The PV sector has significant implications for the economy, society and the environment. Positive impacts show that PV is a key contributor on the path to sustainability, and that highlighting these benefits could raise social and political acceptance in the transition to sustainable energy.
With installers who cater to African businesses making the headlines this year, Jasper Graf von Hardenberg – whose C&I solar business was recently bought by Shell – explains here how the story of the continent’s commercial and industrial (C&I) solar segment was far from an overnight success.
As part of Aurora Solar’s Empower 2022 online solar summit, Bernadette Del Chiaro, from the California Solar & Storage Association, will moderate a talk about electric utilities and how they have abused their monopoly position to discriminate against solar in the US. Here, she gives pv magazine a taste of the presentation.
With the last incumbent to enter and leave the revolving door of UK prime ministers having caused alarm by reportedly preparing plans to effectively ban big solar on farmland, Harald Överholm, CEO of clean energy company Alight, says politicians need to put discredited arguments behind them and get on with the urgent business of shoring up energy security.
When choosing a solar power plant, individuals and businesses pay the most attention to its power – after all, this will determine how much electricity will be produced. Other equipment, systems and sensors that allow monitoring and analysis of the operation of the power plant are often underestimated. But they shouldn’t be: the solar power plant will be used for several decades, so various failures and poor-quality monitoring can have a significant impact on the efficiency of electricity production.
The off-grid solar sector has shown resilience in the face of pandemic-related challenges, with 70 million people gaining access to electricity from early 2020 to the end of 2021. However, the ability to pay for solar energy kits has taken a hit.
The African Development Bank has announced that European and US donors will provide $20 million of concessional loans to support pay-as-you-go solar companies in sub-Saharan Africa.
The International Renewable Energy Agency’s latest annual report on the progress towards UN sustainable development goal seven estimates 670 million people will still lack electricity in 2030, and more than 2 billion will be reliant on unhealthy, polluting cooking methods.
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.
The rising popularity of “baseload” power purchase agreements (PPAs) has posed questions to solar electricity suppliers in the German market. How can projects that do not generate at night, and with wide seasonal output variation, effectively supply constant power to consumers? More importantly, who shoulders the price risk?
Rolls-Royce has agreed to install a 30 MW/60 MWh storage system based on nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries in the Netherlands. It will be the country’s largest energy storage system upon completion in spring 2023. It will provide grid frequency regulation services to the Dutch grid.
Longi has lowered the prices of all wafers, and JA Solar has unveiled plans to build a new 10 GW factory. PV InfoLink, meanwhile, says polysilicon prices are clearly starting to fall.
The Polish government will raise subsidy levels for rooftop PV and storage systems from December under its Mój Prąd scheme. The rebate for solar will increase from PLN 4,000 ($888) to PLN 6,000 and will more than double from PLN 7,500 to PLN 16,000 for storage.
Solar has dominated the 2022 round of the SDE++ program for large-scale renewable energy projects in the Netherlands, accounting for around 90% of all pre-assigned capacity. About 2,269 MW of PV project proposals have been accepted.
A Saudi Arabian startup has developed a modular solar panel for agrivoltaic applications. It is specifically designed for locations with high solar radiation levels and protects plants and crops from excess sunlight.
GP Joule and Trina Solar have finished building a 170 MW solar project on a former lignite opencast mine in Brandenburg, Germany.
Omani researchers have compared the performance of PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) in terms of energy generation intensity and the effective use of land at low latitudes near the Tropic of Cancer. They described nine project typologies and ranked them with three different simulation tools.
Scientists in the Netherlands have looked at how TOPCon IBC solar cells could help to reduce the impact of shading on solar modules.
Greenleap Robotics has built the Lotus A4000 cleaning robot with automotive-grade components to serve as a reliable way to clean solar panels in arid regions.
A group of German companies plans to set up a 500 MW electrolyzer for a 1 GW green hydrogen project in the North Sea. US scientists, meanwhile, have engineered a light-activated nanomaterial to convert ammonia into hydrogen, and Canadian researchers have unveiled a new way to structure catalysts for fuel cells.
Chinese researchers have modeled the impacts of clouds and aerosols on PV potential in southern China and northern India, which are similar in terms of latitude and elevation. They found that China offers lower PV potential due to a higher cloud effect.
The Chinese manufacturer said its new modular product has a storage capacity of 2.5 kWh and a nominal voltage of 48 V. It can be flexibly scaled up in a four-device configuration to 10 kWh.
A research group led by Professor Martin Green has published Version 61 of the solar cell efficiency tables. The tables include a world record for a silicon heterojunction cell, announced by Longi earlier this week, as well as five more new results.
Japan-based Marubeni and Sompo Japan have partnered to provide defect warranties for second-life PV modules. Marubeni will verify the traceability and authenticity of information on the panels using blockchain technology.
Freight costs fell for the 39th straight week to account for roughly 4% of solar module costs – close to pre-pandemic levels. PV consultant Asier Ukar tells pv magazine that this trend will likely continue over the short term.
Luxor Solar has developed a south-oriented system for high snow loads in Japan. It features its own heterojunction solar modules, along with mounting systems from Germany’s Next2Sun and inverters from Japan’s Omron.
Germany-based Bauer Solar has launched a bifacial glass-glass module series with an output of 420 W to 430 W. The new series has 108 monocrystalline n-type half cells and an efficiency of 21.51% to 22.02%.
China’s Solarspace has inaugurated the first stage of a 16 GW n-type TOPCon solar cell manufacturing facility. The facility will also start producing high-efficiency TOPCon solar modules at the beginning of 2023.
South Korea-based Qcells and a research group led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have established a pilot manufacturing line for silicon-perovskite tandem cells in Thalheim, Germany. The project aims to speed up the technology’s mass manufacturing and market penetration.
Neoen has signed a grid-connection agreement with ElectraNet for the first stage of its AUD 3 billion ($2 billion) Goyder South project in Australia, paving the way for future wind, solar and battery storage opportunities at the site.
The developers behind a proposed AUD 5.5 billion ($3.7 billion) pumped hydro renewable energy project in Australia have announced a new partnership to pair 4.5 GW of long-duration energy storage with new renewables capacity and green hydrogen production.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started contacting about 5,000 households as part of an updated recall of solar batteries, mainly due to fire concerns.
AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group has energized its first hybrid storage system based on lithium-ion batteries and vanadium redox flow batteries in Germany. The system reportedly combines the advantages and electrochemical properties of both storage technologies.
Toshiba and Marubeni have revealed plans to build commercial projects based on thermal storage technology using rocks. They have set up a demonstrator with 100 kWh of storage capacity and a relatively high heat storage density.
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