Solar Latest News Round-Up Issue 38

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Report forecasts global growth in solar PV

Global photovoltaic (PV) solar installations will rise to 45.4 gigawatts (GW) in 2014, with 32 percent of this total, or 14.4 GW, coming in the fourth quarter, according to IHS Technology.

Although IHS has trimmed its forecast for 2014 by 1.5 GW due to weaker-than-predicted performance in several key markets, a 20 percent increase is still forecast in installations from 37.8 GW in 2013.

A total of 32 percent of annual installations will occur during the fourth quarter, with China and the USA predicted to account for more than half of all global demand in the final quarter of 2014.

Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at HIS, said: "China and the United States will propel global growth.

"With China installing more than 5 GW and the USA installing 2.3 GW in the fourth quarter of 2014, these two countries will account for more than 50 percent of global installations during this period. The huge final quarter in China is expected to be only slightly higher than what was achieved in the same quarter of 2013-a figure that surprised many in the industry." More at


Views requested on IET CoP

Solar engineers, technicians and researchers are invited to comment on the new Code of Practice for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in 2015.

The new Code of Practice, due for publication early next year, will address the requirements for the design, installation and operation for all scales of solar PV deployment in the UK. It will provide engineers and technicians with guidance on the safe, effective and competent application of grid-connected solar PV systems, including building-mounted, building-integrated and ground-mounted installations.

Ray Noble, of the IET Solar Photovoltaic Technical Committee and the DECC Solar Strategy group, said: “Key stakeholder involvement is critical to this Code of Practice, and so the development of this document by a respected body such as the IET will increase consumer confidence, while also meeting the needs of solar PV professionals, users and owners."

The solar PV code of practice is open for consultation until 7 November 2014 via the IET website here.


US trade investigation prompts import increase

NPD Solarbuzz reports that the share of Chinese companies within the top-20 solar PV suppliers in the USA almost doubled in the 12-month period ending Q2 2014 compared to that ending Q2 2013.

This share increase came primarily at the expense of US, Japanese, and suppliers outside of Asia and reflects the scramble by US developers and Chinese manufacturers to get product into the country ahead of the preliminary anti-subsidy and anti-dumping rulings by the US government over the summer.

In the US, the most recent developments in the trade dispute were announcements of preliminary duties on Chinese and Taiwanese PV products during June and July 2014. That ruling did little to stop Chinese imports but rather caused Chinese module manufacturers to alter supply-chains towards using Taiwanese cells that were exempt from import duties, according to Solarbuzz.

The most recent move aims to close this non-Chinese cell supply route, prompting the sizeable increase in terms of shipment share into the US market from Chinese producers.

Full report at


IEA forecasts solar dominance

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that solar energy could be the largest single source of electricity in the world by 2050.

The energy watchdog reports that PV could provide 16% of the world’s electricity and concentrated solar power (CSP) could provide another 11%.

The report expects PV to dominate solar up until 2030 when the addition of storage to CSP will see it close the gap.

The IEA also expects more than half of solar generation capacity to be built at the point of demand. It also expects China and the US to remain the top two installers for the foreseeable future.

"The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades,” said Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director, IEA. “However, both technologies are very capital intensive: almost all expenditures are made upfront. Lowering the cost of capital is thus of primary importance for achieving the vision in these roadmaps.”

Full report at


UK STA to separate from REA

The UK Solar Trade Association (STA) has announced that it will end its formal affiliation with the Renewable Energy Association (REA) as of 1 January 2015.

The two associations became affiliated in March 2011, when the STA merged with the REA’s Solar Power Group and relaunched with representation of both the solar heating and solar power industries. Now the associations say that the split will allow them to focus on their respective core strengths.

The STA states that the move reflects a wider trend to adopt technology-specific trade associations and hopes that the break will allow it to increase its resources and strengthen its voice.

STA chairman Jan Sisson said: "Solar has come of age and has become a significant presence in the UK renewables market. As this market has expanded, so too must the STA to meet the new challenges ahead. It is vital that solar energy strengthens its voice, particularly with an eye on the increasingly competitive post-subsidy world."

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