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The growing volumes of variable solar and wind generation on the grid raise the risk of depressed wholesale prices, particularly at times of high generation and low demand. James Brabben of Cornwall Insight explores the phenomenon of so-called price cannibalisation and how its most serious potential impacts on the renewables industry can be avoided.
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On 1 January this year, the solar investment tax credit, responsible for fuelling the rapid growth of the US market, began its decline. Cecilia Keating assesses what impact it will have.
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As utility-scale PV projects continue to spread across the United States, Mark Bolinger, Joachim Seel, and Dana Robson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory cover key technology and market trends in this synopsis of their annual “Utility-Scale Solar” report series.
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After several years with a moratorium on renewable energy incentives and no new build, Spain is seeing a new generation of projects being developed without subsidies as grid parity is achieved. Whilst this has encouraged an increase in renewable energy projects, it could be harmful to profits and have serious economic risks for investors. ÅF Pöyry Management Consulting’s Javier Revuelta considers the potential risks of taking a long-lasting grid parity in Spain for granted, how to mitigate these problems, and why it’s relevant to us all.
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A new toolkit has been launched to support companies in Europe that want to meet more of their energy needs from solar and other renewable energy sources. As SolarPower Europe’s Bruce Douglas explains, alongside much-needed regulatory reform the resource will help unlock the immense corporate renewables sourcing opportunity.
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The growing volume of PV waste presents an emerging environmental challenge, but also brings substantial value creation opportunities as the idea of bringing decommissioned PV modules back to life becomes more feasible. Researchers from imec, VITO and SoliTek chart the development of the second-life PV business as it transitions from theory to practice.
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Complexity, pricing and regulatory hurdles remain key obstacles for the corporate PPA market to overcome. But as Andrew Hedges, Caileen Kateri Gamache and Lee Donovan of Norton Rose Fulbright write, ongoing procurement innovations and new players entering the market suggest this will be a crucial route market for solar for some time to come.
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In the US and a number of other major solar markets, merchant solar projects are emerging to fill the gap left by declining subsidies. Jay Bartlett of Resources for the Future looks at the risks and opportunities for merchant PV as it finds its feet.
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Digital technologies have the potential to transform the solar industry as it continues to seek greater efficiencies and lower costs. But as Dana Olson writes, a lack of both digital skills and mindset within organisations are key barriers to realising the full benefits of the technologies now available.
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Recent signs suggest that after several quiet years, large-scale solar is once again showing strong growth in Europe in spite of the steady withdrawal of subsidies. PV Tech Power caught up with six energy finance experts from the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright for the their take on some of the market and financing trends that will shape European solar in the years to come.

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