Guest Blog

  • Chinese PV manufacturing

    Global solar industry landscape may render US ITC findings superfluous

    By Finlay Colville - 09 January 2014, 13:59

    The US International Trade Commission’s latest trade investigation into Chinese PV manufacturers may be setting off some alarm bells, but what is needed is a good dose of global manufacturing reality to calm things down, says Finlay Colville.

  • Module manufacturing

    Top 10 PV module suppliers in 2013

    By Ray Lian - 08 January 2014, 11:48

    Based on existing company guidance and downstream channel checks - and supplemented by various estimates by company through to the end of 2013 - NPD Solarbuzz can now reveal the Top 10 PV module suppliers for 2013.

  • Adapted from the forthcoming NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report, the attached figure shows the real n-type c-Si trends (based on up

    Boost for made-in-USA advanced PV cell manufacturing

    By Finlay Colville - 30 December 2013, 16:25

    Having rebranded the Nexolon America operations in San Antonio, Texas, as Mission Solar Energy, the long-awaited rebound in US-based c-Si manufacturing has just received a significant boost; something that politicians and legislators in the US have been striving for ever since the high-profile demise of Solyndra.

  • Suntech cell line

    All eyes on Asia as new PV CapEx emerges, but rash spending history tempers optimism

    By Finlay Colville - 18 December 2013, 16:54

    Confidence is slowly returning to the PV manufacturing supply chain, as supply and demand get back in sync. But as the industry contemplates opening up the CapEx floodgates once more, Finlay Colville says it would do well not to forget the last PV gold rush.

  • Soitec modules

    How project bonds can help finance solar’s future

    By Holger Janke - 04 December 2013, 15:33

    With the cost of project finance in some emerging economies proving prohibitive, Holger Janke of solar manufacturer Soitec explains how project bonds could help fill the gap open up new markets.

  • The PV industry is flying high but what business models will work in the future?

    Solar PV in 2013: More diversification than consolidation

    By Finlay Colville - 04 December 2013, 09:54

    Benchmarking companies in the solar PV industry used to be straightforward. Some companies made key materials (polysilicon, wafers, cells, modules or thin-film panels); others bought and sold these locally or through the value chain. Then project developers and installers added inverters and mounting and built the PV systems. Customers typically released cash up-front, owned the systems outright and could then sit back and enjoy a revenue stream linked to a government incentive.

  • Martifer

    Ground-mount UK PV pipeline tops 4GW but planners will decide its fate

    By Finlay Colville - 25 November 2013, 13:08 | 2

    The UK has more than 4GW of PV projects in the pipeline but the majority is at the mercy of local planning authorities.

  • Figure 1: The top-11 Tier 1 Chinese manufacturers have maintained a market share at the 40% level during 2013 and are likely to retain this

    Solar PV module supply to Europe in 2014: Any cause for alarm?

    By Finlay Colville - 19 November 2013, 15:39

    Discussions of high average selling price (ASP) regions (such as Japan) and declining regional end-market pull (Europe) are currently in evidence during the round of Q3 reporting calls from public-listed module suppliers. The market size in Europe now and the pricing levels have become key issues, for Chinese and non-Chinese suppliers alike.

  • Figure 1: CIGS technologies used by the top-60 CIGS manufacturers over the last ten years confirm a preference for glass-based approaches, w

    Hanergy’s major CIGS plans unveiled with 5.25GW of turnkey capacity

    By Finlay Colville - 04 November 2013, 08:59 | 2

    Last week, Hanergy Solar Group Limited (Hanergy) provided the first glimpse of its strategy for its recent investments in thin-film CIGS production, having completed the acquisitions of previous CIGS hopefuls, Solibro, Miasolé and Global Solar.

  • NPD Solarbuzz has recently upgraded its annual forecast prediction for 2014 to 45-55 GW.

    Breaking the 50GW barrier in 2014: the dawn of a new solar PV landscape

    By Finlay Colville - 25 October 2013, 15:21 | 1

    Global PV demand during 2014 is set to represent a new phase of growth for the solar PV industry. Not just because end-market demand is now forecast by NPD Solarbuzz to grow significantly to reach 45-55GW, but because the fundamental issues driving end-market demand appear to be shifting away from legacy demand constraints.

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Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 25th Edition

    In this issue we offer some insights into what the next wave of photovoltaic technologies may look like as that upturn gathers pace. Industry observers have been in broad agreement that the major next-gen PV technology innovations won’t happen straight away. But there’s also little doubt that the search is now on in earnest for the breakthroughs that will come to define the state of the art in the industry in the years to come.

  • 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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