The rapid transition in the upstream manufacturing solar sector to significantly larger p-type and n-type monocrystalline wafers, cells and modules may be hailed as a new era for the industry in higher module performance and a leap in reducing PV power plants LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity) in a rapidly changing downstream market that becomes subsidy free, bidding orientated and targeting grid parity and beyond. But issues such as reliability lurk just below the surface.
The solar sector’s Q2 results season showed that, for the most part, the pandemic’s impact on deployment in the US was restricted to early in the quarter, helping many companies post better-than-expected performance in Q2. But as Liam Stoker suggests, COVID-19’s tail could be longer than anticipated.
Visibility on the performance of almost all leading PV module suppliers to the end of the first quarter of 2020 (31 March 2020) is now known, providing a first glimpse of what impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sector, as most countries started to impose varying degrees of lockdown impacting businesses and ongoing operations.
Recently name checked as among the cheapest places in the world to develop solar, Chile has emerged as a particularly popular destination for solar finance. But as the country proceeds towards a 100% renewables target, political instability and legacy network issues stand in its way. Molly Lempriere explores how Chile can leap those hurdles on its way to a green grid.