Opinion & Analysis

N-type market growth

Several manufacturers recently brought average mono PERC cell efficiency to 22.5%, and efficiencies will likely go beyond 22.6% in the second half of this year. This suggests that p-PERC cell efficiency could be brought closer to that of n-type, making it more difficult for n-type cells to compete in the increasingly challenging market. Taking costs and market conditions into account, most manufacturers have slowed their capacity expansion plans, leading to a gap between actual output and production capacity. PV InfoLink’s Wells Wang sheds some light on n-type trends in 2020.

Hydrogen and lithium-ion: Europe’s key to a green recovery

The promise of hydrogen as the energy source of the future has long been deliberated by manufacturers, climate professionals, and political figures. These discussions have intensified following the European Commission’s economic recovery package, which features a focus on kick-starting a clean hydrogen economy in Europe. Nikolaos Tsiouvaras, R&D director at Systems Sunlight S.A., a Greek manufacturer of industrial and advanced technology batteries for the energy storage industry, explores storage in Europe.

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Reshuffle at the top, as new markets arise

A new wave of consolidation and some reshuffling is underway among market leaders in the solar EPC space, writes IHS Markit’s Josefin Berg. In 2019, the 30 largest EPC providers globally installed 28 GW of non-residential PV, representing 26% of the total market. This increase from 21% in 2018 stems mainly from a growing concentration in the Chinese PV market, as well as integrator concentration in rapidly growing markets like Spain and Vietnam.

Mitigating supply chain risks

Rajendra Khandalkar, group head of supply chain management at India-based infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction services company Sterling and Wilson, has spoken to pv magazine India about learning from the Covid-19 crisis and the importance of smart supplier management to bolster company resilience.

Safely meeting demand for renewable energy with innovative material design for health and sustainability

Clean energy is critical to solving our climate crisis. But we need to consider the full environmental and human health impacts of solar energy generation across its entire lifecycle, including mining, manufacturing, use, decommissioning and recycling. This requires us to identify critical stages in the production process, and how choices in materials and chemicals at different stages of production influence each other.

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The future of solar PPAs in Turkey

Both the current status, and the future of, solar PPAs in the Turkish market as a key tool for increasing PV capacity has become a widely discussed topic. This is particularly due to the fact that after mid-2021, the future of YEKDEM (Turkey’s local FIT regime) is uncertain. The incentives could be lower than expected, or even unavailable for some technologies. This has raised the question of alternative financing mechanisms with respect to new investments.

Floating solar PV gains global momentum

This article explores the current state of floating solar PV (FPV), briefly highlighting several leading markets, and discussing benefits and advantages in detail alongside common applications and business model considerations. The outlook for FPV is positive and is set to break free of its niche perception. It could well become the third pillar of the solar PV sector in future.

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System operators are getting more flexible

Distribution system operators have their work cut out for them, as they are tasked with the ever-increasing challenge of managing their networks at times of increasing EV penetration, the electrification of heat, and distributed behind-the-meter generation and storage. As transmission system operator markets have opened to demand-side flexibility across Europe and beyond, we now see a trend of DSOs at the very early stages of a similar transition, writes Philippa Hardy, principal analyst at Delta-EE. DSOs are now starting to call on behind-the-meter assets to support local network management and balancing. This provides cost savings for DSOs, while offering opportunities for DSF providers and asset owners.

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Reducing solar’s environmental impact through ecolabels

It is undeniable that easy access to energy has provided tremendous benefits to humankind over the last several decades. But that access has come at a price – one that society only discovered after the fact. From the thousand-year half-lives of spent nuclear fuel to the climate change impact of fossil fuels, access to energy has had a high environmental cost. Renewable energy, especially solar, seeks to provide that same access without the environmental cost. But what is the environmental impact of solar panels and inverters? Is society once again seeking to benefit from an energy source without understanding and addressing its environmental impact? Not this time, writes Green Electronics Council CEO Nancy Gillis.

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Bigger and better: Technology

The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.

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