Thomas starting soon with Cavs but will miss Boston game

first_imgThomas has already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game at Boston. /cbb OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Thomas missed the Cavs’ first 36 games while recovering from a hip injury that knocked him out of last season’s playoffs with Boston. Thomas was traded to the Cavs during the offseason in the blockbuster swap for Kyrie Irving. He will initially come off the bench for the Cavs, but could be starting as early as this weekend.The Cavs are at Orlando on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkCoach Tyronn Lue said Thomas’ minutes will be restricted as he works himself back into playing shape.“Once the minutes restriction is off, once the back-to-back thing is off and he’s able to play a lot of minutes, then it’s going to be different,” Lue said. “For now, we’re just happy to have him back and see who works well together, what happens and just go from there.” Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Cleveland Cavaliers’ Isaiah Thomas warms up before an NBA basketball game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Cleveland. APCLEVELAND, United States — The seven-month wait for Isaiah Thomas is almost over.The All-Star point guard is making his debut with Cleveland on Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, returning to the floor for the first time since May 19.ADVERTISEMENT Mediocrity has no place in 2018 asiad Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defenselast_img read more


first_imgWhen politics and ignorance collide, the truth usually is the first casualty of the collision. In the case of the repeated wrongheaded assertions by some politicians to malign the good intentions of the Central Bank of Liberia in advancing its financial inclusion policy by increasing access to finance to Liberia’s unbanked market, it is clear the paranoia of politics reigns supreme. Firstly, do these politicians understand that financial inclusion is good economics and it promotes the empowerment of the country’s poor? Do they know that in most rural communities in this country, there are no financial institutions to provide the banking needs of citizens involved in viable economic activities? Are they aware that there is limited funding to agriculture, and resultantly, one of the factors contributing to the lack of food security in Liberia is the barrier in accessing funding? How is increasing access to finance by supporting the efforts of communities and commercial banks to deliver services in remote and underprivileged areas undermining the country’s economic order? I’ve heard politicians saying they want to know how “our money” is being spent. Your monies, ladies and gentlemen are in the general and specific accounts of the Government of Liberia deposited at the Central Bank and no one can touch them without authorization by layers of government laws. They are not under the control of the Central Bank. Only the Government of Liberia can request how much and to whom those funds can be paid. On the other hand, monies used as placement to commercial banks at discount rates for relending as a means of improving liquidity in the financial sector are not “our” money. They are the reserves of commercial banks in Liberia. For those uninformed about the nature of central banks, let me provide basic knowledge on how they operate and why it is important to understand that no one is giving anyone free money. By law, all commercial banks are required to place a percentage of their deposits with the Central Bank of Liberia. This is called a reserve requirement. Today, the reserve requirement or ratio at the CBL is 15 percent for United States Dollars and 22 percent for Liberian dollars. For every one hundred dollars deposited in a commercial bank, 15 or 22 dollars of that must be placed with the Central Bank depending on what currency was deposited. That is a balance kept in the name of the Commercial Bank. The amount fluctuates depending upon the deposits at the bank. What happens to all this cash held by the commercial banks at the Central Bank? Nothing in the case of Liberia. They are mostly idle money lying there with no impact on the economy. Imagine now, with Liberian dollar liquidity in the billions and the reserve portion of banks’ reserves at the Central Bank. Does it make any sense for all that money to just sit there idly performing no function and in the case of Liberian dollars, depreciating against foreign currencies? It is senseless. Therefore, most Central Banks open discount windows where commercial banks can borrow from the reserve bank (Central Bank) as liquidity enhancement. In the case of the US Federal Reserve, this discount window interest rate is the benchmark for all other interest rates, from prime rates to the cost of treasury bills, all the way up to short and long term capital market instruments. In the case of funding to agriculture, the Central Bank of Liberia placed 5 million dollars with Afriland Bank at a rate of 3 percent, with strict instructions to be lent to the agriculture sector at no more than 9 percent. The issue is placing money at the disposal of a commercial bank, with the risk mitigation by the reserves of Afriland as collateral. At the maturity of the placement, the current account of the commercial bank was debited. Whose money was spent to provide financing to agriculture? Was money taken out of the general account of the Republic of Liberia and squandered? Does it make sense for any politician to be asking such ignorant question or is there a political motivation? If the question is meant to elicit an informed answer, then the Central Bank officials should be invited to a hearing at the National Legislature to explain how the process works. But going on the public airwaves to disingenuously mislead the public in order to score political points is wrong and it undermines the financial autonomy of the Central Bank of Liberia. The calls can also have a damaging effect on the relationship between fiscal and monetary authorities in Liberia and put the country’s program under the IMF and World Bank under unnecessary suspicion. If the acts of the Central Bank to advance financial inclusion were against fiduciary and prudential guidelines, the first institutions to sound a warning bell would be from the Breton Woods structure. Let’s not forget that Liberia is still under an externally monitored fiscal and monetary regime. The IMF just left Liberia on May 8, 2015 as part of its routine checks, balances and consultations. The CBL must be supported to carry out its function, especially for sectors such as agriculture, where banks are reluctant to lend. Out of a total loan portfolio of 343 million United States dollars in the commercial banking system, as of December 31, 2014, only six percent or 23 million dollars was lent to agriculture, forestry and fishing. Non-performing loans as a percentage of loans to the sector was 17%. Although the amount of the loan to agriculture is not disaggregated by subsectors, yet it would be safe to assume that most of that money went into nonfood agriculture, principally into Liberia’s biggest cash crop: rubber. Clearly, banks are either unwilling, unable or do not have the capacity to lend to agriculture in Liberia. Lending to agriculture is obviously not as profitable as the short term maturity loans that can be made, for example in trade finance. The bulk of commercial bank loan portfolio, 177 million dollars or nearly half of all loans were made to finance trade, meaning imports, which indicates that most of the financing went to the largest importers in the country, mainly the Indians and Lebanese. As a result of the limitations in bank credits to farmers, which indicates the severity of the lack of financial inclusion in the rural areas, the Central Bank of Liberia has sought to increase services to households out of Monrovia. The Central Bank of Liberia developed the Liberian Strategy for Financial Inclusion (LSFI) from 2009-2013 in order to respond to the need of expanding banking services to poor people in all parts of Liberia. That plan has received lots of commendation from those impacted in communities all over Liberia. The Bank currently supports the following in furtherance of its strategic objectives:1. Opening of 6 rural community finance institutions (RCFI’s), with three additional planned;2. Support to or coordination with other microfinance institutions:a) BRACb) LEADc) Liberty Financed) Corporate credit Unionse) Community Credit Unionsf) Village Savings and Loan institutionsAdditionally and as a stimuli to the economy, the CBL had to reduce the barriers to accessing financial products by:1. Designed and implemented the Loan Extension Availability Facility (LEAF) to fund SME2. Provided SME capital of US5.0 million to commercial banks for onward lending. The CBL provided the funds at 3 percent interest for onward lending at 8 percent to qualified borrowers. The risks were mitigated by the reserves of the commercial banks. The program was hugely successful and ended in 2013.3. A home mortgage Program of USD10 million dollars was inaugurated through LBDI4. Placement of USD 5 million plus 181,250,000 LD to Afriland Bank at 3 percent interest for long term funding to agriculture, to support planting of cocoa, coffee, rubber, and oil palm. Whose money is it? It is not our money. The process of providing liquidity to commercial banks is a necessary and prudent element in reserve banking and should be applauded and not condemned due to politics. And so it goes. Samuel P. Jackson is a former banker with Chase Manhattan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Credit Suisse, in the United States of America. He can be reached at Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mourinho slams managers turned pundits over United criticism

first_img0Shares0000Jose Mourinho, who was cheered up by the mascots and Juan Mata at Selhurst Park, was happy with Manchester United’s victory over Crystal Palace but not criticism from pundits © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 9 – Jose Mourinho has hit out again at media pundits — including Gary Neville — for their criticism of Manchester United and star players such as Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.And the United manager suggested that their own failures in management make them unqualified to offer such views. Neville has been a repeated critic of his former club’s manager and, during United’s dramatic victory at Crystal Palace on Monday, in which they trailed 2-0 before recovering to win 3-2, did not hold back in his comments.“I’ve never seen a Jose Mourinho team as inefficient as this,” said Sky Sports television analyst Neville.“They are always efficient teams, they always do things really calmly, they are usually solid in defence.”But Mourinho responded with criticism of his own, especially in the case of Neville who had a brief, unhappy spell in charge of Spanish side Valencia.“Some of the guys with an opinion couldn’t resolve their own problems when they were managers,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday. “So they are giving opinions like they have solutions for everything but is not like that.”The former Chelsea manager added: “But they are in a position where they can give opinions about everything, sometimes I read and listen, sometimes I don’t.“This week I was more focused on enjoying Champions League and Europa League and preparing my match than focusing on opinions,” the Portuguese boss insisted.Mourinho was speaking ahead of the Premier League meeting with bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday in which he will be looking for star striker Romelu Lukaku to improve on a goalscoring record which has seen him score just one of his 23 goals against a team currently in the top 10 of the division.The United manager remains firmly impressed by the striker, however, and Lukaku revealed earlier in the week that he considers himself a “sergeant” for his manager on the field.– ‘Lukaku trust’ –“I had a laugh with him, that’s fine, he’s an important guy for me, one of the guys that I trust, I love the character,” said Mourinho.“Against Crystal Palace there was nothing that happened after our third goal but I told him ‘central defender’. So he was playing central defender in a back five with (Chris) Smalling and (Victor) Lindelof because I couldn’t make any more changes.“So when I say to the striker go there and job for me he is a sergeant. I always thought and told you many times for me it’s not just about the goals he scored but what he brings to the team and it’s that spirit.”Mourinho tried to downplay the importance of the Liverpool meeting, ahead of a vital week for his team in which they also face Sevilla in a Champions League knock-out tie and have an FA Cup quarter-final with Brighton.But he believes the atmosphere of a packed Old Trafford could be a big factor in the game.“It helps,” he said of playing at home. “At Crystal Palace, I can imagine if we are losing 2-0 and our away fans, how many? 2000? We could feel disapproval, criticism or support.“Yet 2-0 down and we only felt support and at 2-1 we felt more belief and at 2-2 we felt they want us to go for it. They can help. Old Trafford is a huge majority of Man United fans, so they can help.”Mourinho confirmed Ivory Coast Eric Bailly is fully fit and in contention to start against Liverpool, while Marouane Fellaini is back in United’s matchday squad after recovering from a knee injury.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Liverpool Warned: Pay up or you WILL LOSE Sterling!

first_imgNeil Warnock has warned Liverpool they will have to give in to Raheem Sterling’s wage demands if they want to keep him at Anfield.Contract talks between the club and the 20-year-old are currently on hold after the forward reportedly turned down improved terms of £180,000 a week.He still has two years to run on his current deal, but there are fears among the fans on Merseyside that he may decide to quit the club and join a Premier League rival that is prepared to meet his demands, or head abroad to the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid.And Warnock admits the Reds are on the back foot when it comes to negotiations.The former QPR and Crystal Palace boss told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I don’t think they [Sterling and his advisers] have decided where he’s going to go yet, but because he’s in the driving seat – players are always in the driving seat when they’re as good as Sterling – the agents will know if they don’t rush into anything, the longer it goes on the more power they have, and more the situation becomes ‘pay up or let him go’.“You can’t do much about it as a manager. All you can do is tell him it’s the best thing for him and for his career to stay at the club, and all that bull we all come out with but, at the end of the day, it all comes down to money and to the opportunity [available to him].“I’m sure they don’t want him to go. You can’t get players like that, you just can’t find them without spending multi-millions, so you’ve got to try to keep him.“But at the end of the day it’s up to the club, and they will have to come up with more money than they think he’s worth at the moment.“They talk about age and say you can’t give young lads too much money at that age and things like that, but this is a new world and if you don’t give them the money, they’re off.”last_img read more


first_imgDDTV: Donegal Airport has one of the most spectacular backdrops to any runway in Ireland.This incredible drone footage from Owen Clarke only reiterates that belief.The stunning footage captures all that is beautiful about Donegal – and proves we really do live in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.To view the footage simply click play on the video above and enjoy. WOW! CHECK OUT THE STUNNING DRONE FOOTAGE OF DONEGAL AIRPORT! was last modified: March 4th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal AirportdroneFootgaeOwen ClarkeYouTubelast_img read more

Women’s Basketball To Host Wichita State On Friday Night

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s basketball team starts its February slate of games at the Knapp Center on Friday as Drake faces Wichita State. Tipoff with the Shockers is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will broadcast via The Valley On ESPN3. Drake with a 14-6 overall record enters Friday night at 7-2 in Missouri Valley Conference play after the first time through the league’s round-robin schedule. The Bulldogs are coming off an 81-65 win at Loyola on Sunday, where they rallied from an 11-point second-quarter deficit. Drake went on a 15-2 scoring run to end the second period fueled by junior Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.), who scored eight points during the run, including a layup right before the buzzer to propel the Bulldogs to a 29-27 halftime lead. Drake never trailed again as it pulled away from Loyola with two high-scoring final quarters. Wendell finished with a game-high 25 points, adding six assists with just one turnover, four rebounds, one block and one steal in 32 minutes. She scored 25 points in Drake’s previous game against Bradley and her big weekend earned her MVC Player of the Week accolades on Monday. The weekly honor is the league-leading fourth for Wendell this season. She has climbed to 11th all-time in career scoring with 1,621 points, passing an impressive trio of former Bulldogs in Tammi Blackstone (1996-2000) 1,581 points, Kiersten Miller (1994-98) 1,598 points and Tricia Wakely (1992-96) 1,605 points. Sophomore Maddy Dean (Jordan, Minn.) had an impressive performance in the win in Chicago with 13 points, seven rebounds, a career-tying seven assists and two steals. A pair of freshmen, Sammie Bachrodt (Wichita, Kan.) and Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) each had 10 points. Drake had just eight points on three baskets after the first quarter, but finished the day with 28 field goals and 21 assists. Wichita State is 5-15 overall and 2-7 in the MVC after having its two-game win streak snapped by Missouri State. Newcomer Rangie Bessard leads the Shockers at 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Drake won 87-56 in the first meeting between the two teams this season in Wichita, Kan. Following Friday’s game, Drake hosts Missouri State on Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more


first_imgBREAKING NEWS: A well-known Donegal hotel has closed with the loss of up to 35 jobs.The Seaview Hotel in Gaoth Dobhair which closed tonight.The owner of the Seaview Hotel in Gaoth Dobhair, Mr Jimmy Boyle, confirmed to Donegal Daily that the hotel has closed with immediate effect.The company trading as the Seaview Hotel, Boyle Entertainment Ltd, has now entered a voluntary liquidation process and a creditor’s meeting called. A total of 35 part-time and full-time employees have lost their posts at the hotel which once employed 102 people at its peak in 2008.Staff were called to the hotel and told the shocking news this evening.The company has cited a number of contributing reasons for its decision to close including commercial rates €65,000 per annum.A statement from Mr Boyle said further problems include continuous increase in overheads and “no local government body agency taking responsibility for job creation.” “It is with sadness that the company, Boyle Entertainment Ltd, has creased trading and adding to the current downward spiral of the Goath Dobhair while being ignored by the current administration,” said Mr Boyle. SADNESS AS WELL-KNOWN DONEGAL HOTEL CLOSES WITH LOSS OF 35 JOBS was last modified: January 7th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BunbegcloseddonegalGaoth DobhairJimmy BoyleliquidationSeaview Hotellast_img read more

UK’s Pearson invests in SA education

first_img23 November 2010UK-based multinational publishing and education company Pearson plc is to acquire a 75% stake in South Africa’s CTI Education Group for £31-million (about R347.7-million) in cash, as part of its plans to expand in the southern African region.The transaction will strengthen Pearson’s position as a leading education company in southern Africa, and also makes allowance for Pearson to acquire the remaining 25% stake in CTI in three years’ time.Pearson international education business CEO John Fallon said the company was excited to enter the local market and meet a growing demand for high-quality, career-advancing higher education in South Africa and the region.“We are deeply impressed by the quality of CTI’s business and the commitment of its management and staff to produce excellent outcomes for students, and we look forward to this new partnership with them,” Fallon said in a statement this week.“Pearson’s worldwide range of content, curriculum and digital tools will help CTI broaden its range of courses and degrees, and our marketing capacity will enable CTI to reach more students across the African continent.”CTI is a higher education institution with more than 9 000 students on 12 campuses, and offers diplomas and degrees in subjects as business, information technology, law, psychology and counselling, graphic design and creative arts.These include degrees accredited by both the South African Council of Higher Education and the British Accreditation Council; degrees offered in partnership with UK universities such as the University of Wales and Heriot-Watt University; and diplomas and vocational qualifications including BTECs from Pearson. Since 2006, CTI has been in partnership with the Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI).“We anticipate a whole new phase in the development of the CTI Education Group including MGI, which offers a broad spectrum of degrees serving students from South Africa and other countries in southern Africa,” said CTI Education Group chairman Michiel Barnard.“CTI and MGI have awesome qualifications, two very strong brands and a wealth of university management experience. Pearson’s strong brand, educational resources and global reach will help leverage CTI’s strengths and transform the higher education landscape in southern Africa.”Recruiting foreign studentsAbout 15% of CTI first-year students already come from African countries other than South Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe.Pearson plans to recruit more students from throughout southern Africa to CTI’s South African campuses, which include Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, and also apply Pearson’s distance-learning model to educate students further afield through CTI.Pearson Southern Africa serves the school, higher education and vocational markets, providing learning materials, assessment, teacher training and other educational solutions through its companies in South Africa and 10 other countries in southern, central and east Africa.These include Maskew Miller Longman, Heinemann South Africa and the South African operations of Edexcel, Pearson’s international academic and vocational qualifications and assessment business.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

WEF on Africa: The best of 2016

first_imgThe 26th World Economic Forum on Africa ran from 11 to 13 May in Rwanda. We’ve gathered highlights from the three-day event at which governments, business leaders, and civil society gathered to discuss the continent’s progress and navigate a way forward. Rwandan President Paul Kagame speaks at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali on 12 May 2016. (Image: Benedikt von Loebell, WEF, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr)Media Club South Africa reporterThe 26th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa closed on 13 May, bidding farewell to more than 1 200 heads of state, CEOs, academics, international organisations, journalists and artists who had gathered in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.Among the speakers and guests were South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and numerous South African business leaders such as Rapelang Rabana and Patrice Motsepe. We’ve gathered a few highlights from the three-day conference.On the overall theme “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation” (Image: WEF)Those countries which are thriving are those which are inclusive: Graça Machel #af16 #4ir— World Economic Forum (@Davos) May 12, 2016We, as leaders, must demand of ourselves actions, results and accountability: Graça Machel #af16 #4ir— World Economic Forum (@Davos) May 12, 2016Watch the discussion about what the theme means for Africa:On investing in infrastructure“Investment in infrastructure has stimulated economic activity. Therefore, there are returns to be made for investors in infrastructure in South Africa and Africa. Infrastructure is better done when approached at a regional level, because our countries are interlinked through the movement of people and trade.” – Deputy President Cyril RamaphosaWatch the panel discussion:On increasing the digital landscape in education, health and the economyThe digitalisation of the economy is a huge opportunity for the continent to leapfrog and embrace the new and move forward.See the discussions about how technology and innovation can improve sectors such as education, health and the economy: (Image: WEF)We need to organise ourselves to work towards our objectives: Pravin Gordhan #financialinclusion— World Economic Forum (@Davos) May 13, 2016You have to match learning tools to the local curriculum: Rapelang Rabana, Rekindle Learning #af16 #4ir— World Economic Forum (@Davos) May 12, 2016“The internet has become a pervasive, fundamental part of daily life. But low internet penetration significantly impacts a country’s ability to participate in the digital economy, which is becoming an increasingly important priority for development as Africa, like the rest of the world, enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” – WEF executive Alex Wong” (Image: WEF)On gender empowerment and female innovatorsWatch a panel discussion featuring a few of Africa’s top female innovators, including South Africa’s Nneile Nkholise from iMED Tech Group:Where are women in the technology and infrastructure talk? Inclusion is an imperative – Graça Machel #af16 #4ir— DjembeCommunications (@djembepr) May 12, 2016last_img read more

Good News, Bad News: A Glut of Solar Panels

first_imgWhen China dives into a technology, it does so in a big way. Nowhere is this more the case than in photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturing, where dramatic growth has not only taken a toll on other manufacturers around the world, but also now threatens its own PV industry through rampant oversupply.This has significant implications for us here in the U.S. — both good and bad. The problem is that demand for PV hasn’t been growing as quickly. World demand, which has been steadily rising, is now slightly over 30 GW (pretty impressive growth), but that’s less than half of current manufacturing capacity.This glut of PV modules has resulted in plummeting prices. This has hurt not only manufacturers in the U.S. and the rest of the world that have been unable to match China’s manufacturing efficiencies, but also Chinese companies that are losing, according to the New York Times, as much as $1 for every $3 in sales. Good for today’s buyersLower prices are great for those of us wanting to install PV systems at our homes or businesses. I’ve seen promotions recently for panels as cheap as $0.68 per watt. This is despite tariffs the U.S. put on Chinese modules earlier this year for dumping (selling at below cost) that amount to about 35%.PV modules represent a significant chunk of the total system cost, but as costs of modules have dropped the share of total costs from other components has grown. In a typical residential system today, the PV modules represent only 20-30% of the total system cost. The “balance of systems” components include inverter, grid-intertie equipment, controls, and a mounting system, and of course there is labor. Balance-of-systems components are also dropping in price, but not as quickly as the PV modules.Locally in southern Vermont, installers are putting in complete grid-connected PV systems with Chinese modules for as little as $3.40 per watt (for a 5-kW system), according to one installer I spoke with, while another, which uses American-made PV modules, listed system prices in the $3.80 to $4.00 range. Three years ago, $3.40 per watt wouldn’t even cover the cost of modules. In 2004, the average installed system cost in Vermont was about $11 per watt — more than three times today’s lowest cost. (The state-wide average is skewed by high-cost systems that include batteries for stand-alone applications.)But the bottom line is that you have never been able to put in a PV system more affordably — even as state incentives have dropped. There remains a 30% federal tax credit, but the state incentive in Vermont has dropped, and the pot of money from which that incentive is paid gets depleted quickly each time its funding is renewed. What happened?China learned how to manufacturer PV modules from leading-edge manufacturers in the U.S., Germany, and elsewhere, and then figured out how to do it better and much cheaper than anyone else. In just a few years, China came to dominate world PV manufacturing, leaving a trail of bankrupt Western manufacturers in its wake.According to an in-depth article in last week’s New York Times, based on data from GTM Research, world PV manufacturing capacity in 2007 totaled about 5 gigawatts (GW), or 5,000 megawatts (MW). Of this, roughly 2 GW of capacity was in China. This year (2012), world PV capacity has grown to over 70 GW, and China’s share of that is about 50 GW. Just since 2009, Chinese manufacturing capacity has increased six-fold — from just 8 GW that year. RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Photovoltaic SystemsAn Introduction to Photovoltaic SystemsTesting a Thirty-Year-Old Photovoltaic ModulePV Systems Have Gotten Dirt CheapGenerating Electricity from the SunGBA Product Guide: Photovoltaic PanelsPodcast: Photovoltaics, Part 1center_img But not necessarily good for the health of the industryWhile lower prices are attractive for those wanting PV systems, the shrinking diversity of PV manufacturers is a bad thing for the long-term health of the solar industry. Fewer companies and less geographic spread to those companies means that we’re at the whim of policies that we have no control over. Chinese companies have racked up huge debt. According to last week’s New York Times article, state-owned banks in China are carrying $18 billion in loans to PV manufacturers, while municipal and provincial governments have often provided loan guarantees.Policymakers in China are apparently debating how to let PV manufacturers fail and how to choose which ones to keep afloat. In June of this year, GTM Research predicted that 21 GW of solar manufacturing capacity would come offline by 2015, due to this oversupply problem — as a result of company bankruptcies. If all of the companies were allowed to fail, we could quickly return to a seller’s market and prices could go back up.The glut in Chinese PV manufacturing is also bad for Obama. The much-publicized bankruptcy of Solyndra Corporation, which had received significant federal support, was largely the result of lower-cost modules being available from China. (If anyone had asked me, by the way, I would have argued against supporting Solyndra, as I thought at the time the technology was gimmicky and unlikely to compete in the long term.) Solyndra wasn’t the only solar manufacturer to fail, and others will follow suit in the months and years ahead.I’m hoping that enough of the world’s major solar manufacturers will remain in business with competitive enough prices to keep the cost of PV systems relatively affordable to those of us wanting to install them. We are making huge progress at adding significant solar capacity in the U.S., and I’m hoping to see that continue. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He also recently created the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more