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Thin film industry experts set to meet on March 3-4 in Berlin to discuss how to increase competitiveness and achieve real bankability in 2011

London Recent reports indicate thin film is set to continue its impressive growth within the booming PV sector. 2010 saw the critical moment when thin film overtook crystalline silicon in its internal rate of return, and in 2009 thin film production seized a 20% share of the global PV market with figures for production predicted to reach 30% within the decade.

Enhanced technology is now raising the bar, with efficiency levels of 15% for commercial applications on the horizon.  Industry giants Oerlikon Solar announced the launch of their “ThinFab” production for manufacturing thin film silicon modules, which will achieve record breaking production costs of € 0.50 per watt peak (Wp).

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UK Cuts Go Easy on Clean Energy

London, UK While environment activists were disappointed that a new Green Investment Bank will now have just £1 billion ($1.58 billion) in state funding – half the expected figure – the RHI was welcomed, as was a continuance of current FiTs, and £200 million ($317 million) for developing offshore wind.

Chancellor George Osborne promised £860m for the RHI subsidy, funded by the government rather than through a levy and aimed at a 10-fold increase in the sector.

“Today's announcement is a huge relief and a very big breakthrough,” said Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

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UK government climate advisers call for biomass push

Britain will need a massive expansion of wood-burning stoves, wooden houses, wood-guzzling power stations and other similar technologies if greenhouse gas targets are to be met, the government's advisers on climate change have warned.

But green campaigners said strong safeguards were needed if such a high target was to be met, to ensure that biomass use did not put pressure on forests, mainly in the developing world.

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Wind power remains undisputed renewable energy leader

There are a number of different approaches to generating clean, renewable electricity – wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and tidal power chief among them – but wind has been the acknowledged leader of the pack lately, thanks to its long history and relative safety and ease of deployment. According to the Renewables 2010 Global Status Report, 2009 marked the second year in which both the United States and Europe added more renewable power capacity than they did conventional power (defined as coal, oil, gas and nuclear power plants). Globally, the world’s nations added 80 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, of which 38 gigawatts came from wind turbines.

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World’s biggest CIS (CIGS) power plant completed

Bright spring sunshine has welcomed the completion of world's largest copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS/CIS) power plant today in Brandenburg, near the German capital Berlin. The 28.8 megawatt (MW) power plant is largest, using CIGS/CIS technology, to be connected to the grid.

While some thin film manufacturers face tough times, in the face of stiff price competition from crystalline silicon (c-Si) manufacturers, others are continuing to get modules into the field. Despite the tough price competition, Solar Frontier has supplied 205,000 modules to the largest, power plant of its kind, which is located in Bochow, Brandenburg.

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