The throes of a lithium shortage are increasingly upending long-term supply strategies and stoking demand for alternative technologies for stationary energy storage projects. Once seen as synonymous with renewable batteries, stationary Li-ion faces strong headwinds due to rapidly accelerating demand from the automotive sector as EVs capture the mainstream.
The solar supply chain problems that began last year with high prices and polysilicon shortages are persisting into 2022. But we are already seeing a stark difference from earlier predictions that prices would decline gradually each quarter this year. PV Infolink’s Alan Tu probes the solar market situation and offers insights.
As we closed out the first quarter of 2022, the energy storage industry continued to show stunning growth. When scrolling through the news, reading studies, and attending events, one can’t help but notice how critical battery energy storage is to a myriad of markets and industries. As innovative technologies emerge at a breakneck pace, they reveal three key trends in both market priorities and the sector’s current and future direction.
Vitaliy Daviy is the CEO of emerging markets focussed cleantech organization IB Centre Inc. and holds an optimistic view of Ukraine’s sector after the war. According to him, the country has the keys to energy independence and security.
On Feb. 10 in Belfort, President Emanuel Macron announced his vision for the French global energy industry to 2050. He reaffirmed France’s desire to massively develop renewable energies as intermittent sources on top of the baseload provided by the nuclear industry whose revitalization has already made headlines since. Macron claimed they are “the only means to meet [our immediate energy needs] in a profitable and competitive way”. By 2050, the capacity of the French solar park should be multiplied by more than 10 to exceed 100GWp, while the onshore wind capacity could double to reach 37GW. Offshore wind power should also experience a real take-off as France aims to develop and build 40GW over the same period.
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.
The operator of the 150 MW/193 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia has been fined AUD 900,000 ($620,470) for failing to provide essential services to maintain the stability of the grid.
Enerwhere has designed a solar-plus-storage mobile unit for offgrid locations such as oil and gas fields and construction sites. It can be adapted to different needs and is scalable up to megawatt-scale projects.
The California Public Utilities Commission has introduced a new rule to streamline the interconnection process for distributed energy resources.
Concord New Energy has connected a new 70 MW solar plant to the grid in China. The project, which is situated on a pond, also supports fish and shrimp aquaculture. Trina Solar supplied 670 W solar panels for the installation.
A 5 MW open-access solar project in the Indian state of Karnataka has become the nation’s first fractionally owned, ground-mount PV plant. Bengaluru-based Pyse is financing the $3.3 million project through its investment platform.
The Netherlands is planning a €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) green hydrogen network that will consist of 85% recycled natural gas pipes. It is expected to go online in 2027.
Dutch researchers have developed a heat pump that can be used in combination with rooftop solar generation, due to its modulating capabilities and temperature flexibility. It measures 55 cm x 55 cm x 55 cm and has an output of 6 kW.
Romania is set to put new solar regulations into force through the end of 2026. The rules will allow PV, wind, biomass, bioliquid, biogas, storage projects, and transformer stations to be built directly on land in several previously prohibited fertility classes.
The Turkish authorities will provide winning projects in the nation’s latest solar tender with 15-year power purchase guarantees. Domestic content requirements for equipment have played an important role in the procurement exercise.
Spain has already approved temporary restrictions on the price of gas for electricity generation.
German researchers have developed a new PV cell with a certified efficiency of 23.5%, an open-circuit voltage of 1.59 V, a short-circuit current of 19.4 mA cm–2, and a fill factor of 75.5%. It reached maximum efficiency of up to 24.9%, due to the high quality of the subcells.
Stanford University scientists have built an optical concentrator that purportedly harvests more than 90% of the light that hits its surface.
Renewable hardware that lasts longer and uses fewer materials could bolster recycling efforts and help to build an effective circular economy for solar and battery technologies, says the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have found that nanoscopic refractory metal layers like tungsten could improve dendrite growth tolerance in electrolytes of solid-state Li-ion batteries. The team collaborated with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.
A new report recommends a differential pricing mechanism for pumped-hydro energy storage (PHES) projects in pumping (off-peak operation) and generating mode (peak operation).
East Hope has halted production due to a fire at its factory in the Zhundong Economic and Technological Development Zone, in China’s Xinjiang region. pv magazine recently spoke with polysilicon analyst Johannes Bernreuter about the possible consequences of the fire on the supply chain.
Amid growing concerns about the global supply of raw materials, which battery chemistries have the best chance, if any, of supplanting lithium-ion devices?
Almaden and Trina Solar have signed a long-term solar glass supply deal, while Growatt has revealed plans to list shares in Hong Kong. PV glassmaker Xinyi, meanwhile, has issued a gloomy profit outlook for the first half of 2022.
Down below, you can see a quickfire summary of some of the events held and points raised on day one of pv magazine‘s Roundtables Europe event.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have issued a joint recall of patio umbrellas due to fires caused by the overheating of lithium-ion batteries.
FAW Jiefang has completed a large fuel cell vehicle order in China, while chemical producer Linde has opened one of the world’s largest hydrogen refueling stations for trains. The European Investment Bank, meanwhile, has announced new funding for green hydrogen research in Italy.
Opt-in dynamic pricing of electricity, which could help to balance renewables generation while lowering electric bills for participants and non-participants, is now on deck for a decision in California.
Spain’s Tecnalia is developing a facility that will provide provide clean fuel for a hydrogen bus fleet in Birmingham, England.
Mainspring Energy, a US linear generator specialist, has adapted its technology so its generators can run on hydrogen and ammonia. It said the generators can ramp up and down quickly via solar, with the ability to dynamically switch between different kinds of fuels.
Bio-FlexGen, an EU research project, seeks to develop a combined heat and power plant (CHP) system with hourly, daily and seasonal flexibility via hydrogen production from biomass.