A report said that total global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity will be 498 gigawatts in 2019, a 177 percent increase over capacity in 2014.
IHS said that last year the market became supply driven. That trend will continue until 2019 when the use rate of module projection will exceed the peak usage rate in 2010. That is when the global market really started to soar.
As this chart from IHS shows, China leads the pack in using solar panels, followed by Japan, the USA, the UK, Germany and India.
And there’s good news if you’re in the mood to buy, because the average selling prices of standard modules will fall by 27 percent between 2015 and 2019.
Thin film modules aren’t experiencing stellar growth patterns, but IHS believes that this year market share for those will be around seven percent.
That market share is likely to remain at around seven percent between now and 2019.
Trade protection organisation
the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has confirmed that Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers of photo voltaic products are dumping them.
Both anti-dumping and countervailing duties will be levied on imports to the USA from China, while anti-dumping tariffs will be imposed on product from Taiwan.
According to market intelligence firm Trendforce, Chinese PV models will face swingeing minimum tariff of 70 percent.
Taiwanese manufacturers get off much more lightly, with rates in between 12 to 27 percent.
The US ITC acts to prevent home grown manufacturers from being penalised when supplies exceed demand.
Trendforce said that solar cell firms in Taiwan are operating zero margins.
Some Chinese vendors have already relocated their PV manufacturing facilities, and that’s something Taiwanese firms will have to do a similar thing in order to stay afloat.
The USA regulary publishes anti-dumping and countervailing duties and it looks like it’s taking tough action against China to prevent its home solar panel market being threatened.
Trendforce, a Taiwanese market intelligence company, said the US has raised Chinese solar anti-dumping tariffs to as much as 165 percent, while rates for Taiwanese manufacturing have decreased.
Even given the stiff tariffs imposed by the US, demand in the country for Asian modules continues to grow. And in a bid to prevent the tariffs spoiling their businesses, Chinese manufacturers have set up module manufacturing in Europe, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia, India, Japan and Turkey, according to Trendforce.
Jason Huang, a research manager at Trendforce, said that the rulings mean that Taiwanese prices will rise in the short term. “In addition to the stimulus from the anti-dumping, countervailing duties final ruling, prices are also encouraged by the UK, by Japan and China’s markets. It is expected to increase both in shipment volume and price in the first quarter of 2015,” he said.
The USA has its own solar panel business and the govenmment introduces the anti-dumping and countervailing duties to stimulate its own home grown marketplace.
Researchers at Caltech claim to have made a breakthrough in a new type of solar cell.
Current solar panel technology only absorbs and uses a small fraction of sunlight but the researchers have a found a way to make use of infrared waves with a structure that isn’t made from silicon, but of metal.
Metalsshow a phenomenon called plasmon resonance which are essentially waves or ripples of electrons that exist on metals where they meet air.
The resonances, say the Caltech scientists, can be tuned to other wavelengths by using nanostructures manufactured in a laboratory.
The researchers showed that metal surfaces can produce a potential to build up an electrostatic potential. The scientists preduct the possibility of solar cells using plasmoelectrics to be used with regular photovoltaic cells to capture both visible and infrared light.
Japanese giant Kyocera said it is cooperating with Ciel et Terre to create what it claims will be the world’s largest floating solar panel power plant.
Kyocera, which makes ceramic knives as well as solar panels and a heap of other kit, said construction will start this month on two installations on lakes in Japan. One planned for Nishihira Pond will generate 1.7MW while the other at Higashihira Pond will churn out 1.2MW.
The companies have turned to floating installations because of shortage of space on terra firma in Japan. But there are many reservoirs throughout the country which can be used for floating power plants.
The floating solar platforms were developed and patented by French company Ciel et Terre.
Plants on water have the advantage that they generate more juice than ground mounted and rooftop systems because they are cooled by water. They also have the benefit of reducing reservoir evaporation and preventing algae growth. The platforms are recyclable and the floating platforms are designed to withstand typhoons.