NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 5: PV DEMAND LEVELING OUT; FEDS BACK ENERGY STORAGE; BLDG-VEHICLE ENERGY SHARING OPPORTUNITY BEGINS

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    Wednesday, December 05, 2012

    QUICK NEWS, December 5: PV DEMAND LEVELING OUT; FEDS BACK ENERGY STORAGE; BLDG-VEHICLE ENERGY SHARING OPPORTUNITY BEGINS

    PV DEMAND LEVELING OUT PV demand in 2012 below 30GW? A sobering tonic as the industry goes to rehab

    Finlay Colville, 30 November 2012 (PVTech)

    “…2012 will definitely be remembered as…a year in which forecasts and guidance were rarely achieved…[and] being able to report ‘less amount of losses’ quarter on quarter was marketed as a success…[But] failure to hit the PV manufacturers’ demand ‘consensus’ from mid-year could…sober up the industry…2013-2014 would then be the rehabilitation phase (operating margin break-even) and 2015 the start of prolonged good health (profit-making)…

    “Typically, the PV industry started each calendar year with a general ‘consensus’ on annual PV demand. Historically, these levels erred heavily on the side of caution, with PV manufacturers not wishing to over commit…[W]hat transpired over the past few years in the PV industry was that final annual PV demand figures greatly exceeded the industry consensus reached during the first half of each calendar year. And more often than not, the catalyst for this was an eleventh-hour downstream installation frenzy ahead of a 31 December European policy level reset…”

    “By the middle of 2012, most manufacturers had settled on a figure of 30GW when pushed on annual PV demand. In private however, strong confidence did exist…[that] 2012 would follow trends of the previous years…[M]anufacturing largely proceeded…with inventory levels building up along the c-Si value-chain…But 2012 demand is somewhat different to previous years. First, most European countries have learned from previous year-end peaks and adjusted policies to curb these effects. And secondly, much of the mid-year optimism was based upon ambitious Q4 2012 demand targets in ‘new’ PV regions…[I]t is becoming more likely that the mid-year optimism is being replaced with the realisation that final year-end demand for 2012 will not follow the trends of previous years and will not provide a welcome upside boost…

    “The absence of a year-end surge in 2012…may finally provide the wake up call that puts an end to flooding the supply channels with product…[N]obody would advocate that the PV industry should revert to a ‘made-to-order’ production system…but the rehab process can only truly start when ASP stability has been achieved. And preventing oversupply is the single most important factor…”

    FEDS BACK ENERGY STORAGE DOE-Funded Energy-Storage Hub Will Develop Solutions For Intermittent Renewable Energy

    03 December 2012 (North American Windpower)

    “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded up to $120 million over five years to a multi-partner team led by Argonne National Laboratory to establish a new batteries and energy-storage hub that will help develop new technology to take greater advantage of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind energy and solar power…

    “…[The] Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the research and development of five DOE national laboratories, five universities and four private firms in an effort to achieve advances in battery performance…[It] will be located on the Argonne National Laboratory campus in suburban Chicago…”

    “Other national labs partnering with Argonne include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory…

    “University partners include Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, and the University of Michigan. Four industrial partners have also joined: Dow Chemical Co., Applied Materials Inc., Johnson Controls Inc. and Clean Energy Trust.”

    BLDG-VEHICLE ENERGY SHARING OPPORTUNITY BEGINS Vehicle to Building Technologies; Energy Storage, Backup Power, Peak Shaving, and Building Operations Cost Reductions: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2012 (Pike Research/Navigant)

    “In the coming decade, the energy stored in plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) batteries will increasingly be made available to commercial buildings with intelligent building energy management systems (BEMS) to proactively manage energy consumption and costs.

    “…[V]ehicle-to-building (V2B) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) [technologies] have the potential to provide storage capacity to benefit both vehicle and building owners by offsetting some of the higher cost of PEVs, lowering buildings’ energy costs, and providing reliable emergency backup services.”

    “…[P]ilot projects are now underway around the world to develop and test V2B technologies. The majority of these programs are part of larger projects that are testing microgrid and smart grid technologies. V2B is one element that is being integrated with renewable energy generation, smart buildings, smart EV charging, and in some cases, stationary backup storage…

    “…[T]he number of PEVs participating in the projects [is increasing but projects] are still at the scale of integrating hundreds, and not yet thousands of vehicles. Pike Research forecasts that annual investments in upgrades to vehicles and to buildings, which include power electronics, inverters, and power management software, will grow to more than $76 million worldwide by 2020…”

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