Suniva is the only crystalline solar Solar Companies in the US which has been able to survive and thrive in recent times.Sunpower too has resurrected itself through strategic JVs and acquisitions.The main reason for the decline of the US solar companies has been the severe competition from the low cost Chinese Solar Industry.This has made companies like Energy Conversion Devices and Evergreen Solar shut down US factories and look towards Mexico and China to build low cost factories.However Suniva has managed to face all these competitive threats quite successfully and is looking to expand capacity in the US by building a 400 MW factory.The company even refused a DOE Loan Guarantee saying that the terms were too onerous.The company has manged to raise more then $130 million in equity and has won contracts to supply high efficiency solar cells to the Asian companies which is a first.Suniva differentiates itself through its technology which allows the production of high efficiency monocrystalline solar cells at lower cost.Note Sunpower makes the highest efficiency cells in the world in the range of 22-24% but its cost structure is too high.Suniva is looking to challenge the Taiwanese Cell Producers by marrying higher efficiency with lower cost.
Solar Lamps or Solar Lanterns have seen astounding growth in India driven mainly by the lack of access to electricity and the high costs of Kerosene or gas lamps.Note Solar Lamps have been so successful in India mainly due to their economic utility rather than their Green Characteristics.Note 100,000 Indian villages do not yet have electricity which means that the productivity comes to a complete stop in the dark.Poor schoolchildren cannot study in the dark and people cannot work in the night either.Note Kerosene a dirty oil refined product is the main source of energy for millions of Indian citizens.Kerosene is a health hazard resulting in accidental fires and causing a lot of smoke which can lead to various respiratory diseases.Note Kerosene is subsidized by the Indian government and distributed through the Public Distribution System (PDS) which is a massively corrupt and inefficient system.The Kerosene is given in limited quantities and is not sufficient to Light the Darkness for a month or more.The advent of Solar LED Lamps has been a godsend solution to this problem.
Solar Power Plants till a couple of years were quite small compared to the mainstream energy power plants.Most power plants were in the double digit range with no Solar Farms having the capacity of 100 MW or greater.This is in reference to PV Solar Power Plants and not to Solar Thermal Plants which are bigger in size.Note Solar Thermal Plants by the very nature of technology require larger sizes to be economical just like Thermal or Nuclear Power Plants.On the other hand PV Power Plants do not gain much in economies of scale and government prefer giving subsidies to distributed rooftop solar installations rather than large solar farms.
Solar Industry is a fast growing exciting industry with its inevitable growth pangs as well.The first phase of India’s Federal Policy has seen many hurdles and its success is in doubt,on the other hand Gujarat has managed to attract investment and power plants through a forward looking subsidy.States like Uttar Pradesh,Delhi,Maharashtra are also tentatively coming up with their own incentive policies.The Industry will see many ups and downs before it becomes a major billion dollar industry.Note Solar Power Industry has become the fastest growing in USA where it doubled last year and looks set to double this year again.The Nuclear Accident in Japan has given fresh energy to Solar Power with China set to double its target to 10 GW by 2015.
India’s Green Companies are seeing tremendous growth backed by the nation’s massive energy demand increase.The 8% Plus Economic Growth coupled with the already massive electricity deficit which makes brownouts of 8 hours a day normal in many places in the country provides the macro background underpinning the growth.India’s Green Industry is still in a nascent state compared to the massive solar and wind industries in countries like China and Germany.However attracted by the massive potential a number of companies small and large have entered the fray.Most of India’s large energy groups,utilities have already established a small presence or are in process of doing so.While Wind Energy is the largest Renewable Energy Industry in India after HydroElectricity,Geothermal Energy is non-existent without a single large commercial plant.Biomass Energy is quite well developed and Solar Energy is the fastest growing Green Industry.Here is a comprehensive list of the Green Companies in India operating in the different Alternative Energy Sectors.
CPV companies have recently started winning some utility scale power plant projects in recent times with Amonix wining a deal to supply 30 MW for a project being built for Xcel Energy.Now speciality wafer French company Soitec subsidiary Concentrix has won a massive 150 MW solar plant order from Tenaska Solar Ventures to produce 150 MW which will be supplied to Californian utility San Diego Gas & Electric under a PPA signed earlier.Note California has a RPS to generate 33% of its electricity from Renewable Energy Sources.Soitec will also build a new factory in the San Diego region to manufacture its proprietary CPV modules with 200 MW capacity.Note this will be the largest CPV plant in the world when built by 2015 much bigger than any CPV plant on the drawing board right now.This also pushes Soitec ahead of the other US CPV companies like Amonix,Solfocus