Top News

The weekend read: Heads you win, tails you win

One manufacturer after another has announced bifacial modules, and buyers would do well to consider the benefits. Independent calculations show that increases of up to 15% or more are realistic in countries such as Germany.
Manufacturing

Researchers turn to spray coating in applying ETL to perovskites

Perovskites, a tempting low-cost alternative to crystalline silicon based solar cells, could be moving closer to commercial production thanks to a new way of applying the critical electron transport layer (ETL) pioneered by an international team of resea...
Energy Storage

Turkey: ‘localisation’ trend dominates the energy sector

Turkey is going to the polls on Sunday, and many wonder whether president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s gamble on a snap election could backfire. Unless there is a shock at the ballot box though, the nation’s energy sector trends are unlikely to be challen...
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Installations

Suntech announces panel supply deal for Australia projects

Former manufacturing giant establishes a foothold in the promising Australian market, and says it is in talks with developer Biosar about supplying further modules for projects in the nation.
Energy Storage

India moots world’s largest solar tender – of 100 GW

If implemented, the huge tendering exercise would dwarf anything that has gone before it. Minister explains bidding will also include solar manufacturing and storage elements.
Manufacturing

“Stealing is not competition”: SolarEdge founder comments on IP claim

Following Monday's announcement, pv magazine spoke to Lior Handelsman, of SolarEdge. The company VP is adamant Huawei has infringed the Israeli firm's intellectual property, and says defending IP will see the PV industry grow.
Highlights

Global PV module prices collapse

The predicted fall in global PV module prices appears to have already begun, with PVInsights and EnergyTrend reporting average prices in the $0.27-$0.37/W range.

Press Releases

Hanwha Q Cells’ Q.PEAK DUO-G5 half-cell module wins Intersolar Award

South Korean giant scoops Intersolar prize for the second year running, with its half cell module. The award was presented at the three-day expo, which closes today in Munich.

Scatec to purchase 380 MW Hi-Mo2 modules from Longi for Egypt projects

Scatec Solar has announced a purchasing contract for 380 MW of high-efficiency Hi-Mo2 modules from Longi, for its solar projects in Egypt.

Sungrow presents 1500 V PV inverters and ESS at Intersolar Europe 2018

The Chinese inverter supplier has showcased a strong product offering at this year's European solar trade show.

Solar trackers with 2x configuration favor bifacial gain

Soltec is testing its SF7 trackers at BiTEC the world's first bifacial tracker evaluation center.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The impact of energy storage, pumped heat storage on global energy

With the percentage of renewables in the global energy mix increasing, and global energy demand projected to increase by 30% over the next two decades, energy storage is more important now than ever. But what are the main technologies for energy storage, and how will these technologies affect global energy? Gabriel Hurtado González, Energy Solutions Manager at Mitie, and Sasaenia Paul Oluwabunmi, Operations Officer at the OPEC Fund for International Development answer this pertinent question.

“We helped large-scale solar be commercially viable,” says departing Australian Renewable Energy Agency boss

The booming large scale and rooftop PV market in 2018 is providing reasons to be optimistic about the future of solar under the Australian sun. Reflecting on his six-year tenure as CEO at ARENA ahead of his departure in August, Ivor Frischknecht points to the role the agency played in bringing down the costs of large scale solar as ARENA’s greatest achievement.

Are the big Chinese powerhouses coming to America?

In the face of actual and threatened tariffs in the US and India, the world’s biggest solar manufacturers may have to set up shop in the protectionist nations in question ahead of a predicted cooling in their home market

Hydrogen, don’t give up!

For decades, hydrogen has been sold to us as the energy carrier of the future. You might not want to hear it anymore, because the future never seems to start. But times will change as recent developments in Germany indicate, writes Berlin-based renewable energy consultant, Stephan Franz.

Data is driving change – adapt or fall off the grid

As global economies develop, and uses for renewable energy diversifies, new pressures are being placed on the electric network. Yet, utilities are sitting on a wealth of data that can reveal better insights into their operations, writes Dan Beasley, Director, Utilities, Cyient.

Energy storage-as-a-service: The hottest game in town?

Alexander Schönfeldt of energy storage specialists, Younicos examines the growing trend of energy storage-as-a-service, and explains why the sector is growing at such a rate.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Large it up Down Under

Australian large-scale solar: From just a handful of large-scale solar PV projects a few years ago, Australia is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. With a substantial project pipeline, the country is in the box seat to experience a banner year in 2018, with the 2020 Renewable Energy Target now in hand and a new policy taking shape for the period beyond.

The smarter E show: A wealth of innovations rewarded

At the smarter E-Intersolar Europe trade show this week, awards have been given to the technologies driving the energy transition to a low carbon future. Prizes include the Intersolar Award, recognizing PV technology; the EES prize for storage innovation; and the smarter E awards – one of which was given to an off-grid agricultural project in Australia.

International investors provide $34 million for solar plant in Zambia

The Ngonye project proposed by Italian energy giant Enel Group and Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation, will be financially underpinned by senior loans of up to $10 million from the International Finance Corporation, up to $12 million from IFC-Canada Climate Change Program and up to $11.75 million from the European Investment Bank.

Remote survey tool could offer solar future free of policy constraints

Welsh consultancy’s technology could help business, universities and local councils make fuel savings regardless of lack of PV subsidy in the U.K.

Sonnedix secures financing for latest Japanese plant

JP Morgan-advised developer says it is on track to deliver 400 MW of capacity in Japan after announcing funding for 46.6 MW Tono project.

Intersolar: Indian minister outlines plan to become global renewables leader

Underlining India’s commitment to becoming the global renewable energy leader, Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said the country plans 500 GW of capacity by 2030. He also underlined India’s plans for becoming a solar and storage manufacturing hub; and said the International Solar Alliance needs to widen its membership.

Installations

Featured

A burning issue

Cables and connectors: The quality and performance of solar balance of system components in the U.S. market is generally quite high, but there are still low quality, knock-off, or outright counterfeit products available at discounts large enough to attract some shortsighted installers or other buyers in the market.

Aiding the Dutch Energy Transition

The Netherlands is a country with one of the highest population densities in the world and, as a consequence, it has constrained availability of surfaces and land for all kinds of purpose, including the deployment of rooftop solar power generators. Residential PV could really help the country implement its challenging energy transition, which is to reach its almost impossible RES targets for 2020.

Intersolar Europe, The Smarter E kicks off to a positive start

The 2018 Smarter E event, of which Intersolar Europe is now a part, opened its doors today in Munich, Germany, with positive news that visitor numbers are up. From the conference sessions, the big topics were PPAs and unsubsidized solar. Meanwhile, the Indian Government made some interesting announcements, and kerfless solar is on track to become the next disruptive technology.

Positive performance for Renesola continues into 2018

Developer has posted positive financial results for the second quarter running, following the company’s restructuring. Though its discontinued module manufacturing operations are not included in financial results for the first quarter, the company more than tripled net income on the previous three-month period.

Kyocera to supply batteries, home energy systems for virtual power plant in Japan

Kyocera will participate in a new project in northern Japan to test how flexibly electricity suppliers can respond to fluctuations in energy supply and demand.

Is India’s 225 GW renewables target achievable?

There was incredulity in some quarters as the federal government raised its renewables ambition another 22%, but the stellar performance of the past four years points to the new target being a realizable one.

Technology

Featured

The new rising stars

Module technology trends: In the past decade, continued technology advances and cost improvements made solar one of the most dynamic industries of our time, as it continues to make a significant and growing contribution to the global supply of electricity. Technological innovation is taking place in a context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, which explains the focus on cost control.

Nexwafe announces 250 MW “disruptive” kerfless wafer factory in Bitterfeld, Germany

The utilization rate of materials and energy in Nexwafe’s kerfless wafer production processes is said to be almost 100%, at a time when price pressures on solar modules are expected to get significantly heavier in the immediate future.

Growing demand for three phase solutions – Interview

With Intersolar Europe underway in Munich, pv magazine caught up with Alex Pan, Europe General Manager at SolaxPower to discuss the storage inverter supplier’s latest innovations and market position.

Lead free perovskites could unlock solar storage potential

Scientists at Oxford University say two lead-free perovskites investigated for their potential to raise the efficiency of solar modules – when used in tandem with high efficiency silicon cells – may also offer a leap forward in solar storage technology. In a paper published in Applied Physics Letters, Feliciano Giustino and George Volonakis, suggest halide […]

National Grid UK to receive ancillary services from 27MWh of storage capacity

ESB and Oersted UK independently announced this week they have acquired storage assets to deliver ancillary services to the UK grid operator.

German scientists to develop energy-storing solar cells

The planned cell is to be based on the so-called norbornadiene-quadricyclane storage system.

Manufacturing

Featured

From cost to tech-driven advances

Quality across the PV chain: With around 100 GW installed in 2017 (according to PV Market Alliance’s preliminary numbers), the global PV industry has once again beaten even the most optimistic of forecasts. However, this rosy picture hides some specific developments that highlight how the road to maturity could be long and at times chaotic, and why support for the industry must continue, both in Europe and beyond, writes Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute.

Huawei exhibits its smart solutions at Intersolar Europe, responds to SolarEdge complaint

pv magazine met with representatives of Chinese inverter manufacturer Huawei at the company’s booth at Intersolar Europe today to discuss the patent infringement case brought by SolarEdge in Germany.

Could Chinese setback mean a Euro comeback?

While tariffs may inhibit India’s ability to benefit from anticipated record low Chinese panel prices, Japan already has a strong pipeline and two of the world’s solar pioneers – Spain and Italy – could be given a shot in the arm by new administrations.

India: Waaree opens 1 GW solar module plant, plans to manufacture batteries

Waaree Energies has set up a 1 GW solar PV panel plant in Vapi, which is in addition to its existing 500 MW plant in Surat, Gujarat. The company intends to further increase capacity to 2 GW. Among other key developments, it has partnered with third-party equipment suppliers to manufacture batteries.

India issues EoI for establishment of PV module manufacturing units

India-based Central Electronics Limited (CEL) has invited an expression of interest (EoI) for the establishment of manufacturing facilities for the production of solar cells and crystalline silicon (c-si) modules (conventional/flexible) in India.

Solar trade dispute: New petition to review undertaking likely submitted to the EU

There is no official confirmation that a request for a review of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures against Chinese solar PV manufacturers has been submitted in Brussels in early June, however there are several reasons to believe it has likely happened.

Energy Storage

Featured

The cells of the future

Li-ion storage: battery manufacturers have a major task ahead of them, they have to meet runaway global demand, improve the performance, safety and longevity of storage devices, and of course bring down price. Instead of hoping for a big breakthrough, they are pursuing an approach involving many small steps.

Falling battery costs to push solar, wind to 50% electricity generation by 2050, but electricity still failing CO₂ reduction targets – BNEF

Solar PV capacity is set to grow 17-fold, and wind six-fold, by 2050, to account for nearly half of global electricity generation, predicts BNEF, while investments will reach US$11.5 trillion. Cost reductions will drive this charge, particularly in the battery market, which will benefit from the EV manufacturing ramp up. Despite this, the electricity sector is still failing to bring CO₂ emissions down to the required levels, with its continued dependence on gas.

Japanese government must be more unified in pursuit of PV goals — report

The Japanese government is steadily working toward the release of the country’s fifth strategic energy plan, but it needs to work with the private sector more effectively to promote the deployment of solar over the coming decades, according to a new report. 

Fluence to deliver 60 MW battery capacity to UK Power Reserve

Citing the need for ancillary grid services, due to increasing amounts of variable renewable energy assets being installed in the U.K., the two comapnies are stressing the stability this project will bring to the country’s grid.

Indonesia inaugurates its first three solar plus storage mini-grids

Indonesia has reached a milestone, having inaugurated its first three solar+storage mini-grids, thus enabling three remote villages to enjoy uninterrupted, off-grid access to electricity for the entire day.

RCT Power announces battery plant in eastern China

Germany’s RCT Power will start manufacturing lithium-ion-phosphate battery storage modules in eastern China this week. The fully automated facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, has an initial annual production capacity of 18,000 units.

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