Solar PV capital expenditure (capex) covering the midstream segments of the industry (c-Si ingot-to-module and thin-film) is now well into its second major upturn in spending, going into 2018, at a time when the industry is just about to move to a new phase in annual deployment levels of greater than 100GW.
Efficiency gains and productivity improvements are set to dominate the PV manufacturing landscape again in 2018, with strong investments continuing to flow into existing and new cell architectures, with gigawatt-level status now becoming the norm for the manufacturing segment, writes Finlay Colville.
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.
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.
The first PV ModuleTech event is due to take place in Kuala Lumpur on 7-8 November, and the event is poised to explain and define the key module suppliers, technologies and audited metrics that are imperative to developers, EPCs, investors and asset owners for utility-scale solar module deployment in 2018 and beyond.
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.
The PV ModuleTech 2017 conference is just over three weeks away, taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 7-8 November 2017. In our research leading up to the event, three words have consistently been voiced across almost all key stakeholders in the life cycle of a PV module: quality, bankability and risk. These three module metrics form the raison-d'etre for the new PV ModuleTech 2017 conference.
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.