Opinion & Analysis

Only with hydrogen can we save the climate

There is no alternative to using hydrogen for climate protection. Climate change and its ensuing measures require a lot of effort, money, and above all the right solutions. Therefore, a meaningful project, which will be perceived worldwide as a model for complete technological change, is key. That is what the Bonn Climate Project and the CTC Bonn stand for! We can already see great steps towards a hydrogen economy being taken in Germany. Steps are good, but not enough; we need the implementation of a hydrogen economy now!

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All that solar jazz

As 2019 enters its final quarter, the solar industry continues to face headwinds, even as the markets for solar deployment in Europe, the United States, and Australia remain strong. Paula Mints of SPV Market Research takes us through what to expect up until 2021.

PERC cells: From shortage to surplus

After the “June rush” to complete solar projects in China – as well as the commissioning rush in Vietnam, which saw higher-than-expected demand of 4 GW in the first half – the growth of the regional solar market started to slow down in July and August, before anticipated Chinese demand picks up the slack again. With unexpectedly low demand in the third quarter, module manufacturers reacted first by marginally reducing utilization rates. Cell producers then cut production after cell prices collapsed.

Safety is paramount

When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.

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Maximize the benefits of solar energy through techno-ecological synergies

The dire assessment from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it very clear this past year: To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, a significant shift to clean energy sources must be well underway by 2030.

Tendency toward diversification

Looking back at the PV market in 2018, micro module technologies started maturing in development and moving on to mass production, writes TrendForce analyst Lions Shih. Modules are no longer limited to a single design as before, but rather continuing on the path toward diversification in 2019. The situation is spreading into other areas, as may be seen in the upstream silicon wafer and cell segments.

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Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Dear European solar industry: Let’s lead the interconnected platform before it is too late

While China is single-handedly reducing CAPEX for modules and inverters, Europe understands that hardware won’t be the holy grail – generally speaking. But what is? Perhaps it is time for a new strategy to surf in front of the digital wave.

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Vietnam’s 2019 commissioning rush

Vietnam had already successfully commissioned 1.5 GW of utility-scale PV at the end of May this year, and there is no sign of this slowing down, with another 2 GW teed up for June 2019. The breakneck speed in development is making Vietnam a powerhouse in the region in installed capacity, even nipping at the heels of Australia. Rystad Energy’s Minh Koi Le looks at the state of play in the Vietnamese solar market.

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10 GW of utility-scale PV+storage by 2023

In 2019, the United States will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit’s Camron Barati, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement.

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