In Depth

  • Free trade

    Dim prospects for a lasting end to solar’s trade wars

    By Ben Willis - 30 July 2014, 08:04

    The trade wars that have convulsed solar in recent years ultimately help no one. Ben Willis assesses the prospects for a permanent solution to a problem that has become a thorn in the industry’s side.

  • Trina

    Who can take advantage of the US anti-dumping decision?

    By Mark Osborne - 29 July 2014, 13:43

    Although the dust has yet to truly settle on the second US anti-dumping investigation and the preliminary findings, mainstream media and financial analysts are already undertaking a post mortem and trying to pick the winners and losers.

  • Olivier Schaefer

    PV Talk: How a global solar association could ease trade woes

    By John Parnell - 29 July 2014, 07:00

    Olivier Schäfer, president of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), tells PV Tech how a proposed global PV association, with Chinese and American participation, could help ease the sector’s trade disputes.

  • BRICS

    How BRICS bank can be a friend to solar

    By Lucy Woods - 28 July 2014, 13:00

    A BRICS development bank agreed last week has been hailed as a potentially important new source of funding for solar. But as Lucy Woods writes, the BRICS nations will have to overcome some significant internal tensions first.

  • Google's inverter challenge could upset the established supplier base

    Why Google’s ‘little box’ could challenge inverter world order

    By Cormac Gilligan - 25 July 2014, 09:49 | 1

    Google is offering a prize for prototype inverter that’s smaller than a laptop. Cormac Gilligan of IHS explains why a successful proposal could pose a threat to existing suppliers.

  • Barack Obama inspects a Solyndra module

    Unloved but not unwanted: Solyndra and the PV bargain basement

    By Andy Colthorpe - 22 July 2014, 16:21

    Last week it emerged that modules from the bankrupt US firm Solyndra have found their way into Europe’s second-hand PV market. Andy Colthorpe investigates this little reported but lively trade

  • Crystalline silicon cell

    Case study of a growth driver – silver use in solar

    By Chris Berry - 21 July 2014, 10:34

    Silver is a key raw material in PV manufacturing. But as Chris Berry writes, a deficit in global silver supply and the prospect of future price increases are both sources of concern for the solar industry.

  • Greg Barker, the UK's erstwhile solar champion

    Who will speak up for solar in the new-look UK government?

    By Lucy Woods - 17 July 2014, 09:46

    A major shake-up in the UK government earlier this week saw the country’s booming solar industry lose arguably its most important political champion. The question now is who will fill his shoes, writes Lucy Woods.

  • Solar inverter

    The changing face of the PV inverter supplier base

    By Sam Wilkinson - 14 July 2014, 11:41

    Ahead of a free webinar from IHS Technology and PV Tech on 29 July 2014, IHS analyst Sam Wilkinson discusses some of key trends shaping the global inverter market.

  • India

    The sorry state of PV manufacturing in India

    By Mark Osborne - 25 June 2014, 16:17

    With India embroiled in a fierce debate over whether or not to impose trade duties on foreign PV imports, a recent report laid bare the sorry state of the country’s domestic PV industry. Mark Osborne takes a look at the findings.

  • SolarCity

    PV Talk: Lifting the lid on Elon Musk’s SolarCity rhetoric

    By John Parnell - 20 June 2014, 06:28 | 1

    Away from the fanfare and highly tweetable soundbites, the reality of SolarCity’s acquisition of Silevo is less flashy, less immediate and less clear. Finlay Colville tells PV Tech why it will be business as usual for Chinese manufacturers and why the acquisition is far from being the industry game-changer that many have portrayed it to be.

  • qcells

    Q CELLS back in the game

    By Mark Osborne - 19 June 2014, 09:34

    Germany’s Q-Cells was one of the most high-profile bankruptcies in the recent industry downturn. Reborn as Hanwha Q CELLS, the company is witnessing a strong revival, writes Mark Osborne, following an exclusive interview with its chief executive, Charles Kim.

  • Silevo

    SolarCity reverse engineers PV manufacturers’ business models

    By Mark Osborne - 18 June 2014, 11:29

    The acquisition of US-based PV manufacturer, Silevo, by the largest US PV installer, SolarCity, has caused a storm and turned recent business trends within the industry on their head. Mark Osborne analyses the deal and its implications for the industry.

  • Intersolar 2014

    Compact, efficient, international, Intersolar Europe 2014 offers glimpse of the future

    By John Parnell - 10 June 2014, 06:42

    Less dramatic, slightly smaller, more international. Intersolar Europe 2014 offers a few glimpses of what a sustainable, internationalised European PV industry might look like, writes John Parnell.

  • Modi

    Friday Focus: Modi’s solar ‘to-do’ list

    By Lucy Woods - 23 May 2014, 03:19

    Narendra Modi’s victory raises expectations for India’s solar future but the country’s new leader must overcome some major challenges if he is to deliver on those promises.

  • Polysilicon

    Falling polysilicon production costs a double-edged sword

    By Charles Annis - 12 May 2014, 09:46

    Driven mainly by expectations of strong end-market demand growth this year, polysilicon spot prices increased significantly in Q1’14, up 15% Q/Q and 28% Y/Y. In Q2’14, spot prices are expected to remain relatively flat – or to decline moderately – as more polysilicon makers ramp-up production, in an effort to take advantage of the current price environment.

  • Ivanpah, Brightsource

    Birds could derail CSP project despite promises of ‘drones, tear gas and pyrotechnics’

    By John Parnell - 07 May 2014, 17:00 | 2

    A decision to block the 500MW Palen project in California from using CSP tower technology could send solar thermal power generation back to the trough despite a range of inventive solutions to deter migratory birds.

  • JA Solar cell production

    The next PV capacity expansion phase is under way

    By Mark Osborne - 24 April 2014, 12:13

    After two years of living hand to mouth, PV manufacturers are once again looking at building new production capacity as demand booms. Mark Osborne charts the expansion plans of the industry’s leading suppliers.

  • Lightsource

    Germany to be displaced as number one European PV market in 2014

    By Finlay Colville - 22 April 2014, 14:20

    The UK is set to become the largest market for solar PV in Europe during 2014, confirming its status as the hottest market across the region.

  • Pituacu Stadium, Brazil

    Friday Focus: Brazil leads solar sporting pack

    By Lucy Woods - 18 April 2014, 07:30

    Brazil is putting solar at the heart of its sustainability plans for the summer’s FIFA World Cup almost mainstreaming solar in its stadium designs. PV Tech looks at the plans in more detail and some of the other sporting PV installs around the globe.

  • Geronimo

    PV Talk: Landmark Minnesota solar ruling could be first of many

    By Lucy Woods - 10 April 2014, 12:04

    The developer at the centre of Minnesota’s ‘gas vs solar’ ruling tells PV Tech how the landmark decision could impact the wider US solar industry.

  • Hanergy comparison

    First Solar and Hanergy Solar: different strategies but overlapping thin-film dreams

    By Finlay Colville - 31 March 2014, 13:17 | 5

    During the past couple of weeks, two of the leading custodians of thin-film solar PV technology have restated or amended long-term industry plans. Finlay Colville assesses the future for thin-film PV technology

  • YingliSolar

    How important is Yingli’s sponsorship of the Brazil World Cup for solar?

    By Peter Bennett - 25 March 2014, 06:07 | 1

    Here’s a challenge for you – spot the odd one out from the following list of 2014 FIFA world cup sponsors: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Castrol, Budweiser, Adidas, Visa, Sony and Yingli.

  • Risk

    PV, a dicey business

    By Ben Willis - 21 March 2014, 10:39

    Events in Ukraine highlight how easily apparently safe solar investments can suddenly look very precarious. As PV expands its global reach, managing political risk will become an increasing concern, says Ben Willis.

  • Roth & Rau facility

    Meyer Burger de-books US$240 million as timing of new wafer capex remains uncertain

    By Finlay Colville - 20 March 2014, 13:36

    The uptick in solar end-market demand at the end of 2013 has been followed by new wave of PV cell and module capex. The missing part of the equation is spending on new wafer capacity, writes Finlay Colville.

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Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 24th Edition

    Signs earlier in the year of the global industry entering a growth phase have now been confirmed beyond any doubt. Almost all the big-name suppliers have now announced some form of manufacturing capacity expansion, a trend that analysts agree will only gather pace as long as the levels of demand predicted over the next few years turn out to be correct.

  • 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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