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Magazine Archive 11-2014

Junction boxes do more and complain less

Junction boxes: Manufacturers are attacking potential failures with high quality. Junction boxes are becoming better in terms of performance, lower cost, ease of installation and reduced failure.

Looking ahead

German Renewable Energy Act: The amendment of the German Renewable Energy Act has been much criticized. The introduction of an EEG surcharge on the self-consumption of solar energy was the biggest cause for concern for the German solar industry. But conditions for photovoltaics in Germany have not deteriorated as much as the bad mood may suggest. Investments continue to pay off in various sectors.

“It’s just a question of time”

Interview: In his new book, The Economic Competitiveness of Renewable Energy, Winfried Hoffmann, former president of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), provides a unique economic and industrial point of view about the current state of global energy, the increasing impact of solar and the impending paradigm shift that photovoltaics has triggered.

More flexibility

CEO Interview: China Sunergy (CSUN) is one of the Chinese module manufacturers that diversified module production geographically and set up a production facility abroad. What were the main reasons for choosing Turkey as a manufacturing location? What were the benefits and the lessons learned? pv magazine spoke with CSUN’s CEO Lu Tingxiu. 

A transformative tipping point

Ranking inverter suppliers: The shifting sands of the global inverter landscape have shuffled the pack a little, but with SMA a familiar face at the top of the tree – albeit with a drastically diminished global market share – just how tumultuous has 2014 been for the world’s leading inverter suppliers?

Moving on O&M

First Solar/skytron: At Intersolar Europe, First Solar announced that it was to acquire Germany’s monitoring platform and service provider skytron energy. Almost immediately questions were raised as to how skytron will operate as a service provider to third parties outside of the First Solar family. Skytron energy’s managing director Stefan Degener says that, on the contrary, skytron can now leverage First Solar’s strength and knowledge to grow.

An ultra-mega opportunity or a headache?

India: In September, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy published plans to develop large-scale and “ultra-mega” solar power parks totaling 20 GW of capacity over the next five years. The draft policy contains no domestic content requirement. So after the government’s decision against antidumping duties on solar components imported from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the US, India’s solar industry is wondering whether domestic content requirements will be incorporated into public tenders, or where the 20 GW worth of modules is going to come from.

One in a million

Californian solar: New rooftop solar permitting guidelines may hasten California’s one million solar rooftops goal – the aim of the aptly titled Million Solar Roofs initiative. Brian Nese of Stoel Rives law firm dissects the state’s current latest round of legislation – the AB 2188 – and in doing so assesses what its immediate effects may be.

Between a ROC and a hard place

UK market update: April sees large-scale UK solar shut out from the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme – a program that has helped push PV beyond 5 GW of installed capacity this year. How will the incoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) program fare, and are residential and commercial ready to take up the slack?

Protecting components from theft

PV security: new devices and approaches to PV power plant security are emerging, particularly in Europe as lessons are learnt from emerging PV markets. From module level to radar solutions, experts recommend that a security detail be tailored to each location, design and specification of a solar field.

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