High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Surges in 2017. Here’s Why Bifacial Is Next

The photovoltaic industry is experiencing rapid change, with high-efficiency modules seizing market share and setting the stage for even higher efficiencies to come.

Passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology, and particularly the monocrystalline silicon version of PERC, is the hot adoption trend in 2017.

Just two years ago, PERC cell capacity accounted for about 5 gigawatts of the market. But the drive for higher efficiencies in the world’s largest solar market, China, has turned the tables. PERC cell capacity is expected to reach about 35 gigawatts in 2017, or roughly one-third of all PV module production, according to GTM Research.

PERC technology increases cell

A look at what's next for the GOP's tax reform effort.

The House passed its tax reform bill yesterday that includes cuts to renewable energy tax credits. The package is already having a chilling effect as developers stall projects because of a potential change to the tax code.

What will happen when the Senate and House try to reconcile their two bills? We'll try to anticipate the political chess match before the pieces move.

Then, we'll take a look at Tesla's newest shiny object: the electric semi-truck. Is this a convenient distraction for Musk as Tesla's financial health worsens? Or yet another master plan step that most of us will never understand until much later?

The timing isn’t great for Tesla to be entering a new market segment.

Elon Musk’s high-tech energy and transportation company is already overwhelmed with production delays, a massive backlog of Model 3 deliveries, a restructuring solar business and several disaster response efforts underway around the globe. Amid all of this, Tesla just logged it's largest quarterly loss yet.

Tesla’s decision to enter the electric semi truck business comes with the added challenge of serving a customer base that’s laser focused on cost. While everyday consumers can be won over with aesthetics and special features, truck fleet operators prioritize reliability, performance and economics. 


China, with the world’s largest power system, faces an uphill struggle in trying to contain double-digit rates of renewable curtailment.

Even though power shedding dropped 1.4 percent in the third quarter, compared to the first half of this year, “whether the curtailment rate will go back up again after new projects start commissioning remains a concern,” said Xiaoyang Li, market analyst at MAKE Consulting.

Oversupply, system inflexibility and transmission bottlenecks mean power generated in China’s northern provinces regularly fails to make it to the load centers near the coast.

According to China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), the renewable energy abandonment rate in the third quarter

Neither side is happy with the limits approved by utility regulators

The adoption of new rules limiting noise from wind turbines was intended to meet the requirements of legislation passed last year, but neither side seems especially happy with the outcome.

Wind advocates think the new regulations are too strict and complained they will make it tough for Vermont to meet a goal of getting 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, The Associated Press reported. Opponents said turbines will still be too noisy.

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The Top Stories in Energy Storage Are Right Here

In a few weeks, the GTM research and editorial teams are headed to San Francisco for the third annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit.

As usual, we'll have data-driven conversations and presentations that cover the top storylines in the industry.

A lot happened since the last event. Here's what we'll be following:

  • Utilities are claiming center stage in non-traditional markets, with storage-based integrated resource plans emerging in Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington over the last several months. Are long-term plans with energy storage now the norm?
  • State mandates on energy storage continue to move forward. Massachusetts recently set

What will happen to the electricity market as more wind and solar flood the grid?

We've spent a lot more time lately looking at the structure of U.S. power markets. Why? Because they're about to get shaken up.

It's already begun. In this episode, we'll look at how renewables are upending wholesale power markets today -- and what we can do about it.

We'll examine the issue from a few different angles.

Wood Mackenzie's Prajit Gosh describes why low-price events are becoming more common in wholesale markets than high-price events. He'll also look at the impact on other generation sources.

MAKE Consulting's Dan Shreve talks about what's driving cost reductions in wind. 

And GTM's Shayle Kann

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We are a privately-owned Qatari company established in June 2011 and operating from Doha, Qatar.

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