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Magazine Archive 04-2019

The shape of subsidy-free PV

The emergence of subsidy-free PV in Europe is a sign of things to come. But it will demand a shift of thinking, as tight margins require higher standards right across the supply chain. But, are we ready? There is little doubt that there is surging demand from offtakers of subsidy-free PV power. Solar still, on […]

Flat or falling

Solar stocks underperformed the broader market in March. MTD, the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) decreased 1.6% vs. the S&P 500 and Dow, which gained 1.7% and were flat respectively.

Clash of the titans

The current market situation, at least for Central Europe, can be summarized as follows: same old story. The price level has neither changed over the past month nor has the general availability of the different module types improved – on the contrary.

Out with the old…

PV demand started weakly at the start of this year, but will show an optimistic upward trend in its second half. Corrine Lin, Chief Analyst at PV InfoLink, examines supply and demand for polysilicon, and predicts that huge new capacities coming online in the west of China will shake up the market, spelling bad news for some international players.

Strategies vary, but the goal remains the same

It’s no secret that global energy demand continues to rise, with some estimating an increase of a third by 2040. Meanwhile, writes David Green, Research & Analysis Manager for Smart Utilities Infrastructure at IHS Markit, the energy industry is on the cusp of a 100 year change away from oil and coal hydrocarbons towards renewables and natural gas. Every stakeholder in the industry has a role to play in the energy transition, including within the industrial sector which accounts for 50% of global energy consumption.

An argument for renewables, and for a new utility paradigm

In late January 2019, California’s largest investor-owned utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) declared bankruptcy for the second time, causing anxiety for investors, ratepayers, employees, PPA holders, elected government officials and, lest we forget, fire and gas explosion victims. Judge Alsup, who is overseeing PG&E’s probation from its felony conviction, lambasted the company for violating its probation. “To my mind, there’s a very clear-cut pattern here: that PG&E is starting these fires,” Alsup said. “What do we do? Does the judge just turn a blind eye and say, ‘PG&E continue your business as usual. Kill more people by starting more fires.”

The Netherlands: PV’s Iron Throne

While relatively small compared to its more populous neighbors, the Netherlands has a history of punching above its weight. This is certainly true of its solar market in 2019, writes Rolf Heynen from Dutch New Energy Research. And for companies awake to the nuances of its policy settings and market opportunities, The Netherlands could prove a jewel in the European solar crown.

Supersized solar in the Midwest

Long seen as a slow region for solar deployment, the U.S. Midwest has seen an explosion of project development in recent years. And while there is still a lot of speculation and uncertainty, one way or another this region is going to see major development.

Implementing standards

While Bureau of India Standards (BIS) certification is an honest attempt by the Indian government to mitigate risks associated with poor quality of modules, there are several reasons why this particular objective is currently not being met. pv magazine India’s Uma Gupta investigates India’s efforts to ensure quality in its booming PV industry.

Playing by the carbon footprint rules

Developers and manufacturers looking to enter France’s utility-scale segment must deal with controversial rules which prioritize projects relying on low-carbon emission modules. But what makes a low-emission module? Clearly ones that are made in France or elsewhere in Europe, according to market data. But despite clearly increasing project costs, the rules do not seem to be an obstacle for the planned gigawatt-scale growth of solar in the country over the coming years.

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