Editors' Blog

  • Barack Obama inspects a Solyndra module

    Unloved but not unwanted: Solyndra and the PV bargain basement

    By Andy Colthorpe - 22 July 2014, 16:21

    Last week it emerged that modules from the bankrupt US firm Solyndra have found their way into Europe’s second-hand PV market. Andy Colthorpe investigates this little reported but lively trade

  • Greg Barker, the UK's erstwhile solar champion

    Who will speak up for solar in the new-look UK government?

    By Lucy Woods - 17 July 2014, 09:46

    A major shake-up in the UK government earlier this week saw the country’s booming solar industry lose arguably its most important political champion. The question now is who will fill his shoes, writes Lucy Woods.

  • India

    The sorry state of PV manufacturing in India

    By Mark Osborne - 25 June 2014, 16:17

    With India embroiled in a fierce debate over whether or not to impose trade duties on foreign PV imports, a recent report laid bare the sorry state of the country’s domestic PV industry. Mark Osborne takes a look at the findings.

  • qcells

    Q CELLS back in the game

    By Mark Osborne - 19 June 2014, 09:34

    Germany’s Q-Cells was one of the most high-profile bankruptcies in the recent industry downturn. Reborn as Hanwha Q CELLS, the company is witnessing a strong revival, writes Mark Osborne, following an exclusive interview with its chief executive, Charles Kim.

  • Silevo

    SolarCity reverse engineers PV manufacturers’ business models

    By Mark Osborne - 18 June 2014, 11:29

    The acquisition of US-based PV manufacturer, Silevo, by the largest US PV installer, SolarCity, has caused a storm and turned recent business trends within the industry on their head. Mark Osborne analyses the deal and its implications for the industry.

  • Intersolar 2014

    Compact, efficient, international, Intersolar Europe 2014 offers glimpse of the future

    By John Parnell - 10 June 2014, 06:42

    Less dramatic, slightly smaller, more international. Intersolar Europe 2014 offers a few glimpses of what a sustainable, internationalised European PV industry might look like, writes John Parnell.

  • Ivanpah, Brightsource

    Birds could derail CSP project despite promises of ‘drones, tear gas and pyrotechnics’

    By John Parnell - 07 May 2014, 17:00 | 2

    A decision to block the 500MW Palen project in California from using CSP tower technology could send solar thermal power generation back to the trough despite a range of inventive solutions to deter migratory birds.

  • JA Solar cell production

    The next PV capacity expansion phase is under way

    By Mark Osborne - 24 April 2014, 12:13

    After two years of living hand to mouth, PV manufacturers are once again looking at building new production capacity as demand booms. Mark Osborne charts the expansion plans of the industry’s leading suppliers.

  • YingliSolar

    How important is Yingli’s sponsorship of the Brazil World Cup for solar?

    By Peter Bennett - 25 March 2014, 06:07 | 1

    Here’s a challenge for you – spot the odd one out from the following list of 2014 FIFA world cup sponsors: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Castrol, Budweiser, Adidas, Visa, Sony and Yingli.

  • Risk

    PV, a dicey business

    By Ben Willis - 21 March 2014, 10:39

    Events in Ukraine highlight how easily apparently safe solar investments can suddenly look very precarious. As PV expands its global reach, managing political risk will become an increasing concern, says Ben Willis.

  • Activ Solar's Perovo power plant

    Uncertain future for Ukraine’s PV power plants

    By Lucy Woods - 12 March 2014, 10:20

    As Russia strengthens its grip on Crimea, the fate of PV power plants in the region and in wider Ukraine is in limbo. Lucy Woods reports.

  • Bill Clinton

    If money makes the world spin round, investment is the new name of the solar game

    By Lucy Woods - 31 January 2014, 12:36 | 1

    Former US president Bill Clinton led a rally of high profile calls for a rethinking of renewable energy investment at a clean-tech conference in Germany last week. Lucy Woods heard what he had to say.

  • Solar sunset

    So long, and thanks for all the sunshine

    By Felicity Carus - 07 January 2014, 11:33 | 4

    In her final blog for PV Tech, Felicity Carus reflects on the changes she has seen in her time as an observer of the US solar market. Although huge challenges remain, the industry is in great health, she writes.

  • Meyer Burger's SmartWire Connection Technology

    Top 10 PV Tech product reviews of 2013

    By Mark Osborne - 03 January 2014, 11:57

    Despite a lack of spending on new product development 2013 still turned out some interesting new entrants from new tools for factories to new modules and inverters. We run through the top ten products by page views that caught the eye of PV Tech readers in 2013.

  • Thin-film

    Top 10 PV Tech news stories of 2013

    By Mark Osborne - 02 January 2014, 10:40

    Looking back over 2013, it’s clear the year was a transitional one. A key takeaway has been the recovery in end-market demand that has restored manufacturing utilisation rates to almost 100% for tier one PV module manufacturers and the opportunity for many but not all PV module manufacturers to return to operating profits in the second half of the year.

  • A traditional British panto

    The heroes, villains, victims and fools of solar in 2013

    By John Parnell - 31 December 2013, 06:00

    Here in the UK the festive season also means panto season, so how would the last 12 months in the solar industry play out in the classic, over the top, slapstick theatre styling of pantomime and who would be the villain of the piece?

  • Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant

    The heavyweight PV projects of 2013

    By Ben Willis - 30 December 2013, 06:00

    While 2012 was arguably the year the solar mega project entered the public consciousness, with what are (for now) some of the world’s largest PV plants reaching completion, 2013 has seen its fair share of solar behemoths too. We profile the biggest projects of 2013 from the world’s biggest markets.

  • BrightSource's Ivanpah project

    CSP around the clock keeps developers up all night

    By Felicity Carus - 17 December 2013, 11:01

    Concentrated solar power has had a difficult year in the US, with several high-profile projects being turned down or shelved. But as Felicity Carus reports, it’s a technology that still has some distance to run.

  • Module shipments

    Solar trade wars: are you winning yet?

    By Felicity Carus - 10 December 2013, 10:52

    Trade disputes with the Chinese are still rumbling on in the US and Europe. As Felicity Carus reports, although efforts are still ongoing to find a settlement, the only winners so far have been Taiwanese cell manufacturers.

  • Money

    Solar’s ITC equity gap taxes the brightest minds in finance

    By Felicity Carus - 03 December 2013, 13:17

    The search is on for the next source of solar finance once the Investment Tax Credit winds, and some elaborate ideas are on the table. Just don’t mention sub-prime mortgages, says Felicity Carus.

  • Copper Mountain

    We need to talk about utility-scale solar…

    By Felicity Carus - 26 November 2013, 12:59

    Although much of the focus of debate in the US has been around residential and commercial solar, utility-scale projects represent the largest segment in America’s PV market. But as Felicity Carus, the days of the PV ‘mega’ project could be numbered.

  • Commercial solar

    Energy storage and the great commercial frontier: a solar star is born

    By Felicity Carus - 19 November 2013, 13:10

    Neither commercial-scale nor energy storage have yet take off in the US. But as Felicity Carus reports, this could be about change as companies eye opportunities in both segments.

  • Ontario FiTs

    Welcome to Canada, the new Germany for solar PV

    By Felicity Carus - 12 November 2013, 11:26 | 1

    Solar deployment in Canada has so far largely been restricted to its biggest economy, Ontario. But as Felicity Carus reports, other provinces are now beginning to consider the technology, even Alberta, home to the controversial tar sands.

  • SunEdison

    SunEdison entering phase of rapid expansion with new financial structures

    By Mark Osborne - 07 November 2013, 08:48

    SunEdison is racing to build significant scale to its PV power plant project business, while SolarCity has just successfully added a new financial business model to its bow.

  • Panasonic at SPI

    When will commercial solar hit the roof?

    By Felicity Carus - 05 November 2013, 13:44

    With the spotlight frequently shining on residential and utility-scale solar in the US, the commercial and industrial segments are often left in the dark. Felicity Carus reports on how they could shortly have their moment in the limelight.

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  • Photovoltaics International 24th Edition

    Signs earlier in the year of the global industry entering a growth phase have now been confirmed beyond any doubt. Almost all the big-name suppliers have now announced some form of manufacturing capacity expansion, a trend that analysts agree will only gather pace as long as the levels of demand predicted over the next few years turn out to be correct.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.

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