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Magazine Archive 11-2011

Fine film with a big effect

Crystalline cell technology: The anti-reflection coating fulfills a wide range of functions. The most important of these is its effect on the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. An overview of the latest developments in the technology used to manufacture this wafer-thin film.

The raw materials rush

PV feedstock: According to a study by the European Commission, the solar industry’s growing demand for metals could well lead to supply shortages in coming years. One large module manufacturer is now investing in its own mine.

Get ready for competitive BIPV systems

BIPV China: BIPV, often overlooked as the much smaller cousin of the rooftop PV market, is a hot topic right now, buoyed by a small but growing band of markets including BIPV as part of comprehensive solar feed-in tariff (FIT) schemes and bullish growth forecasts. Chinese companies are focusing on domestic and export BIPV markets to survive PV commoditization, bringing new products and competition to this niche market.

The ups-and-downs of PV Down Under

Australia: With vast open-cut coal mines next to big power plants, large mining endeavors and vast distances between population centers, there should be little surprise that Australia continues to be one of the world’s worst greenhouse-gas emitters. However with an environment and mindset that favors photovoltaics (PV), the country appears to be at a juncture between its polluting past and a cleaner PV future.

It’s getting hot in China

Quality for photovoltaics: A packed room, interactive sessions and presentations that gave food for thought. The Solarpraxis workshop ‘Quality for Photovoltaics: the key driver for sustainable growth’ addressed pressing issues with regards to quality in the PV industry and the solutions that need to be reached.

The years of plenty are over

Industry ranking: SMA continues to be the unchallenged leader on the market – but who else made it to the top ten? pv magazine interviewed market researchers and analysts and presents the ten largest inverter manufacturers.

Leveling solar

Battery storage solutions: The combination of battery storage and photovoltaics has become a hot topic at industry conferences and exhibitions with the introduction of a range of new products and services targeted at utilities, grid operators, and PV power plant owners. The long-term benefit is improving the integration of solar energy into the energy mix. Here’s where it’s at right now.

Two Scenarios

Solarbuzz market report: Questions regarding PV shipments in 2012 have less to do with how much photovoltaics manufacturers can produce, and much more with how much they can place.

Market growth, FITs and flourishing fabs

Malaysia: Many see the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as a PV market with major potential. Combining a secure, stable government with low-cost manufacturing, Malaysia could find itself in the center of this unfolding market, poised to become a regional PV leader. But will government subsidies for other energy sources and a conservative, tardy feed-in tariff (FIT) nip the blossoming industry in the bud?

Unlocking the residential market

Financing: By offering “white-label” financing to small installers through its already popular solar software, Clean Power Finance thinks it has found the key to opening the U.S. residential solar market. But its competitors, such as SunRun, SolarCity and Sungevity, have a head start.

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