Solar Latest News Round-Up Issue 47

This issue covers:

UK solar offer: Save over £500 on the Seaward Solarlink™ Test Kit 

A sizzling hot summer offer is now available to customers in UK and Eire. For a limited period only, the Solarlink Test Kit is available for just £879, saving over £500 on list price.

The PV150 is the only all-in-one PV tester that can complete simple, fast and comprehensive PV testing in under one minute.Test open circuit voltage, short circuit current and insulation resistance simultaneously and store the results internally, at the touch of a button.

The Solarlink™ Test Kit combines the PV150 with a Solar Survey 200R to enable a seamless way of recording irradiance, PV module and ambient temperature measurements simultaneously to electrical tests being conducted by the PV150 tester.

In addition, the Solarlink™ Test Kit includes SolarCert Elements software so that customised test reports and certificates can be created, stored and compiled to create client handover packs. Offer is available to customers in UK and Eire only.

For full details and to find out what’s included in the kit click here.

First quarter UK solar PV boom

The UK solar industry connected 2.53GW of new solar capacity to the grid in the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest figures obtained by Solar Intelligence.

The large amount of new capacity completed in the first three months of the year almost eclipses what the industry managed to install in the whole of 2014 – itself a record-breaking year for UK PV deployment.

The data, reported on Solar Power Portal, has been obtained from combining the latest Ofgem data fields, new site accreditation registers and council planning databases with the extensive bank of in-house surveys and interviews carried out by Solar Media since the start of 2015.

The 2.53GW of new capacity means that the UK now has 8.16GW of solar capacity as of 31st March 2015. Full details here.

Report claims that contribution of US solar is under estimated

An industry report claims that US energy agencies are consistently underestimating the country’s solar PV production.

A report on the website says that although numbers from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and California Independent System Operator (CAISO) are helpful, both miss a huge portion of solar generation.

Solar electricity produced on the utility side (wholesale) of the meter is easily counted by these agencies. But they don't count distributed generation -- the smaller systems located on rooftops. The article claims that neither has much visibility on the generation coming from the nearly 700,000 customer-sited PV systems in the USA.

As a result, with the official sources missing a very significant part of the solar generation picture, it is claimed that the overall picture is seriously underquoted.

Customer-sited distributed PV now represents about 9.2 gigawatts-DC in the USA, or about 45 percent of total solar capacity, as shown in market data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research.

Greentech therefore estimates that actual solar production is 50% higher than the previous best estimates of solar production. In the 12 months ending in March, it is claimed that solar energy systems in the USA generated 30.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity. EIA’s utility-only estimate for the same period is 20.2 million megawatt-hours.

This means that solar power in the U.S. now supplies enough electricity to meet the yearly demand of Hawaii, Rhode Island, Alaska and Vermont combined.



Co-location of Australian solar PV and wind turbines?

China’s largest wind turbine manufacturer is exploring co-location of solar with its planned wind power operations in Australia.

Xinjiang Goldwind's Australian operation announced it was exploring co-location and shared infrastructure opportunities in the wake of Australia's revised clean energy targets.

In May, Australia finally confirmed its revised renewable energy target for 2020, reducing it from 41 TWh to 33 TWh and including natural forest waste wood as a clean energy but removing the uncertainty for developers, particularly with the decision to dispense with a mooted biennial review of the target.

In a statement, Goldwind said that there was potential for the co-location of solar and wind farms and sharing infrastructure and the combination was an interesting hybrid opportunity going forward.


Ambitious solar PV growth plans in India

The Indian Government has announced ambitious objectives for expanding solar PV energy output in the country.

The government plans to increase photovoltaic output by a factor of 30 by 2022, to a total of 100 gigawatts. As part of this expansion individual states have also adopted forward looking policies to help achieve this target.

For example, the state of Maharastra has recently committed to a new energy policy that by 2020, it will support the installation of an additional 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic power.

These policy announcements provide a backdrop for the Intersolar India 2015 exhibition taking place in Mumbai, later in the year.

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