Magazine Archive 01-2018

Distributing MENA’s solar riches

Interview: Solar PV development in the Middle East and North Africa region has been indicating a move to the fast lane for some time. Could 2018 be the year in which the region, as a whole, begins to distribute its abundant PV potential in a manner that benefits all? pv magazine chats with APVIA’s COO Murray Cameron for the lowdown on what drives MENA’s policy decisions.

Power, to the people

Puerto Rico: The devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on the island of Puerto Rico was vast and indiscriminate. Reporter Daniella Cheslow visited some of the areas most badly affected and found a shredded grid, a rising demand for energy independence, solar and storage, and a heartening reminder of humankind’s capacity for kindness, endurance and determination.

Taxing times

Solar and U.S. tax reform: The solar and wind industries largely dodged the bullet in the process of U.S. tax reform. But there will still be impacts on renewable energy project finance, which are many and complex, and it is hard to say what the final end-market impact will be.

€3/MWh is a crowd

French tender model: Crowdfunding is raising unexpected interest in France’s solar energy sector, as the local government last year introduced an additional incentive for tendered projects partly financed through crowdfunding. Although €3/MWh may seem a negligible sum, the bonus is attracting several developers and investors, as also in the booming French market price pressure is becoming stronger.

Myanmar’s solar lifeline

Myanmar market overview: There is vast solar potential in the country, primarily in off-grid, which is the number one driver of electrification, and proving a lifeline for many. C&I presents an interesting business case, but as with utility-scale projects there is still a lot to be done.

IEA sells solar short

Global markets: In its annual World Energy Outlook the International Energy Agency frequently speaks in glowing terms about solar’s impressive importance in reducing costs. However, when it comes to the scenarios for deployment it remains very conservative – suggesting PV’s growth will flatten out and remain a bit player in the global energy mix. Auke Hoekstra, Senior Advisor in Electric Mobility at the Eindhoven University of Technology, is the latest in a growing number of people taking the IEA to task for getting solar wrong year after year.

The science of soil

Soiling and solar: No two solar plants are ever the same, and the conditions that can impact energy yield can literally change with the wind. Soiled solar modules had long been considered a minor nuisance for the sector, but as understanding of how soiling affects output improves, so have techniques and technologies to tackle the persistent problem of dirty modules.

All about that baseload

Interview: The emergence of Finnish power firm Wärtsilä as a fledgling heavyweight in the world of renewables could usher in a new thirst for hybridized large-scale solar plants. The President of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions Javier Cavada outlines his vision for a solar+A.N.Other future.

The next segment for trackers?

C&I trackers: Trackers have already taken over the utility-scale U.S. solar market segment, but the potentially bigger commercial and industrial segment has been largely ignored by tracker makers, EPCs, and developers. However, this could be about to change, as players in this segment look to trackers for their next move.

Building new markets

Thin film and BIPV: Thanks to their light weight and potential to be deployed on glass and other materials, thin film PV solutions show strong potential in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). CIGS is seen by many in the industry as a particularly suitable technology for these applications, and as the first of several factories is brought online in China, pv magazine looks at the potential for this and other thin film technologies in the nascent market for BIPV.

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