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

Testa 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.
Electric Vehicles

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...
Manufacturing

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.
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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.
Energy Storage

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...
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Markets & Policy

Scientists make first attempt to design solar cells based on kusachite

Indian scientists have designed a thin-film solar cell that uses a mineral made of binary copper(II) and bismuth(III) oxide. They identified a cell design with a tin sulfide buffer layer that offers efficiencies close to 27.7%.
Installations

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.
Installations

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.

Press Releases

Nomad Electric enters the Romanian photovoltaic market

Nomad Electric, a leading provider of services in the construction and maintenance of large scale photovoltaic installations, opens its branch in Bucharest. Starting operations on the Romanian market is in line with the Company's international development strategy.

Philadelphia Solar Phenex module reach a new heights

“Static mechanical load for Phenex module has shown its ability to withstand 5400 pa from each side; front and back.   With a power degradation less than 0.

Philadelphia Solar Panels are now DEWA listed.

Philadelphia Solar modules have met eligibility requirements for DEWA Distributed Renewable Resources Generation program (Shams Dubai). Knowing that modules should be tested according to the latest IEC standards to meet eligibility criteria for listing.

Nordic Solar Reports 55% Growth in Q3 2022

In the third quarter of 2022, Danish Nordic Solar, which builds and operates solar parks throughout Europe, has increased its revenue by 55 per cent and EBITDA by 63 per cent compared to last year.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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 Överholm, 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.

Why do solar power plants work inefficiently?

When choosing a solar power plant, individuals and businesses pay the most attention to its power – after all, this will determine how much electricity will be produced. Other equipment, systems and sensors that allow monitoring and analysis of the operation of the power plant are often underestimated. But they shouldn’t be: the solar power plant will be used for several decades, so various failures and poor-quality monitoring can have a significant impact on the efficiency of electricity production.

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.

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?

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.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Polysilicon prices trending downward

Longi has lowered the prices of all wafers, and JA Solar has unveiled plans to build a new 10 GW factory. PV InfoLink, meanwhile, says polysilicon prices are clearly starting to fall.

Poland raises rebates for residential solar, storage

The Polish government will raise subsidy levels for rooftop PV and storage systems from December under its Mój Prąd scheme. The rebate for solar will increase from PLN 4,000 ($888) to PLN 6,000 and will more than double from PLN 7,500 to PLN 16,000 for storage.

Netherlands selects 2.2 GW of PV projects in new SDE++ round

Solar has dominated the 2022 round of the SDE++ program for large-scale renewable energy projects in the Netherlands, accounting for around 90% of all pre-assigned capacity. About 2,269 MW of PV project proposals have been accepted.

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.

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.

German developer installs 170 MW of solar at former coal mine

GP Joule and Trina Solar have finished building a 170 MW solar project on a former lignite opencast mine in Brandenburg, Germany.

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.

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.

Greenleap Robotics unveils fully autonomous robot to clean solar panels

Greenleap Robotics has built the Lotus A4000 cleaning robot with automotive-grade components to serve as a reliable way to clean solar panels in arid regions.

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 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.

Impacts of clouds, aerosols on solar in China, India

Chinese researchers have modeled the impacts of clouds and aerosols on PV potential in southern China and northern India, which are similar in terms of latitude and elevation. They found that China offers lower PV potential due to a higher cloud effect.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bauer Solar unveils 420-430W bifacial glass-glass module for rooftop applications

Germany-based Bauer Solar has launched a bifacial glass-glass module series with an output of 420 W to 430 W. The new series has 108 monocrystalline n-type half cells and an efficiency of 21.51% to 22.02%.

Solarspace opens TOPcon solar cell factory in China

China’s Solarspace has inaugurated the first stage of a 16 GW n-type TOPCon solar cell manufacturing facility. The facility will also start producing high-efficiency TOPCon solar modules at the beginning of 2023.

Qcells, European consortium launch production line for tandem silicon-perovskite solar cells

South Korea-based Qcells and a research group led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have established a pilot manufacturing line for silicon-perovskite tandem cells in Thalheim, Germany. The project aims to speed up the technology’s mass manufacturing and market penetration.

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.

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.

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.

Australian consumer watchdog expands LG solar battery recall

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started contacting about 5,000 households as part of an updated recall of solar batteries, mainly due to fire concerns.

Lithium-vanadium battery for renewables storage

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group has energized its first hybrid storage system based on lithium-ion batteries and vanadium redox flow batteries in Germany. The system reportedly combines the advantages and electrochemical properties of both storage technologies.

Toshiba, Marubeni launch rock-based thermal energy storage tech pilot

Toshiba and Marubeni have revealed plans to build commercial projects based on thermal storage technology using rocks. They have set up a demonstrator with 100 kWh of storage capacity and a relatively high heat storage density.

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