The PV industry is on track for strong growth in 2020, despite 10 months of the year being shrouded in uncertainty and perennial pessimism. And while almost all in the sector have been lamenting supposed softness in demand this year, attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, it turns out that the limiting factor to production and shipment volumes this year simply comes down to the supply of raw materials, namely polysilicon.
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.
PV Tech continues its deep-dive into the making of Trina Solar’s new Vertex platform, delving into the thought process behind the manufacturer’s ‘low voltage, high current’ approach, how Trina intends to scale up manufacturing, and why it believes the solar supply chain must unite behind 600W+ modules.
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.
A total of seven China-based PV manufacturers have officially started efforts to establish a new ‘M10’ (182mm x 182mm p-type monocrystalline) large-area wafer size standard to reduce manufacturing costs throughout the entire solar industry supply chain as the number of large-area wafer sizes have emerged in the last few years.
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.