Opinion & Analysis

Transformation of support system for renewables following introduction of renewable energy auctions in Ukraine

Following the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On the Electricity Market” (the Electricity Market Law) in 2017, which set out the legal framework for the new electricity market design and the role of renewables within it, the renewable energy sector has been developing rapidly in Ukraine.

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100 GW: PV in its teens

With almost 100 GW commissioned in 2018 (the same level as in 2017), the PV market was stable at a global level, writes Becquerel Institute’s Gaëtan Masson. This hides different market developments, as for example the decline of the Chinese PV market from 53 to 45 GW, and growth in other markets. The global market, exempting China, grew from 41 GW in 2016 to 46 GW in 2017, a rather big jump as it reached close to 55 GW in 2018.

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SEIA’s solar+ plan falls short on ambition

The Solar Energy Industries Association’s “ambitious goal” of solar supplying 20% of U.S. electricity in 2030 looks more like a forecast, and vision for rapid decarbonization is coming from the climate movement and the American Left, not SEIA.

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Get out and vote!

As the European elections approach, it will be vital to have MEPs that are committed to solar and help ensure that the lowest cost and most flexible clean energy technology is the leading contributor to the EU’s 2050 climate strategy, writes Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe.

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Emerging markets are driving solar towards the world’s preferred energy source

Over the past few years, solar energy has undergone a remarkable transformation. From its position as one mainstream energy source among many, it has now become the world’s preferred source of power, writes Martin Haupts, CEO of Phanes Group.

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Europe makes its comeback

Europe saw the largest upswing of new PV installations over the past year, in particular after the minimum import price on modules ended. Installations grew by 23% in 2018, reaching 12 GW. IHS Markit forecasts the region to surpass 19 GW in 2019. The reason for this revived growth, writes Research & Analysis Manager Josefin Berg, is a combination of the increased cost competitiveness of PV, more initiatives outside of subsidy schemes, and new policy initiatives to meet 2020 and 2030 targets.

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Taiwan’s PV industry to become a GW scale market: The obstacles and opportunities

To keep up with the global shift to renewable energies, the Taiwanese Government has passed the first large set of amendments to its Renewable Energy Development Act since the legislation’s inception in 2009. The amendment bill passed its third reading on April 12, 2019, and was designed to optimize the renewable energy environment, to keep up with the changes to the Electricity Act and to increase civic engagement.

An argument for renewables, and for a new utility paradigm

In late January 2019, California’s largest investor-owned utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) declared bankruptcy for the second time, causing anxiety for investors, ratepayers, employees, PPA holders, elected government officials and, lest we forget, fire and gas explosion victims. Judge Alsup, who is overseeing PG&E’s probation from its felony conviction, lambasted the company for violating its probation. “To my mind, there’s a very clear-cut pattern here: that PG&E is starting these fires,” Alsup said. “What do we do? Does the judge just turn a blind eye and say, ‘PG&E continue your business as usual. Kill more people by starting more fires.”

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Strategies vary, but the goal remains the same

It’s no secret that global energy demand continues to rise, with some estimating an increase of a third by 2040. Meanwhile, writes David Green, Research & Analysis Manager for Smart Utilities Infrastructure at IHS Markit, the energy industry is on the cusp of a 100 year change away from oil and coal hydrocarbons towards renewables and natural gas. Every stakeholder in the industry has a role to play in the energy transition, including within the industrial sector which accounts for 50% of global energy consumption.

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Inverter suppliers go digital

More than 11 million PV inverters will be shipped in 2019 alone, and most of these will be connected to a software platform and controlled by the inverter companies. This creates an opportunity for suppliers to create new models and revenue sources, writes Cormac Gilligan, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit. And indeed, in recent years inverter suppliers have been rapidly developing ‘Internet of things’ software platforms to take advantage of this.

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