Solar is wrongly perceived by some people to be an area-intensive energy generation technology requiring much more space than conventional fossil-fuel power plants.
Clean Energy Associates (CEA) has calculated the price premium that solar developers will swallow in return for the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) savings offered by the latest generation of high-efficiency PV panels.
Saudi Arabia aims to add 10 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2027, with solar to account for the lion’s share. The Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) describes the main market drivers that could make this target achievable.
PV deployment is gathering pace in the EU member state but grid capacity shortfalls and unpredictable shifts in government policy need to be addressed if the nation is to harness its full solar – and European energy security – potential.
Despite the ever-growing number of nations committing to attaining a net-zero economy, there appears little prospect yet of a future free of fossil fuels, as Roger Lewis, an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) expert at Downing LLP explains.
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.
With comparisons with a Covid-hit 2020 inevitably offering a string of positive numbers, there was also little to concern the board of the inverter and battery manufacturer from the returns generated in the last quarter.
The input costs of the two biggest contributors to solar plant development expense have gone through the roof since the world began to come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, to leave project developers with some difficult choices.
The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition’s employment benefits are to be shared equally.
Residential rooftop solar supplied a record 14% of Australia’s electricity this summer – contributing more than brown coal and more than large-scale wind farms and solar projects.
Wärtsilä Energy and Eolian LP have partnered on a new 200 MW grid-scale battery system. They claim that it is the largest merchant energy storage facility in the world.
France’s Sirea has developed a new range of smart plug-in systems for PV storage. The batteries can deliver from 20 kW (AC) to 500 kW, depending on the model, with storage capacities ranging from 100 kWh to 1 MWh.
Poland emerged as Europe’s third-biggest solar market in 2022, driven by the rapid uptake of PV micro-installations below 50 kW in size, but this year is already starting to look different. Marcin Ślęzak, chief commercial officer of Warsaw-based Menlo Electric, recently spoke to pv magazine about changes on the demand side and tech preferences in this thriving market.
South Korean scientists have developed a new way to integrate a lithium-metal anode into a battery and reach higher energy capacity levels than current lithium-ion tech. They worked with a carbon fiber paper infused with lithium and demonstrated an energy density of 428 Wh/kg, along with encouraging performance in stability and potential ease of manufacturing.
Norway’s Over Easy says its pilot vertical PV system in Oslo achieved remarkable performance throughout a snowy winter. In 2022, the vertical array generated 1,070 kWh per kilowatt installed, which the company says compares to around 800 kWh per kilowatt installed for a conventional rooftop array.
French module maker Systovi says its new solar panels weigh just 3 kg/m2. They are designed for flat tertiary rooftops that cannot support the weight of framed solar panels. It will begin selling the new modules in 2024.
Germany’s Vaillant has developed an air-source heat pump that uses propane (R290) as the refrigerant. It can produce between 3.4 kW and 8 kW of heat, and domestic hot water to a temperature of up to 75 C. It says the heat pump maximizes savings when paired with rooftop solar.
The South African government is looking for independent power producers to build and operate floating or ground-mounted PV projects at selected government waterworks infrastructure or damns. The projects should be operational for 20 years.
Scientists from the United States and Brazil have developed four different ways to estimate the temperature of floating PV modules. They validated the models with temperature measurements from a floating solar plant in Brazil.
Researchers at IIT Mandi have developed high-quality, uniform thin films of nickel oxide on the silicon substrate using an aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition technique, with nickel nitrate as the precursor material.
Amprius has obtained third-party performance verification for a battery cell that offers high power density in a lightweight package.
While shingled cells have been around for a while, Tongwei’s adoption of the technology is notable as it is a manufacturer with considerable scale. If shingling can overcome some hurdles, it could prove a welcome solution as unshaded sites for PV become elusive in mature solar markets.
Sunmaxx says Fraunhofer ISE has confirmed the 80% efficiency of its new photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) module. It consists of 108 PERC half-cells in M10 format, with 400 W of electrical output and 1,200 W of thermal output.
Swedish manufacturer Qvantum has developed a 6 kW heat pump for apartments connected to district heating systems. It uses propane (R290) as the refrigerant.
Gensol Engineering has acquired Indian solar tracking specialist Scorpius Trackers for $16.42 million.
Hanwha Advanced Materials Georgia has agreed to supply EVA encapsulant film to Qcells, in addition to supporting Qcells’ plans to develop a fully integrated solar supply chain in the United States.
Swiss PV manufacturer Meyer Burger hit its 321 MW production volume target last year, and its expansion into the gigawatt scale is already underway, as it recently completed two additional purchase agreements with major customers. It has also applied for hundreds of millions of funding support from the EU Innovation Fund, with a final decision to be made in the summer.
South Korea’s SDN has developed new bifacial solar modules based on M10 wafers. It claims the new panels are the largest to be produced in South Korea.
EnergySage says Qcells is now as the most quoted solar panel maker in the United States.
HDF and ZETDC have signed Zimbabwe’s first utility-scale green hydrogen power plant, with 178 GWh of expected annual electricity production. Rystad Energy, meanwhile, says Africa’s total electrolyzer pipeline has hit 114 GW.
Austrian scientists have created a lab-scale, solid-state, oxygen ion battery based on mixed ionic electronic conducting (MIEC), which is a special class of non-flammable electroceramic materials. The battery has around 30% of the energy density of lithium-ion batteries but can purportedly achieve a longer lifespan.
The New Zealand government will investigate the viability of establishing a pumped hydroelectric facility on the South Island. The project could provide up to 8.5 TWh of annual generation and storage capacity to support the nation’s transition to 100% renewable electricity generation.
Swiss researchers have looked at whether storage could be cheaper than curtailment in medium-voltage distribution networks with significant amounts of PV capacity. They considered storage costs, operational costs, grid constraints, electricity costs, PV generation models, and loads.
Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a free, web-based application that calculates the savings and energy efficiency of residential ground-source heat pumps compared to gas heating.
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