Live coverage from pv magazine Roundtables Europe 2022!
The throes of a lithium shortage are increasingly upending long-term supply strategies and stoking demand for alternative technologies for stationary energy storage projects. Once seen as synonymous with renewable batteries, stationary Li-ion faces strong headwinds due to rapidly accelerating demand from the automotive sector as EVs capture the mainstream.
The solar supply chain problems that began last year with high prices and polysilicon shortages are persisting into 2022. But we are already seeing a stark difference from earlier predictions that prices would decline gradually each quarter this year. PV Infolink’s Alan Tu probes the solar market situation and offers insights.
As we closed out the first quarter of 2022, the energy storage industry continued to show stunning growth. When scrolling through the news, reading studies, and attending events, one can’t help but notice how critical battery energy storage is to a myriad of markets and industries. As innovative technologies emerge at a breakneck pace, they reveal three key trends in both market priorities and the sector’s current and future direction.
Vitaliy Daviy is the CEO of emerging markets focussed cleantech organization IB Centre Inc. and holds an optimistic view of Ukraine’s sector after the war. According to him, the country has the keys to energy independence and security.
On Feb. 10 in Belfort, President Emanuel Macron announced his vision for the French global energy industry to 2050. He reaffirmed France’s desire to massively develop renewable energies as intermittent sources on top of the baseload provided by the nuclear industry whose revitalization has already made headlines since. Macron claimed they are “the only means to meet [our immediate energy needs] in a profitable and competitive way”. By 2050, the capacity of the French solar park should be multiplied by more than 10 to exceed 100GWp, while the onshore wind capacity could double to reach 37GW. Offshore wind power should also experience a real take-off as France aims to develop and build 40GW over the same period.
It should come as no surprise that clean energy spending is a big chunk of Warsaw’s four-year EU grant and loans package, given that the nation’s grid-connected solar capacity rose from 3.99 GW at the end of 2020 to 6.3 GW four months ago, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The clean power numbers published annually by the International Renewable Energy Agency provide a snapshot of the global solar market and, this year, a lot of figures were unchanged from the previous dataset, especially in the off-grid segment.
Covid-19 has left Shunfeng International’s accountants unable to publish its official 2021 numbers on time, but its estimated figures announced a net current liability of almost $155 million and a “capital deficiency” of near $140 million.
Polysilicon maker Xinte is forging ahead with a huge expansion strategy just as solar developers at the opposite end of the industry continue to bleed cash.
Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.
Spain recorded a 50% decrease in solar radiation in March – the biggest decline since the beginning of satellite records in 1994. By contrast, irradiation levels in Germany and the Balkans were 45% higher during the same period.
The Regional Court of Apulia in Italy has ruled that the regional authorities must not deny permits to solar projects on agricultural land without considering how they combine electricity generation with crop cultivation and the raising of livestock. pv magazine spoke to Emilio Sani from law firm Sani Zangrando about the ruling’s potential consequences.
Japanese scientists have analyzed storage systems that combine PV and high-energy-density metal batteries. The rechargeable batteries have advantages such as low-charge voltage and high energy density, but stability and safety must be addressed before they reach commercial maturity.
Municipal, regional and national authorities in France often have different views on permits for the deployment of solar. Marie Buchet, head of solar power at Syndicat des énergies renouvelables, spoke to pv magazine about four case studies. She said one-stop shops to unify all authorization processes could be the solution, as suggested by the European Union.
Approvals and planning procedures for solar parks are a major bottleneck for the energy transition. pv magazine recently spoke with a project developer about constraints and opportunities in Germany, ahead of the pv magazine Roundtables on June 28.
China’s DMEGC has released new solar panels with power conversion efficiencies of up to 20.91% and temperature coefficients of -0.33% per degree Celsius. They can be used with maximum system voltages of 1,000 W or 1,500 W.
The main winner of the first renewables auction in the Philippines was developer Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC), which secured five solar projects, or 1.35 GW of capacity.
The Iranian authorities will choose development proposals from domestic and foreign investors for solar projects ranging from 10 MW to 250 MW in size. The selected developers will be awarded 20-year power purchase agreements at a fixed tariff.
Norwegian scientists have tested a new floating PV system concept at a water reservoir in Sri Lanka. The system is made of composite beams to support the solar panels and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes to provide buoyancy.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is overseeing bids from prospective contractors to supply, install and commission solar cold storage capacity in Senegal, Sudan, and Seychelles. Bidding is also open for two 2 MT systems in Djibouti.
French researchers have developed PV modules with an area of 11.6 square centimeters for indoor applications. They said the achieved efficiency level marks a world record for a flexible perovskite device larger than 10 square centimeters.
Viritech and Pininfarina have announced plans to put a hydrogen-fueled car into limited production in 2023, while H2 Clipper said it aims to finish a prototype of its hydrogen-powered airship by 2025.
An international research group has assessed the potential of down-conversion materials to overcome the poor blue response of solar cells. They analyzed how such materials could be used to improve the performance of perovskite-based devices and found that certain advances might be achieved.
Germany’s Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin has confirmed that Longi’s new n-type heterojunction solar cell has achieved a power conversion efficiency of 26.5%.
Princeton University researchers have developed a new way to accelerate solar cell longevity testing.
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) wants to produce silicon metal to create an integrated supply chain for the PV industry in the United Arab Emirates.
Average polysilicon prices ranged from CNY 273 ($40.82)/kg to CNY 280/kg this week, according to an industry association in China.
Australian renewables startup Okra Solar has raised $3 million to scale up distribution of its solar-based hardware and software solutions. It aims to electrify more than 290,000 off-grid homes in Nigeria over the next three years, while also expanding its operations in countries such as Haiti.
National Grid Renewables and First Solar have partnered on multiple projects in the past, including the 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois and the 275 MW Noble Solar and 125 MWh Storage Project in Texas.
Scientists in South Korea have combined PV generation with vegetable farming and have found that solar array shading provides favorable results for crops such as broccoli and cabbage.
Sun Cable’s massive AUD 30 billion ($20.7 billion) Australia-Asia PowerLink project has passed another major milestone by obtaining approval from Infrastructure Australia.
The European Investment Bank says a new €10 million ($10.5 million) loan will offer electricity access to almost 650,000 people in Benin.
Toshiba is cooperating with Swedish battery specialist Echandia to develop pure hydrogen fuel cells that could be used for continuous operation in marine applications.
In two remote regions of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, PV-powered microgrids bring electricity to a university and an agricultural ranch, neither of which are well served by the regional grid. The microgrids make use of lithium-ion batteries supplied by Growatt, alongside modules from local manufacturer SolarEver. The projects serve as an example of how products like Growatt’s off-grid inverters and energy storage solutions can bring reliable solar power to regions with limited energy access.
India’s Hinduja Group has invested GBP 15 million ($18.4 million) with four other investors in Connected Energy, a developer of energy storage systems based on second-life electric vehicle batteries.
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