Tag-Archive for » photovoltaic «

quarta-feira, janeiro 27th, 2010 | Author: admin

Germany announced on 20 January that it would cut its subsidies for solar power in line with the rapid take-up of the photovoltaic market. The news follows a similar announcement by France.
With around half of the world’s solar market, Germany is a clear leader in photovoltaic solar technology, but other European countries like Spain, Italy and France have in recent years made attempts to challenge this.

The Renewable Energy Directive set individual targets for EU member states in order to reach a collective 20% share of renewables in total energy consumption by 2020. Each country is free to choose which renewables it promotes.Among the most successful examples of government promotion of solar power are beneficial feed-in tariffs to electricity from renewable sources, which were first adopted in Germany and then followed by others. They aim to help technologies that are  not yet commercially viable to reach grid parity, the point at which they cost the same as fossil fuels.

German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen (CDU) announced that the government was proposing to cut feed-in tariffs for new roof-mounted solar power by 15% from April. Open-field sites and farmland installations would follow in July with 15% and 25% cuts respectively. People who mount solar panels on their rooftops and utilise the energy for personal use would, however, receive higher tariffs.
The environment minister said that the planned cuts were due to the success of the solar sector, which had led to over-subsidisation of the industry. The feed-in tariffs have come under pressure, as the price of solar panels has dropped by around a third due to oversupply in the past year.

But the solar industry warned that the cuts, which will come on top of annual reductions under the German Renewables Act, would lead to job losses. Moreover, concerns were raised about the wider paralysis of the global solar market, which is largely driven by Germany, by far the biggest market in the world.
The Federation of Renewable Energy (BEE) said that coupled with the standard reductions under the Renewables Act, these additional cuts would bring down subsidies by at least a third by early 2011.
“The proposed cut threatens the foundations of the German solar industry and the shift to an age of renewables. If the environment minister wants to implement his ambitious plans to base Germany’s energy supply almost entirely on renewable energy by 2050, he must provide for reliable subsidy conditions instead of spooking investors,” the BEE said in a statement.

France pricks a bubble

France also announced on 13 January that it would cut its feed-in tariffs for rooftop systems by 24%, from 55 euro cents to 42 euro cents per KWh. The move was part of a larger overhaul of renewable subsidies, which also saw adjustments to tariffs for geothermal and biomass plants.

The world’s highest tariff at 58 euro cents per KWh was reserved for panels integrated into residential buildings or hospitals and schools. Other constructions like offices and industrial sites would get lower tariffs: 50 cents for existing buildings and 42 cents for newly-built ones.

The government said the new tariffs “would apply only to new projects” and were aimed at pricking a “speculative bubble” that had been developing in the market since November 2009. Therefore, the government said it would not accept applications handed in by generators after 1 November if they had not already applied for a grid connection. They could reapply under the new tariff conditions.

Photovoltaic industry for sustainable tariffs

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) stressed that it would be important for both France and Germany to follow the evolution of market prices in their feed-in tariff systems.
“We are advocating the implementation of sustainable policy support schemes. That support should lead to an accelerated penetration of solar energy but avoid a market overheat and possible speculation,” said Adel El Gammal, secretary-general of EPIA.
He warned, however, that if feed-in tariff cuts were too high, this would have a detrimental impact on the industry. “It would for instance eliminate smaller actors too early, which in some cases would have innovative ideas,” he said.
“I believe that this reduction in France will allow sustainable development,” the EPIA chief argued. Moreover, he said the French move would encourage the development of integrated PV, which focuses on added value downstream and creates local jobs.
When setting the level of feed-in tariffs, all financial elements and the market structure need to be considered, El Gammal stressed. This includes looking at the amount of red tape, investment subsidies and tax rebates as well as the system price, he said.
All things considered, the attractiveness of investment in national markets should be high enough to allow rapid but sustainable growth but below levels that would create a speculative bubble, according to El Gammal.
“The range we would be looking for is that the attractiveness of PV investment is typically 6-10% for private investors and 8-12% for business investors,” he said.
EPIA hopes to see each member state’s support policy converge within these ranges. Although higher support at an early stage could create demand, feed-in tariffs would then be progressively adapted to sustainable levels, El Gammal said.

EurActiv

quinta-feira, março 05th, 2009 | Author: admin

Partindo do princípio de que, em uma hora, há mais energia solar incidindo sobre a Terra do que toda a energia consumida pelas diferentes formas de vida do planeta em um ano, o homem precisa, mais do que em qualquer outra época, encontrar melhores maneiras de captar, armazenar e usar esse grande potencial energético de forma rentável.
O raciocínio foi compartilhado pelo professor Ian Forbes, do Northumbria Photovoltaics Applications Centre da Universidade de Northumbria, no Reino Unido, com diversos especialistas em energias renováveis e mudanças climáticas presentes no segundo dia do Workshop on Physics and Chemistry of Climate Change and Entrepreneurship.
Em sua palestra durante o evento, realizado na sede da Fapesp, na capital paulista, Forbes abordou o potencial e os desafios para os próximos anos da pesquisa em energia solar fotovoltaica, que promove a conversão direta da luz do sol em eletricidade por meio da junção de semicondutores que absorvem a radiação.
O pesquisador destacou que o uso da energia fotovoltaica tem crescido rapidamente, impulsionado por diferentes mecanismos de suporte ao mercado, ainda que esse crescimento esteja muito abaixo do esperado. Apesar de a produção de energia elétrica em todo o mundo por meio de células fotovoltaicas ser de apenas 3 gigawatts em 2007, isso representou um aumento de 55% sobre a produção registrada no ano anterior.
“Calcula-se que todos os continentes tenham a capacidade de suprir uma demanda de aproximadamente 18 terawatts de eletricidade, e o Brasil está incluído nessa estimativa, com uma capacidade de 200 a 250 watts por metro quadrado, um potencial extremamente elevado”, apontou.
No Brasil e em outros países da América do Sul, onde os níveis de incidência solar são maiores do que nos países da Europa, são grandes as oportunidades no setor, por isso, o especialista sugeriu que a capacitação tecnológica e industrial em território nacional comece a ser desenvolvida imediatamente para não perdê-las de vista.
“O Brasil tem o dobro dos níveis de insolação da Alemanha, país que abriga o maior mercado no mundo desse tipo de energia por produzir mais de 40% de sua eletricidade a partir de fontes fotovoltaicas. Mas os principais desafios que ainda devem ser vencidos são a redução de custo da energia fotovoltaica e o aumento da eficiência dos materiais, visando à sustentabilidade a longo prazo”, disse Forbes.
A União Européia, que, segundo Forbes, abriga os países que mais dispensam esforços nessa área em termos de pesquisa e desenvolvimento, em um primeiro momento trabalhava com a meta de substituir 4% da eletricidade mundial pela energia fotovoltaica até 2030, mas agora os países do bloco econômico e político estão redefinindo essa previsão para atingir

novas metas até 2020. “Em congressos realizados na Europa, especialistas estimam que, até 2020, a energia solar fotovoltaica poderá suprir mais de 90% da demanda por electricidade no continente”, disse. E uma demanda de pelo menos 12%, calcula, seria suprida de imediato com as tecnologias disponíveis atualmente, como os painéis para a captação de energia solar feitos com células de silício cristalino.
Após apresentar parte de seus estudos com dispositivos fotovoltaicos que utilizam filmes ultrafinos, produzidos a partir de materiais a base de elementos como cobre, índio e selênio, o professor da Universidade de Northumbria citou a agenda estratégica elaborada pela União Européia, intitulada “A strategic research agenda for photovoltaic solar energy technology”.
“Esse documento faz o delineamento de tecnologias fotovoltaicas disponíveis atualmente na Europa e propõe caminhos para novos desenvolvimentos nos próximos anos”, explicou. “As tecnologias solares fotovoltaicas estão inseridas em um mercado multimilionário das energias renováveis e, para que seus potenciais benefícios não sejam deixados de lado, esse é o momento dos países se prepararem para participar desse mercado no futuro”, disse.

O Workshop on Physics and Chemistry of Climate Change and Entrepreneurship, que integrou as atividades da Parceria Brasil-Reino Unido em Ciência e Inovação, foi promovido pela Fapesp em conjunto com o Institute of Physics (IOP) e com a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), como parte das atividades do Programa FAPESP de Pesquisa sobre Mudanças Climáticas Globais.

Thiago Romero - Agência Fapesp