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Magazine Archive 01-2018

Six trends that will shape the inverter landscape in 2018

Inverter overview: As 2017 drew to a close following a record-breaking year for solar, pv magazine sat down to discuss the global inverter landscape with Cormac Gilligan, Senior Solar Analyst at IHS Markit. With China dominant, India’s soaring solar market still very much up for grabs, and technical innovation a perennial route to market leadership, these are the six trends that we believe will shape the solar inverter landscape this year.

Yellow spells trouble for backsheets

Backsheets: Some may argue that slight discoloration of PV backsheets is a question of aesthetics, and should not be something to worry about. For others, it’s a sign that a serious degradation process is underway, and trouble awaits.

Vulnerable solar markets, and what makes them tick

Part II*: India is a risky country to do business in, because low bidding has led to margins so tight that any disruption could lead to market collapse, because low margins have led to shortcuts during installation of multi-megawatt projects, and because the business atmosphere can kindly be termed a labyrinth.

The impact of peer to peer trading

Retail energy models: The growth of peer-to-peer models will have a significant impact on the PV industry, with rapidly growing interest in peer-to-peer energy retail models, and a number of trials and even commercial projects launching. Many (but not all) of these involve PV. In this article, Delta-ee Principal Analyst Charmaine Coutinho explores the status of and prospects for peer-to-peer business models, and the implications for the PV sector.

USA: Shaken but stirred

IHS Markit analysis: Despite uncertainty generated by domestic policy reform, the U.S. will remain a top three global market for PV in 2018, which will see another year of decline before resuming growth in 2019, writes Camron Barati.

Planning certainty at last

PV/diesel hybrid systems: It is now finally possible to reliably calculate the viability of photovoltaic-diesel hybrid systems for electricity generation. Questionable estimates are a thing of the past, thanks to a VDE-certified modelling approach. It could help hybrid systems achieve a breakthrough.

N-type capacity expansion in 2018

Manufacturing trends: Global PV demand reached 102 GW in 2017 thanks to the significant increase of Chinese demand. Demand will slightly drop in China, the U.S., and Japan this year, while India and the emerging markets should witness higher demand. Therefore, total demand in 2018 will just be slightly lower than last year, reaching 95 GW.

Behind the curtain

Thin film technology: In this interview with pv magazine, First Solar Chief Technology Officer Raffi Garabedian sheds light on how his company is continuing to advance higher efficiencies as First Solar moves into Series 6 production.

Solar’s new fertile crescent

Middle Eastern PV: The Jordanian solar sector has enjoyed near-constant growth in recent years, proving that it is a market founded on a sustainable and reliable base. Investors have been wondering for a few years whether Egypt can follow Jordan’s example successfully, and the signs are good that 2018 will prove to be a strong year for Egypt’s solar development. pv magazine explains the forces driving this optimism.

Major milestones for PAYG solar in Africa

Off-grid financials: Acquisitions in the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home system market indicate signs of market maturity: market specialization, the formation of multiple revenue streams, and the first equity exit. pv magazine spoke with the PAYG companies involved in the recent acquisitions to understand the impact on their businesses, and on the PAYG solar market as a whole.

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