The pv magazine weekly news digest


The Mexican government looks set to pass an ambitious Energy Transition Law that could reform the country’s energy by establishing a program for Clean Energy Certificates while encouraging distributed generation. Mexico is now aiming for a 35% clean energy target by 2024. The bill is pending ratification in the Senate.

In the meantime, the United States is set to install more than 3 GW of solar PV during the current quarter. GTM Research and SEIA’s latest report finds that the U.S. solar market dipped slightly last quarter to 1.36 GW, but the organizations are predicting that massive levels of solar will come online during the next five quarters. The country’s residential sector continues to grow despite high system costs.

It’s probably therefore not surprising that Hanwha Q Cells has extended its supply partnership with U.S. residential installer Sunrun. The South Korean PV manufacturer will ship 135 MW of solar panels to Sunrun next year, tripling the volume of panels it supplied to the company in 2015, with modules to be shipped from Hanwha’s fabs in Malaysia and South Korea.

The taxman cometh

In Britain, the Solar Trade Association has challenged a proposed tax hike on solar panels by U.K. tax regulator HMRC, which is calling for a quadrupling of value-added tax to 20%. Other campaigners have joined the STA in urging the government to halt the rise. However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the U.K.’s 5% VAT rate for solar panels is illegal, making it likely that it will end up rising to 20%. The HMRC is recommending the removal of the tax relief for solar panels by August.

Germany’s ups and downs

In Germany, a new investor has come to the rescue of insolvent inverter company Platinum. Linceus GmbH, a subsidiary of SEW Eurodrive GmbH & Co. KG, bought the company for an undisclosed sum, saving all of the firm’s 42 employees. Platinum will focus solely on R&D going forward.

Fellow German company Manz AG, meanwhile, has announced the layoff of 174 employees, primarily in Germany and Asia, although its other European sites have also been affected. The equipment maker is adjusting its capacities accordingly with the hope of saving some €7 million.

In India, Tata Power Solar has commissioned the world’s largest rooftop solar array. The 12 MW installation will be built across eight sheltered venues at a single premise at the R.S.S.B. Educational & Environmental Society in Amritsar, India.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s 800 MW tender is attracting major global players. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received submissions from JinkoSolar, REC Solar, SunEdison and other leading international developers.

In Zimbabwe, JA Solar has won a $179 million contract to supply 100 MW of modules to one of the first three large-scale PV plants in the country. JA Solar will supply the modules to China MCC17 Group for the development of the ground-mounted array.