PV Tech’s top 10 stories of the year, 2022

By PV Tech


A PV manufacturing facility from JA Solar, which moved to an AAA-Rating in the PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings report earlier this year. Image: JA Solar.

From volatile component prices and shipment challenges to an energy crisis that has supercharged solar deployment in Europe, 2022 has been a turbulent year for the global PV industry.

Here, PV Tech runs down its top 10 stories of the past 12 months.

10 – How did the top six solar module companies fare in H1 2022?

30 August 2022: The world’s top module companies released their interim reports showing their performance against the backdrop of a PV industry beset by supply chain challenges, rising material and component costs and fraught international relations. In terms of module shipments during the first six months of the year, the top six companies were: JinkoSolar, TrinaSolar, LONGi Green Energy, JA Solar, CSI Solar and Risen Energy.

9 – Nearly all US solar companies expecting ‘severe or devastating impact’ of anti-circumvention investigation

6 April 2022: More than 90% of respondents to a survey by trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said that the US Department of Commerce’s decision to investigate alleged circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) was having a “severe or devastating impact” on their business. SEIA said all segments of the US industry – residential, commercial, community and utility-scale solar – “overwhelmingly reported devastating or severe impacts from the investigation”.

8 – Where is module pricing headed in the next two years?

11 March 2022: Finlay Colville, head of research at PV Tech, explored where module pricing could go into 2024, suggesting that preparing for an uptick in pricing would be the prudent way to proceed.

7 – JA Solar moves to AAA-Rating in latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings report

22 September 2022: JA Solar was promoted to AAA-Rating status for the first time, joining LONGi Solar and Trina Solar in the PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings report. Finlay Colville explored the factors that led to JA meeting the entrance criteria and revealed the positions and rankings of the top 60 PV module suppliers that account for more than 98% of all modules used globally.

6 – US DOC launches investigation into alleged solar AD/CVD circumvention following Auxin Solar petition

28 March 2022: In a development that would later lead to widespread PV module supply disruptions and cause US solar deployment to tumble, the country’s Department of Commerce announced in March it would investigate alleged circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties by solar manufacturers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

5 – SunPower hit by US$31 million cracking issue, warns of further drags on Q4 results

21 January 2022: US solar installer SunPower revealed it was hit by a cracking issue discovered in connectors associated with equipment installed in some commercial and industrial projects, resulting in charges of around US$31 million. The company said it had identified a cracking issue associated with factory-installed connectors within some third-party commercial equipment used in commercial and industrial and light commercial value-added reseller products, as reported by Liam Stoker.

4 – New wafer production method could double throughput to up to 20,000 per hour, rendering European manufacturing more competitive

29 September 2022: A research consortium devised a proof of concept for a production line with a throughput of 15,000 to 20,000 wafers per hour, which is double the usual amount. The group of plant manufacturers, metrology companies and research institutions is led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and was established to reduce production costs and alleviate supply bottlenecks as a means to deploy increasing amounts of solar.

3 – Totalenergies launches legal action against Trina Solar alleging breach of contract, fraud over US$300m order

19 July 2022: Totalenergies launched legal action against PV manufacturer Trina Solar, alleging fraud and breach of contract relating to a 900MW+ module order. Court filings showed Totalenergies Renewables and US-based subsidiaries launched the action in Alameda County, California, claiming that Trina breached contracts and acted fraudulently in relation to module orders worth around US$300 million, signed in 2021.

2 – Top 50 most bankable module suppliers in the PV industry today

7 February 2022: Finlay Colville reflected on what makes a PV module supplier bankable, and what the most common red flags are when undertaking due diligence on supplier selection for large-scale utility-based solar projects.

1 – Greece runs entirely on renewables for the first time in its history

10 October 2022: Greece was entirely powered by renewables for the first time in its history, according to the country’s independent power transmission operator. On 7 October, for a period of around five hours, the country was running off entirely renewable power, reaching a record high of 3,106MWh. Renewables made up 46% of Greece’s power mix in the eight months to August 2022, up from 42% in the same period last year, according to Greek climate think-tank The Green Tank.

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