Top News

Polish 2.5 GW solar and wind auction on December 5

In this year’s tender, which is open to PV and wind projects with a generation capacity of more than 1 MW, solar may have better prospects after securing only 1 MW in last year’s exercise. The Energy Regulatory Office also announced the auction for sub-1 MW projects will be held on December 10.
Markets & Policy

Panda Green shareholders to vote on latest $225m state bail-out plan

It is back to the meeting room for beleaguered shareholders in the debt-saddled solar project developer, ahead of a proposed shares purchase by a Chinese coal and real estate company.
Technology

Hanergy sets new heterojunction module efficiency record

The Chinese thin-film manufacturer has claimed a world record 25.11% efficiency with a full size silicon heterojunction module, beating its own record. The achievement has been confirmed by Germany’s Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin.
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The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

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Markets & Policy

China walks away from state bail-out of GCL solar project business

The proposed acquisition of a controlling stake in the heavily-indebted PV project business of solar manufacturer GCL-Poly has fallen through, with state-owned China Hua Neng now proposing to cherry-pick the more attractive assets from the unit’s 7 GW ...
Geopolitics

Fossil fuel dependence and poor governance? Fasten your seatbelts

A study of the after-effects of the energy transition has considered 156 nations and ranked a surprising winner. Here, energy expert Indra Overland discusses the findings of the GeGaLo Index as part of our series examining renewables and geopolitics.
Markets & Policy

Chinese manufacturer TBEA to open inverter gigafactory in India this month

The Chinese company plans to roll out 2 GW of inverters per year from a facility which will have 1 GW production lines for both central and string products.
Installations

Essent expands into renewables with acquisition of Vandebron

Dutch gas and power provider Essent has agreed to buy the Amsterdam-based renewables marketplace for an undisclosed sum. Vandebron sells electricity aggregated from wind, solar and biomass projects.
Markets & Policy

South Korea’s roadmap to drive down solar costs

The government has unveiled a plan to help the PV industry reduce the cost of solar panels from around $0.23/W to $0.10/W by 2030. The plan also aims to reach module efficiencies of around 24% – up to 35% for multi-junction cells – by the end of the ...
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Press Releases

How will the energy market look by 2023?

In today’s multi-faceted energy world, a growing number of prosumer assets are increasing the complexity of power grids. Decentralized systems with solar generation, wind turbines and electric vehicles provide promise a decarbonized future but also bring challenges for utilities and prosumers.

Uniper and Fsight are joining forces at the international Gilboa Iris pilot project

The international Gilboa Iris project has deployed Fsight’s Energy AI platform at kibbutz Maale Gilboa’s facilities in northern Israel, allowing Fsight to optimize and manage energy consumption, production, storage and peer-to-peer trading within the kibbutz community. ‍

Collecting capacity market payments could prove tricky

On 24 October, the European Commission announced its decision to approve the British capacity market – established to ensure the lights stay on during periods of peak energy demand for the grid. Standstill payments of around £1 billion (€1.

Sonnedix adds 4.9 MW of solar operating capacity to its Japan portfolio

Sonnedix Japan K. K.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Is the EU solarizing its digitized economy sans an environmental tax policy?

The EU is solarizing its digital economy at a fast pace. The factors behind this paradigm shift in energy – when renewable energy is projected comprise 90% of the electricity mix in Europe by 2040 – include technical, economic, environmental.

A record year for trackers

It was a record year for global shipments of single-axis solar photovoltaic (PV) trackers in 2018, as they increased by more than 40%, surpassing 20 GW globally for the first time, writes IHS Markit senior analyst Camron Barati. While the United States continued to be the largest individual market for single-axis trackers last year, shipments also increased in Mexico, Australia, Egypt, Spain, and other large utility-scale markets.

Solar will power ahead to offer 20% more output for 25% lower module costs within 15 months

PV industry veteran Karl-Heinz Remmers recalls the trajectory of solar power this decade and predicts stronger than expected development for the ten years ahead.

Powering the investment case for battery storage

The U.K. government was the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. But to achieve this ambition is going to take some major changes – not least of which to the U.K.’s power network.

Europe: The time for large-scale PV is now

The past year has marked a watershed moment in the global energy transition, driven primarily by the fact that public awareness of the challenges posed by climate change has skyrocketed.

Benefits and risks of lead halide perovskite photovoltaics

Lead halide perovskite PVs (LHP-PV) have rapidly emerged over the last decade as a potentially viable thin film PV technology, because of their high efficiency and potential for low manufacturing costs. However, concerns remain over potential impacts to the environment and human health arising from the use of toxic lead in LHP-PVs.

Markets & Policy

Featured

The specter of PV protectionism

Trade tariffs are spreading across the global PV industry. The United States has been especially active with its sandwich of old antidumping and countervailing duties coupled with new Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. Some of these are part of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute; others impact not only Chinese producers, but manufacturers around the world. So, what will be the impact of this new era of PV protectionism on the solar sector?

Chinese recovery will begin before year-end, according to Jinko

The Shanghai solar manufacturer has revealed another set of record-breaking quarterly figures and says it will shift 18-20 GW of modules in 2020, en route to generating revenues of $1.17-1.23 billion.

Mounting interest in gravity-based storage solutions

Austrian researchers have proposed gravitational energy storage for locations with low demand. The scientists claim the system they are suggesting can be combined with other forms of storage as well as renewables, costs $50-100 per megawatt-hour of stored energy and $1-2 million per megawatt of installed capacity to develop.

Chile to hold new energy auction in June

According to the bidding terms published by the National Energy Commission, project proposals may be submitted by June 11 and the results will be announced on June 19. Successful bidders will secure a 15-year power supply deal and some 5.6 TWh of electricity is expected to be generated annually as a result of the new capacity.

Exeger and ABB to build ‘light harvesting material’ fab in Sweden

Swedish company Exeger says the dye-sensitized ‘light-harvesting material’ it will produce at its facility will generate enough power to prevent the need to recharge portable electronic devices, lengthening battery lifespan perhaps indefinitely.

Chinese module makers land another two big overseas orders

GCL and Canadian Solar provide further proof of the solar boom that is gathering pace around the world even as attention focuses on the Chinese market.

Installations

The return of BIPV

Since the beginning of 2019, many people within China’s PV industry have started to get the same feeling. Not about grid parity, or about mono replacing multi, but about something more unexpected. More and more people are speaking up at conferences and meetings about building-integrated PV (BIPV), which has been little more than a niche curiosity for years. Now BIPV, it seems, is making a big comeback in China.

Brazil’s Copel contracts another 121.6 MW

The energy provider concluded its second renewables auction on November 13, and has contracted 121.6 MW of wind and solar. Selected projects will be granted a 15-year PPA and will have to begin commercial operations in 2023.

Israel’s largest solar park comes online

The clean energy arm of Israeli conglomerate Shikun & Binui will own the 120 MW plant near the village of Zeélim.

Bangladesh sets standard for solar accessories

Complaints about sub-standard, cheap PV imports from China – and notably, India – have been heeded by Dhaka, which has issued a requirement for modules, inverters, charge controllers and batteries to attain IEC electrical standards.

Turkey to launch 1 GW solar tender in December

The Turkish government is planning to assign 100 solar projects with a capacity of 10 MW each across 39 different provinces via a new procurement exercise. The tender will be held on April 20, 2020.

European Utility Week: ‘The confidence is coming back’

The energy transition is becoming ever more apparent among power companies, as was evident at the European Utility Week event last week in Paris, which showcased the hopes and fears of energy companies. Rebranding next year to ‘Enlit’, the organizers aim to reach the whole energy industry.

Technology

Featured

Perovskites hit the home stretch

Microquanta Semiconductor holds a 17.25% efficiency record for a relatively large-area perovskite module and wants to build a production facility with fresh capital from investors. pv magazine takes a look at the Chinese startup and some of the basic questions surrounding the technology.

Digging into perovskite efficiency

A research group at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin has conducted an in depth analysis looking at the crystalline structure of methylammonium lead iodide, one of the most promising perovskite materials for solar cell production. The group made a series of discoveries which they hope will help to unlock some of the remaining issues in creating cells that are both stable and highly efficient.

A whole new KIT of solar cell materials

Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have received €4.5 million from the Carl Zeiss Foundation to begin a project developing an entirely new solar cell concept they say will combine the printability of organic PV, long-term stability of crystalline solar cells and ferroelectricity of lead-halide perovskites.

Hot news on harvesting electrons in perovskites

An international research group claims to have developed a new bulk perovskite semiconductor material that can capture the excess energy of hot electrons. The material is said to rapidly absorb as heat energy which would otherwise be wasted. With the harvesting of hot electrons, the maximum theoretical efficiency for hybrid-perovskite solar cells could increase from 33% to 66%.

PV takes a stand at 2019 Web Summit

This year’s record-breaking event held in Lisbon, Portugal, included an energy track devoted to renewable sources and technology to address climate change.

The weekend read: A responsible compromise?

Toxicologists are struggling to follow the pace at which perovskite solar cells race from laboratory test benches to factory production lines. While researchers continue to assess the health and safety risks stemming from the lead used at the core of these new materials, the startups commercializing them argue that established encapsulation techniques and sound recycling schemes are enough to safety-proof their potentially disruptive technology and offset broader environmental threats.

Manufacturing

Featured

Addressing HJT capex, opex in equipment supply

Heterojunction can be an attractive technology pathway for a number of PV producers, says Christian Knechtel CEO and CFO of Von Ardenne. However, the key to deployment could lie in manufacturing key production tools in a cheaper manner while continuously ramping up throughput.

Indian manufacturing-linked solar tender now reportedly oversubscribed

A new series of tweaks by Solar Energy Corp. of India appear to have paid off, as the organization’s ambitious, manufacturing-linked 7 GW solar tender has been oversubscribed by 1 GW.

Troubled Indian manufacturing-linked solar tender now reportedly oversubscribed

A series of new amendments by the Solar Energy Corporation of India appear to have paid off, as the organization’s ambitious manufacturing-linked solar tender has reportedly ended up oversubscribed by 1 GW – of the capacity offered as an incentive at least.

Russian scientists claim 8.8% efficiency for amorphous solar cell

The new cell is based on a p-type transparent conductor made of carbon nanotube fibers. The device is said to offer 16% more efficiency than rival amorphous cells.

A new converter topology for hybrid wind-solar

A researcher has proposed a new approach to apply maximum power point tracking techniques to optimize electricity production in wind-solar power projects. The permanent magnetic synchronous generator hybrid model used in the study is based on a multi-input rectifier stage which is said to be able to eradicate current harmonics and eliminate the need for extra input filters.

Daqo pushes poly production cost below $7/kg

Chinese polysilicon giant Daqo New Energy posted $83.9 million in revenue in the third quarter for gross profit of $18.1 million. The company has an additional 35,000-ton production facility set to come online this year.

Energy Storage

Featured

Flow batteries scale up to GW production

Plans for a gigawatt factory in Saudi Arabia, bullet-proof warranties and an international vanadium rental service are propelling a new generation of batteries into the energy storage big league. Pioneers of redox flow technology claim that they can put an end to the degradation and safety issues afflicting lithium-ion batteries. They also expect imminent economies of scale to reduce the cost of bulk energy storage and unlock new markets for solar power.

Engie and Air Liquide join forces to develop green hydrogen

A cooperation agreement was signed by the French corporations to launch the HyGreen Provence project, which is expected to produce annually 1300 GWh of solar electricity and 10,440 tons of green hydrogen by 2027.

Power Ledger enables consumer participation in energy markets

Australian startup Power Ledger wants to scale up its offerings for much larger communities, as it has already verified its technologies in projects around the world. The Australian Energy Market Commission last week proposed a similar agenda.

Salt River Project joins big boys of battery storage

The Salt River Project has announced a 250 MW, 1,000 MWh battery project in Little Rainbow Valley, Arizona. The installation will be the largest in the state and among the largest in the United States.

Mirova raises €857m in Eurofideme 4 funding round for renewables

The investment manager is now Europe’s largest renewable energy fund. The €1.3 billion group already has a 1.8 GW generation portfolio.

California sees solar+storage domination by 2030 with 11 GW / 44 GWh of batteries

The state’s 2019 IRP sees just over 11 GW solar power, and at least 11 GW – with up to 19 GW – of energy storage necessary to meet resource adequacy as part of the state’s legally required 60% renewable portfolio standard by 2030 as prices have fallen 50% since 2017.

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