PV Tech’s top ten stories of the year, 2021

By PV Tech
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The Techren solar project in Nevada. Image: Nextracker.

In a somewhat turbulent, but always interesting year for solar PV, we’ve seen supply chain volatility and subsequent pricing concerns, a burgeoning technology arms race and a new regime in the US shake off the shackles of the four years prior.

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

10 – Heterojunction prepares to replace p-mono PERC as mainstream PV offering from 2023

15 March 2021: During the past few years, the PV industry has shifted almost exclusively to p-mono PERC modules (mono-facial and bifacial). During 2021, more than 90% of shipped modules will be based on the same technology (mono PERC), setting up the industry to finally make the move from p-type to n-type from 2023 onwards. Finlay Colville writes.

9 – As PV module prices break through the US$0.30c/W barrier, how are production and procurement adapting?

11 October 2021: Before and after China’s National Day holiday in October, two things that have affected the PV module supply chain continued to bubble up. One was the rising price of raw and auxiliary materials caused by upstream power rationing, and the other is the fact that some downstream installers and local channel merchants have now simply given up resisting price increases and began to stockpile. Carrie Xiao reports.

8 – Ford selects Sunrun as installation partner to make new F-150 Lightning backup power source

20 May 2021: Leading US residential solar and storage provider Sunrun has partnered with automaker Ford as the installer of home charging systems for its F-150 Lightning truck.

7 – How Texas solar helped meet winter storm challenges, and could go even further

18 February 2021: The generational winter storm which affected large parts of the US, but most prominently Texas, has drawn attention to power supply, grid operator ERCOT and the role renewables has, or evidently has not, played in causing widespread blackouts. Liam Stoker reports.

6 – 10-year solar ITC extension, standalone storage credit and PTC revival included in draft budget bill

13 September 2021: The US House of Representatives has finally unveiled proposals which would extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for 10 years at 30%, but only for projects meeting certain labour conditions.

5 – Solar industry nears ‘crisis’ amidst material shortages

19 April 2021: Solar manufacturing material shortages are nearing a crisis point with the price of polysilicon continuing to rise, JinkoSolar’s Dany Qian has said. The price of polysilicon has risen steadily over the course of the last year, prices rising initially due to factory shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but latterly due to a surge in demand.

4 – Solar manufacturing majors call on customers to delay projects amidst supply ‘crisis’

30 September 2021: Five of the solar industry’s leading module manufacturers have issued a joint statement warning of an impending “crisis” regarding module supplies, imploring developers to consider delaying projects and calling for greater collaboration between upstream and downstream players.

3 – New US Energy Secretary shakes up DOE, calls for ‘hundreds of gigawatts’ of new clean energy

4 March 2021: The US will need “hundreds of gigawatts” of carbon-free energy installed within the next four years to meet its climate targets, new Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm has said.

2 – Solar module failure rates continue to rise as record number of manufacturers recognised in PVEL Module Reliability Scorecard

26 May 2021: A total of 117 modules from 26 manufacturers have received ‘Top Performer’ status within PV Evolution Labs’ (PVEL) 2021 Module Reliability Scorecard, however the report has also highlighted an increase in failure rates within the industry.

1 – Built solar assets are ‘chronically underperforming’ and modules degrading faster than expected, research finds

8 June 2021: Solar asset underperformance continues to worsen, with projects “chronically underperforming” P99 estimates and modules degrading faster than previously anticipated, risk management firm kWh Analytics has found.

26 January 2022
Join this free webinar for our analysis of the growth of N-Type technology including; new capacity expansions and production output. We'll also be looking at the global manufacturing footprint with forecasts on how much product will be made outside of China this year and which companies are driving technology change across the crystalline silicon value chain.

Read Next

January 20, 2022
Distributed PV installations in China topped 29GW last year, contributing more than half of total solar installations in the country for the first time.
PV Tech Premium
January 16, 2022
Solar wafer prices have experienced a slight increase in price since the middle of last week after an earthquake struck Qinghai earlier this month, disrupting production.
January 12, 2022
US solar tracker supplier Array Technologies has completed its previously announced acquisition of Spanish tracker manufacturer Soluciones Técnicas Integrales Norland, S.L. (STI Norland).  
PV Tech Premium
January 10, 2022
After a 2021 which saw price volatility dominate the solar industry’s new, the sector started anew last week. How has the downstream started the year with regards manufacturing and pricing?
PV Tech Premium
December 30, 2021
As operational solar assets mature, news of repowering projects is steadily ramping up. Alice Grundy takes a look at what’s influencing decisions and just when the right time to repower is.
December 24, 2021
As 2021 draws to a close, PV Tech is reviewing the year in solar, reflecting on some of the biggest stories and hottest trends of the last 12 months. Today we look at the impact of soaring prices and logistics challenges during the fourth quarter.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal