Japan: government approves 19 GW in non-residential PV

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that between 6.9 GW and 9.4 GW of capacity will be added to the grid in the country in the calendar year 2013. Looking towards monthly applications for approvals under the FIT scheme, the effect of the reduction in the FIT rate, scheduled for installations approved after March 2013, is evident. Applications for non-residential photovoltaic installations totaled 7.669 GW in March, compared to 5.263 GW in February and 1.892 GW in January. Applications approved from April 1 receive 37.8 yen/kWh (USD$0.39/kWh). Indicating that some projects may have been approved however construction and installation delayed, METI issued a statement saying that projects will be investigated. Projects require both METI and local utility approval. One delay of possible delays that could halt installations are grid challenges facing the island of Hokkaido.
I noticed this particularly interesting excellent news report located on http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/japan–government-approves-19-gw-in-non-residential-pv_100012441/

Not All Solar Materials Are From China: Photovoltaic Backsheets By FLEXcon

SHANGHAI, Aug. 21 (SMM) – China Releases 1st List of Distributed Photovoltaic Power Generation Demonstration Districts Chinas National Energy Administration released the 1st list of distributed photovoltaic power generation demonstration districts, involving 18 projects in 5 cities of 7 provinces. Shaanxis Fengxiang County Enhances Environmental Supervision over Heavy Metal Enterprises The government of Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, is enhancing environmental supervision over heavy metal enterprises amid growing concerns over heavy metal pollution. China Exports Photovoltaic Products to Emerging Countries against Sluggish European and US Markets Chinas photovoltaic product exports to Japan hit USD 1.29 billion during the first half of the year, roughly 4 fold over the same period last year. However, the surge in exports was not the result of robust demand from emerging markets, but because Chinese producers were forced to export to countries other than Europe and the US where demand was sluggish, said Ren Haoning, researcher at CIConsulting. None of this material may be used for any commercial or public use in any forms or means, without the prior written consent of SMM. For news cooperation issue, please contact us by email: smmweekly@smm.cn Copyright SMM. All Rights Reserved Other Copper News
Initially located at: http://www.metal.com/newscontent/52284_china-releases-1st-list-of-distributed-photovoltaic-power-generation-demonstration-districts

China Releases 1st List of Distributed Photovoltaic Power Generation Demonstration Districts

Made in the USA certainly does not seem synonymous with solar power these days. And yet the Solar Energy Industries Association states that 29,000 jobs are employed in solar manufacturing across 650 sites. Some of these jobs are in module facilities, such as Sunivas recently announced expansion in Norcross Georgia , or SolarWorlds production facility in Oregon (the largest in the U.S.) . Other companies contribute to the manufacturing effort as well, making additional components for the industry. FLEXcon is one such company that toils quietly in the background, on the backside of the industry, if you will. Their experience in making module backsheets is a lesson in adaptation and survival in a cutthroat industry, and provides some hope for the future of American manufacturing. In photovoltaics, most people think about the top of the solar panel where the crystal silicon meets the sun. But the underside of the panel, the backsheet, is critical as well. Michelle Lamontagne, Director of Photovoltaic and Barrier at FLEXcon provided me with an education on backsheets, and their importance in the overall scheme of things. The backsheet gets the dirty but highly important job of protecting the working components of the module from the weather and serving as an electrical insulator for periods in excess of 25 years. There can be no degradation, delamination, or leakage of power. Its a critical component. If you look at cost structure, backsheets are one of the least expensive components, yet they have one of the larger responsibilities as far as functionality and protection. says Lamontagne. As with all of the other elements of solar panels which have fallen in price by as much as two-thirds since 2011 backsheets have been subjected to extreme pricing pressures. Lamontagne comments You have to balance the expected performance and the cost structure. The backsheet is about 3-5 percent of total panel costs, and costs have fallen just in the past year, in part because other alternate materials have become available and because of price pressures. They are about 50-75 percent lower than when we historically started manufacturing over ten years ago. According to Lamontagne, there are only a half-dozen or so major backsheet suppliers globally. FLEXcon, which is based in Spencer, Massachusetts, is one of them. The privately held company has a global reach and about a million square feet of manufacturing capability across five facilities in the U.S.
Acquired from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2013/08/19/not-all-solar-materials-are-from-china-photovoltaic-backsheets-by-flexcon/

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