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The global residential energy storage market continued to grow in 2020, writes IHS Markit Analyst Michael Longson. Many suppliers were looking to build upon a strong first quarter when Covid-19 hit in March 2020 and slowed the market significantly. However, as a result of several funding packages being introduced and the gradual easing of local restrictions, shipments continued to grow throughout the second and third quarters, enabling strong year-on-year growth for the sector in 2020.
An overview of the state of solar across the continent by trade body the Africa Solar Industry Association has highlighted a patchy policy landscape where clean power ambitions are often not followed through.
Despite pandemic-induced impacts, the PV market was bigger than expected last year. In particular, an installation rush in Vietnam and China took place in December and pushed global demand upward. PV InfoLink estimates that global module demand in 2020 reached 140 GW. Analyst Mars Chang delves into the numbers.
Taking a renewable energy project into its operational phase calls for several workstreams to be synchronized. The one that perhaps jumps out the most is permitting processes: correctly navigating the intricate and time-sensitive steps for licenses and permits. Regardless, each workstream calls for a different set of skills, and because of interlinked chicken-or-egg causality, it is difficult to say which single element is most important in a project’s development. However, there is an unsung element of the financial closing which has as much, if not more, impact on a project’s profitability than the cost of debt does: the underlying terms and conditions.
The Sustainable Development Goal set forth in SDG 7.1 calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030. It is estimated that currently 789 million people do not have access to electricity in their homes or communities. Rural inhabitants encompass 80% of the total number of people lacking household electricity access. On a global scale, rural inhabitants have been gaining access to electricity at a rapid rate over the past couple decades (IRENA 2020, 23). However, certain regions have seen little improvement in this area. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the starkest example.
The kingdom has had a ban on new large scale clean energy projects since January 2019 as Covid-19 exacerbated a situation in which generation capacity already outstripped supply. Lifting that embargo, and re-starting renewables auctions would be a step in the right direction, according to IRENA.
The former need not necessarily relate to conventional lithium-ion batteries, however, as a recent webinar staged by Solarpower Europe and EU body GET.invest discovered.
The European Parliament and Council of Ministers continued to tidy up the details of the bloc’s Covid-recovery package today by publishing the rules of how the money will be disbursed.
Full-year revenues nudged up despite tough comparisons with the end of 2019 for the final quarter of last year. The inverter maker expects to log revenues of $385-405 million in the current three-month window.
The European Union agency responsible for providing finance to small and medium-sized businesses will have 64% more funds to disperse after the EIB, European Commission and its other shareholders voted to raise its share capitalization.
The sustainable gas is among ten areas of research and innovation which would benefit from backing by the bloc, member states and industry, if a new European Commission proposal is adopted.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has been ordered to procure a total of 3.75 GW of renewables and 1.5 GW of energy storage.
German consultancy Enervis said the European market last year saw a 50% drop in new PPA-linked photovoltaic projects, compared to 2019. This year, however, higher capture prices for the PV energy source should enable a larger number of deals to be closed.
Jinko Solar secured another 338 million square meters of PV glass from Flat Glass. Tongwei and Trina Solar have left the monocrystalline wafer production joint venture they set up with Longi.
A new report from the U.S.-based analyst predicts that new PV additions for 2021 may range from 163 to 221 GW next year and from 179 to 240 GW in 2023. According to BloombergNEF, the current supply bottlenecks for glass and polysilicon will unlikely halt the global PV market.
AdaniConneX, the joint venture with US-based data center solutions provider EdgeConneX, will develop renewable energy-powered data centers with up to 1 GW of power demand in India over the next decade.
According to new guidelines by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE, agrivoltaic projects are already competitive with other renewable energy sources today. The lack of a proper regulatory framework, however, is currently preventing the dual use of arable land for food production and power generation from becoming a mainstream solution.
The Queensland Government-owned energy company, Stanwell Corporation, has announced it is from today seeking expressions of interest from renewable energy projects to incorporate into its fossil-fuel heavy portfolio.
The South Korean manufacturer has brought, to Europe and Australia, its recently launched shingled PERC panel, with an output ranging from 460 to 480 W and an efficiency of up to 20.5%. The products come with a 25-year linear power output guarantee and a 25-year product guarantee.
German energy provider EWE wants to set up a test cavern with a capacity of 500 cubic meters at a depth of 1,000 meters. It is scheduled to go into operation in spring 2022.
In the middle of Australia’s most iconic natural landscape, the township of Jabiru has begun its transition from a uranium-mine support community, to an Indigenous cultural hub and tourism center. The local arm of German renewable energy pioneer, juwi, brings its deep experience in off-grid power systems to the project.
A research group in the United States is proposing to add social variables in GIS-MCDA algorithms for PV project planning as a solution to avoid opposition to large scale solar from local communities. Although some efforts have already been made in this direction, there is still much to be done to understand the degree to which measuring these variables proactively could help mitigate public opposition down the line, on individual projects.
French floating PV specialist Ciel&Terre said the plant was split into smaller islands, with a square shape, to avoid stress concentration.
The Northvolt manufacturing facility in Gdansk should become Europe’s largest factory for energy storage solutions. The production is scheduled to begin in 2022 with an annual capacity of 5 GWh. The company wants to expand it to 12 GWh.
Researchers in the Netherlands have sought to identify all those semiconductor materials that may make the application of carrier multiplication in photovoltaics much more than a mere suggestion. According to them, the bandgap of the materials should be between 0.6–1.0 electronvolt (eV), which would result in maximum theoretical efficiency of around 44%. 2D and bulk materials were indicated as the most promising with near-ideal carrier multiplication.
Increasing prices may prompt module manufacturers to find alternatives, or at least reduce silver use in solar cell metallization, according to a recent study. Researcher Samuele Lo Piano, however, told pv magazine silver availability does not represent an issue for large scale PV. Copper-nickel alloys may offer an alternative, he added, but there could be a long wait for them to be viable.
Chinese solar module manufacturer Trina Solar has listed eight solar tracking system manufacturers that have made their products compatible with solar panels based on 210mm silicon wafers. Two weeks earlier, the company had unveiled all inverter makers that already provide compatible devices.
The manufacturer accounted for around 40% of total solar module demand in Taiwan in 2020. It expects to see its domestic market share increase to 50% this year.
Flat Glass has activated two new glass furnaces that will bring its total production capacity to 8,600 MT per day. JinkoSolar has secured 20 GW of orders for its 182mm-wafer-based modules.
SunPower’s distributed-generation services platform, as well as storage and digital solutions, will be key to its long-term growth, CEO Tom Werner said in an earnings call this week.
Around 88,000 energy storage systems linked to rooftop PV were installed last year in the country, which supports residential batteries through a dedicated scheme.
The novel methodology can be used for 71 countries located across ‘sun belt’ areas of east Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The model relies on 2014 and 2015 geo-referenced datasets in various formats and spatial resolutions, as well as on a population dataset based on global human settlements (GHSL) and World Bank national-level estimates of electrification.
Scientists in Sweden developed a new aerogel process to manufacture silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries, promising to offer batteries with greatly increased capacity compared to those on sale today. By growing nanometer-sized particles of silicon onto graphite, the group was able to demonstrate a device that overcomes many of the challenges common to silicon as anode material. While there are still challenges in terms of stability and capacity retention, the approach could ultimately yield low-cost, large-scale production processes.
Winch Energy has announced the project, which it hopes will be a significant bridgehead towards building $100 million worth of off-grid systems within two years, alongside Franco-Japanese partner Neot Offgrid Africa.
Solar+storage installations are emerging as a major growth driver for the overall U.S. market, according to a new report from IHS Markit.
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