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