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Magazine Archive 02-2018

Going with the flow

Japan storage market: Poised to grow by more than 4 GW over the next seven years, Japan’s distributed storage sector represents a potentially lucrative market for both domestic and international players. Winning supply contracts is one thing, but winning the trust of a demanding population represents an even loftier challenge even for some of the world’s biggest storage companies.

Land of ample opportunity

Japan update: While geographical restrictions mean the sun is slowly setting on utility-scale PV, a new auction system and updated renewables guidelines mean there are ample opportunities elsewhere for Japanese solar. Indeed, the rooftop sector, with prospects of self-consumption and storage, will see the market continue to shine.

New year, new rules

Poland’s PV prospects: Last year brought no breakthrough in the Polish renewable energy sector. Of several auctions promised in 2017, only one was conducted at the end of June. Auctions scheduled for September and October did not take place. Auctions to be held in 2018 are supposed to proceed according to slightly different rules: A bill to amend the RES Act is in public consultation and new auctions will not be held until it passes the full legislative process. Piotr Mrowiec, of Rödl & Partner Poland, sums up the Polish PV industry in 2017 and outlines the legal framework for those considering investment in PV systems in 2018.

China’s shipment shuffle

Module shipment rankings: While global module shipment rankings remained broadly stable in 2017, China saw something of a reshuffle. Growing demand for mono-Si products pushed Longi up to first place, while JinkoSolar remains the global leader. Independent analyst Corrine Lin brings further insight.

Europe’s solar moment

European PV: Europe is having a moment. Bolstered by newfound economic strength in times of geopolitical uncertainty, there is a tangible sense of unity on the continent. And it is not only in the economic sphere that Europe is bouncing back – the EU is silently making important strides in clean energy that will positively shape solar’s future for decades to come, writes SolarPower Europe Senior Political Communications Advisor Kristina Thoring.

Stepping into the sun

Mediterranean markets: Blessed with high insolation levels, Italy, Greece, and Spain rocketed to the top league of global PV markets in the earlier days of the industry. Spain became the world’s largest market in 2008 at 2.5 GW of annual installations, Italy’s Conto Energia scheme pushed the country to be number 2 in 2011, at 6 GW of new installations, and demand in Greece exceeded 1.1 GW in 2012.

Twenty years of industry leadership

Trina Solar: As part of the December 2017 China road trip, pv magazine spoke with Rongfang Yin, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, at Trina Solar’s headquarters in Changzhou. Yin provided insights into how Trina Solar evaluates foreign markets, also as possible production hubs for its solar panels.

Vulnerable solar markets, and what makes them tick

Part III*: Low tender bidding for solar projects in Latin America is common, with low bids celebrated despite the risk of poor quality and unprofitability. There is no cushion in the margin of these projects to account for the many risks of project development. Unless governments in these regions are willing to guarantee returns, the biggest risk for Latin America is low bidding – though historically unstable economies and governments in many countries are reasons for concern.

Prognosis uncertain

American solar manufacturing: President Trump’s relatively measured 201 ruling surprised many. And while there are already reports of new hiring and expansions by U.S. module makers, the new tariffs will not be enough for a major revival of the sector.

An end to hyperbole

Stock price index: If the Section 201 ruling has taught the solar industry anything, it is that reason and nuance trump scaremongering every time.

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