Top News

France raises annual capacity of solar tenders by 1 GW, confirms joint wind-solar auctions

The tenders’ capacity will be increased gradually starting from next March. The move is part of the French government's strategy to accelerate the development of solar, and reach its 2023 targets.
Installations

South Africa: Calls for 1.5 GW of annual PV, 55,000 new jobs – comment

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has called on the country’s government for more PV support. Energy specialist, Chris Ahlfeldt comments on the five point PV plan, which envisages 1.5 GW of new installs annually, and the creation of 55,000 jobs. He also discusses the ongoing issue of the 27 unsigned PPAs, and the bottlenecks in the market.

Markets & Policy

Canadian Solar privatization offer prompts stock surge, possible industry trend

Solar stocks surged yesterday after Canadian Solar announced it had received a “going private” proposal, reports Zacks. Analysts at Guggenheim, meanwhile, say the offer will be given “serious consideration.” They believe other companies may follow suit, if accepted.

Installations

Japan may surpass 2030 PV target of 64 GW within two years — RTS

Japan may reach its 2030 solar installation target of 64 GW about 10 years ahead of schedule, according to a new report by PV consulting firm, RTS Corp.

Installations

Schneider Electric to go 100% renewable by 2030

The French energy management and automation company plans to use on-site projects, contracted off-site projects and clean energy credits to meet its new 100% goal.

Markets & Policy

EBRD earmarks $22 million for 50 MW Jordan PV plant, $100 million for green bonds

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a US$22 million shot in the arm for a 50 MW solar power plant in the Risha region developed by Saudi ACWA Power. The bank has also announced plans to invest up to $100 million to back development of the green bond markets, and pledged its support to city climate projects allocating over $500 million with an eye to scaling up green urban financing.

Installations

Sunseap, Linyang Energy MOU targets 500 MW of solar in Singapore

Singapore’s Sunseap Group and China-base Jiangsu Linyang Energy Co Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to install 500 MW of rooftop and floating solar PV in Singapore. Together with another five cooperation areas, they plan to invest a total of $500 million.

Manufacturing

Hyet Solar seeks investors for 200 MW module fab in India

The Dutch solar energy company is hoping to attract investors in a proposed 200 MW solar manufacturing facility in the Indian state of Assam.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Trump versus solar

U.S. energy policy: The Trump Administration is currently making a number of significant policy changes that intersect with solar and other forms of renewable energy. pv magazine attempts to separate the real dangers to the solar market from the more superficial phenomena.

Brazil: Distributed solar generation reaches 150 MW

Overall, Brazil’s total distributed renewable energy generation has topped 200 MW.

EDF launches 30 GW solar plan

French energy giant, EDF has announced a 30 GW solar energy plan that is expected to be developed exclusively in France.

Egypt issues tender for 600 MW of solar

The tender is the first to be issued under the new auction mechanism, which has replaced the FIT scheme for large-scale solar.

Canadian Solar next Chinese company to consider privatization

Canadian Solar Inc. has received a “going private” proposal from chairman, president and CEO, Dr. Shawn Qu, under which he offers US$18.47 per common share. The move follows that of Trina and JA Solar.

Zambia to launch 100 MW solar tender

The tender will be open to PV projects not exceeding 20 MW in size, and will award long-term PPAs for the sale of power to local utility ZESCO.

Installations

Featured

On-site, on time

Early stage O&M: In the second of its two-part series on utility-scale O&M in Latin America, EDF Renewable Services’ Nicolás Rossel shares lessons learned from the company’s experiences in Mexico, where it has found that a smooth handover from EPC provider to O&M contractor is vital for long-term plant performance.

Brazil: 162 MW PV project to come online in Q4 2018

Prodiel will begin construction on the 162 MW PV plant, developed by Norway’s Scatec Solar and Statoil, “imminently”. The US$215 million project is expected to be operational in Q4 2018.

China’s Three Gorges connects part of 150 MW floating solar plant

The first phase of the world’s largest floating solar array has been connected to the grid in China’s Anhui Province, according to developer Three Gorges New Energy Company.

Another Brazilian state introduces ICMS exemption for solar

This time, the state of Espíritu Santo has agreed to adopt the fiscal incentive for net-metered solar PV systems up to 1 MW. The measure has been suggested by the Brazilian central government to all the country’s states since September 2015.

Gibraltar introduces net metering

An amendment in the Gibraltar Electricity Authority Act will now make it possible to inject renewable energy power produced by residential customers into the local grid.

$265 million earmarked for 800 MW Moroccan solar project

The African Development Bank has committed US$265 million to the development of two solar power plants in Morocco with a total capacity of 800 MW.

Technology

Featured

Mind the gap

High efficiency cell technology: The slight performance advantage held by Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers appears to be coming to an end as Chinese tier-1 and tier-2 firms up their R&D spending in an effort to be fully vertically integrated. pv magazine looks at how this high efficiency technology race might impact the global PV industry.

Solar Frontier to venture into BIPV — report

Japan’s Solar Frontier plans to start integrating its thin-film PV technologies into materials for walls and roofs, with sales expected to begin before the end of the decade, according to a recent report.

Idea of solar powered trains gaining traction

In two separate studies, in the U.K. and Switzerland, respectively, the notion of combining solar power and trains has been explored. The results indicate it could offer a cost-competitive, energy saving alternative to the traditional power methods currently employed.

Japanese scientists use organic ferroelectric to extract more current from solar cells

The new technology uses a quantum-mechanical process, which can extract current from solar cells in a much quicker, less wasteful way, the research team claims.

EPLF-led research group seeks to stabilize perovskite solar cells with guanidinium

The group of scientists is adopting organic cations, instead of inorganic cations like cesium or rubidium, to stabilize the crystal structures of perovskites with solar applications.

NexWafe secures $9.4 million for kerfless wafer project, targets 50% cost reductions

NexWafe GmbH has completed €8 million (around US$9.4 million) in financing for the next stage of its kerfless wafer manufacturing plans. The company sees big market potential for the product, which projects cost reductions of 50%.

Manufacturing

Preparation, automation, consolidation

The future for MLPE: After a year of relatively stable prices for inverters, the next few years are likely to see the return of fierce cost reduction – which could spell trouble for the module level power electronics (MLPE) space. However, growth in this segment is expected, so how are the market leaders balancing innovation and trend adoption while shoring up their bottom lines?

Meyer Burger announces at least 100 jobs will go at Thun

Following a consultation process with employees, Meyer Burger has announced 100 jobs will definitely go as part of the closure of its Swiss manufacturing site. Another 60 positions are dependent on strategic alternatives being found.

Longi claims 82.15% bifaciality record for its PERC solar cell

After announcing a record 22.71% conversion efficiency with its monocrystalline passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) solar cells in October, the Chinese solar manufacturer now claims it has achieved an 82.15% record bifaciality for the bifacial version of the same cell.

India: Siemens announces large-scale inverter plans

Having reportedly ended its relationship with SMA Solar, Siemens has announced it will be manufacturing and supplying 5 MW inverters to the Indian market.

Elettronica Santerno bags 100 MW order from Chile

The Italian inverter maker will supply its Sunway TG TE 1500V devices for a project under development by an unnamed global utility active in the renewable energy sector.

First Solar produces first S6 module, seals 800 MW of deals

The first modules have rolled off the line in Ohio as part of First Solar’s $1.4 billion dollar bet on its large-format Series 6. The company will also expand production in Vietnam.

Energy Storage

BYD strides forward with a high voltage battery storage system

pv magazine award: This storage system manufacturer from China has dared to venture into a technology new to the home sector, and has faced the efficiency test.

Sunverge to build VPP project for TEPCO in Japan

Sunverge Energy has revealed plans to install “dozens” of energy storage units in eastern Japan, as part of a virtual power plant (VPP) project under regional utility Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

GE slashes 12,000 jobs in response to changing power markets

GE Power has announced 12,000 jobs will go as part of its effort to cut structural costs by US$3.5 billion. Part of the reason for the move is the strong growth of renewables, and a softening of traditional power markets. Storage is said to be a “mega trend”.

Utilities are increasingly planning for energy storage (w/ charts)

GTM Research reports that utilities in 15 states are incorporating energy storage into their long-term plans, as energy storage deployment reached a relatively even keel during Q3 2017.

Czech Republic sees 1 MW storage project, plans for 10 MW more

A 1.2 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) has been installed in the Czech Republic by Solar Global and Alfen. Plans for another, 10 MW, project have been revealed.

UK could reach 12 GW storage capacity within five years, report finds

Lessons learned from solar failures could propel battery storage market to 12 GW by 2021, argues report by All-Party Parliamentary Group on Energy Storage, which implores government to be “on the front foot” when it comes to seizing ways to ensure energy security for the nation.

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Press Releases

Apply now: Awards for pioneering projects for the new energy world

Each year the most innovative solutions in the solar and energy storage sectors are recognized with the most important awards in the industry – the Intersolar AWARD and the ees AWARD. 2018 marks the debut of a new prize: The smarter E AWARD.

Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions

Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle.

Kyocera receives Japan Environment Minister’s award for record 8th consecutive year

Kyocera Corporation (President: Hideo Tanimoto) today announced that its Hokkaido Kitami Plant has received Japan’s 2017 Environment Minister’s Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity, in the “implementation of countermeasures / dissemination” category.

Opvius develops new production process for freeform OPV modules

New production process allows a simple transfer of a common OPV preliminary product to customised OPV products.