QUICK NEWS, 6-30: A STUDY OF SUN; SMART METERS NOT SMART ENOUGH; TOYOTA’S PLUG-IN HYBRID EV; ADVANCE IN 2ND-GEN BIOFUELS
A STUDY OF SUN
Global Solar Energy Outlook; Solar Demand Dynamics, Cost Structures, Policy Factors, and Competitive Differentiators for Suppliers: Market Analysis and Forecasts
Dave Cavanaugh and Clint Wheelock, June 29, 2010 (Pike Research)
"…[S]tarting in about 4Q 2008, a scant six quarters ago, the solar industry abruptly moved from a supply-driven market to a demand-driven market, resulting in…Financial performance of world leaders in solar cell and module manufacturing plunged to devastating losses and low-cost manufacturing, while maintaining module efficiency defined new world leaders…[A] financial crisis second only to that of the Great Depression…Technologies…struggling to survive…and…Module average selling prices (ASPs) fell so fast that the road to grid parity was redefined…
"This report examines these events and defines…the key drivers…and the new solar market…[It] projects that the supply of solar modules will greatly exceed demand in 2010…Pike Research believes that the forecasted 8.2 gigawatts (GW) of unsold inventories in 2010 is unsustainable and will result in the consolidation of less competitive cell and module manufacturers."
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"Which companies will survive and lead…Which companies…are the most likely candidates for closure or acquisition…What are the…competitive capabilities…Which module technologies will grow…why are cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules leading the Market…?
"This report answers these questions…[and] Describes the market shift and the root causes…Forecasts demand of 10.1 GW…and projects that solar demand will grow to 19.3 GW by 2013…Forecasts a significant oversupply of solar modules reaching 18.3 GW under a most likely scenario in 2010 that will be produced by 193 cell and module manufacturers…Separates the large number of manufacturers into Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 categories…"
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"…[It projects] that the 11.8 GW of Tier 1 capacity alone could supply the entire solar market in 2010… Asserts that low cost per Watt ($/W), in combination with efficiency, is now the main competitive differentiator…Lists and details other competitive differentiators…Charts revenues, gross margins (GMs), silicon costs, non-silicon costs, and ASPs of Tier 1 companies…Reviews restructuring, emerging, and current low-cost Tier 2 companies likely to survive consolidation…And, finally, reviews Tier 3 companies…
"…[W]ith module ASPs falling to under $1.50/W by the end of 2010, according to Pike Research analysis, solar market growth is set to grow at a 24.5% CAGR from 2010 through 2013 to reach 19.3 GW…[I]f demand, particularly in the United States and China, is spurred by even lower module ASPs and higher fossil fuel-generated power cost and grows at a faster pace, total worldwide demand for solar modules could exceed 26 GW…[T]he solar market looks to be poised for sustainable growth that outpaces most other markets…"
SMART METERS NOT SMART ENOUGH
ACEEE Study Finds 'Smart Meters' Not Smart Enough to Slash Residential Power Use and Significantly Reduce Consumer Electric Bills; Demand Could be Cut by About a Tenth, Resulting in Tens of Billions in Pocketbook Savings for Consumers and a Significant Decline in CO2 Gases
June 29, 2010 (ACEEE via PR Newswire)
"Consumers could cut their household electricity use as much as 12 percent and save $35 billion or more over the next 20 years if U.S. utilities go beyond simple "smart meter" initiatives to include a wide range of energy-use feedback tools that get consumers more involved in the process of using less energy, according to [Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs: A Meta-Review for Household Electricity-Saving Opportunities] from the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)...
"ACEEE based its findings on a review of 57 different residential sector feedback programs between 1974 and 2010…ACEEE found that three of the most promising approaches in the short- to medium-term include enhanced billing, daily/weekly feedback, and "off line" and Web-based real-time feedback…[P]rograms that go beyond "smart meters" are few and far between…[N]o U.S. utilities are currently providing the full range of needed services…"
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"Beyond a short-term move to enhanced billing programs, households could see even greater levels of savings through the application of more sophisticated programs that integrate utility-based advanced metering initiatives with on-line or in-home energy displays and tailored guidance regarding the highest-impact means of reducing energy waste. Utilities across the country are investing in new electricity meters that provide two-way communications between the meter and the utility, and that monitor and collect household energy use data on an hourly basis (or even more frequently).
"When paired with an on-line program, households can increase their knowledge about how they are using energy. When combined with an in-home display, electricity consumers can witness the amount of energy that they are consuming in real-time, calculate the month-end impact of their current consumption patterns, and assess the impact of adopting new practices and more energy-efficient technologies. The average electricity savings associated with online services providing daily/weekly feedback (the Google PowerMeter is one example) is about 8 percent while real-time feedback has witnessed an average savings about 9 percent per participating household…"
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"Energy-use feedback can help households gain control over their energy use practices, reduce the amount of wasted energy, and reduce electricity consumption by 4 to 12 percent…[C]onsumers might enjoy a cumulative net savings of $2 to $35 billion or more over the next 20 years…
"Advanced (or "smart") metering initiatives alone are neither necessary nor sufficient for providing households with the feedback that they need to achieve energy savings, however they do offer important opportunities…[A]dvanced meters must be used in conjunction with in-home (or on-line) displays and well-designed programs that successfully inform, engage, empower, and motivate people…Utilities and policymakers should…ensure that U.S. households receive needed feedback…Providing households with persistent feedback has resulted in sustained savings over time…"
TOYOTA’S PLUG-IN HYBRID EV
…Toyota's plug-in-hybrid Prius; Toyota lends plug-in cars to local organizations
Onell R. Soto, June 29, 2010 (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"Five Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid cars are now in San Diego as part of the company’s efforts to find out how they will perform in the real world…
"The cars are among 600 production models based on the 2010 Prius that Toyota is lending to organizations worldwide to fine-tune its design and help utilities better understand how the electric cars will affect grid operations."
Like San Diego, cities all over the country are installing chargers. From TheMcdiana via YouTube
"Each car features a larger battery than a standard Prius and can go 13 miles, and up to 62 mph, using only electricity…When the battery charge is depleted, the car’s gasoline engine kicks in and it operates like a standard Prius, in which an electric motor using battery power supplements the battery charge…It will take three hours to fully charge the battery using standard household power, and half as much time using a 240-volt connection.
"When the cars hit dealerships in 2012, they will cost more than a typical Prius, which now sells for about $22,000, though Toyota won’t say how much more."
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"Toyota is one of several companies introducing plug-in cars in coming years. The $100,000-plus Tesla Roadster is the first of the current generation of plug-in cars to hit the road. Nissan plans to roll out its Leaf all-electric car in December, and plug-in models are expected from Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Tesla, Aptera and Fisker, among others...Some use only electricity, others have gasoline engines that turn on when batteries are depleted.
"Supporters…say they help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions because they can move without burning gasoline….But, because they rely on expensive batteries, the cars are pricier than similar non-electric models. State and federal governments are handing out rebates and tax credits in an effort to make the cars more affordable…"
ADVANCE IN 2ND-GEN BIOFUELS
DSM Develops New Technology For 2nd Generation Biofuel
Roberta B. Cowan, June 28, 2010 (Wall Street Journal)
"Life and material science company DSM NV… has developed a new bioconversion technology, which will improve efficiency in developing second-generation biofuels, or biofuel from waste agricultural products.
"DSM will unveil what it describes as a breakthrough in bioconversion…at the world congress on biotechnology…"
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"The new process includes using an enzyme which breaks down cellulose in wood, plant and other waste agricultural products. The sugars produced from the waste agriculture products are then converted by DSM's "advanced yeast" strain into ethanol, or biofuel. DSM coins the process an "all you can eat yeast," which substantially improves the conversion rate, up to 100% yield improvement, of sugars into ethanol.
"DSM says it's now actively marketing both its differentiated enzyme and advanced yeast technologies as an integrated bioconversion solution, for the second generation, advanced bio fuels market, which DSM says is forecasted to grow exponentially over the next decade."