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Magazine Archive 06-2014

Chinese EPCs dominate

Ranking: Chinese EPC companies continued to extend their market position last year, as evidenced by the current ranking of market research company IHS. Of the world’s 10 largest EPC companies, five are from China, three are from the USA and only two are from Europe. They focus mainly on their own domestic market.

Casting light on off-grid areas

Interview: Robert Haendel is applying a startup ethos to where the stars are aligning in cost and efficiency. His solar startup Fosera Lighting, based in Singapore, has developed a range of products combining the fast evolving technologies of PV, lithium iron phosphate batteries and LEDs to light up off-grid communities. Norway’s Differ Group and fosera in Germany are investors in the venture. Before these investors were found, Haendel had launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to be able to start production.

Buy local

Green electricity: Through its Solar25 tariff, Grünstromwerk in Hamburg wants to make photovoltaic power independent of the changing winds of German politics. And to do that, their concept lets consumers directly buy solar energy from local producers without any government subsidies. Plus, any area where enough customers sign up will get more photovoltaic systems.

All eyes on India

India: As India goes to the polls as pv magazine goes to press, Raj Prabhu, CEO and cofounder of Mercom Capital Group, explores how key political battlegrounds are set to shape the country’s solar industry – hopefully for the better – over the next few years.

A roller-coaster ride

Suntech: Over the past three years, the Chinese PV manufacturer Suntech Power Holding went through a roller-coaster ride in its business development, from being the market leading module supplier in 2010 and 2011 to having to file for insolvency in March 2013. What will become of the former market leader after the break-up? An analysis by Götz Fischbeck, CEO of Smart Solar Consulting.

A cautious approach to PV technology change

Technology buy-cycles: Overcapacity in the solar PV industry a few years ago continues to impact equipment spending on new technologies. While First Solar and SunPower have set out ambitious roadmaps, capex from Asian-based suppliers is still being kept to minimal levels, explains Finlay Colville, vice president of NPD Solarbuzz.

“Production will move closer to the end markets”

Interview: In April, Shunfeng Photovoltaic International acquired the Wuxi Suntech Group. Eric Luo, CEO of Wuxi Suntech Power and of Shunfeng Photovoltaic Holding Limited, speaks about Suntech’s new perspectives.

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