++Solar Energy Research Group++

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Tuesday, 01/23/2001
California  Energy Crisis Boosts Solar Energy Industry
The solar energy industry of Calfornia, USA, experiences a boom after the latest power rate hikes and two days of rolling blackouts. This was reported by ENN worldwire news. People inquire at solar companies, and many contractors who do solar installations are now booked solid for the next several months. The SolarDepot in San Rafael is hiring additional salespeople and warehouse help. State officials say that California´s energy crisis has inspired a fresh wave of consumers to explore solar energy, and people that have been thinking about going solar for a long time needet the crisis to push them over the edge. According to M C Solar owner Mike Clifton "the PV systems tend to be more popular right now because of concerns about blackouts."
Worldwide, sales of solar generators have become a $2.5 billion market, said Paul Maycock, editor of "Photovoltaic News" in Virginia. Grid-connected home power systems account for nearly one-third of the U.S. market. 
Many states provide a variety of rebates and incentives to subsidize solar power. Although many consumers are not aware of it, the California Energy Commission offers a "Buy Down Program" of cash rebates for buying an eligible renewable energy system. In the year 2000, the CEC received 947 requests for the rebate. "In the last three weeks we've gotten another 100 applications," said Miller, the program's account manager. (iwr)

Thursday, 01/11/200
Solar World AG Increases Sales 2000
In the financial year 2000, SolarWorld AG increased sales by more than 200% to 32 million DM, compared to the previous year (10,5 million DM). For the year 2000 the enterprise will pay a dividend to its stockholders for the first time, provided the responsible board will agree. In addition to SolarWorld AG, the development of  SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Solar GmbH (previously Bayer Solar) regarding turnover and returns was positiv. Overall, SolarWorld AG and Deutsche Solar gained sales amounting to 105 million DM in the last financial year. (iwr)

Friday, 12/22/2000
Alliance of AstroPower and Elkem to Supply Silicon Feedstock to Solar Industry
AstroPower, Inc., U.S.A., recently announced that it signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement with Elkem, Norway. AstroPower considers Elkem the world’s largest producer of silicon metal. The agreement is geared at developing a low-cost process for manufacturing solar-grade silicon for solar cell production. According to AstroPower, the agreement also calls for the future establishment of a jointly-owned manufacturing venture, based in Norway and managed by Elkem, that will supply low-cost silicon feedstock to the global solar power industry. AstroPower and Elkem estimate that the annual market for solar-grade silicon is currently approximately $75 million, and it is forecasted to grow at 25% - 30% over the next five years. (iwr)

Current development of the German 100.000-roofs-program

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