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Trina Solar unveils 425 W all-black solar module with 21.3% efficiency

China's Trina Solar has developed an upgraded version of its Vertex S All Black PV module, with about 30 W of additional output. It is offering the new product on the Australian market.
Markets & Policy

Adani Green commissions 450 MW hybrid wind-solar plant in India

Indian developer Adani Green has commissioned a 450 MW wind-solar power plant in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It has reached 1.44 GW of cumulative hybrid power generation capacity.
Installations

Italy expected to install 12 GW of solar in 2023-24 period

Italy's solar sector is poised for growth over the next two years, according to participants in the recent Italia Solare Forum in Rome. Analysts say they expect the Italian authorities to issue more permits for PV projects, potentially pushing annual ins...
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Markets & Policy

Romanian government accepting proposals for renewables auction

The Romanian Ministry of Energy has started seeking expressions of interest for its first renewables auction, likely to be held the end of June. Developers have until Dec. 30 to express interest.
Manufacturing

Selenium solar cell with 5.2% efficiency, 0.99 V open-circuit voltage

Danish researchers have built a selenium solar cell with the highest open-circuit voltage ever reported. They said that with further improvements in the optoelectronic quality of selenium, the device could reach an efficiency of up to 8%.
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Markets & Policy

Finnish mine to host 75 MW/530 MWh underground pumped hydro facility

Suomen Energiavarasto Oy has secured €26.3 million ($27.5 million) from the Finnish government to build an underground pumped hydro project at a former zinc and copper mine.
Markets & Policy

Germany allocates 609 MW in tender for large-scale solar

Germany concluded its latest renewables tender with a final average price of €0.0580 ($0.06)/kWh, which is slightly higher than the €0.0510 level from the last such exercise. Bids ranged from €0.0520/kWh to €0.0590/kWh.
Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Linyang Energy to build 20 GW TOPCon factory

Linyang Energy has revealed plans to build a new solar factory in Jiangsu province, while Daqo has said it will build a new silicon production base in Inner Mongolia.

Press Releases

Met Group enters the Romanian renewables market

Swiss-based European energy company MET Group today announced its entry into the Romanian renewables market, with the acquisition of a 100% stake in a solar project currently at a late planning stage. The 52 MWp project is expected to reach ready-to-build status by the first quarter of 2023.

Sunlight Group-Triathlon Holding GmbH mega deal transforms industrial batteries landscape

Sunlight Group acquires 51% of Triathlon Holding GmbH; Companies shall continue autonomous commercial operations, while leveraging synergies

Gamuda’s investment in ERS Energy to fuel RE drive

Gamuda Berhad has signed a subscription and shareholders’ agreement (SSA) with ERS Energy Sdn Bhd and its shareholders to subscribe for RM200mil worth of new shares in ERS Energy.

The increasing cost of installers in Europe drives the EU DG market entirely focus on N-type solutions

European installation in 2022 will be below the bottom end of guidance ranges because of delays and bottleneck of installers versus stronger demand.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

PV and the cable guide

While solar modules and inverters can greatly influence the output of a planned solar project, it is important not to overlook how to select and design cabling systems for your solar plant – for safety as well as generation considerations. Ye Qilin, a senior system engineer at Huawei’s FusionSolar smart PV and energy storage business, runs us through some dos and don'ts.

Big solar already pulling its weight on emission reduction – especially in Chile

Following a disappointing COP27 climate change summit in November, solar industry veteran Philip Wolfe reviews the contribution utility-scale PV is starting to make to emissions reduction.

Perovskites and microgrooves can revolutionize solar

Ambitious targets for solar energy generation present challenges to an industry keen to explore new avenues for solar production. Neil Spann, chief executive of UK thin film solar manufacturer Power Roll, describes a commercial solution to the problems of over reliance on silicon solar modules.

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.

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.

Canadian company unveils portable off-grid solar, battery kit

SEI Logistics has developed a portable, folding solar panel kit with batteries. The system is designed to work in harsh, remote environments.

Sembcorp to deploy more than 400 MW of PV at coal facility in Bangladesh

Singapore’s Sembcorp plans to install several solar plants near 1.4 GW of coal power capacity that developers are now building in Bangladesh.

Sterling & Wilson switches on 162 MW solar plant in Australia

The Australian state of Queensland’s push to source 70% of its energy supplies from renewables by 2032 has received a boost with the completion of the 162 MW Columboola Solar Farm.

US solar assets underperforming, says kWh Analytics

The 2022 Solar Generation Index report shows that solar asset performance is falling below estimates.

Germany likely installed 220,000 new residential solar batteries in 2022, says EUPD Research

EUPD Research said that Germany’s residential storage market more than doubled year on year in 2022. It noted that BYD has surpassed Sonnen to become the leading battery supplier.

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.

Design framework for BIPV shading devices

Canadian researchers have developed a new model to improve the performance of building-integrated PV (BIPV) shades in buildings. They considered solar electricity, heat transferred through windows, and interior daylighting quality.

PV-powered residential air-source heat pump with PCM thermal storage

A UK research group has proposed the combination of solar-powered heat pumps and thermal storage based on phase-change materials for residential applications. They said such a system could facilitate cost savings of up to 39%.

Online tool provides answers to complexities of home solar, storage in Australia

The Australian PV Institute (APVI) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have launched a free version of SunSPOT, a tool for tailored guidance on ideal solar and battery setups.

Enphase to add up to 7.2 GW of US solar microinverter production capacity

Enphase CEO Badri Kothandaraman has said that the company will build four to six new manufacturing lines in the United States.

Tokyo preparing mandatory PV requirements for new buildings, homes

The Tokyo municipal authorities are working on new regulations to make solar installations mandatory for new homes with total rooftop areas of more than 20 square meters, and for buildings with rooftops smaller than 2,000 square meters.

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.

Monolithic perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells for water splitting

Researchers in the Netherlands have designed a water-splitting system with an electrochemical cell and a 25%-efficient tandem perovskite-silicon solar cell. It can reportedly achieve a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency rating of more than 21%.

The Hydrogen Stream: Global renewables capacity for hydrogen to surge by 2027, says IEA

The International Energy Agency says that it expects the use of renewables to support global hydrogen production to surge over the next five years. The Netherlands and Denmark, meanwhile, have revealed plans to expand electrolysis capacity.

The mobility rEVolution: Lightyear becomes first to launch series production of solar EVs

Acciona Energia is setting up its first V2G network in Spain, ADS-TEC has unveiled a battery-based, all-in-one system with up to 300 kW of charging power, and Volkswagen is looking for a location for its first battery cell factory in North America.

US research institute proposes compensation for storage

Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) researchers have developed a new framework to compensate energy storage as a dual-use asset.

Novel approach to thermophotovoltaics could lead to thermodynamic limit

US researchers have developed a new way to design solar thermophotovoltaics (STPV) with a lower efficiency deficit. They claim that the power generation tech could approach the Landsberg limit.

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.

REC scraps plan to build 4 GW solar module factory in France

REC says it has dropped its plans to set up a factory in France due to “various market changes.” It wanted to invest €680 million ($716 million) to produce heterojunction solar modules in the town of Hambach.

Australian supply chains would benefit from addressing modern slavery issue

Australia’s Clean Energy Council and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright have published a white paper arguing that the country’s renewable energy supply chains could “benefit significantly” from a concerted effort to address forced labor.

Natural-born p-doped material for pervoskite solar cells

Researchers in South Korea have found that molybdenum ditelluride could increase carrier generation in perovskite solar cells. They simulated a cell with a perovskite absorber and a layer made of the new material, and determined that its efficiency could exceed 20%.

SND to open 1 GW factory for TOPCon solar modules in South Korea

SND has announced plans to build a new factory in Gwangju, South Korea. It will also produce panels with an unspecified tandem technology. It plans to open the factory in 2025.

US government calls for continued tariffs on solar imports

A new US government ruling is a mistake that the solar industry will have to deal with for the next several years, according to a solar trade group CEO.

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.

Scientists identify molecules for potential use in redox flow batteries

Scientists at the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) have set up a database of 31,618 molecules that could potentially be used in future redox flow batteries. They used artificial intelligence and supercomputers to identify the properties of the molecules.

Panasonic unveils vehicle-to-home system for PV-powered homes

Panasonic claims that its new vehicle-to-home system can increase the self-consumption rate of residential solar and storage capacity to 90%.

Weekend read: Shining magnate

Mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is the founder and executive chair of Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group. The company has announced an ambitious $6.2 billion decarbonization strategy and its Fortescue Future Industries subsidiary has rapidly become a global player in green hydrogen, along with a host of other energy transition technologies. Whether it is pushing to decarbonize mining, hashing out headline-making green energy deals, or using the popular “Rick and Morty” cartoon to educate people about the potential of green hydrogen, Fortescue and its shining magnate are talking the talk. But can they walk the walk? Blake Matich reports.

The Hydrogen Stream: Airbus, Honda bet on hydrogen-powered fuel cells

Airbus sees hydrogen-powered fuel cell engines as a potential solution for its zero-emissions aircraft, which will go service by 2035. Meanwhile, Honda, meanwhile, has announced plans to produce fuel cell electric vehicles in the United States from 2024.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: DMEGC to build 20 GW TOPCon cell factory

DMEGC has revealed plans to build a 20 GW solar cell factory in Sichuan province, while Daqo said it has secured long-term polysilicon supply agreements with Longi and another undisclosed Chinese company.

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