The past 12 months have proved profitable for polysilicon manufacturers, as selling prices have soared to levels not seen since 2011. However, with major new capacity expansions on the horizon from most of the leading manufacturers, and new players planning to enter the scene, the market balance looks set to shift. Exawatt’s Alex Barrows rounds up where the industry stands and what might happen next.
Frédéric Dross of STS shares the minor yet essential details that buyers must pay close attention to when finalizing PV module purchase agreements, based on the company’s experience advising clients across the globe. Avoiding hidden traps in purchase agreements comes down to detailed contractual knowledge, fine print, and understanding common practices to bypass strict controls.
Factories suffering from rationed grid electricity could help drive a boom in on-site solar systems, and recent moves to mandate the retrofitting of PV on existing buildings could also lift the market, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.
The urgency to decarbonize the building sector has caught global attention in the lead-up to the COP26 summit, commencing on Oct. 31. Wood Mackenzie’s Ben Hertz-Shargel says that success will require a two-pronged strategy of massively electrifying building heat over the coming decade, while also investing in technologies that can pick up future heating demand if the grid cannot handle it.
Industrial shutdowns and reduced factory production capacity levels indicate the companies producing the raw materials used by solar manufacturers are being afflicted by electricity consumption measures just as other sectors are. It is not clear whether the solar industry will be afforded any favors by Beijing, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.
It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing, says Mark Byrne of Australia’s Total Environment Centre. Or rather, it’s possible that there is too much rooftop PV at some times in some places. As a result, a range of critical reforms – including the introduction of export tariffs to pay for upgrades of the electricity distribution network – are necessary to allow for the uninhibited growth of solar in the future, he argues.
With a rising chorus of voices calling for more solar industry recruits to perform the energy transition, Nigeria already has a skilled base of PV engineers and, with a little help filling the few gaps they have in their knowledge, the nation can step into the breach immediately, as Testimony Gabe-Oji, chief technology officer for Abuja-based installer Green Energy Spectrum, explains.
Chinese PV inverter manufacturer Atess Power has launched a new hybrid inverter for commercial solar power plants, featuring an efficiency of ≥96% and supporting up to 600kW system capacity.
China is the largest residential PV market in the world, and this trend is only expected to strengthen in the next few years. By July 2021, China’s cumulative installed residential PV capacity had reached more than 30 GW, with a total of 1.864 million residential units hosting solar PV systems. IHS Markit’s Holly Hu looks behind these impressive numbers.
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