Taiwan’s PV industry seeks transformation in hard times

By Carrie Xiao, Solar Media

For the past two years, Taiwan’s PV manufacturers have been weathering a heavy storm prompted by shifting global demand for their wares. But as Carrie Xiao reports, government efforts to stimulate a local end market for PV is proving to be a potential lifeline

France’s improbable quest to revive EU solar makers

By José Rojo, Solar Media

Europe’s centrist star Macron has ambitions to lead a continent-wide comeback of solar manufacturing. Can political will alone shatter the dominance of low-priced Asian rivals? Paris’ plan is either Europe’s second chance or a quest doomed to fail, depending on who José Rojo asks

Latin America’s moment in the sun

By José Rojo, Solar Media

The global solar boom is taking foreign players to Brazil and Mexico but the journey may not be for the faint hearted. Approached by José Rojo, operators of Latin America’s top two markets are keen to dispel myths of a region they say entails risks but also opportunities.

Can US double-up on bifacial in wake of tariff reprieve?

By John Parnell, Solar Media

The US announced an exemption from Section 201 trade tariffs in June. But with a limited bifacial project pipeline in place and questions around supply, will the ruling really open the door to the technology? John Parnell investigates.

R&D spending analysis of 21 key PV manufacturers in 2018

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International

Photovoltaics International’s annual analysis of PV manufacturers, research and development (R&D) spending in 2018 includes 21 companies that were public listed on various stock exchanges around the world. R&D spending data was taken from audited annual financial reports and converted to US dollars at the time of the reports being published. The analysis in this 2018 report is intended to provide a good representation of global R&D spending trends in the PV wafer, cell and module segments of the upstream solar market.

Colombia at the crossroads

By José Rojo, Solar Media

Bogotá seems ready to kickstart its dormant renewable sector to bolster a hydroreliant power mix but auction delays suggest the road may be bumpy. José Rojo explores the factors behind the country’s slower PV awakening as Brazil, Mexico and other neighbours surged ahead.

FiT for purpose?

By Liam Stoker, Solar Media

The UK’s small-scale feed-in tariff closed to new applicants earlier this year, forcing policy makers and installers alike to run the rule over new models and legislation. Liam Stoker takes a look at the government’s Smart Export Guarantee and what it might mean for UK solar.

China’s bid to fill policy vacuum

By Carrie Xiao, Solar Media

Slowly but surely, China’s solar policy void is being filled with a 30GW auction at the heart of it. Carrie Xiao digs into the details as the draft proposals take the first steps towards official status.

Regulatory roadblocks ahead for EU subsidy-free solar

By José Rojo, Solar Media

Despite its coming of age from the days of state support, European PV remains at the mercy of regulatory whims. José Rojo examines how bureaucracy, grid bottlenecks and other pitfalls of government action can cripple solar as it becomes the driving force of a clean EU energy system.

Top 10 module suppliers of 2018

By Finlay Colville, Head of Research, PV-Tech and Solar Media Ltd.

This article reveals the top-10 module suppliers of 2018, based purely on own-brand shipped module MWp-dc volumes. For the past few years, we have sought to compile the top-10 module supplier list before the end of January (or at the latest before the Chinese new year). In practice, with the first two weeks of the year being a reset from any prior-year shipment rush or inventory clear-out, we end up having a couple of weeks to get the top-10 module supplier rankings done.

Top-10 solar cell producers of 2018

By Finlay Colville, Head of Research, PV-Tech and Solar Media Ltd.

Solar cell production in 2018 represented change on many fronts, but may be remembered as a year during which Chinese-owned companies made further strategic moves as part of the current Beijing mandate to position the country as a high-tech manufacturing global powerhouse. This article explains how this is having a dramatic impact on solar cell manufacturing outside the control of leading Chinese-funded companies, and what this really means in terms of solar cell technologies and industry-wide technology roadmaps during 2019.

Emerging market briefing

By Tom Kenning

Tom Kenning looks at the latest developments in some of the most promising emerging PV markets worldwide. This issue features Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Mexico and the UAE.

Turkey takes the winding road to solar success

By Ekin İnal; Chris Down

Turkey has around 5GW of installed solar capacity, but potential for much more. Ekin İnal and Chris Down explore the latest developments in Turkey’s solar market and the regulatory reforms that could help PV take a much larger share of the country’s energy mix.

Plugging the hole: How can solar fill UK nuclear’s void?

By Liam Stoker

When Hitachi suspended development of its planned new nuclear power plant at Wylfa in early 2019, many thought the news would blow a hole in the country’s decarbonisation plans. But as costs continue to fall, even the UK government, not usually considered to be renewables’ closest ally, has pointed to the technologies’ role in plugging that gap. Liam Stoker looks at what might be required.

Land of the rising shadows

By Tom Kenning

At the end of 2018 the Japanese government caught solar developers by surprise with a raft of punitive regulatory changes. Tom Kenning reports on the short- and long-term impacts these could have on the country’s PV industry.