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Magazine Archive 03-2017

Microgrids – the DNA of electricity

Solar and microgrids: Supplying electricity to the vast open spaces of the Australian outback cost effectively and with high levels of energy security is no easy task. Frank Tudor heads up the state-owned utility with that unenviable job in the sundrenched state of Western Australia, and his vision for doing so into the future is drawing inspiration from unlikely quarters. With an eye to the New York REV process and the rapidly falling cost of renewables including solar PV and battery storage, Tudor is transforming the way Horizon does business and chipping away at energy subsidies provided to Australians living in rural and remote locations.

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.

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’?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Polysilicon & Wafer Rankings 2016

C-Si manufacturing: Demand is looking strong for both polysilicon and crystalline silicon wafers, as analysts expect that another rush for installations is imminent, ahead of China’s latest feed-in tariff cut in July. Demand for monocrystalline wafers has increased, but manufacturing trends still leave space for high performance multi-wafer.

Mono silicon on the rise

Silicon wafer: Fortunes have changed in the wafer market. While a year ago multicrystalline wafers were in short supply, today it is monocrystalline that is in demand. pv magazine brings you a look at the momentum and challenges behind the growth of monocrystalline silicon technology.

China embraces thin film

Thin film technology: Chinese state-owned companies are purchasing thin film equipment from European suppliers in a move that may shake up solar manufacturing. For the PV technology companies, the move could not have come too soon, but how will the Chinese state-owned coal, electric and building giants succeed where others have failed?

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