Utility Market so far.Sunpower has been very successful in the commercial,municipal and utility segments winning a huge number of deals even as its residential dominance evaporated.The bigger Chinese solar producers like Trina,Yingli,Suntech had already taken over the residential market in California with their much cheaper prices.Now even the larger utility market is under threat from the low cost companies from Asia.Note upstream producers like LDK and GCL Poly are also targeting the system development market in US through acquisitions and alliances.The 250 MW Sempra Generation solar plant being built in Arizona will source Suntech modules and will be completed by 2013.This is a huge order win by Suntech which is the largest module producer in 2010 and could see other Chinese producers using this as a template to push out Sunpower and First Solar.
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.
India has a huge potential in Solar Energy Generation which is being strongly supported by the Federal Government under the JNNSM Scheme and by individual States like Gujarat and Rajasthan.Despite some initial hurdles,the long term growth story is strong leading to a rapid growth in the industry.Solar Power Companies in India are growing rapidly with [...]
Australia has shortlisted 8 projects with 4 Solar PV and 4 Solar Thermal Projects for its Solar Flagship Program which will be decided in 2011.BP Solar with 150 MW and Suntech/Infigen with 195 MW are on the shortlist.The other 2 companies are energy utilities which are proposing to use Cd-Te Panels ( I think from First Solar).Note both of these energy utilities are small and might face problems in fund raising and execution.The firms shortlisted for the Solar Thermal Projects don’t inspire much confidence either.The selection procedure and how the subsidy will be disbursed has ran into controversy with accusations of bias and partiality.WA has not gotten any projects while Queensland province has gotten most of the projects.The firms shortlisted have also come under fire as they don’t have much experience.Not much information on how the firms were shortlisted but these companies are definitely not the best or cheapest by a big margin.Australia has generally made a mess of promoting renewable energy with New South Wales cutting feed in tariffs sharply after giving an overly generous subsidy.The Solar Flagship Program looks like an expensive mistake in the making if it comes to fruition.
Solar Power in India is growing at a rapid clip with the strong government support through the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).Rapidly Falling Costs,Massive Power Deficits,Huge Growing Energy Demand and Peak Oil all make Solar Energy in India one of the biggest energy opportunities in the 21st Century.People are slowly recognizing this large Green Money Making Opportunity with companies like Suntech,Siemens and Trina Solar entering into partnership with local players.Suntech has tied up with independent power producer IPP while Siemens has tied up for solar thermal energy with the Adani Conglomerate.This is just the initial trickle with large foreign companies waiting to flood the Indian market.There have been some initial hiccups in Debt Financing of Solar Energy in India but I expect the long term secular growth story to be unaffected. Solar Power Companies in India can be divided into various categories based on solar equipment manufacturing,independent power producer,renewable arms of large power companies etc.I have already covered the Top 10 Solar Module Production Companies in my Solar Panels in India article.Here is the list once again.