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Press Release by chenmeixiu


									                                                                            SANYO Component Europe GmbH

Press Release                                                       Stahlgruberring 4, 81829 Munich, Germany
                                                                  Tel: +49-89-460095-0; Fax:+49-89-460095-190

                       A small solar guidebook for house owners
                10 questions which should be asked when buying a solar system

Munich, 15th September 2010. Having a solar system on your own roof means independence of rising
energy prices and earning cash at the same time. Moreover, solar energy respects the environment and
is a contribution to combating climate change. But before a homeowner gets connected to the grid,
several things have to be considered. Shigeki Komatsu、Director of Solar Business Division at SANYO
Component Europe GmbH gives answers to the most important questions.

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of photovoltaic systems?
Due to guaranteed yields over years, solar energy is a safe financial investment. The warranty premium
which the local energy supplying company has to pay for 20 years to private owners of solar systems is
higher then the costs for “electricity from power providers”. Furthermore, the sun almost certainly won’t
run out of steam – thereby providing independence from electricity producers and from other,
non-sustainable energy sources. Already today photovoltaic systems cover oneself against rising costs
for fossil energy. But, before feeding the grid with their own solar cells, home owners have to make
considerable investments: A 5-kilowatt PV system, which is the typical size installed by
four-person-households is at current prices, approx. 30.000 Euro. An initial investment, which is a burden
in short and medium terms: The capital is tied up for a long time and loans are typically agreed to fund the
purchase. Furthermore, running costs for maintenance, insurance and, in most of the cases, external
financing has to be paid.

Solar energy = an investment for the future
Once a decision to invest has been made, there is no doubt that the individual will be playing their role in
helping to preserve the environment: Avoiding the combustion of fossil resources saves natural resources
and reduces the air pollution, the CO² emission is close to 0.

Despite the comparatively high initial investment, solar systems provide a high return on investment
which which boost the property value and enhances ones pension.

2. Does a photovoltaic system pay off?
Of late, there have been some changes in the “Erneuerbare Energie-Gesetz” (EEG), whereby the subsidy
tariff for solar installations has been lowered. In spite of this, the installation of photovoltaic modules on
ones roof will still pay off for German house owners in 2010 and 2011 and according to the magazine
Finanztest, remains an excellent capital investment irrespective of the changes in the EEG.

Even an averaged generation of electricity is sufficient for running a solar plant profitably in the future.
Although the German government agreed on a reduction of the reimbursement rate, the prices for solar
energy plants decrease and therewith counterbalance the reduction of the compensation for electricity fed
into the grid.

Solar systems are an interesting investment because the government guarantees the long term purchase
of the solar energy at a fixed price: Excess generated electricity is fed back into the National Grid and
local suppliers of electricity are required to pay a fixed amount (per kilowatt hour) for 20 years. Starting
from July 1, 2010, the amount is 34.05 Cent per kilowatt hour in case of less than 30kW. This amount is
considerably higher than the cost of purchasing electricity from local suppliers which warrants a premium
for your contribution, not to mention the generated electricity which will have already been consumed and
reduced your necessity to purchase from local suppliers.

The more efficient the solar system, the higher the yield
In times of insecure financial investments, the investment in a solar system is a worthwhile option. But in
countries like Germany, which are not very sun-blessed, the following fact must be noted: The more
efficient the solar system, the higher the yield. At this, it is important to pay attention to the efficiency rate
of the system, which is the yield of electrical capacity in proportion to the solar radiation. The efficiency
rate of modern solar systems rise steadily, for instance, the module efficiency rate of SANYO HIT is
approximately 18.6% amongst the highest in the industry.

3. Is my house suitable for a solar plant?
The good news is that there is a suitable solution for every type of building and roof when the static
conditions are met. An alignment towards the south and an inclination of about 30° provides the very best
results. Before making the decision whether to buy a solar system or not, an experienced installer should
look at the roof. Following this, the planning – from the module layout to the yield estimate – begins.

The energy yield ranges according to the amount of naturally occurring solar radiation at the location of
the system. Other possible factors in the surrounding areas such as shadow may also influence the
performance of the system. Whilst it is not possible to do anything to counter the weather at the place of
domicile, there is still the possibility to avoid shadow. Building development in the neighbourhood, trees,
antennas etc. should also be taken into consideration. An all-season shadow can decrease the energy

Yield estimate at a glance – The SANYO online solar calculator
The produced amount of solar energy depends heavily on the region, the alignment and the installation
degree. In order to calculate exactly the possible solar yield for the own home, there are many suitable
online tools available such as the SANYO online calculator. The calculator, which is available on , provides the homeowner with an exact yield analysis.

4. Advise for the purchasing decision – What kind of solar systems are available on the market?
Nowadays, home owners can chose between three established types of solar modules: solar cells made
of monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon and thin film solar cells. Most of them are made of silicon
but differ in use, energy output and production.

       Monocrystalline solar cells
Monocrystalline solar cells can achieve the highest efficiency rate (approx. 16-18%), which makes them
especially suitable for smaller roofs. However, due to energy-rich production they are slightly costly.

       Polycrystalline solar cells
More than 50% of the solar plants in use are composed of multicrystalline cells. The cell efficiency is
about 2% lower those of monocrystalline cells, but their production uses less energy which means that
the lower production costs can be passed onto consumers in the form of more attractive prices.

        Amorphous Solar cells
Amorphous silicon cells are also often known as Thin Film cells, when a silicon layer is intercepted on
glass or other substratum materials. The layer is less than 1 µm wide and consequently production costs
are significantly lower due to the lower material costs. But the efficiency of amorphous cells is much lower
than that of the other crystalline cell types.
         Maximum value in efficiency: Combined materials
The combination of features of monocrystalline and thin film offers the best in efficiency. The SANYO
HIT® modules consist of such a combination. The hybrid structure consists of monocrystalline silicon
wafer which is sandwiched with thin amorphous layers. Unlike crystalline only cells, combined materials
can sustain extremely high efficiency levels at higher temperatures. The modules of the new HIT®
N-Series will be available from September 2010. These modules consist of 72 cells and achieve an
stabilized efficiency rate of 18.6%*, a worldwide maximum value. Thanks to this extraordinary high
efficiency, SANYO solar modules can produce more energy per square meter and need less space on
the roof than similar modules of competitor companies.


5. Advice for purchase decision – What to consider when buying a solar module?
A solar system is a profitable investment. But it only pays off when the system works for 20 years which is
the duration of the feed-in tariff subsidy. An investment into the wrong type of technology can be a costly
mistake since it will have a negative impact on the income generated through the feed-in tariff. It is
therefore advisable to have a close look not only at the type of technology but also at guarantees and
seals of approval before buying a system. Normally, brand manufacturers offer a guarantee of 5-10 years
for the product and production defects. When buying a system, the module power should not be lower
than the rated power. Furthermore the manufacturer should guarantee a minimum performance for more
than 20 years.

For brand manufacturers like SANYO, it is standard to have seals of approval for their products as low
failure rates can only be guaranteed after extensive product testing. When buying solar cells, it is
advisable to watch out specifically for IEC and ISO standards. Here are some examples:

IEC 61215: this is for verifying that modules can withstand the worst weather conditions. Modules must
pass static load tests in climate chambers with hail and ice to.

IEC standard 61730-1 / -2: these guarantee that the products have passed safety inspections

ISO 9001: this is a certification for quality management

6. Where to get independent advice and information?
The Bundesverband für Solarwirtschaft e.V. (BSW) offers detailed information such as a technology and
grant advisory on The consumer advice centres (Verbraucherzentralen) are
always a good place to go, too. Moreover, some brand manufacturers also offer support when it comes to
the purchase of a solar system. For example, SANYO Solar offers a dealer database on in order to set up contact with installers and specialists in the region. It is advisable
to get in contact with an accredited professional installer as soon as possible.

7. Financial aid: What to consider when financing a solar system?
Due to the high acquisition costs, most home owners finance their solar systems over many years. It is
advisable to act with caution when financing the solar system, because it is not only about finding a cheap
loan – fiscal aspects play an important role, too. Everybody who feeds the grid is a sole trader, but does
not automatically need to register a trade. Tax benefits are multifaceted: Energy operators can set off
investment costs and the maintenance effort against tax liability and get back incoming tax sales
payments from the tax and revenue office. Furthermore, the owner is allowed to offset the credit costs
against the solar income. That way, the owner does not need to pay the full duty on income.

For financing the solar system, many people choose the photovoltaic loan of the KfW Bank. This
programme supports photovoltaic plants with 100% loans up to 50.000 Euros. Currently (August 2010),
the interest rate is 2,25% p.a., normally its duration is up to 20 years with a maximum of three
redemption-free years. However, it is not possible to file for state-aided KfW loans at the KfW Bank itself,
but only at the house bank.

The funds of this programme are available for private and non-profit applicants. However, the state only
provides funds within a certain limit. Therefore it is important to get in contact with an expert at an early
stage in order to discuss the various factors which are important for the financing and acquisition.

8. Installation: How important is a good specialist dealer?
A solar system is a long-term investment. Therefore it is advisable to hire a qualified specialist firm which
manages the acquisition and installation. Only solar modules which were bought at specialist dealers
come with the required EC declaration of conformity and the required certificates which assure the
manufacturers’ guarantee. Furthermore, the installer takes responsibility for informing the acquirer about
funding, duties to obtain permits and other important factors. The specialist dealer of confidence is also
the first contact person when it is necessary to replace spare parts. Competent specialist dealer can be
found on the informative website

Proven quality: The solar system passport
With the so-called “system passport”, the Bundesverband für Solarwirtschaft e.V. (BSW) and the
Zentralverband der Deutschen Elektro- und Informationstechnischen Handwerke (ZVHE) help with finding
the right specialist dealer. With a system passport, any ordinary person can check if the installer has
followed the correct code of conduct and if he has handed over a high quality product. More than 800
German companies have already filed for a system passport. It is also good to know that many solar
insurances offer lower premiums after submitting this.

9. Bringing into service: What to do before feeding the grid?
Before commissioning the solar system, conditions for feed-in tariffs should be discussed with the
electricity network operator. According to the Erneuerbare-Energie-Gesetz (EEG), operators of local
power networks are legally obligated to buy all the power which is produced by solar systems. An
additional contractual agreement, which is requested by some network operators, is not necessary. If you
do decide to enter into a contractual agreement with electricity providers, it is always advisable to seek
professional legal advise before signing the documentation. Please note that sometimes, financing
institutions expect the owner to submit an agreement about the compensation for electricity fed into the
grid with its network operator for guarantee reasons.

Once the solar system is installed and fully registered, the installer must explain how the different
components operate. The installer must also clearly explain the maintenance, readout processes and, if
applicable, the cleaning processes. Now the solar cells on the roof can start producing power.

10. The time after: Which insurances make sense?
No solar system is totally protected against operating failure. Therefore, it is advisable to hedge one’s bet.
The already existing insurances like the building insurance or the contents insurance are not enough. The
building insurance does not cover theft and pilferage from the FIT is not guaranteed by contents
insurance. Since the contents insurance only covers a small part of solar plants, it is even more advisable
to contract an independent photovoltaic insurance.

A good photovoltaic insurance covers the following factors:
- A photovoltaic indemnity insurance which covers damages to the photovoltaic system – e.g. through
short-circuit, lightning strikes, wild animals or vandalism.

- A third-party insurance for operators covers for example claims like damages through a fire caused
by short-circuits, playing children who got injured or expensive cars which were damaged by pieces
falling from the roof.
-The photovoltaic contingency insurance covers breakdowns of photovoltaic systems – e.g. when the
income decreases due to extremely long winters.

An extensive photovoltaic insurance can protect the owner from large financial loss. By now, there are
several insurances which offer such insurances so it is always advisable to compare these before making
a purchase decision.

Company Outline

In 1980, SANYO was the first company starting mass production of amorphous solar cells. In 1997, mass
production of the high efficiency, high output HIT® Photovoltaic Modules was started. The HIT® Solar cells
(thin mono crystalline silicon wafer surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers) are highly
appreciated by the market not only by the characteristics of high efficiency and outstanding temperature
characteristics but also because of their very high reliability.

In 2004, SANYO Component Europe GmbH, the European sales headquarter was established, followed
by the module assembly production site in Hungary in 2005. SANYO Component Europe GmbH is a
member of PV CYCLE and is the first member to have signed a binding participation agreement with the

For additional information or visual materials, please contact:
cayenne pr
Katja Pfeifer
Rheinallee 9
40549 Düsseldorf
Phone: 0211 / 97769-181
Fax: 0211 / 97769-410

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