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.
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.
At the inaugural PV ModuleTech 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, it became clear that PERC module technology is fast becoming the industry standard and bifacial modules are no longer seen as a niche product, however, both technologies were scrutinised from the perspective of bankability and quality assurance studies throughout the event.
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.
Yesterday’s record-breaking bid opening in Saudi Arabia for 300MW of solar has grabbed headlines, including on PV Tech, but while the exact parameters of the RfP remain covert, the bid levels have sparked debate about whether such low prices can be possible without some kind of escalating tariff mechanism or other distortion.