What a year! Are we done talking about tariffs yet? While Solar Power World is the solar construction industry’s top choice for breaking news and developments (especially for the latest on all those tariffs), our editors also spend time crafting extended features on topics that influence installation across the country. These are the Top 10 most popular stories we featured this year. Tariffs were a big click-item, but we also scored with features on recycling and rooftop installation techniques. Don’t forget to subscribe to our free weekly enewsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest U.S. solar industry news and investigative features.
The seventh edition of our Top Solar Contractors list was released in July and everyone lined up to see what companies came out on top. We were happy to feature a strong group of thriving U.S. solar installers truly at the top of their markets.
Analysis from IRENA showed that solar PV costs have fallen 73% since 2010, and costs are expected to be cut in half by 2020. These numbers estimate that PV projects could be delivering electricity for an equivalent of 3¢ per kWh or less within the next two years.
With the latest National Electrical Code updates going into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, many installers had questions about how to meet rapid shutdown requirements. Luckily, smart modules, microinverters and other MLPEs assist solar systems with module-level rapid shutdown.
SPW’s resident history buff wanted to see how far back solar PV technology stretches. Although the solar industry still feels very new, especially to the general public, it actually got started in the early 1800s. Check out all these old-timey photos!
Can’t talk about 2018 without discussing tariffs. After four months of tariffs on imported solar panels, we looked at who were the winners and losers. At the time, utility-scale installers were struggling.
Asphalt and tile roofs may get most of the attention in solar, but metal roofs can support solar, too. We took a look at the different metal and roofing systems used, and how best to mount solar panels to them.
When the president asked the Department of Energy to prevent coal and nuclear plants from retiring, reps from solar, petroleum, wind, storage and natural gas groups came together to criticize the decision.
What a hot-button topic this was! Although end-of-life panels may not need recycling for another 15 years, there’s never a bad time to plan ahead. There are many U.S. players trying to get plans in place before safe panel disposal becomes a national issue.
Finally in September the U.S. Trade Representative announced which solar panel companies would be excluded from the 30% foreign panel tariffs. Interdigitated back-contact modules were excluded, giving SunPower a big win with its overseas manufacturing.
Our top story this year wasn’t breaking news, but it was a trend article many people were searching for. Now past buzzword-status, bifacial modules have entered the mainstream. They can produce energy from both sides, and how they’re mounted can influence their output numbers.
Happy to keep the solar industry informed on the latest solar technology trends!