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Magazine Archive 02-2016

Insight: China’s Top Runner PV program

China policy: In seeking to address various shortcomings in China’s strong – but flawed – solar PV industry, the government has borrowed a scheme from its Japanese neighbors that has historically proven successful in raising the bar in terms of technical and performance standards. Can this program be translated seamlessly to the solar sector of China?


Unlocking the commercial rooftop

C&I rooftop: The commercial and industrial rooftop space in the U.S. has big room to grow. Both SunPower and Solar Frontier are supplying this market with modular, repeatable PV power plants, which they hope will open up new roofs to solar.

Top dollar decisions

Solar investment: Total corporate funding in the solar sector comes in at $25.3 billion in 2015, with a record $5.5 billion raised by residential and commercial solar funds. VC funding tops $1 billion, and a record number of large-scale projects have been acquired, writes Mercom Capital Group CEO and co-founder Raj Prabhu.

The butterfly effect

Smart buildings: The COP21 UN summit on climate change not only nurtured unity and political will to tackle a shared problem, but it also allowed those companies that are already way ahead of the curve to showcase their achievements and inspire the next generation. One such company is power electronics firm Delta, which saw COP21 as the ideal opportunity to share its green ideals with a global audience.

The 41 cent project module

Price discussion: EPCs sometimes have to purchase modules at prices much higher than are feasible for their purpose, whether due to the minimum import price in the EU, import duties on Chinese modules in the U.S., or simply due to market conditions. Calculations for project modules show that sustainably produced, unsubsidized PV panels can be manufactured for significantly less than €0.50 per watt.

Suspension during review

Module prices: As the European Commission continues its review of anti-dumping measures currently in place, a suspension of market restrictions could boost the PV industry and create a level playing field.

Solar’s terawatt challenge

Global growth: Can the PV industry reach multi-terawatt annual deployment? Various roadblocks exist, not least the well-funded attack dogs of the conventional energy industries, but the opportunities and lessons learned are instructive of the path to take.

Solar in the Great White North

Canada outlook: Momentum across Canada’s solar landscape has long been contained within the state of Ontario. But as growth there wanes, both Alberta and Saskatchewan are looking to pick up the PV baton and run with it, and a federal support mechanism may soon be introduced to give these provinces – and others – a helping hand.

Refine, design and better materials

Cabling concerns: As PV cable and connector redesigns take place, more universal plug-and-play solutions are adopted, more harness pre-assembly takes place and more standardized links to junction boxes, inverters and panels are forged.

A great deal of Eastern promise

Welcome! Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that the soon-to-be sunburnt chap pictured above is not your usual editor in chief, Jonathan Gifford. Jonathan is off on paternity leave for the birth of his first child, so I am stepping into the breach for one issue while he feels his way slowly into the wonderful world […]

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