Having installed more than 75 gigawatts in 2016, the solar industry continues to create opportunities for cell and module manufacturers to expand capacities, while upgrading technologies and improving process flows. Supply remains dominated by p-type crystalline silicon modules, despite ongoing research into n-type variants and the addition of PERC on p-type mono cells. The efficiency increases from p-type mono are now driving p-type multi cell producers to accelerate changes to production lines from both black silicon and PERC. This is now setting new benchmarks for the supply of solar modules in 2017 to utility-scale solar installations.
Market update | Japan’s solar market has slowed considerably since the early days of its feed-in tariff. But as Andy Colthorpe reports, its fundamentals still look strong and there areplenty of promising policy drivers in the pipeline to keep demand buoyant.
Trade wars | The EU-China trade row appears to be entering its swansong but its impact has been eroded and overridden by global solar market dynamics. We look at the divisive policy’s future as it plays catch up.
Utility PV | Despite enormous potential, Sub-Saharan Africa still has only a handful of operational large-scale PV power plants. Ben Willis reports on the ongoing efforts to help utility PV take root in a part of the world where it makes perhaps most sense but faces the biggest hurdles.
Policy | The new US president has wasted no time in following through on campaign pledges to row back on clean energy regulation and climate change policy. But as Danielle Ola reports, with the US solar industry in rude health, it should be well placed to weather theTrump storm.
Technology | China’s Top Runner PV auctions are growing from a small base to potentially representing the majority of utility solar deployment by next year. Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Yvonne Liu speaks to John Parnell about the companies and technologies gunning to take advantage.
Market update | At the end of 2016 China published a long-awaited plan that will determine the course of PV deployment for the next five years. China solar industry expert Frank Haugwitz unpicks the plan and assesses the country’s chances of surpassing 100GW of capacity this year.
Finance | The emerging solar markets of Southeast Asia each present their own unique set of conditions from a financing perspective. Reporting back from the Solar Finance & Investment Southeast Asia conference in Thailand at the end of 2016, Tom Kenning looks at how a promising solar region is bringing in the investors.
System integration | Taiwan has set itself a target of 20GW of PV by 2025, but standing in the way of that are acute land shortages and some extreme weather conditions. Tom Kenning reports on the creative technological and construction solutions being found to address Taiwan’s unique challenges.
Market overview - A number of false dawns have so far prevented solar from living up to its full potential in the Middle East and North Africa. But as Danielle Ola reports, with all the right ingredients in place, and an increasingly competitive business environment, the prospects in the region look better than ever before.
The first substantial barriers to rooftop solar in the Middle East are being eroded but a host of other challenges remain. Many are familiar, some are unique to the region.
Tom Kenning profiles some of the emerging solar markets around the world that look set to gain momentum in 2017.
Keeping on top of the impacts of dust and sand on power output is crucial to making solar a viable option in desert regions such as the Middle East. A fierce debate is currently raging over which methods are the most effective. Ben Willis listens to some of the arguments.
Chile has long been a strong contender for PV deployment with a growing economy, great solar resources and plenty of land. But as Tom Kenning learns, the market has several challenges ahead on its path to two-cents solar.
The Spanish photovoltaic market, once the darling of the global industry, has been ailing for almost a decade. But a new government finds itself with a mandate to build capacity, repeal taxes and redress the balance. James Blackman polls the market on its hopes for a new start.