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Live coverage from pv magazine Roundtables Europe 2022!

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pv magazine Roundtables Europe 2022: The case for European panels

A representative from Meyer Burger has stressed the importance of thinking about where Europe's panels are made, not just how many of them we can install.
Manufacturing

Inverted perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell with 29.3% efficiency

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 ...
Installations

Prefab floating solar for easy installation

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.
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Navigating the UFLPA: Geopolitical Risk in the PV Supply Chain

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Energy Storage

Linear generator running on hydrogen, ammonia

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 kin...
Markets & Policy

Hanwha appeals French court decision over Longi seizure

South Korea's Hanwha says it has appealed a decision to reverse the seizure of products from a Longi Solar distributor in France in February 2021.
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Energy Storage

Four-mode hydrogen plant to accommodate renewables

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.
Manufacturing

Single-axis trackers on commercial rooftops increase generation by 37%

Alion Energy trackers thread the return-on-investment needle with productivity gains from white roofs and bifacial modules, while design aggressively maximizes module count.
Installations

India’s largest floating PV plant goes online

Tata Power’s engineering, procurement and construction unit has commissioned a 101.6 MWp floating solar project in the Indian state of Kerala.

Press Releases

EDPR informs about the solar PV deal in APAC

EDP Renováveis, S. A.

Alternus Energy set to exceed 270MW of solar in Poland with completion of agreements to acquire – 184 MW of solar assets from leading developer partner Projekt Solartechnik

International renewable independent power producer (IPP) Alternus Energy Group Plc has signed agreements to acquire an additional 184 megawatts (MW) of PV solar in Poland.

SC SOLAR launches TOPCon two-in-one deposition tool

TOPCON solar cell, is touted as the next generation of solar cell technology after PERC. This novel architecture is introduced by researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany in 2013.

Skyfri awarded the asset operations of the largest floating solar power plant in Kerala

Skyfri Group, a fast-growing climate technology with its headquarters in Oslo, Norway, has been awarded a comprehensive solar asset operations of one of the largest floating solar power plants in India.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Rays of solar hope for Europe: A Midsummer reflection

For centuries, cultures in Europe have marked their calendars to celebrate Midsummer and the Summer Solstice. Traditionally a time to enjoy bright evenings, and the light and hope of the sun, the Summer Solstice falls on June 21. On the longest day of sunlight in 2022, Europe has much to hope for. After difficult pandemic years, enduring cost of living and energy price hikes, and the on-going, unprovoked, Russian war on Ukraine, Midsummer gives us a small moment to reflect on, and hope for, brighter times ahead.

As EVs drive off with Li-ion supply, the push to stationary storage alternatives accelerates

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.

No end to solar supply/demand imbalance

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.

Three battery energy storage trends for the electrification of everything

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.

Ukraine: Is there a pessimistic solar scenario? No!

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.

Lithium-ion storage: A much-needed development to support the rise of renewables in the coming decades

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.

Covid-19

Featured

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.

Indebted Chinese developer spells out obligations in unaudited figures

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.

The sun is still shining on poly makers but solar developers struggling in China

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.

African Development Bank offers local-currency credit to Nigeria’s clean power developers

Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.

Markets & Policy

Featured

At what cost?

Subsidies for PV projects are a divisive topic in European countries. Mistakes of the past hang over fresh decision-making processes. Experts argue that changing market conditions are making even months-old schemes too generous, while missing the real issues.

Spain hit by biggest solar radiation decline in 28 years in March

Spain recorded a 50% decrease in solar radiation in March – the biggest decline since the beginning of satellite records in 1994. By contrast, irradiation levels in Germany and the Balkans were 45% higher during the same period.

Historical court ruling for agrivoltaics in Italy

The Regional Court of Apulia in Italy has ruled that the regional authorities must not deny permits to solar projects on agricultural land without considering how they combine electricity generation with crop cultivation and the raising of livestock. pv magazine spoke to Emilio Sani from law firm Sani Zangrando about the ruling’s potential consequences.

Photon-enhanched rechargeable batteries for solar storage

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.

Conflicting authorities could delay planning, environmental permits for solar in France

Municipal, regional and national authorities in France often have different views on permits for the deployment of solar. Marie Buchet, head of solar power at Syndicat des énergies renouvelables, spoke to pv magazine about four case studies. She said one-stop shops to unify all authorization processes could be the solution, as suggested by the European Union.

Up to 3 years needed to develop PV projects in Germany

Approvals and planning procedures for solar parks are a major bottleneck for the energy transition. pv magazine recently spoke with a project developer about constraints and opportunities in Germany, ahead of the pv magazine Roundtables on June 28.

Installations

Featured

The dawn of deep green solar

The importance of biodiversity on solar farms is coming into sharper focus, due to the intersecting forces of sustainable finance and the UK Environment Act. These positive influences will likely change the way the industry and the public view solar farms, as they evolve into biodiversity hotspots that lead the recovery of nature. Everoze Partner Ellie van der Heijden discusses how boosting biodiversity can be an opportunity for solar developers and investors to increase their positive impact.

DMEGC launches M10 rooftop solar modules with 405 W of output

China’s DMEGC has released new solar panels with power conversion efficiencies of up to 20.91% and temperature coefficients of -0.33% per degree Celsius. They can be used with maximum system voltages of 1,000 W or 1,500 W.

Philippines allocates 1.57 GW of solar in 2 GW renewables auction

The main winner of the first renewables auction in the Philippines was developer Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC), which secured five solar projects, or 1.35 GW of capacity.

Iran pre-qualifies 85 bidders for 4 GW solar tender

The Iranian authorities will choose development proposals from domestic and foreign investors for solar projects ranging from 10 MW to 250 MW in size. The selected developers will be awarded 20-year power purchase agreements at a fixed tariff.

Novel floating PV system design from Norway

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.

ISA opens global bids for solar cold storage in Africa

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.

Technology

Featured

Blocking the big winds

Several manufacturers now offer trackers fitted with blocking mechanisms to increase wind resistance and make trackers behave more like fixed structures. Some companies even retrofit such mechanisms to existing tracker projects. pv magazine Spain’s Pilar Sanchez Molina investigates the efficacy of blocking mechanisms and other strategies to deal with high wind loads.

CEA-INES develops 18.95%-efficient flexible perovskite solar panels

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.

The Hydrogen Stream: Viritech, Pininfarina unveil world’s first ‘hydrogen hypercar’

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.

Perovskite solar cells based on down-conversion materials

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.

Longi’s heterojunction solar cell hits 26.5%

Germany’s Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin has confirmed that Longi’s new n-type heterojunction solar cell has achieved a power conversion efficiency of 26.5%.

Perovskite solar module march continues with 30-year ‘no thickness’ layers, speed testing

Princeton University researchers have developed a new way to accelerate solar cell longevity testing.

Manufacturing

Featured

The great EU solar manufacturing reset

“We need to bring manufacturing back to Europe and the [European] Commission is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said at the opening of SolarPower Summit 2022. Her words rocketed around the solar community, boosting share prices and invigorating the European solar industrial mission, writes SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, as she lays out the actions needed for solar-power EU energy independence.

UAE aluminum maker enters silicon metal, polysilicon business

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) wants to produce silicon metal to create an integrated supply chain for the PV industry in the United Arab Emirates.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Polysilicon prices hit high of $41.80/kg

Average polysilicon prices ranged from CNY 273 ($40.82)/kg to CNY 280/kg this week, according to an industry association in China.

Okra Solar secures funding to bankroll mesh-grid expansion

Australian renewables startup Okra Solar has raised $3 million to scale up distribution of its solar-based hardware and software solutions. It aims to electrify more than 290,000 off-grid homes in Nigeria over the next three years, while also expanding its operations in countries such as Haiti.

First Solar bags 2 GW module order in US

National Grid Renewables and First Solar have partnered on multiple projects in the past, including the 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois and the 275 MW Noble Solar and 125 MWh Storage Project in Texas.

Agrivoltaics for broccoli, cabbage

Scientists in South Korea have combined PV generation with vegetable farming and have found that solar array shading provides favorable results for crops such as broccoli and cabbage.

Energy Storage

Featured

Diversity, demand blooms, supply crunch looms

A review of the German distributed battery energy storage market reveals healthy demand, a growing portfolio of products, and the ability to readily couple devices within homes and businesses. Cornelia Lichener, from pv magazine Germany, has compiled the “2022 Storage for Home and Small Business” market overview. Consumer demand is high, but component bottlenecks are constraining supply, she reports in the first part of her analysis.

Sun Cable project secures support of Infrastructure Australia

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.

European loan to fund 107,000 home solar panels in Benin

The European Investment Bank says a new €10 million ($10.5 million) loan will offer electricity access to almost 650,000 people in Benin.

Toshiba expands fuel cell business

Toshiba is cooperating with Swedish battery specialist Echandia to develop pure hydrogen fuel cells that could be used for continuous operation in marine applications.

In the far reaches of northern Mexico

In two remote regions of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, PV-powered microgrids bring electricity to a university and an agricultural ranch, neither of which are well served by the regional grid. The microgrids make use of lithium-ion batteries supplied by Growatt, alongside modules from local manufacturer SolarEver. The projects serve as an example of how products like Growatt’s off-grid inverters and energy storage solutions can bring reliable solar power to regions with limited energy access.

Hinduja Group invests in UK second-life battery storage specialist

India’s Hinduja Group has invested GBP 15 million ($18.4 million) with four other investors in Connected Energy, a developer of energy storage systems based on second-life electric vehicle batteries.

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