The recent announcement from India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) to approve a 12GW solar scheme for central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) – crucially mandating the use of domestically sourced solar cells and modules – represents the first key step towards India finally creating a route to stimulate multi-GW expansions for new cell and module facilities.
When we established the Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) a few years ago, it was prompted by the realisation that a select group of solar PV module suppliers were moving away from the 100+ chasing pack, and firmly establishing themselves as the companies that would be the dominant players as the industry moved towards and above annual shipment levels of 100GW.
Just when it looked like the underlining trend for Tesla’s shift away from using third party mainstream solar panel suppliers was set in stone, as manufacturing partner Panasonic started ramping Gigafactory 2 production, the latest data for the third quarter of 2018, goes completely in a different direction.
While Filipino policymakers ponder a controversial bill that would allow a solar company to set up a micro-grid and transmission franchise aiming to improve power supply across the country, a small town on the island of Mindoro is already enjoying round-the-clock electricity for the first time ever.
PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the second quarter of 2018, were slightly higher than the previous quarter, although activity slumped specifically in June, after China’s decision to suddenly cap utility-scale and distributed generation (DG) projects (531 New Deal). But large-scale multi-gigawatt production plans in the first half of the year may have hidden an inevitable slowdown, despite the impact on downstream demand from the 531 New Deal.