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BP,Accionia and Suntech Fight for a Slice of the Controversial Australian $1.5 Billion Solar Flagship Subsidy Dollars

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BP,Suntech and Accionia have a good chance as the Field has mostly novices

British Petroleum (BP) and Suntech are fighting for a piece of the Australian $1.5 Billion Solar Subsidy Dollars to be given under the Solar Flagship Program.While Suntech has partnered with Australian Wind Energy Developer Infigen,BP is apparently going alone.BP was one of the biggest solar panel producers till a few years ago but it has become a sidekick in the solar sweepstakes these days.BP has closed numerous factories around the world as it has failed to keep up with low cost Asian competition.Nowadays it outsources most of its solar cell production to JA Solar a huge Chinese producer of crystalline solar cells.Note BP has a huge oil and gas presence in Australia and is looking to leverage local presence to build a$600 million solar project.Note BP is note  particularly known for its Green Credentials with the Gulf Oil Spill being one of the biggest environmental disasters in recent times.

Suntech has been bagging or in the process of bagging huge solar projects in countries like Thailand and South Africa which does not have a lot of competition.Suntech,the largest producer of solar panels in the world has seen its margins and profits erode due to cheaper competitor from  in Trina,Yingli,JA Solar and others.Lack of vertical integration has made Suntech loses its sheen as other Chinese companies quickly catch upto Suntech.Large projects in Suntech will help it regain some of the lost ground.

Accionia the Spanish Renewable Energy Giant has the most experience amongst the contenders in the Solar Thermal Category.The other players have zero experience in constructing this complex piece of technology and would have a good chance here.

Australia’s targets 1000 MW with $1.5 Billion Controversial Solar Flagship Program

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 Flagship shortlist comes up short – Herald Sun

It’s not that the Solar Flagship concept is wrong. It’s just that the companies that have been selected for the shortlist are second-tier, or worse, in terms of global solar energy.

Instead, Ferguson’s department once again has diverted funds to his favoured fossil fools and a gladbag of solar generation novices, when that assistance was supposedly earmarked for companies that already had commercial-scale solar electricity experience.

Wind Prospect CWP: The name of this British company says it all. 0/5.

Transfield: Wants to use taxpayer funds to convert an existing, small coal-fired power station in Queensland into a solar thermal plant in what is clearly an opportunistic grab for dumb people’s money in order to extract value from a polluting asset. It part-owns coal-fired power plant Loy Yang A. 0/5.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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