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Katek unveils silicon carbide inverter for residential applications

Katek, a German PV inverter manufacturer, says its 4.6 kW coolcept fleX inverter features silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors from US-based Navitas Semiconductor. It is smaller and weighs less than non-SiC models.
Manufacturing

Silver-alloyed CGIS solar cell with 18.7% efficiency

Swiss scientists have used a minimal amount of silver to alloy the absorber in a thin-film CIGS solar cell. They say this process could help to improve efficiency, open-circuit voltage, and fill factor, while compensating for the low bandgap of the CIGS ...
Markets & Policy

Netherlands posts another record year for residential PV in 2022

The Netherlands may have deployed 2 GW of new residential solar capacity in 2022, according to provisional figures from grid operators.
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Markets & Policy

Retired coal sites to host multi-day iron-air batteries

Form Energy will install two 10 MW / 1,000 MWh batteries on the sites of Xcel Energy's former coal-fired plants.
Markets & Policy

Australian scientists unveil method to produce hydrogen straight from ocean

University of Adelaide researchers and their international partners have successfully used seawater with no pre-treatment to produce green hydrogen. They did this by introducing an acid layer over the catalysts in situ.
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Installations

Steam-generating heat pump for industrial applications

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) plans to build a heat pump that generates steam at 184 C at 11 bars without using gas. The tech, which uses natural refrigerants, will be used in the pharmaceutical industry.
Manufacturing

New ‘cushion’ solution to take stress off perovskite solar cells

Scientists in Germany have discovered a polymer compound that, when added to perovskite thin-film precursor materials, wraps itself around the perovskite crystals, acting as a cushion to protect the perovskite structure from thermomechanical stress. They...
Markets & Policy

Former VW boss aims to set up 20 GW vertically integrated PV plant in Europe

In a podcast, former Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess noted the importance of reducing reliance on China in the solar industry. But he said plans to set up production in Europe require state support and the right conditions.

Press Releases

LONGi signs distribution agreements for 500MW of Hi-MO 6 modules at WFES 2023

LONGi has announced that its participation at the 2023 edition of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi saw the signing of several distribution agreements, totalling 500MW, for its new Hi-MO 6 product with regional partners including Power N Sun, Nanosun, AGS, Power City and Noon, as well as other partners from Africa and Central Asia.

Kehua Tech provides PCS integrated solution for the largest BESS project in Brazil

The 33. 5MW/67MWh large-scale energy storage project, which is also the largest battery storage project in Brazil, with PCS integrated solution provided by Kehua Tech, has been officially put into operation.

JinkoSolar Tops Premium Market in 2022

JinkoSolar was the second-largest solar module producer in terms of shipment in 2022 and the most successful N-type product provider, according to new data.

Sungrow Powers Canadian Solar’s 100 MWp Japan PV Project with Its Inverter Solutions

Sungrow announced that the 100 MWp Azuma Kofuji solar project located in Fukushima Prefecture (Japan) and equipped with Sungrow's 1500V string inverter solutions is operating stably as planned.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Consumers have a right to know the energy make-up of goods

With energy certification already a must-have for any business which makes green energy claims, Ed Everson, chief executive of England-based, global certification company Evident, makes the case for firms to be required to make full disclosure of their energy sources.

The fastest energy change in history

Solar and wind are being installed at a rate that is three times faster than all other new electricity sources combined. This offers compelling market-based evidence that PV and wind are now the most competitive and practical methods for deploying new generating capacity.

Ready for takeoff

Airport PV can provide an instant boost to emission-reduction efforts while work continues on sustainable aviation fuels. Developing solar projects at or near airports, however, is not as straightforward as typical ground-mount installations.

Rethinking soiling

The two dominant methods used in the industry to estimate soiling levels on solar projects go some way in mitigating losses, but there is plenty of scope for more accurate observation.

Will Africa be left behind in the scramble for renewables?

Buoyant predictions about a rosy future for African photovoltaics, based on the continent’s abundant solar resources, continue to overlook the difficulties of securing investment, as Empower New Energy co-founder and CEO Terje Osmundsen explains, referring to a report published by the Africa Solar Industry Association at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today.

Hope springs renewable

Russia is destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, raising questions about how to ensure the safety and function of the country’s energy industry, particularly its nuclear power plants. What role can renewable energy play in such extreme circumstances?

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.

China mulling restrictions on polysilicon, wafer exports

The Chinese government is considering the introduction of export restrictions on solar wafers, black silicon, and silicon casting equipment. It has launched a public consultation process on the proposed measures.

Only5mins! – Europe may deploy 53 GW of solar this year

pv magazine speaks to Raffaele Rossi, head of market intelligence for SolarPower Europe, about the solar outlook in 2023. He says the European solar market may grow by around 29% compared to 2022.

Turkey sets minimum price for solar cell imports

The Turkish government has set a minimum import price of $60/kg, so solar cell imports exceeding this threshold will be subject to import duties. The measure is designed to protect domestic cell manufacturers.

Indian coal miner commissions utility-scale floating PV array

Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd. (SCCL) has commissioned 5 MW of a 15 MW floating solar plant on the Singareni Thermal Power Station reservoir in India.

Yaskawa releases 25 kW inverters for rooftop PV

Yaskawa’s new Enewell-SOL P3A 25kW inverters are suitable for applications in medium- or large-size rooftop solar projects and carports.

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.

New photovoltaic-thermal solar panel from Spain

Spanish PVT specialist Abora Solar has developed aH72SK modules, which combine solar panels with power conversion efficiencies of 17.8% and a thermal efficiency rating of around 70%. Its total area is 1.96 square meters.

Swedish authorities issue warning about solar panels on balconies

The Swedish authorities have identified electrocution and fire risks posed by the improper deployment of plug-in solar modules.

Novel snow-removal tech uses electricity from uncovered PV panels

JA Solar has worked with Chinese scientists to test a new electrical heating system for solar panels that uses the heat from uncovered panels to remove snow. The system starts by using grid electricity, but then relies on the thermal effect of resistance to uniformly heat the whole PN junction area of the snow-covered panels.

Weekend Read: Small change, big effect

Starting this year, ground-mounted solar modules in Germany can be replaced before the end of their service life, unlocking gigawatt-scale potential for new generation capacity without lengthy permitting processes or the need for new sites. Opinions differ as to what should happen with the decommissioned but still functioning modules, as pv magazine Deutschland’s Sandra Enkhardt reports.

Germany launches tender for 1,950 MW of large-scale solar

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) has opened the first round of a 5,850 MW tender for ground-mounted solar. The ceiling price has been raised to €0.0737 ($0.080)/kWh.

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.

Greek manufacturer to open organic solar cell factory

Organic Electronics Technologies (OET) has announced the start of a European-funded project that will develop and build an automated manufacturing production line for integrated printed organic photovoltaics in Thessaloniki, Greece.

A look into a crystal ball reveals the secrets of perovskite solar cell stability

Scientists in Switzerland and South Korea looked deep into the crystalline structure of a perovskite thin-film to better understand the mechanisms behind the sensitivity to heat and moisture that causes so many stability issues for solar cells based on these materials. They discovered a part of the crystal’s surface that is particularly vulnerable to moisture-induced degradation, and developed an approach to grow perovskite thin-films with strong resistance to moisture and thermal stress.

Netherlands reports 40 PV installation accidents over past 18 months

The Netherlands Labour Authority (Nederlandse Arbeidsinspectie) has provided accident statistics related to the installation of solar energy systems. It says there have been four casualties among solar installers over the past three years.

DEWA to procure R&D solar module production line

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) may install a new R&D production line in its solar R&D center at the massive 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Second-life batteries might beat new ones on solar LCOE in remote locations

UK scientists have discovered that second-life batteries could provide a lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) than conventional batteries in school buildings equipped with PV in East African schools. They said the cheapest system configuration uses either 7.5 kW or 10 kW of solar with 20 kWh of storage.

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.

Microsoft to purchase 2.5 GW of Qcells solar

Qcells will provide US-made solar modules and perform engineering, procurement, and construction for Microsoft’s solar projects.

Titanium oxide hydrophobic coating to clean solar panels

Germany’s Fraunhofer FEP has unveiled a dirt-repellent coating for solar panels. The material is reportedly able to acquire superhydrophilic properties at night and wash away the dirt through the beading raindrops.

Scientists assess lifetime for perovskite PV to become competitive on rooftops

Researchers say that lightweight, high-performance perovskite solar modules could soon become competitive with crystalline PV modules in the residential segment, as such products will likely have lower manufacturing and balance-of-system costs in the future.

Falling costs, 15 GW of US solar module production, TOPCon trends

A recent Wood Mackenzie report looks at trends and challenges in the burgeoning US solar market, including manufacturing stimulated by the US Inflation Reduction Act.

Australian scientists source silicon from solar waste to build better batteries

Researchers from Victoria’s Deakin University say they have successfully tested a new process that can safely and effectively extract silicon from end-of-life solar panels, and then convert it into nano materials worth more than $45,000 (USD 31,500) per kilogram, in order to build better batteries.

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.

US developer moves toward licensing for 900 MW pumped storage project

Developer rPlus Hydro has submitted an application for a final license to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Seminoe project– a milestone reached by only a few pumped storage projects over the last 20 years.

US renewable PPA price increases cool off as material costs fall

Edison Energy says in a new report that prices increased more moderately in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the steep price hikes seen since 2021.

Puerto Rico could approach 40% renewables by 2025

Rapidly deploying 5.2 GW of planned solar and storage in Puerto Rico, a possibility raised in a report by six national laboratories, would require an improvement in the Puerto Rico utility’s practices. A mandated procurement process has suffered delays at many steps.

Only5mins! – ‘Additionality’ must be adhered to in Africa’s green hydrogen development

Chigozie Nweke-Eze is an economist, geographer and founder of Integrated Africa Power. He sat down with pv magazine to discuss green hydrogen development in Africa, from the project pipeline to the necessity of “additionality” when it comes to ensuring hydrogen doesn’t become yet another exploited African resource.

Turkey aims to produce hydrogen at $2.40/kg by 2035

Turkey has released a hydrogen roadmap as part of its plans to meet its 2035 net-zero emission targets, hinging on solar energy and importing electrolysis technologies in the short term. Gulmira Rzayeva, research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, says this target is realistic.

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