PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the second quarter of 2018, were slightly higher than the previous quarter, although activity slumped specifically in June, after China’s decision to suddenly cap utility-scale and distributed generation (DG) projects (531 New Deal). But large-scale multi-gigawatt production plans in the first half of the year may have hidden an inevitable slowdown, despite the impact on downstream demand from the 531 New Deal.
We have tracked the annual R&D spending of 12 key publicly listed PV module manufacturers over the last 10 years. We present our new methodology with a broader scope which reveals record levels of investment in solar innovation.
PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the first quarter of 2018 continued to follow the strong trend set in the fourth quarter of 2017. The quarter also represented a revival in thin-film expansion plans as well as the return of PV module assembly outpacing solar cell announcements. Also notable was the return of India and the US as major destinations for new capacity plans.
Industrial gases firms Linde and Praxair have announced plans to merge that would create a US$29 billion global business dominating many regional industrial sectors around the world. The major merger is not expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, subject to anti-trust agencies in Germany and the US.
Thin film perovskite solar cell developer Dyesol has had an application granted by the Australian government for a AUD$2.5 million (US$1.9 million) in funding for an 18 month project to develop a large-area on glass product prototype that would coincide with the company establishing pilot line production in Australia.
In this week's Movers & Shakers, PV Tech covers the controversy surrounding the sudden exit of Brian Molefe from South African utility Eskom after scandal accusations, and reports on whether this could emerge as an opportunity for the country's embattled renewables procurement programme. We also report on First Solar slashing jobs after it rescinded on its former plans to migrate its series five module and other happenings from the US, Europe and China.
PV Tech’s analysis of PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in 2015, which includes thin-film, solar cell, dedicated module assembly and integrated cell and module categories more than doubled (21GW:2014) year-on-year to reach 55.19GW.
Flexible CIGS thin-film consumer product producer Ascent Solar Technologies reported lower than expected third quarter sales, while reducing full-year revenue guidance on liquidity constraints in the quarter.