Solar Frontier Sets Another Record for PV Efficiency
In a joint research effort with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Solar Frontier announced that it has achieved a new record of 20.9 percent conversion efficiency on a 0.5 cm2 CIS solar cell. This is a new world record for thin film PV technology, beating the 20.8 percent cell efficiency record for all thin-film PV technologies, set by Avancis last February. The highly respected Fraunhofer Institute has verified the claim.
Kior Rides on a $25 Million Khosla Financing Deal
Kior Inc., the owner of the first commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant in the U.S., surged the most in six months after billionaire backer Vinod Khosla agreed to put in as much as $25 million in financing. The company gained 46 percent to 84 cents at the close in New York, the most since September 26. Kior, which makes transportation fuels from wood waste and non-food crops, initially received $100 million from Khosla Ventures LLC and Gates Ventures LLC last October to expand production. The additional $25 million should help the Texas-based biofuel producer to fund its operations through August.
India to Award 1 GW of solar Permit by Next Year
India is planning on awarding licenses for an additional 1 GW of solar power plants by 2015, about 30 more than originally targeted and equivalent to about half the capacity built so far. Photovoltaic technology projects, which use panels to convert sunlight directly into electricity, have benefited from more than 60 percent decline in equipment costs since 2010. The government, however, is scaling back on solar-thermal, a technology that uses mirrors to focus sunlight to produce steam for conventional turbines.
Ocean Power Cancels U.S. Project, Shifts to Australia
Ocean Power Technologies Inc., a developer of wave-energy systems, canceled a project off the U.S. West Coast while moving forward with an initiative in Australia. Ocean Power and the U.S. Enery Department ended an agreement to deploy one of its PowerBouys off the coast of Oregon due to insufficient financing. The company also said that it received a $4.6 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency for a wave-power project off the coast of Victoria, Australia. Ocean Power’s PowerBouys move up and down with the waves, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy that is sent to on-shore grids through underwater cables.
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