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 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.
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.
As the Trump Administration dials back the Clean Power Plan citing pesky environmental regulations for coal's problems, its claims of being against intervention ring hollow. If the President wants modern, independent and increasingly economically sustainable power infrastructure, he should be backing solar.
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.
The results of our first (last) ever attempt at polling are in and they are very much predictable. But regardless of popular opinion, it's worth considering the views of those not speaking up. While the industry is largely against Section 201 trade measures, that alone is not the most likely reason the ITC might choose not to recommend hefty tariffs come November.