RTCC 2013 Awards: Solar Energy Solutions Provider

Nominations for the inaugural RTCC Climate Change Awards, due to be presented at UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw

RTCC 2013 Climate Change Awards: full nominations

(Pic: Social Security Administration\NREL)

Mera Gao Power
Mera Gao Power builds, owns, and operates micro grids in Uttar Pradesh, India serving off-grid villages with high quality, dependable lighting and mobile phone charging services.

As of September 2013, MGP serves over 12,500 customer households and 60,000 people across more than 500 villages of Sitapur District Uttar Pradesh, and as of April, MGP became profitable.

MGP’s Micro Grid was included as one of the 10 Most Important Technology Milestones of the Last Year by MIT’s Technology Review in 2012, and MGP was selected to attend White House event on Innovations for Global Development in February 8, 2012. The were identified as WWF Green Gamechanger in 2012 and were selected as a finalist for the Wantrapreneur 2011 business plan competition.

Omnigrid Micropower Company
Omnigrid Micropower Company builds small-scale power plants with renewable sources where there is no reliable power grid. They sell power to both mobile networks and rural communities.

Micropower reduces CO2 emissions and contributes to socio-economic development. They run operations in India and Africa using tested, mature technology. They have built ten solar plants that power phone towers and sell electricity to around 3,000 nearby households, as well as to businesses.

OMC plans 4,000 more such plants in the next three years, mostly in Uttar Pradesh. OMC also hopes to develop solar-run irrigation for farmers, plus a scheme to rent villagers cheap tablet computers to serve as televisions. OMC invented the Micropower Business-in-a-box starter kits for community entrepreneurs, providing them with everything they need to start a Micropower business.

Ubiqutious Energy
Former MIT researchers are making transparent solar cells that could turn everyday products such as windows and electronic devices into power generators, without altering how they look or function today.

Ubiquitous Energy’s new solar cells absorb only infrared and ultraviolet light and they are expecting their first commercial products, for mobile electronic devices, ready within a few years. In the process of developing products for mobile devices, the company will explore making larger energy-harvesting systems so that a few years later they can scale up their techniques to the size of windows.

Co-founder Richard Lunt won National Science Foundation CAREER award for transparent photovoltaics in January 2013.

SunPartner Group
The French group produce Wysips (What You See Is Photovoltaïc Surface) crystal panels, which are transparent screens that can capable of transforming any surface into a source of solar energy production.

By the end of 2013, Wysips will enable the first smartphones to charge themselves and will produce the first energy selfsufficient billboards, while pursuing the collaborative Smart 4G Tablet project to develop a solar‐powered 4th generation digital tablet.

SunPartner signed a project partnership with France’s National Agronomical Research Center (INRA) to put solar energy in the service of farmers to make greenhouse crops more profitable, ecological and successful regardless of the climate, and work on the first prototype has started this year. They were named the “Nobel Sustainability Supported Clean Tech Company 2013” and are one of the World Economic Forum’s 36 Technology Pioneers for 2014.

1366 Technologies
1366 are a good example of a company innovating in an attempt to drive down solar costs. They aim to disrupt the traditional way that silicon-based photovoltaic wafers are fabricated by reducing the amount of consumables and waste.

The company says it can reduce silicon costs across the board by to just a third of today’s costs and the highly efficient process that takes about 20 seconds to make a silicon wafer compared to days in more traditional processes, which could revolutionise the industry.

1366 officially opened its new manufacturing site in Massachussetts in January, and expects 1MW of output this year as it debugs and perfects its machines. Next year’s target is 10MW, with 100MW the following year — at which point it hopes to be moving into a new 1GW facility.

1366 Technologies was founded in 2007 to commercialise technology initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Abengoa is building two concentrating solar power stations in South Africa, and working on the most ambitious solar power tower project yet planned: the two-tower, 500MW Palen Solar Electric Generating System.

In South Africa they are building a 100MW trough plant in parallel with a 50MW tower project and are a big player in the growth of renewables there. They are innovating in showing that concentrated solar power (as opposed to photovoltaics) has a future in the power sector.

Abengoa announced in September they will receive $33.6 million in loans from the US Export-Import Bank to buy Dow Chemical Co. heat-transfer fluids for projects in Spain and South Africa.

They have been researching and implementing new solar technology since early 1980s.

Recently, Sharp has achieved the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiencies of 36.9% by using its proprietary technology for new triple-junction compound solar cell.

They are on the way to realise over 45% efficiency under concentrated light, as they have already achieved the world-record of 43.5% efficiency.

Cumulative shipping volume of Sharp’s solar cells has reached to 5.5GW, the world’s largest, and they were a finalist for the Zayed Energy Prize 2013. Sharp’s research and development for the past 50 years has led to innovative solar solutions from lighthouses to space satellites to mega solar power plants.

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