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Puerto Rico could approach 40% renewables by 2025

Rapidly deploying 5.2 GW of planned solar and storage in Puerto Rico, a possibility raised in a report by six national laboratories, would require an improvement in the Puerto Rico utility’s practices. A mandated procurement process has suffered delays at many steps.
Markets & Policy

RWE, Greek utility build 210 MW of solar at former lignite mine

Germany’s RWE and Greece’s PPC electric utilities have signed today an agreement to start in spring the construction of 210 MW of new solar pv capacity at a former lignite mine in northern Greece. This is the first stage for the implementation of a 2...
Markets & Policy

Only5mins! – ‘Additionality’ must be adhered to in Africa’s green hydrogen development

Chigozie Nweke-Eze is an economist, geographer and founder of Integrated Africa Power. He sat down with pv magazine to discuss green hydrogen development in Africa, from the project pipeline to the necessity of "additionality" when it comes to ens...
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Markets & Policy

Microsoft to purchase 2.5 GW of Qcells solar

Qcells will provide US-made solar modules and perform engineering, procurement, and construction for Microsoft’s solar projects.
Events

Key takeaways from Solar Quality Summit Europe

This year’s edition of Solar Quality Summit Europe started on Jan. 24 in Barcelona, Spain. With Europe set to hit record solar installations in the coming years, industry stakeholders discussed how to do that quickly. Digitalization, monitoring, revamp...
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Manufacturing

Titanium oxide hydrophobic coating to clean solar panels

Germany's Fraunhofer FEP has unveiled a dirt-repellent coating for solar panels. The material is reportedly able to acquire superhydrophilic properties at night and wash away the dirt through the beading raindrops.
Manufacturing

Scientists assess lifetime for perovskite PV to become competitive on rooftops

Researchers say that lightweight, high-performance perovskite solar modules could soon become competitive with crystalline PV modules in the residential segment, as such products will likely have lower manufacturing and balance-of-system costs in the fut...
Markets & Policy

Indonesian utility kicks off tender for 100 MW floating solar plant

PT PLN Nusantara Power has launched a tender for a floating PV project that will likely be built at a dam on the island of Java, Indonesia.

Press Releases

Enphase Energy and Enerix to Expand Solar and Battery Storage Product Offerings in Europe

Enphase Energy announced today a partnership with Enerix, Germany’s leading network of specialist companies for decentralized energy systems, to expand Enphase® product offerings in Europe. Through this partnership, Enerix will offer Enphase Energy Systems™, powered by IQ® Microinverters and IQ™ Batteries, to its network of more than 100 franchise partners across Germany and Austria.

ASTRASUN Solar Plc., Műszertechnika-Holding Plc. and IK Metál Ltd. enter into a key partnership

ASTRASUN Solar Plc. , listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange, Műszertechnika-Holding Plc.

SolarPower Europe launches industry-leading solar digital best practices platform

SolarPower Europe launches industry-leading Solar Best Practices Platform to award quality badges to solar project developers.

ABL assesses solar powered cold ironing at Mombasa Port

A feasibility study conducted by energy and marine consultancy ABL Group has investigated two possible brownfield sites for the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to generate renewable energy powered shore power – or ‘cold ironing’ – at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Consumers have a right to know the energy make-up of goods

With energy certification already a must-have for any business which makes green energy claims, Ed Everson, chief executive of England-based, global certification company Evident, makes the case for firms to be required to make full disclosure of their energy sources.

The fastest energy change in history

Solar and wind are being installed at a rate that is three times faster than all other new electricity sources combined. This offers compelling market-based evidence that PV and wind are now the most competitive and practical methods for deploying new generating capacity.

Ready for takeoff

Airport PV can provide an instant boost to emission-reduction efforts while work continues on sustainable aviation fuels. Developing solar projects at or near airports, however, is not as straightforward as typical ground-mount installations.

Rethinking soiling

The two dominant methods used in the industry to estimate soiling levels on solar projects go some way in mitigating losses, but there is plenty of scope for more accurate observation.

Will Africa be left behind in the scramble for renewables?

Buoyant predictions about a rosy future for African photovoltaics, based on the continent’s abundant solar resources, continue to overlook the difficulties of securing investment, as Empower New Energy co-founder and CEO Terje Osmundsen explains, referring to a report published by the Africa Solar Industry Association at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today.

Hope springs renewable

Russia is destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, raising questions about how to ensure the safety and function of the country’s energy industry, particularly its nuclear power plants. What role can renewable energy play in such extreme circumstances?

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.

Falling costs, 15 GW of US solar module production, TOPCon trends

A recent Wood Mackenzie report looks at trends and challenges in the burgeoning US solar market, including manufacturing stimulated by the US Inflation Reduction Act.

Australian scientists source silicon from solar waste to build better batteries

Researchers from Victoria’s Deakin University say they have successfully tested a new process that can safely and effectively extract silicon from end-of-life solar panels, and then convert it into nano materials worth more than $45,000 (USD 31,500) per kilogram, in order to build better batteries.

Only5mins! – ‘We are in desperate need of power’

Chanda Nxumalo, the chairperson of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), speaks with pv magazine about the prospects of the South African energy market, its new regulations and the bright future for the PV sector. Nxumalo also addresses the challenges and opportunities for battery storage, green hydrogen and women in renewables.

Estonia to host 550 MW pumped hydro storage facility

Energiasalv has secured a construction permit to build a 6 GWh pumped hydro storage plant in Paldiski. Work on the facility is planned to start in the summer of 2024.

Construction begins on 93 MW Australian solar farm

Construction has started on a 93 MW solar project in the Australian state of Victoria. The installation, which has been under development for at least five years, was sold to Enel Green Power in 2019.

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.

Turkey aims to produce hydrogen at $2.40/kg by 2035

Turkey has released a hydrogen roadmap as part of its plans to meet its 2035 net-zero emission targets, hinging on solar energy and importing electrolysis technologies in the short term. Gulmira Rzayeva, research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, says this target is realistic.

Acciona energizes 125 MW solar plant in Spain

Located in Spain’s southern province of Badajoz, the project is the largest PV facility built by Acciona in its home country.

Eggplants grow 50% more under solar panels

French specialist Sun’Agri unveiled the agronomic results on a crop of eggplant grown in a greenhouse commissioned in the Lot-et-Garonne in September, 2020.

kWh Analytics launches solar property insurance product

kWh Analytics has started offering protection against physical damages to solar arrays and other renewable energy assets, in partnership with Aspen Insurance.

Ncondezi Energy secures land for 300 MW solar facility in Mozambique

Ncondezi Energy has secured land for a 300 MW solar-plus-storage project in Mozambique. It has also signed an agreement with India’s Synergy Consulting for support in securing debt financing.

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.

TÜV Rheinland opens solar module testing lab in China

Germany’s TÜV Rheinland said it will invest €22 million in the 5,000 m2 facility for testing photovoltaic modules as part of a massive lab.

US startup begins producing 40%-efficient thermophotovoltaic cells

Antora Energy says its new 2 MW factory will make thermophotovoltaic cells for thermal storage applications. The cells are based on III-V semiconductors and reportedly have a heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency of more than 40%.

New way to calculate LCoE of perovskite solar

Italian researchers have analyzed different ways to assess the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) of perovskite solar cells and modules. They said a common approach should soon be defined to increase the market maturity of the tech.

Only5mins! – The steeplechase of perovskite solar

The potential of perovskite solar cells and modules is still held back by issues such as stability and efficiency losses when scaling up from cell to module. But Annalisa Bruno, a scientist at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, says most of these challenges could be overcome in the near future, with this technology extending from building-integrated PV to conventional solar projects.

Administrators move swiftly to settle future of Sun Cable

Two of Australia’s richest people are expected to be rivals in the bidding process for Sun Cable, the developer of what could be the world’s biggest intercontinental solar and energy storage project. Administrators indicate that the sale process could be completed within three months.

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.

Passive solar module cooling tech based on paraffin wax

Egyptian researchers have used paraffin wax as a phase-change material (PCM) to reduce the operating temperatures of PV modules. They have found that the material improves power yield by more than 15%, compared to a reference module without cooling.

Vertical PV for clean energy and crop production

Researchers and project developers throughout the world are increasingly looking at agrivoltaic installations with vertically oriented solar panels.

Assessing vibrations in solar modules due to robot cleaning

Qatari researchers have looked at the degree to which cleaning robots could threaten the physical integrity of solar panels. They found that cleaning machines have a very minimal impact and that modules of similar sizes tend to exhibit roughly the same amount of vibration.

Spray passivation to reduce losses in TOPCon, HJT cell-to-module process

Chinese researchers have developed a new passivation technique for shingled solar panels based on tunnel oxide passivated contacts (TOPCon) or heterojunction (HJT) tech. It reduces recombination losses in the cell-to-module process and reportedly increases open-circuit voltage, fill factor, and efficiency.

Hanwha Q Cells unveils updated modules for Australian rooftop market

Hanwha Q Cells has launched the latest generation of its Q.MAXX solar panel series for the Australian residential market. It says the power class has been increased by up to 15 Wp from previous iterations.

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.

Storing renewables via regenerative braking in underground mines

Scientists in Austria have developed a long-term energy storage system that uses regenerative braking to adjust the descent speed of sand in mine shafts and generate electricity.

US startup unveils saltwater flow battery for large-scale storage

US-based Salgenx has developed a scalable redox flow battery with two separate tanks of electrolytes, one of which is saltwater. Unlike other flow batteries, the new device is membrane-free, promising big gains at the levelized cost of storage level.

Key takeaways from Abu Dhabi’s World Future Energy Summit

The World Future Energy Summit showed that Middle Eastern solar markets are still driven by utility-scale PV, although the C&I sector shows signs of growth. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are the most promising markets for big solar projects, with huge pipelines under development, while Lebanon and Yemen show promise due to chronic energy shortages.

South Africa’s pipeline of unsubsidized PV projects hits 9 GW

The South African government has provided figures on “embedded generation projects” that are currently under development in the country. It also revealed that it will soon launch a tender for big storage projects.

New York grid operator advances 3 GW of solar, storage projects

About 27 GW of solar and storage projects remain in New York’s interconnection queue. The grid operator has also advanced 3 GW of wind projects and a 1.25 GW transmission line.

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