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Solar Energy News Roundup

solar energySuntech Ends Dispute with Global Solar Fund

Suntech reported that it has reached a settlement with GSF, an affiliate that was buying Suntech’s panels to build solar electricity plants in Europe. The dispute started after GSF failed to deliver millions of dollars worth of bonds that it had promised to give Suntech to use as collateral for a loan. Terms of the settlement will see Suntech augment its stake in GSF to 88.15 percent from a previous 79.3 percent. But more important than the terms is the fact that Suntech has resolved the matter, which was most likely a vital condition for the renegotiation of Suntech’s $541 million in bonds that will mature in a week.

Solar Freedom’s Crusade to Reduce Rooftop Install Costs by 50%

According to Solar Freedom Now, “soft costs” are the main culprit why rooftop installs in the U.S. costs twice as much as it does in Germany – even though panel prices have dropped significantly. These extra expenses include local permits, multiple inspections, interconnection requirements and more. While a German consumer simply fills out a form and follows a simple, standardized process.  Solar Freedom Now has outlined a step-by-step process to reduce these costs. The group is calling for a single national policy giving homeowners the right to install a standardized, under 10-kw system, using a more simplified scheme.

Hanergy Anticipates Thin-Film Solar to Gain Market Share

As big Silicon cell manufacturers stumbles, Hanergy Holding Group Ltd (a Chinese thin-film solar maker), sees its technology to take a bigger share of the market in the near future. Hanergy acquired two overseas thin-film companies including California’s MiaSole Inc. in the past year to advance its technology and compete with its rivals. Hanergy plans to develop more than 2 gigawatts of solar power plants worldwide this year utilizing its own panels. Using Hanergy technology, the cost to produce one watt of energy is around 50 cents, but the company aims to cut it by 10 percent by this year.

China Drives Record Solar Growth as Panel Makers Suffers

The $77 billion solar-energy industry is forecasted to expand the most as China becomes the biggest market and drives annual global installations to a record high. China, after building scores of factories that helped cut panel prices 20 percent in the past year, is poised to become the biggest consumer of solar devices after doubling its 2013 target for new projects in January. Tumbling prices are benefiting installers including Solarcity Corp. and SunPower Corp. of California while hurting manufacturers such as LDK Solar Co. of China and Norway’s Renewable EnergyCorp. ASA.

 

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