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.
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.