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ITO-free organic solar cells for large modules

Researchers in South Korea have reported success in developing large-area, indium tin oxide-free, flexible organic solar cells. Their zinc oxide bilayer-based organic solar cells demonstrated an efficiency of 7.67% for a module area of 528 square centimeters.
Manufacturing

Evolar claims 25-year stability for perovskite cells

Evolar, a Swedish manufacturing startup, has put its perovskite cell technology through industry-standard accelerated reliability testing. It said its results show that the cells would likely remain stable for more than 25 years in the field.
Markets & Policy

Solar Philippines to build 4 GW solar farm in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan provinces

Solar Philippines, a Manila-based PV module manufacturer and project developer, is looking to secure at least 2,500 hectares of land to expand its 500 MW flagship solar project to 4 GW.
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Demonstrating durability in n-type modules

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Residential battery energy storage systems: Use cases and best practices for sizing

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What ultra-powerful string inverters mean for utility-scale and EPCs

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Cell cracking: the invisible performance thief

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Tecnología TOPCon de alta eficiencia para distintas latitudes en América Latina

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New off-grid launch: DC/AC inverters and high-end DC charging system

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Markets & Policy

Meyer Burger ramps up solar panel plans

Switzerland’s Meyer Burger is accelerating the expansion of its solar panel production capacity, following the extension of the US solar tax credit for PV manufacturers and an order from developer DE Shaw for 3.75 GW of US-made heterojunction modules.
Markets & Policy

US Air Force funds ‘quantum dot’ photovoltaic window project

UbiQD, a New Mexico-based nanotechnology developer, has created new transparent solar windows.
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Manufacturing

Case study: When trackers are blown away, you can’t blame the wind

If the industry has sufficient knowledge and experience to deal with the effects of strong wind, why do trackers still get damaged and destroyed? pv magazine’s Pilar Sanchez Molina looks at a recent example in Spain with PI Berlin’s Asier Ukar.
Markets & Policy

Magnis Energy begins production at US battery gigafactory

Australia's Magnis Energy Technologies has launched commercial production of full-sized cells at its US factory, with plans to increase production to 38 GWh of battery cell capacity per year by the end of the decade.
Manufacturing

Shoals reports record Q2 revenue, profit despite challenges

US balance-of-system specialist Shoals posted record revenue and gross profit in the second quarter on rising sales of components and strong demand for its combine-as-you-go system.

Press Releases

With the latest acqusition from Equinor, owner of Wento, Modus Asset Management’s solar PV portfolio in Poland reached 113 MW

Modus Asset Management, a specialized renewables investor, and Equinor, owner of Wento – a leading onshore renewables developer in Poland – have entered into a transaction whereby a fund managed by Modus Asset Management will acquire a 100% stake in a 28 MW turnkey portfolio of ground mounted solar photovoltaic farms developed by Wento. The […]

Modus Asset Management solar PV portfolio in Poland reaches 113 MW

Modus Asset Management, a specialised renewables investor and Equinor, owner of Wento – leading onshore renewables developer in Poland have entered into a transaction whereby a fund managed by Modus Asset Management will acquire a 100% stake in a 28 MW turnkey portfolio of ground mounted solar photovoltaic farms developed by Wento.

Colombia kicks off Trina Solar’s first integrated project with 600W+ high-power modules and TrinaTracker smart trackers

The project is expected to be in operation in July 2023 and will supply 25MW to the National Interconnected System.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Strengthening consumer protection in the off-grid solar industry

Almost half a billion people are served by the off-grid solar industry, and a growing number of these via Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) asset financing. For many consumers, not only is the solar product their first access to modern energy but it may also be their first access to finance. The impact of this can be huge – the 60 Decibels Energy Benchmark reveals that 92% of consumers report an improvement in quality of life after purchasing their off-grid solar (OGS) product. On the other hand, consumers of OGS are exposed to product, service, and financial risk that companies must mitigate and balance with sustainable growth objectives. 

Why is green energy infrastructure booming despite global economic woes?

The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic fallout have had a variety of impacts on the clean energy transition, with some sectors being more affected than others. Earlier this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned of slowed progress towards sustainable energy goals due to Covid-19 and reversed progress in many areas crucial in reaching net zero, such as energy efficiency, clean cooking, or access to electricity. There is one sector, however, that has shown remarkable resilience since the beginning of the pandemic and has been able to maintain, and even accelerate, its rapid growth since 2020: green energy infrastructure.

Europe can compete effectively with Asian solar manufacturers with innovative long-term PV technology solutions

The world’s energy sector is concentrated in solar, wind, electricity transmission/distribution and hydroelectric power. For example, investment in solar power plants alone is higher than investment in natural gas, coal-fired and nuclear power plants combined. This is encouraging, but another fact is worrying: China’s exports of solar modules to Europe in the first four months of 2022 were 2.5 times higher compared to 2021. In April alone, nearly 8 GW of solar modules worth more than €2 billion were imported from China into Europe.

Uzbekistan is steaming ahead in the race to carbon neutrality

The war in Ukraine continues to disrupt the global energy sector and, combined with the recent heatwaves affecting Europe, the need to restructure economies is starker than ever. Luckily, there are some countries that have kept working on their energy transition reforms and taking tangible actions towards tackling climate change. Uzbekistan is one of them.

Considerations for solar projects during heat waves

High temperatures can affect different components of PV systems. Inverters can fail, the efficiency of solar modules can decline, and existing cell damage can become worse. However, investors, planners, and operators can adjust to heat waves in a number of different ways.

Italy publishes new national guidelines for agrovoltaic plants

On June 27, the Guidelines for The Design, Construction and Operation of Agrovoltaic Plants were published in Italy by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in coordination with the Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics (CREA), Gestore dei Servizi Energetici S.p.A. (GSE), the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), and Research on the Energy System S.p.A. (RSE). From now on, developers and, in general, RES plant owners will have to consider the principles herein outlined, to have their plants classified as agrovoltaic.

Covid-19

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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

Featured

Polysilicon growth lags behind demand

Policy developments worldwide have led to strong growth of renewable energy. Demand from large markets such as Europe, China, and Brazil continues to beat expectations. InfoLink has revised up its module demand forecast to 239-270 GW this year – representing significant growth of up to 34% from last year’s 178 GW of installations. However, analyst Dora Zhao finds that availability of polysilicon could be a major limiting factor in meeting this demand.

Australian off-grid demand gives rise to compact, pre-wired systems

Companies are starting to offer new products and services in response to booming demand for off-grid solutions in Australia.

Biden signs largest climate, energy package in US history

US President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, ushering in a new decade of $370 billion in climate and energy spending.

Hygenco, Jindal Stainless sign India’s first long-term green hydrogen offtake deal

Hygenco will build, own and operate a multi-megawatt facility that will supply green hydrogen to Jindal Stainless, one of the world’s largest stainless steel producers.

Metal roofing for solar PV

Metal roofing has become a driver for roof type selection in many cases because not only is a metal/solar roof system less expensive upfront than other roof system combinations, but it also leads to improvements in the lifetime return on investment of the system.

Record solar investment keeping Chinese economy afloat

Investments in renewables are hitting new highs in China, as recurrent Covid-19 outbreaks and a crisis-stricken housing market threaten the world’s second-biggest economy, according to BloombergNEF.

Installations

Featured

At home on the sea: Marine PV and boats

In 2018, Lyall Burgess and wife Katie started a business called Sun Powered Yachts. The original idea came to them in Tahiti, where the couple had chartered a yacht to explore the French Polynesian island. As Lyall Burgess tells the story, “We were on a charter boat in Tahiti and we were having to run the engine four hours a day to keep up with the fans and the refrigeration. And you’re in this beautiful anchorage, sunshine all day, and have to listen to this engine because the yacht didn’t have any solar panels. So, it kind of all happened at the same time. We found out about these panels, the opportunity was there, we just went for it and created Sun Powered Yachts … and it’s grown ever since.”

Supply chain difficulties translate into losses for SMA

SMA’s Home Solutions segment was particularly badly hit as the PV inverter manufacturer struggled to meet the demand due to the shortage of materials. The sales and results in the first half of 2022 were therefore significantly worse than in 2021. The company now wants to take “a series of measures to improve its long-term ability to deliver.”

Bosnian Serb Republic to back 250 MW of rooftop PV

The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Serb Republic has adopted a net metering scheme to facilitate the deployment of 50,000 PV rooftop PV systems on residential and commercial buildings.

140 MW rooftop PV project to help carbon-free ‘green’ steel industry

SolarApex has built what it calls the world’s largest rooftop PV array. A 140 MW project on a steelmill will help Turkish steelmaker Tosyali to shift its production to carbon-free “green steel.” Chief Marketing Officer Besime Özderici says the project could be an example for other energy-intensive industries.

BASF inks virtual PPAs for 250 MWh of solar, wind

BASF has signed virtual power purchase agreements for 250 MW of solar and wind power in the United States.

India installed 8.4 GW of solar in H1

India is expected to install 20 GW of new solar capacity in 2022, according to JMK Research.

Technology

Featured

Pipelines switch from p-type

A major change is underway, and it may spell the end of p-type PV technology, says Roberto Murgioni, JinkoSolar’s head of technical service and product management EU. Some may doubt n-type’s prospects for deployment in the near-term, but Murgioni reports that at present, the company can’t keep up with demand.

Optical microscopy technique to study prevention of battery failure

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have examined one of the fastest-charging anode materials by using a low-cost, lab-based optical microscopy technique. Their findings showed that particle fracture, which can reduce the storage capacity of a battery, is more common with higher rates of delithiation and in longer particles.

High-efficiency colored BIPV panels

Researchers in China have reported a colorization strategy for solar based on photonic glass. They created solar panels that took on blue, green, and purple hues, while only dropping the efficiency of power generation from 22.6% to 21.5%.

The Hydrogen Stream: Guangdong targets €4.35/kg retail price by 2025

The authorities in China’s Guangdong province have released a 2022-25 plan that foresees the retail price for hydrogen dropping to less than CNY 30/kg ($4.42/kg). Germany and Canada, meanwhile, are set to strengthen their collaboration on hydrogen, and Ford has revealed plans to team up with Southern California Gas for a hydrogen fuel cell electric truck that will be on the road by 2025.

Healing defects with ammonia for a 23.21% efficient perovskite solar cell

Scientists in China demonstrated a process to “heal” defects in a perovskite film by using an ammonia treatment after the film is formed through a solvent process. Small solar cells made using these films achieved maximum efficiency of 23.21%, while a mini-module with a 14-square-centimeter active surface area reached 20.61%.

New platform centralizes PPA market data

LevelTen Energy, a renewables transaction infrastructure company, has launched a new platform to simplify and accelerate power purchase agreement market analysis. The new platform, MarketPulse, provides 24/7 access to PPA price data, renewable energy project data, and analytics. 

Manufacturing

Featured

Inverted ambition

Inverter makers in Europe continue to ship a healthy proportion of the world’s premium string and central inverters, despite shrinking margins as Chinese competition grows. But the Europeans aren’t simply waiting around…

Meyer Burger secures silicon wafer supplies from Norway

Meyer Burger has announced that it has concluded a binding supply agreement with Norwegian Crystals for silicon wafers to use in heterojunction cell manufacturing. Hydro facilities primarily power the production of the wafers and their precursor materials in Norway. Combined with the shorter distance they’ll have to travel, this adds up to a low carbon footprint.

CATL unveils plans for 100 GWh battery plant in Hungary

China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) has announced plans to invest €7.34 billion ($7.6 billion) to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary. It will be the company’s second battery cell manufacturing facility in Europe.

Huge opportunity for module-level power electronics

A new report form analysts at IHS Markit notes that the market for module-level power electronics (MLPE) grew by 33% between 2019 and 2021, with around one-third of new residential solar installations now taking advantage of MLPE’s promise of improved safety, energy yield and fault detection. And with smaller, distributed generation systems expected to represent 43% of global PV installations between now and 2025, the opportunity for MLPE will only get larger.

Net losses triple at US tracker maker after acquisition

New Mexico-based Array Technologies is keen to emphasize the revenue benefits of buying Spanish rival STI Norland and said US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act would also be good for business.

Big batteries in Africa with 1 GW/ 500 MWh solar-plus-storage plant planned

Huawei Digital Power Technologies, a unit of Chinese multinational tech giant Huawei, recently signed a deal with Ghana-based solar developer Meinergy Technology to build a 1 GW solar plant coupled with 500 MWh of storage in Ghana over the next years. Under the terms of the deal, Huawei will supply solar-plus-storage systems for the project. Meinergy will be responsible for the development and construction of the facility. pv magazine recently spoke about the project with Kevin Wu, CEO of Meinergy, and Peter Acheampong, Deputy Director of Renewables for the Bui Power Authority, which owns the installation.

Energy Storage

Featured

China’s policy-driven battery boom

The rise of electric vehicles brings rapid technological advancement and cost reductions to lithium ion battery manufacturing, which can serve to make batteries more useful and more profitable for the energy storage industry. However, the use of stationary batteries as energy assets is still at a nascent stage. Most markets and business models are immature, and InfoLink analyst Yuan Fang-wei sees policy as the major driving force to lead and stimulate China’s energy storage market.

Universal method to improve lifespan of lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) have developed a broadly applicable and versatile post-electrode-engineering process. It can be applied to a range of conventional anodes to improve their stability.

The weekend read: Hype and hope for solid-state batteries

Hype and hope for solid-state batteries (SSBs) continues to grow as industries from automotive to storage bet big on the technology. Leading battery manufacturers and a roll call of start-ups are jostling to get from lab to fab. The reality of SSBs is in question though. As Marija Maisch reports, the window of opportunity for the decades-old technology to make the next big step toward commercialization is now.

The Hydrogen Stream: Traditional hydrogen blending could damage gas pipelines, say researchers

UK researchers have revealed that gaseous hydrogen could cause problems in natural gas pipelines, while electrolyzer manufacturer Nel has announced plans to build a second production line in Norway.

FlexGen launches modular C&I battery

FlexGen, a US-based storage system integrator, has launched a new modular battery solution for the commercial and industrial market. The FlexPod energy storage system combines lithium iron phosphate batteries, a power conversion system, and HVAC in a single container solution, with a range of configurations.

Resilient anode material for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

Scientists in Japan have developed black glasses grafted silicon microparticles as a negative electrode material to improve lithium-ion battery performance.

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