Top Blogs for 2008

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With the emergence from stealth mode of a suite of thin-film companies, many U.S.-based, our North American contributing editor Tom Cheyney has been right in the thick of the reporting action all year. His ‘Chip Shots’ blog has proven such a massive hit in 2008 with PV-Tech readers that it is almost impossible to be selective in picking just a few to mention here in this review.

To say that industry trade journalists dislike hype would be an understatement. Having a blog to vent is one recent invention that has proved to be a great safety valve for the veteran hack. The developments in thin film have at times crossed the pain threshold when it comes to hype and that was clear from Tom’s blog right at the beginning of the year on a host of thin-film company developments. Tom noted that with all the hype on CIGS, First Solar would still produce more thin-film panels in 2008 than all of the CIGS companies combined.

However, the series of blogs on Solyndra’s outing and subsequent revelations on its unique technology and integration techniques proved an instant hit. As is the case with some blogs, Tom’s Solyndra series has generated traffic over a long period of time as links and references grow. In my mind they have also captured a moment in the history of thin film that will be referred back to time and time again. If you haven’t been one of the many to read this series I most certainly urge you to do so. News stories about major MW supply deals that Solyndra have secured post-stealth mode would seem to indicate that a major future thin-film player has been created.

A US$3.5 billion investment in the PV industry, especially by market leader Q-Cells, would get a lot of readers interested, right?

Indeed, that proved the case back in May 2008 when I blogged about Q-Cells setting up thin-film plants in Mexicali, and the threat this could be to First Solar. Scale will be everything in the PV industry of the not too distant future and this new megasite could be the start of things to come, especially from overseas players wanting to reap the rewards of the renewed support for renewable energy in North America.

That point was made clear in a very popular blog from Syanne, our intern from the U.S., regarding Barack Obama’s pledge to spend US$150 billion on renewable energy during a long election campaign. Now that he has won the Presidential election, time will tell, but already we understand that a significant amount of that pledge is expected to be seen through, though perhaps not as quickly as wished due to the worsening economic crisis.

In November, Tom was back at blogging CIGS as well as blogging on blogs. As the financial crisis impacts the PV industry, especially share prices of publicly traded companies, the ‘short seller’ is having a field day. Wild claims of doom and gloom are meant to frighten investors. However, it takes a bit more than that on this side of the fence.

28 July 2021
LONGi has launched its Hi-MO N module, the company's first bifacial module with N-type TOPCon cells, designed to deliver ultra- high value and lower LCOE to utility-scale PV power plants. This PV TechTalk Product Series webinar will provide an overview of the module’s technology and how the introduction of n-type technologies will provide efficiency and performance gains for solar project developers.
29 July 2021
This free webinar will explore the ongoing opportunities in the UK solar PV market, looking at global technology trends and how they apply to the UK. Join us for an overview of the project pipeline and forecast for deployment over the coming years. We'll be looking at the types of modules available and being used in the UK and presenting a case study on the deployment of bifacial modules in this market.
19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?

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