Softbank Vision Fund (SBVF) and GCL Group holding company have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch a US$930 million joint venture in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, primarily to manufacture PV ingots, wafers, solar cells and modules.
Combined R&D expenditures of 12 major PV module manufacturers in 2016, tracked since 2007, decline by approximately 4.4% in 2016 to US$519.3 million, compared to US$542.9 million in 2015. As 2015 expenditures were a new record high, 2016 becomes the second highest year of spending and 2014 the third highest. All three years highlight total combined annual R&D expenditures above US$500 million.
Taiwan-based PV cell and module manufacturer Motech Industries plans to deploy 400MW of solar in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan, according to a company executive, while it is also in early talks with other cell makers about setting up a module factory.
Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte today inaugurated the Philippines first solar module manufacturing facility with an expanded capacity of 800MW at Santo Tomas, Batangas, owned by renewable energy firm Solar Philippines.
Although capacity expansion announcements in January remained subdued and followed the low level of activity seen in the second half of 2016, February proved to be the third busiest month since 2014 and the strongest February in more than three years. March did not maintain that momentum but still posted strong figures, the second highest March figures in more than three years.
Analysts and developers alike have been saying that Mexico will be the next biggest solar market for years now. But according to GTM Research’s Manan Parikh, the time is finally approaching for solar to ‘take-off’ in Mexico.
In this quarterly report on global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements we will provide a detailed analysis of 2016. Despite a significant slowdown in new announcements in the second half of the year, 2016 surpassed 2015 by around 16% to exceed a total of 55GW of thin-film, dedicated solar cell and module assembly and integrated PV expansion plans.
Having installed more than 75 gigawatts in 2016, the solar industry continues to create opportunities for cell and module manufacturers to expand capacities, while upgrading technologies and improving process flows. Supply remains dominated by p-type crystalline silicon modules, despite ongoing research into n-type variants and the addition of PERC on p-type mono cells. The efficiency increases from p-type mono are now driving p-type multi cell producers to accelerate changes to production lines from both black silicon and PERC. This is now setting new benchmarks for the supply of solar modules in 2017 to utility-scale solar installations.