PV Intelligence Brief 14 – 27 March 2012

DuPont and Trina Solar sign deal Companies mentioned: DuPont, Changzhou Trina Solar, EUPD Research, United States Hoerner Research and Consulting Corporation (HRCC), Innotech Solar, Jendra Power and Energie Wasser Bern, Stion, and AVACO

PV Intelligence Brief 14 – 27 March 2012

DuPont and Trina Solar sign deal

DuPont has signed two strategic cooperation agreements with Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trina Solar), that will entail the supply of DuPont Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride films and technology collaboration, including collaborative efforts involving DuPont Solamet  photovoltaic metallizations and other key materials.

The companies will work together to advance the efficiency and lifetime of solar cells and modules, and lower the levelized cost of energy for PV. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Anticipated areas of technology collaboration for Trina and DuPont include higher efficiency cells and modules, customized Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes and other materials to help enable Trina’s technology platforms including its high-efficiency Honey Series modules, as well as innovative framing, backsheet and other components.

UK's DECC loses FiT appeal

The UK’s Supreme Court has marked an end to months of uncertainty for PV solar installers in the UK with a verdict that has rejected the UK government’s appeal to retain cuts to its previously proposed feed-in tariff scheme. The decision is final and the department will not be taking the appeal any further, it has been confirmed in news reports.

The ruling means that all systems installed between December 12, 2011 and March 3, 2012 will receive the original, higher feed-in tariff rates for 25 years. This will mean that more than 60,000 installs will be eligible for FiT rates up to £0.454/kWh.  

“For the first time in 4 months, the UK solar industry can look forward and plan for the future without this underlying uncertainty,” said Alan John, head of renewable energy at law firm Osborne Clarke. “In general, I think that most in the industry will want to put the last few damaging months behind them and get on with building their businesses.

“The relationship between the industry and DECC is crucial and both sides now need to focus on making that as constructive as possible,” he said.

John added that he believes the industry needs to continue to lobby hard for non-tariff related support from the government to promote the solar industry and embed the technology as a mainstream part of the UK’s energy mix.

Preliminary US counterveiling duties lower than expected

Preliminary counterveiling duties on Chinese solar manufacturers selling into the US market have been revealed as part of a study of state funded programmes. Provisionally, the counterveiling duties have fallen lower than expected to 5%, but the US reserves a final decision on anti-dumping allegations, which are expected to be decided in May of this year, according to an EuPD Research report.

Following the decision, the report said that Suntech Power will pay the least at 2.9%, Trina Solar, the most with 4.73%.All other companies will be charged 3.61%. The ministry will insist all importers pay compensation in this amount. The basis for this mark up, according to the ministry, is the government subsidies of more than $30bn that Chinese manufacturers including Suntech Power, Trina Solar and other companies have already received.

The Department of Commerce has however lifted tarriffs on all modules, laminates and panels that contain solar cells manufactured in China.Excluded from the compensation are also thin-film modules from amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS).

Daniela Schrieber, Executive VP of the US Hoerner Research and Consulting Corporation, said that because “the duties cannot be not levied and if the product is manufactured in China, but the cells derive from another country, we can assume that there will be increased imports of cells from Taiwan into China in the future. This is only one strategy to react on these challenges.”

Italy PV budget to boost regeneration areas

According to preliminary and prematurely leaked reports regarding Italy’s state solar budget, €10m will be earmarked for BIPV projects, €10m for CPV installations and €80m for PV plants.

The draft energy budget is set at €500m whereby all installations over 3kW would need to be registered with relevant authorities. There have also been reports that regeneration projects will be prioritised.

The new energy bill and budget it is expected to come into force in July 2012.