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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Solar in Space and Beyond, Wirelessly

Solar in Space and Beyond, Wirelessly

New York, June 17, 2010 – DK Matai, engineer turned entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist detailed Japan’s plan to send its first solar-panel-equipped satellite into space that could wirelessly beam gigawatt-strong streams of power down to earth. In the June 13th article posted on HuffPost Green, Matai explained that each solar stream from the Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) would produce enough energy to power nearly 300,000 homes eco-efficiently.

“The primary solar market in Japan currently resides with PV residential systems,” notes SBI Energy analyst Norman Deschamps in the 2nd edition solar report from SBI Energy. In 2009, 88% (429.1 MW) of 488.0 MW worth of domestic shipments were to the residential sector.

“Japan is experiencing a resurging interest in household PV installations due to a change in government policy that came into effect in 2009. The incentive provides a generous subsidy to households that install PV systems, replacing the previous incentive scheme which was removed in 2007. As a result of the new subsidies, PV installations grew an SBI Energy estimated 106% in 2009 to 464 MW installed for the year,” Deschamps comments. Considering the lackluster 201 MW and 225 MW installed in 2007 and 2008, the new subsidies are a clear example of how appropriate incentives can radically spur PV installations. Furthermore, the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association reported sales of solar panels increased 21% in 2009 to 1.4 gigawatts – the highest since 1981, when the group started releasing data.

U.S. Solar Energy Market World Data, 2nd Edition from SBI Energy reports the world solar market is expected to grow 27.5% over the next five years, from $66 billion in 2010 to $173 billion in 2014. The lion’s share of that will come from the solar panel market, forecast to climb to $83 billion in 2014.

According to Matai the Wireless Power Transmission project will cost $21 billion and has already received strong financial support from Mitsubishi and designer IHI, in addition to research teams from 14 other countries. Jean-Francois Denault, SBI Energy analyst and author of Cleantech Energy Investing market study says, “Japan has re-emerged as a major investment bed. The return of feed-in tariffs has excited many projects developers, creating added incentive for growth.”

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