Outsourcing in the various stages running up to module assembly versus having one’s entire supply chain in house was a major theme at PV ModuleTech 2017. PV Tech caught up with Nick Strevel, director, global technical sales, at vertically-integrated thin-film PV manufacturer First Solar, to discuss the benefits of having all in house production and the drivers for high expenditure in R&D.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched a new investment company based in Silicon Valley, California, which will have R&D and innovation in sustainability and renewable energy among its energy technology focuses.
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund, supported by Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), and Right Click Capital have invested US$7 million into Australian start-up Redback Technologies, whose system uses machine learning to predict solar generation and customer usage.
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 (see Figure 1), compared to US$542.9 million in 2015.
Major metallization paste producer Heraeus Photovoltaics said it had signed a major strategic partnership agreement with ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) leader JinkoSolar that will focus on what the company said would be the development of a new generation of “Super PV Cells” with higher efficiencies and lower costs.
US-headquartered high-efficiency PV cell and module producer SunPower Corp said it had invested around US$25 million in the last 12-months on a new US R&D and pilot line facility located at its headquarters in San Jose, California.
India is reaching out to its renewables R&D contributors to create a roadmap, Dominion has purchased a solar power system in Virginia, TerraForm Power has an extension to regain compliance with its Nasdaq listing.
Enel Green Power (EGP) has partnered with the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (IMM) of the National Research Council (NRC) to create a dedicated laboratory to explore renewable energy technologies, and in particular, develop bifacial PV modules.
Just when forecasts for India’s solar manufacturers in 2017 projected a dire outlook, energy minister Piyush Goyal has reportedly said in parliament that the previously touted incentives package for domestic firms will not be moving forward for the foreseeable future.