Top News

The weekend read: Preparing for take-off

A boom in self-consumption and gigawatt-auctions for solar parks are drawing developers to France’s historically underwhelming photovoltaics market. Europe’s dozy giant has long punched beneath its weight, but pro-renewable reforms are helping the country cut red tape and unlock its vast solar potential.
Installations

Palestine to bring online its first PV plant, at 7.5 MW

The site is the first step in a planned 200 MW portfolio. Along with a few ground mount installations, the Palestinian authorities set out to achieve substantial parts of the portfolio by tapping public rooftops. The authorities have already secured roof...
Technology

Portugal to launch second 700 MW solar auction in January

While preparing for the country’s first, 1.35 GW solar tender in June, state secretary for energy João Galamba has revealed another procurement exercise will be held in January and rejected criticism next month’s auction has been badly designed.
Announcements

Roundtables, booth, party, all the pictures from Intersolar EU 2019 are online!

pv magazine test

The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

Huawei special edition

In BayWa r.e.’s new white paper, Grid parity and the solar renaissance, Dr. Benedikt Ortmann, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, explains what grid parity means to him, where it’s happened and where it’s going next.

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Highlights

South Africa considers petition calling for tariffs on imported solar modules

The complaint was submitted to the country’s International Trade Administration Commission by domestic module maker ARTsolar, which points out South Africa does not have anti-dumping duties to protect its manufacturers.
Markets & Policy

Thailand launches net metering scheme for residential PV

The program will be open to solar power systems with a generation capacity larger than 10 kW. Initially, some 100 MW of solar power will be allocated through the mechanism. Net metering tariffs, however, will be little more than half the current electric...
Installations

Solar the key to progress on global access to electricity

A tracking report from five major international agencies finds the world is lagging behind sustainable development goals for 2030. While more effort is needed to reach some of the world’s poorest populations, though, notable progress has been made in r...
Markets & Policy

Scatec Solar inks strategic collaboration deal over 485 MW of solar in Vietnam

Scatec wants to expand in Southeast Asia and Vietnam is poised to become a hot market thanks to a generous feed-in tariff and a government that has set tight carbon emission targets.
Highlights

Best of both – quantum dot and perovskites team up for stable performance

Perovskites and quantum dot solar cells both have potential for use in high efficiency PV devices, but have major challenges to overcome to be a commercial reality. Scientists at the University of Toronto have found that if the two technologies are combi...
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Press Releases

New power system with Canadian Solar modules helps a medical center in Sierra Leone

Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar power companies, today announced it has donated modules for a solar power system at the Evans Medical Center at Kirma, in Lungi, Sierra Leone. The charity project was initiated a year ago by Melanie Evans from the Lungi Sierra Leone charity and was realized with Canadian Solar […]

Anesco powers into domestic solar and storage market

Anesco has set its sights on the domestic solar and storage market with the launch of a new venture aimed at helping homeowners achieve low carbon living. Anesco at Home utilizes the company’s extensive experience in the areas of renewables and energy management to provide homeowners with a model for generating, storing and managing their […]

The electricity market MIBEL leads the European market prices ranking this week

The MIBEL electricity market led the European price ranking during the first four days of this week, with daily average values of €50-60/MWh. According to AleaSoft, the main cause was a fall in renewable energy production accentuated by the current scenario in which two nuclear plants stopped for refuelling.

Sunny outlook for the worldwide solar market: Intersolar Europe 2019 celebrates another year

With 1,354 exhibitors, 100,000m² of exhibition space and around 50,000 visitors from 162 countries, Intersolar Europe – the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry – has celebrated another successful year, along with its three accompanying energy exhibitions. From PV production technologies to hybrid inverters to subsidy-free business models, the topics explored at the 2019 […]

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Transformation of support system for renewables following introduction of renewable energy auctions in Ukraine

Following the adoption of the Law of Ukraine "On the Electricity Market" (the Electricity Market Law) in 2017, which set out the legal framework for the new electricity market design and the role of renewables within it, the renewable energy sector has been developing rapidly in Ukraine.

100 GW: PV in its teens

With almost 100 GW commissioned in 2018 (the same level as in 2017), the PV market was stable at a global level, writes Becquerel Institute’s Gaëtan Masson. This hides different market developments, as for example the decline of the Chinese PV market from 53 to 45 GW, and growth in other markets. The global market, exempting China, grew from 41 GW in 2016 to 46 GW in 2017, a rather big jump as it reached close to 55 GW in 2018.

SEIA’s solar+ plan falls short on ambition

The Solar Energy Industries Association’s “ambitious goal” of solar supplying 20% of U.S. electricity in 2030 looks more like a forecast, and vision for rapid decarbonization is coming from the climate movement and the American Left, not SEIA.

Get out and vote!

As the European elections approach, it will be vital to have MEPs that are committed to solar and help ensure that the lowest cost and most flexible clean energy technology is the leading contributor to the EU’s 2050 climate strategy, writes Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe.

Emerging markets are driving solar towards the world’s preferred energy source

Over the past few years, solar energy has undergone a remarkable transformation. From its position as one mainstream energy source among many, it has now become the world’s preferred source of power, writes Martin Haupts, CEO of Phanes Group.

Europe makes its comeback

Europe saw the largest upswing of new PV installations over the past year, in particular after the minimum import price on modules ended. Installations grew by 23% in 2018, reaching 12 GW. IHS Markit forecasts the region to surpass 19 GW in 2019. The reason for this revived growth, writes Research & Analysis Manager Josefin Berg, is a combination of the increased cost competitiveness of PV, more initiatives outside of subsidy schemes, and new policy initiatives to meet 2020 and 2030 targets.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Plenty to go around

At the end of May 2018, events in Spanish politics took a turn without precedent since the country embraced democracy: a motion of censure against the conservative PP (Partido Popular) by an all-but unified opposition received 180 votes in favour, 169 votes against, and 1 abstention. Pedro Sánchez, leader of the socialist PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español), took up the post of Prime Minister that Mariano Rajoy had held for the previous six years. For the PV sector, the change could not have come too soon.

Electric vehicles help slash payback periods for residential PV

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has estimated the effect on the payback period of PV systems when adding EVs and storage in Germany and Britain. In both cases, system owners are likely to reduce their payback period by significant margins as increased self-consumption can offset the incremental phase out of government incentives.

EU Council of Ministers gives final green light on clean energy package

Long awaited – and even longer debated – the 1000 pages of legislation have finally been adopted by all EU institutions. Over the coming 18 months, there will be changes, some big, some small, to the markets in Europe. Across the continent, the renewable energy industry is likely to benefit.

Lebanon’s Tufail region may host planned 500 MW solar plant

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is seeking consultants for a feasibility study for the project. The plant would be constructed on land owned by the Banque du Liban.

US brings Turkish PV modules under Section 201 tariff regime

U.S. President Donald Trump has removed Turkey from the list of developing nations that are exempted from Section 201 tariffs on PV cells and modules.

GCL wants to sell 977 MW solar portfolio to pay down debt

The Hong Kong listed polysilicon manufacturer is selling off solar assets to fund its thirst for production capacity expansion. The proposed sale would net the company almost $290 million to reduce its debt pile.

Installations

Featured

Utility cards reshuffled

The game of energy poker, once predictable to the card counters of old, sees a number of new jokers added to the pack. Former trump cards of incumbent utilities, like coal and nuclear, are becoming less valuable. It would be foolish, however, to mistake legacy as weakness, as with every reshuffling, long-standing players are left with surprises up their sleeves – and much at stake.

California’s Solar Bill of Rights has been gutted by lawmakers

What was originally a landmark bill to establish rights for the owners of PV systems has made it to the floor of the California Senate in a dramatically reduced form.

EDF-led consortium wins Moroccan tender for 800 MW CSP-PV project with price of $0.070/kWh

The grouping, which includes UAE-based Masdar and Moroccan independent power producer Green of Africa, is planning to begin construction this year. The project is among those realized by the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, as part of the Noor Solar Plan to develop a minimum 2 GW of capacity by next year.

Off-grid solution for Haiti electrification to receive $17 million funding

The government of Haiti and the World Bank have put in place a financial instrument to provide access to capital for companies active in clean off-grid energy solutions. The aim is to power 200,000 households over 10 years.

Overseas developers rallying to invest in Bangladeshi solar

Big names in the running for 45-55 MW project in Chittagong as developers scramble to take advantage of an income tax exemption for clean energy investment that is due to expire this year.

China reveals details of first 15 GW of grid parity solar

Some 168 projects will be developed across 16 provinces free from central government subsidy. The fact the average capacity of such projects has tumbled indicates Beijing’s plan to accelerate the arrival of subsidy free solar may be on track.

Technology

Featured

Saline solutions

By 2030, according to the United Nations nearly half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas if no preventive actions are taken. Water reuse technologies and measures to reduce water usage can only serve as temporary relief for the upcoming water crisis. Jiajun Cen, CTO at Desolenator, lays out the case for solar powered desalination as a solution.

Looking past perovskites

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego – with the help of the university’s Comet supercomputer – modelled thousands of halide compounds to come up with a shortlist of 13 materials that could be candidates for the efficient solar cell materials of the future.

US energy storage market set to almost double this year

The solar-plus-storage combination is super-charging the deployment of batteries across the country and IHS Markit says the U.S. will become the largest market for grid-tied energy storage this year.

Scientists cast light on how potassium can fix perovskite cells

Doping perovksite solar cells with potassium is said to eliminate interface trapping defects and mobile ion migration. ‘Hysteresis suppression’ is key for more efficient cells based on the promising material.

More than 6 GW worth of new PV seeking generation licenses in Greece

The country’s PV market has heated up, a fact reflected by the number of applications submitted to the energy regulator seeking a license to generate electricity.

Australia election: What can solar expect under Morrison’s coalition?

As India awaits the results of the world’s largest democratic election on Thursday, and the EU begins to go to the polls on the same day, pv magazine Australia considers the “miracle” victory by a right-wing Liberal-National coalition in Australia at the weekend, and finds the nation’s solar sector has little reason to rejoice.

Manufacturing

Featured

The next steps forward

Discourse surrounding Europe’s solar industry has intensified in the last year, with several leading voices asking the European Union to implement policy to drive a revival the bloc’s PV manufacturing sector. pv magazine explores the requirements for such a development.

US-China trade war may lead to dumping of Chinese steel into India

The contraction in Chinese trade flows to the U.S. is likely to result in the dumping in India of Far Eastern electronic and electrical components as well as steel, iron, chemicals and plastic products.

Xinyi Energy completes Hong Kong IPO to raise $465 million

The solar plant operations business – spun out of the solar glass manufacturer – reportedly finalized its initial public offering this week. Final confirmation of the proceeds is expected on Monday.

Daqo raises margin by doubling down relentlessly on costs

The Chinese polysilicon producer appears to be navigating a steady path to much bigger output without loading too much debt onto its shoulders – no wonder it feels able to cock a snook at its rivals.

GCL subsidiary commits to give $500,000 to parent companies – after banking around $493,000 from them

The latest stock market update from Hong Kong enables investors with sufficient patience to follow the money merry-go-round at the polysilicon producer.

AE Solar inaugurates 500 MW module factory in Georgia

The German solar module manufacturer has commissioned its European module factory in Georgia. The manufacturing facility can be readily expanded to about 1.2 GW and the first 500 MW phase should be fully operational in the course of the next month.

Energy Storage

Featured

Gearing up for power on wheels

Apricum’s Florian Mayr, partner and Head of the Energy Storage and Green Mobility Practices, Stephanie Adam, senior consultant, and Jesselyn Malimata, explore the true impact of e-mobility on stationary energy storage markets and applications.

Hungarian oil and gas provider MOL enters the hydrogen business

The fossil fuel company will partner with Slovakia’s InoBat to develop hydrogen-related projects in central and eastern Europe. Sourcing and supply of hydrogen will be the main focus of the cooperation.

Bboxx secures $8 million loan to boost Rwanda operations

The off-grid solar system supplier has received the finance in Rwandan francs to mitigate currency risk and expand operations in its biggest market.

Enertrag, Enel and Leclanche commission 22 MW storage project in Germany

The companies have invested €17 million in the project. The energy stored, in the Brandenburg project, will be used to stabilize the grid and minimize the curtailment of wind farms.

ABB, Evolvere jointly launch blockchain energy pilot

The Swiss power group and Italian utility Evolvere have started a blockchain pilot project designed to facilitate transparent, secure peer-to-peer energy trading.

Fortum pairs li-ion storage with hydropower plant in Sweden

The Finnish utility has switched on a 5 MW/6.2 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system at a hydropower plant in Sweden.

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