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.
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.
Thin-film manufacturer and utility-scale PV plant developer First Solar revealed one of its projects had become the first of its kind to receive a Quality Tested certification from testing institutes VDE and Fraunhofer ISE. Ben Willis spoke to First Solar and VDE to learn more about the process and its wider implications for the large-scale solar sector.
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.
Tesla’s much talked about Gigafactory should be up and running in 2017. The Elon Musk-owned EV maker is hoping to use it to produce up to 500,000 battery packs a year by 2020, amounting to around 50GWh. PV Tech Storage spoke with analyst Dean Frankel of Lux Research about the plan.
How far can existing PV capacity go, in terms of keeping up with end-market growth? This is one of the key issues in terms of capital expenditures and tool suppliers waiting for an uptick in bookings. It is also essential to understand in terms of forecasting end-market demand in 2015, at a time when trade uncertainty and the preference for project financing is keeping new ‘greenfield’ fab build at a minimum.
From conflicting solar forecasts to Japan’s growing grid issues, PV Tech rounds up another busy week in solar.
In late 2011, Mission Solar Energy made the first of several bold decisions: build a silicon-based PV manufacturing plant in the US, a market long dominated by thin-film technologies. An even more unusual decision followed to locate the company in San Antonio, Texas, rather than California or Arizona where US solar markets are well established. Then, Mission Solar made the gutsy move to push forward with the development of an n-type monocrystaline silicon based product when the market was being dominated by p-type multicrystaline silicon modules coming out of Asia.
Former Bosch subsidiary, the PV module manufacturer aleo solar, was rescued from liquidation in May. Managing director Günter Schulze explains how the company has risen from the nearly-dead and why quality matters more than quantity.
Lobbyist Betsy McCorkle, the NCSEA’s director of government affairs talked to PV Tech about the surprise solar state.