100 GWof Solar PV Now Installe Worldwide
According to preliminary numbers from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), cumulative global installed solar PV capacity has topped the 100-gigawatt (GW) milestone. There’s another important milestone in the EPIA’s report of solar PV. Countries outside of Europe connected 13 GW, up from 8 GW in 2011 and just 3 GW in 2010. Thirteen nations are already in the gigawatt-club of cumulative solar installations: Germany, Italy, the U.S., China, Japan, Spain, France, Belgium, Australia, the Czech Republic, the U.K., Greece, and India.
GE Grabs Wind Installation Crown from Vestas
Preliminary rankings of global wind installation capacity show longtime market leader, Vestas looking up at someone else. GE’s success can be accredited almost entirely to the booming US wind market, where roughly 13 gigawatts was installed in 2012 in the midst of a mad rush to get wind projects completed ahead of the expiring production tax credit. Almost three-quarters of GE’s 2012 capacity were domestic installations. And these local installs are what boosted GE over its more international competitors.
A Cooler Way to Protect Silicon
A team of MIT researchers has found a way to passivate silicon at room temperature, which could be a blessing to solar-cell production and other silicon-based technologies. The research, by graduate student Rong Yang and engineering professors Karen Gleason and Tonio Buonassisi, was recently published. Typically, silicon surfaces are passivated with a coating of silicon nitride, which requires heating a device to 400 degrees Celsius. By contrast, the process Gleason’s team uses decomposes organic vapors over wires heated to 300 C, but the silicon itself never goes above room temperature. The energy used in manufacturing silicon solar cells is a critical because these lower temperatures could significantly reduce manufacturing costs.
China’s Hainan Province Ponders on Electric Vehicles Demonstration Project
Industry experts were all optimistic concerning the future of Hainan province’s electric vehicles market. Experts pointed out the challenges and opportunities of making the province an electric vehicle demonstration island, and said further research together with favorable government policies is necessary. The ambitious 10,000-vehicle goal is half the number of new energy vehicles on all of China’s roads today, and is quite likely to make Hainan hold highest density of such vehicles.