You picked ’em: Our most popular articles of 2020


It was the year that nobody could have expected and yet it was still a year of dynamic growth and change across all of the clean energy sector.

More than a few articles at pv magazine caught fire and captured the imagination of you, our readers.

Here are the most widely read and shared articles of 2020.

How the new generation of 500 watt panels will shape the solar industry: The biggest story pre-pandemic. Remember when 2020 began with the unveiling of three models of 500-watt solar panels? As significant as these modules are, their announcement also helped to spur a larger conversation over the apparent “arms race” for large panel manufacturing and whether or not bigger truly is better.

Investors bet $27.5 million that Nanotech Energy’s graphene battery breakthrough is the real thing: Eric Wesoff spoke with Jack Kavanaugh, CEO of startup Nanotech Energy, to offer readers insight into the company’s $227.5 million valuation, plans for environmentally friendly lithium battery that can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market”, and the company’s claims of being “the world’s top supplier of graphene.”

Forget toilet paper, Australians are panic-buying PV: For the first time, an article first published for pv magazine Australia made the end-of-year list, this one courtesy of colleague Blake Matich. For the non-TP take on panic-buying, Blake spoke with Elliot Hayes, co-founder of New South Wales’ Smart Energy. He described a 41% increase in sales and a 400% increase in battery inquiries over the first two weeks of Australia’s Covid outbreak. The two talked about the challenge of expanding a business in the pandemic, the peace of mind that self-generation can bring and PV system payback periods.

Twin Tesla stories dominated readership in 2020: One of them was a look at some of the first Tesla solar roof tile installations in the U.S., more than three years after the product’s introduction. The article included a detailed look at some of the first solar roof installations, including this customer video.

And, Eric Wesoff also took a critical look at the company’s claim of “introducing the lowest-ever cost to go solar.” He spoke with one installer who described Tesla’s purchase and installation process as “ludicrous and full of pitfalls for consumers.”

The future of cars is electric – but how soon is this future? Rounding out the top stories of 2020, I dove into a Bloomberg New Energy Finance claim that 58% of global passenger vehicle sales in 2040 will come from electric vehicles, yet will still make up less than 33% of all cars on the road.

Great topics that sparked equally great readership! Thanks for your loyalty in 2020!

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