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Ultra-thin silicon layers for 22.2%-efficient heterojunction solar cell

Scientists in the Netherlands fabricated a heterojunction solar cell with a layer of hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon just three nanometers thick. The cell’s efficiency was measured at 22.2%, below the highest achieved with HJT cells, however, the researchers note that successfully incorporating this material into the cell stack will open many new doors for improvement.
Installations

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigates Tesla over alleged solar system fire negligence

The lawsuit stems from a 2019 whistleblower complaint alleging that the company failed to properly notify its shareholders, customers and the public of fire risks associated with solar panel system defects over the course of several years.
Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: ‘China, Chile, Spain and Australia will lead the hydrogen economy’

The International Energy Agency said the four nations are on track to contribute 85% of the 18 GW of global renewables capacity which is set to be dedicated to green hydrogen production by 2026. Elsewhere, the Port of Valencia has unveiled a plan to inst...
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From sun to fork: How can circular agrivoltaics boost solar’s reputation and increase value creation for all?

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Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Shuangliang secures three more wafer deals, Petro China’s 4.5 GW module deal

Shuangliang has secured supply agreements from Xinchao PV, Canadia Solar and SF Solar. Petro China wants modules for 4.5 GW of solar projects across 24 provinces.
Installations

Higher module prices impacting Czechia’s rebate program for small solar parks

The Czech authorities have extended, to February, the deadline to submit PV projects of up to 1 MW for the rebate scheme for small sized, ground mounted photovoltaics. According to Jan Krčmář, chairman of the Czech Solar Association, the lower than ex...
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Markets & Policy

Solar glass anti-dumping case sent back to EU’s general court

German company Glasmanufaktur Brandenburg and the European Commission claimed victory in the latest stage of a case which hinges on whether Chinese business Xinyi PV operates as a free-market manufacturer. The suit has been running since May 2014 and no ...
Installations

New provisions may help Italy unlock 110 GW PV project pipeline with grid-connection requests

The Italia Solare Forum event held in Rome last week has shown, once again, that permitting for both large scale and distributed generation projects remains the main barrier to remove to make Italy get the benefits of its huge solar potential. Despite re...
Manufacturing

KAUST achieves 28.2% efficiency for perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell

Saudi Arabian scientists have developed a perovskite sub-cell of a tandem device with a molecule that prevents the migration of ions into the perovskite film, even under humid conditions. The solar cell has an efficiency of 28.6%.

Press Releases

Clean Capital Energy and enernovum are further expanding their photovoltaic pipeline in Italy

First grid parity project to be implemented 2021

Eni announces FID on SOLENOVA’s Caraculo photovoltaic project in Angola

SOLENOVA, an Eni-Sonangol JV aimed at developing renewable energy projects, has reached the Final Investment Decision (FID) and the signing of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the first phase of the Caraculo photovoltaic project, located in the Namibe province in Angola.

Commerzbank and ib vogt arrange EUR 40 million for solar developer

ib vogt, one of the world’s leading global utility scale solar PV development platforms, signed a syndicated loan agreement with its long-standing bank partner Commerzbank AG to support the international growth strategy in the forthcoming years.

European Energy connects 10 MW solar farm in Denmark

Rødkilde Solar Park is the latest addition to European Energy’s completed solar projects in Denmark.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

2021 and beyond: European solar manufacturing must shine again

As 2021 ends, we enter a period of reflection and preparation. The ongoing pandemic has brought supply chain disruption, while the increasingly severe effects of the climate crisis loom over us. This winter, Europeans are struggling through unprecedented energy costs, driven by extremely high global gas prices. A year of difficulties has shown that Europe, more than ever, must accelerate the deployment of renewables to provide our economy with reliable, low-cost, and clean energy.

Record solar numbers expected this year but IEA highlights pricing concern

The Paris-based body expects the world will have installed almost 160 GW of solar this year, a record number, but still not enough to keep the prospect of a net zero global economy by mid century in sight.

COP26 and solar satellites for net-zero emissions

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) took place between October 31 and November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, and ended with the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact by bringing 200 countries closer to keeping global temperature rise under 1.5°C by 2100.

Energy crisis and the energy transition

There’s a famous saying: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” The current energy crisis has had a terrible impact on many consumers, but it has also given the energy sector a golden opportunity to get in shape for the energy transition. Jon Slowe, the director of Delta-EE, examines the impacts and opportunities of the energy crisis currently playing out in Europe and what it could mean for the renewables sector.

Looking past PERC solar cells

While the adoption of large-format wafers has driven a wave of capacity expansion for PERC, existing manufacturers and new entrants continue to evaluate TOPCon and HJT. An increasing number of HJT pilot lines and gigawatt-scale capacity expansion projects are appearing, as manufacturers see the advantages of fewer process steps, higher efficiency ratings, and better yield rates. The localization of equipment is also a driving factor. PV InfoLink’s Derek Zhao offers an update on the latest developments and process routes for HJT.

US solar market in flux

Next year will set new records for the U.S. solar market, with 30.4 GW of installations expected. The utility-scale PV pipeline in 2022 is nearly 50% greater than 2021 and 2023, due to the combined effects of pandemic-related supply chain impacts, the solar Investment Tax Credit schedule, and other module procurement challenges. Over the next two years, solar installations will be concentrated in Texas, California, Ohio, Indiana, and Nevada, with large portions of the pipeline being developed by a few key players in each state. IHS Markit’s Eric Wright takes a closer look.

Covid-19

Solar company’s Christmas party blamed for Omicron-variant Covid outbreak in Oslo

A news article published on Friday stated 13 cases had been confirmed and a senior physician said the working hypothesis was that at least half of the 120 people who attended the event had been infected. pv magazine has contacted Scatec for an update.

‘World’s biggest TOPCon solar plant’ begins generating

Solar manufacturer Jolywood, which supplied almost 500 MW of its bifacial tunnel oxide passivated contact panels for Oman’s Ibri II facility, has claimed the power plant is the biggest to date to deploy the high-efficiency technology.

Solar job numbers kept on rising in 2020

The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition’s employment benefits are to be shared equally.

Module and shipping cost inflation could cost the world 50 GW of solar next year

The input costs of the two biggest contributors to solar plant development expense have gone through the roof since the world began to come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, to leave project developers with some difficult choices.

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.

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.

Indian manufacturer plans 1.2 GW module fab

Gujarat-based solar manufacturer Solex plans to have 1 GW of cell and 3.7 GW of module capacity operational in 2023.

Eurostat: EU had €6.2 billion solar panel trade deficit in 2020

The European Union’s statistics body said three-quarters of the solar modules imported to the bloc last year came from China.

Fast charging for lithium-ion batteries needs a fix

Scientists in the United States placed fast charging for lithium-ion batteries under the microscope, finding that charging at higher rates can quickly damage the structure of a graphite anode, causing capacity loss even after a small number of cycles. By identifying the mechanisms causing this performance loss, the group can help point future research in the right direction.

Chad’s first solar-plus-storage project secures funding

The development entity driving the first stage of a planned 60 MW solar plant has announced a doubling in the amount of borrowing secured for a project which was supposed to be operational in 2018.

Canadian BIPV module maker releases 790 W panel

Mitrex Integrated Solar Technology has developed a new solar panel with 19.5% efficiency that measures 2,036 mm x 1,992 mm x 40 mm and weighs in at 42 kg. It can operate with a system voltage of 1,000 V and has a power temperature coefficient of -0.36% per degree Celsius.

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.

Hybrid wind-solar generator for rooftop applications

French startup Wind my Roof has developed a new wind power system equipped with two rooftop PV modules. It is currently testing a prototype in Paris.

Solax Power launches new inverter series for commercial PV projects

The three-phase inverter series features an efficiency ranging from 98.6% to 99.0%. The devices are equipped with up to 12 MPPT inputs and are able to provide up to 32 A MPPT current.

Singapore floating PV company targeting offshore expansion

Floating PV is a growing niche in the solar sector, but its offshore segment has proven more difficult to activate, largely because of the difficulty of open-water energy generation. Nevertheless, one company in Singapore, G8 Subsea, aims to leave the safety of harbors and reservoirs.

New tool to understand component failure rate in PV-related fires

Scientists have developed a new model based on fault tree analysis to evaluate the frequency of fires caused by rooftop PV systems and assess system safety and reliability. They claim that the new tool has the potential to identify fault linkages in systems, highlight failure patterns before they arise, and compare multiple designs for safety.

Cost optimal solutions for residential solar-powered heat pumps in cold climates, isolated areas

A U.S.-Swedish research group has investigated the complex economic relationship between PV and heat pumps in cold climates under four different levels of electrification. It found that, compared to propane, solar heat pumps can reduce reduce costs by up to 20% and carbon emissions by 30%.

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.

Antimony selenide solar cell with 8.5% efficiency

U.S. scientists have fabricated a cell via a two-step closed space sublimation process and by applying a seed layer to a soda-lime glass substrate coated with molybdenum via rapid thermal evaporation. They claim this facilitated the growth of a high-quality Sb2Se3 absorber layer with high crystallinity and large columnar grains.

Solar-plus-storage powers urban elevator in Italy

The elevator is powered not only by the solar array and the batteries but also by the energy produced by the elevator itself while it is moving, through gravitational storage.

Puffer fish inspired floating PV structure

With a new system for floating photovoltaic power plants, engineers from Germany want to make the application cheaper, higher-yielding, and safer. The result is somewhat reminiscent of a pufferfish, which also gave the system its name.

Illustrating the n-type advantage

In a new white paper, Chinese PV manufacturer JinkoSolar demonstrates how its latest ‘Tiger Neo’ module, featuring the 182mm n-type TOPCon cells, achieves lower energy costs. Based on total project costs for various scenarios in China, the Middle East and Europe, Jinko calculates advantages arising from both the cell technology and its chosen wafer format.

The Hydrogen Stream: 8 GW green hydrogen project announced in Chile

Meanwhile, on the Iberian Peninsula, H2 Green Steel (H2GS) and Iberdrola plan to establish a 1 GW green hydrogen production facility, and Acciona and Plug Power want to deploy green hydrogen facilities across Spain and Portugal.

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.

Invergy to set up residential-solar inverter factory in India

Director Deepak Pandey is confident the company’s hybrid devices – which are lead-acid and lithium battery compatibility – will replace the existing market.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Another manufacturer, Zhonghuan, reduces PV wafer prices

The solar manufacturer has lowered the prices of its PV wafers by up to 12.5%. In other news, Haiyuan Material (HYM) has begun deploying production lines at its 5 GW heterojunction PV module factory.

TSEC plans to raise solar cell, module production capacity to 1.5 GW

The Taiwanese solar manufacturer has raised US$22 million through a private placement of shares and will use the funds to support its solar capacity expansion plans.

Covid-19 forces Meyer Burger to reduce solar module output, increase panel prices for 2022

An above-average employee sickness absence is forcing the Switzerland-based solar panel manufacturer to slow down production until the end of January. Meyer Burger has also informed customers that the prices for its solar modules will rise in the coming year.

Photovoltaic rotary energy system for domestic applications, high-rise buildings

Developed by scientists in Turkey, a system prototype has operated at lower PV module temperatures and removed most of the dust accumulation. The researchers are now planning to improve the device by applying MPPT converter topologies.

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.

EVLO launches 1 MWh storage system

EVLO has designed a new 1 MWh system that will make its debut by suppling power during transmission line upgrades in Canada.

Brazil introduces new rules for hybrid power plants

The new provisions define clearly what hybrid power plants are and what kind of grid tariffs they should pay. The regulation may be particularly favorable for hybrid wind-solar plants, especially in North-Eastern Brazil, where the grid is not strong enough to support further renewable energy development.

Narrowing down a million molecules for the optimal flow battery

Scientists in the United States turned to artificial intelligence to speed up their search for new materials for use in a flow battery. The group developed a machine learning algorithm that could search a dataset of potential materials and identify those with the ideal balance of different characteristics that make it suitable for use in a flow batteries. The group says its algorithm could be applied to other battery technologies, and even in other fields.

Massless battery for applications in vehicle-integrated solar

Swedish scientists have developed a structural battery that purportedly offers “massless” storage, as its weight vanishes when it becomes part of the load-bearing structure. The device has an energy density of 24 Wh/kg and is designed for easy integration into solar-powered vehicles.

Tata Power awarded India’s largest solar and battery storage project

Tata Power Solar has secured the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for a 100 MW solar field with a 120 MWh battery. The project, awarded by the Solar Energy Corporation of India, will be in the state of Chhattisgarh.

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