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The long read: Integrated solar manufacturing giants emerge

The giants of the Chinese PV industry are now integrated along both ends of the supply chain, amid expectations for strong demand and price volatility. Module makers are adding polysilicon capacity, while poly and wafer producers are making module production a part of their business. But do companies still face the same risks that have brought down vertically integrated solar giants in the past? Vincent Shaw reports from Shanghai.

The long read: When a solar spark becomes a fire

In 2021, China installed 21.6 GW of residential PV, which accounted for nearly 40% of the total annual installation figure of 54.9 GW. Spool back to 2018, and the residential segment clocked in at a mere 3 GW – less than 7% of the total for the year. Vincent Shaw in Shanghai reports on how changing market priorities caused a spark that quickly became a fire.

China’s solar cell capacity exceeds 361 GW

Tongwei has also secured another massive polysilicon order and Golden Glass has invested in more heterojunction solar cell capacity. Furthermore, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) said 23.7 GW of new solar was deployed in China in the first five months of the year.

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The long read: A messy perovskite separation

There are increasing signs that a new era for PV production in Europe may be dawning. However, two pioneers of PV technology have decided, at this moment, to part ways. And while at present there are more questions than answers, technology and business strategy both appear to have played a role.

Silicon metal and aluminum industries hit by China power shortages

A combination of booming demand for coal-fired power and a shortage of the black stuff – exacerbated by a political row with Australia – have forced up prices to the extent fossil fuel generators are making a loss on every unit of electricity they produce. pv magazine‘s Vincent Shaw considers the potential solutions.

Longi claims 25.19% efficiency for p-type TOPCon solar cell

Longi’s 25.19% efficiency rating for its new p-type TOPCon solar cells, confirmed by the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin, is reportedly a world record.

The long read: SNEC’s solar trends in 2021

All eyes are drawn to China every year for SNEC, the world’s biggest solar PV expo, as it invariably features a large number of new products from the key Chinese manufacturers. Vincent Shaw was on the scene in Shanghai this year and took the opportunity to take the industry’s pulse.

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Sungrow unveils 325 kW string inverter

The device will go into mass production in the second half of this year. It features an efficiency of 99.01% and is claimed to be the most powerful string inverter ever launched on the market to date.

The long read: The visible hand heralds a new dawn

The “invisible hand” is a widely understood metaphor for free-market economics. In China’s economy a “visible hand” is more evident, as government interventions are relatively commonplace. And in PV the visible hand is moving again, raising efficiency baselines and potentially changing the solar production game.

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