PV Tech’s recent coverage of three publicly listed PV inverter manufacturers (SMA Solar Technology, SolarEdge Technologies and Enphase Energy) first quarter financial results has highlighted a looming battle between two of the companies over achieving the highest annual revenue figures (US$ adjusted) in 2018.
As previously reported there was a significant slowdown in global solar PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the third quarter of 2017, which we highlighted was hardly surprising due to significant level of expansions plans announced in the first half of the year. However, despite increased concerns over the potential imposition of restrictive trade practices in the US and India in the fourth quarter of 2017, there was a significant rebound over the previous quarter, leading to the highest recorded gigawatts of new expansion announcements.
The major manufacturing transition by First Solar to its large-area Series 6 CdTe thin-film module format is well underway and, going by recent management commentary in its fourth quarter 2017 conference call with financial analysts, has increased its tempo slightly, not least due to updated spending plans for the second time in a few months.
When JinkoSolar released its third quarter results last week – and guided full year 2017 module shipment figures – the company remained on track to overachieve on final quarter shipments, thereby becoming the first ever PV supplier to ship more than 10 GW of modules in a calendar year. Finlay Colville explores how Jinko has managed to double its market share in the space of four years and where the company might be headed to next.
The case for solar remains strong in Southeast Asia since power demand is still growing rapidly in many of its markets, but traversing the unique regulations and policies of each country and knowing which PV segment is most suitable remains challenging. Here are some of PV Tech’s key takeaways from last week’s Solar and Off-Grid Renewables Southeast Asia (SORSEA) 2017 conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
What a start to the PV Taiwan 2017 week! There have been some rather tame mergers and acquisitions in the solar PV industry over the years - not to mention the shuffling of zombie factories within China – but the news today that Neo Solar Power, Gintech Energy Corp., and Solartech Energy are planning to merge is worthy of far more scrutiny.
Documents filed by US-headquartered high-efficiency PV cell and module producer SunPower Corp to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in respect to the ‘Section 201’ trade case show that SunPower wants thin-film modules made by First Solar included in any remedy actions, while pitching for its IBC (Interdigitated back contact) cells and modules to be excluded.
What does it mean to be all things to all people? Does it overstretch resources to breaking point, or does it give you a chance to cast a wider net and capture market share? Vivint Solar recently joined Tesla in a race to offer whole packages including solar, storage, EV charging and other components to US customers. We talked to GTM Research's Brett Simon on some of the dynamics of those parallel strategies.