In a 24 hour whirlwind trip to Switzerland, I visited the headquarters of technology start-up firm SwissINSO, where I was able to see first hand the development of a new technology that is set to bring more colour to the PV market, specifically the BIPV and solar thermal sector.
Thin-film manufacturer Hanergy this week announced its arrival in the UK with the acquisition of domestic solar provider Engensa. As the UK has little track record with thin-film PV, Finlay Coleville assesses what Hanergy’s motives are and how it will succeed.
Third party leasing has become the dominant model for financing residential solar in the US. But as new sources of capital emerge and consumer confidence grows, Felicity Carus asks for how much longer this will remain the case.
New methods used by analysts to rank module manufacturers make the business of assessing market leaders increasingly complex. Mark Osborne attempts to navigate the maze and suggests why it’s time for the industry to consider some simpler alternatives.
With the tectonic plates shifting in the global solar market, Felicity Carus tracks some of the trends that will emerge as the industry comes out of its period of consolidation.
Proposed legislation is seeking to change US tax law to encourage more investment in solar and other forms of renewable energy. But as Nilima Choudhury reports, there are doubts over whether it will have the desired effect.
After a period of policy chaos, order has been restored to the UK solar market propelling it up the world rankings of leading PV destinations. As long as challenges from Europe can be headed off, the good times look set to carry on rolling says Nilima Choudhury.
Futurist and Google collaborator Ray Kurzweil has predicted a world entirely powered by solar. Having heard him speak earlier this month, Felicity Carus wonders whether he could be right.
Italy is at the forefront of countries looking to cut solar power subsidies. Julia Chan investigates what the future holds for the country’s solar market post feed-in tariffs.
The California Solar Initiative has been a runaway success, driving over 1.5GW of installations, but its days are now numbered. In the search for ways to keep the momentum going, community solar is emerging as a hot contender says Felicity Carus.
BrightSource’s cancellation of the 500MW Hidden Hills project announced last week demonstrates that the concentrating solar power (CSP) industry is under mounting pressure, if you pardon the steam generation pun.
Normally a sleeping aid for insomniacs, SEC filings can sometimes contain interesting insights into publicly traded companies. Tom Cheyney has dug a few out from Trina Solar’s latest filing.
Last year saw overcapacity in the global polysilicon market push prices to a record low. Mark Osborne assesses whether a recovery is on the cards in 2013
A report on the costs of renewable energy contracts in California paint a positive picture for technologies such as solar. This and further evidence of a maturing market should be used by policymakers to justify a broader roll-out of renewables says Felicity Carus.
Forecasts suggest the UK will be the fifth largest PV market globally during the first quarter of this year. Finlay Colville assesses how this once small player is beginning to punch above its weight.
America’s key policy for boosting renewable energy is coming under sustained attack from fossil fuel lobbyists. But with their economic importance in the ascendency, industries such as a solar are fighting back, says Felicity Carus.
Obituaries for Suntech Power Holdings have been coming in thick and fast after the Chinese solar giant confirmed it had defaulted on repayment of a bond. But it is premature to write the company off so soon says Mark Osborne.
Falling shale gas prices in the US have prompted some to question how long the gas bonanza will last. When the bubble bursts, solar will be well placed to fill the void says Felicity Carus.
European PV demand will be the key swing factor for final global PV demand during 2013. Sound familiar? Demand from established ‘Western’ PV territories (Europe and North America) may comprise as little as 49% of global demand, but as much as 57%. Whether we end up closer to the upper end of this range or the lower range will ultimately shape the outcome of the PV industry this year.
Flagging construction markets in many parts of the world have limited the opportunities for building-integrated PV. But as Julia Chan reports the retrofit BIPV market is flourishing.
President Obama’s nominee for the next US Energy Secretary is a solar advocate but pragmatic on the need for medium-term solutions including gas and nuclear. Felicity Carus profiles Ernest Moniz.
As though by chance, the UK PV industry chose the London 2012 Olympic Games year to mark its entrance on the global stage as a gigawatt-status PV end market. And by the time the FIFA Soccer World Cup gets underway in Rio in 2014, Brazil will have broken through the 100MW annual PV demand barrier.
Recent reports have suggested solar in Argentina is poised to take off. Nilima Choudhury looks behind the headlines and discovers a solar industry struggling to gain traction.
Hurricane Sandy exposed the fragility of the US power grid. It also revealed a potentially vital new role for PV in future emergency events, says Felicity Carus.
For 2012, Europe retained its dominant position in global PV demand reaching 16.5GW, according to findings in the new NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz report.