Editors' Blog

  • schott

    Are the stars aligning for a boom in PV module manufacturer margins?

    By Mark Osborne - 01 July 2015, 11:51

    Recent reports of tigthening supply and falling polysilicon prices indicate that PV module manufacturers could be entering a period of improved profitability not seen for the last three years, writes Mark Osborne.

  • Chile, SunEdison

    Solar accounts for 1% of global electricity, how long will the next 1% take?

    By Tom Kenning - 29 June 2015, 11:01 | 15

    Solar energy now accounts for 1% of all global electricity demand but the next 1% will come much sooner. Tom Kenning investigates just how much quicker.

  • Drax power station, UK

    Solar versus coal in countdown to COP21

    By Ben Willis - 24 June 2015, 11:52 | 1

    As the COP21 climate talks in Paris draw closer, solar and coal are emerging as symbols of two very different energy futures, writes Ben Willis.

  • Intersolar 2015

    Intersolar Europe 2015: Five talking points

    By Andy Colthorpe,Ben Willis,Mark Osborne - 16 June 2015, 09:30

    As the curtain falls on another Intersolar Europe, the reporting team that covered the show for PV Tech dusts off the pretzel crumbs and reflects on some of the key takeaways from another four days of madness in Messe München.

  • PERC

    PERC – is it happening now or just another passing phase?

    By Finlay Colville - 15 June 2015, 09:31 | 1

    Modules using PERC technology were much in evidence at Intersolar Europe in Munich last week. But as Finlay Colville says, despite recent hype, PERC is not the only show in town.

  • Big solar in India

    100GW by 2022: Behind India’s big solar numbers

    By Tom Kenning - 08 June 2015, 09:00 | 2

    On the eve of an expected announcement by the Indian government detailing how it will reach its 100GW solar target, Tom Kenning looks behind the figures and asks if it can all be for real.

  • Yingli Green

    Is 2015 the year of reckoning for Yingli Green?

    By Mark Osborne - 04 June 2015, 12:03 | 2

    Recent history has not been kind to PV manufacturers that climb the rankings chart to become the global leader. Since 2007 when the industry really started to breakout of being a cottage industry and scale production, Sharp began a slow fall from the top, Suntech and First Solar both had short stays at the top and more recently, Yingli Green. After two years as the leading PV manufacturer, measured by module shipments, the company lost the top spot to Trina Solar in 2014.

  • Yingli World Cup

    Yingli’s steady recovery fades against the industry’s brightest stars

    By John Parnell - 21 May 2015, 11:38

    Yingli has sought to sooth investors by pointing to its “gradual” debt reduction, but with many rivals enjoying a period of growth, how comforting is its argument? John Parnell spoke to Yinlgi CFO Yiyu Wang.

  • How changing WTO rules on China could sink trade duties

    By John Parnell - 06 May 2015, 12:28

    The solar trade rows have so far largely played out in the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy arena but a particular set of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules applied to China are set to expire, casting doubt on future punitive tariffs.

  • JinkoSolar

    JinkoSolar no longer the R&D spending laggard

    By Mark Osborne - 23 April 2015, 09:04 | 1

    Major tier-one integrated PV manufacturer JinkoSolar significantly increased R&D spending in 2014, reaching a new annual expenditure record that coincided with average solar cell efficiencies also reaching new heights.

  • Solar irradiance map of Africa

    Crunch time for solar energy in West Africa

    By Ben Willis - 20 April 2015, 14:21 | 1

    Ahead of a two-day event focusing on West Africa, Ben Willis asks whether political leaders are prepared to take the necessary decisions to help solar energy fulfil its huge potential in the region.

  • EPIA

    Will the real 2014 global solar installation figure please stand up!

    By Mark Osborne - 26 March 2015, 22:04 | 2

    As we near the end of the first quarter of 2015, clarity over actual global PV market demand in 2014 remains elusive and confusing. Mark Osborne looks at the numbers.

  • pv tech

    Is Yingli Green the biggest loser in 2015 top 5 forecasted module manufacturer rankings?

    By Mark Osborne - 25 March 2015, 18:05

    Yingli Green’s PV module shipment guidance for 2015, compared to its four closest rivals could result in a further slide down the rankings this year.

  • SolarCity

    Will SolarCity’s 1GW Buffalo Riverbend production plant be a dream or a dread?

    By Mark Osborne - 16 March 2015, 15:04

    SolarCity’s move into PV manufacturing is one of the global PV industry’s big unfolding stories. Mark Osborne assesses what the Californian company will have to do to pull of its ambitious upstream venture.

  • European Parliament

    Secrecy and silence intensify EU-China solar trade shambles

    By John Parnell - 13 March 2015, 15:20 | 1

    A week of rumour, speculation, leaked documents and hastily written rebuttals have intensified the air of secrecy and suspicion surrounding the EU-China solar trade deal and plunged it deep into chaos, says John Parnell.

  • Japan solar

    Key Japanese takeaways from PV Expo, Tokyo

    By Andy Colthorpe - 02 March 2015, 11:46 | 2

    From the nuclear question to Japan’s softening stance on foreign solar imports, Andy Colthorpe rounds up the main themes that came out of PV Expo in Tokyo last week.

  • A traditional Japanese welcome at PV Expo

    PV Expo Day One: Welcome to Japan

    By Andy Colthorpe - 25 February 2015, 16:45

    With PV Expo getting underway today in Tokyo, Japan, PV Tech’s reporter on the ground, Andy Colthorpe, takes a look at some of the dazzling array of technologies and companies on display.

  • Tepco

    Solar searches for place in Japan’s energy revolution at PV Expo

    By Andy Colthorpe - 24 February 2015, 08:43

    The PV Expo exhibition and conference takes place in Japan this week and will look both to the present task of executing projects from a 50GW-plus pipeline and to the longer term challenges faced by an industry entering the final years of its feed-in tariff (FiT).

  • Narendra Modi, V for victory

    Why it’s worth suspending your scepticism of India’s multi-GW MoUs

    By John Parnell - 16 February 2015, 07:36

    An India project MoU may mean nothing in isolation but if the big ideas they contain can be matched with big investment, their job will be done.

  • Obama

    USA needs ITC, if it’s going to back PV

    By John Parnell - 03 February 2015, 15:42 | 1

    The inclusion of the investment tax credit (ITC) in President Obama’s 2016 budget is of course good news but it is the beginning not the end of the debate.

  • Roadmap: Bifacial solar cells a key focus for Applied Materials

    By Mark Osborne - 02 February 2015, 10:15

    The dark days for the PV equipment sector are nearing an end after three years of strict capital cash management and reduced R&D spending by cell and module manufacturers, brought on by chronic overcapacity. Mark Osborne speaks to Applied Materials’ Jim Mullin for his thoughts on where PV cell technology is headed next.

  • PV Tech

    Top 10 PV Tech news stories of 2014

    By Mark Osborne - 06 January 2015, 12:41

    After what was a busy year for solar, that saw big strides forward for the global industry, Mark Osborne takes a look at the PV Tech stories that most caught our readers’ eye.

  • Hanwha solar merger an act of desperation or hope?

    By Mark Osborne - 09 December 2014, 09:00

    No one should be surprised about the inevitable merger announcement of Hanwha SolarOne and sister company, Hanwha Q CELLS. Mark Osborne assesses what the move will mean for the two companies and the questions that still remain unanswered.

  • SMA

    Headaches all round for SMA Solar

    By Ben Willis - 02 December 2014, 11:56 | 1

    Having just slashed its revenue forecast for the second time this year, it’s clear leading inverter supplier SMA Solar is facing multiple difficulties.

  • Conergy Thailand

    Southeast Asia pushes solar technology to its limits

    By Lucy Woods - 01 December 2014, 09:30

    Extreme weather conditions and a dispersed geography create a unique set of conditions in Southeast Asia. At Solar Energy Southeast Asia last week Lucy Woods heard how the adaptability of solar technology is responding to the challenge.

Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 27th Edition

    Now that the PV industry has unquestionably entered a new growth phase, all eyes are on which technologies will win through into the mainstream of PV manufacturing. PERC, n-type, p-type bifacial, heterojunction – all have become familiar terms in the ever-growing constellation of solar cell technologies. The question is which will offer manufacturers what they are looking for in improving efficiencies and cutting costs.

  • 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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Acknowledgements

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