It is the promise that our industry provides for creating a more just and sustainable world which makes it such a motivating place to work. In Conversation is our annual feature bringing forth expertise from industry leaders who have made significant contributions to the global PV marketplace.
Strong results for the second quarter of 2019 buoyed solar companies’ stock market performance in July. And much ongoing positivity still hangs on the expectation of a third quarter rally from China. Jesse Pichel of ROTH Capital Partners looks at the situation for solar’s listed companies.
Indications and rumors are mounting that a year-end installation rally is ahead, complete with module shortages. But should we really take these warnings to heart, given that over the past eight to 10 months, supply lines have been flowing just fine? A look at prices shows that everything is still quiet. The price points for all the module technologies have been fluctuating around a support level for months without permanently breaking through it. There is still ample supply of high-efficiency monocrystalline modules on the market, and mainstream multicrystalline products are finding their way to Europe less and less frequently, but demand does not seem to be much higher than supply. So what is the point of forward-looking planning or even stockpiling?
In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.
Looking back at the PV market in 2018, micro module technologies started maturing in development and moving on to mass production, writes TrendForce analyst Lions Shih. Modules are no longer limited to a single design as before, but rather continuing on the path toward diversification in 2019. The situation is spreading into other areas, as may be seen in the upstream silicon wafer and cell segments.
The Mexican electric power industry is maintaining its dynamism, despite a collective perception of inactivity stemming from a lack of information from the federal government. And renewables are barely mentioned in the National Development Plan for 2019–2024 drawn up by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Women provide an invaluable perspective in the PV industry’s workforce. Studies have shown that the number of qualified women in leadership yields better performance, and that female representation leads to greater collaboration and fairness within the workplace. Yet there still exists a great divide and inadequate representation. This year’s In Conversation section highlights the significant contributions of leading women in the solar industry across its many segments, geographies, backgrounds and professions.
A maturing PV market does not automatically deliver certainty in terms of technology roadmaps and industry dynamics. Crystalizing trends and anticipating developments is the business of analysts, so pv magazine assembled four of solar’s best to talk about prices, technology and market-defining policy developments.
Tenders have begun to drive next-generation solar and storage applications in India. And as developers, administrators and asset owners become more familiar with the technology, the advantages of PV on water and in battery storage are driving the emergence of a pipeline of projects. Surbhi Singhvi, manager of consulting for Bridge to India, discusses the outlook and challenges for both applications.
Walburga Hemetsberger joined SolarPower Europe as its new CEO around six months ago. It’s been a busy time, with the European elections and attempts to implement net zero emissions strategies that have kept Brussels hustling and bustling. At the same time, Europe’s solar industry association has been trying to push its industrial policy and rooftop campaign. Hemetsberger sat down with pv magazine for an update.
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