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Chinese PV Industry Brief: Solar module production hit 74.1 GW in Q1

The China Photovoltaic Industry Association reports robust production growth among Chinese solar manufacturers, while the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association confirms an ongoing decline in polysilicon and cell prices. Canadian Solar, meanwhile, has commenced share trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Electric Vehicles

Reusing silicon from end-of-life solar panels in EV batteries

Scientists in Belgium are exploring the potential of recycled silicon in solar modules at the end of their life cycle for reuse in low-cost, higher-energy-density storage technologies. They claim EV batteries using this silicon may allow faster rechargin...
Markets & Policy

RWE secures PPAs for solar plants in Greece

Germany's RWE and Greek state-owned utility PPC have signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for three of five solar projects to be built in a former coal mining region in Greece. They will sell the electricity to local utility Heron.

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Energy Storage

New residential battery inverter solution from China

Zonergy has developed a 2.5 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery system featuring an inverter with an output ranging from 8 kW to 15 kW. It says four to 16 modules can be combined for between 10 kWh and 40 kWh of energy storage capacity.

Floating solar may reach LCOE of $0.0341/kWh in Bangladesh

New research shows that floating PV plants may have superior generating capabilities compared with ground-mounted PV plants in several areas of Bangladesh. Furthermore, the study indicates that floating arrays in the country may reach a levelized cost of...
Energy Storage

SMA, Samsung to integrate heat pumps with residential PV

Samsung and SMA are using a new cloud-to-cloud system that allows PV systems with SMA inverters to be integrated with Samsung heat pumps.

Research shows polycrystalline panels from 11 different producers degrade more than warranty rate

A research group in Ghana has conducted a series of tests to assess the performance of polycrystalline solar modules in PV systems operating in their home country for at least 5 years. They found that the vast majority of the panels may 'fail' before 20 ...
Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: US unveils green hydrogen strategy

The US government has identified the hydrogen sector as a key energy opportunity, while Hystar has signed its first PEM electrolyzer deal and Plug Power has agreed to supply fuel cells for long-term storage during emergencies in California.

Press Releases

Female leadership takes center stage as ASTORIOS forges ahead in the premium solar panel market

In an increasingly competitive renewable energy sector, ASTORIOS, a solar panel manufacturer, has set its sights on becoming a leader in the premium quality solar panel market.

Fox ESS Unveils Innovative Microinverter and Hybrid inverter H3 Pro Series during Smarter E Europe

Fox ESS announces the upcoming launch of its ground-breaking Fox ESS Microinverter series and the highly anticipated hybrid inverter series H3 Pro, at Smarter E Europe.

Rebranding Phono: Redefining a New Era of Solar PV with Innovation as the Driving Force

Stepping into Phono's 15th anniversary year, Phono revamped its brand for the first time and announced the new corporate identity.

Intersolar 2023: KSTAR to Boost Green Energy Transition in Germany

InterSolar Europe, the global solar industry's leading exhibition, is approaching. This year promises to be an exceptional reunion as the world recovers from the pandemic

Opinion & Analysis


Northern Europe outshines the south during May

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, presents the solar irradiance data it collected for Europe in May. Below-average cloud cover meant above normal irradiation for much of the UK, France, Germany, the Baltics and Scandinavia, with anomalies as high as 30% and 40% above climatological means. Solar assets across Northern Europe will have overperformed on expectations for May.

China solar module prices dive

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at the main price trends in the global PV industry.

European energy market prices went down in first week of June

In the first week of June, prices of most European electricity markets fell and some negative prices were registered, thanks to the decrease in demand and prices of gas and CO2, and to the increase of renewable energy production in some cases. However, prices rose in the Nord Pool and MIBEL markets, with the latter being the highest weekly price, something that did not happen since the first week of November. A record photovoltaic energy production was registered in Germany on June 3.

Polysilicon prices plunge worldwide on bearish market sentiment

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at the main price trends in the global PV industry.

New York and Ontario steal California’s sunshine, as high pressure systems affect May irradiance

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, presents the solar irradiance data it collected for North America in May. New York registered a new record on May 18th, when solar power met 20% of the state power demand, while Los Angeles and San Diego rooftops actually received less irradiance during May than New York’s or Boston’s.

Photovoltaic energy continues to set new records in European electricity markets

Gas and CO2 prices continued their downward trend in the fourth week of May, which led to a general downward trend in prices in European electricity markets and several negative hourly prices were registered, which reached -€400/MWh in Netherlands. The notable exception of the Iberian market, which saw a rise in prices, came from the fall in renewable energy production. During the week, records of solar photovoltaic energy production were reached in Germany, France, and Italy.


Producing the goods

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) is demonstrating how a solar-powered refrigeration unit and dryer could be self-sustaining and improve food security in Kenya.

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.

SolarEdge reports record-breaking revenue

With comparisons with a Covid-hit 2020 inevitably offering a string of positive numbers, there was also little to concern the board of the inverter and battery manufacturer from the returns generated in the last quarter.

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


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.

Unsubsidized solar installations rise by 68% in India in Q1

India added 518 MW of new open-access solar capacity in the January-March period, from 308 MW installed in the previous three months.

World’s largest pumped hydro storage project secures key contracts

The Queensland government has awarded two key contracts for what it says will be the largest pumped hydro energy project in the world, with the proposed 5 GW/120 GWh Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro energy storage system to form a cornerstone of the Australian state’s energy transition.

US solar market expected to triple in size by 2028

The US solar industry had its best first quarter in history as supply chain challenges started to fade, according to the US Solar Market Insight Q2 2023 report.

US Export-Import Bank provides $900 million for 500 MW of solar in Angola

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has awarded a loan to Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water to deploy two large-scale solar power plants.

Global PV manufacturing capacity to reach 1 TW by 2024

PV manufacturing capacity is projected to more than double by 2024, led by China, but oversupply is also anticipated, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).



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.

Luxembourg allocates 43.3 MW of PV in first self-consumption tender

Luxembourg has selected 75 solar projects in the nation’s first procurement exercise for self-consumption. It will launch a second tender in July.

New portable system uses PV to produce drinkable water from air moisture

UK scientists have developed Solar2Water, a system that generates twice the amount of water as conventional atmospheric water generators. The system operates efficiently with the same energy input, regardless of air humidity, relying solely on photovoltaics.

Lebanese households fight economic crisis with record rooftop PV additions

Lebanon’s persistent political and economic meltdown, resulting in widespread poverty and an incapacitated electric utility, has led citizens to adopt off-grid solar-plus-battery systems. Over the past two years, they have installed a record-breaking 900 MW of PV.

Agrivoltaics for vertical farming

An Italian research group has assessed the advantages of combining solar power generation in greenhouses with vertical farming. The scientists claim this new approach offers better land use while increasing agricultural yield.

Growatt highlights C & I hybrid inverter at SNEC

At this year’s SNEC exhibition in Shanghai pv magazine caught up with Lisa Zhang, Vice President of Marketing at Growatt. At their SNEC booth, Growatt showcased its new 100 kW hybrid inverter WIT 50-100K-HU/AU, developed for commercial and industrial applications.



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.

CEA-INES, Enel achieve 27.1% efficiency for tandem perovskite-silicon solar cell

CEA-INES researchers and Enel have developed a new solar cell with an active area of 9 cm² and an open-circuit voltage above 1,900 mV. Their results improve on the 26.5% efficiency they achieved for the same kind of cell in March.

2D solar cell design based on transition metal dichalcogenides promises 12.87% efficiency

US researchers have designed a 2D solar cell based on TMDCs that may exceed by far the efficiency of this device typology, which usually doesn’t exceed 6%. The novelty of this cell consists of its superlattice structure, which the research group said can separate the layers of 2D TMDCs by a spacer, thus improving light absorption.

Toshiba Carrier wins innovation award for heat pump compressor technology

Toshiba Carrier has been recognized at the 2023 National Invention Awards of Japan for its innovative discharge port structure in multi-cylinder rotary piston compressors for heat pumps. The technology tackles the problem of overheating, resulting in improved heating capacity and efficiency.

NASA, SpaceX launch roll-out solar arrays for International Space Station

NASA and SpaceX have successfully launched two new roll-out solar arrays, known as IROSA, to enhance the energy production capacity of the International Space Station’s microgravity complex. These arrays will provide an expanded and efficient power source for the space station’s operations.

Solar buildouts mapped to determine impact on biodiversity in US largest estuary

A group of researchers and data scientists from the Chesapeake Conservatory studied the construction of solar energy facilities in states surrounding the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and found that solar developments on already cultivated land did not adversely impact biodiversity.



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.

Melbourne switches on 2.4 MW solar carpark

The Melbourne Market Authority has switched on a 2.4 MW solar carpark at its facility in Melbourne, Australia. It is the first phase of a three-stage project that will culminate in a 10 MW rooftop system.

Photovoltaic-thermal solar panel based on water storage tank

A research group from Ireland developed a PVT system consisting of a 170 W photovoltaic panel connected to a water tank placed at the backside of the PV module itself. The PVT module is able to considerably reduce the temperature of the PV unit while producing hot water for residential use.

IBC solar cell based on ultrathin black silicon wafer achieves 16.4% efficiency

A Spanish-Finnish research team has fabricated an IBC solar cell with an ultrathin black silicon wafer with a thickness of 40 µm. The device is based on vanadium oxide and laser-processed phosphorus-doped silicon carbide stacks as hole and electron transport layers, respectively.

Shoals files patent complaint for solar connectors, wire harnesses

Shoals Technologies has filed a patent infringement complaint against Hikam America and Voltage, LLC, with the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Akcome unveils new 730 W heterojunction solar modules

Chinese manufacturer Akcome has released a new line of heterojunction solar panels with a nominal power capacity ranging between 710 W and 730 W and a conversion efficiency of 22.80% to 23.50%.

Energy Storage


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.

India set to host first giant battery

ONGC Tripura Power Co. (OTPC) and Assam Power Distribution Co. Ltd. (APDCL) have set up a joint venture to deploy a 250 MW/500 MWh battery in Assam, India.

US Inflation Reduction Act ‘real risk’ for Australia in green hydrogen race

Former Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Guy Debelle has warned that the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) poses a “material threat” to Australia’s push to become a green hydrogen superpower.

Pumped hydro storage development surging in India

Torrent Power has signed a deal with the Maharashtra state government in India to set up 5.7 GW of pumped hydro storage capacity, while NHPC, a state-owned hydropower producer, is actively exploring pumped storage projects across multiple states in the country.

The Hydrogen Stream: Japan plans $150 billion hydrogen investment

Japan has announced plans to invest $150 billion in hydrogen over the next decade, while Malaysia has revealed that it will invest in solar and hydrogen under a new energy roadmap. Separately, Kansai Electric Power and Canada’s ATCO have agreed to collaborate on a feasibility study for green hydrogen supplies.

MAN Energy installs world’s largest seawater CO2 heat pump in Denmark

Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions has supplied two 50 MW seawater heat pumps for district heating at the port of Esbjerg, Denmark. They use CO2 as a refrigerant and will be powered by nearby wind farms. The project will start producing 350,000 MWh of heat per year in the fall.

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