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The weekend read: V2G driving grid changes

The uptake of EVs in the years ahead will add up to staggering battery capacity, mostly sitting idle on driveways. The two-way flow of electricity from EV batteries, known as vehicle to grid, could not only enable power systems to rely on intermittent renewables, but could also be the trump card for network operators to respond to grid disturbances. However, there are still a few catches to be worked out, as Marija Maisch explains.
Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: Hydrogen refueling stations for automotive market

Canada's First Hydrogen and German consulting firm FEV are developing a hydrogen fueling station for remote locations where there are no electrical power grids available. Furthermore, Japan and Indonesia have started to cooperate on hydrogen and carbon c...

Micro-inverter for high-power solar panels from Hoymiles

The device has a 4-in-1 design, which means it can be connected with four solar panels with a power output of up to 625 W each, through four independent connections. The output of each panel is tracked and converted individually. According to the Chinese...

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Reliance Industries commits over US$75 billion for green energy projects in India

The Mukesh Ambani-led diversified business conglomerate has agreed to invest INR 5 lakh crore (US$67.6 billion) in building 100 GW of renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen eco-system in the state. It will also invest INR 60,000 crore (US$8.1 billi...

Fluence, QuantumScape partner on solid-state lithium-metal energy storage

The companies will collaborate on what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind attempt to incorporate QuantumScape’s solid-state lithium-metal battery technology into stationary energy storage products.

Perovskite solar module with 21.36% efficiency via new passivation tech

Lithuanian scientists built the panel with 23.9% efficient solar cells with operational stability of over 1000 h. The module has an active area of 26 cm2.

Israel launches tender for 100 MW of agrivoltaics

Selected projects will be awarded a fixed tariff of ILS 0.2091 ($0.06.708)/kWh over a 23-year period.

Panasonic unveils 410 W solar panel with 22.2% efficiency

The new heterojunction module series is compatible with Panasonic's Evervolt battery and has a power output ranging from 400 to 410 W. It also features a temperature coefficient of -0.26% per degree Celsius.

Press Releases

Gonvarri Solar Steel receives Ecovadis Gold Medal for environment, labor practices and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement

Solar Steel, a division of Gonvarri Industries, has received the Gold Medal from Ecovadis, the global standard platform for sustainability management, for its performance in environment, labor practices and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement.

DNV Gives High Marks to Ampt String Optimizers Used in Utility-Scale PV Solar

Independent Technology Evaluation update includes Ampt’s most advanced optimizers that are widely used in PV power plants, DC-coupled energy storage, and repowering applications.

Ubiquitous Energy Closes $30 Million Series B Funding Round

World leading transparent solar technology dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of buildings—the planet’s biggest energy consumers.

Elgin Energy announces sale of UK’s largest solar portfolio to Iberdrola’s Scottish Power Renewables

Elgin Energy has agreed to sell a 519MW portfolio of solar PV projects and 70MW of co-located energy storage capacity to Scottish Power Renewables (UK) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global utility Iberdrola Group.

Opinion & Analysis


2021 was a record-breaking year for European solar, now we must increase ambition

Right before the holiday season, the European Commission unveiled the latest installment of its "Fit for 55" legislative package – plans that aim to put the continent on track to reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. These additional proposals include the Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Package, as well as a revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBDII).

EU to gut the principle of sustainable taxonomy with inclusion of nuclear and gas

The EU’s Sustainable Taxonomy was intended to complement the Green Deal, provide investors with certainty about the sustainability of their investments, and help channel billions into sustainable, low-carbon processes and technologies. Despite input from experts and NGOs, the inclusion of gas and nuclear power just proposed by the Commission suggests that, once again, politics is trumping science.

Brazil heads for a solar installation rush

Brazil’s deployment of distributed generation PV (below 5 MWp) has exploded from a total capacity of 500 MW in 2018 to 7 GW by September of this year. The trigger for this increase, alongside rocketing electricity prices, was the 2019 proposal of law 5829, writes IHS Markit analyst Angel Antonio Cancino. The proposal is expected to pass into law at the end of this year and will gradually introduce grid-access charges for residential and commercial system owners.

A 200 GW solar year in 2022

Structural imbalances in the supply chain and the energy intensity and consumption controls that China imposed in late September have caused prices for most PV module materials and components to continue to rise. Shipping fees and PV plant construction costs also remain high. PV plants in many regions will therefore be postponed until next year, but it remains unclear when module prices will start to fall. Despite these challenges, the global race to cut carbon emissions continues, and InfoLink’s Corrine Lin forecasts a bright future for PV deployments in 2022.

Europe faces ‘new era of energy dependency’

The EU has been pouring money into European battery manufacturing and recycling projects but has, as yet, been unable to address the critical question of raw materials, according to analyst WoodMac.

2021 and beyond: European solar manufacturing must shine again

As 2021 ends, we enter a period of reflection and preparation. The ongoing pandemic has brought supply chain disruption, while the increasingly severe effects of the climate crisis loom over us. This winter, Europeans are struggling through unprecedented energy costs, driven by extremely high global gas prices. A year of difficulties has shown that Europe, more than ever, must accelerate the deployment of renewables to provide our economy with reliable, low-cost, and clean energy.



Solar supply chain trouble to ease this year, according to analyst

Wood Mackenzie has predicted solar equipment cost increases will ease back after last year saw the average cost of solar electricity rise for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region.

Latvian plan to exempt big energy consumers from renewables surcharge approved by EU

The Baltic state has offered energy-intensive, international-facing industries up to an 85% discount on a surcharge levied on electricity consumers since May 2017 and made the scheme wider ranging this year, in a move approved by the European Commission.

China and India to drive record world coal demand next year

Advances in solar power and other clean energy technologies have failed to keep up with demand for electricity as economies rebound from the Covid crisis and China and India’s fossil fuel appetite will ensure the world stays well short of what is needed for a net zero 2050 for at least the next three years.

Solar company’s Christmas party blamed for Omicron-variant Covid outbreak in Oslo

A news article published on Friday stated 13 cases had been confirmed and a senior physician said the working hypothesis was that at least half of the 120 people who attended the event had been infected. pv magazine has contacted Scatec for an update.

‘World’s biggest TOPCon solar plant’ begins generating

Solar manufacturer Jolywood, which supplied almost 500 MW of its bifacial tunnel oxide passivated contact panels for Oman’s Ibri II facility, has claimed the power plant is the biggest to date to deploy the high-efficiency technology.

Solar job numbers kept on rising in 2020

The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition’s employment benefits are to be shared equally.

Markets & Policy


What COP26 means for solar

COP26 was either a great success or an abject failure, depending on who you talk to. What matters for the solar industry is the extent to which decisions agreed in the Glasgow Climate Pact are going to change the direction of the energy and financial sectors.

Solar-powered battery gigafactory gets tick of approval in UK

Local planning committees have given a go-ahead to a £2.5 billion gigafactory in the English West Midlands. The facility will be powered by 100% onsite solar and storage and equipped to both manufacture new batteries and recycle used ones.

Green bond in Bangladesh attracts investors in trading debut

The first green bond issued in Bangladesh is attracting investors and funding Beximco Group’s large-scale, Chinese-backed solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 230 MW. The government may soon use bonds to similarly finance infrastructure projects.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: JinkoSolar announces Jiangxi Jinko’s IPO pricing

Jiangxi Jinko plans to issue 2 billion shares at RMB5.00 per share and expects to raise net proceeds of around RMB 10.0 million. Solar manufacturer Solargiga said it expects a 17% revenue growth for 2021.

Brazil may add another 12 GW of PV this year

Of this new capacity, 8.9 GW may come from distributed generation and 3.2 GW from utility scale solar. By the end of December 2022, the country’s installed solar power should reach 25 GW, according to new figures from Brazilian trade body ABSolar.

World’s largest coal port flicks switch to 100% renewable energy

The world’s largest coal seaport is now powered by 100% renewable energy, following the confirmation of a new deal between the Port of Newcastle, Australia, and the Australian unit of Spanish energy group Iberdrola.



BIPV no refuge

Deployment in the building integrated PV segment is accelerating, and so too are the number of solar products available to architects and developers. And while BIPV had long been the segment in which an array of thin-film technologies could shine, they are now in increasingly stiff competition with crystalline silicon rivals.

NREL’s online tool to assess viability of geothermal heat pumps

The research institute has upgraded its REopt web tool to include ground-source heat pump technologies. US homeowners will now be able to simulate the impact of converting conventional heating and cooling systems to geothermal heat pumps.

All solar is equal, but rooftop solar is more equal

Cornell Researchers have found that upstate New Yorkers prefer rooftop solar to community solar under 50 acres, but opinions are split 50/50 over large-scale ground mounts. The distaste for utility-scale solar is strongest when converting forests, public land and productive farmland.

Energy crisis drives up European clean power PPA prices

A worsening price shock, felt to different degrees across Europe, has now seen renewable power purchase agreement tariffs climb for three consecutive quarters. Despite that, however, developers and energy buyers are still signing contracts, with non-standard agreements on the rise, according to renewable transaction infrastructure provider LevelTen Energy.

Romania authorizes bilateral PPAs, raises size limit for solar under net metering to 400kW

With Emergency Ordinance no. 143/2021, the Romanian government has restored legal certainty for bilateral power purchase agreements and has created more favorable conditions for solar power generators under net metering regime.

Modeling method for agrivoltaics in greenhouses

Spanish researchers have developed a new modeling technique to assess the performance of semi-transparent PV systems for greenhouses. Their novel approach considers the broadband and spectral content of the irradiance, the solar cell technology and its performance metrics, and the relationship between the photosynthetic rate and the effective photon flux that falls on the crops.



Finding faults faster

PV cell and module manufacturers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to monitor production lines and the products coming off them in minute detail. As inline monitoring and testing equipment become more sophisticated, cell and module makers must be prepared to manage the enormous amounts of data and pull out the points that will save them time and money. pv magazine examines the software solutions backing state-of-the-art PV production.

Perovskite ink for flexible solar panels

Developed by a Canadian start-up, Solar Ink can be used to create standalone perovskite solar modules or it can be combined with existing solar modules in a tandem configuration. It can be coated on both flexible and rigid substrates, resulting in translucent solar cells which, in turn, can be used to produce flexible and light modules for application in solar windows and vehicle-integrated photovoltaics.

Seraphim releases PV module series with 595/670W of output, up to 21.57% efficiency

Seraphim’s new solar modules are available in monofacial and bifacial variants. They rely on multi-busbar technology and are built with 210 mm silicon wafers.

US scientists explore how to compensate battery owners for grid value

Current price signals to distributed battery owners “do not align with grid value,” says a study from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

Solar module tech from oldest PV system in Netherlands

A solar panel on display at a science museum in the Netherlands is one of 2,748 modules that were used for the country’s oldest PV system. The module has an efficiency of around 9% and a power output of 18W. It was manufactured by Germany-based AEG-Telefunken in 1982.

All-polymer organic solar cell with 16.05% efficiency

The device achieved the highest efficiency and fill factor ever reported for an all-polymer solar cell based on polymerized small molecular acceptors. The cell was built with a top donor material known as PBDB-T and an electron acceptor made of the polymer PYT.



All eyes upstream

The United States faces a number of compelling issues in its push to expand solar. Clean Energy Associates CEO Andy Klump recently spoke to pv magazine about supply chains, domestic manufacturing, climate change, and COP.

Work underway on Tesla’s rooftop solar system in Texas

A drone pilot has discovered that Tesla is starting to install solar panels, racking and inverters on the rooftop of a manufacturing facility it is building in Texas.

Sunman opens 1GW lightweight PV module factory

Sunman Energy claims the new factory, located in Yangzhong City in China’s Jiangsu province, is the world’s largest production facility for lightweight photovoltaics.

Yaskawa Solectria Solar unveils string inverter series for utility scale projects

The US manufacturer said the device has an efficiency of 99.0% and a California Energy Commission (CEC) efficiency of 98.5%. It has a size of 750x1125x390 mm and weighs in at 131.5 kg.

Cadmium selenide solar cell with 1.88% efficiency

The cell may be potentially used as a top subcell in tandem crystalline silicon-based devices. It was built with CdSe thin film with a direct bandgap of 1.72 eV.

‘Ultra low-cost solar’ gets AUD 40 million R&D boost from ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced AUD 40 million ($28.7 million) of research and development funding across two streams. Stream 1 consists of cells and modules, while Stream 2 is focused on balance of system, along with operations and maintenance. It is hoped the additional funding will spur Australia’s pioneering solar research to push for the federal government’s “ultra low-cost solar” target of AUD 15/MWh.

Energy Storage


Making cheaper H2

The hype surrounding green hydrogen is real, but does the cost-reduction outlook for its production technologies live up to it? Christian Roselund looks at the technology, transportation, application and enabling policies behind the promising green energy carrier.

Utility scale ocean battery, a bedfellow for floating PV

A new underwater battery storage technology is coming from Netherlands-based Ocean Grazer to address the issue of offshore long-duration storage. The company’s Ocean Battery is touted as innovative yet simple, based on existing technology, and capable of enhancing marine life along the way.

Australian energy giant submits plan for 500MW of PV, 400MWh of battery storage

Woodside Energy has submitted a proposal for a 500MW solar facility to the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority. The company wants to install up to 1 million solar panels to power industrial customers in the state, including its own Pluto LNG export facility.

Backing for solar-plus-storage mini grids in Lesotho

The 11 planned off-grid networks will offer clean power to around 20,000 people for €0.28/kWh, according to one of the EU bodies which is backing the project.

LG Energy Solution IPO attracts $80bn in bids

LG Chem’s energy storage and battery division’s $10.7 billion initial public offering received a staggering response from institutional investors, Reuters has reported.

The Hydrogen Stream: More large scale hydrogen for Port of Rotterdam

Elsewhere, French renewable hydrogen startup Lhyfe has announced it is building an electrolyzer in eastern Germany, and Los Angeles-based Southern California Gas has launched a hydrogen-powered drone to monitor its gas grid.

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