The estimated PV system installation capacity in 2016 was ~70GW worldwide , as shown in Fig. 1. In fact, the production volume in 2015 was around 200 times that in 2000, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 40%. It has recently been noted that as the PV industry matures, the mindset is changing from $/W to $/kWh. While $/W is still a major driving force, the significance of other factors that influence the cost of energy must also be considered. In this regard, PV development is entering the era of $/kWh-oriented optimization.
Renewable energy is indeed the future, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest report, which forecasts technologies such as wind and solar to “dominate” the future of electricity by 2040, making up 48% of the world’s installed capacity and 34% of electricity generation.
This paper presents a summary of the status of bifacial PV in respect of the technology in mass production, the installed PV systems, and the costs relating both to module production (cost of ownership – COO) and to electricity (levelized cost of energy – LCOE). Since the first bifacial workshop, organized by ISC Konstanz and the University of Konstanz, in 2012, many things have changed. Bifacial cells and modules have become cost effective, with installed systems now adding up to more than 120MWp and the technology becoming bankable. Large electricity providers have recognized the beauty of bifacial installations, as the lowest costs per kWh are attainable with these systems. The authors are sure that by the end of 2017, bifacial PV systems amounting to around 500MWp will have been installed, and that by 2025 this type of system will become the major technology in large ground-mounted installations.
Solar PV manufacturers have been flooding into Malaysia, but its domestic solar deployment remains relatively modest. PV Tech caught up with Catherine Ridu, chief executive officer of the Malaysia Sustainable Development Authority (SEDA), to discuss the newly-launched net metering programme and what other policies could encourage solar deployment, as well as how to leverage the manufacturing boom for domestic solar gains.
Despite regulatory ambiguities, the general consensus from industry stakeholders at this year’s Solar Energy UK | Clean Energy Live exhibition is that Africa’s solar sector is ripe for new entrants, posing a significant opportunity that should not be missed.
Solar ranks lowest in terms of projected Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for electricity generating technologies in 2030, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 2016 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB).
The sub-six cents per unit cost achieved by First Solar, ACWA Power and TSK in Dubai became an industry benchmark. First Solar's Ahmed S. Nada explains the location-specific factors that could leave those chasing the same price, chasing their tails.
Chile has streaked ahead of its Latin American rivals after becoming the first country in the region to surpass 1GW of installed solar capacity and brush off its classification as an ‘emerging market’. Tom Kenning assesses the country's prospects as it looks to go even further with renewable energy deployment.
This paper demonstrates that the future of the lowest-cost electricity generation from PV is not all about increasing cell and module efficiencies and minimizing cost/Wp, but rather squeezing the best out of a system using a few simple tricks, such as bifaciality, tracking and ground reflection improvements, to achieve the lowest cost/kWh.
Large-scale solar and wind can already compete on price with traditional generation in some parts of the world, even with the price of natural gas falling, according to financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard.