The U.S. solar industry faces a moral dilemma, writes Paula Mints of SPV Market Research. Either continue to deploy projects and set aside concerns about forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, or source PV cells and modules from elsewhere, while bearing higher costs, in the pursuit of urgent action against climate change.
Polysilicon capacity is unable to catch up with rapid capacity expansion in the mid and downstream segments, writes Corrine Lin, chief analyst for PV InfoLink. New polysilicon capacity requires big capex investment and a lead time of more than two years to complete construction and reach full operation. With unbalanced capacity between the upstream and downstream segments, polysilicon prices have been rising since the second half of 2020, with prices for mono-grade polysilicon surpassing CNY 200/kg ($27.40) in June 2021, up more than 250% year on year.
The global single-axis tracker market increased shipment volume by 40% year on year to reach 45 GW in 2020. This was despite significant pandemic-related supply chain turbulence that resulted in longer lead times for the delivery of components, the idling of steelmaking capacity in some key markets, container shipping dislocation, and widespread restrictions, particularly at ports. Most notably, this caused the cost of some commodities, such as steel, to more than double between 2020 and 2021. Jason Sheridan, a senior research analyst for IHS Markit, runs through some of the key developments in the tracker market.
This summer, IHS Markit published its annual global ranking of EPC providers that build in-house developed and third-party PV projects, based on last year’s installations. 2020 was a year of many contradictions, with lockdowns and increasing component prices taking their toll on many of the companies, both large and small. At the same time, EPC providers with their main share of business in mainland China and the United States had a remarkable year.
Solar energy pioneer and founder of Wiki-Solar, Philip Wolfe updates his series of blogs on the world’s largest solar power stations, first published in pv magazine in 2019. At that time, there were no single solar power plants over 1 GWAC. The record now is 2.2 GWAC.
The race to electrify passenger cars is picking up pace, writes Prachi Mehta, senior research analyst for Wood Mackenzie. Competition among leading EV automakers is fierce, as 2024 looms as a watershed year when auto battery-pack prices cross a key consumer threshold.
Project finance for infrastructure in emerging economies is one of the central issues of the upcoming COP26 agenda. For the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and its parent organization, the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), the event is likely to bring considerable global focus on what it does and how it does it. In the following Op-ed Martijn Proos from Ninety One, the EAIF’s managers, discusses the role of EAIF and how it is helping to fund new renewable energy capacity across Africa.
China’s battery manufacturing industry is growing robustly in line with the rapid expansion of the electric vehicle market. The stationary storage sector currently lags behind developments in leading markets such as the United States and Europe, but strong growth is expected between now and 2030, driven by supportive policies. Fang-Wei Yuan, a senior analyst at InfoLink, examines the latest developments in China’s energy storage industry and looks at the announcements and product launches made at the Shanghai SNEC exhibition back in June.
Multiple drivers are combining to allow battery capacity in electric vehicles to be used as a grid asset through vehicle-to-grid technology, writes George Hilton, senior analyst for energy storage at IHS Markit. Vehicle-to-grid tech could offer low-cost energy storage at a huge scale, but there are many barriers to overcome.
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