PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in Q2 2018

By Mark Osborne, Senior news editor, Photovoltaics International

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the second quarter of 2018 were slightly higher than the previous quarter, although activity slumped specifically in June, following China’s decision to suddenly cap utility-scale and distributed generation projects. The quarter was also characterized by activity in India, partially driven by a major Chinese manufacturer. The report will also analyze first half year capacity expansion plans and targeted locations, globally.

Transition to Industry 4.0: Opportunities and challenges for the PV sector

By Dr. Eszter Voroshazi; Kris Van de Voorde; Dr. Jozef Poortmans

After defining the term Industry 4.0 according to the authors’ interpretation, this paper elaborates on the opportunities and challenges that the Industry 4.0 transition will bring to the PV sector. The topic is approached from various angles. How can the PV industry and the related value chain itself progress to Industry 4.0? And how does this reflect in different application sectors, such as construction and automotive? This paper presents a future scenario towards which the industry could be heading; some of the steps already being taken and some of the main challenges ahead are described. The value of PV technology as an enabler for other sectors, such as edge versus cloud computing, to move into Industry 4.0 is also touched upon. Additionally, a number of enablers and boundary conditions are highlighted in the context of Industry 4.0 and their relevance to the PV industry (legislation, cyber security, etc.) The status of Industry 4.0 in PV compared with other sectors is also explored. Wherever appropriate and possible, examples of projects and activities that illustrate the described topics are given.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in Q1 2018

By Mark Osborne, senior news editor, Photovoltaics International

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the first quarter of 2018 continued to mirror those of the previous two years, highlighting the recent trend of the last quarter and the first quarter of each year (since the end of 2015) being the most active. The quarter being discussed also represents a revival in thin-film expansion plans, the return of PV module assembly outpacing solar cell announcements and the return of India and the US as major destinations for new capacity plans.

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.