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China PV Industry Brief: Installations slow, deals continue despite rising prices

This week saw prices in the polysilicon segment, and further downstream, rise again, with no end in sign. National Energy Agency statistics show a slowdown in installations for the second consecutive month in September. Manufacturers, however, continue to purchase components and materials in the expectation that prices will rise even further.
Markets & Policy

The hydrogen stream: High gas prices mean cost competitiveness.

New investments and partnerships announced this week see hydrogen projects developing across Europe, India, Asia and more. The current climate of high prices for natural gas has led one company to exclaim that green hydrogen is now competitive with its f...
Technology

Ambient processed inorganic perovskite solar cells at 19.75% efficiency

Scientists in South Korea demonstrated a fabrication technique for perovskite solar cells relying entirely on room temperature, ambient conditions processes. Using an all-inorganic perovskite material, and a spray coated electron transport layer, cells f...
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The burgeoning underground scene of hydrogen storage

Underground hydrogen storage seems to be coming up a lot lately, and with the burgeoning hydrogen industry needing somewhere to store itself, it's not hard to understand why. One of the countries with the best credentials for the future hydrogen economy ...
Markets & Policy

Nexwafe closes financing round with €32 million

Innovative solar wafer company Nexwafe has closed its latest financing round with €32 million. The round was lead by the Indian group Reliance, which contributed €25 million to the round. The Freiburg-based wafer manufacturer intends to use the funds...
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Highlights

Spain’s renewables auction: Problem or opportunity?

Participating companies and industry experts from Spain’s most recent renewable energy auction, including APPA, Anpier, and Fundación Renovables, share their thoughts with pv magazine on the results published this week, and what could be done better i...
Markets & Policy

Renewable energy jobs reach 12 million globally, forecast to reach 25 million by 2030

A new report by IRENA and the International Labour Organization highlights the employment potential of an ambitious climate strategy and calls for comprehensive policies in support of a just energy transition.
Markets & Policy

How varied energy storage can enable a low-cost renewable energy future

Research from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that high-renewables operation is possible, and less expensive, when a range of energy storage technologies are used.

Press Releases

Sungrow Calls for Climate Action at BNEF London Summit 2021

Sungrow, the global leading inverter solution supplier for renewables, called on the global renewable energy industry to align on the climate action at the BNEF London Summit on October 18-19, 2021. The Company continues to reduce its own climate impacts and support the strong, rapid and sustained reductions in carbon dioxide of more facilities and communities with cutting-edge technical innovations.

JinkoSolar Awarded with 4 ‘Top Brand PV Seals 2021’ in Latin America by EUPD Research

Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 11, 2021 – JinkoSolar Holding Co. , Ltd.

LONGi announces “Net-zero Plant” pledge at UN biodiversity conference

LONGi founder and president Li Zhenguo has announced an ambitious pledge to convert the company’s Baoshan production base in Yunnan Province into its first “Net-zero Plant” by 2023. The announcement was made at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Kunming, China and delivery on the pledge will see the beginning of “Net-zero LONGi” and a test field for the company's “Solar for Solar” sustainable development concept.

GoodWe inverters are now available from Krannich Solar France

After successful cooperation in countries such as Australia, India and, since the beginning of 2020, most of the countries in Central and Southern Europe, Krannich Solar is extending its cooperation with GoodWe to the French market. With its extensive portfolio of string and hybrid inverters, GoodWe expands Krannich's product range with additional and attractive solutions for every need.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Will China’s ‘double carbon’ and ‘dual control’ policies drive demand for solar?

Factories suffering from rationed grid electricity could help drive a boom in on-site solar systems, and recent moves to mandate the retrofitting of PV on existing buildings could also lift the market, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.

Prioritizing electrification

The urgency to decarbonize the building sector has caught global attention in the lead-up to the COP26 summit, commencing on Oct. 31. Wood Mackenzie’s Ben Hertz-Shargel says that success will require a two-pronged strategy of massively electrifying building heat over the coming decade, while also investing in technologies that can pick up future heating demand if the grid cannot handle it.

China’s emission-reduction action squeezes PV production

Industrial shutdowns and reduced factory production capacity levels indicate the companies producing the raw materials used by solar manufacturers are being afflicted by electricity consumption measures just as other sectors are. It is not clear whether the solar industry will be afforded any favors by Beijing, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.

More sun for everyone

It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing, says Mark Byrne of Australia’s Total Environment Centre. Or rather, it’s possible that there is too much rooftop PV at some times in some places. As a result, a range of critical reforms – including the introduction of export tariffs to pay for upgrades of the electricity distribution network – are necessary to allow for the uninhibited growth of solar in the future, he argues.

Nigeria’s solar workforce can help the world to net zero

With a rising chorus of voices calling for more solar industry recruits to perform the energy transition, Nigeria already has a skilled base of PV engineers and, with a little help filling the few gaps they have in their knowledge, the nation can step into the breach immediately, as Testimony Gabe-Oji, chief technology officer for Abuja-based installer Green Energy Spectrum, explains.

The evolution of residential PV in China

China is the largest residential PV market in the world, and this trend is only expected to strengthen in the next few years. By July 2021, China’s cumulative installed residential PV capacity had reached more than 30 GW, with a total of 1.864 million residential units hosting solar PV systems. IHS Markit’s Holly Hu looks behind these impressive numbers.

Covid-19

Featured

EU raises another €9bn for Covid recovery

The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.

Is it time for the world to start thinking about 1.7C?

A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.

EU to start auctioning green bonds next month

An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.

International group offers $68m loans for struggling off-grid clean energy distributors

‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.

‘The chance to reset with a green recovery has now been lost’

Norwegian consultancy DNV today published the latest of its annual surveys of the state of the energy transition and lamented the fact so very little has been achieved during the last five years. We are forging ahead into a world that will be 2.3C hotter this century, predicts the report.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Reshaping the climate conversation

Inventor, serial entrepreneur, energy analyst and scientist Saul Griffith is set to add the title of “author” to his collection with the October publication of his new book, “Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future.” Griffith – the CEO of Otherlab and the founder of Rewiring America and Rewiring Australia – says that the discussion of rapid decarbonization can be reimagined by thinking about the electric “machines” that can be installed in our homes.

India offers lowest LCOE for rooftop PV, third-best generation potential

The levelized cost of rooftop solar generation is the lowest in India ($66/MWh) and China ($68/MWh), while the United States ($238/MWh) and the United Kingdom ($251/MWh) are some of the most expensive countries, according to a new international study.

LG launches hybrid inverter for residential battery range

South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution has launched a new inverter in the Australian market, adding a 5 kW hybrid inverter to its Residential Energy Storage Unit (RESU) Home battery energy storage range.

Bangladesh issues EPC tender for 60 MW PV project

Bangladesh has floated an international tender seeking engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning services for a 60-MW solar power plant in north-western Pabna district.

Statkraft’s 2021 “Low Emissions Scenario” calls for renewed urgency

Norwegian hydropower giant and Europe’s largest renewable energy generator, Statkraft, has published its annual “Low Emissions Scenario”, which describes investment in green projects as “unstoppable”, while calling for a dramatic scaling up for renewables, electrification and green hydrogen.

DNV puts different module formats to the test

Energy consultancy DNV was tasked by module manufacturing giant Longi Solar with comparing the balance of systems costs between modules utilizing 182mm and 210mm wafers, based on a 3.7 MW project in three different layouts. The results reveal a slim cost advantage for the smaller of the two, based on both fixed tilt and tracker systems.

Installations

Featured

Out of landfill, back in the stream

With technological progress, falling costs, and favorable subsidies all incentivizing Australian households to replace serviceable modules and upgrade their rooftop array, a stockpile of useable second-hand modules is mounting. But efforts to embrace reuse rather than refuse are taking shape.

Re-Source 2021: Q&A with Iron Mountain’s Chris Pennington

US data management company Iron Mountain has a growing portfolio of onsite and PPA renewables, and it’s one of the first major corporate firms to track its renewables by the hour as part of an innovative PPA that may serve as a forerunner for widespread 24/7 matching.

Volcano proof PV

Panels being covered in volcanic ash can cause several problems – as has been seen recently with ongoing eruption in the Canary Islands. The weight of the ash may be too much for the structure to bear, sharp ash particles or small stones within the ash can scratch module glass, and acids or sulfur compounds contained in the ash can cause corrosion on the backsheet.

Spain’s renewables auction: Do troubled waters benefit the fishermen?

Spain’s latest renewable energy auction has awarded 3.12 GW of new capacity at an average price of €30.56/ MWh. Capital Energy once again took the largest share, winning all of 1.548 GW that it was competing for, in an auction where the absence of some large power companies was conspicuous.

Large-scale renewable uptake to help Rio Tinto’s brand rebuild

Mining giant Rio Tinto has been on the back-foot since its destruction of 46,000-year-old sacred indigenous sites last year, costing one chief executive his job and one country a timeless piece of its cultural heritage. Along with the impacts of Covid-19 and stock price decline, the company is seeking to rebuild its brand with improved emissions reduction targets, which will see multi-gigawatt solar and wind installations.

Solar farms prove to bee hives of economic activity

A new study from researchers at the universities of Lancaster and Reading in the UK has managed to quantify the economic boost provided by the symbiotic relationship between solar farms and honeybee hives.

Technology

Featured

A messy perovskite separation

There are increasing signs that a new era for PV production in Europe may be dawning. However, two pioneers of PV technology have decided, at this moment, to part ways. And while at present there are more questions than answers, technology and business strategy both appear to have played a role.

Laser focus on perovskite film formation

Scientists in the United States developed a method to observe the structure and mechanics of a perovskite material during its synthesis and transition from liquid precursors to a solid thin film. The group says its work will provide new insight into manufacturing and the development of reliable large-scale processes for perovskite solar cell production.

Co-located hubs key to battery industry competitiveness

A report from Australia’s Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre which analysed the development of battery hubs in the U.S., Germany and Japan, has found that co-location and cooperation between industry and government were key to their success. For Australia to play the same game, it will have to leverage its wealth of resources, and clean up its act along the way.

A lightweight plastic to replace aluminum module frames

South Korean company LG Chem has developed a new plastic material that it says could replace the metal frame of a PV module, making it much lighter. The company says it has already secured mass production capability for the material and begun selling products at full scale.

Drones, software key for intelligent PV plant monitoring

Mobile test equipment is a must for fault detection and performance monitoring of large-scale PV installations. The Australian PV Institute has contributed to an international review of available aerial and portable ground-based technologies, and how to deploy them for reliable, relatable results.

The weekend read: Powerful equation to expand C&I solar

Big rooftop PV systems on factories, warehouses and public buildings need not be limited by ownership issues nor local grid capacity, claims Australian innovator EleXsys Energy. The company is maxing out an Ikea in Adelaide, Australia, with solar and storage. And it claims its smart technology can allow the same to be done elsewhere.

Manufacturing

Featured

What’s next for polysilicon?

The past 12 months have proved profitable for polysilicon manufacturers, as selling prices have soared to levels not seen since 2011. However, with major new capacity expansions on the horizon from most of the leading manufacturers, and new players planning to enter the scene, the market balance looks set to shift. Exawatt’s Alex Barrows rounds up where the industry stands and what might happen next.

Big modules head for standardization

PV manufacturing giant Trina Solar says it has agreed with other industry players on a set of standard dimensions and other technical specifications for PV modules utilizing 210mm wafers – the largest currently available on the market. The manufacturer says it expects the China Photovoltaic Industry Association to formally release the standard before the end of October.

Solargiga reports nine-month figures

Shipments and revenue both rose in the first three quarters, for a company which this year announced the painful consequences of winding down its cell manufacturing operation were behind it.

The changing landscape of the modular marketplace 

The modular solar marketplace is growing, especially in Australia where remote mining and agricultural sites appreciate the benefits of compact, movable solar. One new entrant is Western Australia’s CDI Energy with its “Rapid Solar Module”, which CDI founder and CEO Darryl Bower told pv magazine is up to 30% cheaper than fixed axis alternatives.

Swiss Solar announces new European PV module factory

Swiss Solar AG has started construction on a new PV manufacturing facility in Europe. It has already invested CHF 50 million (around €47 million) in the project. 

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Shuangliang signs billion-dollar wafer contract

This week, Shuangliang Eco-Energy has signed a multi-year sales contract for delivery of its PV wafers to solar cell manufacturer Jiangsu Runergy, and Wuxi-based perovskite start-up UtmoLight Technology has won a Pre-A round investment of RMB 220 million from several private equity funds.

Energy Storage

Featured

Moorabool burning

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on July 30, 150 firefighters responded to a fire at Neoen’s 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery in Moorabool, which is due for completion this year. The fire crews arrived to a 13-ton lithium battery ablaze in a shipping container, and the fire wasn’t brought under control until three days later, on the afternoon of Aug. 2. With a widescale investigation now underway, pv magazine asks how such failures can be prevented, and whether we should be better prepared for the inevitability of battery failure.

Western Australia to produce cathode materials in trial production

Construction has begun on a manufacturing pilot project to see battery-grade nickel, cobalt and manganese for precursor battery cathode materials (PCAM) in Perth. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2022 and is one of a number of developments that will look to establish Western Australia (WA) as a materials supplier to the growing battery manufacturing industry.

Frazium Energy signs €100 million deal for mega solar-storage project in Eswatini

With an initial capacity of 100 MW, the plant will supply more than 100 million kWh a year to countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, helping to reduce load shedding by providing much needed power at peak times.

Umicore to purchase 42,000 tons of lithium battery material

Belgian materials company Umicore has signed a contract with Australia headquartered Vulcan Energy Resources to purchase up to 42,000 tons of lithium hydroxide over a five year period beginning in 2025. The material will be used in Umicore’s production of cathode materials for lithium-ion cell manufacturers.

Huawei wins major energy storage project contract in Saudi Arabia

Chinese tech giant Huawei Digital Power has signed a contract with China’s SEPCOIII, a construction and engineering company and power plant operator, for a 400 MW PV plus 1300 MWh battery energy storage project in Saudi Arabia. Developed by ACWA Power, with SEPCOIII serving as general contractor and handling EPC services, the Red Sea Project […]

Northvolt and Cinis to turn battery waste into sustainable fertilizer

Production waste puts a dent in the perception of sustainability of batteries. Northvolt, however, has partnered with a young Swedish company to make the best use of the battery production waste, and also help to decarbonize the fertilizer industry while they are at it.

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