Monday, August 29, 2011

Bronte Capital

Bronte Capital

Note the second advert which gives retail prices. AUD1.40 per watt for monocrystalline, $1.30 per watt for polycyrstalline. German modules.

The blended price from the last Trina Solar conference call (presumably a wholesale price which is higher than a retail price) is $1.46 per watt. They told us that they had seen their prices stabilize.

Sorry. No dice. This gets worse. Much much worse.


Can't resist a follow up. Within two minutes of posting this the salesman who cold-called me trying to sell solar panels emailed a follow-up:

Just a quick note that the price of alex panel has been dropped to $1.30p/w (minimun purchase amount is 2 pallets).
The price of Ever-Solar inverter is also decreased:

Trina Solar was burning well over 100 million in cash per quarter whilst expanding its output. Discounting pressure is now increasing so it is going to get worse. Survival is not assured.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shock technology shift at huge California solar plant | SmartPlanet

Shock technology shift at huge California solar plant | SmartPlanet

It had planned to use solar thermal –also known as concentrated solar power (CSP) - at Blythe, using parabolic mirrors (pictured above) to focus the sun’s rays on the heating fluid. But it disclosed last week that its U.S. subsidiary, Solar Trust of America, will instead use solar PV panels for the first 500MW that it builds.

“At the moment, the U.S. market is clearly focused on peak load supply,” Solar Millennium CEO Christoph Wolff said in a press release. “Due to the drastic drop in PV prices, we agreed with the Californian utility to convert the power purchase agreements to PV. The simultaneous sudden price increases for raw materials and construction would have reduced our return on equity and risk provisioning for our construction share in the Blythe CSP project to marginal values.”

Wolff said that the company remains generally committed to solar thermal. “Our long-term strategy remains unchanged,” he said. “We see solid demand for CSP in the world’s growth markets such as Africa, the Middle East, India and China. This is also true for Southern Europe where we have just achieved financial close on our fourth CSP plant in Spain.”

He explained that CSP suits areas of the world that want solar power for base load electricity, in contrast to what he said is the peak load emphasis in the U.S.

“According to our understanding, the market differentiates between base load solar-thermal electricity generation or concentrated solar power on the one hand and photovoltaics for peak load demand on the other,” he said.

“Whereas the electricity from solar-thermal power plants was more economic only less than two years ago, this relation has changed completely due to the sharp drop in PV module prices, particularly from Asia. Due to its suitability for base load supply, many regions still attach great value to CSP in their energy mix, thus supporting the Solar Millennium Group’s growth opportunities.”

Last month, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that investments in CSP led a resurgence in global renewables investing, including at a California CSP plant separate from Solar Millennium’s. The German company’s switch to PV might suggest that such CSP investing in California could be under threat as PV prices come down.

The fall in PV prices is probably a factor in the 166% growth in U.S. PV installations forecasted last week by IHS iSuppli for 2011. IHS and Ernst & Young have separately predicted that prices will plummet to $1.00 per watts- by 2012 in the case of IHS, and 2013 for E&Y.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Arduino + ethernet shields: connecting to Pachube |

more on connecting arduino the parachube, Arduino + ethernet shields: connecting to Pachube |

Connecting Arduino to Pachube |

Arduino Your Environment: Determining your Dallas 1 wire address

Arduino Your Environment: Determining your Dallas 1 wire address

Determining your Dallas 1 wire address

1-Wire devices, such as the DS18B20 digital temperature sensor, are great to use with Arduino boards because you can connect many of them to a single IO pin. The freely available software libraries and example code make using 1-wire devices simple. There is only one problem we have seen with the examples on the web. If you have more than one device connected to a single pin, say an indoor temperature sensor, as well as an outdoor temperature sensor, how does your Arduino know which is which?

Build-It-Solar Blog: Low Energy and Unusual Ways to Keep Cool

Build-It-Solar Blog: Low Energy and Unusual Ways to Keep Cool: "Here are some low energy, low carbon, cheap, off the beaten path ways to keep cool in this hot summer... The Sleep Genie: This is an idea..."

Arduino Your Environment: Two DS18B20 Temp Sensors on LCD Display!

Arduino Your Environment: Two DS18B20 Temp Sensors on LCD Display!

Temperature sensors using the Dallas One Wire tech, useful info for the tinkerer in me!