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Magazine Archive 03-2018

Europe takes a second look

M&A and secondary markets: With the pace of solar growth in Europe slowing, activity in the secondary solar market appears to have picked up, funneling solar assets into the hands of a shrinking few. Such consolidation of the market has manifest in increased mergers and acquisitions activity, particularly in the O&M space. Is this new PV landscape an inevitability, a one-off, or simply cyclical?

A watershed year

Belgium market update: Once among Europe’s leaders in solar PV deployment, with more than 1 GW of capacity added in its peak year of 2011, Belgium’s market lost momentum following the abrupt closure of generous subsidy programs. In recent years, driven by its residential PV segment, the country has experienced a solar comeback, which became particularly prominent in the year just passed.

Behind the meter

Residential & commercial storage: Since 2015 the annually installed capacity of behind-the-meter energy storage has grown almost three times (from 110 MWh to about 300 MWh in 2017) as the residential market continues to pick up momentum and C&I installations are starting to come to fruition after initial hype. Based on the analysis conducted in our European Market Monitor Report, we foresee a similar growth trend continuing in the future.

Renewed optimism

South African market: Key questions about South Africa’s promising PV market have largely gone unanswered for the past several years, amid political wrangling over the future national energy mix, and the mismanagement of troubled state utility Eskom. But now – following the recent ousting of former president Jacob Zuma, who has long championed costly investments in nuclear capacity – the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is positioned to take a fresh look at the government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

Synergy or conflict?

EVs and solar: As the electric vehicle market begins to take off, many are hoping that this technology will be complementary to solar PV. And while the potential is there, a closer look shows that there are many unanswered questions, and there is still a lot of work to be done.

License to build

Turkey’s PV market: Turkey racked up impressive solar PV growth in 2017, installing 1.79 GW of new photovoltaic capacity. But is this growth sustainable? And what is expected to happen in 2018 and the years that follow? pv magazine sets the scene across all the relevant segments of the Turkish PV market.

Europe’s battery opportunity

Interview: The U.K.’s recently launched Faraday Institution aims to accelerate the commercialization of bespoke battery technologies developed and produced in the U.K. and designed for all types of applications. The institution’s Interim Director Peter Littlewood discusses with pv magazine the excellent opportunities facing Europe’s battery landscape, and why it is vital for the continent to act now.

Running low at the top

Top Runner Program: China has not only become the largest country for high-efficiency cell and module capacity thanks to the Top Runner Program. It’s also the world’s largest demand country for high-efficiency modules. This shows that the Top Runner Program has brought a certain level of effectiveness to the high-efficiency trend.

The sun shines brighter if the risks don’t cloud it

Finance in developing countries: Economics teaches that capital flows from where it is in surplus to where it is in demand. But that is not the case with renewable energy. The biggest pots of institutional capital in advanced economies are not shifting to developing ones. It is time to take a hard look and develop solutions that resolve this anomaly.

Price decline on pause

IHS Markit analysis: The price of lithium-ion battery modules has been falling each year since IHS Markit began tracking this market, with average prices for stationary storage applications falling by nearly 70% between 2012 and 2017. This has been the principal enabler of a strong pick-up in demand for battery storage, writes Sam Wilkinson, IHS Markit’s Associate Director – Solar and Energy Storage.

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