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Magazine Archive 12-2020

Bruised, battered, but better

It could not have been expected, but 2020 has been a year quite unlike any other in recent history. And as we round it out with constraints still impacting many aspects of our lives, there are a considerable number of reasons to end the year feeling optimistic. First, to start the way most conversations this […]

The Biden effect

Solar stocks continued to outperform the broader market in November, writes Jesse Pichel of ROTH Capital Partners. Tailwinds from the election results drove positive sentiment in the United States, while the end of the exemption from Section 201 tariffs for bifacial products could be bad news for module imports.

2020 was off to a good start, and then…

This year’s retrospective kicks off with a line that sounds like it’s right out of a pop song: Last spring, it all felt so right. And yet, what followed was not only one of the hottest years on record, but also one of the craziest in recent decades. This month and next, Martin Schachinger of pvXchange looks back at how European PV markets have developed under the pall of the pandemic and climate change.

Acquisition activity in Europe remains heated

The European solar market saw around 11 GW of projects, and pipelines change hands in 2019. The positive trend is expected to last, as investors remain optimistic about the future of the industry. Project acquisition activity is seen as a key indicator of financial health in many sectors, including the PV market. It reflects optimism among investors and points to a particularly high degree of liquidity, writes IHS Markit analyst Martina Assereto.

Solar set to shine in a post-pandemic world

The world is still combating Covid-19, with Europe now impacted by a second wave of the virus. While the market reported delays for a few projects, the impacts on the PV sector remain unclear. But if the world fails to curb the Covid-19’s spread, governments may be forced to reintroduce strict measures, thereby sapping PV demand. PV InfoLink’s Mars Chang expects module demand to hit 126 GW by the end of this year.

Resiliency in the face of Covid-19

While some parts of the global economy have been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, others have prospered. Solar PV has fared better than most, yet the resilience it has shown varies significantly between markets. pv magazine publisher Eckhart K. Gouras casts an analytical eye across a number of key markets to assess what is informing the trends.

PV trends of 2020

Despite much of the world being on lockdown for a big chunk of 2020, there are few who could say it has been an uneventful year. And while the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic will be what defines 2020 for many, in the solar industry there’s plenty more to shout about, from the rapid rollout of high-powered modules to a drastic increase in carbon-neutral pledges from companies and governments around the world. Here, we take a look back at the year in solar.

Hail happens

The U.S. solar industry is looking to quality and innovation for solutions to extreme weather risks. As PV projects spread across hail-prone areas in the United States, the industry faces increased risks and a critical need for damage prevention and mitigation strategies that leverage robust materials, panel testing, and software.

Solar mining is on the move

Mining companies the world over are looking to electrify their operations with solar, but many obstacles have been holding back uptake. Perhaps the most obvious has been the disconnect between the longevity of solar assets and the short-term outlooks of many mining companies. However, recent developments have shown that solar is more flexible than a gymnast and just as mobile.

Maverick not only by name

A small number of utility-scale PV arrays of an entirely different nature are taking shape Down Under. Over the past six years, Aussie solar startup 5B has been developing and deploying its pre-assembled and relocatable Maverick mounting structures “on a shoestring budget.” But with a major solar developer having joined as a strategic investor, the company is now looking to make prefabricated arrays a mainstream option for utility-scale PV.

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