Opinion & Analysis

A year for transition: Japan’s move beyond the big scale

For the past few years, Japan’s solar industry insiders have been eyeing 2019 as a year of transition in the residential rooftop market, as the original 10 year feed-in tariffs come to an end. So, what will this post-FIT landscape look like, and how are Japan’s leading PV suppliers preparing for the future? Hanwha Q Cells’ Japan Marketing Manager Junichi Katayama breaks down the main points.

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The mainstreaming of mono

In the second half of 2018, monocrystalline silicon technology passed an important milestone: Quarterly production of monocrystalline ingots, wafers, cells, and modules overtook that of multicrystalline for the first time in the mainstream PV era. This milestone was tracked by PV technology and market forecasting firm exawatt. CEO Simon Price sets out how mono’s rapid growth could have been, and was, predicted.

Nothing boring about Japan’s year of the boar

With tenders coming in for large-scale projects, and decade-old generous FIT programs being phased out, new opportunities and challenges are facing Japan’s PV players. Izumi Kaizuka from Tokyo-based analyst RTS Corporation sets out the major market trends for 2019.

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Global battery storage pipeline reaches 15 GW

As data drifts in, 2018 is shaping up to have been a record-breaking year for battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit senior analyst Julian Jansen. Especially for front-of-the-meter projects, which experienced rapid growth. This growth was led by significant activity in South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and China, which together accounted for 78% of battery energy storage projects commissioned in 2018, according to the Q4 2018 edition of the IHS Markit “Energy Storage Company and Project Database.”

2019: A year for critical adjustments

Since the PV module market has already witnessed intense industrial concentration over the past few years, the top 10 manufacturers didn’t change significantly as 2018 unfolded, writes PV InfoLink Chief Analyst Corrine Lin. On the cell side, the decline of Taiwanese cell makers has Chinese cell makers filling the top three spots this year.

Developing an energy sector vision in Andhra Pradesh – IEEFA India

Situated in south-east India, the state of Andhra Pradesh is a leading producer of renewable energy with 7.2 GW of installed capacity as of December 2018. The state’s share of renewable energy as part of total capacity has trebled in the last four years from 11% in 2014 to 30% in 2018.

Reading between the lines: What is the real message of BP’s Energy Outlook 2019 report?

The rise of renewables may have hogged the headlines but there is, nevertheless, a reassuring underlying message to investors with their money in fossil fuels. However there may be hope in meeting the Paris Agreement goals, if only we could encourage a few more trade wars…

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The reform of the European electricity market is imperative for the PV revolution

Antonio Delgado, founder and CEO at AleaSoft Energy Forecasting has analysed the proposal for the reform of the European electricity market, which is still to be approved by the European Parliament. Below he discusses its most relevant aspects for the wholesale electricity market.

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Debunking the low-cost nuclear myth

An article published in the FT this week was right to point out that pricing new energy capacity involves more than just comparing strike prices, but if you are in the business of calculating real costs, do it properly. For nuclear in particular, that’s a case of ‘in for a penny, in for (several) pounds’.

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Outlook for n-type

Among n-type manufacturers, SunPower, Panasonic, and LG had the leading roles in interdigitated back contact (IBC), heterojunction (HJT), and tunnel oxidized passivated contact (TOPCon), respectively. But Chinese cells with low cost and high efficiency trends have been on the rise. In the future expansion of n-type production lines, the power of Chinese cell manufacturers and equipment makers can’t be underestimated.

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