SolarSummary: January 28 – February 4, 2003

by Kirsten Elder

Companies in the news

Global Solar Energy
Schott Applied Power
Shell Foundation
Sustainable Energy Technologies

Emerging Technologies

Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology are developing the next generation of solar cells, advancing the technology that could put football field-sized solar power systems into earth’s orbit. The National Science Foundation recently awarded a three-year, $200,000 grant to the RIT’s NanoPower Research Laboratory to develop nanomaterials – no bigger than a billionth of a meter – in support of NASA’s space solar power program. “In order to put football-field sized arrays in space, they need to be lightweight and flexible, and able to withstand the rigors of space,” RIT scientists say. “Today’s technology isn’t good enough, but with the theoretical possibilities offered by nanomaterials it could become a reality.” (Ascribe via CNN Money, 29/01/03)

New Products

Calgary-based Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd. has announced that the CANMET Energy Technology Centre of Natural Resources Canada will contribute $100,000 to the cost of commercialising the Company’s renewable energy inverter for grid-connected solar PV markets. Sustainable Energy Technologies has been successfully testing a 5kW version of the renewable energy inverter with a commercial scale solar PV array for several months, and it is in the final stages of product commercialisation. (, 30/01/03)


Global Solar Energy Inc. has recently completed the design, installation, and start-up of a 22 kW solar photovoltaic generating system for the City of Roseville, California. The system has been mounted on the roof of the citys new fire station. (Global Solar via CNN Money, 03/02/03)

Also in California, a state-owned showground is set to install 8,000 photovoltaic panels, which will generate enough electricity to power the entire venue. The project will cost approximately $1.8 million with the state funding half this cost. The other half is being paid by the fairground through a low-interest loan. All extra electricity generated will be sold to Southern California Edison to cover the cost of this loan. (Daily Nexus via, 30/01/03)

The historic Los Angeles Helms Bakery Building has installed a 20 kW solar system atop its carport roof to provide electricity for outdoor and common area lighting. The bakery used financial assistance from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) rebates program and plans to install a 120kW system on the roof of its main Bakery building in 2003. (, 31/01/03)

In the US, the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, located north of Yuma along the Colorado River, has installed a new 10kW solar PV system on the roof of its visitors’ centre. The system, designed and installed by American Solar Electric, Inc., incorporates 64 of Kyocera’s KC-158G solar modules and will offset a high percentage of the grid-supplied power used by the visitors’ centre and office complex. (, 31/01/03)


The price of renewable power in the UK is set to increase next year because of a lack of renewable power projects coming forward and a slippage in the start dates of some major projects, according to the latest Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) Price Marker produced by Platts and the Renewable Power Association. The price of ROCs is predicted to be around 56 in the next financial year – significantly up from the 53 figure predicted previously by the marker. Although the price of ROCs for the two following years falls to around 45, it rises again in 2006/7 to around 56 under the medium build scenario. “The high price of ROCs shows that there is a real risk that the government will not reach its 2010 renewables target (10 percent of the UK’s electricity supplies to come from renewable sources),” said Dominic Maclaine, editor of Platts Power UK. (, 03/02/03)

A group of leading UK companies have sent a statement to the UK energy minister, Brian Wilson, calling for further 150m to be invested into the solar energy industry. This would be on top of the 30m support programme announced in 2001, which runs out next year. The companies, which include ICI (chemicals), BAA (airports operator) and Centrica (energy and services), want the DTI to fund extra research into new solar PV technologies as well as help finance new manufacturing operations to make solar-grade silicon to support the technology. (FT, 04/02/03)

Dfcu Leasing, the Shell Foundation and Shell Uganda have joined forces to establish the US$4 million Uganda Energy Fund. Launched on 30 January 2003, the mission of the Fund is to provide both business development services and lease finance to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The Uganda Energy Fund will provide lease financing for the purchase of energy related equipment by the following types of enterprises:

SMEs that wish to acquire modern energy generation/utilisation technologies or products that enable them to increase productivity;

SMEs that manufacture, distribute and/or sell energy, or energy-efficiency, services/products;

Cooperatives, NGOs or institutional partners may be eligible if they can demonstrate how through this intervention modern energy services will be used or provided on a financially viable basis. For more information visit (Shell Foundation, 03/02/03)

A R300m (US$35.5m) public private partnership project to supply 50,000 solar home systems to houses in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has been launched. The venture follows the success of a pilot project funded by the Dutch Programme for Co-operation with Developing Markets in which 400 solar home systems were installed in the remote region. The project will ensure the supply of electricity into rural areas outside the national grid, bringing sufficient power into previously unserviceable areas for families to operate lights and small appliances within their homes. (Business Day via, 27/01/03)

Investments and Finance

Energy Systems Ltd. (ESL) has designed a credit package with its US-based partners AstroPower to offer loans worth Shs 500m (approx. US$267,000) to rural households to install solar power. Demand for solar energy has been boosted by the government’s Energy for Rural Transformation, a programme supported by the World Bank’s Global Energy Facility (GEF), and taxes on solar panels have also been waived. However, households still find the price of solar home systems too high. The credit package will enable communities to organise themselves into savings village banks and repay in instalments. (The Monitor via, 28/01/03)

Policies and Incentives

The Solar Energy Industry Association has been lobbying the US Department of Agriculture to use a broader perspective when considering finance for solar energy applications in domestic farming operations. The USDA Farm Bill would allow financial assistance for the purchase of renewable energy systems and SEIA urged the USDA to be “more inclusive than exclusive” in providing education and incentives for a wide variety of projects, rather than attempting to produce a comprehensive list of rural solar applications. Among the applications noted by SEIA for support were on-grid and off-grid AC electrical usage, integrated PV applications such as solar-powered DC refrigerators, fence electrification devices and gate openers, water pumping systems, irrigation equipment, and solar water heating systems for homes, process water for food processing and aquaculture. SEIA asked USDA to provide at least US$5 million a year in cost share loans, with the matching funds to come from farmers or state/utility incentive programs. (Refocus Weekly, 29/01/03)

National wind energy developers have joined with Colorado and Utah nongovernmental organisations to launch a regional renewable energy trade group. The Interwest Energy Alliance will advocate public policies that promote renewable energy technologies such as using wind and solar energy for power. The first goal of the Interwest Energy Alliance will be to advance a renewable portfolio standard in the Colorado and Utah legislatures. (RockyMountainNews via Clean Edge, 30/01/03)

Despite efforts to promote renewable energy sources, the city of Los Angeles has failed to increase the amount of clean energy it generates by more than half a percentage point and continues to rely almost entirely on coal, natural gas and nuclear power, according to a published report. The $40 million Green Power program implemented by the LADWP in 1999 has produced only a small number of solar panels and a facility that generates a minimal amount of electricity from landfill gas, the Los Angeles Times reported. Meanwhile, the agency has spent three times more money on marketing and administration than on buying green power from other utilities, the newspaper said. (The Mercury News via, 01/02/03)

In an effort to encourage the use of renewable energy, the Governor of New Jersey has signed an Executive Order establishing a Renewable Energy Task Force, to strengthen and expand the renewable energy requirements that the state imposes on suppliers. The Governor initially announced the creation of the Task Force at his Energy Summit in December and is expecting them to report back to him by March 31, 2003 with their recommendations. (, 29/01/03)

Industry Reports & Events

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has produced a report examining the design and implementation of policies to encourage the use of renewables and efficient technologies. ‘Creating Markets for Energy Technologies’ investigates 22 successful government programs which support markets for clean energy technologies, representing an investment of 20 billion, and highlights the benefits of this expenditure. (Refocus Weekly, 29/01/03)

Corporate News

Schott Applied Power Corporation has said it has been chosen by the National Park Service to renovate the power system at Natural Bridges National Monument near Moab, Utah. The system, which uses a hybrid design of photovoltaics, batteries and diesel generators, was the largest of its kind at the time of installation in 1980. (, 30/01/03)


Delphi International Ltd. is recognised for its role in helping establish and support the investment case for sustainable development in both OECD countries and emerging markets. Our experience of venture capital and early stage financing, together with considerable combined knowledge of the Water, Waste Management and Renewable Energy sectors, enable us to provide relevant strategic and business development advice to owners of ‘breakthrough’ technologies seeking expansion capital.

Understanding the expectation and requirements of Socially Responsible Investors, Delphi also works with both private institutions and multinationals to develop and advise innovative “green” funds or financing mechanisms. Our weekly SolarSummary, is an extract from our extensive research data base, aimed at the busy executive needing to keep track of the fast grow
ing PV sector.

Contact: Kirsten Elder
Delphi International Ltd.
First Floor
Hinde Street
London W1U 3BJ
Tel: +44 (0) 207 486 4843
Fax: +44 (0) 207 486 4845

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