The weekend read: Your guide to market growth in 2020

Some 15 countries are likely to be able to lay claim to the status of being members of solar’s “gigawatt club” in 2019, according to conservative projections from BloombergNEF. Nonetheless, PV suppliers, developers and service providers are always on the lookout for new pockets of growth. To kick off 2020, pv magazine’s global team of correspondents and editors have highlighted 10 “fast-growing” solar markets to evaluate where the opportunities, and potential risks, lie.

Harmful lead in photovoltaics – are there sustainable alternatives?

Without globally unified standards in waste management, the risk from toxic materials such as lead will become increasingly important.

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A new era of sustained growth

After several years of weak solar demand growth in Europe, compared to the historical highs of 2011, installations are expected to surge by 88% to reach a new installation record of 23 GW in 2019, writes Cormac Gilligan, research manager at IHS Markit. A range of favorable macro conditions have coalesced this year to reignite the market.

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The weekend read: The land of the low tender

Some of the world’s most cost-competitive solar arrays have been built among the rolling dunes of the vast Arabian Desert. While some government policies appear to be targeted at breaking records, nobody expects the oil-rich Gulf region to bring about truly sharp changes in pricing for solar PV plants.

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12 GW bifacial demand in 2020

Back in June, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) granted Section 201 tariff exemptions to bifacial cells and modules, but reversed the decision on Oct. 28. Two weeks after the reversal, the U.S. Court of International Trade issued a temporary order against the withdrawal of the bifacial exemption. An investigation is now underway, with the first hearing taking place on Dec. 5.

BIPV: More than the module

Building integrated PV has been described as a place where uncompetitive PV products attempt to go to market. But this may be unfair, says Björn Rau, the technology manager and deputy director of PVcomB at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Rau argues that the missing link to BIPV deployment lies at the intersection of the architectural community, construction industry, and PV manufacturers.

China’s market in transition

By the end of 2018, China was home to around one third of global cumulative PV capacity, with around 175 GW of operational PV systems. In the context of China’s power sector, writes Frank Haugwitz of Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory, the cumulative installed capacity makes up 9% of the total existing power generation capacity and contributed approximately 2.7% to total electricity generation.

Shedding lights on Indonesia’s off-grid sector

Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported in 2018 that 2,281 villages had no access to electricity. With more than 17,000 islands, building grid connections between them would be expensive. So what are the key challenges and solutions to the development of rural area electrification in Indonesia? pv magazine interviewed three experts that are involved in developing the country’s rural area electrification.

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Never a dull moment in the US-solar market

With its trade wars, exclusions from tariffs, reversals of exclusions, and stays of reversals of exclusions – in addition to the repeal of the Clean Air Act and potential changes to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act – the U.S. solar market is anything but boring, writes SPV Market Research’s Paula Mints.

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European Green Deal promises better products – and ecodesign shows the way to making it happen

The European Green Deal needs better and longer-lasting products, and that includes solar panels, says ECOS, the environmental NGO specialising in ecodesign and standardisation.

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