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Magazine Archive 2015

On the cusp

Off-grid PV: Of the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity, more than 80% live in rural areas far away from the existing power grids. Because of the problems to finance the up-front cost of a solar PV system with a battery, diesel gensets are still the preferred energy solution in many of these areas.

Robots bolster solar quality

Automation: The cost of robotics and automation has gone down along with the cost of computers. The solar industry has integrated robots all along the value chain to execute jobs faster, cheaper, and with higher quality compared to manual operations.

Rock bottom

Module prices: The European PV market continues its downward trend. New concepts are making new inroads but more slowly than expected.

The second stage of renewable energy

Interview: BYD started producing rechargeable batteries in 1995 and got into manufacturing electric vehicles after purchasing an automobile company in 2003. BYD’s lithium iron phosphate batteries power cars, buses, and forklift trucks as well as energy storage solutions. Tom Zhao, General Manager of BYD Solar, talked with pv magazine about the company’s strategy and the markets for energy storage and electric vehicles.

Thin film’s past, present and potential

Thin film PV: Paula Mints, founder and chief market research analyst of the global solar market research firm SPV Market Research, analyses the development of thin film PV and explains where growth may be possible in the future.

2014 ends on a low

NYSE Bloomberg Solar Energy Index: Investors eye Asian market growth amid new capacity announcements.

A maturing market and the rise of O&M

PV is all grown up. In its 2014 clean energy investment analysis released last month, Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that global investment in solar reached almost $150 billion for the year, its largest-ever slice of the clean energy pie. BNEF noted that some large solar investments, such as Japan’s $1.1 billion 250 MW Setouchi […]

A secondary market

Italy: Tommaso Angela, an analyst with Prothea, a Milan-based investment firm specialized in renewable energy, gives an overview of the Italian solar market as well as the trends and players in the Italian renewable energy financial market.

An opportunity and a challenge

O&M: It sounds so simple: Keep the modules clean and cut the grass. However, O&M offerings are becoming more and more sophisticated, as prices for software, technology and soft costs are coming down.

Costs and benefits of monitoring

System management: The smaller a PV plant, the harder it is to implement economically feasible power plant management. Manfred Bächler, the General Director of Pervorm, explains the key considerations in technical management of small and medium-sized PV plants under 100 kWp.

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