Live coverage from pv magazine Roundtables Europe 2022!
The throes of a lithium shortage are increasingly upending long-term supply strategies and stoking demand for alternative technologies for stationary energy storage projects. Once seen as synonymous with renewable batteries, stationary Li-ion faces strong headwinds due to rapidly accelerating demand from the automotive sector as EVs capture the mainstream.
The solar supply chain problems that began last year with high prices and polysilicon shortages are persisting into 2022. But we are already seeing a stark difference from earlier predictions that prices would decline gradually each quarter this year. PV Infolink’s Alan Tu probes the solar market situation and offers insights.
As we closed out the first quarter of 2022, the energy storage industry continued to show stunning growth. When scrolling through the news, reading studies, and attending events, one can’t help but notice how critical battery energy storage is to a myriad of markets and industries. As innovative technologies emerge at a breakneck pace, they reveal three key trends in both market priorities and the sector’s current and future direction.
Vitaliy Daviy is the CEO of emerging markets focussed cleantech organization IB Centre Inc. and holds an optimistic view of Ukraine’s sector after the war. According to him, the country has the keys to energy independence and security.
On Feb. 10 in Belfort, President Emanuel Macron announced his vision for the French global energy industry to 2050. He reaffirmed France’s desire to massively develop renewable energies as intermittent sources on top of the baseload provided by the nuclear industry whose revitalization has already made headlines since. Macron claimed they are “the only means to meet [our immediate energy needs] in a profitable and competitive way”. By 2050, the capacity of the French solar park should be multiplied by more than 10 to exceed 100GWp, while the onshore wind capacity could double to reach 37GW. Offshore wind power should also experience a real take-off as France aims to develop and build 40GW over the same period.
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.
Covid-19 has left Shunfeng International’s accountants unable to publish its official 2021 numbers on time, but its estimated figures announced a net current liability of almost $155 million and a “capital deficiency” of near $140 million.
Polysilicon maker Xinte is forging ahead with a huge expansion strategy just as solar developers at the opposite end of the industry continue to bleed cash.
Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.
Amid growing concerns about the global supply of raw materials, which battery chemistries have the best chance, if any, of supplanting lithium-ion devices?
Alpha Dhabi Holding has signaled its intent to develop up to 2 GW of solar in Libya, with the power to be bought by a state-owned utility.
Almaden and Trina Solar have signed a long-term solar glass supply deal, while Growatt has revealed plans to list shares in Hong Kong. PV glassmaker Xinyi, meanwhile, has issued a gloomy profit outlook for the first half of 2022.
Opt-in dynamic pricing of electricity, which could help to balance renewables generation while lowering electric bills for participants and non-participants, is now on deck for a decision in California.
Down below, you can see a quickfire summary of some of the events held and points raised on day one of pv magazine‘s Roundtables Europe event.
A new report recommends a differential pricing mechanism for pumped-hydro energy storage (PHES) projects in pumping (off-peak operation) and generating mode (peak operation).
A Norwegian startup has patented a floating solar system made of panels laminated on top of double-aluminum sheets. The pre-stringed floats are rolled out on site and towed into place.
Mainspring Energy, a US linear generator specialist, has adapted its technology so its generators can run on hydrogen and ammonia. It said the generators can ramp up and down quickly via solar, with the ability to dynamically switch between different kinds of fuels.
Bio-FlexGen, an EU research project, seeks to develop a combined heat and power plant (CHP) system with hourly, daily and seasonal flexibility via hydrogen production from biomass.
Alion Energy trackers thread the return-on-investment needle with productivity gains from white roofs and bifacial modules, while design aggressively maximizes module count.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have issued a joint recall of patio umbrellas due to fires caused by the overheating of lithium-ion batteries.
Spain’s Tecnalia is developing a facility that will provide provide clean fuel for a hydrogen bus fleet in Birmingham, England.
Researchers in Saudi Arabia have built an inverted perovskite-silicon tandem device with a 1 nm thick interlayer based on magnesium fluoride (MgFx). They claim it can stop voltage losses and increase power conversion efficiency, while retaining 95.4% of its initial efficiency after 1,000 hours.
China’s DMEGC has released new solar panels with power conversion efficiencies of up to 21.2% and temperature coefficients of -0.33% per degree Celsius. They can be used with maximum system voltages of 1,000 V or 1,500 V.
French researchers have developed PV modules with an area of 11.6 square centimeters for indoor applications. They said the achieved efficiency level marks a world record for a flexible perovskite device larger than 10 square centimeters.
Japanese scientists have analyzed storage systems that combine PV and high-energy-density metal batteries. The rechargeable batteries have advantages such as low-charge voltage and high energy density, but stability and safety must be addressed before they reach commercial maturity.
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) wants to produce silicon metal to create an integrated supply chain for the PV industry in the United Arab Emirates.
An international research group has assessed the potential of down-conversion materials to overcome the poor blue response of solar cells. They analyzed how such materials could be used to improve the performance of perovskite-based devices and found that certain advances might be achieved.
Norwegian scientists have tested a new floating PV system concept at a water reservoir in Sri Lanka. The system is made of composite beams to support the solar panels and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes to provide buoyancy.
Average polysilicon prices ranged from CNY 273 ($40.82)/kg to CNY 280/kg this week, according to an industry association in China.
FAW Jiefang has completed a large fuel cell vehicle order in China, while chemical producer Linde has opened one of the world’s largest hydrogen refueling stations for trains. The European Investment Bank, meanwhile, has announced new funding for green hydrogen research in Italy.
Viritech and Pininfarina have announced plans to put a hydrogen-fueled car into limited production in 2023, while H2 Clipper said it aims to finish a prototype of its hydrogen-powered airship by 2025.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is overseeing bids from prospective contractors to supply, install and commission solar cold storage capacity in Senegal, Sudan, and Seychelles. Bidding is also open for two 2 MT systems in Djibouti.
Sun Cable’s massive AUD 30 billion ($20.7 billion) Australia-Asia PowerLink project has passed another major milestone by obtaining approval from Infrastructure Australia.
The European Investment Bank says a new €10 million ($10.5 million) loan will offer electricity access to almost 650,000 people in Benin.
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