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Magazine Archive 12-2013

New horizons

2014 trade show preview: In what was always likely to be a tough year for solar, 2013 looks to have ended on something of a high, buoyed by emerging markets fuelling renewed demand. How will the trade shows of 2014 serve these new appetites?

Where is the innovation?

Thin film PV equipment: The CIGS PV segment has changed drastically with very few players left standing. While the equipment segment continues to work on processes that can lead to improvements in CIGS PV panel efficiencies, whether or not there is the appetite for innovation in the industry right now is another matter.

Well-informed visitors

Intersolar India: Solar policy announcements made at the fifth Intersolar India evoked optimism among the visitors. The numerous remaining uncertainties in the market led to lively discussions at the show.

US investors take a shine to solar

North America: The US solar equity markets enjoyed an upswing in October, driven by a substantial number of utility-scale projects in the pipeline and advances in technology.

Still innovative

Inverters: Until just a few years ago, efficiency was the only topic that mattered to the inverter market. But from a system engineering point of view, innovation at all levels makes sense in order to improve inverters while increasing the yield of photovoltaic installations.

Silicon jolly

Polysilicon and wafers: Reduced costs and increasing demand are significantly improving the outlook for PV polysilicon and wafer producers in 2014, writes Charles Annis of NPD Solarbuzz.

Same but different

Performance metrics in India: Performance ratio or capacity utilization factor – which provides better insights into the performance of a solar PV system? Europe prefers the performance ratio, and India favors CUF. Sebastian Dürr, cofounder and director of REACH Solar Consulting, describes the different viewpoints in India and Europe and the pros and cons of the different approaches.

Rebuilding export channels

Interview: What are the perspectives for Tata Power Solar? What are the challenges for Indian PV manufacturers? pv magazine talked to the company’s CEO Ajay Goel.

Optimization over radical change

Balance of systems market: The BOS industry is lowering costs mainly through system and process optimization rather than by developing revolutionary new devices. Matt Feinstein provides examples.

One of the lowest solar rates in the world?

Uruguay: In May this year, Uruguay approved a 200 MW tender for solar facilities with capacities of between 5 and 50 MW. Despite offering an extremely low rate – US$0.09 per kWh – the government announced in September that the quota had been filled.

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