Top News

Why the EU needs binding targets for renewables and decarbonised gas for a climate-neutral Europe

Interview: The Energy Charts, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) shows that the switch from coal to gas in Germany reduced CO2 emissions by one third in June. In a European wide transition, Eurogas General Secretary James Watson considers reductions of up to 45% possible by 2030. The gas sector is also willing to make the transition to renewables and decarbonised gases by the middle of the century. In the case of power-to-gas technologies, medium-term cost reductions which are comparable to the experience curve of photovoltaics is possible, Watson explained.
Markets & Policy

Eliminate hydrogen for better battery performance, scientists say

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara who are working with sodium-ion batteries have found that the unintended presence of hydrogen is to blame for many of the technology’s shortcomings in terms of degradation and performance loss. ...
Markets & Policy

Mozambique plans for 60 MW solar deployment

The IFC and the country's power utility are planning to build small on-grid solar parks across three to five different sites, and are seeking a project consultant.
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Installations

FRV achieves financial close on 68 MW solar project in Australia

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) has secured financing for the 67.8 MW Goonumbla Solar Farm in New South Wales. The Spanish developer inked a power purchase agreement for the project with Snowy Hydro last year.
Installations

South Korean government announces 2.1 GW floating PV project

The huge floating plant is expected to be located on a water surface close to the Saemangeum, an estuarine tidal flat on the coast of the Yellow Sea. Construction on the facility is planned to start in the second half of next year. Around 4.6 trillion wo...
Highlights

First off-shore PV project launched in the North Sea

A floating solar array will be located in the North Sea near an aquaculture and an offshore wind power facility. The €2 million pilot project is being developed by a consortium including Tractebel, Jan De Nul Group, Deme, Soltech and Ghent University.
Highlights

Renewable energy production beats fossil fuels in Europe for the first half 2019

UK based energy data service provider and consultancy EnAppSys released its quarterly review of the European energy market. While renewables have covered a large chunk of the continent's demand, that trend will likely change in the second half of the yea...
Markets & Policy

Belgium needs PV to meet obligations

Part three of our series on solar's less covered markets takes us to Belgium, where despite impressive instsllation numbers from the rooftop market, a lack of volume means the country is unlikely to hit its EU mandated 2020 targets for renewable energy.
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Press Releases

Falck Renewables acquires 70% of solar project under development in Sicily

Falck Renewables S. p.

Suntech Receiving a Visit by the Shareholding Directors of SINOSURE

Wuxi Suntech Power Co. , Ltd.

Azure Power Appoints a chief executive officer and president

Azure Power Global Limited ("Azure Power" or the "Company") (NYSE: AZRE), a leading solar power producer in India, today announced that its board of directors has appointed Mr. Ranjit Gupta as chief executive officer and a member of the Board, and Mr.

Dowell wins award at storage conference in Shanghai

Dowell attended the Solar Power Storage Conference in Shanghai and was voted to be the "2019 Energy Storage Industry Best System Integration Solution Provider"

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

10 GW of utility-scale PV+storage by 2023

In 2019, the United States will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit’s Camron Barati, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement.

Looking ahead, post SNEC

In the wake of the 2019 SNEC trade show in Shanghai, PV InfoLink chief analyst Corrine Lin delves into the new cell and module technologies that were exhibited at the show.

Recharging economies: EV battery manufacturing outlook for Europe

As uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) increases, the EV battery market represents an opportunity for European players. McKinsey assesses the potential and looks at factors guiding the location of production capacity.

Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of a series of blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination afforded by organised solar parks.

Step back to catch up

We need to build solar parks only when there are no more square meters left on the rooftops, writes Mikhail Lifshitz, co-owner of Russia-based JSC Rotec.

An overview of the world’s largest solar power plants

In the third of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar power plants. In these articles, a ‘solar plant’ is defined as an individual generating station.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Install, underneath the radar

While they are often not squarely in the industry’s sights, the number of global markets that are heading toward or beyond the gigawatt level for annual installations continues to grow. Encouragingly, these countries are scattered throughout the world. To provide some insights into some of 2019’s ‘next tier’ markets, pv magazine assembled its global team of editors to find out what can be expected today and in the near future.

Solar industry counts seven human rights allegations

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has published a report looking at the human rights due diligence performance of the renewables industry and examined individual generation methods. The report finds that, while the solar sector is not top of the sad list, its vest also isn’t completely unstained.

Green hydrogen joins natural gas in Australian pipelines

Canadian gas giant ATCO has unveiled its Clean Energy Hub in Jandakot which will explore the potential of hydrogen for home use in gas appliances. On the same day, the Western Australian government has launched a renewable hydrogen strategy and announced the creation of a $10 green hydrogen fund.

CBEA lets loose first $5.5 million for 60 minigrids in Tanzania

Crossboundary Energy Access (CBEA) was established in January with large investment contributions from Rockefeller and Shell Foundations. The funding facility, which said it would work to unlock $11 billion in funding for the electrification of 100 million people in Africa, has penciled its first transaction with PowerGen Renewable Energy.

Islamic financing tipped to emerge as major player in PV investment

In every corner of the globe, markets are experiencing an increasing need for capital to back renewable energy assets. Apart from conventional loans, bonds and equity schemes, Shariah-compliant financing instruments, such as Sukuk, serve as a catalyst for funding PV projects, Deloitte finds.

Electricity demand drives Bangladesh

The second part of our hidden champions series head to Bangladesh, where rapid industrialization is driving increased electricity demand. Already a major off grid market, Bangladesh is seeing increasing interest from international investors and is taking the first steps toward realizing its formidable potential for large scale solar installations.

Installations

Featured

Tracking in the wind

Extreme wind events are the biggest cause of failure and insurance claims for any PV plant, according to Thorsten Kray, Head of the Building Aerodynamics Department at Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH, Aachen. For structural reasons, single-axis trackers are more prone to the issues than fixed-tilt structures. In this two-part series, pv magazine will examine the ways that wind impacts trackers and what EPCs and investors need to look out for, in addition to outlining a range of approaches from big tracker suppliers that were designed to mitigate wind-related damage.

Shanghai’s Rafael Gallery to host 1 MW of Hanergy modules

Chinese thin film manufacturer Hanergy has announced plans to integrate its CIGS modules into the 150,000 square meter rooftop of a ‘sky bridge’ project planned as part of a major ‘tech city’ project under construction in Shanghai.

BlackRock goes behind the meter with GE

The startup formerly known as GE Solar has become a full fledged company, with GE and BlackRock announcing the creation of Distributed Solar Development, a behind-the-meter solar joint venture.

UK needs 13 GW of DSR, smart EV charging and V2G ramp up for net zero goal

… and it will be quite an effort. The U.K.’s grid operator, National Grid, released a new report on possible energy system transformation pathways, amidst growing public concern over climate change. Ramping carbon emissions reduction targets up from 80% to 100% prompts technical challenges. These can be overcome but will require full alignment of policy effort and individual awareness and decision making.

Average bids for solar in Argentina “mini” auction reach $57.9/MWh

Overall, 31 renewable energy projects have pre-qualified for the final phase of the auction. The outcome of the procurement exercise will be announced on July 22. Around 300 MW of capacity will be allocated.

Bringing electricity to 4.5 million people with just 45 MW of off-grid PV

The African Development Bank is providing around $56 million to fund a program to bring electricity to around 900,000 households in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. The financial institution will also provide African distributed energy service companies with critical technical guidance and credit enhancement.

Technology

The importance of staying cool

"Solar cells prefer to operate in a refrigerator," says UNSW Professor Martin Green. His global research team is now identifying viable ways to cool down solar PV modules while amping up energy production to an unprecedented level.

Sensing an opportunity for indoor PV

A new paper published by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the potential for integrating small solar cells into the wireless sensors needed to power the fast-growing internet of things (IoT) ecosystem, many of which are located indoors. This market could represent a unique opportunity for thin film PV technologies, and perovskites in particular, to reduce the risk inherent to ramping up commercial scale production.

Another route to high performance perovskites

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have developed a new class of perovskite materials, which they say exhibits unique properties that could have several implications for the development of perovskite solar cells, as well as other electronic applications.

Scientists set new efficiency record for single crystal perovskite

Scientists at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science Technology have set a new efficiency record of 21.09% for a single crystal perovskite. The researchers say this highlights a place for the technology to develop alongside the multicrystalline versions which are progressing toward commercialization.

The weekend read: Transistor transition

In pursuit of a lower levelized cost of energy for the next generation of inverters, some manufacturers have turned to acquiring considerably more expensive semiconductors. While this may sound like a misstep at first, the trick could be pulled off — though not easily, and not always — yet.

China auction allocates subsidies for 22.7 GW of solar with lowest bid of $0.0407/kWh

China’s National Energy Administration has given the greenlight to 3,921 ground-mounted and distributed generation projects. The approved energy price bids ranged from $0.0407 to $0.080, depending on system size, for an average price of $0.048.

Manufacturing

Featured

Change to the cast

Few in the industry predicted the speed at which monocrystalline technology would develop, or the impressive cost reductions it would achieve by 2019. This has left producers of multicrystalline products facing rapidly shrinking market share and struggling to compete on a cost per watt basis. Many are now turning to cast mono processes, essentially creating a monocrystalline, or ‘mono-like’ silicon ingot in a multicrystalline furnace, to reach higher efficiencies and extend equipment lifetimes.

Sunowe’s trial for solar panel smuggling in Germany: customs must bring evidence

In the fall of 2017, German customs had revealed a “fraud cartel” around the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer Sunowe, which is said to have circumvented the applicable minimum import prices. Among the arrested suspects was a local politician, which drew significant attention to the case. This year, the trial started in the spring, but suspension came at the beginning of July when the customs office did not provide evidence in time. A restart of the trial is expected this winter.

Solar panel demand expected to reach 125.5 GW in 2019, TrendForce says

According to the Taiwanese market research company, PV panel demand will increase by 16% over 2018 shipments. TrendForce also believes this growth trend will continue in 2020.

Japan’s Toray to manufacture battery components in Europe

Japanese materials company Toray has announced plans to open a facility for manufacturing battery separator films for use in lithium-ion batteries. The factory is expected to begin operations in July 2021 and will increase Toray’s production material for the component by around 20%.

ClearVue inks solar strip module supply deal with BeyondPV

Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has signed a deal with Taiwanese thin-film solar module manufacturer BeyondPV to set up a dedicated production line for solar strip modules at its production facility in the city of Tainan.

REC Silicon lays off 100 workers at U.S. facility

Norwegian headquartered polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon has announced that it will lay off another 100 workers at its Moses Lake facility in the western United States, as the factory heads into long term shutdown.

Energy Storage

Featured

The dawn of megastorage

Plummeting costs, industry maturity, and the ever-increasing penetration of global renewables are expanding the use cases for battery storage technology. Over the past year and a half, storage projects are increasing significantly in both scope and capacity.

Batteries well-suited to play valuable role in grid management in New Zealand’s energy transition

A report published by New Zealand’s state-owned transmission grid operator Transpower finds the widespread uptake of distributed battery storage could play an important role in supporting the power system as rooftop PV and electric vehicles are increasingly adopted.

Lithium-ion recycling rates far higher than some statistics suggest

While it is often stated only 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, a review of research into the second life and recycling of lithium-ion batteries suggests that is a gross understatement. A new study found almost 100,000 tons of waste batteries were recycled last year – about half of what reached end-of-life.

Toyota shows off solar Prius with 860 W output from 34% efficient cells

The car will be road tested at Toyota City in Japan. Solar charging technology for the vehicle will then be further optimized before the vehicle goes on sale.

The United States is headed for a battery breakthrough

A new report by the Energy Information Administration projects U.S. installed battery storage capacity will reach 2.5 GW by 2023. Florida and New York are set to pave the way as massive projects in each state will account for almost half the coming capacity.

Morocco opens 230 MW solar tender

The Moroccan agency for sustainable energy is pre-qualifying developers for the Noor Midelt II project, a solar complex incorporating CSP and PV elements.

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