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Kaco unveils string inverters for rooftop solar arrays

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%.
Markets & Policy

The Hydrogen Stream: Green hydrogen via ammonia decomposition

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 â€...
Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: TCL Zhonghuan cuts wafer prices by more than 4%

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.
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Markets & Policy

Netherlands changes grid code to reduce congestion, host more renewables

New rules in the Netherlands will allow new entities known as "congestion service providers" as intermediaries between grid operators and power plant operators, in order to make optimal use of the network.
Energy Storage

Gravitricity launches gravity energy storage pilot in India

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

Australia’s newest big battery hits construction milestone

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...
Manufacturing

New manufacturing process for high-quality mono cast ingots

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.
Installations

Floating solar cost-competitive with ground-mounted PV in southern Europe

Researchers have assessed the economic viability of utility-scale floating solar arrays in Europe and have determined that such projects are already cost-competitive in several southern European countries. They claim floating PV could become competitive ...

Press Releases

Sunova Solar to Supply 122 MW Panels for Solar Parks in the Netherlands

Sunova Solar, a Chinese module manufacturer, and Dutch solar park developer PowerField signed a PV module supply agreement under which Sunova Solar will provide a total of 122 MW of its high-efficient PV panels for solar parks.

RES4Africa and IFC Launch Series to Promote Private Investment in Africa’s Power Grid

RES4Africa Foundation and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) held the first in a series of development partner forums on November 22 to promote private sector investment to increase and complement the limited available financing in Africa’s power grid.  

Cleantech Solar partners with Griffith Foods in Thailand to develop an 807 kWp rooftop and carport solar PV project in Samut Praka

Cleantech Solar, a leading provider of renewable energy solutions to corporations in Southeast Asia and India, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Griffith Foods Co. Ltd.

TotalEnergies ENEOS Signs Solar Rooftop Project With Imerys, a world’s leading supplier of mineral-based specialty solutions

Imerys, a world's leading supplier of mineral-based specialty solutions for industry, has signed a long-term agreement with TotalEnergies ENEOS to provide a 1. 8 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) system to its facility in Malaysia.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Perovskites and microgrooves can revolutionize solar

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.

COP27 was a crucial step forward for hydrogen – here’s why

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.

Roadmap to increase solar acceptance

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.

Tipping point for African C&I solar

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.

It’s time to combat utility opposition to solar

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.

It’s time to bin the false agriculture vs solar debate

With the last incumbent to enter and leave the revolving door of UK prime ministers having caused alarm by reportedly preparing plans to effectively ban big solar on farmland, Harald Ă–verholm, CEO of clean energy company Alight, says politicians need to put discredited arguments behind them and get on with the urgent business of shoring up energy security.

Covid-19

African PAYG solar companies have hogged 72% of sector’s investment

The first post-pandemic update on the state of the world's off-grid solar industry has painted a picture of domination by European companies, but highlighted the potential for new startups in West Africa and an increasing use of PV as a backup to unreliable grid supplies.

Off-grid solar continues to expand

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.

AfDB announces cheap loans to back off-grid solar in Africa

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.

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.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Asia takes the lead on floating PV

Floating PV is consolidating as a growth segment for PV demand, mainly driven by supportive policies and incentives extended by governments across the world. A major reason for this push is the limited land availability in many markets. Despite higher equipment prices compared to ground-mounted installations, developers see the opportunity to save on land and O&M costs. The output can also be as much as 30% higher than a ground-mount PV plant, depending on the site and technology used.

Philippines increases net-metering size limit for renewables to 1 MW

New provisions in the Philippines define interconnection standards, the certification of compliance requirements, and pricing methodologies, among other matters.

Canada set to hit 5 GW milestone

Canada is set to install 500 MW of new solar in 2022, bringing its total capacity to about 5 GW, according to data from Canmet Energy. The country is expected to hit 35 GW of total solar capacity by 2050.

Italy deployed 1.6 GW of PV in January-September period

The Gestore dei Servizi (GSE) energy agency says that Italy’s cumulative installed solar capacity reached 24.2 GW at the end of September.

Tesla, Harmony Energy switch on 98 MW/196 MWh storage project in UK

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.

Norway to nearly triple annual PV additions in 2022, says research firm

Norway’s annual PV capacity additions could grow from 54.5 MW in 2021 to 150 MW this year, amid rising electricity prices. The large-scale solar market is set to contribute the most at roughly 61 MW, according to EUPD Research.

Installations

Featured

Australia builds big

While the first half of 2022 was one of the busiest periods on record for new wind projects in Australia, with more than 2 GW breaking ground, solar got off to a much slower start with construction on 635 MW of new PV projects getting underway. Rystad Energy’s David Dixon attributes this slowdown to high cost and supply chain challenges and a lack of available power purchase agreements.

Portuguese company to build 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility in California

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.

How variable is rooftop solar power?

A research group has developed a new methodology that shows PV systems located in the same area could have similar distributions of power ramps. Their three-step method could be used for the dimensioning of rooftop arrays and the scheduling of daily operations.

Soltec, Enel to build new solar tracker factory in Spain

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.

India added 3.3 GW of solar in Q3

India installed 3.3 GW of PV in the third quarter, including 2.6 GW of utility-scale projects, 485 MW of rooftop arrays, and 251 MW off-grid capacity.

Ireland mulling mandatory renewables quota for heat sector by 2024

The Irish government wants to introduce an unspecified renewable energy quota for the heating sector by 2024. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recently predicted that heat pumps could cover 20% of the country’s heating demand in 2030.

Technology

Featured

Copper is the new silver lining

As the PV industry scales to annual terawatt-level production to rapidly curtail the world’s emissions, it will become more challenging to continue the cost reduction trajectory. Increasing module production from current levels of 200 GW to 300 GW to several terawatts each year will consume significantly more material resources than the industry currently uses. This will require consideration of the additional materials to be sourced, writes Alison Lennon, chief scientist at Sundrive Solar and professor at the UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

The mobility rEVolution: New cooling system for EV batteries in China

South Korea’s SK is developing battery chargers with integrated battery diagnosis, Australian battery specialist Xelectric Power and Germany’s Mobilespace have launched a truck-mounted battery, and BMW Group has revealed plans to build assembly lines for high-voltage batteries next to its new vehicle plant in Hungary.

PV shade screens for greenhouses, agrivoltaics

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.

Rolls-Royce to supply largest battery in Netherlands

Rolls-Royce has agreed to install a 30 MW/60 MWh storage system based on nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries in the Netherlands. It will be the country’s largest energy storage system upon completion in spring 2023. It will provide grid frequency regulation services to the Dutch grid.

Photovoltaics vs. concentrated solar power

Omani researchers have compared the performance of PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) in terms of energy generation intensity and the effective use of land at low latitudes near the Tropic of Cancer. They described nine project typologies and ranked them with three different simulation tools.

The Hydrogen Stream: TES, RWE plan 500 MW electrolyzer in Germany

A group of German companies plans to set up a 500 MW electrolyzer for a 1 GW green hydrogen project in the North Sea. US scientists, meanwhile, have engineered a light-activated nanomaterial to convert ammonia into hydrogen, and Canadian researchers have unveiled a new way to structure catalysts for fuel cells.

Manufacturing

Featured

Catalyst for an EU comeback

Plans for Europe’s largest-ever PV cell and module factory are taking shape, with equipment orders placed and a projected start date in mid-2024. Enel Green Power has received €118 million ($116.36 million) in funding from the EU Innovation Fund to support the project, out of a total €600 million investment. The EU is hoping it will catalyze further investment in similar projects, and start a high-tech comeback for European solar manufacturing.

Low-breakdown-voltage TOPCon IBC solar cells to improve shading tolerance

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 edge toward 4% of solar module costs, near pre-pandemic levels

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.

Solar cell efficiencies at a glance – updated

A research group led by Professor Martin Green has published Version 61 of the solar cell efficiency tables. The tables include a world record for a silicon heterojunction cell, announced by Longi earlier this week, as well as five more new results.

Japanese consortium launches first warranty scheme for second-life solar

Japan-based Marubeni and Sompo Japan have partnered to provide defect warranties for second-life PV modules. Marubeni will verify the traceability and authenticity of information on the panels using blockchain technology.

Vertical agrivoltaics for high snow loads

Luxor Solar has developed a south-oriented system for high snow loads in Japan. It features its own heterojunction solar modules, along with mounting systems from Germany’s Next2Sun and inverters from Japan’s Omron.

Energy Storage

Featured

Cobalt clings on

Cobalt is key for boosting energy density and battery life, but it comes with caveats: expensive, scarce, and linked to unethical mining practices, wild price fluctuations, and a tenuous supply chain. In recent years, battery manufacturers and automakers have intensified efforts to reduce or eliminate cobalt in lithium-ion cathodes. But sometimes, old habits die hard, as pv magazine’s Marija Maisch explains.

Australian startup to fast-track gravity energy storage system

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.

Weekend read: A game of risk

The rising popularity of “baseload” power purchase agreements (PPAs) has posed questions to solar electricity suppliers in the German market. How can projects that do not generate at night, and with wide seasonal output variation, effectively supply constant power to consumers? More importantly, who shoulders the price risk?

Neoen secures grid approval for hybrid wind-solar-storage project in Australia

Neoen has signed a grid-connection agreement with ElectraNet for the first stage of its AUD 3 billion ($2 billion) Goyder South project in Australia, paving the way for future wind, solar and battery storage opportunities at the site.

Beny Electric launches new battery for residential applications

The Chinese manufacturer said its new modular product has a storage capacity of 2.5 kWh and a nominal voltage of 48 V. It can be flexibly scaled up in a four-device configuration to 10 kWh.

Australian companies targeting 4.5 GWh of pumped hydro storage

The developers behind a proposed AUD 5.5 billion ($3.7 billion) pumped hydro renewable energy project in Australia have announced a new partnership to pair 4.5 GW of long-duration energy storage with new renewables capacity and green hydrogen production.

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