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There’s a famous saying: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” The current energy crisis has had a terrible impact on many consumers, but it has also given the energy sector a golden opportunity to get in shape for the energy transition. Jon Slowe, the director of Delta-EE, examines the impacts and opportunities of the energy crisis currently playing out in Europe and what it could mean for the renewables sector.
While the adoption of large-format wafers has driven a wave of capacity expansion for PERC, existing manufacturers and new entrants continue to evaluate TOPCon and HJT. An increasing number of HJT pilot lines and gigawatt-scale capacity expansion projects are appearing, as manufacturers see the advantages of fewer process steps, higher efficiency ratings, and better yield rates. The localization of equipment is also a driving factor. PV InfoLink’s Derek Zhao offers an update on the latest developments and process routes for HJT.
Next year will set new records for the U.S. solar market, with 30.4 GW of installations expected. The utility-scale PV pipeline in 2022 is nearly 50% greater than 2021 and 2023, due to the combined effects of pandemic-related supply chain impacts, the solar Investment Tax Credit schedule, and other module procurement challenges. Over the next two years, solar installations will be concentrated in Texas, California, Ohio, Indiana, and Nevada, with large portions of the pipeline being developed by a few key players in each state. IHS Markit’s Eric Wright takes a closer look.
As solar energy experiences record growth, investors, customers, and regulators are increasingly asking for more disclosure and transparency on how solar supply chains are managed throughout product life cycles.
As the continent struggles through this latest seasonal electricity price crisis, the power of solar has been brought to the fore. Households and industry alike have been affected by the challenges in electricity costs in recent weeks, as global economic recovery and supply chain issues have driven high gas prices. Consumers at every level are searching for energy alternatives.
The input costs of the two biggest contributors to solar plant development expense have gone through the roof since the world began to come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, to leave project developers with some difficult choices.
The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.
A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.
An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.
‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.
Proton Motor Fuel Cell and xelectrix Power have also developed a complete system that combines fuel cell and battery storage technologies and U.S.-based Plug Power is building a 100 MW electrolyzer in Egypt. Furthermore, Germany said it wants to deploy 10 GW of hydrogen capacity by 2030 and South Korea unveiled its hydrogen strategy.
Scientists in the United States pieced together data from hundreds of different sources, looking to establish the key factors that have led to consistently falling prices for lithium-ion technology since their commercialization thirty years ago. They find that public-funded research, primarily in chemistry and materials science, has made the largest contribution to cost reduction. And they offer suggestions on policy and investment to ensure that the research can continue to make these important contributions to reduction in battery costs.
The country’s cumulative PV capacity reached 13.3 GW at the end of September. This year’s growth was triggered by a strong increase in utility-scale solar projects.
Furthermore, polysilicon manufacturer Daqo will increase investments in its plans to expand capacity and Canadian Solar closed a strategic co-operation agreement with battery giant CATL.
The Eastern European country is expected to reach 10 GW of solar capacity by the end of 2022, according to the Polish research institute Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej. This projected growth should materialize despite a strong contraction in the distributed generation segment.
Manufactured by scientists in Italy, the 3.88%-efficient organic solar panels are able to filter the light from the roofs of greenhouses. They are also capable of supplying a portion of the electricity required to power the greenhouse’s temperature and humidity sensors.
Through the procurement exercise, the Portuguese authorities want to select floating PV projects between 8 to 10 MW in size. Six water reservoirs have already been identified for their deployment.
U.S. solar thermal specialist Fafco is set to launch a new photovoltaic-thermal heat pump solution for water and pool heating. The system consists of photovoltaic-thermal panels, a 5 kWh thermal battery with a heat pump, and an electric hot water heater.
According to recent analysis by Belgian institute EnergyVille, rooftop PV and onshore wind have the technical potential to reach 118 GW of capacity in Belgium. Of the three Belgian macro-regions, Flemish-speaking Flanders is the one with the largest solar potential for rooftop systems, at 67.56 GW, followed by French-speaking Wallonia, with 31.54 GW, and the Brussels metropolitan region, with 4.23 GW.
Clean energy trade group the Canadian Renewable Energy Association has told policymakers CA$8 billion worth of solar and wind projects will be needed each year to decarbonize the electricity supply by 2035 and remove net emissions by mid century.
Finland-based fairway maintenance service provider Arctia Group is developing solar-powered navigational markers through an EU-funded research project. A 10-meter high solar buoy is currently being tested by the Ports of Stockholm.
Australian energy storage company VSUN Energy claims to have identified the ‘missing piece of the renewable energy jigsaw’ after successfully testing a standalone electric vehicle battery charger using solar PV supplied by a vanadium redox flow battery.
An Iranian-Canadian-based research group has conceived a nature-inspired algorithm to estimate the model parameters of PV systems. The proposed tool mimics the exploring, exploiting and attacking strategy of the Harris hawk, a bird of prey species that cooperates when hunting.
The solar cell was built with a layer of organic cations between the iodide on top, and lead on the bottom enhanced interactions between the layers. Its creators designed the device after they discovered that, when the sunlight hits a 2D perovskite, it contracts the space between atomic layers in the material.
The kit consists of one or two modules, a microinverter, and a five-meter cable. Thanks to its plug-in technology, it can be connected to any electrical outlet and immediately begin generating electricity.
In an update to its annual International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics, German engineering association VDMA discusses the readiness level for various technologies in PV cell and module manufacturing, finding that more process development is needed for 210mm wafers – the largest format currently on the market – to match the throughputs that will soon be achievable with smaller formats including 182mm.
The issue now moves to President Joe Biden who will decide whether or not to extend the tariffs beyond their February 2022 expiration.
Korean manufacturer SolarFlex Ltd will now seek to bring the solar cell to commercial production.
The Indian company is planning to invest INR 3,000 crore ($403 million) in the new manufacturing facility.
As Australia, like much of the world, battles with shortfalls in supply as solar module prices rise and Chinese companies’ stocks decrease, the country’s only manufacturer, Tindo Solar, has opted to release emergency stocks. Likewise, Chinese giant Longi is working to guarantee supply for Australia, saying its vertical integration has afforded it extra security.
A report has stated the renewable-plus-fossil fuel model is the best short term option to meet the assured supply conditions in the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s round-the-clock power tenders. Further out, as the cost of batteries decline, that technology is likely to become the most viable option for providing critical, non-intermittent power.
A new Ernst & Young power and utilities overview report shows that utilities and other deep-pocketed investors are putting financial support behind their environmental, social and governance initiatives.
The energy storage system, which is set to be up and running in around a year’s time, will be supplied by Finnish company Wärtsilä and will provide services including reserve power and frequency control response.
Industry association SolarPower Europe expects little change in the line-up of Europe’s biggest residential battery markets in four years’ time, with a rush of retrofits as turn-of-the-century solar feed-in tariffs begin to expire, set to keep Germany way ahead of the pack.
The plant would be able to deliver 400 MW of electricity for 8 hours, and would be comparable in size to some of California’s largest fossil fuel power plants.
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