Skip to content

Opinion & Analysis

Acquisition activity in Europe remains heated

The European solar market saw around 11 GW of projects, and pipelines change hands in 2019. The positive trend is expected to last, as investors remain optimistic about the future of the industry. Project acquisition activity is seen as a key indicator of financial health in many sectors, including the PV market. It reflects optimism among investors and points to a particularly high degree of liquidity, writes IHS Markit analyst Martina Assereto.

Boosting the energy transition: why the European Commission should support independent aggregators

Aggregators continuously monitor the needs of the electricity grid on one side and the energy consumption of a large number of distributed assets on the other. When the grid is stressed or out of balance, aggregators adjust the consumption or production of those distributed energy assets to help the grid restore balance. These services either lead to direct compensation from a transmission system operator (TSO), or a reduction in the total energy bill of the owner of the distributed asset.

2

The solar development process in Vietnam, its barriers and hurdles

The development process for ground-mounted utility scale solar projects in Vietnam is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and still largely difficult to navigate for foreign developers without entering a strategic partnership, in whatever form, with a local Vietnamese counterpart.

4

Why the solar M&A landscape in Vietnam is set to heat up

Vietnam has now effectively overtaken Thailand as the largest solar market in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar operational capacity, with more than 6,314 MW installed up to September 2020. Many hundreds of MWs of solar projects are also still under construction or development. However, its solar (and other renewable energy) M&A activity has developed very slowly to date. There are many reasons to expect that this is about to change, but before we examine them, let us review the main factors behind this sluggish tempo.

3

The potential for UK solar

Focusing on the big picture is always challenging, particularly in light of the current all-consuming coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some key issues related to the U.K. solar sector, which will feature significantly on the domestic agenda in the months ahead.

Why has the M&A landscape struggled to take off for renewables in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese renewables industry has been flourishing lately. Taking the example of the solar sector, the installed capacity increased from barely 134 MW in 2018 up to 6,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam has definitely emerged as one of the most active countries in South-East Asia and with the merit of diversifying its energy mix. They added capacity not only in solar – utility scale, commercial & industrial (C&I) rooftop – but also onshore/nearshore wind, hydro and to some extent biomass energy projects. Vietnam has shown levels of dynamism which has attracted initial investor interest.

Prospects for bifacial and large-format products

The pandemic and accidents at polysilicon labs in China’s Xinjiang region put PV manufacturers under pressure to maintain production this year, while slowing cell and module R&D. After half-cut and multi-busbar becomes commonplace, manufacturers will continue to explore the high-density assembly methods that emerged last year, as well as n-type cells. But the market is also shifting to large formats, and the share of bifacial products is growing this year. As sizing up modules can bring immediate returns, PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang expects the PV industry to prioritize the development of large formats and bifacial products next year.

1

Reform meets opposition

Since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s election at the end of 2018, renewable energy in Mexico has faced an uncertain regulatory environment. The current government is focused on restoring the power and influence of Mexico’s state-owned energy companies. But it is now at a crossroads, as the previous administration aimed to open the segment up to foreign investment. Maria Chea of IHS Markit examines the policy decisions the government has taken this year and how these have soured private investor sentiment. These changes will likely weigh on utility-scale PV procurement in the country through 2024.

7

Law and taxes in for e-mobility charging infrastructure in Germany

Electromobility: The legal and fiscal issues involved in setting up charging infrastructure can be stumbling blocks for ambitious projects. Among other things, one has to consider charging pole regulation, and energy industry and renewable energy laws, says attorney Dirk Voges from Germany-based law firm Weitnauer, and his colleague Stefan Zagel, tax consultant in Ebner Stolz.

1

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.

1

This website uses cookies to anonymously count visitor numbers. View our privacy policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close