According to a new report by CPV Today more than 70 MW of new project announcements scheduled for 2010 signal Concentrated Photovoltaics' return to form. Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) has long been touted as the next level in the evolution of solar photovoltaics technology. Thanks to its unique combination of high efficiency cells optic elements and precise tracking CPV is able to produce more energy at a lower cost. That at least is the theory. A vicious cycle In actual fact the transition from the lab to the field has been more challenging for CPV than many anticipated. In an industry survey carried by CPV Today CPV executives expressed that lack of track record remains the main challenge to the development of the CPV industry. The fact that none of the currently functioning high CPV installations has been on the ground for more than five years is a major issue when it comes to obtaining financing for new projects. The problem is double fold lacking the assurance of having long term CPV plants on the ground financiers are likely to increase premium risks for these projects. This in turn threatens to push CPV cost upwards making it less cost competitive than alternative technologies such as silicon PV. This vicious cycle hampers the deployment of new CPV plants thus preventing the industry from establishing a much needed track record. Establishing a track record It is no surprise that the fledgling CPV industry found it hard to obtain financing in 2008 and 2009 the years that witnessed some of the most challenging economic conditions since the 1930s. Now with the worse of the financial crisis over a number of CPV firms are making the leap into commercialization by singing contracts for multi-MW CPV projects all over the world. In the USA Concentrix Solar and Solfocus announced projects for 1 MW each in Questa (New Mexico) and Victorville (California) respectively.
In Portugal Opel announced a 1 MW installation to be sited in Alqueva. The most substantial announcement comes from Taiwan where Guascor FotÃ³n and Ya-Fei Green Energy intend to install 59 MW making it the largest CPV installation in the world by far. These projects will help the industry by adding to a history of successful CPV installations. By itself this should ease investors concerns about the unknown risks associated with this technology and make it easier for CPV companies to obtain financing. # # # # Check out the Concentrated Photovoltaics Industry Report for more details about CPV projects current costs and more strategic information on the Concentrated Photovoltaics Industry.
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