Top News

Italy’s struggle to re-join the gigawatt club

Italy’s main solar event, the Key Energy fair held in Rimini, demonstrated the continuing importance of rooftop PV for Italian renewables but also promised a gradual return for large scale solar. Industry insiders are hoping for at least gigawatt of solar next year, on top of a projected 600 MW this year.
Highlights

Orderly disorder: Cambridge scientists make surprising perovskite discovery

Researchers have made a finding they say could vastly simplify and reduce the production cost of perovskite solar cells. Working with mixed halide perovskites, the group found a disordered chemical composition can improve device efficiency.
Technology

Germany sets new record for organic PV efficiency

Scientists from several German research institutes, as well as South China University of Technology, have set a new efficiency record for an organic PV module. The group demonstrated a 12 cell, 26cm² module with an efficiency of 12.6%. The results have ...
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pv magazine market survey on micro-grid controllers: Intelligent management for micro-grids

The successes and benefits of distributed micro-grids depend largely on intelligent controllers and the solutions on offer for such systems are diverse. In our market survey, we take a closer look at the products available from 24 manufacturers.
Markets & Policy

Singyes averts winding-up petition by settling with Deutsche Bank

The Chinese solar manufacturer will pay the lender an undisclosed sum if its creditors vote, as expected, to back a debt reorganization scheme which will, in turn, unlock a state bail-out of the company by Beijing.
Manufacturing

New metallization tech to reduce microcracks in solar cells

A U.S. research group has developed a metal-carbon-nanotube composite – MetZilla – which can be embedded in commercial, screen-printable silver pastes and is said to reduce the formation of hotspots in solar modules and to prolong panel lifespan. The...
Installations

Goa to replace traditional clay tiles with solar ones

State energy minister Nilesh Cabral says householders will be offered the chance to reduce energy bills without any upfront cost by leasing roofspace to installers as part of plans to add 15 MW of solar capacity in Goa by March.
Markets & Policy

Flixbus plans hydrogen buses on long-distance routes

Parent company FlixMobility plans to test hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Europe.
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Press Releases

The European electricity markets prices rose due to the descent of the temperature

The solar and wind energy production rose last week in the markets of southern Europe but fell in Germany and France. On the other hand, there was a general decrease in the temperatures of the continent that caused an increase in the electricity demand and in the electricity markets prices.

TG Expo and GENSED organizing the most inclusive exhibition in the solar sector

TG Expo International Fair Organization and Association of Solar Energy Industrialists and Industry ‘GENSED’ held a press conference for ‘Solar Energy, Energy Storage, Electric Transportation and Digital Transformation Fair’ to be organized for the first time on March 11-13, 2020.

Energy Density Matters

Jinko’s High Efficiency Module Tiger Already Places the Company Ahead of Competitors

Local flexibility: The key to the future of networks

The first in a series of research papers from Cornwall Insight, in partnership with Complete Strategy and Shakespeare Martineau, has been released. The future of networks – setting the scene, describes progress in establishing regional flexibility markets and highlights key opportunities and challenges.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Can Nam Ngum solar replace Mekong hydro in Laos?

The Lancang-Mekong River is being decimated by hundreds of tributary and mainstream hydroelectric projects from the Tibetan Plateau in China to Lower Sesan in Cambodia. On the Mekong, the Laos Government has constructed the majority of these projects and it is planning even more. But why does it only focus on hydroelectric power plants (HPP’s)? What about other renewable energy sources? Can Nam Ngum solar replace Mekong hydro?

COP, climate, class struggle?

The World Climate Summit in Santiago de Chile, set to be held in just a few weeks, has just been cancelled. Against a background of social protests in the country, concerns have recently grown as to whether logistics and security could be guaranteed for the event. Nevertheless, social problems and environmental protection must not be played off against each other: Both are closely linked to the economic paradigms of recent decades.

Towards circular business models for the PV sector

With solar energy about to reach the iconic terawatt (TW) milestone of globally installed PV capacity, waste handling and end-of-life (EoL) scenarios become a pressing matter.

Export analysis

PV InfoLink analyzed the key markets of China’s big module manufacturers, as well as product trends, based on export statistics. According to trade figures, the nation’s module exports totaled 34.2 GW in the first half of 2019, up by more than 90% from the corresponding period of 2018. In a nutshell, overseas demand has been strong in 2019.

Political uncertainties and market speculation

After several years of stagnation, Spain has started to see a revival in its PV market, writes IHS Markit’s Maria Chea. The country’s newfound growth has been due to a combination of tender and private PPA projects, along with decreasing component costs.

The race has only just begun

The Australian utility-scale PV and wind industries have just gone through a record two years of construction and commissioning. More specifically, writes Rystad Energy’s David Dixon, utility-scale PV has transformed from a megawatt-scale market to one measured in gigawatts. The resultant boom in utility-scale PV in the country has attracted developers, EPCs and OEMs, from at home and across the globe.

Markets & Policy

Featured

The specter of PV protectionism

Trade tariffs are spreading across the global PV industry. The United States has been especially active with its sandwich of old antidumping and countervailing duties coupled with new Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. Some of these are part of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute; others impact not only Chinese producers, but manufacturers around the world. So, what will be the impact of this new era of PV protectionism on the solar sector?

Moixa reaches 100 MWh of virtual power plant capacity in Japan

The company says its network is the largest fleet of batteries under virtual power plant management worldwide.

SunPower splits in two

The U.S. company’s transformation from solar manufacturer to the second-largest residential PV company in the nation is complete after it spun off its high-efficiency cell and module production unit into a new entity, in partnership with Chinese wafer maker TZS.

Centrica’s local energy market in Cornwall pioneers third-party grid flexibility procurement

With hundreds of homes and businesses having received solar-plus-storage systems and monitoring equipment, an algorithm is managing a market for flexibility and capacity in Cornwall. Homeowners with storage can place bids to sell energy from their systems to the distribution system owner on an intraday basis.

Put your hands on a floating PV system

A new handbook published by the World Bank and Solar Research Institute of Singapore contains advice on how to plan and build floating PV. The guide is intended to help developers with site identification; feasibility studies; finance; environmental and social issues; procurement and construction; and operations and maintenance.

Energetica begins manufacturing at gigafactory in Austria

The module maker has started producing solar modules at its fab in Liebenfels.

Installations

The return of BIPV

Since the beginning of 2019, many people within China’s PV industry have started to get the same feeling. Not about grid parity, or about mono replacing multi, but about something more unexpected. More and more people are speaking up at conferences and meetings about building-integrated PV (BIPV), which has been little more than a niche curiosity for years. Now BIPV, it seems, is making a big comeback in China.

Poland tops 1 GW of solar

Grid operator Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne has published figures demonstrating the country had 1,007.2 MW of solar at the end of September, with 600 MW of new PV coming online in the first nine months of the year. The Polish government expects total capacity to reach 1.3 GW this year.

Solar-plus-storage vs grid enhancement part V

A project on Isabela Island in Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago has given its 3,500 inhabitants energy generated by local resources, including plant oil produced on the continent. Preferable to a logistically challenging and hyper expensive extension of the mainland grid, if the $13 million island system were installed today, it would be cheaper than when it was contracted four years ago.

Swedish cooperative goes solar

A 20 MW solar park is planned near a Stockholm highway to generate power for a tenants association. The project is expected to generate cheaper power than grid electricity and will also trade clean energy certificates on the Swedish-Norwegian market.

The weekend read: We need to talk about wind resilience

The discussion about wind damage in PV structures is getting louder and more heated, especially with rapid single-axis tracker growth in many markets. Whether it’s social media comments on failure photos, or one side of the profession taking shots at another in the press, the dialogue is at risk of becoming cynical. Simon Hughes, partner at technical and commercial energy consultancy Everoze, shines a light on four things that need to happen next, as well as the need for more dialogue between stakeholders.

Singapore developer announces $20m plans for four more Philippines microgrids

WEnergy was celebrating the commissioning of its solar-diesel-storage off-grid network on the island of Palawan. Four more networks could come online within two years, said the developer, as part of a planned 15 microgrids in the nation.

Technology

Featured

Perovskites hit the home stretch

Microquanta Semiconductor holds a 17.25% efficiency record for a relatively large-area perovskite module and wants to build a production facility with fresh capital from investors. pv magazine takes a look at the Chinese startup and some of the basic questions surrounding the technology.

Indium provides a boost to perovskite stability

Scientists at Rice University in the United States have found by strategically adding indium to an all-inorganic, lead-based perovskite, they can reduce the number of defects in the material and improve its efficiency, as well as providing a significant boost to stability.

MiaSolé breaks its own record for flexible CIGS

The California-based Hanergy subsidiary has broken its efficiency record for a large area, flexible CIGS module, achieving 18.64% on a device with a 1.08m² aperture. The record has been confirmed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

New material for radiative cooling of solar panels

Spanish researchers have discovered a material said to offer radiative cooling and self-cleaning of devices which undergo critical heating during operation, such as PV panels. The thermal emitter enabled the scientists to lower the daytime temperature of silicon wafers by 14 degrees Celsius.

Industry waits in anticipation of a Green Deal for Europe

Amid high hopes for the European Commission presidency that is about to start, attendees at a recent event in Berlin tempered optimism by renewing calls for an industrial policy for the bloc.

Distributed storage market to grow nearly twentyfold by 2028

Market intelligence company Navigant Research has developed a country forecast of the global market. Incentives and pricing will be the main driver of installations, though the market will continue to be concentrated in certain key regions for now.

Manufacturing

Featured

Addressing HJT capex, opex in equipment supply

Heterojunction can be an attractive technology pathway for a number of PV producers, says Christian Knechtel CEO and CFO of Von Ardenne. However, the key to deployment could lie in manufacturing key production tools in a cheaper manner while continuously ramping up throughput.

Volvo to join blockchain-powered ethical auditing of cobalt supply chain

Corporations in the auto industry, battery manufacturing and mining have joined forces to establish reliable due diligence reporting on raw minerals. Volvo will be among the first to move on the issue by putting its cobalt supply chain under scrutiny early next year.

Jinko to add another 5 GW of mono wafer capacity in Leshan

The solar manufacturer’s ever-accelerating production capacity expansion plans currently foresee 10 GW of mono wafers being pumped out at the Sichuan facility every year from the second quarter of 2020 – and only a fool would bet against that timetable being bettered by the time April rolls around.

EU lender pitches in for LG Chem battery gigafactory in Poland

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is lending €250 million for a project which has expanded from producing an initial 100,000 EV batteries per year to an hoped-for 1 million by 2022, creating 1,000 new jobs along the way.

Valoe’s Lithuanian gamble rides on latest fundraising attempt

The Finnish solar manufacturer must raise €3.5 million from a convertible bond issued on Monday and which closes on December 18. Generate the cash and production is expected to start at the Solitek facility in Vilnius early next year. Fail, and (almost) all bets are off.

SolarEdge reports $1bn revenue in nine months

The third-quarter results for the inverter maker are in and look promising. All performance indicators are up for the steadily growing company.

Energy Storage

Featured

Flow batteries scale up to GW production

Plans for a gigawatt factory in Saudi Arabia, bullet-proof warranties and an international vanadium rental service are propelling a new generation of batteries into the energy storage big league. Pioneers of redox flow technology claim that they can put an end to the degradation and safety issues afflicting lithium-ion batteries. They also expect imminent economies of scale to reduce the cost of bulk energy storage and unlock new markets for solar power.

New rules for lithium-sulfur selection

Scientists at the United States’ Argonne National Laboratory worked with a class of electrolyte materials they say could greatly improve the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries. The group has devised a selection rule which it says will help researchers select the most suitable electrolyte materials for different battery systems.

E-waste company opens battery recycling plants in Singapore and France

TES issued a press release announcing the new facilities that is light on detail but claimed the plants would position it as ‘a leader’ in battery recycling. The company also announced an intent to move into the reuse of spent electric vehicle batteries in commercial and residential applications.

Tuvalu granted $6m for renewables ambition

The Asian Development Bank has signed off a grant for the South Pacific island nation to move on its plans to be 100% renewable by 2025.

Pyrazine polymer PHATNs up cathode in sodium-ion batteries

Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an organic polymer electrode which they claim demonstrates stable function for a sodium-ion battery over 50,000 cycles and also offers encouraging performance in magnesium-ion and aluminum-ion storage devices.

Grid solutions: An interview with Greg Tremelling of Oztek

In this interview, pv magazine sits down with Greg Tremelling, VP of business development at Oztek Corp, to talk about his company’s semi-custom solutions and where he sees the energy storage industry going.

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