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.
From a rare appearance by one of PV’s biggest investors to the prospects for a revival of large-scale solar in Germany, PV Tech rounds up the week’s biggest solar stories from around the world.
It appears the waiting is over during September 2014 for Chinese suppliers (and all other suppliers of modules to Europe), regarding the minimum import price (MIP) for the 3-month period October to December 2014 (Q4’14).
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.
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.
To sustain growth, the solar cell industry must constantly find better and cheaper technologies. Imec’s Philip Pieters explains how in the quest to innovate manufacturers can benefit from working together.
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.
From Tesla’s new gigawatt battery factory to floating PV arrays in Japan, PV Tech reviews another eclectic week in the world of solar.
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.
Tata Power Solar and Bridge to India have just released a report stating solar is already cost-competitive with imported coal. Talking to PV Tech, Tata’s CEO Ajay Goel and Bridge to India’s Tobias Engelmeier discuss how India can best fulfill its solar potential.
In a wide-ranging interview with Mark Osborne, NPD Solarbuzz VP Finlay Colville takes the industry’s pulse offering his insight on tech, trade tariffs, forecasts and finance.
Catch up on the week’s top headlines in just two minutes, including an exclusive interview with SunPower CEO Tom Werner, multiple new fab announcements and all the latest in the solar trade disputes.
PV Tech’s publisher Solar Media is pleased to announce the launch of a new site for the UK market: Next Energy News.
The week was bookended by two developments in the US-China trade dispute, with yield co-fuelled optimism in the middle and a debate on future of solar market royalty thrown in for good measure.
Previously confined to the R&D labs and academic solar PV roadmaps, PERC based c-Si cell capacity upgrades are starting to have a tangible impact on the PV industry. Finlay Colville investigates the drivers, myths, opportunities and the impact of PERC on PV capex and module performance.
Last week, nv vogt, a joint venture between Germany’s ib vogt and India’s APCA Power, announced it is to build an unsubsidised 6.25MW solar power plant in the Philippines. Talking to PV Tech, its managing director, Deepak Verma, reveals why the Philippines is seeing the beginnings of a ‘solar wave’.