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Magazine Archive 2013

“Subsidies are extremely harmful”

Interview: What is hampering the development of the photovoltaics off-grid markets? And what can be done? Prof. Peter Adelmann, Director of the Institute for Decentralized Electrification, Entrepreneurship and Education (id-eee), reports on his experience with projects in Ethiopia and other countries.

1,000 Factories, 1,000 Megawatts

China’s rooftop potential: Southern China and its richest province Guangdong have lagged behind other regions in China when it comes to PV production and installation. However, the region pioneered China’s industrial development and at the recent Distributed PV Application and Commercialization Forum organized by SEMI China in Shunde, Guangdong, there were signs that the situation is about to change. Abundant industrial rooftops provide the basis for Guangdong’s new “Thousand Factories, Thousand Megawatts” program and it could make PV a leading industry in this region.

A boom across all segments

Japan: While there are regular announcements of new Japanese “mega solar” projects across the country, the latest figures of installed capacity and FIT registrations show that strong growth is also occurring in the residential market. Izumi Kaizuka, from RTS Corporation, takes a look at the data behind Japan’s solar boom.

A challenging year

Mercom Capital global forecast: Mercom Capital Group’s Raj Prabhu looks back at the global solar market in 2012 and anticipates what 2013 has in store for the industry.

A ground-breaking event for the sector

Offgrid: The 1st International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC) was held in Ghana and established the first major conference and trade fair focused exclusively on the off-grid renewable energy sector in developing countries. Simon Rolland, Secretary-General of the Alliance for Rural Electrification elaborates.

Benefits of automation

Automation: Automation and robotics are transforming photovoltaic manufacturing. Chinese module manufacturers like EGing Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd. are automating key production steps and introducing nimble robots to handle a range of repetitive tasks. The results are higher throughput and improved quality, as well as cost savings due to a reduced workforce.

Declines to continue

Chinese factory gate prices: The latest IHS survey shows no sign of price firming through November as c-Si module prices declined in all regions.

Ghana’s first PV power plant

Interview: Blue Energy announced the 155 MW Nzema photovoltaic power plant project last month. The UK based renewable energy developer has formed subsidiary Mere Power Nzema Ltd. to execute the project. Douglas Coleman is the project director of Mere Power Nzema and he took the time to speak about the project particulars.

Guidance revisions

Ardour Solar Index: Index constituents look to Asia-Pacific and North America for 2013 growth.

Industry shakeout filters out untested technologies

Equipment suppliers: Only the lowest cost and most commercially viable PV technologies will end up surviving through the brutal PV shakeout phase of 2012. Finlay Colville, Vice-President at NPD Solarbuzz tells the story of how equipment suppliers have found themselves at this difficult junction, and which way to turn next.

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