The pv magazine weekly news digest

The thriving global operation and maintenance sector continues to entice international players.

Hong Kong solar giant Shunfeng International Clean Energy launched Raising Power, a new independent service company based in Augsburg, Germany, with offices in Los Angeles and Shanghai.

The technical operations management service company offers end-to-end services across the global PV market and aims to expand its portfolio to 1.5 to 2 GW by the end of 2016.

Spanish electrical engineering group Ingeteam, meanwhile, has signed four new PV operation and maintenance contracts in Panama, the United Kingdom, Honduras and Uruguay, opening new markets for the company in the latter two countries.

Global PV forecasts looking sunny

Market research group IHS this week raised its global solar PV forecasts for the next two years to 59 GW and 65 GW, respectively, with the U.S. and China leading the charge. The market research group predicts installations in 2019 to reach more than 70 GW.

Ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), meanwhile, five multilateral development banks have pledged to increase climate financing to $170 billion over the next five years. The conference is set to take place in Paris Nov. 30 – Dec. 11.

Taiwan PV sector showcased

Taiwan’s dynamic PV manufacturing industry was again center stage at this year’s PV Taiwan expo, which kicked off Oct. 14. While well attended, the event saw a decline in exhibiting companies compared to last year.

Talk at the expo also focused on seven firms that are being investigated by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with European authorities for fraudulent labeling of solar products.

On hand at the show was Neo Solar Power, which presented its new 21.1% efficient mono-PERC solar cell.

Germany’s Heraeus Photovoltaics and local group Sunrise Global Solar Energy also announced their new partnership at PV Taiwan. The companies are collaborating on paste research for PERC cells.

Solar bonds big in Japan

British banking and investment group Barclays, meanwhile, is set to begin offering solar bonds in Japan next year amidst fast-growing renewable energy generation in the country.

In South Korea, China Sunergy continues the internationalization of its production by bringing online a 200 MW PV cell factory.

Also active in South Korea, German inverter maker SMA Solar Technology is supplying a 24 MW energy storage project in the country.

SMA also celebrated 1 GW inverter sales in India this week.

SolarMax is back

In Germany, inverter manufacturer SolarMax has secured a new lease on life following the insolvency of parent company, Sputnik Engineering AG. Backed by an unidentified investor, the company relocated its manufacturing operations from Switzerland to the Bavarian town of Burgau.

Blighty blues

Across the channel, a winter of discontent appears nigh for the British solar industry. Pessimism permeated the Solar Energy U.K. trade fair in Birmingham this week, which went from celebrating the unprecedented solar boom a year ago to downbeat assessments of the consequences of recent solar remuneration policy changes.

Across the pond, the U.S. city of Austin approved another 162 MW of solar projects, adding to 288 MW approved two weeks ago and bringing the state capital of Texas to more than 670 MW of solar when completed.

At the southern end of the continent, meanwhile, the government of Chile laid down an ambitious new renewable energy roadmap calling for a 19% solar share for the country by 2050.