New Hampshire, USA — The year 2011 may be remembered in clean energy circles as the moment when India became a major player across several industries.
The country added nearly 3 gigawatts of wind energy capacity in 2011 and it laid the foundation for the type of solar growth that could make it an international leader in the years to come.
For its part, India is ripe for exponential growth in renewable energy. The country has tremendous energy needs and an increasing difficulty in meeting those requirements through traditional means like diesel generation. Wind and solar, and to some extent hydro and geothermal, could quench the thirst for renewable energy.
Because of these factors, investments are reaching the country at increasingly large volumes. In 2011, India received more than $10 billion in clean energy investment, a rise of 52 percent from 2010.
New Partnership: Two giants are working together for a better solar panel, but they are also collaborating on efficiency issues. Suntech announced that it is receiving help from Dupont as China’s leading module manufacturer works to optimize its supply chain.
$5.5 Billion Wind Pact: Goldwind, China’s second-largest wind-turbine maker, signed a financial agreement with China Development Bank Corp. for wind power projects worth $5.5 billion.
China’s Heavy Investment: China has invested nearly $50 billion annually into its renewable energy sector since 2009. China’s five-year investment in environmental protection is on track to reach 3.1 trillion yuan ($454 billion). By 2015, its environmental protection industry is expected to top 2 trillion yuan ($317 billion).
China National Invests in PV Plants: China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s battery unit invested $300 million in a venture with Spanish solar power company Isofoton SA to develop photovoltaic plants across Asia.
Japanese Group to Invest in Pakistan Wind: A Japanese group has agreed to invest $40 million in information technology and wind energy sectors in Karachi.
IN THE NEWS
CPV Potential: Western India and Western China are two of the places seen as ideal locations for concentrating photovoltaic project development.
Solar With Storage: A big energy-related disaster doesn’t just leave horrible marks on people’s lives; it also can propel better and quicker policy and technology adoption. Kyocera on Monday said it plans to start selling a system that pairs solar panels with lithium-ion batteries for the residential market in Japan starting this summer.
6-MW Turbines Off China Coast: Sinovel, China’s largest wind turbine maker, will put a set of 6-MW wind turbines into operation off the coast of Shanghai in what is claimed to be the world’s first large-scale commercial application of such powerful offshore wind turbines.
One Company Dominates Solar Contract in India: According to the Centre for Science and Environment, a single company, Lanco Infratech, has cornered 40 percent of the contracts bid out for the first phase of the National Solar Mission, garnering 235 MW worth of projects. Such a large percentage would go against the rules set by the government program.
Japan’s Sanyo Closing U.S. Factory: Japanese solar company Sanyo plans to lay off about 140 employees in California, or about 40 percent of its manufacturing workforce in the United States, as it shifts its strategy in order to compete with large rivals, particularly those from China.
POISED FOR GROWTH
Indonesia Looks Ahead: Indonesia, already among the world leaders in geothermal energy production, looks to the changes happening in China as a reason to believe that wide-scale reform is possible in its country as well.
Fueling Nepal’s Energy Needs: Nepalese officials pitched the Himalayan nation as a destination for Korean investment in a bid to begin to meet the energy needs of the electricity-starved nation of 27 million during a seminar at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul. Current estimates are that Nepal has approximately 40,000 megawatts of hydro-electrical power potential, but has developed only 600 MW.
India Could Spark Solar Revolution: In India, electricity from solar is now cheaper than that from diesel generators. The news — which will boost India’s “Solar Mission” to install 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022 — could have implications for other developing nations, writes New Scientist magazine.
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