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The September edition is packed with the latest insights into:
Polysilicon capacity is unable to catch up with rapid capacity expansion in the mid and downstream segments, writes Corrine Lin, chief analyst for PV InfoLink. New polysilicon capacity requires big capex investment and a lead time of more than two years to complete construction and reach full operation. With unbalanced capacity between the upstream and downstream segments, polysilicon prices have been rising since the second half of 2020, with prices for mono-grade polysilicon surpassing CNY 200/kg ($27.40) in June 2021, up more than 250% year on year.
In his second article, Philip Wolfe founder of Wiki-Solar lists the world’s largest individual solar PV power plants. The biggest solar parks and other clusters of plants will be listed in subsequent blogs.
The global single-axis tracker market increased shipment volume by 40% year on year to reach 45 GW in 2020. This was despite significant pandemic-related supply chain turbulence that resulted in longer lead times for the delivery of components, the idling of steelmaking capacity in some key markets, container shipping dislocation, and widespread restrictions, particularly at ports. Most notably, this caused the cost of some commodities, such as steel, to more than double between 2020 and 2021. Jason Sheridan, a senior research analyst for IHS Markit, runs through some of the key developments in the tracker market.
This summer, IHS Markit published its annual global ranking of EPC providers that build in-house developed and third-party PV projects, based on last year’s installations. 2020 was a year of many contradictions, with lockdowns and increasing component prices taking their toll on many of the companies, both large and small. At the same time, EPC providers with their main share of business in mainland China and the United States had a remarkable year.
Solar energy pioneer and founder of Wiki-Solar, Philip Wolfe updates his series of blogs on the world’s largest solar power stations, first published in pv magazine in 2019. At that time, there were no single solar power plants over 1 GWAC. The record now is 2.2 GWAC.
A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.
An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.
‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.
Norwegian consultancy DNV today published the latest of its annual surveys of the state of the energy transition and lamented the fact so very little has been achieved during the last five years. We are forging ahead into a world that will be 2.3C hotter this century, predicts the report.
The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.
A new report from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) has shown that heat pump technologies are currently unable to compete for heating with gas due to high taxes and levies on electricity. According to its experts, a carbon tax, or removing this tax imbalance, may create a level playing field for renewable technologies in the heating sector.
Chile continues to lead the energy transition in Latin America, but international investors are nervous. The pandemic is subsiding, thanks to a vaccination rate close to 80%, and energy demand is showing signs of recovery. However, the political landscape still has investors on edge, reports Luisa Cabello.
A printed circuit board-based hydrogen fuel cell for use in autonomous boats and ships has been engineered by a British consortium, and Italian energy companies Snam and Edison want to set up a 220 MW green hydrogen production plant powered by 380 MW of solar in Apulia.
China Green Development Group is building a giant project consisting of 3 GW of photovoltaics and 300 MW of concentrating solar power. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2025 and is part of China’s 14th five-year plan.
The Chinese inverter company said the dam-hosted 58.5 MW project in northeastern Thailand was connected to the grid this month.
Until this year, Lord Howe Island was totally reliant on diesel generation for its electricity. A solar-powered hybrid microgrid, integrated into the island’s supply since April, has now been declared a resounding success.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) showed, through a pilot incentive program, that whole-home heat pumps are a feasible solution for heating when switching from gas. Project costs, however, were found to be higher than expected.
CE Oltenia wants to build eight solar parks at three of its coal power plants and five of its coal mining sites by 2026. This new capacity should replace installed power from coal that the company wants to shut down over the next five years.
Through the procurement exercise, the government wants to build ground-mounted solar power projects on an independent power producer (IPP), and build-own-operate (BOO) basis.
A 25 MW project has been installed at the Simhadri thermal power station run by state-owned power company NTPC on the coast of Andhra Pradesh.
U.S. start-up EnerVenue has secured funding to build a gigafactory to produce nickel-hydrogen batteries for large scale renewable and storage applications. The battery has an efficiency ranging from 80 to 90%, depending on the cycle rate, and its energy density per square foot is equal to, or better than lithium-ion batteries, according to the company.
The module is claimed to be one of the top five most performant heterojunction solar modules, in terms of power density, with the champion panel achieving 214.15 W/m² and the average device 209.5 W/m². The panel showed an efficiency ranging from 20.95% to 21.41%.
The modular power station comes with two lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries and has a capacity of 6 kW/24.6 kWh. It relies on a 3 kW pure sine wave inverter which the manufacturer said is able to adjust the AC charging rate.
Antonio Delgado Rigal, chief executive of energy forecasting service AleaSoft, tells pv magazine that skyrocketing gas and electricity prices are putting the global economy under strong pressure, while also opening up huge opportunities for solar, renewables and green hydrogen. He says current gas and electricity prices, along with rising CO2 prices, already make green hydrogen competitive. He therefore calls for immediate action on building new capacity, but acknowledges that a quick end is not yet in sight for rising prices.
Electricity transmission system operator Tennet has been forced to notify its regulator of more bottlenecks ahead, with the 5.6 GW capacity of the Gelderland and Flevopolder regional network already contracted out.
Analysts at the US research institite modeled PV recycling strategies and found that current incentives are not well-aligned to drive recycling.
Developed by U.S. scientists, the 10%-efficient device is intended for applications in solar windows and promises efficiencies close to 15%. According to its creators, the cell retained 80% of its efficiency after 1,900 hours at 55 degrees Celsius.
Solar Team Eindhoven has developed an experimental mobile house that is powered exclusively by vehicle-integrated PV and is claimed to achieve a range of 730km, on a sunny day and at a, moderate speed of up to 85kph. The vehicle is equipped with a foldable PV system that can be unfolded and produce more power when the vehicle is not in motion.
Indian PV manufacturer Goldi Solar will start producing its HELOC̣ Pro series M10 (182 mm) modules in November, and will add G12 (210 mm) panels to its lineup next year.
Multiple factors affect the productive lifespans of residential solar inverters. In the second part of our new series on resiliency, we look at PV inverters.
A report by BloombergNEF and Schneider Electric has pressed the case for governments to unlock the world’s potentially huge rooftop solar potential, and cited California’s solar mandate as a shining example.
Russian energy giant said its gigafactory will be located in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad. The facility is expected to begin manufacturing activities in 2026.
South Korean researchers have tested four operational modes to combine residential batteries with balcony PV modules and have found that the best configuration is when solar is supplied to the load after the battery is fully charged. Charging the battery with the grid prevents the risk of full discharge in the absence of PV power, they said.
TotalEnergies wants to decarbonize hydrogen production in Normandy with the support of Air Liquide and, in Chile, an international consortium has begun construction of the country’s first green hydrogen facility. Elsewhere, the Indian government has invited U.S. companies to bid for green hydrogen and electrolyzer contracts.
With renewable energy generation said to consume up to 95% less water than fossil-fuel fired power plants, solar could lead the way to a less stressed existence in mid century, according to researchers from Finland’s LUT.
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