The world’s energy sector is concentrated in solar, wind, electricity transmission/distribution and hydroelectric power. For example, investment in solar power plants alone is higher than investment in natural gas, coal-fired and nuclear power plants combined. This is encouraging, but another fact is worrying: China’s exports of solar modules to Europe in the first four months of 2022 were 2.5 times higher compared to 2021. In April alone, nearly 8 GW of solar modules worth more than €2 billion were imported from China into Europe.
The war in Ukraine continues to disrupt the global energy sector and, combined with the recent heatwaves affecting Europe, the need to restructure economies is starker than ever. Luckily, there are some countries that have kept working on their energy transition reforms and taking tangible actions towards tackling climate change. Uzbekistan is one of them.
High temperatures can affect different components of PV systems. Inverters can fail, the efficiency of solar modules can decline, and existing cell damage can become worse. However, investors, planners, and operators can adjust to heat waves in a number of different ways.
On June 27, the Guidelines for The Design, Construction and Operation of Agrovoltaic Plants were published in Italy by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in coordination with the Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics (CREA), Gestore dei Servizi Energetici S.p.A. (GSE), the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), and Research on the Energy System S.p.A. (RSE). From now on, developers and, in general, RES plant owners will have to consider the principles herein outlined, to have their plants classified as agrovoltaic.
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.
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.
Greece’s Public Power Corp. (PPC) Renewables, the green energy division of state-owned PPC, has kicked off a tender for a 550 MW subsidy-free solar plant at a former lignite mine.
Deutsche Bank has revealed that China’s green finance market surpassed CNY 20 trillion ($2.9 billion) in value in the first half of 2022. Haitai Solar has listed shares in Beijing, while Shangji has revealed plans for a new polysilicon project in Inner Mongolia.
FlexGen, a US-based storage system integrator, has launched a new modular battery solution for the commercial and industrial market. The FlexPod energy storage system combines lithium iron phosphate batteries, a power conversion system, and HVAC in a single container solution, with a range of configurations.
China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) has announced plans to invest €7.34 billion ($7.6 billion) to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary. It will be the company’s second battery cell manufacturing facility in Europe.
Pacific Jeans Group has started generating solar power at one of its factories, in line with its plans to generate 33 MWh solar power per day on the rooftops of 10 plants by 2025.
SMA’s Home Solutions segment was particularly badly hit as the PV inverter manufacturer struggled to meet the demand due to the shortage of materials. The sales and results in the first half of 2022 were therefore significantly worse than in 2021. The company now wants to take “a series of measures to improve its long-term ability to deliver.”
The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Serb Republic has adopted a net metering scheme to facilitate the deployment of 50,000 PV rooftop PV systems on residential and commercial buildings.
SolarApex has built what it calls the world’s largest rooftop PV array. A 140 MW project on a steelmill will help Turkish steelmaker Tosyali to shift its production to carbon-free “green steel.” Chief Marketing Officer Besime Özderici says the project could be an example for other energy-intensive industries.
BASF has signed virtual power purchase agreements for 250 MW of solar and wind power in the United States.
India is expected to install 20 GW of new solar capacity in 2022, according to JMK Research.
Hype and hope for solid-state batteries (SSBs) continues to grow as industries from automotive to storage bet big on the technology. Leading battery manufacturers and a roll call of start-ups are jostling to get from lab to fab. The reality of SSBs is in question though. As Marija Maisch reports, the window of opportunity for the decades-old technology to make the next big step toward commercialization is now.
UK researchers have revealed that gaseous hydrogen could cause problems in natural gas pipelines, while electrolyzer manufacturer Nel has announced plans to build a second production line in Norway.
A new report form analysts at IHS Markit notes that the market for module-level power electronics (MLPE) grew by 33% between 2019 and 2021, with around one-third of new residential solar installations now taking advantage of MLPE’s promise of improved safety, energy yield and fault detection. And with smaller, distributed generation systems expected to represent 43% of global PV installations between now and 2025, the opportunity for MLPE will only get larger.
Scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) have investigated gallium-doping in p-type silicon wafers as a route to better performance. Testing these specially produced p-type wafers in TOPCon and heterojunction cell architectures, which several major PV cell manufacturers are gearing up to produce on more expensive n-type wafers, the scientists found that with gallium doping, the p-type wafers can achieve similar or even better cell efficiencies compared to those made so far with n-type wafers.
Scientists in Japan have developed black glasses grafted silicon microparticles as a negative electrode material to improve lithium-ion battery performance.
New Mexico-based Array Technologies is keen to emphasize the revenue benefits of buying Spanish rival STI Norland and said US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act would also be good for business.
Huawei Digital Power Technologies, a unit of Chinese multinational tech giant Huawei, recently signed a deal with Ghana-based solar developer Meinergy Technology to build a 1 GW solar plant coupled with 500 MWh of storage in Ghana over the next years. Under the terms of the deal, Huawei will supply solar-plus-storage systems for the project. Meinergy will be responsible for the development and construction of the facility. pv magazine recently spoke about the project with Kevin Wu, CEO of Meinergy, and Peter Acheampong, Deputy Director of Renewables for the Bui Power Authority, which owns the installation.
Daqo posted record revenue of CNY 16.3 billion ($2.3 billion) in the first six months of 2022, while Datang Group announced plans to build 5.58 GW of PV plants in China this year.
Scientists in Australia have demonstrated a new way to apply a passivating contact layer to silicon cells. They produced an n-type cell with aluminum-titanium passivating contact and 21.9% efficiency, and claimed the technique could open up new possibilities for the use of transition metal oxides in cell passivation.
Indian researchers claim that commercial buildings with LED lighting could gain energy independence by installing standalone solar-plus-storage systems. They said a 914.4 kW PV system linked to lithium-ion batteries could be enough to power an entire building with an estimated annual demand of 190,830.7 kWh.
The US House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill this week that could provide a new production tax credit for green hydrogen production, while the European Commission has approved plans to support renewable hydrogen in Romania.
Scientists in Japan have developed a novel metal-organic, framework-based magnesium ion conductor with superionic conductivity, even at room temperature.
Seven German companies have agreed to put 27 Hyundai heavy-duty fuel cell trucks into fleet service in the coming months. American Airlines has revealed an investment in ZeroAvia, while New Fortress Energy has invested in a 120 MW industrial-scale plant in Texas.
Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the United States have developed a special class of materials for bulky calcium ions, providing pathways for their facile insertion into battery electrodes.
A new study shows that hydrogen could be produced for as little as AUD 2.85 ($1.98) per kilogram, supporting Frontier Energy’s plans to make green hydrogen from a 500 MW solar project it is developing in Western Australia.