‘First Solar, at its core, is a technology and module manufacturing company,’ said Mark Widmar, chief executive of the U.S. company.
The solar giant shipped 14.2 GW of modules last year, up 33% on 2018 for the high-water mark of another year dominated by Chinese manufacturers.
As the outbreak takes its toll on solar panel and battery manufacturing in China, Australia is bracing for disruptions in the supply chains.
Canadian Solar and Lightsource BP have signed a multi-year 1.2 GW module supply agreement that will see both monofacial and bifacial modules installed in Lightsource BP’s Australian and U.S. solar projects.
The coronavirus outbreak in China could raise solar module prices in the near term as manufacturers have already begun experiencing wafer and solar glass shortages. Production rates are also being affected by an extended new year holiday introduced by the authorities as a measure to deal with the virus, and the requirement workers from infected areas quarantine themselves for two weeks.
Australian researchers have unveiled hydrogenation technology to reduce light and elevated temperature-induced degradation in Czochralski silicon PERC solar cells. The developers say the process can minimize degradation without sacrificing performance in cells and modules.
Solarwatt’s Vision glass-glass solar PV modules have pushed the technology’s resilience even further after passing Aussie cyclone testing in Darwin. The success arouses new attention to the competing riders on the bifacial wave, glass-glass and backsheets.
The internet’s favorite energy company installed 530 megawatt-hours of battery storage in Q4, beating out the previous record, set last quarter, as well as showing continued improvement in solar installations.
With solar grade polysilicon prices having plummeted in recent years, cutting down on consumption of the material has not been a priority. But strategies exist and significant savings can be made through deploying thinner wafers that use less silicon, insists a new paper published by MIT and NREL. And as manufacturers are increasingly hitting dead ends on other routes to cost reduction, this option could be back on the table for many.
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