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The weekend read: The stakes are high for solar and green finance

Despite worldwide net-zero pledges, a new EU sustainable debt taxonomy, an urgent need to address the climate crisis, and record sustainable debt investments, the world still has a long path to tread to meet its climate goals. Next week at pv magazine's European Roundtables event and in the third quarter of our UP Initiative, we will focus on green finance. Specifically, what steps have been made in the past two years? Will sustainability-linked bonds gain traction? What supporting policies and standards are in place or required? And what can solar companies do to be ESG-ready?
Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: Viritech, Pininfarina unveil world’s first ‘hydrogen hypercar’

Viritech and Pininfarina have announced plans to put a hydrogen-fueled car into limited production in 2023, while H2 Clipper said it aims to finish a prototype of its hydrogen-powered airship by 2025.

Perovskite solar cells based on down-conversion materials

An international research group has assessed the potential of down-conversion materials to overcome the poor blue response of solar cells. They analyzed how such materials could be used to improve the performance of perovskite-based devices and found tha...


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Alleviating battery storage growing pains through quality assurance

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The pressing need for powerful storage: Technology trends, safety optimization, and challenges for deployment

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Navigating the UFLPA: Geopolitical Risk in the PV Supply Chain

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High performance at scale with HJT

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The potential of renewables and EV charger integration for residential homes: what difference can it make?

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Iran pre-qualifies 85 bidders for 4 GW solar tender

The Iranian authorities will choose development proposals from domestic and foreign investors for solar projects ranging from 10 MW to 250 MW in size. The selected developers will be awarded 20-year power purchase agreements at a fixed tariff.

Novel floating PV system design from Norway

Norwegian scientists have tested a new floating PV system concept at a water reservoir in Sri Lanka. The system is made of composite beams to support the solar panels and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes to provide buoyancy.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Polysilicon prices hit high of $41.80/kg

Average polysilicon prices ranged from CNY 273 ($40.82)/kg to CNY 280/kg this week, according to an industry association in China.

ISA opens global bids for solar cold storage in Africa

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is overseeing bids from prospective contractors to supply, install and commission solar cold storage capacity in Senegal, Sudan, and Seychelles. Bidding is also open for two 2 MT systems in Djibouti.

Longi’s heterojunction solar cell hits 26.5%

Germany’s Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin has confirmed that Longi's new heterojunction solar cell has achieved a power conversion efficiency of 26.5% – an improvement of 1.1%.

Press Releases

PROJOY PLC Module-level Rapid Shutdown obtained UL Certification

Recently, PROJOY Electric PLC module-level rapid shutdown passed UL 1741 standard test, the United States UL certification.

Barry Callebaut partners with Empower New Energy to solarize chocolate production in Ghana

Empower New Energy, the Norwegian solar investment company has partnered with Barry Callebaut - Ghana to expand solar production at their manufacturing site in Tema.

Sunlight announces new R&D and production capacity increase to meet growing global demand

Global technology company Sunlight Group has received €275m in the form of seven-year loans issued by Greek banks, to increase its lithium-ion and lead-acid battery production and R&D, as well as support its international growth to help meet the global demand for greener energy storage solutions.

R.Power will develop a 1 GWp portfolio of PV projects in Ital

The R. Power Group plans to significantly increase its market share in Italy over the next 12 months.

Opinion & Analysis


Rays of solar hope for Europe: A Midsummer reflection

For centuries, cultures in Europe have marked their calendars to celebrate Midsummer and the Summer Solstice. Traditionally a time to enjoy bright evenings, and the light and hope of the sun, the Summer Solstice falls on June 21. On the longest day of sunlight in 2022, Europe has much to hope for. After difficult pandemic years, enduring cost of living and energy price hikes, and the on-going, unprovoked, Russian war on Ukraine, Midsummer gives us a small moment to reflect on, and hope for, brighter times ahead.

As EVs drive off with Li-ion supply, the push to stationary storage alternatives accelerates

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.

No end to solar supply/demand imbalance

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.

Three battery energy storage trends for the electrification of everything

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.

Ukraine: Is there a pessimistic solar scenario? No!

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.

Lithium-ion storage: A much-needed development to support the rise of renewables in the coming decades

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.



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.

Indebted Chinese developer spells out obligations in unaudited figures

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.

The sun is still shining on poly makers but solar developers struggling in China

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.

African Development Bank offers local-currency credit to Nigeria’s clean power developers

Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.

Markets & Policy


At what cost?

Subsidies for PV projects are a divisive topic in European countries. Mistakes of the past hang over fresh decision-making processes. Experts argue that changing market conditions are making even months-old schemes too generous, while missing the real issues.

Sun Cable project secures support of Infrastructure Australia

Sun Cable’s massive AUD 30 billion ($20.7 billion) Australia-Asia PowerLink project has passed another major milestone by obtaining approval from Infrastructure Australia.

First Solar bags 2 GW module order in US

National Grid Renewables and First Solar have partnered on multiple projects in the past, including the 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois and the 275 MW Noble Solar and 125 MWh Storage Project in Texas.

European loan to fund 107,000 home solar panels in Benin

The European Investment Bank says a new €10 million ($10.5 million) loan will offer electricity access to almost 650,000 people in Benin.

Caribbean neighbors move on solar, storage

Jamaica is lifting taxes on imported lithium-ion batteries, while Guyana has announced funding for eight big solar-plus-storage projects across three regions.

Toshiba expands fuel cell business

Toshiba is cooperating with Swedish battery specialist Echandia to develop pure hydrogen fuel cells that could be used for continuous operation in marine applications.



The dawn of deep green solar

The importance of biodiversity on solar farms is coming into sharper focus, due to the intersecting forces of sustainable finance and the UK Environment Act. These positive influences will likely change the way the industry and the public view solar farms, as they evolve into biodiversity hotspots that lead the recovery of nature. Everoze Partner Ellie van der Heijden discusses how boosting biodiversity can be an opportunity for solar developers and investors to increase their positive impact.

Okra Solar secures funding to bankroll mesh-grid expansion

Australian renewables startup Okra Solar has raised $3 million to scale up distribution of its solar-based hardware and software solutions. It aims to electrify more than 290,000 off-grid homes in Nigeria over the next three years, while also expanding its operations in countries such as Haiti.

Solar partly powering world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant

ACWA Power and Emirates Water and Electricity Co. (EWEC) have commissioned the first phase of the Al Taweelah Independent Water Plant in the United Arab Emirates. The facility, which can produce more than 6.4 million cubic meters of water per day, sources some of its power from a nearby solar park.

Agrivoltaics for broccoli, cabbage

Scientists in South Korea have combined PV generation with vegetable farming and have found that solar array shading provides favorable results for crops such as broccoli and cabbage.

In the far reaches of northern Mexico

In two remote regions of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, PV-powered microgrids bring electricity to a university and an agricultural ranch, neither of which are well served by the regional grid. The microgrids make use of lithium-ion batteries supplied by Growatt, alongside modules from local manufacturer SolarEver. The projects serve as an example of how products like Growatt’s off-grid inverters and energy storage solutions can bring reliable solar power to regions with limited energy access.

Debunking myths about PV system orientation, dimensioning

New research from LUT University shows that there is no single correct orientation for a PV installation.



Blocking the big winds

Several manufacturers now offer trackers fitted with blocking mechanisms to increase wind resistance and make trackers behave more like fixed structures. Some companies even retrofit such mechanisms to existing tracker projects. pv magazine Spain’s Pilar Sanchez Molina investigates the efficacy of blocking mechanisms and other strategies to deal with high wind loads.

Perovskite solar module march continues with 30-year ‘no thickness’ layers, speed testing

Princeton University researchers have developed a new way to accelerate solar cell longevity testing.

RETC releases 2022 Module Index Report

The Renewable Energy Test Center has released a new report on PV module performance.

Hinduja Group invests in UK second-life battery storage specialist

India’s Hinduja Group has invested GBP 15 million ($18.4 million) with four other investors in Connected Energy, a developer of energy storage systems based on second-life electric vehicle batteries.

Indian manufacturer unveils battery with solar storage

India’s Natural Battery Technologies has developed lithium-based battery inverters that can be charged with solar power. The batteries are designed for residential and commercial use, with storage capacities typically ranging from 1.5 kWh to 20 kWh.

Consortium to spend $6 billion on US solar modules

AES, Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables, and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments have started looking for qualified US manufacturers.



The great EU solar manufacturing reset

“We need to bring manufacturing back to Europe and the [European] Commission is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said at the opening of SolarPower Summit 2022. Her words rocketed around the solar community, boosting share prices and invigorating the European solar industrial mission, writes SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, as she lays out the actions needed for solar-power EU energy independence.

Solar module for lightweight applications from France

French manufacturer 2CA has developed a 20%-efficient solar module that weighs four times less than a glass-glass module of the same size. It claims the frameless, self-supporting panel could be used for lightweight applications at military camps and other remote locations.

Automatically generated databases for perovskite, dye-sensitized solar cells

University of Cambridge scientists have created new databases for dye-sensitized and perovskite cells, respectively. They used the ChemDataExtractor text-mining toolkit to collect the data.

Large-area graphene-perovskite solar modules with better temperature coefficient

An Italian-Greek research group has developed a large-area perovskite solar panel with graphene-doped electron transporting layers. With increasing temperatures, the module exhibits a smaller drop in open-circuit voltage than commercially available crystalline silicon panels.

Retractable solar trailer from Spain

PolarGreen Tow is a portable PV system with a capacity of up to 6.5 kW. It can be used to supply power for electric cars or remote locations, or to provide energy during blackouts.

Solar window generates electricity, thermal energy

A research team in Hong Kong has built a solar window that can generate power on the external side via a luminescent solar concentrator and thermal energy on the internal side via transparent solar absorbers.

Energy Storage


Diversity, demand blooms, supply crunch looms

A review of the German distributed battery energy storage market reveals healthy demand, a growing portfolio of products, and the ability to readily couple devices within homes and businesses. Cornelia Lichener, from pv magazine Germany, has compiled the “2022 Storage for Home and Small Business” market overview. Consumer demand is high, but component bottlenecks are constraining supply, she reports in the first part of her analysis.

The Hydrogen Stream: Volvo starts testing fuel cell electric trucks

Volvo said it will offer fuel cell electric trucks by the second half of the decade, while an airport in northern Japan has started working on a feasibility study for local hydrogen production. Uruguay, meanwhile, has presented a new hydrogen strategy.

Harvard, Cambridge scientists improve durabiliy of redox flow batteries with anthraquinone

A research team has used a molecule known as 2,6-dihydroxy-anthraquinone (DHAQ) to improve the durability of organic aqueous redox flow batteries. They claim the molecule enables a net lifetime that is 17 times longer than past research has shown.

Open-source online platform shows how Europe may become energy-independent with renewables by 2050

European researchers have developed an open-source online tool that can identify areas where renewable energy and synthetic fuels can be cost-effectively produced, where hydrogen hubs could be built, and where grid expansion is needed. It can be used in different sectors across 35 countries.

Australian companies vying for $3.1 billion green hydrogen project in New Zealand

Fortescue Future Industries and Woodside have been selected as the two finalists in the race to develop what could be one of the world’s largest green hydrogen projects – a 600 MW facility in New Zealand.

Mobile nanogrids powered by solar, green hydrogen

Climate resilience solutions come prefabricated to generate clean, off-grid power for essential services and emergency response needs.

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