The Swiss solar PV equipment manufacturer has signed a cooperation agreement with Spanish competitor, Mondragon Assembly. Following the closure of the Meyer Burger production site in Thun at the end of the year, the latter will manufacture Smartwire Connection technology going forward. However, patents and sales of the technology will remain the property of Meyer Burger.
The 15 MW project was developed under the Netherlands’ SDE+ program for large-scale renewables.
The company’s wafer factory in China was closed in the fourth quarter of 2017. Hanwha Q Cells, however, intends to further produce wafers at its new factory in Turkey.
In recent years, the International Energy Agency has consistently been far too conservative in its renewables forecasts. For the last year, it reported solar growth of almost 100 GW. It said, however, that if China were excluded from this balance sheet, growth would be relatively low.
Together with Austrian equipment manufacturer EVG, Fraunhofer ISE has achieved an efficiency of 33.3% on a multi-junction solar cell. The highlight of the cell is the ultra-thin II-V semiconductor layer. However, it will be a few years before mass production is possible.
Austria’s largest power provider announced a plan to invest around €100 million in solar and €15 million in recharge stations for electric vehicles over the next five years. The company aims at investing mainly in residential and C&I projects.
The Swiss PV equipment manufacturer recorded a loss of around €68 million last year. Although Meyer Burger was able to slightly increase sales, the EBITDA margin was below 3%. This year, the company is aiming for an EBITDA margin of 10%, in order to return to profitability.
According to Fraunhofer ISE experts, PV’s Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) currently ranges between €0.0371 and €0.1154 per kWh in Germany. The potential for further cost reductions is vast, the researchers add.
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