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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
A breakaway ‘super league’ of silicon module suppliers looks on course to take a 40% market share in 2015, writes Finlay Colville.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
PV Tech’s annual analysis of 12 major PV manufacturers’ R&D spending behaviour was a blockbuster in 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having just slashed its revenue forecast for the second time this year, it’s clear leading inverter supplier SMA Solar is facing multiple difficulties.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.