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Magazine Archive 03 – 2022

Energy security, solar style

The geopolitical implications of the uptake of renewable energy were brought into focus in 2019, when the International Renewable Energy Agency launched a report, the first of its kind, into the subject. The report argued that with the dominance of oil and gas likely to wane, traditional alliances and power dynamics were likely to shift. It presented a hopeful vision, and one in which the disruption of traditional power dynamics was likely.

Demanding developments

In February, the Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) decreased 4.6%, while the S&P 500 fell by 3.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 3%, writes Jesse Pichel of ROTH Capital Partners. The slip is due to high polysilicon prices, trade friction, and a call for increased policy support from European developers.

Time for a rethink, and a sunny future

The three-year peak in module prices now seems to have subsided. Prices are again in a slow but steady decline, particularly for project modules. For larger order quantities, panels in the 400W class and above can occasionally be ordered again at prices below the €0.26/W mark, with a delivery date of April or May at the earliest.

India’s solar manufacturing wave

India installed 14GW of new PV in 2021. This year, utility-scale developers are pushing to import modules and build inventory for 2022 installations, before a basic customs duty goes into effect in May, with a 40% duty for module imports and 25% for cells. PV module distributors are also expected to build their inventories to save on duties and have enough supply for the C&I segment in 2022. After assessing the country’s current demand, project pipeline, and module availability, IHS Markit’s Dharmendra Kumar forecasts 18GW to be added in 2022.

EVA Outlook

Encapsulant film is a key material that determines the quality and lifespan of modules. The film is used in module encapsulation, during which solar cells are assembled into the space between the glass and backsheet and laminated into place. Like many other PV module components, encapsulant materials have been in short supply recently, and longer capacity expansion times mean that supplies of EVA, the most commonly used material, will remain tight this year. InfoLink’s Derek Zhao takes a closer look.

Super-grid forming in the Mediterranean

Electricity generation in the Middle East and Africa could soon support the development of an interconnection between Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. Ilias Tsagas examines the landscape for this infrastructure mega-project, and the possible benefits for solar.

Poland: A PPA market to watch

Corporate and utility power purchase agreement (PPA) demand in Poland is rising, for multiple reasons. The coal-dependent European country has been rapidly growing its solar fleet in recent years, with unsubsidized projects steadily becoming one of the tools to mitigate risk and hedge against soaring prices. pv magazine’s Marija Maisch takes a look at what lies behind this market trend and what’s still to come.

Undisputed value on contested island

Island PV applications have long demonstrated their value as cheaper, cleaner replacements for diesel fuel. Solar has also been integrated with energy storage, making living laboratories for renewable microgrids. And as Vladislav Vorotnikov discovers, in Russia’s far eastern island territories, solar applications are even progressing into disputed regions.

New dawn for Turkish solar

Flourishing commercial rooftop installations will lead to a revival of the Turkish solar market in 2022, with local EPCs and manufacturers profiting. Floating PV and co-located systems, in the form of hybrid arrays, are also emerging as a significant opportunity in a market in which creativity has been a hallmark of success.

Modular building blocks for the utility-scale sector

Sungrow won this year’s pv magazine Award for inverters. We caught up with Moritz Rolf – the company’s director of central, eastern and northern Europe – to hear about the functions of the winning entry and what the company is planning in terms of product strategy for this year.

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