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Milk the Sun is now the part of the Incubation Program of the Climate-KIC

Milk the Sun has been promoted within the framework of the Incubator Program of the Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community). Thanks to that services of Milk the Sun in the area of photovoltaic as well as their impact on the climate change are supported by the Knowledge and Innovation Community, initiated by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

PhotovoltaikThe Climate-KIC has set as its task to promote the worldwide economic and societal change in terms of sustainable and climate-friendly economy as well as to strengthen innovations for climate through companies, jobs and know-how. Through being promoted, Milk the Sun became a part of the network of Climate-KIC partners, which consists of European research institutes, universities, governments and firms that operate in the area of climate change.

The business concept of Milk the Sun – as a provider of the first marketplace for the European trade of photovoltaic project rights (primary market) and operation PV installations (secondary market) as well as services around the topic of photovoltaic – stands for sustainability and environmentally-friendly electricity production as defined by the energy revolution.

 

Milk the Sun is now the sustaining member of “GEO Rainforest Conservation”

Photovoltaik SOlaranlagen MarktplatzMilk the Sun, the online marketplace for photovoltaic projects and installations, is now an official sustaining member of the initiative “GEO Rainforest Conservation”. The foundation, established by the co-workers of GEO-Magazine in 1989, participates in over 60 nature conservation and development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The projects of the foundation intend to find (together with the inhabitants of the respective regions) a way to combine sustainable development with the forest and resources’ protection.

 

The rain forests of the Earth are a living space of thousands of rare and endangered animals and plants’ species as well as “Green Lungs” of our planet. Milk the Sun is delighted to be able to engage itself in the protection of this unique forest, next to its activities supporting the sustainability of solar installations.

 

Photovoltaic in the United Kingdom – an overview

Country: United Kingdom (UK)England Vereinigtes Königreich Strom Erneuerbare
Area: 244,820 km2
Population: 61.8 Million
Language: English
Government: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Electricity Consumption: 341,918 GWh/Year
Electricity Import: 5,234 GWh/year
Percentage Renewable Energy: 5.1%
Percentage Photovoltaic: 0.07%
Installed Photovoltaic Output: 1 GW
Solar Irradiation: 750kWh/m2 to 1,100kWh/m2

Photovoltaic energy England

© Katarzyna Chojnacka

Electricity and PV in the United Kingdom

The largest energy sources in the UK are Coal, Gas and Oil, comprising over three quarters of the country’s total energy production. Renewable energy is receiving more and more government support, however, due to the UK’s geographic location photovoltaic plays only a minor role in these developments. Currently only 0.07% of electricity production comes from solar installations.

Policy and Feed-in Tariffs

Since the 1st of April 2010, the United Kingdom provides feed in tariffs for renewable energy. The primary beneficiaries of these tariffs are private households. They receive subsidies when they produce electricity that is not fed back into the grid, but rather used directly at home. Installations over a total capacity of 5MW are not supported.

The original range of the subsidies was between 0.1049 €/kWp and a maximum of 0.5343 €/kWp. The following cutbacks of 2011 were further decreased in September and November 2012, with a current subsidy range of 0.0876 €/kWp to 0.19 €/kWp. The larger the installation, the lower the tariff.

Grid Parity in the United Kingdom

Net parity in the United Kingdom has still not been achieved. Predictions place grid parity in the year 2020.

Outlook

The United Kingdom must fight to keep the momentum of its renewable energy development going. To this end, this year more money has been freed up. At any rate, discussions are already in progress regarding the establishment of feed in tariffs for renewables. Low acceptance in industry and politics, and well as the difficult geographic situation, do not bode well for PV development. Oft overlooked, however, is the fact that London lies farther south than Berlin – conditions exist for photovoltaic in the southern parts of the UK.

Source: British Photovoltaic Association UK Solar PV Update, November 2012

Photovoltaic in: France – an overiew

Country: FranceSolarenergie Energiewende Stromerzeugung
Area: 668,763 km²
Population: 65.4 Million
Language: French
Government: Republic
Electricity Consumption: 425. 655 GWh/Year
Electricity Export: 56.570 GWh/year
Percentage Renewable Energy: 13.3%
Percentage Photovoltaic: 1%
Installed Photovoltaic Output: 3.6 GW
Solar Irradiation: 900kWh/m² bis 1,600 kWh/m²

Stromerzeugung Einspeisevergütung

iStockphoto.com©Gyula Gyukli

Electricity and PV in France

France is known in Germany as „Atomland” (over 75% Nuclear powered). Although at 13.3% they are similar to Italy in their percentage of electricity sourced from renewables, in light of their high export of energy (above all nuclear), these numbers are relative. Photovoltaic is still skeptically received in France by industry and policy makers alike, the effects of which are seen in the low quantity of installed PV at around 3.6 GW. Just recently, the country approved construction of several additional nuclear plants, and when it comes to renewable energy there is a clear preference for hydroelectric. Photovoltaic comprises less than 1% of the total energy consumption, divided between more than 258,800 plants.

Policy and Feed-in Tariffs

French legislation regarding solar plants began with the first administrative regulation in July 2006 („Arrêté du 10 juillet 2006“). A peculiarity of the French regulation is that compensation varies depending not only on the type of plant, but also on its geographic location. Especially high tariffs are in place for overseas “Départments“ and Corsica.

With the “Arrêté du 12 janvier 2010“, the second administrative regulation in January 2010, France has aligned itself with the EU directive requiring that at least 20% of energy consumption be provided from alternative energy sources by the year 2020. The compensation clauses were modified, and since this last “Arrêté” rooftop installations in France can receive up to 0.58 €/kWh, the highest tariff for rooftop PV worldwide. At a minimum building and roof installations will make 0.42 €/kWh.

Grid Parity in France

Grid parity has still not been achieved in France. Current prognoses predict parity by 2020.

Outlook

Should the 20% renewable energy mark not be achieved by 2020, France will fall under the jurisdiction of hefty EU sanctions. Likely in response to this, the current president François Hollande seems to be taking steps to separate his party from nuclear energy in general.

If and to what degree photovoltaic is a factor here is still unknown. At any rate, the high feed-in tariffs for PV in France are attractive for international, as well as local, investors. Potential changes to these tariffs are currently in debate, with arguments being made for increases as well as decreases.

Photovoltaic in: Italy – an overview

Country: ItalyFotovoltaica Italia Conto Energia
Area: 301,338km²
Population: 61 Million
Language: Italian
Government: Parliamentary Republic

Electricity Consumption: 313.433 GWh/Year
Electricity Import: 47.573 GWh/year
Percentage Renewable Energy: 13.7%
Percentage Photovoltaic: 6%
Installed Photovoltaic Output: 15 GW
Solar Irradiation: 1,100kWh/m² to 1,800kWh/m²

Erneuerbare Energien Strom Conto Energia

PV in Italy. iStockphoto.com ©gmalandra

Electricity and Photovoltaic in France

Italy, a prime travel destination for Germans due to its warm summers and numerous coasts, knows how to benefit from its high solar irradiation.

After Germany, it is the second largest producer of solar energy in Europe. Around 426,000 photovoltaic plants are installed in Italy, and more than 51,000 of these with capacity in excess of 20kWp.

Photovoltaic provides 6% of Italy’s power consumption, and constitutes 7% of all power generated in-country.

Policy and Feed-in Tariffs

The first law supporting photovoltaic in Italy came into effect in 2001. The “Tetti fotovoltaici” resulted in the construction of 22MW.

In 2005 the “Conto Energia” was adopted, in response to the success of the German Renewable Energy legislation.

In 2007 it was replaced by a second piece of legislation, the aptly named “Conto Energia II”. With feed-in tariff rates from 0.36 to 0.48 €/kWh, this policy resulted in the construction of over 6,600 MWs of solar plants.

The next significant developments took place in 2010 with the “Conto Energia III,” only to be replaced a few months later by a fourth Conto Energia.

The current law: Conto Energia V

Since the end of August 2012, the Conto Energia V has been the legal policy for the development and feed-in tariffs of renewable energies at large, and specifically photovoltaic.

Conto Energia V, following the trend of renewable energy policy in Germany, provides noticeably less support for photovoltaic as its predecessors. Especially small  scale systems of under 20kWp benefit from the new formulation, and systems installed in conjunction with the renovation of asbestos roofs stand to gain a great deal. Ground based systems, however, no longer qualify for subsidies in Italy. The Italian government’s focus is clearly on boosting local consumption through small scale systems on existing rooftops.

In order to receive subsidies, owners must register their systems. The budget is divided up as follows:

– 50 Million € for communal projects, especially innovative ideas in PV
– 140 Million € until February for new plants, the bigger, the smaller the subsidy
– After February, 120 Million € over six months, afterwards biannually another 80 Million €

Grid Parity in Italy

In Italy grid parity for PV-power has been achieved. That is to say, the production of solar electricity is cheaper than its purchase from the grid. Several specialized companies buy and sell privately produced electricity.

Outlook

Current prognoses do not predict major development of solar in Italy, at least not to the scale of what occurred between 2005 and 2010. Nevertheless, in light of the achieved grid parity, it is likely that photovoltaic will continue to be an important topic in Italy. Subsidies for rooftop systems remain profitable and continued development in this sector is to be expected. Businesses and private individuals in possession of large rooftops will doubtless begin thinking very seriously about whether and how a solar system could be implemented on their property.

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