Editors' Blog

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • SPI 2014

    What SPI 2014 told us about US solar

    By Ben Willis - 24 October 2014, 08:01

    SPI 2014 provided a snapshot of the US solar industry. There was news of an imminent investment boom, a deadline drawing in for a resolution to the US-China trade dispute, exciting technological advances and a campaign to protect a key support mechanism. Ben Willis puts the show’s developments in their wider context.

  • Solar Energy UK

    Battery big guns eyeing 2015 launch for UK PV storage systems

    By Andy Colthorpe - 23 October 2014, 16:01

    Sharp, ABB, SMA and Bosch are among the big names readying new energy storage products for the UK PV market. Andy Colthorpe caught up with them at the Solar Energy UK show to find out what tech fits best for the UK’s nascent storage sector.

  • SolarWorld at SPI 2014

    SPI 2014: SolarWorld defiant over trade case

    By Ben Willis - 22 October 2014, 09:00 | 1

    The US solar trade case continues to cast a shadow over the buoyant American PV market. Ben Willis spoke to the originators of the case, SolarWorld, at SPI 2014 to see if they stand by their actions.

  • EU PVSEC: Is module manufacturing in emerging markets on the move?

    By Mark Osborne - 29 September 2014, 10:31

    The globalisation of end market demand for PV as the technology becomes increasingly cost competitive has been one of the significant developments over the last few years. Mark Osborne explores which regions could now emerge as manufacturing hubs as solar goes global.

  • dupont

    EU PVSEC: DuPont places bet on next gen solar cells

    By Mark Osborne - 24 September 2014, 12:01 | 1

    At any technology focused conference, especially in the PV industry the lack of a unified technology roadmap means that picking the winners from the losers is immensely problematic. From EU PVSEC this week, Mark Osborne reports on DuPont’s attempts to do just that.

  • FSLR

    Rare to find a rare-earth metals report that doesn’t scare

    By Mark Osborne - 11 September 2014, 11:57 | 1

    A UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and Energy Research Partnership (ERP) report that looks at the materials availability for a low-carbon future analysed much of published data on rare-earth metals such as indium and tellurium but didn’t panic over material supply issues, something quite rare in itself.

  • R&D:

    R&D spending analysis of top PV module manufacturers in 2013

    By Mark Osborne - 03 September 2014, 10:02

    As the PV manufacturing industry emerges from a painful downturn, Mark Osborne assesses how leading companies have continued investing in R&D and how that will prepare them as the upturn gathers pace.

  • Next Energy News

    Introducing our new UK site…Next Energy News

    By John Parnell - 20 August 2014, 10:51

    PV Tech’s publisher Solar Media is pleased to announce the launch of a new site for the UK market: Next Energy News.

  • Free trade

    Dim prospects for a lasting end to solar’s trade wars

    By Ben Willis - 30 July 2014, 07:31 | 1

    The trade wars that have convulsed solar in recent years ultimately help no one. Ben Willis assesses the prospects for a permanent solution to a problem that has become a thorn in the industry’s side.

  • Trina

    Who can take advantage of the US anti-dumping decision?

    By Mark Osborne - 29 July 2014, 13:10 | 1

    Although the dust has yet to truly settle on the second US anti-dumping investigation and the preliminary findings, mainstream media and financial analysts are already undertaking a post mortem and trying to pick the winners and losers.

  • BRICS

    How BRICS bank can be a friend to solar

    By Lucy Woods - 28 July 2014, 12:27

    A BRICS development bank agreed last week has been hailed as a potentially important new source of funding for solar. But as Lucy Woods writes, the BRICS nations will have to overcome some significant internal tensions first.

  • Barack Obama inspects a Solyndra module

    Unloved but not unwanted: Solyndra and the PV bargain basement

    By Andy Colthorpe - 22 July 2014, 15:48

    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, 09:13

    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, 15:44

    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, 09:01

    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, 10:56

    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, 06:09

    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, 16:27 | 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, 11:40

    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, 05:34 | 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, 10:06

    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, 09:47

    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, 12:03 | 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, 11:00 | 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, 11:24

    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, 10:07

    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, 05:27

    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?

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.

Partners

Acknowledgements

Solar Media

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