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Solar news: November 15th, 2019

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, new projections for solar energy see the technology becoming the world’s largest energy source by 2035, and SunPower splits into two companies: a manufacturer and an installer.

IEA report forecasts solar as the world’s largest energy source by 2035

According to the World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar energy will become the biggest source of energy worldwide by 2035. Solar is expected to pass wind in 2020, hydropower in 2027, coal in 2032, and gas in 2035 on its way to the top. Interestingly, the report mentions that although solar and other renewables will continue to gain in popularity, at current projected levels, these technologies will only keep up with increasing demand for electricity, as opposed to offsetting fossil fuel generation capacity. In fact, as solar gains in popularity, the IEA projects 8.5 terawatts (TW) of generation capacity additions will be needed to meet demand.

The report highlights a global surge in solar’s popularity. For example, in China, solar is projected to account for 44% of all renewable additions until 2040. India and Japan have even higher projections for solar’s percentage of all renewable additions, at 46% and 53% respectively.

SunPower splits into separate manufacturing and installation groups

On Monday, SunPower announced their plan to split into two separate entities focused on distinct business ventures. “SunPower” will operate as a solar and storage installation company for residential and commercial customers, while “Maxeon Solar” will be a newly formed company focusing exclusively on the manufacturing side of things, and will take control of SunPower’s global photovoltaic factories in Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and France. Maxeon will have an exclusive deal to supply SunPower with solar modules in Canada and the U.S.

The solar industry is “entering a period of extended growth where success will be driven by value chain specialization, technology innovation and economies of scale,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner, who will remain the CEO of the separated SunPower entity. “This new structure and investment will create two focused businesses, each with unique expertise to excel in their part of the value chain.”


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