Top News

Trump levies graduated tariffs starting at 30%, exempts 2.5 GW in cells

The decision, released on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s website, could keep current U.S. module manufacturers in business by keeping their cell lifelines open.

AEE outlines key cyber security threats, as energy goes digital

A new report published by The U.S. Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE) identifies the biggest threats, and challenges for regulators, policymakers, technology providers and other players in protecting rapidly evolving energy systems from cyberattacks.


Conergy enters Vietnam market with 30 MW solar project

The German-headquartered EPC has been selected by project owners BIM Group and AC Energy to begin construction of the solar plant in April in the Ninh Thuan province of the country.


Japan: Disappointing first auction; plans for 200 GW solar by 2050

Japan’s first solar PV auction has reaped disappointing results, with just 41 MW set to be developed. Under the revised FIT, meanwhile, 27.7 GW were cancelled. Despite this, JPEA is aiming for 200 GW of solar PV installs by 2050. Overall, cumulative installed capacity has reached over 40 GW. There are still many plans afoot for large-scale projects, although it is the rooftop sector, which holds the most promise.

Markets & Policy

Private PPAs for renewables reach 5.4 GW in 2017, BNEF says

Last year’s result surpassed by more than 1 GW the results registered in 2015 and 2016, when the combined capacity of this market segment reached 4.4 GW and 4.3 GW, respectively.

Markets & Policy

Source: US solar tariffs won’t be as severe as feared

A source told pv magazine that the Section 201 decision has been made, but announcement last Friday was delayed. While tariffs will be imposed, they said, the levels and other details will not be the worst-case scenario.


JinkoSolar looks to set up US factories

A source has revealed to pv magazine that the Chinese PV behemoth is the company negotiating with the city of Jacksonville, Florida.

Markets & Policy

Scientist’s develop porous scaffold to boost battery capacity

Researchers from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering worked with a graphene structure, the particles of which resemble ‘crumpled paper balls’, and have created a scaffold onto which lithium atoms can be deposited.

Markets & Policy


Power, to the people

Puerto Rico: The devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on the island of Puerto Rico was vast and indiscriminate. Reporter Daniella Cheslow visited some of the areas most badly affected and found a shredded grid, a rising demand for energy independence, solar and storage, and a heartening reminder of humankind’s capacity for kindness, endurance and determination.

Hungary to launch 300 MW solar program for farmers

The new scheme envisages the construction of 600 solar farms with a capacity of 0.5 MW each.

Turkey added 1.17 GW of solar in December alone

According to new figures from the local grid operator, Turkey’s cumulative installed PV capacity has reached 3.42 GW, as of the end of 2017. The end-of-year rush was due to the 25% FIT reduction granted to unlicensed projects, which came into effect on January 1.

Nissan launches home energy solution in the UK

The Japanese car manufacturing giant has announced the imminent launch of an all-in-one home energy solution, including solar panels, a battery and an energy management system.

Turkey to introduce net metering scheme for residential PV

The new rules are expected to come into force in the first half of this year. PV systems ranging in size from 3 kW to 10 kW will be entitled to have access to the scheme.

Capital Stage & Irish Sovereign Wealth Funds invest €140 million in PV projects

Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) will make its first investments in solar energy, in partnership with German PV plant operator, Capital Stage. The money will go towards the development of 140 MW of solar, to be built by Irish developer, Power Capital.



All about that baseload

Interview: The emergence of Finnish power firm Wärtsilä as a fledgling heavyweight in the world of renewables could usher in a new thirst for hybridized large-scale solar plants. The President of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions Javier Cavada outlines his vision for a solar+A.N.Other future.

Cap Vert reaches financial close for 33 MW of middle-sized DGPV projects in Chile

All of the 11 projects are being developed under Chile’s PMGD Program for distributed generation.

China’s cumulative PV capacity hits 130 GW, to reach 250 GW by 2020

According to China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), the country installed a total of 52.83 GW of solar PV in 2017, with cumulative capacity now sitting at 130.25 GW. Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd (AECEA) forecasts this to reach 230 GW by 2020.

The weekend read: Myanmar’s solar lifeline

Myanmar market overview: There is vast solar potential in the country, primarily in off-grid, which is the number one driver of electrification, and proving a lifeline for many. C&I presents an interesting business case, but as with utility-scale projects there is still a lot to be done.

South Africa: Outstanding PPAs for solar, renewables to be signed by end of March

The announcement was made by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA). The PPAs relate to 26 renewable energy projects, of which 12 totaling 813 MW are for large-scale PV plants selected in round 4 of the REIPPPP program.

OPDE plans 50 MW solar plant in southern Spain

The Spain-headquartered EPC has submitted a proposal for approval to build a solar park in Mérida, in the region of Extremadura.


The next segment for trackers?

C&I trackers: Trackers have already taken over the utility-scale U.S. solar market segment, but the potentially bigger commercial and industrial segment has been largely ignored by tracker makers, EPCs, and developers. However, this could be about to change, as players in this segment look to trackers for their next move.

NREL scientists observe perovskite degradation at nano-scale

A team from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a novel microscopic technique, which enables them to observe degradation in perovskite materials at the nano-scale, and pinpoint key areas for attention in their efforts to improve the stability and durability of the material.

Longi achieves record conversion rate of 20.41% for PERC modules

Longi Green Energy Technology has announced a new record conversion rate of 20.41% for its P-type PERC monocrystalline modules (type 60).

Leading research institutes to collaborate on flexible CIGS

Two of Europe’s leading research institutes, Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden Württemberg (ZSW) and the Institut Photovoltaïque D’Île de France (IPVF) have announced plans to closely cooperate in researching concepts for flexible solar cells utilizing CIGS technology.

Chinese researchers develop new gas-solid perovskite process

In another attempt at cracking the perovskite stability problem, scientists from China’s Liaocheng University and Hefei University of Technology have developed a new gas-solid process for the creation of perovskite thin films, which they say can lead to improved stability and response time.

Skanska, Saule Technologies to install BIPV perovskite modules on office buildings

The two companies have signed a license agreement. The first pilot projects with the semitransparent perovskite solar cells are planned for this year in Poland



Building new markets

Thin film and BIPV: Thanks to their light weight and potential to be deployed on glass and other materials, thin film PV solutions show strong potential in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). CIGS is seen by many in the industry as a particularly suitable technology for these applications, and as the first of several factories is brought online in China, pv magazine looks at the potential for this and other thin film technologies in the nascent market for BIPV.

Report: Trump says he’ll announce solar tariff decision “soon”

In an interview with Reuters, the president slammed what he referred to as the dumping of inexpensive modules on the U.S. market.

Taiwan’s UREC to receive government backing, will shift focus to downstream PV

The Taiwanese Government is set to invest in the United Renewable Energy Company (UREC), which is expected to be officially formed in Q3 2018 by solar cell makers, Neo Solar Power (NSP), Gintech Energy and Solartech Energy. The new company will shift focus from cell manufacturing to downstream solar PV.

Meyer Burger achieves highest order intake in six years

According to preliminary financial figures released today, Swiss equipment provider Meyer Burger has registered a slight increase in sales for the full year 2017, improving on its 2016 net result. Nevertheless, the company is still reckoning with a significant loss for the year.

The emerging Middle Eastern PV module industry – interview

In an interview with pv magazine, the Business Planning and Strategy Manager of Jordan-based consultant, Sina Industrial Projects Co, Ali Suleiman provides an extensive overview on the emerging Middle Eastern PV panel manufacturing industry. How much more this industry will be able to grow, however, remains unclear. It is also difficult to predict if big players will emerge on the Middle Eastern solar energy landscape.

Brazil’s government to review project for Brazilian-Paraguayan vertically integrated PV production

The feasibility study for the 1.7 GW Green Silicon project was conducted by Germany’s Fraunhofer IPA, Fraunhofer ISE, Viridis-iq and ZSW in 2015. The project is being developed by the local hydropower producer, Itaipú in partnership with the industry trade association of the Brazilian state of Paraná, and with the support of German industry association, Solar Cluster Baden-Württemberg.

Energy Storage


Major milestones for PAYG solar in Africa

Off-grid financials: Acquisitions in the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home system market indicate signs of market maturity: market specialization, the formation of multiple revenue streams, and the first equity exit. pv magazine spoke with the PAYG companies involved in the recent acquisitions to understand the impact on their businesses, and on the PAYG solar market as a whole.

BNEF releases 2018 clean energy predictions

BNEF has released its top 10 clean energy predictions for 2018, including at least 107 GW of solar PV installs. China will lead, but Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East will notably up the ante. India will install less RE than in 2017, but will see fossils outpace RE for the last time; and China will see distributed grid connected solar leading the market. Li-ion prices are also declining, while EV sales grow.

AES, Siemens launch energy storage platform Fluence, confirm involvement in 100 MW LA storage project

Collaboration between the U.S. energy firm and the German power electronics giant officially licensed on January 1, as details of a massive 100 MW/400 MWh lithium-ion battery storage project in California were announced.

Nearly 500 MW of large batteries installed on the US grid in three years (w/ chart)

The latest report from the U.S. Department of Energy finds an acceleration in the deployment of batteries, dominated by lithium-ion technology.

China the global leader in 2017 clean energy investment, at over $44 bn

China was the global leader in 2017 clean energy investment, says a new report. On the solar front, the country accounts for 60% of all cell production; and will continue to lead installation developments for at least the next five years. New 2020 targets are expected to be set. In the battery arena, Chinese companies are also set to dominate.

German Development Bank granted incentives to 6,900 residential solar-plus-storage systems in 2017

Approved incentive applications reached a volume of approximately €123 million. At the turn of the year, however, the rebate granted by the German Government dropped from 13% to 10%.

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Press Releases

Obton is set for more in UK. Acquisition 9 MWP solar PV projects marks entry

Finalizing the transaction of two solar PV projects of 4. 9 MWp and 4.

Acquisition of 9 MWp solar PV projects marks Obton’s UK market entry

Finalizing the transaction of two solar PV projects of 4. 9 MWp and 4.

Steven De Proost wins the category “Best CEO in the European Solar Industry 2017”

Steven De Proost of 7C Solarparken AG has been voted "Best CEO in Europe" in the Solar PV category by the London-based publication European CEO Magazine in their annual European CEO Awards.

Oxford PV’s Henry Snaith awarded 2018 Blavatnik Young Scientist Award

Perovskite solar technology leader’s Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer recognised as one of the UK’s top scientists, for his pioneering perovskite solar cells development work, today being commercialised by Oxford PV.