The solar industry gets to grips with the bewildering array of new module technologies at the second edition of the PV ModuleTech event in Penang, Malaysia. The conference raised a huge number of questions such as how to evaluate bifacial technology and whether it might rise faster than predicted, how long p-type multicrystalline has left in the running and the perennial issue of quality, to name a few.
PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the second quarter of 2018, were slightly higher than the previous quarter, although activity slumped specifically in June, after China’s decision to suddenly cap utility-scale and distributed generation (DG) projects (531 New Deal). But large-scale multi-gigawatt production plans in the first half of the year may have hidden an inevitable slowdown, despite the impact on downstream demand from the 531 New Deal.
The solar industry, in terms of deployment, will sadly not be growing by 30% in 2018. However, the good news is that the PV ModuleTech 2018 event – taking place in Penang, Malaysia on 23-24 October 2018 – will see more than 30% growth in the number of companies taking part and the number of attendees on site.
With the multi to mono transition largely a fait accompli in the PV industry, the buzzword for 2019 will certainly be on bifaciality. This has been brewing for some years, but the sheer weight of capacity and production will finally impact on large-scale utility solar in ways most appear to be grossly unprepared for.
For all intents and purposes, 2018 may be remembered as the year that Taiwanese solar manufacturing moved from its former cell-making glory days of the past (Taiwan solar 1.0) to adjust to the new reality as defined by China’s bulldozing annihilation of cash-struck overseas manufacturing regions in recent times.
While India’s solar market is still heavily weighted on the lowest possible costs, the price difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV module technologies is beginning to fade. PV Tech caught up with major module suppliers at the REI Expo in Greater Noida, India, to discuss the future of Mono in this heavyweight global market.
India's government has made clear its intentions to cultivate a solar PV manufacturing base at home, but interest from foreign players has yet to be translated into major capacity expansions. PV Tech gathered views from various players - both foreign and domestic - about what steps need to be taken, while at the REI Expo 2018 exhibition in Greater Noida, India.
Much has been written and voiced over the past couple of months in the PV industry, following the so-called China-531 policy announcement that finally provided a wake-up call to Chinese manufacturers that their domestic end-market was not going to be allowed to maintain its near-exponential growth characteristics.