Solar Latest News Round-Up Issue 21

This issue covers:


European solar PV companies warn against Chinese trade tariffs

A total of 1,024 company representatives from the European photovoltaic industry have sent an open letter to European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, expressing their strong concerns about the potential outcome of the commission's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation against Chinese solar manufacturers.

Each signatory, who are European members of the solar PV value chain, expresses concern that the investigation could very significantly affect business levels and future growth.

The letter then goes on to highlight the negative effects of possible duties on the growth of solar energy in the European Union (EU), as well as on job creation in Europe. According to the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy, which opposes potential tariffs, the harm to the upstream and downstream suppliers - which account for 70% of the PV supply chain's value in the EU - would outweigh benefits to EU PV producers.

The signatories have called on the European Commission to refrain from imposing anti-dumping and/or countervailing duties and allow the EU PV chain to develop and grow. Representatives from familiar industry names, such as juwi, ReneSola, Enfinity, Danfoss and others, are among the signatories.

More at


Film shows fast and simple PV power analysis with new clamp meter

An informative short film highlights how a highly versatile new AC/DC clamp meter can be used for effective power measurement and diagnostic testing on solar PV systems.

Available here, the demo shows how the high performance Seaward Solar Power Clamp is used to measure DC and AC circuit power, in addition to true RMS voltage and current, harmonic distortion, power factor, resistance & continuity, diode check and capacitance.

The advanced new power meter has been specially designed for use by solar PV installers and technicians to measure the efficiency of PV systems, assess the performance of the inverter and carry out troubleshooting fault testing to ensure that system components are working properly.

For fast and simple power efficiency analysis, the Seaward Power Clamp simply clips over the cable to measure current from the inverter and the supplied in-line connectors can be used to measure the DC voltage whilst the PV modules are connected to the inverter, giving an accurate reading of the power whilst the system is operational.

The new Seaward Power Clamp also has full clamp on multimeter functions and is suitable for use on systems up to 600A AC or DC current and 1000V. The new unit is supplied with test leads and probes and comes in an all-inclusive test kit carrying case.


New homes solar PV first for Lancaster, California

The City Council of Lancaster, California has approved a new policy requiring newly built residential units to provide solar power - a first in the USA, according to the city.

The measure was incorporated as part of a comprehensive recent review of the city's residential zoning laws and passed at its March council meeting.

As a result of the decision, residential units built within Lancaster on or after January 1st, 2014, must provide an average of 1 kW of solar-generated electricity per housing unit.

Installation of solar energy systems is not required for all homes within a production subdivision, the city notes. However, the builder will still be required to meet the aggregate energy generation requirement within the subdivision.

"Lancaster is already strongly committed to furthering green energy and reducing our carbon footprint," said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. In fact we’ve been nationally and internationally recognized for our solar achievements. However, to truly establish ourselves as the 'Alternative Energy Capital of the World,' we must continue to take a progressive approach."


PV growth predicted for Japan

A new industry reports says that the Japanese photovoltaic market is set to grow by 120% this year, with more than 5 GW of new capacity expected.

IMS Research says that Japan benefits from the world's most attractive PV incentive policy and as a result its solar market is booming, with installations expected to exceed 1 GW in the first quarter alone, causing it to become the second largest market in 2013.

The report forecast installations to grow to 5 GW for the whole of 2013, enabling Japan to leapfrog ahead of Germany, Italy and the USA to become the world's second largest PV market.

The research found that domestic PV installations are proving to be a lifeline for struggling Japanese companies that are able to sell both modules and inverters at high margins, despite their competitiveness at an international level falling behind their overseas peers.

More details of the survey at


Improved figures for small scale UK installations

Signs of continuing recovery in the smaller-scale UK solar PV market were evident in the latest weekly installation figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

For the week ending 17th March, in the ‘less than 50kW’ category, installations were reported to have broken through the 2,000 a week number, with the 2,020 projects representing a 61% higher rate than the average weekly install figure for January.

The 2,020 installations represented 7.6MW of new solar capacity, a rise of 927kW from the previous week. However, the 4-10kW and 10-50kW bands continue to show stagnant growth, with install rates hovering around the 40s for both bands over the last month.

The UK's DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) has come under criticism from the solar industry for the automatic degression mechanism that automatically cuts support by 3.5% after three quarters regardless of the level of solar capacity installed.

In May, support for the 250kW-5MW sector will reduce from 7.1p/kWh to just 6.85p/kWh. DECC has also moved forward the reference date for the following quarter from 1 August to 1 July – meaning that the automatic 3.5% degression that would have taken place for all >50kW tariff bands will now occur one month faster than industry anticipated during its season of peak demand.

More at


Catch us at SNEC PV Power Expo 2013 - China

Seaward will be exhibiting at the SNEC PV Power Show on 14-16th May at Shanghai New International Expo Center, China.

Visit our joint stand with distributor Shanghai Beihan Electronics Co to get hands-on with the range.

For more information on the exhibition visit

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