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Interview: REC Group CEO highlights power density, sustainability in time of oversupply

High performance and low environmental impact are set to stand heterojunction module maker REC Group in good stead in the current buyers’ market, argues CEO Jan Enno Bicker. Speaking to pv magazine at Intersolar Europe last month, Bicker said that in the rooftop segment the benefits of the company’s Alpha HJT module series shine. 

Weekend read: Flex generation

A new generation of flexible, lightweight modules is entering the market. With back contact technology offering its own form of design flexibility and robustness, the new products could crack a hard-to-address market segment, as Jonathan Gifford explains.


Weekend read: Solar’s supply-chain pioneer

Zhengrong Shi and his company, Suntech, are true pioneers of the Chinese solar industry. While Suntech burned bright, and eventually flamed out, under Shi’s leadership, the company’s solar ecosystem and innovation persist as China’s PV market surges past 100 GW(AC) today.

Weekend read: A moral trilemma

US solar was disrupted in 2022, with module seizures delaying projects due to strict laws designed to stamp out alleged forced labor practices in sections of the Chinese PV industry. However, it remains to be seen whether seizures affected such alleged practices.

EU solar manufacturers’ ESG credentials could bolster revival

With calls for a revival in European PV manufacturing becoming more urgent, the Environmental, Social, and Governance credentials of its PV producers are being touted as a way in which manufacturing can be supported or even protected. The case for the ESG credentials of European manufacturing was advanced by multiple speakers at the 2023 SolarPower Summit this week in Brussels.


Pioneering solar researcher hails funding ‘turnaround’

World-leading solar researcher UNSW Scientia Professor Martin Green says that PV research activities in Australia right across the value chain will be accelerated by the recent $41.5 million (USD 28.5 million) funding awards from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The funding will foster the development of ultra-low-cost solar by extending and expanding nine UNSW solar research programs.


Weekend read: Plating up

A reduction of silver consumption in PV production is required on the way to terawatt scale. Given this, the time may have come for the commercialisation of new copper plating technologies – doing away with the need for silver in cell metallisation altogether. However, the history of plating technology is littered with cautionary tales.


Weekend read: A sustainability swan song

Pioneering PV researcher Martin Green has received an abundance of accolades over his 50-year career of fundamental solar research with teams at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). That contribution was further recognised on Sept. 26, when he picked up the WCPEC-8 Award in Milan, Italy. Green spoke with pv magazine about the role of technologies such as PERC cells and his efforts to advance non-toxic thin film semiconductors for the tandem cells of the future.

Weekend read: Southeast Asian interconnection

While near neighbours, the electricity generation of the countries of Southeast Asia couldn’t be further apart. Indonesia burns locally mined coal, Malaysia has reserves of oil and gas, while populous Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines, depend on fossil fuel imports. They could all benefit from increased solar imports, but higher grid capacities and interconnection are key for an opportunity to unlock the power of the sun.


UNSW’s Martin Green picks up $1.5 million Millennium Technology Prize

Australian research that has seen crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV technology takes its place in the mainstream of the global energy industry has been recognised by picking up Finland’s top technology award. The €1 million (AUD 1.55 million) Millennium Technology Prize has been awarded to UNSW Scientia Professor Martin Green, in recognition for his work in developing passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) technology – the mainstay cell of the modern solar industry.

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