Magazine Archive 03-2017

2017: a year for PERC & Black Silicon

Module trends: As China looks set for another big year of installations, the biggest module manufacturers are consolidating their market share, with the top 5 manufacturers set to represent more than 40% of global shipments. Mono PERC and diamond wire cut Multi combined with black silicon are set to be the dominant trends in technology.

Shaving cents off wafers

pv magazine Germany award: The end consumer market is where the action is these days in Germany’s energy transition. But keeping the ball rolling depends on keeping PV affordable. A German production equipment manufacturer has new method that promises significant cost reductions.

“The Australian market will be the global number one”

Distributed battery storage: Things are moving quickly Down Under. German battery supplier Senec has joined the list of companies looking to make inroads to the rapidly growing Australian battery storage market and the action is on the residential front. Senec launched its product in Perth, Western Australia, in January. pv magazine was on the spot and spoke to Senec Australia Managing Director Ian Parkinson and head of international development Sven Albersmeier-Braun.

Solar goes corporate: the rise of the bilateral PPA

PV power plants: Corporations want in on the falling costs and predictable prices of wind and solar. Bilateral power purchase agreements have emerged as one new business model among several that businesses are employing as they get serious about renewable energy, both in the United States and abroad.

A wild ride into the mainstream

Message from the editor.

Faltering funds

Solar sector funding: Total corporate funding into the solar sector declined substantially in 2016 compared to 2015 and even 2014, with solar demand expected to reach an all-time record high. Several factors, policies and events made 2016 a volatile year for the sector with plenty of positives and negatives.

Funding future production

Underpricing issues: Expect manufacturer revenues for 2017 to have little relationship to current prices, as manufacturers continue selling tomorrow’s production today. Moreover, the ability of manufacturers to raise prices in the near, medium and long term has been permanently eroded. For most manufacturers current prices do not reflect costs and as margin expectations – that is, the gross margin necessary to run a thriving business – are little understood by analysts, observers, academics, researchers and even industry participants there is little possibility that the dire consequences of continued underpricing will be addressed.

Power to the people

Distributed storage costs: With the average payback cost of a home battery storage system sticking stubbornly at around ten years, skeptics remain unconvinced that mass-market adoption of distributed storage is on the cards any time soon. So what measures is the industry taking to expedite cost reductions, improve storage technology, and shift the conversation from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’?

Finland’s solar spring

Solar potential: While it is little known for its solar power potential, PV deployment has increased in the Scandinavian country over the last two years. Community projects, a drop in prices for solar panels and a retail company have been the main drivers of this development.

An iconic badge for batteries

Battery production: In future all of the lithium-ion batteries for Daimler AG will come from the German town of Kamenz. That also goes for batteries for stationary applications, which since last year have borne the Mercedes-Benz name. pv magazine paid a visit to the plant, which was built in 2009. Daimler was the first company to use this technology in an automobile.

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