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Magazine Archive 10-2011

Price war in Hamburg

EU PVSEC: Cold, hard winds blew off the harbor as the 26th EU PVSEC came to a close in Hamburg. Many reported slow business and observed massively slashed module prices from Chinese manufacturers: an opportunity for the increasing competitiveness of solar electricity on the one hand, but a challenge for the innovative ability of the industry and the survival of European module and cell manufacturers on the other.

Prudent expansion

EU PVSEC interview: Hanwha SolarOne’s Chief Strategy Officer and Board Secretary took time out of his busy schedule at this year’s EU PVSEC to sit down and talk to pv magazine about the Korean photovoltaic module manufacturer’s strategy for weathering the current solar market storm, and its future developments.

A bet on the future

Dominican Republic: Up to now, solar power has had little history in the Caribbean region. Now, Isofotón is taking a big first step by developing a 50-megawatt plant in the Dominican Republic. The Kirchner Solar Group is also planning a large-scale project on the island. Since the economy of the Dominican Republic is growing rapidly, with 7.8 percent growth last year, more and more international businesses are seeking to open up trade in the country.

Rough diamond

Solar glass: Latest advances in TCO glass and coatings are forcing better efficiencies from thin-film silicon PV. While thin film PV’s market share today is shy of initial forecasts, this is an industry that is growing.

A green contradiction

Solar parks: On one hand, renewable energy is much needed and solar holds massive promise. On the other hand, land is needed to construct projects large enough to be able to produce the electricity needed to meet demand. But when solar parks creep into areas of nature conservation, there is a conflict. Is a solar park in a protected nature zone a contradiction of green beliefs?

Safety with system

Mounting systems: PV systems have to meet investor’s needs, keeping the return on investment attractive. The push for the lowest watt peak price installed is in full swing. On the other hand, serious consequences due to shortcomings in system integrity and quality of mounting components can emerge five to ten years after installation and destroy the investment. Renusol’s Stefan Ast elaborates.

A new trend in the offing

Croatia: The sun-drenched land of Croatia has an attractive solar feed-in tariff. Until now, however, only a very few photovoltaic systems have been installed. How are local conditions in Croatia a year prior to the country’s projected entry into the European Union? What opportunities does the market offer, and what of the risks? Answers from the Croatian business consulting firm Borovac-Knabe & Partners.

Solar on a large scale

U.S. utility-scale market: In the United States, solar is very much shaped by how business is done in the conventional power market: large-scale and utility-oriented. A report on support mechanisms and PV development in the USA.

Behind expectations

Lead times: The window to install systems this year is becoming increasingly narrow. Inventories have moved from distributors and installers to manufacturers.

Spot market for PV panels: Capital is tight

Module prices: The fall in PV module maker’s revenues continues, but equipment manufacturers report growth.

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