NREL's Sarah Kurtz has updated her Concentrating Photovoltaics report. The pdf is downloadable here.
Sarah is always the optimist about CPV. According to the report:
The high-concentration PV industry has made great strides in the last year, including:
- Demonstration of full-scale products with high efficiency: 29% for small module and 25% AC for a full-scale system.
- Multiple companies have set up manufacturing, taking the big step from prototype development into manufacturing with an aggregate production capacity >100 MW/y.
- The approach is attracting some big names, including such companies as RFMD and JDSU, both of which have expressed interest in the multijunction concentrator cell business.
Si-based CPV approaches are also making significant strides:
- The number of companies pursuing Si-based CPV has increased as Si PV companies face the difficult decision of how much to invest in their future supplies of silicon; some companies are looking at Si-based CPV as a way to reduce expenditures associated with ramping silicon material/cell supply and as a way to reduce risk in the case of a silicon shortage.
- Skyline Solar is testing ~30 kilowatts.
- WS Energia is projecting installation rates in >megawatt per year range.
On the other hand, Ed Gunther of the Gunther Portfolio had this to say about his rosy prediction of a 30 MWp plus HCPV project deal in 2009 -- Grade: Fail.
Ed goes on to say that SolFocus is still struggling with environmental permitting issues for the Samaras Group CPV Project in Greece and that the largest HCPV project completed in 2009 was a 1 megawatt solar power plant in Taiwan. He prophesied that at least 30 to 50 megawatts-peak of HCPV must be installed in 2010, or "HCPV is destined to remain Eric Wesoff’s pet zero billion-dollar market." That's me, quoting Ed, quoting me.
GreenVolts' new CEO David Gudmundson (formerly at optical networker JDSU) has brought in another former JDSU exec into the GreenVolts ranks. Keith Lambert joined GreenVolts as Senior Vice President of Operations. GreenVolts seemed to have a lot of momentum a few years ago, with lots of press and a PPA from PG&E, but that momentum seems to have slowed. Now there's a new CEO and executive regime in place, albeit with no solar experience and no energy experience, added to shake things up.
Perhaps they can do for GreenVolts what they did for JDSU.
Government Funding for CPV
DFJ and NEA-funded Solar Junction is soon to emerge from stealth. They build high efficiency solar cells for CPV. They remain in the difficult position of waiting for the CPV market to accelerate.
We covered the acquisition of Concentrix by Soitec here.
GTM Research has a strong analysis of the CPV market here.