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Game theory for solar module manufacturing

Researchers in Iran have applied the Stackelberg leadership model to determine whether the creation of a closed-loop solar module supply chain – including panel refurbishing – is feasible. According to their findings, a similar supply chain may only be set up with public subsidies, which would ensure that costs for R&D, module production, and recycling are distributed between the government and all the chain's players.
Manufacturing

teamtechnik receives stringer order for 400 MW German fab

German equipment manufacturer teamtechnik announced it has received an order from a European module manufacturer for several stringers to process nine busbar half cells. Already a major trend among module makers in China, 9BB technology now looks to be h...
Highlights

US trade commission has dismissed Hanwha patent infringement claim

The Chinese manufacturer this morning said the International Trade Commission had agreed with the initial determination issued by an administrative law judge in April, that Jinko and peers Longi Solar and REC Group had not infringed Hanwha’s solar cell...
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Markets & Policy

Autarco unveils rooftop module series

The Dutch PV system provider’s MHI panels feature multi-busbar technology and 120 half-cut, monocrystalline cells. The series has a power output of 355-375 W and efficiency of 19.2-20.3%.
Installations

Choosing representative strings for measuring power loss

Analyzing monitoring data does not always accurately identify under-performing assets; and when investigating supposed power loss with IV-curve measurements, a representative sample via thermography should be selected. These are two conclusions drawn fro...
Manufacturing

Silver demand for PV manufacturing may have peaked in 2019

A Silver Institute study says demand for the precious metal for solar manufacturing accounted for 11% of global consumption last year but reduced solar generation capacity up to 2023 will eat into that figure and ‘thrifting’ technological advances wi...
Technology

PV systems could provide up to 60% of output during hurricanes

Researchers in the U.S. have demonstrated, using simulations, PV system generation can range from 18-60% of clear-sky potential during hurricanes – provided the arrays do not suffer damage. According to them, solar installations could continue to provi...
Markets & Policy

A ten-year PPA for 50 MW Spanish project

Dutch solar developer Sonnedix will supply Norwegian renewables company Statkraft with around 100 GWh of green electricity annually from 2021 to 2031. The electricity will be generated by a solar plant planned in Badajoz. Sonnedix also announced the acqu...
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Press Releases

Solcast launches a browsable solar radiation map archive for Asia

Solcast, a global data services company, is known for crunching an incredible amount of weather data in the name of solar.   In particular, the weather satellite imagery they collect every 5-15 minutes from 5 weather satellites all around the world stacks up fast – with more than 30 TB of imagery collected in a single […]

Directly negotiated PPAs – a new chance for renewables in Romania?

The Romanian government recently enacted Emergency Government Ordinance (EGO) 74/2020, which entered force on 18 May. EGO 74/2020 amends energy law 123/2012 by expressly allowing bilateral power purchase agreements to be directly negotiated outside centralized markets, although not for all electricity generation capacities, as detailed below.

Vietnam Rooftop Solar Development 2020

Vietnam is no doubt one of the hottest renewable energy market in this world. One year ago, an incentive-driven commission rush of 5GW solar projects has put Vietnam on the stage of the world’s most active market.

Swedish solar scaleup Alight expands across Europe with new brand

A world powered by solar. Stockholm Design Lab has worked in close collaboration with Alight to develop the new brand identity, which has resulted in a simple and effective solution, positioning Alight as a trusted leader within the PPA sector.

Opinion & Analysis

Asian buoyancy floats solar

Global floating PV installations are set to jump by 143% from 2019 to hit more than 900 MW of annual capacity additions this year, according to IHS Markit’s Floating PV Report – 2020. Growth has been driven in recent years by a surge in the number of floating PV systems installed in countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands, with total global installed capacity reaching about 1.5 GW at the end of 2019. IHS Markit Research Manager Cormac Gilligan and Senior Analyst Chris Beadle examine how these countries have taken the lead, with developers building large quantities of floating PV, while also installing pilots to better understand the technology and test its capabilities and cost-effectiveness.

Agricultural PV emerges as Japan’s next opportunity

Self-consumption, the ability to isolate from the grid and provide power in the event of outages, and agricultural solar are key components in the 2020 revisions to Japan’s feed-in tariff program, reports RTS Corp.’s Izumi Kaizuka.

N-type uptake under Covid-19

As p-type mono cell efficiencies edge closer to their limits, n-type cells are increasingly being recognized as next-generation technologies, writes PV InfoLink analyst Amy Fang. Manufacturers have focused their research and development efforts in recent years on the creation of commercially viable pathways for heterojunction (HJT) and tunnel-oxidized passivated contact (TOPCon) cells.

Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

Comparisons of PR factors for large-scale solar PV power plants limited

For an investor of large-scale solar PV power plants, efficiency and reliability are two of the most interesting issues. For rating purposes, the Performance Ratio (PR) factor, has been created. However, this metric is only suitable for comparisons to a limited extent, argues Edwin Cunow, owner of LSPV Consulting.

Compensation for curtailments of renewable generation in Ukraine

As of November 2019, certain RES producers have been intermittently forced to reduce their output or halt production of electrical energy altogether under the instructions of Ukraine’s transmission system operator, NEC Ukrenergo. DTEK, along with several other large market players led the call for limitations. Many of the country’s RES producers have become alarmed.

Covid-19

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Covid-19 weekly round-up: It is still unclear how the crisis will play out on various solar segments, although one US installer says business has never been better…

Module price falls driven by the energy demand slump and Chinese oversupply may reverse at the end of the year, Germany appears immune to the Covid rooftop curse and emergency funding has been offered up to EU businesses affected by the crisis.

Solar costs have fallen 82% since 2010

The levelized cost of energy generated by large scale solar plants is around $0.068/kWh, compared to $0.378 ten years ago and the price fell 13.1% between 2018 and last year alone, according to figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Covid-19 delayed 63% of India’s planned big solar in first quarter

Coronavirus-related disruption severely impacted solar installation during the first three months of the year, as the nation added only 689 MW of utility scale PV, against the 1,864 MW that was scheduled to be commissioned.

Germany installed 380 MW of solar in April

The rooftop segment maintained strong growth but utility scale PV saw a slowdown on previous months. In the first four months of 2020, newly deployed PV systems added up to 1,479.5 MW of generation capacity, compared with around 1.6 GW in the same period of last year. The nation’s cumulative PV capacity hit 50.46 GW at the end of April.

Electric aircraft engines could take to the skies over Australia

Zero-emission, low-cost regional flights with just eight other sanitized folk and a disinfected pilot! Yes, Covid-19 is warping our view of the future but the successful electrically-powered maiden flight of a Cessna Caravan last week offers the potential for new modes of transport to support a wider economic recovery in Australia.

Solar could hold advantage in post-pandemic global energy sector

The International Energy Agency has acknowledged dramatic falls in energy investment caused by the Covid-19 crisis but said renewables, including PV, offered an attractive proposition to investors as the dust settled, given their enticing economics and short turnaround times.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Shifting geopolitical sands

After a decade of operation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has become an established presence in assisting the deployment of renewables. Now under the leadership of Director General Francesco La Camera, it continues its work on a range of issues pertaining to renewable energy deployment, with a renewed focus on facilitating international investment.

China reaches 1.7 GW of electrochemical storage capacity

According to new numbers released by the China Energy Storage Alliance, the country’s storage capacity topped 32.4 GW at the end of last year. The association said the storage market is expected to continue to grow steadily in the years ahead.

Bulgaria plans to introduce FITs for solar systems up to 30 kW

The government is considering a €0.12/kWh feed-in tariff for PV installations with a generation capacity of up to 5 kW and of €0.10 for 5-30 kW systems. If implemented, the scheme will come into force next month.

Israel wants another 15 GW of solar by 2030

Energy minister Yuval Steinitz has announced the country’s 2030 renewable energy target will rise to 30%, with solar expected to account for the lion’s share. Approximately $23 billion more clean energy investment is envisaged this decade.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Jinko’s new capacity and a 200 MW solar park

JinkoSolar has begun construction of a new 16 GW module production base in Yiwu city, Zhejiang province and Eging PV has resumed a 200 MW solar project in Qitai county in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, after securing approval from local authorities. The China National Energy Administration has confirmed the nation can add no more than 48.45 GW of solar to the grid this year.

PPA signed for solar-wind-storage microgrid on Saint Helena

Pash Global, a subsidiary of multinational commodities trader Trafigura Group, has signed a renewables power purchase agreement for a project on the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. The microgrid will help the South Atlantic island’s aim of investing in renewables, reducing diesel dependence and increasing fuel security and price stabilization.

Installations

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Remote possibilities

If the Canadian Arctic strikes you as a place that doesn’t have enough sunlight for PV, you wouldn’t necessarily be correct. Although there are periods of 24-hour darkness in winter, there are locations with sufficient sunlight for PV to make a major dent in remote communities’ diesel consumption, reports Anteo Petkovic, from Green Sun Rising.

Hawaiian utility allocates 460 MW of PV and 3 GWh of storage in renewable energy procurement

Winners of the island state’s largest ever renewable energy procurement include AES, Hanwha, Engie, EDF, Longroad.

PV plants lasting longer, with lower operational costs

Solar plants are now expected to last 32.5 years and cost $17 per kW/year to operate, as shown by a Berkeley Lab survey of industry participants.

Anesco builds two solar parks in Netherlands

Anesco is making its international debut with two more major projects for Shell New Energies – its first endeavor outside the UK. The two solar parks in the Netherlands will have a combined capacity of 26 MW. Anesco previously partnered with Shell New Energies on a battery storage project in the UK.

Australian rooftop PV market continues to thrive

Australia’s rooftop PV fleet continues to grow in the face of uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of the pandemic, posting another big month above 200 MW. Mega-household solar systems are growing in popularity, but retailers and installers can see the storm clouds gathering.

Armenia kicks off 200 MW solar park tender

The AYG-1 project, planned in the Aragatsotn province of western Armenia, will be 85% owned by the successful developer and 15% by the Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund (Anif).

Technology

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The way to the TOPCon

TOPCon cell technology has become one of the two leading next-generation options after mono PERC. But for the n-type architecture to truly become a rival to PERC, high-quality and cost-effective production technologies must become settled.

An 18.12%-efficient perovskite solar cell with reduced hysteresis

Researchers in Japan have modified the tin(IV) oxide layer of a perovskite device with a fullerene-derivative-based self-assembled monolayer to produce a cell they claim offers stability and a reduction in the hysteresis effect which makes predicting power output so tricky.

Assessing the soiling mitigation properties of anti-reflective coatings

Researchers in China have sought to understand how soiling exacerbated by anti-reflective coatings might inhibit solar panel output. In terms of effectiveness against soiling, the scientists found hollow-silica-nanoparticle coatings did better than solid silica alternatives.

Siemens and Engie plan 12 MW green hydrogen and gas project in France

A €15.2 million power-to-X-to-power hydrogen storage facility is being planned in Saillat-sur-Vienne, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The project partners want to use renewable energy from the grid and water to produce and store electrolyzed hydrogen. It would then be mixed with natural gas to power an upgraded, 12 MW Siemens SGT-400 industrial gas turbine which previously generated steam for local manufacturing and would be able to return power to the grid to meet demand.

Baywa’s plans for floating PV

Over the past two years, German renewables business Baywa re has developed in-house floating solar technology and installed nearly 50 MW of projects in the Netherlands. Benoît Roux, director of solar activities at Baywa re in France, said the ramp-up in project size has enabled the company to achieve dramatic cost reductions.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 4.3 GW of new cell capacity and a 1 GW solar park

Cell manufacturer Aiko Solar is raising funds to increase its production capacity with 4.3 GW of new lines while Datang Corporation has inked a deal for a 1 GW desert project.

Manufacturing

Featured

The hidden contest of the cell makers

Predicting which technological pathway will dominate in solar cell production is somewhat of a fool’s errand. A battle is currently underway between several of solar manufacturing’s big guns regarding both wafer size and p-or-n-type technology, and the outcome remains to be seen.

Longi and DuPont expand collaboration on product innovation

The companies aim to jointly develop higher quality and more competitive cells and modules that will in turn ensure the viability of PV power plants.

Narendra Modi calls for a rooftop-solar-powered city in every Indian state

The prime minister again emphasized the need for India to develop its own solar manufacturing industry and also urged officials to get on with plans to make the region of Ladakh carbon-neutral.

Algeria plans 4 GW of solar tenders

The government has announced a plan to deploy new PV capacity at a mega site over the next four years. Around 800 MW of capacity is expected to be tendered annually up to 2024. To be eligible, it is anticipated all modules, cables and mounting structures must have been made in Algeria.

South Korea introduces carbon footprint rules for solar modules

The regulations will come into force on June 15 and will entail panel carbon footprints being calculated according to life cycle assessments of their environmental impacts according to the KS I ISO 14040 Korean standard.

A 17.5%-efficient dark grey solar tile

U.K. business Roof Tiles Technology Ltd has developed a solar tile with a claimed efficiency of 17.5% and power output of 175 W per square meter. The company’s founder, Antonio Lanzoni, said a PV system featuring the product would cost 25-30% more than a standard solar rooftop.

Energy Storage

Featured

Zero-waste batteries

Efforts to recycle lithium-ion batteries face a range of technical and economic challenges, but such programs are already far more commonplace than many assume. However, there are still significant obstacles looming a few years down the road.

Northvolt and aluminum company plot Norwegian EV recycling plant

The sustainable lithium-ion battery manufacturer wants to secure raw materials to recycle into its products and will tap one of the world’s most advanced electric vehicle markets for its end-of-life batteries.

Spain and Italy are European renewables investment hot spots, says CEO, and Mexico really should be too

pv magazine spoke to Mark Jones, chief executive of privately-owned clean energy investment company Susgen about where the newly-launched business is looking to spend the cash pile it has allocated for big, early-stage project pipelines.

Software developer claims its platform can unlock a distributed generation world

U.K.-based Power Transition today launched a crowdfunding exercise to raise the £300,000 it says it needs to scale up its blockchain-based, peer-to-peer energy trading platform beyond a 47-home demonstration project.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Residential systems in Italy will get a 110% tax rebate and UK consumers are being paid to turn appliances on as coronavirus turns the energy world upside down

Plus, Australia’s Greens want renewables front and center of the post Covid-19 economy and Mexican plant owners are overturning a politically-motivated ban on clean energy, however, Indian developer Acme solar says pandemic delays warrant it reneging on the terms of the record-low solar price agreement it signed.

Used EV batteries for large scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

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