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Magazine Archive 07-2013

Light and shade in the U.S. market

Intersolar North America: One the major events in the North American PV calendar will take place this month (July 8-11). PV appears to be enjoying steady growth in the U.S. however there are some doubts as to whether new projects will come online in the utility-scale space and if the residential sector will be negatively affected by attempts to wind back net metering.

Turning Japanese

Japan: Boom and bust cycles are all too familiar to the PV industry. However the current boom in Japan has not only arrived at a crucial time for many players in PV, it also looks like it might provide a longer-term sustainable market. But that’s not to say there aren’t challenges. Foreign players have to take into account country-specific nuances and the strong focus on quality in the Japanese market.

Top ten manufacturers are all producing in Asia

Industry ranking: The ten largest manufacturers of crystalline solar modules are all either Chinese companies or they manufacture in Asia. Contract manufacturing, which presumably will additionally benefit from the announced EU trade penalty duties, has also increased. Those large Chinese module manufacturers who became less reliant on the European market are now enjoying competitive advantages.

The learning curve

PV roadmaps: For years, PV technologists have clung on to learning curves and roadmaps for the PV industry in an attempt to show synergy with the semiconductor industry. But the PV industry has to be viewed in isolation, with the end market ultimately dictating technology demands and adoption rates for new solutions, says Finlay Colville, Vice President of NPD Solarbuzz.

Sustainable investment

Integrated solar busines: Burkhard Wehefritz, Director Sales Development Department at Schmid Silicon Technology (SST), explains how Schmid’s integrated business model “Polysilicon to Power” can quickly make solar power production profitable, especially in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Storage and solar’s missing links

Energy storage solutions: Most industry stakeholders see solar and energy storage as an inevitable marriage, but the path to deployment is still unclear. Investors who intelligently scout the markets and technologies can gain a competitive advantage, says Matt Feinstein of Lux Research.

Recovering, albeit slowly

Polysilicon and wafer trends: Prices should stabilize this year, but recovery is forecast to remain slow. Charles Annis, Vice President of NPD Solarbuzz, explains the dynamics of the polysilicon and wafer markets.

PV market in Japan

Japan: Several PV projects are in the pipeline in Japan but is the grid equipped to handle all the solar electricity generated? Izumi Kaizuka of RTS Corporation finds out.

pv magazine Readers’ Service

The engineering department of Solarpraxis AG answers reader questions regarding rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV installations. Please send your questions to:

Pump up the performance

PV project output: Draker’s Clarity DC tool monitors and analyzes solar PV performance on the DC side of the inverter. Draker’s CEO, Charles “Chach” Curtis, gives an overview of the product that won the company the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers Awards in April this year.

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