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Woodside teams with US startup to explore solar thermal technology

Australian oil and gas giant Woodside is partnering with U.S.-based concentrated solar specialist Heliogen to build a 5 MW solar thermal demonstration plant in California. The project will deliver clean energy with nearly 24/7 availability.
Markets & Policy

US solar PPA prices may continue to rise until new supply chains emerge

Prices for power purchase agreements have been rising steadily since the end of last year. According to solar developers, interconnection delays, permitting challenges, and supply chain constraints are likely to keep them high.
Markets & Policy

Lowest shortlisted bid in Saudi third PV tender was $0.0148/kWh

The shortlisted developers are Jinko Power, Total, ACWA Power, Alfanar, and a consortium formed by Masdar and EDF.
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Events

Re-Source 2021 Recap 

Re-Source 2021 took place in Amsterdam at the end of last week, and pv magazine was there to cover the event where the suppliers and sellers of renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) meet the (largely corporate) buyers, though enc...
Energy Storage

Northvolt and Cinis to turn battery waste into sustainable fertilizer

Production waste puts a dent in the perception of sustainability of batteries. Northvolt, however, has partnered with a young Swedish company to make the best use of the battery production waste, and also help to decarbonize the fertilizer industry while...
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Hydrogen

Sunfire secures €109 million investment to accelerate green hydrogen technology growth

The leading industrial electrolyzer maker is planning to expand its alkaline electrolysis business with the construction of a large-scale production site in Germany that will have an annual manufacturing capacity of 500 MW by 2023, with a further extensi...
Markets & Policy

Growing advantage for off-grid storage in grid-tied applications

Swiss-based Studer Innotec is launching a battery inverter which brings the advantages of the off-grid space to grid-tied installations in Europe. In this interview, Pierre-Olivier Moix, chief technology officer and board member at Studer Innotec, explai...
Markets & Policy

Solargiga reports nine-month figures

Shipments and revenue both rose in the first three quarters, for a company which this year announced the painful consequences of winding down its cell manufacturing operation were behind it.

Press Releases

IEG: Ecomondo and Key Energy 2021 focus on green challenges in African and Europe

A driving force for environmental business and an ecological transition accelerator: Ecomondo and Key Energy will run between October 26 to 29. Over four days, top experts from the European Commission, innovators, international and national authorities, the world of science and university, decision makers and investors will offer their insights on the green challenges in African and Europe.

Viridi Parente partners with Garia to bring last mile, low-speed electric utility vehicles to the United States

Viridi Parente, Inc. , a developer of innovative battery technology that can be safely installed and operated in nearly any environment or location, is partnering with Garia Utility, the Denmark-based leader in low-speed utility vehicles, to develop last-mile, low-speed electric utility vehicles for the U.

JinkoSolar selected as main supplier of petrochemical giant Sinopec for green hydrogen production

JinkoSolar Holding Co. , Ltd announced that JinkoSolar and Chinese oil major Sinopec Group have closed a large panel supply deal for green hydrogen projects using solar energy.

BloombergNEF gives LONGi 100% bankability rating among pure-play solar manufacturers

BloombergNEF (BNEF) has published the results of its 2021 PV Module and Inverter Bankability Survey, focusing on the financing capability of global manufacturers.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Nigeria’s solar workforce can help the world to net zero

With a rising chorus of voices calling for more solar industry recruits to perform the energy transition, Nigeria already has a skilled base of PV engineers and, with a little help filling the few gaps they have in their knowledge, the nation can step into the breach immediately, as Testimony Gabe-Oji, chief technology officer for Abuja-based installer Green Energy Spectrum, explains.

The evolution of residential PV in China

China is the largest residential PV market in the world, and this trend is only expected to strengthen in the next few years. By July 2021, China’s cumulative installed residential PV capacity had reached more than 30 GW, with a total of 1.864 million residential units hosting solar PV systems. IHS Markit’s Holly Hu looks behind these impressive numbers.

Time to re-envision the zeppelin: This time as a hydrogen transportation method

The long-distance transportation of hydrogen is a major challenge. However, the total decarbonization of green hydrogen transportation may possible by envisioning hydrogen-filled rigid or frameless airships (blimps) which work on the buoyancy of hydrogen to lift and transport.

Spanish PPAs and the remuneration reduction under RDL 17/2021

The temporary measures enacted by the Spanish government in mid-September to reduce the price of electricity affect many owners of wind and solar power plants on the Spanish mainland to varying degrees.

Solar supply, demand, and a foreign policy shakeup

As the solar market enters the busy season in September and October, module utilization rates are reaching 70% to 85%. However, structural shortages remain in the supply chain, with polysilicon supply running short in the face of high demand, writes PV InfoLink analyst Amy Fang. Prices, which were expected to stabilize, rose again in the second half. High module prices will cast a shadow on demand in the fourth quarter, prompting module manufacturers to postpone delivery for some orders from the second half into next year.

Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of the series, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination of organised solar parks.

Covid-19

Featured

EU raises another €9bn for Covid recovery

The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.

Is it time for the world to start thinking about 1.7C?

A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.

EU to start auctioning green bonds next month

An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.

International group offers $68m loans for struggling off-grid clean energy distributors

‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.

‘The chance to reset with a green recovery has now been lost’

Norwegian consultancy DNV today published the latest of its annual surveys of the state of the energy transition and lamented the fact so very little has been achieved during the last five years. We are forging ahead into a world that will be 2.3C hotter this century, predicts the report.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Reshaping the climate conversation

Inventor, serial entrepreneur, energy analyst and scientist Saul Griffith is set to add the title of “author” to his collection with the October publication of his new book, “Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future.” Griffith – the CEO of Otherlab and the founder of Rewiring America and Rewiring Australia – says that the discussion of rapid decarbonization can be reimagined by thinking about the electric “machines” that can be installed in our homes.

Canadian fund Omers plans to acquire 49% of FRV Australia

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ (FRV) Australian platform includes 637 MW (DC) in projects already operational or under construction, and a pipeline comprising 7 GW of solar projects and 1.3 GWh of battery storage.

The changing landscape of the modular marketplace 

The modular solar marketplace is growing, especially in Australia where remote mining and agricultural sites appreciate the benefits of compact, movable solar. One new entrant is Western Australia’s CDI Energy with its “Rapid Solar Module”, which CDI founder and CEO Darryl Bower told pv magazine is up to 30% cheaper than fixed axis alternatives.

‘UK government should incentivize solar, not heat pumps’

One PV installer in Wales said he has experienced a 1,000% surge in demand for solar panels as rocketing gas prices have forced small energy suppliers in the U.K. to the wall and created uncertainty in households.

AIIB accused of backing Bangladeshi fossil fuels instead of renewables

Despite investing US$605 million in Bangladesh’s energy sector during the last five years, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has reportedly not supported a single renewable energy project, according to experts and environmental activists.

Targeted marketing, better policies could support US low-income solar adoption

A new study shows that U.S. solar installers submit fewer quotes to low-income households, creating a supply-side barrier to solar adoption.

Installations

Featured

Out of landfill, back in the stream

With technological progress, falling costs, and favorable subsidies all incentivizing Australian households to replace serviceable modules and upgrade their rooftop array, a stockpile of useable second-hand modules is mounting. But efforts to embrace reuse rather than refuse are taking shape.

The weekend read: Powerful equation to expand C&I solar

Big rooftop PV systems on factories, warehouses and public buildings need not be limited by ownership issues nor local grid capacity, claims Australian innovator EleXsys Energy. The company is maxing out an Ikea in Adelaide, Australia, with solar and storage. And it claims its smart technology can allow the same to be done elsewhere.

New tracker design for agrivoltaics

Spanish company Axial Structural is introducing a new type of tracker for agrivoltaic installations. The product can be adapted to various ground conditions and gradients, with programmable to optimize light and shade for different crops in different climates.

Greece, Egypt sign MoU to link their power grids

The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a new subsea electricity line connecting their power systems. The power link, if built, could provide a route for African solar energy to reach European markets.

EU Commission suggests renewable energy PPAs can combat skyrocketing energy prices

The situation in the energy markets is tense. Following national pushes for action, the European Commission has now announced its set of recommendations to combat rocketing energy prices.

PVH supplies trackers to 300 MW PV project in Saudi Arabia

PV Hardware (PVH) is supplying its PV trackers to China Energy Engineering Group (CEEC) for a 300 MW PV project in Rabigh, Mecca.

Technology

Featured

A messy perovskite separation

There are increasing signs that a new era for PV production in Europe may be dawning. However, two pioneers of PV technology have decided, at this moment, to part ways. And while at present there are more questions than answers, technology and business strategy both appear to have played a role.

Drones, software key for intelligent PV plant monitoring

Mobile test equipment is a must for fault detection and performance monitoring of large-scale PV installations. The Australian PV Institute has contributed to an international review of available aerial and portable ground-based technologies, and how to deploy them for reliable, relatable results.

The Hydrogen Stream: $12 million financing for large-scale LH2 tank, new strategy for Australia’s NSW

Among other announcements, the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded financing to a consortium of public, private, and academic experts to demonstrate a large-scale liquid hydrogen LH2 tank, a new hydrogen strategy has been unveiled by Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state government, and Repsol and EDP have teamed up to assess new investment opportunities in renewable hydrogen projects across the Iberian Peninsula.

Strong potential for inorganic perovskites

Scientists in the United States have developed a method to compare the performance and number of defects in different perovskite cell materials. Based on simulations and work with prototype materials, the group finds that all-inorganic materials have higher potential efficiency than their more widely researched organic-inorganic counterparts.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Shuangliang signs billion-dollar wafer contract

This week, Shuangliang Eco-Energy has signed a multi-year sales contract for delivery of its PV wafers to solar cell manufacturer Jiangsu Runergy, and Wuxi-based perovskite start-up UtmoLight Technology has won a Pre-A round investment of RMB 220 million from several private equity funds.

On the trail of a cause for solar cell LID

Scientists in the United States used sophisticated imaging to delve deep into the structure of a silicon solar cell, revealing for the first time a distinct defect signature for light-induced degradation. Their technique could be used to better understand the mechanisms behind multiple various defects affecting the performance of silicon and other solar cell technologies.

Manufacturing

Featured

What’s next for polysilicon?

The past 12 months have proved profitable for polysilicon manufacturers, as selling prices have soared to levels not seen since 2011. However, with major new capacity expansions on the horizon from most of the leading manufacturers, and new players planning to enter the scene, the market balance looks set to shift. Exawatt’s Alex Barrows rounds up where the industry stands and what might happen next.

Swiss Solar announces new European PV module factory

Swiss Solar AG has started construction on a new PV manufacturing facility in Europe. It has already invested CHF 50 million (around €47 million) in the project. 

Atess Power launches new hybrid PV inverter for commercial applications

Chinese PV inverter manufacturer Atess Power has launched a new hybrid inverter for commercial solar power plants, featuring an efficiency of ≥96% and supporting up to 600kW system capacity.

JinkoSolar sets new record for n-type solar cell efficiency

Manufacturing giant JinkoSolar has set another world record for n-type solar cell efficiencies with its TOPCon technology, this time pushing to 25.4%. The new world record was confirmed by JET laboratories in Japan, and surpasses JinkoSolar’s previous record of 25.25% set back in May.

VSun unveils new half-cut monocrystalline PERC PV module

The Vietnamese solar manufacturer presented its new half-cut monocrystalline PERC PV module at last week’s Intersolar Europe. It features an efficiency of 21.38% efficiency and maximum power output of 605 W.

Reliance Industries to invest $29 million in Nexwafe

Reliance New Energy Solar, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, which is planning a huge manufacturing venture in Gujarat, India, has led a series C financing round in German wafer manufacturer NexWafe with an investment of EUR 25 million ($29 million). This marks the third major investment in renewables announced by the Indian multinational this week.

Energy Storage

Featured

Moorabool burning

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on July 30, 150 firefighters responded to a fire at Neoen’s 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery in Moorabool, which is due for completion this year. The fire crews arrived to a 13-ton lithium battery ablaze in a shipping container, and the fire wasn’t brought under control until three days later, on the afternoon of Aug. 2. With a widescale investigation now underway, pv magazine asks how such failures can be prevented, and whether we should be better prepared for the inevitability of battery failure.

SECI invites proposals for 1 GWh of battery energy storage systems

Solar Energy Corp. of India has released draft guidelines for a tender to set up standalone battery energy storage systems in India.

What energy storage can learn from solar’s import woes

If a U.S. customs enforcement action were to take place, importers would need to prove that no forced labor was used at any stage of production, including all the way back to the mine.

Observing silicon anodes in action

Scientists in the United States working with silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries have managed to model key mechanisms that lead to fast developing performance loss in the anodes. Understanding what causes the silicon to swell up and subsequently fall apart, the scientists say, is an important step to preventing it, and producing long lasting, high-capacity batteries.

Fortescue Future Industries to build 2 GW hydrogen electrolyser plant in Australia’s Central Queensland

From iron ore magnate to renewable energy mogul, Dr. Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest intends to produce everything he needs to turn the world away from fossil fuels to green hydrogen. The latest? A renewable energy infrastructure manufacturing facility in Aldoga, near Gladstone in Central Queensland.

Iron flow battery tech shows promise for mid-duration energy storage

The ESS battery systems have a prescribed design life of 25 years, but the battery modules, electrolyte, plumbing, and other components may well last for decades longer with proper maintenance.