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.

Halting desertification in the Sahel with solar power

By Tom Kenning

Solar power is at the heart of an ambitious plan to tackle environmental degradation and poverty in the Sahel region. Tom Kenning reports on a programme that, if successful, could bring a multitude of environmental and economic benefits to a fragile part of the world.

The seller’s market

By Liam Stoker, Solar Media

Following years of frantic consolidation, the UK’s secondary solar market has begun to slow. Liam Stoker analyses what the future holds in store for the once-thriving market, and what’s next for long-term asset holders

Falling costs help solar thrive in the desert

By Paul Mansouri; Angela Croker

Solar in the Middle East and North Africa continues to flourish, with utility projects leading the way. As Paul Mansouri and Angela Croker of Norton Rose Fulbright write, the development of battery storage technology and a growing interest among large corporates in solar as an energy source will help the market to continue growing

Vietnam’s mysterious solar market builds momentum

By Tom Kenning, Solar Media

Concerns over Vietnam’s power purchase agreement have not prevented a huge number of project deals being signed. Tom Kenning weighs up what progress is being made in putting one of Southeast Asia’s most promising solar markets on the map

R&D spending analysis of 20 key PV manufacturers in 2017

By Mark Osborne, Solar Media

An analysis of R&D spending of 20 publicly listed PV module manufacturers in 2017 has been undertaken to replace Photovoltaics International’s previous list of 12 companies tracked over a 10-year period. A number of the original companies tracked have subsequently de-listed from stock markets and gone private, which meant that a broader analysis, including other listed companies was required to provide a good representation of global R&D spending trends in the PV wafer, cell and module segments of the upstream solar market.