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.
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.
Even though monkeys were allegedly wreaking havoc on India’s solar rooftop systems last year, 2016 was remarkable for the Indian PV sector. With solar taking 1% the nation’s electricity share and India set to become the world’s third largest market in 2017 , Bloomberg New Energy Finance has proclaimed that ‘solar is king of Indian renewables’. Add the completion of the world’s largest solar plant to these accolades and you have a good indicator of the South Asian giant’s ambitions. Even India’s biggest oil, steel and mining companies are getting on board the solar rush.
Despite US solar rapidly transitioning from an alternative energy source into a leading energy solution in recent years, barriers in regulation, communication and technology still prevent the industry from taking off into the mainstream arena, according to a panel of experts at Solar Power International (SPI) 2016.
Growing 43% year over year in 2016, the US solar industry is taking off at a pace no one could have foreseen. Naysayers may cite the industry’s slow start, hampered by high upfront costs and initial niche appeal as reasons why solar still will not experience a consumer boom. But panellists at the opening session of the 13th annual Solar Power International convention made it clear just how solar energy could exceed expectations and is poised for not only growth, but mainstream acceptance.
This year saw Ghana not only install the largest solar project in East and West Africa, but also a major 30MW module manufacturing facility near its capital, Accra, in what is a major milestone for the upstream solar sector across Africa. PV Tech visited the plant to understand some of developer 3SIL's thinking behind location and business.
Remote schools in West Africa can suffer from high levels of dropouts, a lack of enthusiasm and low rates of literacy and numeracy, but solar technology is now offering a chance to reinvigorate some of the lowest performing schools. PV Tech visited a school that is benefiting from such solar and software installations in the Greater Accra region of Ghana.