Editors' Blog

  • SMSL

    PV technology roadmap stuck in roadblock as Super League stays with p-type multi

    By Finlay Colville - 08 October 2015, 15:21

    Industry roadmaps hold that PV manufacturing is in need of major technology change. But with the leading silicon module manufacturers still favouring p-type multi c-Si, the best available evidence suggests otherwise, writes Finlay Colville.

  • SolarCity

    How soon is SolarCity’s 1GW fab equipment order-frenzy?

    By Mark Osborne - 08 October 2015, 15:08

    With some initial clues as to who provided the Silevo pilot-line unearthed, Mark Osborne investigates whether the same lucky company could be about to register a US$400 million tool order bonanza.

  • PV Tech

    Flexible and adaptive: How the Silicon Module Super League pulled away from the competition

    By Finlay Colville - 05 October 2015, 12:29

    It is not the end game to be number 1, but show me a company that didn’t strive for that mantle: one that didn’t turn the marketing volume up to 10 when a respected third party organization published a top-10 list showing leading status?

  • Big six capex spend

    Manufacturing capex from Silicon Module Super League to exceed US$1 billion in 2015

    By Finlay Colville - 30 September 2015, 12:11

    Capital expenditure in the PV industry used to be a simple metric to track. A new manufacturing facility meant new capex, it was that easy.

  • Paris

    COP21 is solar’s big chance to show what it can offer

    By Ben Willis - 30 September 2015, 08:02

    Solar has an opportunity to be a focal point of December’s crucial climate talks in Paris, but the industry must become better at making itself heard, writes Ben Willis.

  • Neeon's Cestas plant from above

    Europe’s largest solar park: Squeezing out maximum energy from the minimum land space

    By Tom Kenning - 29 September 2015, 14:43 | 1

    PV Tech visited Europe’s largest solar park, a 300MW project developed by France-based PV developer Neoen, located in Cestas, France in order to take a closer look at the intricacies of such a massive project:

  • Plotting SunPower’s need for gigawatts of new production capacity

    By Mark Osborne - 29 September 2015, 11:08 | 1

    SunPower is planning gigawatts of PV projects over the coming years, but has yet to make public its plans for a new wave of manufacturing capacity expansions. Mark Osborne explores what options may be open to the US company in the race to remain competitive.


    Silicon module ‘super league’ targets 40% market share in 2015

    By Finlay Colville - 28 September 2015, 17:03

    A breakaway ‘super league’ of silicon module suppliers looks on course to take a 40% market share in 2015, writes Finlay Colville.

  • PV Tech

    EU PVSEC 2015: Different city same policy tune

    By Mark Osborne - 15 September 2015, 07:13

    The policy or political side to Europe’s largest and most important R&D focused conference, EU PVSEC has been beating the same drum for several years and this year’s event in Hamburg is no different.

  • EIA

    US EIA stuck in the past on today’s PV module production

    By Mark Osborne - 14 September 2015, 15:38

    The US Energy Information Administration’s ‘Today in Energy’ brief is more a recent history lesson in the PV industry’s troubles with overcapacity, plummeting ASPs and low utilisation rates as it only covers the period 2011 to 2013 and amazingly highlights a ‘slowdown in the growth rate of global solar panel production’.

  • EU-China trade deal was distorted by politics, now politics has to fix it

    By John Parnell - 10 September 2015, 11:55

    As the European Commission considers opening an investigation to extend duties against Chinese PV manufacturers, only a similarly politicised intervention seems able to alter the universally unpopular status quo, writes John Parnell.

  • pv tech

    Super league of PV manufacturers emerging in a breakaway race

    By Mark Osborne - 07 September 2015, 10:58

    A significant chasm is emerging between six major PV manufacturers’ nameplate capacities and shipments and the rest of the top 20 producers. Mark Osborne analyses the breakaway group.

  • Barack Obama on a visit to the now-closed Solyndra factory

    Why learning the lessons of Solyndra matters

    By Ben Willis - 28 August 2015, 10:47 | 1

    Evidence that industry and government have learned from the mistakes made in the run-up to the collapse of Solyndra will help build public trust in solar as it gears up for the political battles that lie ahead, writes Ben Willis.

  • TSMC Solar

    Why outdated industry metric found new victim in TSMC and CIGS technology

    By Mark Osborne - 27 August 2015, 16:01 | 4

    The unexpected exit of CIGS manfucturer TSMC Solar from the market highlights the industry’s problem in relying on cost per watt as the main metric for comparing modules, writes Mark Osborne.

  • Dr Peter and Mr Waibi

    Life-saving solar: Join our Ugandan hospital appeal

    By John Parnell - 25 August 2015, 16:02

    PV Tech invites you to help deliver a potentially life-saving solar array to a hospital in Uganda. Find out how you can help with the project.

  • sunedison

    Adani dumps SunEdison in favour of richer contenders

    By Mark Osborne - 19 August 2015, 19:47 | 1

    Despite Reuters and whole bunch of mainstream media as well as some specialists in the renewable’s field having initially pronounced a major US$4 billion JV between SunEdison and India’s large conglomerate, Adani Group was a done deal back at the beginning of the year, those that did so should re-acquaint themselves with the terms ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MOU) and ‘feasibility study’.

  • PV Tech

    Dissecting ‘meaningful’ global PV manufacturing expansion plans

    By Mark Osborne - 08 August 2015, 10:42 | 3

    PV Tech’s preliminary analysis of global PV manufacturing expansion plans for the month of July, 2015 provide a longer-term picture to future expansions rather than more immediate decisions, underlying a lull in ‘meaningful’ capacity additions.

  • Lark Energy

    UK policy changes designed to stop solar farm development in its tracks

    By Finlay Colville - 22 July 2015, 12:12

    If there was one clear takeaway from the consultation and impact assessment releases by the UK government today, it would be that the government does not want any more solar farms as of today, writes Finlay Colville.

  • munich

    EU PVSEC & Intersolar Europe co-locating issues

    By Mark Osborne - 08 July 2015, 18:31

    Mark Osborne offers a personal perspective on the decision announced this week to co-locate two biggest events in the solar industry calendar, Intersolar Europe and EU PVSEC.

  • Image: PV Tech

    Leaders and laggards in PV manufacturers’ 2014 R&D spending

    By Mark Osborne - 08 July 2015, 12:28

    PV Tech’s annual analysis of 12 major PV manufacturers’ R&D spending behaviour was a blockbuster in 2014.

  • schott

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

    By Mark Osborne - 01 July 2015, 12:51

    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, 12:01 | 20

    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, 12:52 | 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, 10:30

    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, 10:31 | 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, 10:00 | 3

    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, 13:03 | 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, 12:38

    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, 13:28

    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, 10:04 | 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, 15:21 | 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.

  • Singapore solar map

    Solar Energy Southeast Asia 2014 day one report: Emerging markets with all the right ideas

    By Lucy Woods - 25 November 2014, 13:31

    Reporting from Bangkok on day one of Solar Energy Southeast Asia 2014, Lucy Woods hears how the region is developing creative new ideas to capitalise on its huge solar potential.

  • pv tech

    Trina Solar to be crowned leading PV manufacturer in 2014, surpassing Yingli Green

    By Mark Osborne - 25 November 2014, 11:29

    Based on analysis of the leading PV manufacturers and their latest shipment guidance for 2014, PV Tech has compiled the preliminary top 10 rankings for 2014.

  • pv tech

    Who are the leaders and laggards of the top 10 PV module manufacturers in 2014?

    By Mark Osborne - 24 November 2014, 11:55 | 1

    PV Tech has analysed the most current PV module shipment guidance figures from last year’s top 10 module manufacturers for 2014, revealing both the leaders and laggards amongst the big manufacturers based on expected shipment growth for the year.

  • Solarworld

    North America’s amazing PV module manufacturing turnaround

    By Mark Osborne - 17 November 2014, 19:01 | 2

    Over the last few years, North America has lost a significant number of PV manufacturers. But after analysing recent company results announcements, Mark Osborne reveals an altogether different story in the making for 2015 and beyond.

  • sma solar

    SMA Solar continues market share shenanigans

    By Mark Osborne - 06 November 2014, 12:30

    Both PV Tech and market research firm IHS have repeatedly highlighted for several years that SMA Solar’s view on its market share position in the PV inverter market differs considerably from our own analysis.


  • Photovoltaics International 29th Edition

    Forecasting the evolution of a young, dynamic industry is by definition an uncertain business, and solar is no exception. Rarely, if ever, do the numbers broadcast by any of the various bodies involved in the PV prediction game tally, and even historical deployment rates remain the subject of hot debate. The paradox is that getting forecasts broadly right is going to become increasingly important over the next few years, particularly for those involved in producing the equipment that will support whatever levels of demand come to pass.



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