Top News

Sizing standalone solar-plus-storage with nomograms

A Spanish-Dutch research group has created nomograms for PV system sizing that not only offer a standard calculation tool but also provide additional information about what-if scenarios with higher-level knowledge about price of modifications and limitations of project sites.
Manufacturing

Assessing potential of facade PV modules

A new building at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is being covered with facade CGIS solar panels provided by German manufacturer Avancis. A research team will analyze their performance and special features, including new sensors for incident radiation...
Manufacturing

Longi begins mass production of its 540 W panels

Longi wants to expand the production capacity to 12 GW for its new highly efficient modules by the end of the year.
Announcements

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IRENA presents $2tn plan to drive 5.5m renewables jobs by 2023

Doubling down on renewable energy investment and energy transition spending is required to ensure a truly green global recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and its economic aftershock, claims the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Installations

Australia’s national science agency to buy solar power under 10-year PPA

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has signed a 10-year PPA with Ross Garnaut’s Zen Energy. The deal will see solar energy from two solar parks halve the agency’s emissions.
Installations

What is distributed generation’s real worth for the grid?

A thought experiment by UC Berkeley energy economist Severin Borenstein suggests how much rooftop solar could reduce transmission and distribution costs in the United States.
Energy Storage

By Ek! Northvolt raises $600m

The European battery manufacturer has raised the funds with a private shares placement which included the co-founder and CEO of music streaming service Spotify.
Energy Storage

Lumos receives $35 million from DFC to expand renewable energy access to over 1 million Nigerians

Lumos Global has received US$35 million to fund its off-grid solar home systems installation project in Nigeria.
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Press Releases

GenCell Energy Announces Joining the Ammonia Energy Association to Accelerate the Adoption of Clean Ammonia Energy within a Sustainable Energy Economy

As Ammonia to Energy Gains Traction Across Industry Sectors, GenCell Joins Ammonia Energy Association to Steer Development of Industry Strategies and Standards

Yaskawa Solectria Solar Announces Increased DC Oversizing Ratios For the SOLECTRIA XGI™1500 Utility String Inverters

The new, powerful SOLECTRIA XGI 1500 utility string inverter brings together US-based engineering and manufacturing with Yaskawa’s world-class quality and reliability

Hive Energy begins construction on its subsidy-free solar park in Rugby, Warwickshire

On 21st September Hive Energy started construction on School Farm Solar Park located near Churchover, Rugby. The solar park will generate 13GWh of clean, renewable energy each year which will power local homes.

Easy Solar raises $5M in Series A Equity and debt funding to scale operations in West Africa

Easy Solar announced the closing of a $5m round of funding, to scale operations in West Africa including a $3 million Series A Equity round led by global impact investor Acumen and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, in addition to a $2m debt facility from investment platform Trine.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The future of solar PPAs in Turkey

Both the current status, and the future of, solar PPAs in the Turkish market as a key tool for increasing PV capacity has become a widely discussed topic. This is particularly due to the fact that after mid-2021, the future of YEKDEM (Turkey’s local FIT regime) is uncertain. The incentives could be lower than expected, or even unavailable for some technologies. This has raised the question of alternative financing mechanisms with respect to new investments.

Floating solar PV gains global momentum

This article explores the current state of floating solar PV (FPV), briefly highlighting several leading markets, and discussing benefits and advantages in detail alongside common applications and business model considerations. The outlook for FPV is positive and is set to break free of its niche perception. It could well become the third pillar of the solar PV sector in future.

System operators are getting more flexible

Distribution system operators have their work cut out for them, as they are tasked with the ever-increasing challenge of managing their networks at times of increasing EV penetration, the electrification of heat, and distributed behind-the-meter generation and storage. As transmission system operator markets have opened to demand-side flexibility across Europe and beyond, we now see a trend of DSOs at the very early stages of a similar transition, writes Philippa Hardy, principal analyst at Delta-EE. DSOs are now starting to call on behind-the-meter assets to support local network management and balancing. This provides cost savings for DSOs, while offering opportunities for DSF providers and asset owners.

Reducing solar’s environmental impact through ecolabels

It is undeniable that easy access to energy has provided tremendous benefits to humankind over the last several decades. But that access has come at a price – one that society only discovered after the fact. From the thousand-year half-lives of spent nuclear fuel to the climate change impact of fossil fuels, access to energy has had a high environmental cost. Renewable energy, especially solar, seeks to provide that same access without the environmental cost. But what is the environmental impact of solar panels and inverters? Is society once again seeking to benefit from an energy source without understanding and addressing its environmental impact? Not this time, writes Green Electronics Council CEO Nancy Gillis.

Bigger and better: Technology

The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.

Texas will outshine California in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a cloud on industries around the world, but the U.S. utility-scale solar segment is still growing, writes IHS Markit solar analyst Maria J. Chea. Around 3 GW of solar PV is set to be installed this year in Texas alone, but opportunities also abound across several other southern U.S. states.

Covid-19

Featured

Georgia explores green hydrogen

The Caucasian nation could use its hydropower resources to generate the sustainable fuel for transport in its gas pipeline network. An agreement to cost the development of such an industry formed part of a deal which will see the EBRD lend the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation €217 million to help it through a Covid-19-related cash crisis.

Solar power generation has risen 13% in Germany this year

The proportion of German electricity generated from renewables is five percentage points higher already than it was in the first nine months of last year.

Solar technology powers Covid-19 hand washing inventions in Africa

As Africa reels from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, institutions and individuals across the continent are coming up with innovations to help check its spread. Solar-powered hand washing machines to serve communities are dominating the inventions.

South African renewables jobs should be in coal regions

A study into the potential pitfalls of the shift to clean power in the nation’s coal-dependent energy mix, pointed out almost all of South Africa’s solar farms are far to the south and west of the coal regions likely to bear the brunt of job losses in a country which already has 29% unemployment.

Auctions show Indian renewables still primed for growth

A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says there is plenty of investment capital available for Indian renewables, despite pandemic disruption.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 1 GW of distributed solar came online in August

More than 1 GW of subsidized small solar arrays were installed in China last month alone and manufacturer Suntech has announced the start of operations at its 500 MW Indonesian cell and module fab.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Starting a new industry

As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.

Solar under net metering reaches 3.6 GW in Brazil

According to Brazilian solar association ABSolar, there are currently more than 300,000 distributed generation PV systems connected to the country’s grid.

Indian state tenders 500 MW of solar

Projects can be established anywhere in Gujarat which has spare grid capacity, with the relevant substations listed on the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation website.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Big solar-plus-hydrogen, 200 MW of floating PV and higher PV glass prices

And module manufacturer Trina Solar announced on Monday afternoon that the company has signed an agreement with the government of Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, for the construction of a 10 GW solar module factory.

Wallonia’s prosumer grid fee comes into force

The tariff, imposed by the regional energy regulator for use of the distribution network, will be charged via bills issued by electricity suppliers.

EDF buys 29% stake in French microgrid specialist Ecosun

Alsace start-up Ecosun is developing innovative microgrid solutions to provide electricity in isolated areas.

Installations

Featured

Investing in PowerBanks for high returns

Western Australia is soaked in sunshine, and PV uptake is challenging the grid. But small numbers of medium-sized community batteries are taking the heat off the system, while helping more people to reap the dividends of rooftop solar PV.

US utility scale solar powers through 2020

Big solar projects in the U.S. are back in style and growing in number.

Australian utility gathers 100 MW of solar in pilot aggregation project

How can you get the gigawatts of distributed solar generation in the WA South West Interconnected System to play nicely with the network? Western Power has gathered 100 MW of resource to test its coordinated ability to stabilize the system on low-demand days.

Egypt to impose ‘merger fee’ on net-metered solar

Law firm Riad & Riad has confirmed the levy will be applied but said the level of the charge had not been determined, despite a report to the contrary in one local newspaper.

Solar projects under construction face uncertainty in India

Factors like a labour shortage and proposed duties on module imports could lead to significant cost overruns for Indian developers.

Trafigura to develop 2 GW of renewables

Oil and metals trader will join forces with Australian investment group IFM to launch the new entity, which will develop solar, wind and energy storage projects – some of them supplying clean energy to Trafigura operations – as well as making acquisitions.

Technology

Featured

The state of solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries hold the potential to overcome many of the limitations of today’s lithium-ion storage technologies. Though they have been a research topic for more than 30 years, and more recently have seen billions of dollars poured into their development by leading carmakers and electronics giants, commercial development is still extremely limited. Major roadblocks remain in the way of both device performance and industrial-scale processing. pv magazine recently caught up with solid-state’s research community for a look at where the technology stands.

Organic solar PV cells on paper substrate for indoor use

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur have developed 12×12 cm2 sub-modules from organic solar PV cells on a paper substrate that could be used to power flexible electronic devices under an indoor lighting environment. The modules are said to deliver a power density of up to 12 µW/cm2 under illumination from a 1000-lux cool‐white LED.

Kesterite solar cell with 8.66% efficiency and fill factor of 62.63%

Researchers in South Korea have analyzed the effects of alkali doping on the fill factor of kesterite solar cells and have built a device on a flexible metal foil optimized with a sodium fluoride doping layer.

Fraunhofer ISE solar cell manufacturing spin-off could reduce silver content

Highline Technology GmbH has a production process in which metal contacts are applied without touching the front of solar cells, reportedly saving resources and raising efficiency.

Acciona seeks innovative storage technologies

The Spanish renewables company is offering up two of its solar and wind power sites in Spain for the testing of energy storage systems. The call for companies to take part is open until the end of next month.

III-V solar cells for PV-powered EV applications

According to a new study from Japan, the global installed PV capacity in solar-powered EVs may reach up to 50 GW by 2030. Its authors claim that solar cells with efficiencies higher than 30%, including multijunction III-V cells and III-V cells combined with silicon cells, are the best candidates for applications in the automotive sector due to the limited space of electric car rooftops. However, a series of technical and economic challenges must still be addressed.

Manufacturing

Featured

Coming around

Given the number of batteries (primarily lithium-ion) that are required to decarbonize the power and mobility sectors, the industry is now preparing for a mountain of battery waste. Recycling is technically feasible, but is also subject to sensitive economics. The framework in which recycling companies can achieve the best life-cycle costs for batteries needs to be carefully enabled through policy – and it will likely include a mixture of technologies and business models, in order to allow life-cycle emissions of batteries to be brought down.

Maxeon Solar sues Canadian Solar for alleged patent infringement on shingled technology in Japan

The SunPower spinoff claims that Canadian Solar has infringed its Japan Patent No. JP6642841B2 for shingled solar modules.

Solar module factory begins production in Burkina Faso

The 30 MW fab will assemble modules with power ratings from 260 W to more than 330 W.

Trina Solar makes new 15 GW module announcement

The Chinese giant now has plans in place to hit more than 50 GW of panel capacity – and 26 GW of cell lines – next year.

CdTe facade solar panel with 18.2% efficiency

New cadmium telluride solar panels are now available for applications on tall buildings in urban environments. Their efficiency ranges from 15.3% to 18.2%, with 110 W to 450 W of power output.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Tongwei and Longi hold wafer and cell prices

Plus, panel maker Risen began construction of a 15 GW cell and module factory in Yiwu, in the central Zhejiang province of eastern China.

Energy Storage

Featured

Long-duration storage advances, but regulators need more time

Lithium-ion batteries can do a great job of load shifting to balance solar’s midday peak, while also providing other stability services to the grid. But when it comes to really balancing an energy system that’s led by intermittent renewables, energy storage for longer durations can give system operators a lot more to work with. pv magazine takes a look at some of the technologies promising to fill this gap.

US and UK discover lithium as IHS Markit projects battery price to fall below $100/kWh

The business intelligence firm has projected storage costs will continue their downward trajectory on the back of product and process optimization. That will favor a higher adoption rate in automotive and grid applications, the analysts say. Elsewhere, discoveries of lithium in the U.S. and the U.K. have raised hopes for lower raw material costs and more supply chain diversity.

UK battery specialist considers lithium-ion cell fab in Australia

‘Lithium Valley’, south of Perth, is set for two new faces after U.K. battery manufacturer Amte Power and Perth-based infrastructure firm Infranomics signed an agreement to explore the possibility of establishing lithium-ion cell manufacturing facilities in the state of Western Australia.

An optimistic – but realistic – perspective for sodium batteries

International researchers have analyzed the potential of sodium-based energy storage and found recent technical advances have arrived faster than those for the lithium-ion batteries which have been studied for three decades. Issues remain, however, before sodium constitutes a complementary option to lithium.

Portuguese green hydrogen for the Port of Rotterdam

The Portuguese and Dutch governments want to connect the hydrogen project of Sines to the Port of Rotterdam and to develop a strategic export-import value chain to ensure the production and transport of green hydrogen to the Netherlands and its hinterland.

‘European cobalt supply hinges on circular economy’

Amid an uptake in EV sales, researchers are examining battery material supply chains. A report has indicated policy-driven circular economy strategies must be introduced in Europe if the bloc is to strengthen its resilience to volatility in the cobalt market.

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