What are High Efficiency Cells High Efficiency Solar Cells are those Solar Cells whose average efficiency of converting solar energy into electricity is in general much higher than average by about 20-30%.Note common silicon solar cells have an average efficiency of between 17-19% which means that if 1000 kwh of energy is shone on this […]
Solar Cells are the basic building blocks of solar panels which are used to generate electricity from the sun.Note Solar Cells are made from Solar Wafers which are composed of Polysilicon the same material which is used to make your Electronic Products like iPods.While most people will never encounter Solar Cells since they buy and see Solar Panels,some enthusiasts want to make their own DIY Solar Panels.While in my opinion DIY Solar Panels are a Scam for people who are trying to save money ,its nonetheless a good thing for students and adopters.Its gives you an idea about how solar energy is converted into electricity.Note making solar cells is almost impossible for the layman so building your own solar panels requires you to buy solar cells.Nowadays solar panel prices have crashed making it easier to buy cheap solar cells on the market.
Solar Thin Film Companies are coming under siege again due to the relentless fall in the prices of crystalline silicon panels in recent months of 2011.Note large number of thin film companies went bankrupt the last time polysilicon prices fell off a cliff in the post Lehman crisis period in 2008 end.Applied Material the biggest solar equipment company killed off its SunFab Division which has a large customer list.Applied Materials saw the writing on the wall and concentrated its efforts on crystalline silicon equipment buying HCT Shaping and Baccini to become a billion dollar supplier of solar equipment.A number of weaker hands in solar thin film went out of business.However the prodigious growth in solar demand in 2010 saw large investments being made again.The biggest failure (not complete yet) seems to be the DOE and Obama darling CIGs startup Solyndra which has already used up a billion dollars with nothing much to write home about .Now Republicans are investigating whether the more than $500 million US government loan was done improperly.Abound Solar a CdTe startup has also managed a $400 million loan and I doubt whether it will manage to ever pay off the loan given that the lowest cost manufacturer of solar panels First Solar itself is under pressure from sharp cost reduction by integrated solar panel companies like Trina Solar.
Australia has seen a big increase in solar panel installations due to generous subsidies given by individual states in Australia like New South Wales and others.Unlike other parts of the world where solar installations have started with large solar farms,residential rooftop installations have powered Solar Energy in Australia.The sharp growth in solar power has attracted most of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world like Suntech, Canadian, REC, Kyocera, Sharp, Sanyo, Yingli, Suntech, Trina Solar and others.The major Solar Panel Suppliers in Australia are foreign manufacturers as Australia does not have a local content policy to promote manufacturing of solar cells or solar panels.Only a few handful of companies have manufacturing operations in the country.Almost all of the solar panels sold in Australia are imported.
GoldPoly,SunOasis,China Technology Development Group Corplto invest $10 billion in European Solar Projects using Financing from China Development Bank and Merchants Bank.Note these 3 companies have integrated facilities from processing of polysilicon into wafers to making solar panels.Its the first time that 3 Chinese companies have combined to promote such a massive project.The 3 companies are not listed in the US stock or HK stock exchange unlike other major Chinese solar companies like Trina,GCL,Suntech,LDK and others.Note China Development Bank (CDB) which is owned by the Chinese government has already extended billions of dollars in credit to Chinese solar panel companies like JA Solar,LDK and others.
Solar Industry Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) have picked up pace in recent times with a number of companies in distress with supply exceeding demand as Italy suddenly changed its solar subsidy policy in April 2011.With high inventory levels and prices crashing only the biggest and best solar panel manufacturers are managing to thrive.Note the Solar PV Industry has not seen too much M&A unlike the Solar Thermal Industry which has always been a hot area for M&A activity as giant industrial groups like Siemens,Areva,Alstom and GE have bought startups to improve their technology offerings.With the Solar PV industry having crossed more than $50 billion mark in 2010,more and more MNC conglomerates have now starting buying solar companies at cheap valuations.Here is a list of the recent buyouts,stake buys and mergers in the Solar PV Industry that have taken place recently.