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SolarWorld Grants 100 kW to Rebuild Haiti

Washington, United States -- The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) today announced that SolarWorld has awarded SELF an in-kind grant of solar panels totaling 100 kilowatts to support the solar electrification of five health clinics for Partners In Health (PIH) in Haiti. The clinics, operated by Zanmi Lasante (ZL), are located in the remote mountain highlands of Haiti and do not have access to the electric grid.

n the aftermath of the January earthquake in Port-au-Prince, the facilities have experienced a rise in demand for health-care services, countered by dangerous fluctuations in fuel supplies needed to operate their generators. SELF completed the first 10 kW solar-diesel hybrid system for ZL at a clinic in Boucan Carré, Haiti, in September 2009. PIH reports monthly fuel costs have since declined by 64 percent. In response to the recent disaster, PIH asked SELF to accelerate its timeline to provide solar energy systems to nine remaining PIH/ZL-run clinics in Haiti.

“We were very pleased to have been chosen by SolarWorld as a grant recipient. This very generous support will go a long way to saving lives by providing the clinics with a stable, 24-hour power supply, and at the same time it will help PIH reduce their operating expenses," said Robert Freling, SELF’s executive director.

SolarWorld’s Solar2World program makes contributions to regional development in impoverished communities throughout Africa. Since 2008, Solar2World’s solar energy grants have supported a water pumping project in South Africa, a computer training center in Uganda, a hospital in Eastern Congo, a vocational training center in Rwanda, an HIV/AIDS orphanage in Malawi, and more.

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South West firms to get £8m green retrofit boost

Local firms in the South West are to benefit from a new £8 million initiative that aims to kick-start jobs and growth in the region's energy efficiency and microgeneration sector.
The initiative, which is going live today and is called Ready for Retrofit, is a joint venture between national consumer energy charity the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and local partners Regen SW, Devon County Council, Bristol City Council and other local authorities and social housing providers.

It aims to help local South West businesses take advantage of the opportunities presented by green policies such as the Green Deal, Feed-in Tariff, Renewable Heat Incentive and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

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Statement by Greg Barker on the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

DECC has published the framework for providing longer term financial support to households for the installation of renewable heating technologies.

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I am pleased to announce today the publication of DECC’s policy document ‘Renewable Heat Incentive: the first step to transforming the way we heat our homes’. This meets the Government commitment, as set out in my statement to the House on 26 March, to publish the framework for providing longer term financial support to households for the installation of renewable heating technologies in summer 2013. We remain committed to opening the scheme for applications in spring 2014. This marks a major milestone in achieving our renewable heat goals; it builds on the successes of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment which has seen more than £20m spent on the installation of 16,000 plus domestic renewable heat systems over the last two years.

The domestic RHI will pay owners of solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps for heat generated at the following levels: 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal.

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Staying Alive: Could Thin-film Manufacturers Come Out Ahead in the PV Wars?

New Hampshire, U.S.A. -- Thin-film solar panels are created through three different manufacturing techniques that use different core components: amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and copper indium sulfur/selenide (CIS).

In part one of this article, we talked with a-Si equipment manufacturer, Oerlikon Solar, which was recently purchased by Tokyo Electric.  Here in part two, we talk with two heavy-hitters in the thin-film solar industry to hear their thoughts about the future of thin-film PV and the future of their technologies.

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The impact of the new feed-in tariff rates for small scale solar PV

Feed-in tariff rates for solar PV installations of 4kW or less will fall from 21p to 16p per kWh from 1 August 2012. This was just one of the changes announced by energy minister Greg Barker in the House of Commons today.

He also announced that from 1 August the export rate will increase from 3.2p per kWh to 4.5p per kWh. The tariff will continue to be linked to the retail price index, and the life time of the tariff will reduce from 25 years to 20 years. He said these reductions are aimed at delivering a 6% rate of return. However, my calculations indicate that higher returns are likely.

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