In the latest development of the U.S.-China trade dispute, the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) has issued a statement on behalf of the countrys photovoltaic companies. In it, it said there is “no intention” of starting a trade war, but that the Chinese solar companies will fight those who have petitioned against them.
2011 may well have been characterized by a number of controversial issues, including declining module prices, insolvencies, production cutbacks, consolidation, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the U.S.-China trade dispute. However, not all is lost: while many of the traditional solar markets are suffering, a number of emerging markets are working hard to fill the void.
Gestamp Solar is a Spanish-based developer and operator of utility-scale photovoltaic plants across 25 countries. To date, it has installed around 300 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics. However, as senior engineer, Rusty Sage tells pv magazine, the company is ambitious in its goal-setting and plans to implement over 1.5 gigawatts (GW) worth of projects over the next five years.
According to new research, the 2011 North American photovoltaic market is projected to grow 101 percent on 2010, with demand likely to reach 2.2 gigawatts (GW) by year end. However, due to factors such as declining incentives and module oversupply, the market is at a “crossroads”. Meanwhile, the coming year will present many challenges.
German module manufacturer and integrator Q-Cells has claimed to have achieved a world-record CIGS module aperture efficiency of 17.4 percent, for a test module 16 square-centimeters in size.
The U.S. may be launching an investigation into the alleged illegal dumping and subsidies of photovoltaic cells and modules from China into the U.S., but now it seems that China is conducting its very own inquiry into illegal polysilicon dumping and subsidies into the country by the U.S.
The U.S.-China trade investigation launched by SolarWorld is fast turning into a mudslinging match between the two countries. Now, it has been reported that China will be investigating U.S. renewable energy policy support and subsidies.
2011 has, arguably, presented photovoltaic companies with the toughest solar market challenges to date. Subsidy cuts, freefalling prices, weak demand, overcapacities, financial uncertainty, insolvencies: these factors, and many more, have conspired to test companies mettle. However, what has led the industry to this situation, and what is in store for 2012? According to the analysts, intensified consolidation and falling component prices, and a situation where only the vertically integrated will survive.
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