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Magazine Archive 03-2013

Main driver for the technological development

Interview: The president of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Jochen Flasbarth, on the role of storage, power to gas (PTG), power to liquid (PTL) and PV in a renewable energy scenario.

Nickel-and-diming the system

Power electronics: How and to what extent will electronics improvements lead to reductions in solar system costs? Lux Research analyst Matt Feinstein investigates the current trends.

4 GW by 2016

Interview: Ash Sharma, Director Solar Research at IHS, forecasts double digit growth rates in PV power optimizers – although they are not economical in well-designed installations without shading.

Price bounce

Chinese factory gate prices: Chinese module suppliers expect module prices to bounce back up after hitting the bottom, hoping they offset rising polysilicon prices.

A trend reversal

Module prices: Stock clearances have been successful, so now a minor price increase is in sight, especially in higher performance classes.

Reliable technology for remote locations

Off-grid solar PV: In recent months, a number of companies have embarked upon off-grid solar PV projects in remote rural locations in Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tibet and the Philippines, among others. This article reports on how two companies, Sunlabob and Yingli, overcame the technological, organizational and logistical challenges faced in completing their off-grid installations.

Breaking out of darkness

Myanmar: The country has opened up to the rest of the world after being walled in for a long time. Myanmar is rich in natural resources and as the economy starts to grow energy needs will multiply too. Neighbors Thailand, India and China have turned to renewables like PV. Will Myanmar follow suit?

Rising from the ashes

Thin film: While companies burn cash and fail, new ones rise from the ashes. Chinese dam builder Hanergy is picking up distressed thin film assets and could be emerging as a force not to be ignored.

Comparisons just got complicated

c-Si vs thin film: The evolving PV market is making it likely that c-Si and thin film technologies can coexist in the future. This is the argument proposed by NPD Solarbuzz’s Finlay Colville. The article reviews some of the standard metrics historically used to compare c-Si and thin-film technologies, but also provides new parameters that are becoming more important to track.

Risk management in the PV supply chain

Manufacturer audits: Recently pv magazine joined the service provider SolarBuyer, LLC as it audited two PV module manufacturers in China. Both factories are located in the Yangtze River delta near Shanghai and the experience showcased the risks buyers face when purchasing modules without a thorough check of the product and the manufacturing processes.

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