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.
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.
The Russia Renewable Energy Development Association (RREDA) said in a new report that investors are still interested in building new renewables projects in the country, despite harsh market conditions related to Western sanctions.
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.
An international group of researchers from 15 universities has said that there is growing consensus among scientists that an energy system based on 100% renewables could be achieved cost effectively by 2050.
Texas-based FTC Solar said it expects a “significant rebound” in its business in the final three months of this year, if it can secure sufficient supplies of PV panels.
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.
Scientists in Japan have developed black glasses grafted silicon microparticles as a negative electrode material to improve lithium-ion battery performance.
Exus Management Partners has acquired 20 planned solar plants, totaling 1.06 GW of generating capacity, in northern Brazil. The plants all fall under the banner of the Riacho da Serra project, which Exus has acquired from developers Decal Renewables and Upside Value for BRL 3.5 billion ($650 million).
Shell will purchase four planned PV projects totaling 100 MW in various locations across northern England. It says it will seek offtakers for the projects through its power trading team and sees strong demand in the corporate power purchase agreement sector.
Researchers at Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute have demonstrated a new, highly integrated, flexible photo-rechargeable system based on zinc-ion batteries and perovskite solar cells. It only needs a few seconds of sunlight to keep smart wearables charged.
Scientists in the Netherlands have developed a model to forecast the energy yield of a PV system. It is able to take into account factors such as partial shading and multiple module orientations. Tested against a reference cell and pyranometer, the model showed less than 5% error, and the scientists claim their approach is up to three orders of magnitude faster than more common approaches using complex ray tracing.
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.
Scientists in Australia have looked at how gettering technologies could improve passivating contacts based on polysilicon and silicon monoxide (SiOx) for tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cells. They found that the gettering strength of the P-doped poly mainly depends on the doping concentration.
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.
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