PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcement plans and analysis for 2017

By Mark Osborne, Senior news editor, Photovoltaics International

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in 2017 far exceeded the three preceding years, despite the significant slowdown in new plans in the third quarter. The year was dominated by c-Si solar cell expansion plans and the return of CdTe and CIGS thin-film activity – the highest seen in many years. This quarterly report reviews the fourth quarter activity as well offering a full-year review and analysis of a record year across all segments of upstream manufacturing.

Life cycle management and recycling of PV systems

By Dr. Parikhit Sinha, is a Senior Scientist in the Global Sustainability group at First Solar and a member of the International Energy Agency PVPS Task 12; Sukhwant Raju, is the Global Director of Recycling Operations and Services at First Solar; Karen Drozdiak, is the Sustainability Communications and Analysis Manager at First Solar; Andreas Wade, is the Global Sustainability Director at First Solar and the Deputy Operating Agent of the International Energy Agency’s PVPS Task 12

In 2015, estimated annual global volumes of electronic waste (e-waste) reached a record 43.8 million metric tons and global e-waste generation is expected to increase up to 50 million metric tons by 2018. Even though solar PV panels significantly differ from typical consumer electronic products, global regulators view PV panels increasingly in the context of e-waste regulations. Solar PV currently accounts for less than 1% of total annual e-waste volumes.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcement plans and analysis for Q1 2017

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International

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.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion plans in 2016 exceeded 55GW

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International

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.

SolarCity’s 1GW Buffalo fab using technology from Japan, Germany and Taiwan

By Mark Osborne, senior news editor, Photovoltaics International

Ever since the 1GW production plans were announced back in July, 2014 speculation has remained over the tool selection. Indeed, no conference or exhibition that PV Tech had attended since that time, did the subject of tool selection not arise with industry people.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcement plans and analysis for 1Q 2016

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International ABSTRACT In

In this quarterly report on global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the first quarter of 2016, key analysis is devoted to the continued high level of intensity, which is continuing to track significantly higher than in the prior-year periods of 2014 and 2015. The report will also provide insight into the specific capacity expansion plans of the largest PV manufacturers, known as the ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL).

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcement plans and analysis for 1H 2016

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International ABSTRACT In

In this quarterly report of global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the first half of 2016, key analysis is given on the continued high level of activity through the second quarter of the year. This report also includes a new bottom-up analysis of ‘effective’ capacity expansions since the beginning of 2014 to provide a better and more accurate assessment of the current manufacturing environment.

How facilities can affect energy consumption in PV cell production

By Martin Schottler, AVEREM; Mariska de Wild-Scholten, SmartGreenScans

The production toolset is not the only significant source of power consumption in PV cell production. Cooling water, climatization, pressurized air and, in some cases, clean-room conditions drive up the electrical energy demand, while geographical location also has an influence. The extent of this additional consumption over and above the toolset is demonstrated by a number of quantitative examples in this paper.

Full-year 2015 PV manufacturing capacity expansion plans and analysis

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Solar Media

In this quarterly report a full analysis is given for the first time of two years’ worth (2014-15) of PV manufacturers’ capacity expansion announcements as well as an assessment of announcements that have or are planned to convert to effective new nameplate capacity through to the end of 2016. The analysis provides the first insight into new capacity ramp profiles of effective capacity expansions over the last two-year period and highlights future ramp profiles expected through to the end of 2016.

Quarterly analysis of PV manufacturing capacity expansion plans

By Mark Osborne, Senior news editor, Photovoltaics International

This report focuses on expansion announcements in the third quarter of 2015, which was expected to be the low point in new capacity expansion announcements. Momentum seen during the first half of the year, however, carried through, and so a full nine-month analysis is also provided, to further characterize developments in 2015.

Smarter supply chains for a brighter solar future

By Jen Tan, VP of APAC Sales and Energy Solutions (and former Global Planning and Logistics VP); Agnieszka Schulze, Global PR Manager, REC, Singapore

As other entrants in the solar industry scramble to build greater efficiencies into their supply chain, the leading companies focus on manufacturing strengths such as zero-defect quality along the entire supply chain. When it comes to supply chain excellence, the solar industry as a whole is playing catch-up. However, there are players who have already made substantial progress here, having already adopted ‘lean’ practices to eliminate inefficiencies at source. REC, the largest European brand of solar panels and a world leader in the industry, is maintaining its strong position. The company’s practices and principles are explained in detail in this paper.

Quarterly analysis of PV manufacturing capacity expansion plans: 1H 2015

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International

In this quarterly report we will provide full first-half 2015 analysis that shows a massive shift in the geographical location of planned production plants, as well as details on key capacity announcements in the months of May and June. The analysis of April’s capacity announcements were reported in the previous quarterly report. Despite April announcements being so low, May proved to be a blockbuster month. The return of meaningful solar cell capacity plans reiterates the strength in the recovery and the first attempts for many years by leading PV manufacturers to rebalance cell and module production as next- generation PERC technology leads the cell rebalancing act.