Global opportunities vital for CPV expansion
Concentrated photovoltaic companies are looking beyond the borders of established markets to utilize the technology’s strengths in regions with high solar irradiation.
It emerged last month that customers of French company Heliotrop had been awarded 29MW out of a total of 50MW of hybrid power plants, to be built between 2012 and 2014 in France. Heliotrop is developing a high concentration photovoltaic module (HCPV) manufacturing program as well as coordinating a €44 million investment program partially funded by French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME).
France has not been a traditional market for CPV technology and is indicative of the new approach that companies are taking to win business. In a recent PV Insider webinar Pedro Banda, Director of PV Business Development at Abengoa Solar noted that “there have been a number of European projects and activities not only in North African and Middle Eastern countries, but also European projects helping to develop all renewables in the Mediterranean.”
Across the globe, efforts are now being made in South Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, Mexico, Chile and China to commercialize CPV. Lux Research asserted in PV Insider’s recent guide The State of CPV in 2012’ that while in the short-term installation growth was likely to occur in the Southwest US and China, “emerging markets such as India and Saudi Arabia will provide a significant opportunity for CPV companies in the future.”
The global economy has been identified as one factor that could limit CPV expansion into new markets. In the State of CPV in 2012, Emcore identified that “economic conditions will make it difficult for incentive support in other markets [from China and the US] and the appetite for technology risk will be low.” However, for now CPV companies have been active in evaluating new markets across the globe.
Global CPV opportunities are a key theme of the upcoming CPV USA 2012 conference, taking place 15-16 October in San Jose, California. During the conference, expected to draw over 250 attendees from the CPV community, specific attention will be given to the emerging CPV markets in Mexico, Chile, China, South Africa and France. Themes to be addressed on each market include policies, solar resource and business mechanisms.