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Agrivoltaics to reduce water evaporation

Chinese scientists assessed water evaporation on plots of land covered by two different kinds of agrivoltaic arrays and managed to significantly reduce evaporation in both cases. They looked at the relationship between cumulative surface evaporation and evaporation time.
Installations

Novel method to calculate variations in temperature coefficients of solar modules

Brazilian scientists have assessed variations in temperature coefficients in solar modules to determine whether there is a relationship between the dependence of these coefficients and irradiance. They claim their work could be used to improve PV module ...
Installations

EDPR Sunseap testing solar floaters made of recycled plastic

PlasticBean, a manufacturer of recycled plastic pellets, has agreed to work with EDPR Sunseap to use 100% recycled plastic in floating PV solar projects in Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea.
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Markets & Policy

Germany installed 706.5 MW of solar in October

Germany added 6.1 GW of new PV systems in the first 10 months of 2022.
Markets & Policy

ACWA Power to deploy 1 GW of solar in Bangladesh

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power is now seeking land to build 1 GW of solar projects in Bangladesh. It is negotiating power prices with the Bangladesh Power Development Board.
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Manufacturing

Hevel Solar unveils 450 W heterojunction solar panel with M6 cells

Russia's Hevel Solar said its new modules are based on 166 mm x 166 mm half-cut cells. They reportedly have a bifaciality factor of 90% and a temperature coefficient of -0.26% per degree Celsius.
Energy Storage

Brazil’s first large-scale battery goes online

Grid operator ISA CTEEP has started commercially operating a large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) at the Registro substation in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo. The 30 MW/60 MWh BESS is expected to provide backup power to the grid during hou...
Energy Storage

Amea Power to add storage to 70 MW of solar in Togo

Dubai-based Amea Power will expand the Mohammed Bin Zayed solar plant in Togo from 50 MW to 70 MW, making it West Africa’s largest project. It will also add a 4 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

Press Releases

Meyer Burger receives award for solar roof tiles and announces first sales partner

As part of the pilot phase of its solar roof tile, Meyer Burger Technology AG announced its first distribution partner from the roofing trade: With immediate effect, Dachdecker-Einkauf Süd eG (DE Süd), one of the market-leading specialist roofing distributors in Germany, is to supervise the first pilot projects and implement these together with their customers from the roofing sector.

LONGi supplies modules for PV system at Toyota plant in Mexico

LONGi has announced it has supplied 499kW of Hi-MO 5m modules for a Toyota manufacturing plant in Mexico, via local companies CIGSA, CEBSA and SIES Bajío.

FuturaSun joins the IBC4EU project

IBC4EU, EU’s new project under the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Funding Programme, is kicking off. This new project gathers 21 partners from the photovoltaic sector to develop bifacial cells and modules based on the interdigitated back contact (IBC) technology and create a sustainable, cost-effective process.

Midsummer signs four new LOI’s for the delivery of an additional 224 MW of solar panels

Swedish solar energy leader Midsummer has signed new letters of intent (LOI) with four Swedish and international roof material producers, house manufacturers and solar cell installers for the pre-sale of 224 MW of solar panels. That brings the number of offtake agreements to ten in November for an accumulative 331 MW of solar panels.

Opinion & Analysis

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Big solar already pulling its weight on emission reduction – especially in Chile

Following a disappointing COP27 climate change summit last month, solar industry veteran Philip Wolfe reviews the contribution utility scale PV is starting to make to emissions reduction.

Perovskites and microgrooves can revolutionize solar

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.

COP27 was a crucial step forward for hydrogen – here’s why

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.

Roadmap to increase solar acceptance

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.

Tipping point for African C&I solar

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.

It’s time to combat utility opposition to solar

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.

Covid-19

African PAYG solar companies have hogged 72% of sector’s investment

The first post-pandemic update on the state of the world's off-grid solar industry has painted a picture of domination by European companies, but highlighted the potential for new startups in West Africa and an increasing use of PV as a backup to unreliable grid supplies.

Off-grid solar continues to expand

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.

AfDB announces cheap loans to back off-grid solar in Africa

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.

Irena gives latest update on stark chances of electricity access for all by 2030

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.

Poland prioritizes renewables in pandemic-recovery plans

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.

Irena fleshes out chilling effect of Covid on off-grid solar

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.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Asia takes the lead on floating PV

Floating PV is consolidating as a growth segment for PV demand, mainly driven by supportive policies and incentives extended by governments across the world. A major reason for this push is the limited land availability in many markets. Despite higher equipment prices compared to ground-mounted installations, developers see the opportunity to save on land and O&M costs. The output can also be as much as 30% higher than a ground-mount PV plant, depending on the site and technology used.

California to cut solar net-metering payments by 75%

A vote is expected mid-December on a regulatory change that could severely dampen the value of new residential rooftop solar installations in California.

India installed 11.2 GW of solar in January-September period

India added 9.3 GW of utility-scale solar in the first nine months of 2022, as well as 1.3 GW of rooftop capacity and 600 MW of offgrid PV projects.

Solar panels with discarded ‘black gold’ from wafer production

A European consortium is trying to reuse discarded silicon powder from ingot and wafer manufacturing in several industrial applications, including PV production. The group is now identifying ways to decontaminate such materials.

Itochu to start recycling solar modules

Japan’s Itochu has announced a new tie-up with France’s Rosi Solar, which develops tech to recover and recycle high-purity silver, copper and silicon from solar modules.

Italy hits 959 MW/1,826 MWh of distributed storage capacity

Italy added 303 MW/632 MWh of distributed energy storage capacity in the first nine months of 2022. The segment continues to grow in the country, led by the regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

Installations

Featured

Australia builds big

While the first half of 2022 was one of the busiest periods on record for new wind projects in Australia, with more than 2 GW breaking ground, solar got off to a much slower start with construction on 635 MW of new PV projects getting underway. Rystad Energy’s David Dixon attributes this slowdown to high cost and supply chain challenges and a lack of available power purchase agreements.

Poweron presents new hybrid inverters for residential solar applications

India’s Poweron has developed wall-mount hybrid solar inverters with nominal power ratings of 3.68 kW, 4.6 kW, and 5 kW. They are compatible with lead-acid and Li-ion batteries.

Luminescent solar concentrators for agrivoltaics, greenhouses

Moroccan researchers have proposed the use of luminescent solar concentrators for power generation in greenhouses and agrivoltaic projects. They say they are capable of producing electricity in low-light illumination and converting ultraviolet light to visible light that could be used for crops.

Bslbatt unveils 90-mm-thick battery for residential solar

China’s Bslbatt said its new product has a storage capacity of 5 kWh and a nominal voltage of 51.2 V. It measures 670 mm x 540 mm x 88 mm and is 90 mm thick.

Rooftop system with PV panels, mini wind turbines in the Netherlands

Ibis Power has developed a rooftop system that combines solar with wind turbines designed for medium-sized structures and high-rise buildings. It claims its PowerNEST system can produce six to 10 times more energy than standalone rooftop solar. The company has already installed five projects in the Netherlands.

China’s PV capacity hits 364.4 GW

IEA-PVPS says that China added around 58 GW of new PV capacity in the first 10 months of the year, bringing cumulative installations to 364.44 GW. It says up to 100 GW of new capacity could be deployed by the end of this year.

Technology

Featured

Copper is the new silver lining

As the PV industry scales to annual terawatt-level production to rapidly curtail the world’s emissions, it will become more challenging to continue the cost reduction trajectory. Increasing module production from current levels of 200 GW to 300 GW to several terawatts each year will consume significantly more material resources than the industry currently uses. This will require consideration of the additional materials to be sourced, writes Alison Lennon, chief scientist at Sundrive Solar and professor at the UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

Brick-and-iron heat battery for zero-carbon industrial processes

Bill Gates-backed Rondo Energy has released the “brick toaster” heat battery, which stores renewable energy and dispatches heat and electricity for steel, cement, and chemical production.

Mitsubishi unveils air source heat pump

Mitsubishi has released a cascaded air source heat pump that can produce between 7.8 kW and 640 kW of heat. It is reportedly able to generate hot water at a temperature of up to 70 C without boost heaters.

Kaco unveils string inverters for rooftop solar arrays

Kaco has launched a new line of blueplanet NX3 three-phase string inverters for applications ranging from small residential rooftop arrays to projects on commercial buildings. They have outputs between 3 kW and 33 kW, a maximum efficiency of 98.0%, and a maximum European efficiency of 97.6%.

The Hydrogen Stream: Green hydrogen via ammonia decomposition

South Korean scientists have developed a highly selective palladium composite membrane on porous metal supports to cut the ammonia content of the permeated hydrogen stream. Dutch researchers, meanwhile, have presented two alternatives to this strategy – increasing the thickness of the membrane selective layer, or using a purification unit in the permeate of the membranes.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: TCL Zhonghuan cuts wafer prices by more than 4%

TCL Zhonghuan has announced wafer price cuts, Shenzhen Energy unveiled a plan to build a 2 GW solar-storage project, and the Chinese authorities have announced measures to expedite grid connections for new solar and wind plants.

Manufacturing

Featured

Catalyst for an EU comeback

Plans for Europe’s largest-ever PV cell and module factory are taking shape, with equipment orders placed and a projected start date in mid-2024. Enel Green Power has received €118 million ($116.36 million) in funding from the EU Innovation Fund to support the project, out of a total €600 million investment. The EU is hoping it will catalyze further investment in similar projects, and start a high-tech comeback for European solar manufacturing.

New manufacturing process for high-quality mono cast ingots

Chinese scientists have made mono cast silicon ingots with high purity and low manufacturing costs. The new method will help industrial casting manufacturers to improve the cost performance of casting ingots.

Soltec, Enel to build new solar tracker factory in Spain

Enel and Soltec have revealed plans to open a new factory on the grounds of a former thermal power plant owned by Enel’s Endesa unit in Teruel, Spain.

PV shade screens for greenhouses, agrivoltaics

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.

Low-breakdown-voltage TOPCon IBC solar cells to improve shading tolerance

Scientists in the Netherlands have looked at how TOPCon IBC solar cells could help to reduce the impact of shading on solar modules.

Freight costs edge toward 4% of solar module costs, near pre-pandemic levels

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.

Energy Storage

Featured

Cobalt clings on

Cobalt is key for boosting energy density and battery life, but it comes with caveats: expensive, scarce, and linked to unethical mining practices, wild price fluctuations, and a tenuous supply chain. In recent years, battery manufacturers and automakers have intensified efforts to reduce or eliminate cobalt in lithium-ion cathodes. But sometimes, old habits die hard, as pv magazine’s Marija Maisch explains.

Gravitricity launches gravity energy storage pilot in India

UK-based Gravitricity plans to set up a pilot demonstration project for its gravity energy storage systems in India.

Australia’s newest big battery hits construction milestone

Hitachi Energy is delivering the 35 MVA Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System in Australia’s Northern Territory. Now that civil and building works have been completed at the $30.2 million big battery site, the company will deploy tech to provide virtual inertia and system strength services to the grid.

Portuguese company to build 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility in California

A proposed 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility in California could mark the start of Fusion Fuel’s green hydrogen vision for the United States.

Tesla, Harmony Energy switch on 98 MW/196 MWh storage project in UK

Tesla and Harmony Energy have connected a 98 MW/196 MWh storage project to the grid in Hull, England. The Pillswood battery energy storage system (BESS) features Tesla’s Megapack solution.

Australian startup to fast-track gravity energy storage system

Australian renewable energy startup Green Gravity plans to accelerate the commercialization of its gravitational energy storage technology – which aims to generate clean, dispatchable energy by lowering weights down old mine shafts – after signing an agreement with global professional services company GHD.

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