Magazine Archive 05-2012

Global feed-in tariff overview

Feed-in tariffs: The drastic cuts to the incentives in Germany have been passed into law, with the cuts to rooftop and BIPV having already taken effect and the cuts to ground-mounted installations looming. Japan is also enacting changes to its incentive scheme and Ontario recently conducted a two year review of its scheme.

Simmering slowly

IGEE: South Korea’s biggest solar event took place in March. However, while the county’s heavyweights were out in force, it was evident the industry is at a crossroads. Upcoming elections hold some promise, if the right party gains power. But with capacity expansions on hold and a small domestic installation market, it is in danger of being pushed under by other Asian regions.

Global feed-in tariff overview

Feed-in tariffs: The drastic cuts to the incentives in Germany have been passed into law, with the cuts to rooftop and BIPV having already taken effect and the cuts to ground-mounted installations looming. Japan is also enacting changes to its incentive scheme and Ontario recently conducted a two year review of its scheme.

Simmering slowly

IGEE: South Korea’s biggest solar event took place in March. However, while the county’s heavyweights were out in force, it was evident the industry is at a crossroads. Upcoming elections hold some promise, if the right party gains power. But with capacity expansions on hold and a small domestic installation market, it is in danger of being pushed under by other Asian regions.

“It’s a real blood bath”

Industry ranking: The growth curves of crystalline solar cell manufacturers have taken a downward turn. Right now, there’s not a lot of money being made. Manufacturers are just trying to stay in the market – longer than the competition.

Global market ebb and flow

Global market update: Lux Research’s Matt Feinstein talks about the incredible growth and thereafter the unexpected reductions that call for serious rethinking.

Solar with fossil fuels: partner or competitor?

Hybrid utilities: Fossil fuels are usually considered a competitor to solar technologies, not a partner. But utilities in the U.S. are installing concentrated solar power technologies at their existing coal and natural gas power plants. The trend can bring either added competition or opportunity for the PV market.

“Made in China”

China: Massive production overcapacities continue to buffet the Chinese PV industry. At Solarcon China 2012 in Shanghai on March 22nd, Ewout Vandamme, Business Development Manager for sawing wire supplier NV Bekaert SA, mentioned a staggering 37 percent production utilization among Chinese wafer manufacturers in the last quarter of 2011.

Global opportunities

Trackers: Manufacturers are keeping up a remarkable pace in reducing the costs of single- and dual-axis tracking systems to compete with fixed systems. This trend among both new and established suppliers is expected to meet demand in emerging PV markets, resulting in a positive prognosis for solar tracker sales in the coming three years. Just where the markets are and how costs are being cut are explored within.

Standardize and deliver

Utility-scale PV: The third annual PV Power Plants EU conference, held in Vienna on March 29 and 30, heard from a range of speakers with a wealth of diverse knowledge. pv magazine attended the sessions and spoke to the attendees to get a snapshot of some of the major themes. One was a call for standardization of power plant components, and in particular modules, to drive down cost and the increasingly important LCOE.

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