In Depth

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

    Why learning the lessons of Solyndra matters

    Editors' Blog | By Ben Willis - 28 August 2015, 09:47

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    Why outdated industry metric found new victim in TSMC and CIGS technology

    Editors' Blog | By Mark Osborne - 27 August 2015, 15:01

    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

    Editors' Blog | By John Parnell - 25 August 2015, 15:02

    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

    Editors' Blog | By Mark Osborne - 19 August 2015, 18:47 | 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’.

  • Module testing

    Your module passed qualification testing, but is it also durable?

    Guest Blog | By Rubina Singh,Dr Cordula Schmid - 19 August 2015, 06:00

    The Fraunhofer PV Module Durability Initiative is seeking overcome the fact that current certification regimes give no indication of a module’s lifetime performance. The team behind the initiative describe its latest findings.

  • Cracking the feedstock puzzle for larger solar ingots

    Guest Blog | By Til Bartel - 14 August 2015, 10:48

    How silicon feedstock is packed into casting crucibles can have a big impact on the size and cost-efficiency of the resultant solar ingots. Til Bartel looks at some of the latest thinking around this essential stage in the PV manufacturing supply chain.

  • PV Tech

    Dissecting ‘meaningful’ global PV manufacturing expansion plans

    Editors' Blog | By Mark Osborne - 08 August 2015, 09:42 | 2

    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.

  • Chinese solar

    Is China ready for 20GW in 2015?

    Guest Blog | By Frank Haugwitz - 27 July 2015, 17:14

    So far in 2015, Chinese domestic PV deployment has outstripped last year’s rates. A 20GW year would set a benchmark for China’s new five-year plan for solar development due to come into effect next year, writes Frank Haugwitz.

  • Solar and the road to COP21

    Guest Blog | By Alexander Lagaaij - 23 July 2015, 10:31

    Last week the UN hosted the first of three crucially important global development conferences this year, culminating in the COP21 climate change talks in December. Reporting on the event, Alexander Lagaaij saw evidence of an appetite for cooperation, but still no high-level understanding of the potential of solar energy to put the world on a more sustainable path.

  • Lark Energy

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

    Editors' Blog | By Finlay Colville - 22 July 2015, 11:12

    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.

  • Limit for industrial c-Si solar cells reached in 2030: what next?

    Guest Blog | By Dr Joris Libal,Dr Radovan Kopecek - 15 July 2015, 09:58 | 1

    PV technologists often face the question of what the next-generation solar cell work-horse will look like. Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal of ISC Konstanz offer some answers.

  • munich

    EU PVSEC & Intersolar Europe co-locating issues

    Editors' Blog | By Mark Osborne - 08 July 2015, 17:31

    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

    Editors' Blog | By Mark Osborne - 08 July 2015, 11:28

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

  • Lender’s due diligence in local content solar markets

    Guest Blog | By Matthias Grossmann - 08 July 2015, 08:54

    PV’s continued growth worldwide is creating fresh opportunities for investment in new and enlarged production facilities. But as Matthias Grossman writes, the costs and risks associated with entering new markets mean caution is required by investors.

  • Building-integrated PV

    How BIPV could offer a solution to the European energy efficiency dilemma

    Guest Blog | By Silke Krawietz - 06 July 2015, 11:00

    As Europe seeks ways to impove the energy efficiency of its building stock, a key contributor to carbon emissions, building-integrated photovoltaics technology could offer some answers, writes Silke Krawietz.

  • schott

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

    Editors' Blog | By Mark Osborne - 01 July 2015, 11:51

    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?

    Editors' Blog | By Tom Kenning - 29 June 2015, 11:01 | 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

    Editors' Blog | By Ben Willis - 24 June 2015, 11:52 | 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.

  • Don’t let ITC Become the speed bump on solar’s growth road

    Guest Blog | By Laura E. Stern - 22 June 2015, 10:05

    As the political horse-trading over the future of the US solar investment tax credit gathers momentum, Laura Stern gives three good reasons why Congress should extend it.

  • Power grid

    The utility role in maintaining reliability as PV increases

    Guest Blog | By Jacqueline Ashmore - 16 June 2015, 09:51

    As more and more distributed generation comes on to the grid, utilities will have to adapt their practices to accommodate it. Jacqueline Ashmore of Fraunhofer CSE looks at where the most action is needed as renewables become an increasingly unavoidable fact of life.

  • Intersolar 2015

    Intersolar Europe 2015: Five talking points

    Editors' Blog | By Andy Colthorpe,Ben Willis,Mark Osborne - 16 June 2015, 09:30

    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?

    Editors' Blog | By Finlay Colville - 15 June 2015, 09:31 | 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.

  • Mining in the Congo.

    The uncomfortable choice with solar power and raw material sourcing

    Guest Blog | By Chris Berry - 08 June 2015, 09:58 | 3

    PV manufacturers are under increasing pressure to remove so-called conflict materials from their supply chains. But as Chris Berry explains, it’s not quite as simple as that.

  • Big solar in India

    100GW by 2022: Behind India’s big solar numbers

    Editors' Blog | By Tom Kenning - 08 June 2015, 09:00 | 2

    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.

  • SolarPower Europe

    SolarPower Europe – A new start for solar representation in Europe

    Guest Blog | By James Watson - 05 June 2015, 09:21

    As Intersolar Europe prepares to open its doors in Munich next week, James Watson, CEO of Europe’s main solar industry body, explans why 30 years into its lifetime, the organisation has rebranded to better reflect PV’s changing dynamics in the continent.

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.

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Acknowledgements

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