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Power outage yesterday lasted 13 hours. County had to call out the po-po to direct rush hour traffic. ha ha ha.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 10:39:12 AM EST
Italy Installing More Solar Power in Two Months Than California Does in a Year : TreeHugger

We already knew that Italy was the world's second-largest solar power market in 2009 (the United States was fourth, by the way), but according to a new piece in Wind-works Italy is installing more solar power in two months than California does in a year. By the end of this year they are expected to have one and a half times the total installed capacity of the entire US.

Breaking down those numbers a bit: So far in 2010 Italy has installed 1500 MW of solar PV, compared to 480 MW in the US, 250 MW of which were in California. By the end of the year Italy should have 2500 MW of installed solar PV.

All this growth is powered by a 2007 decree setting a solar PV target of 1,200 MW--a new target of 3000 MW to be installed between 2011 and 2013 is awaiting approval--all of which is facilitated by a feed-in tariff system.

Why the comparison with California? In addition to the fact that California leads the way in the US in solar power, Italy is roughly similarly sized to California in area, size of the economy, and population.

way too little, much too late, but encouraging all the same.

power up, italia!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 01:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So far in 2010 Italy has installed 1500 MW of solar PV,

Checking their source, they are a bit confused. 1500 MW is the expectation for new installations this year.

...Solar PV installations ... are expected to reach 1,500 MW in 2010.

I deem this part important:

According to Gruppo Imprese Fotovoltaiche Italiane (GIFI), 93% of all solar PV in Italy is installed on rooftops in distributed applications.

The bubble in Spain was fed largely by investors building large-scale greenfield facilities ( >1MW). And ven though the government plans degression, it is orderly unlike the one the German federal government wanted:

Unlike Spain, the government has no plans to cut the program dramatically. The proposed revision to the feed-in tariff program (conto energia), currently waiting approval, reduces the tariffs and sets a new target of 3,000 MW for the three-year period from 2011 to 2013. The revisions are expected to be approved sometime this summer. The proposal cuts the tariffs 18% in three equal steps of 6% during each of the first three quarters in 2011.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 02:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their info on Spain is old. As I understand it the cuts have already gone through.  Plus, the information that I got from offical documents is suggesting that there are at least 100,000 solar PV installations in Spain. Which using information from the national system operator suggests an average solar pv installation size of less than 50 watts. So most of these must be roof top units.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 03:18:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their info on Spain is old.As I understand it the cuts have already gone through.

Sorry for being confusing, the planned cuts I wrote of are in Italy.

there are at least 100,000 solar PV installations in Spain. Which using information from the national system operator suggests an average solar pv installation size of less than 50 watts.

You confuse mean and median... The typical size of rooftop installations is 10kW. 100,000 of those is 1GW -- much less than half of the Spanish total.

I brought some numbers on this here: DoDo:

the 2008 Spanish PV boom (see stats upthread) was overwhelmingly in large greenfield farms (and large industrial rooftops), not on private home rooftops. While I don't have actual stats for it, one can add up the 2008 Spanish plants in the World's largest photovoltaic power plants ranking: just the farms 2MW or above add up to 2096 MW, out of the 2700MW total. (Out of the 3400MW added in Germany this year, the same number is just 517 MW.)


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 03:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The typical size of rooftop installations is 10kW.

That's private home rooftops. (Those on office buildings can be multiples of that, those on factory or supermarket roofs even in the hundreds of kilowatts.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 03:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand your point about the difference between the mean and media installation size, however, the numbers just don't add up.  In order for what you say to be true, there would have to be several large installations and tens of thousands of installations there are smaller than the size of an average household panel.

Ok,  there are 3729 MW of solar PV potential in Spain as of the end of 2009.  536 MW of those are in installations larger than 20 MW. Another 42 MW larger than 1 MW are identifiable. We know that there are at least 100,000 installation. And we can identify 578 MW (15.5%) that are larger than 1 MW.

It's clear that smaller installations are producing the majority of the power. I'm extrapolating from figures here.  I really wish that we had hard statistics, but the PV association hasn't been as good as the wind sector in Spain about that.

PV has good uses in specialized small scale functions away from the grid, like street lights on highways, etc.  But it is not, and never will be, something that's going to make economic sense for large scale installations.  Thermo solar and wind have huge advantages there.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 04:42:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok,  there are 3729 MW of solar PV potential in Spain as of the end of 2009.  536 MW of those are in installations larger than 20 MW. Another 42 MW larger than 1 MW are identifiable...

MfM, have you actually read my comment and looked at my link? Unlike on Wikipédia, there is a near-complete list of large solar installations >1MW at that site, and I summed up for 2009 by feeding it into a spreadsheet. You went instead to Wikipedia, and assumed that they have complete coverage.

In order for what you say to be true, there would have to be several large installations and tens of thousands of installations there are smaller than the size of an average household panel.

How so? again, 100,000 times 10 kW (which is an average private home rooftop installation and not a single panel, which is around 100W!) is 1 GW, while the Spanish total is almost four times of that, as you can see. Just the >=2MW farms built in 2009 are more than half of the Spanish total.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 04:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
summed up for 2009 ... Just the >=2MW farms built in 2009

2008.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:07:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did a small breakdown by size with that spreadsheet of the 2008 Spanish PV farms greater than 2 MW. Ranges (<= .. <) and sums in those bands:

20-60 MW: 436.5 MW
10-20 MW: 415.0 MW
6-10 MW: 440.9 MW
4-6 MW: 315.0 MW
3-4 MW: 200.0 MW
2-3 MW: 288.2 MW


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, this clears up a lot.

Finally, a good info source.

So according to your source. In 2008, there were 2095.6 MW of PV solar larger than 2MW installed in Spain.

So that means that if the grand total in 2009 was 3223 MW, that 1127.4 MW (35%) was in installations smaller than 2 MW. While I think that the case is there for self use on the residential level, I don't see that small installations that produce for others, i.e. would be getting any sort of FiT make sense.

My impression is that the Spanish government is very keen both to reduce the use of imported natural gas, and to work on bringing down the cost of industrial electricity as a development measure.

 

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:58:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So that means that if the grand total in 2009 was 3223 MW, that 1127.4 MW (35%) was in installations smaller than 2 MW.

Even less: 2095.6 MW was only in those added 2008, the >=2MW end of 2008 grand total for Spain from my spreadsheet is 2540.0 MW. So that leaves a mere 683 MW (21%) for smaller projects. In Germany, the ratios are opposite, in Italy, it seems rooftop dominates even more.

I don't see that small installations that produce for others, i.e. would be getting any sort of FiT make sense.

Again why not, apart from Big is Beautiful? A residential level project that can't feed surplus production above self use into the grid is wasteful. And prices still have a long way to go down.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 06:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to give figures for a rather different distribution, since Germany's photovoltaics registry is on-line and I put that in a spreadsheet too recently; for Germany's record year of 2009 (when large green-field and industrial rooftop plants had a greater part than in previous years):

1-51 MW: 638 MW
0.1-1 MW: 635 MW
40-100 kW: 600 MW
20-40 kW: 914 MW
10-20 kW: 548 MW
0-10 kW: 472 MW

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 30th, 2010 at 09:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Above is again only new installations in one year. For the same,

  • mean: 23.95 kW;
  • median: 38.25 kW.

Little difference there, unlike the ~25-50 kW mean vs. ~5-7 MW median contrast for Spain in 2008.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 30th, 2010 at 10:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy Surpasses US in Solar PV | Renewable Energy World
Italy Surpasses US in Solar PV Installing More Every Two Months than California in an Entire Year by Paul Gipe, Contributor Published: June 30, 2010

New York, United States -- In a dramatic display of the power feed-in tariffs have in driving markets, Italy installed more solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2009 than the entire U.S. Moreover, within the first quarter of 2010, Italy's total installed solar PV capacity was expected to exceed that of the US. The proposed revision to the feed-in tariff program (conto energia), currently waiting approval, reduces the tariffs and sets a new target of 3,000 MW for the three-year period from 2011 to 2013.

Italy installed 720 megawatts (MW) of solar PV in 2009, nearly all of that on rooftops. In contrast, the U.S. installed 435 MW during the same period, according to a draft report by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

Italy introduced a system of feed-in tariffs for solar PV in February, 2007 after concluding that the previous program of Tradable Green Certificates was not delivering the results desired.

By the end of 2007, Italy had installed five times more solar PV than in the previous year. Despite numerous bureaucratic roadblocks, the solar industry took off in 2008 and installed nearly 350 MW, then a record-breaking number. Solar PV installations have been doubling since then and are expected to reach 1,500 MW in 2010.

Italy is three-fourths the size of California, with which it is often compared because of their similarly-sized economies. Italy has a population of 60 million, to California's 40 million. The population of the U.S. is five times that of Italy.

Italy is now the world's second largest annual market for solar PV, after Germany.

IREC estimates that there was 1,250 MW of total installed solar PV capacity in the U.S. at the end of 2009. Currently, the U.S. is installing 40-50 MW per month, and Italy 125 MW per month. At this pace, Italy surpassed the U.S. in total installed PV capacity before the end of the first quarter, likely by the end of February 2010.

Italy is installing more capacity--250 MW--every two months than California is installing per year.

By the end of 2010, Italy will have a total installed capacity of more than 2,500 MW. This is two and one-half times more capacity than is expected in California, and one and one-half times more than is expected in the U.S.

Italy's 2007 decree also set a solar PV target of 1,200 MW. They reached their target earlier this year.

Unlike Spain, the government has no plans to cut the program dramatically.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jun 30th, 2010 at 12:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read through, it's just that there has to be some sort of definitional issue here, because what you have and what the Spanish government is reporting don't match.  That could be because they are for self use, or because many of these projects on the list you have are still in the construction phase.

Regardless, in times of austerity, it's sort of hard to convince people who are looking at reduced wages that the government should be shelling out cash at the rate imagined here. This is a lot more data than I'm going to swim through right now, but there's general agreement that the targeted cut in the FiT was a good call.

One of the big problems that's unique to Spain is that industrial electricity rates are 85% of residential rates, while in neighboring France they industry only pays only 67.5% of what residential does.  Purchasing a Mwh for an industrial operation in Spain will cost, on average, €109.80/Mwh.  In France that same amount will cost a factory  €64.70/Mwh.  So industrial electric costs are 70% higher in Spain than France.  That's a huge impediment to economic growth.

That issue with industrial prices is what's driving government action more than residential prices.  Cutting non-labor costs of production removes some of the push to slash wages.

FYI, where was your spreadsheet at, I found the thing online, but no excel file?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what you have and what the Spanish government is reporting don't match.

Could you spell out what doesn't match? Because I looked though your links, and the only mismatch I could find was with Wikipedia's undersampled data for PV farms under 20 MW.

many of these projects on the list you have are still in the construction phase

Nope. The Spanish solar market collapsed at the end of 2008, remember? This is also reflected in that list.

the government should be shelling out cash at the rate imagined here

The government doesn't shell out cash for feed-in tariffs. (I think we had this debate, too.) You had a better argument with industrial electricity rates, but it still doesn't sound convincing: if that's the problem, then it's industrial rates that shall be changed, not minute differences in production price (which are driven by marginal producers anyway, as Jérôme often reminds us).

there's general agreement that the targeted cut in the FiT was a good call.

I did a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of the Spanish feed-in law and the rate cut in your previous diary, won't repeat it all here; I will just add comments after re-quoting something Crazy Horse posted in the same thread:

Spanish PV After the Crash | Renewable Energy World

 There is also more emphasis on household systems. Prior to the crash, vast and somewhat controversial ground-mounted arrays made up the bulk of installations. These may now be a thing of the past.

"The current support scheme is better for rooftop and domestic systems than the former one. We are now trying to introduce net metering to the support scheme and the government likes the idea," wrote Diaz.

Indeed, in a sunny country like Spain, a FIT of €0.32 is enough to make an installation affordable to households and up-to-date figures from ASIF suggest 2010 will see some 600 MW installed. Similarly, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association estimates that this market could continue to add around 375-500 MW a year until 2013, which would keep Spain as one of the top global markets, and enable PV to generate 4%-4.5% of the national electricity demand (equating to roughly 20% of domestic household electricity demand).

Even so, the big collapse of the market also ensured that the development of local manufacturing base as seen in Germany was stalled. There was indeed a bubble to burst, but it could have been done with a lesser shock and a more focused redirection from greenfield to to rooftop (for example by having separate feed-in rates for them).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<blockqoute>Could you spell out what doesn't match? Because I looked though your links, and the only mismatch I could find was with Wikipedia's undersampled data for PV farms under 20 MW.</blockqoute>

A lot of this is in Spanih, but the bottom line is that the documents that the government produces are insistent that small producers are taking the majority of the FiT.  I think that the issue is that they are putting that larger installations, i.e. those in the 2-3 MW range, in the small category.

I also get the point about the merit order effect, but I still think that the rate at which solar PV was being paid out was so high that it wasn't going to create returns for consumers in the short term.  If the point is to subsidize research and development costs, then I don't see why there would be support for small scale installations, at this point.  Putting the focus on creating economies of scale would reduce unit costs quicker.

Also, thinking less in terms of energy, and more in terms of industrial development, I think that the linkages between solar PV and existing industries in Spain much weaker than for either Solar thermal or Wind.  It's simply that solar PV doesn't present the same opportunities to find new uses for old industrial capacity that those other two do.  For example, solar thermal uses large amounts of high quality glass, which creates new product lines for existing manufacturers supplying the auto industry.  

I think it's that point, that beyond the energy issue there's this point about how well new technologies fit in with existing industries, so that you can help keep firms afloat and putting their products into new fields, that I'm not communicating well.

Alas, I'm supposed to be finishing up something non-ET right now, so I'm trying to be brief.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 06:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the documents that the government produces are insistent that small producers are taking the majority of the FiT.  I think that the issue is that they are putting that larger installations, i.e. those in the 2-3 MW range, in the small category.

Ah, that could be the root of the misunderstanding. But a specific link/pointer would be good (I can use Google translate if I can't guess the meaning).

Also, thinking less in terms of energy, and more in terms of industrial development

I addressed the issue of industrial development directly at the end of my comment. The PV industry is not nonexistent in Spain, but it was stopped in its growth; again quoting Crazy Horse's article:

In 2008 Spanish companies like Isofóton and BP Solar manufactured 500 MW of solar equipment and exported 70 MW. Figures for 2009 are still being compiled, but it is clear that exports are higher and manufacturing is recovering.

For example, solar thermal uses large amounts of high quality glass

So does PV. Solar panels consist of multiple solar cells enclosed in a protective frame, and the Sun-side is usually thick high-quality glass. (2GW of solar panels means c. 20 km² of glass.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 06:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I addressed the issue of industrial development directly at the end of my comment. The PV industry is not nonexistent in Spain, but it was stopped in its growth

I'm not seeing that in the things at I've read.  Part of that may be that I'm heavily focused on the Basque region.  

Ideally, though, I like to think of the "new energy" economy plugging into the existing one, and drawing things closer together.

Imagine the idea of hyperlinks, but replacing these with supplier relationships between firms.  The more heavily crossreferencing these links, the harder it is to get the same sort of efficiencies elsewhere.  So production is tied to a static location instead of globe trotting in search of cheap labor.

When you have a concentration of firms that need, for example,  superclear glass, there's going to be a larger local market, and lower unit costs.  Shared supplier bases mean that no one firm has to bear the cost of keeping these specialized suppliers afloat. And they don't have to worry about having to locate someone who can make that type of class on an ad hoc basis.  The concentration of demand means that you can have firms specialize, but the large number of purchasers means that they aren't dependent on any one buyer.  Thus, the firms in the cluster support one another's existence.

This is obviously not neoliberal economics, but it is part of my dissertation. Now I just have to figure how to get to Spain for research......  I suppose I can always got the teaching English in Spain route......

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 06:52:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not seeing that in the things at I've read.  Part of that may be that I'm heavily focused on the Basque region.

Well indeed, Isofotón is in Málaga, and BP Solar near Madrid. But there was a lot of room to expand production capacity from a mere 500 MW a year, and there is again the German example: the new solar industry, while it originated in the Southwest, flourished especially in the former East German industrial regions.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 07:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it is not, and never will be, something that's going to make economic sense for large scale installations.

We had this argument before, I have to repeat myself: why not? And what's the point of large-scale installations? I won't repeat all the detailed arguments, instead, here is something new for ET interest:

Madrid, 23 June 2010
Roofs could technically generate up to 40% of EU's electricity demand by 2020
With a total ground floor area over 22,000 km2, 40% of all building roofs and 15% of all facades in EU 27 are suited for PV applications. This means that over 1,500 GWp of PV could technically be installed in Europe which would generate annually about 1,400TWh, representing 40% of the total electricity demand by 2020.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 05:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
great find, DoDo!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 at 07:12:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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