Following a disappointing COP27 climate change summit in November, solar industry veteran Philip Wolfe reviews the contribution utility-scale PV is starting to make to emissions reduction.
Ambitious targets for solar energy generation present challenges to an industry keen to explore new avenues for solar production. Neil Spann, chief executive of UK thin film solar manufacturer Power Roll, describes a commercial solution to the problems of over reliance on silicon solar modules.
Three import deals signed by the EU at Sharm El Sheikh during this month’s COP27 summit show the European Union is serious about harnessing green hydrogen for its heavy industry, and about distributing the fruits of the energy transition on an equitable basis.
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.
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.
EUPD Research said that Germany’s residential storage market more than doubled year on year in 2022. It noted that BYD has surpassed Sonnen to become the leading battery supplier.
Japanese researchers claim that tin sulfide solar cells could achieve higher open-circuit voltages by preventing “Fermi level pinning” from occurring, due to the addition of a tin sulfide interface with large band bending.
A UK research group has proposed the combination of solar-powered heat pumps and thermal storage based on phase-change materials for residential applications. They said such a system could facilitate cost savings of up to 39%.
Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) researchers have developed a new framework to compensate energy storage as a dual-use asset.
The Romanian government has decided to make it easier to connect rooftop PV systems to the grid. The new rules, which will go into force soon, could spur the development of solar arrays under the country’s net metering regime.
Canadian researchers have developed a new model to improve the performance of building-integrated PV (BIPV) shades in buildings. They considered solar electricity, heat transferred through windows, and interior daylighting quality.
The Australian PV Institute (APVI) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have launched a free version of SunSPOT, a tool for tailored guidance on ideal solar and battery setups.
Enphase CEO Badri Kothandaraman has said that the company will build four to six new manufacturing lines in the United States.
The Tokyo municipal authorities are working on new regulations to make solar installations mandatory for new homes with total rooftop areas of more than 20 square meters, and for buildings with rooftops smaller than 2,000 square meters.
Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), a utility in Montenegro, said that it has received about 14,000 requests to secure rebates covering up to 20% of rooftop PV system costs. The program is designed to facilitate the deployment of 70 MW of solar capacity.
Acciona Energia is setting up its first V2G network in Spain, ADS-TEC has unveiled a battery-based, all-in-one system with up to 300 kW of charging power, and Volkswagen is looking for a location for its first battery cell factory in North America.
US researchers have developed a new way to design solar thermophotovoltaics (STPV) with a lower efficiency deficit. They claim that the power generation tech could approach the Landsberg limit.
Researchers in South Korea have found that molybdenum ditelluride could increase carrier generation in perovskite solar cells. They simulated a cell with a perovskite absorber and a layer made of the new material, and determined that its efficiency could exceed 20%.
Scientists at the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) have set up a database of 31,618 molecules that could potentially be used in future redox flow batteries. They used artificial intelligence and supercomputers to identify the properties of the molecules.
Panasonic claims that its new vehicle-to-home system can increase the self-consumption rate of residential solar and storage capacity to 90%.
REC says it has dropped its plans to set up a factory in France due to “various market changes.” It wanted to invest €680 million ($716 million) to produce heterojunction solar modules in the town of Hambach.
Australia’s Clean Energy Council and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright have published a white paper arguing that the country’s renewable energy supply chains could “benefit significantly” from a concerted effort to address forced labor.
SND has announced plans to build a new factory in Gwangju, South Korea. It will also produce panels with an unspecified tandem technology. It plans to open the factory in 2025.
A new US government ruling is a mistake that the solar industry will have to deal with for the next several years, according to a solar trade group CEO.
Mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is the founder and executive chair of Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group. The company has announced an ambitious $6.2 billion decarbonization strategy and its Fortescue Future Industries subsidiary has rapidly become a global player in green hydrogen, along with a host of other energy transition technologies. Whether it is pushing to decarbonize mining, hashing out headline-making green energy deals, or using the popular “Rick and Morty” cartoon to educate people about the potential of green hydrogen, Fortescue and its shining magnate are talking the talk. But can they walk the walk? Blake Matich reports.
Airbus sees hydrogen-powered fuel cell engines as a potential solution for its zero-emissions aircraft, which will go service by 2035. Meanwhile, Honda, meanwhile, has announced plans to produce fuel cell electric vehicles in the United States from 2024.
DMEGC has revealed plans to build a 20 GW solar cell factory in Sichuan province, while Daqo said it has secured long-term polysilicon supply agreements with Longi and another undisclosed Chinese company.
The Romanian government has allocated EUR 103.5 million ($108.6 million) to support investments in battery energy storage systems and deliver at least 240 MW/480 MWh by 2025.
Woodside Energy has secured an agreement with the traditional owners of land on which it plans to build the first 50 MW stage of a potential 500 MW solar power plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Leeward Renewable Energy has switched on the 100 MW Rabbitbrush solar array in California. It includes a 20 MW/50 MWh battery energy storage system and will sell electricity to two community-owned electricity suppliers under a 15-year power purchase agreement.
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