Top News

France’s decision to delay nuclear phaseout by a decade jeopardizes PV plans

The French government has devised three possible scenarios for the planned phasing out of part of its nuclear power generation assets. Even under the most optimistic scenario, the target to reduce the share of nuclear power from around 75% to 50% by 2025, which had been set by the previous government, will only be reached in 2035. The most pessimistic scenario envisages the construction of four new nuclear reactors by 2040.
Markets & Policy

Industry hails UK energy minister’s export tariff stance

Renewable energy industry bodies are hailing the U.K. Energy Minister’s comments today that power should not be provided to the country’s electricity grid for free. She was referring to the ongoing debate over whether or not to end solar export tarif...
Installations

Islands ditching diesel in favor of renewables

The U.K. is helping islands in Scotland and the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian oceans, make the switch from dirty diesel generators to renewables. In the former, community-owned renewable systems are ensuring 24 hour energy supply, while in the latter, a ...
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Installations

Solarcentury secures permit for 200 MW of PV in southern Spain

Four projects – "Cerrado Cabrera", "El primo Aleman", "Hazas de los sesenta" and "Los Gonzalez" – each totaling 50 MW will be located in Alcalá de Guadaíra, near Seville. Work on the plants is expected to commence in April 2019.
Markets & Policy

Building bankable utility-scale solar+storage projects

With declining costs, and increasing amounts of solar+storage added to electrical grids across the globe, there is a growing need to understand how to build bankable projects. In a recent pv magazine webinar, we discussed just this.
Markets & Policy

Plans advance for UK’s first solar + storage Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project

Wirsol Energy Ltd and Hive Energy Ltd are developing an over 50 MW solar + storage project which, when completed, will represent the United Kingdom’s first Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).
Manufacturing

German researchers achieve 25.5% efficiency for perovskite tandem solar cells

The research team was able to improve the cell efficiency by 2.1%. The cell silicon layer was etched on the back-side, while a a polymer light management (LM) foil was applied to the front-side of the device.
Highlights

India’s SECI to float 4 GW of solar tenders in 4 months

Caught in a confusion of canceled auctions, tariff wars, safeguard duties and missed targets, the Indian government is now fast tracking solar power, having asked the Solar Power Corporation of India (SECI) to float 4 GW worth of tenders in four months.

Press Releases

Solar trackers Monoline by PVH, at the forefront of wind protection technology

As a result of its powerful motor and its alarm system, Monoline is able to reduce the time for adopting the stow position that protects if from wind to even less than a minute. In addition, the wind tunnel tests carried out by the company have allowed for developing an even better protection technology in the trackers.

DP World partners with UAE’s SirajPower to contribute to nation’s green strategy

SirajPower, the UAE’s leading provider of solar roof plants that offers both construction and financing solutions under one umbrella, today announced a strategic partnership with DP World, the global trade enabler.

Enphase energy storage installations reach over 12,500 homes

Enphase Energy, Inc. , a global energy technology company and the world's leading supplier of solar microinverters, today announced that it has shipped over 27 MWh of energy storage systems since the introduction of the Enphase AC Battery.

Major corporates ready to do more on climate action and call for easier access to renewable energy

Almost 100 organisations led by major corporates todaysignalled their willingness to do more on climate action calling on European governments to make it easier to invest and directly source renewable energy. The group signed this declaration at the RE-Source 2018 event in Amsterdam.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Renewables 2.0: Preparing for the new complexity of renewable energy in a post-subsidy world

As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.

Low demand driving consolidation

With the release of second quarter financial results, the rankings of global module shipments in the first half of the year can be confirmed. JinkoSolar shipped 4.8 GW to take first place in this period.

Will Taiwan meet its 20 GW solar goal by 2025?

By 2025, Taiwan aims to reach a cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 20 GW. However, by mid-2018, just 11.2% of this goal had been met. TrendForce analyst, Rhea Tsao, examines the situation and discusses what needs to be done to reach the target.

Degradation control tests for solar PV modules

Module degradation tests are essential not only for effective plant operations, but also to ensure an optimum ROI. However, fixed laboratories, where such tests are usually carried out, involve transportation issues, while it is not always economically feasible to send in mobile laboratories. So how can degradation in these instances be measured? Leonardo Enrique Pérez Abreu, Technical Manager of the Testing & Optimization department at Enertis discusses this issue.

World Overshoot Day comes early this year

World Overshoot Day marks the day the world has used up its annual budget of the resources it could have sustainably consumed. Despite efforts in relevant sectors, the date is creeping forward every year. Twenty years ago, it was in late September.

India’s trade war will have global repercussions

India is currently the second largest market in the world for PV module demand. With China’s domestic demand frozen since the 31/5 notification, the country’s total module demand in 2018 will likely only achieve 32-34 GW. This will allow India, which may surpass 10 GW in annual demand, to reach 13% of global PV demand this year. As a result, the future of India’s trade war has become an influential factor in the global PV industry.

Markets & Policy

Featured

“The government should be doing more – absolutely.”

While Westminster has brought the U.K.’s solar industry almost to a standstill, city councils are fighting like Gallic villages to keep the industry alive. Still, policy support and legislative security from Westminster are direly needed.

MIT: Solar success chiefly due to economies of scale, public policies

Although the report issued by the U.S. scientists recognizes the importance of low-level factors, like improvements in PV components and manufacturing processes, economies of scale and public policies are said to be the high-level mechanisms responsible for most of the cost decreases in solar technology and, thus, its success over the past two decades.

Vietnam should increase solar FIT to $0.15/kWh, ADB says

According to a report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), key factors such as the low-regulated price of electricity and uncertainty of the creditworthiness of Vietnam’s state-owned utility EVN are making it difficult to develop bankable solar and RE projects. An improved fiscal energy policy is recommended as the only way to provide the local energy sector with long-term capital and competence in conducting green credit appraisal. Furthermore, the report warns that the current 20-year FIT of US$0.0935/kWh for solar projects is too low.

Solar, wind cheapest source of new generation in major economies – report

Solar and/or wind are said to be the cheapest source of new energy generation in all major economies, apart from Japan, finds BloombergNEF. It adds that China’s utility-scale PV market has contracted by over a third this year; and that battery costs are set to drop a further 66% by 2030, driven by EV adoption.

Innogy offers €80,000 reward for information on acid attack

In March of this year, two unknown men in Haan, Germany, dropped acid on Innogy board member Bernhard Günter. In September, the prosecutor announced the investigation was closed. Innogy, however, hopes to find new clues through the reward.

RE100 report showcases the role for corporate action in energy transition efforts

The RE100 Progress Insights Annual Report 2018, released at the end of last week, portrays the central role corporate policies can play in carbon mitigation efforts.

Installations

A route to repowering for inverters

While the replacement of modules in aging PV systems with new, higher efficiency technologies has proved profitable for many projects in Europe, the route to improvements on the inverter side has been less clear. Greentech’s IPG Efficiency Kit, writes Ingo Rehmann, Founder and Managing Partner of greentech, offers a significant yield increase and further benefits for inverters of the Conergy IPG K series.

Finland launches technology neutral RE auction

The Finnish Energy Agency is seeking proposals for annual electricity production totaling 1.4 TWh. Large-scale wind, solar, biomass and wave power projects will be entitled to participate in the auction.

PV snaps up all capacity in Germany’s second mixed wind-solar auction

The German Federal Network Agency has selected 36 solar PV power projects with a combined capacity of 201 MW in the mixed energy auction, which ended with a final average price of €0.0527/kWh.

Algeria issues 150 MW solar tender

Through the tender, the Algerian Government will select IPP solar projects with a capacity range of 10-50 MW. The projects, to be located in the southwestern part of the country, will be developed on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis. Domestic content rules require the use of solar modules assembled in Algeria, as well as locally manufactured mounting structures and cables.

Netherlands: PV projects totaling 3.7 GW submitted for autumn round of 2018 SDE+ program

Overall, 5,907 renewable energy projects totaling 5 GW are now under review by the Dutch Ministry of Economy in the second round of the SDE+ program for this year. Solar accounts for 72.8% of the total submitted capacity.

Centrica to join London blockchain trial for alternative billing

Using a blockchain-based energy trading system, the company seeks to examine ways to bill customers in the best manner for them and prosumers. In light of the potential removal of export tariffs for small scale solar in the UK, the system could provide alternative remuneration for system owners. The trial will run for six months, with the possibility of extending it to two years.

Technology

Featured

Flashing key for bifacial value

As new cell and module concepts move into large-scale production, and efficiencies are pushed ever higher, manufacturers of flash testing equipment must innovate to ensure their tools can provide reliable measurements, and cope with ever expanding production throughput. The expansion of bifacial technology beyond niche applications in particular raises new issues for flash testing standards. pv magazine spoke with several flasher manufacturers to shed light on the latest developments in this segment.

‘Solar cow’ wins Aid Innovation Challenge

Yolk yesterday won the Aid Innovation challenge at the 2018 AidEX in Brussels. Using solar PV in a fun, novel manner, the Korean social enterprise has addressed major social problems in under-developed countries.

Advances made in organic photovoltaic flexibility

Researchers from the Rice University in Houston, Texas, have unveiled new findings in the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV).

IEA World Energy Outlook: Solar PV capacity to overtake all but gas by 2040

Even in its low ball scenario, the International Energy Agency (IEA) imagines that installed solar PV capacity will overtake that of all other forms of energy apart from gas by 2040. Overall, it presents four scenarios in its 2018 World Energy Outlook, which show a changing energy landscape. While it finds that CO2 levels are, perversely, on the rise, and that many energy efforts in all but the most whimsical of its forecasts are far behind those needed to seriously address global warming, it still imagines coal, oil and gas playing a leading role in our energy mix going forward. It also sees “dramatic” transformation in the electricity sector. Long story short: Read something else if you want to take real climate action. We suggest The Drawdown.

German scientists develop new process for stable perovskites

A team of researchers from Germany’s Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg has developed a new approach to perovskite cell production, which they say could result in better stability and longer lifetimes. The team also made detailed observation of the perovskite’s formation and decay, which could help to inform further research into high performance solar cells.

Singapore launches blockchain-based renewable energy marketplace

Companies keen to offset their carbon emissions will be able to purchase renewable energy certificates at Singapore’s first blockchain-powered marketplace, launched by electricity provider SP Group.

Manufacturing

Featured

Secrets of monocrystalline silicon

Monocrystalline cells and modules are rapidly overtaking multi as the dominant technology in solar markets globally. To understand why, you need to go up the value chain.

Hanwha supplying 100 MW mono PERC modules to China project

Hanwha Q Cells is continuing its collaboration with CGN Power Group. The manufacturer is delivering its Q.Peak-G5 mono-crystalline PERC solar modules to a 150 MW site in China’s Hubei province.

Sungrow bags 201 MW solar project in Vietnam

The Chinese-based manufacturer has closed a deal for the supply of its inverter solutions to the large-scale solar project in southern Vietnam. Sungrow says it has deployed a total of 1 GW of solar projects in Vietnam.

IHS revises up outlook for Chinese solar to 40 GW after underestimating demand

Around 34.5 GW of PV was installed in China in the first three quarters – 1.5 GW more than expected by IHS analysts, who have raised their full-year guidance.

German government devotes €1bn to battery cell production

The Federal Ministry of Economics has published further details of possible battery cell production on a gigawatt scale. At the Networking Conference Electromobility 2018 in Berlin this week, Minister Peter Altmaier stressed the urgency of the project, for Germany and Europe to be independent of Asia and the US in storage technology.

Manz reports improved Q3 sales, EBIT

The German PV equipment provider saw sales increase by a third in the first three quarters of 2018. Full year 2018 guidance remains unchanged.

Energy Storage

Featured

Whole system thinking

Sector coupling is rapidly becoming a reality, writes Andy Bradley, Director of Business Development at Delta Energy & Environment, meaning that whole system thinking – cross vector as well as cross sector – is becoming ever more important. Energy storage has a vital role to play in enabling this more interconnected and dynamic energy system.

The weekend read: Hand in hand

In the world of data centers, two developments have finally joined hands: The rapid increase in required computing power, and the energy transition. This is not only sustainable, but strong business cases are evolving, as was witnessed at this year’s The smarter E Europe in Munich.

TfL thinks big with aim to install renewables across London estate

The local transport provider wants generation facilities – almost certainly solar – across its 6,000 acres of land and roofs in the capital city, and hopes to break ground on the first sites within a year.

Spain’s Endesa to deploy 4 MW / 1.7 MWh battery in Melilla

The battery will be made by assembling 78 second life battery packs from Nissan’s electric Leaf vehicles. The project is expected to help resolve imbalances in the electrical system of the autonomous city and improve quality of supply.

Boom in electromobility unlikely to cause lithium shortage

The French Environment & Energy Management Agency (Ademe) has published a report in which analyzes the dynamics of lithium supply and demand in different scenarios of global electrification by 2050. The agency experts are convinced that only with a 75% penetration of electric vehicles there is the real risk of a marked decrease in the safety margin of lithium supply.

Edison connects large-scale storage system at PV plant in southern Italy

The Italian power provider has implemented its first pilot storage projects linked to solar. The system can provide grid services such as primary and secondary frequency regulation and tertiary and voltage regulation.

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