A viral outbreak in the city of Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, has become a nationwide health crisis with global implications. And with PV manufacturing concentrated in China, there are serious implications for all corners of the solar world, reports Vincent Shaw in Shanghai.
The Chinese manufacturer believes it has set a record because its device was manufactured on standard commercial production equipment.
Longi Solar has dramatically stepped in to take over fellow Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Yize New Energy Technology, which operates 7 GW of module production capacity and 3 GW of cell facilities in northern Vietnam.
The 5 GW of new production lines announced by JA Solar at the start of the year have now been doubled as the company also unveiled plans to rejig up to 3.6 GW of its existing facilities to accommodate bigger wafers.
The coronavirus outbreak in China could raise solar module prices in the near term as manufacturers have already begun experiencing wafer and solar glass shortages. Production rates are also being affected by an extended new year holiday introduced by the authorities as a measure to deal with the virus, and the requirement workers from infected areas quarantine themselves for two weeks.
The world’s largest utility has looked outside the energy industry for its new head for the first time in its history, apparently signalling a lack of patience in Beijing with the slow pace of implementing a lower electricity price and of guaranteeing purchase of all clean power generated in the nation.
The move, by Taitong Industry Ltd, will come as a fresh blow to the Chinese module manufacturer, which twice failed to go public – in the U.S. and China – and whose project development business suffered a battering in China when Beijing reined in subsidies in 2018.
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