Top News

Chinese solar giant steps in to acquire rival in $250m swoop

Longi Solar has dramatically stepped in to take over fellow Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Yize New Energy Technology, which operates 7 GW of module production capacity and 3 GW of cell facilities in northern Vietnam.
Manufacturing

Module manufacturer responds to rumors of panel failures at 75 MW South African project

Reports of module under-performance at the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar project have prompted a response from South African company Artsolar, one of the module suppliers for the plant. The project is said to be experiencing serious problems due to prema...
Highlights

Solar projects reprieved as Indian government declares coronavirus a force majeure

Lobby group the National Solar Energy Federation of India says around 4 GW of solar plant capacity is likely to be affected by component shortages after the outbreak of the virus in China.
Announcements

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The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

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Manufacturing

A graphene-doped tandem perovskite cell with 26.3% efficiency

Italian researchers have added graphene to the titanium dioxide electron selective layer used in a perovskite cell to increase chemical stability. The two-terminal cell was made by stacking two sub-cells which were fabricated and optimized separately.
Installations

A multi-level inverter for solar water pumps

Scientists in India have tested a new inverter topology with a single-phase, induction-motor water pump. The seven-level inverter, with five power semiconductor switches, is said to be particularly efficient at reducing switching losses thanks to a pulse...
Installations

Off-grid solar changes lives – but could help many more of the world’s energy poor

A study has attempted to provide detailed analysis of the beneficial impact off-grid renewables, led by solar, are having on people in the world’s least developed countries.
Markets & Policy

Ukraine has 350 MW of solar under net metering

Around 240 MW of new installations were deployed from October 2018 to the end of September and approximately 70 MW were installed in the third quarter of last year alone, according to the responsible state body.
Energy Storage

Storage Highlights 2020 – Megawatt Winner: Nilar

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once agai...
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Press Releases

Another 86 MW of Scatec Solar’s 258 MW solar power complex in South Africa in commercial operation

Scatec Solar and partners have grid connected and started early commercial operation for another 86 MW, the second of three, of the 258 MW solar power complex in Upington, South Africa. The 86 MW facility, known as Dyason’s Klip 1, is expected to produce 217 GWh and deliver clean energy to around 40,000 households annually.

How will Coronavirus Impact Chinese Solar Manufactures?

Chinese government started the fresh economic stimulus to foster the economy including renewables, however the positive macro development was offset by an abrupt outbreak of coronavirus, which forced China to impose strict travel restriction and suspend production until February 10. The epidemic is likely significantly impacting all the industries including solar PV, particularly on the supply side in the short term.

JinkoSolar Ready to Roll Out Its 405Wp N-Type All Black Residential Modules Globally

JinkoSolar is ramping up the deployment of its first tailor made module 405 Wp N-type all black, specifically developed for residential and business market, with maximum output of 405 Wp, 21. 22% module efficiency, and it expects to announce availability would be ready for in widespread deployment soon.

EU renewable energy sector a key driver of European Green Deal, industrial strategy can boost deployment

In anticipation of the European Commission’s forthcoming industrial strategy, which will lay out the foundation of a climate-neutral society, 10 leading European renewable energy associations joined forces to stress the strategic importance of their sectors in delivering the European Green Deal and facilitating the decarbonisation of industry.

Opinion & Analysis

The beginnings of a post FIT-market

The annual installed PV capacity for Japan is expected to be 7 GW (DC) in 2019, according to RTS Corp. Cumulative PV installed capacity now stands at 63 GW. In addition to the robust introduction of small-scale PV projects, the development of already approved large-scale PV projects under the FIT program was advanced by the end of the year, say RTS analysts Takashi Ohigashi and Izumi Kaizuka.

New markets for old batteries

The increased urgency for the automotive industry to deal with the disposal of EV batteries in the mid-term future will act as a catalyst for the emerging second-life battery market, writes Abhishek Sampat, Principal Analyst at Delta-EE. Automakers, and potentially third parties, are expected to exploit new value streams and a second-life market is predicted to drive down costs for stationary energy storage, with little to no compromise in quality to the end user.

Discussing bifacial project economics

Bifacial solar module technology will find beneficial application in a significant number of solar energy power plants, according to a technical assessment conducted by ArcVera Renewables. While advertised 25% or greater gains in energy yield are unlikely for most projects, typical project energy production gains are 3-10%. Analysis finds that many projects under the scrutiny of informed technical due diligence, proper measurement and site design, will reap meaningful net present value. Although financing institutions have recently not awarded significant debt financing value to bifacial projects, full credit for bifacial benefits are expected to accrue rapidly, as experience and market penetration increases.

2020 module market forecast

According to PV InfoLink’s database, JinkoSolar topped the 2019 rankings for global module shipments with around 14 GW – far higher than any of its rivals. Notably, this is not the first time Jinko has secured the No. 1 spot; it has avoided slipping from the top as many of its predecessors did in the industry’s earlier years. The company is followed by JA Solar and Trina Solar (each shipping more than 10 GW), and then Longi, Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q Cells, Risen Energy, Suntech, Astronergy, and Talesun.

Out with old inverters, in with the new

Global demand for replacement inverters will likely grow by almost 40% to reach 8.7 GW in 2020, as a large and expanding installed base of aging solar PV installations drives deployment, writes Miguel De Jesus of IHS Markit.

Energy communities as a business model for utilities

Energy Communities are one of the most talked about recent advancements in the world of energy, but what they are exactly and what kind of value proposition they provide is seen on a broad spectrum. There are many different definitions of communities – therefore, understanding energy communities requires us to first unpack the idea of community itself.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Is China’s market heading toward a cliff edge?

Even when taken in the context of the growing pessimism that has gripped China’s PV industry regarding 2019 demand since the middle of the year, the latest figures from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) are astonishing. More optimistic forecasts from earlier in the year have been downwardly revised, with installations headed for a “cliff edge” decline that could see demand fall by as much as 50% year on year. So, what exactly has taken place?

Debt-saddled solar developer has state appointee take over as chairman and CEO

Zhang Ping, a 30-year coal-fired power industry veteran, has taken the helm at Hong Kong-listed Panda Green, days after a $230 million bail-out by state-owned Beijing Energy Holding Co Ltd.

Dutch golf club to diversify with 147 MW solar park but will grid congestion bunker the plans?

PV project developer Solarfield is planning to build a plant under the SDE+ renewables incentives program. Construction is planned to start in 2021. The solar park will be in the province of Flevoland, one of the areas where grid congestion is jeopardizing the deployment of large scale solar.

Uzbekistan launches 400 MW solar tender

The central Asian nation and the International Finance Corporation are seeking proposals for two 200 MW solar parks planned in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions. The projects will be awarded 25-year power purchase agreements.

First Solar announces surprise fourth-quarter loss, considers sale of development business

‘First Solar, at its core, is a technology and module manufacturing company,’ said Mark Widmar, chief executive of the U.S. company.

Future perspectives on solid-state storage

Solid-state batteries are viewed by many as the most promising technology to succeed lithium-ion in many energy storage applications. But there are still plenty of barriers to large-scale use of this type of battery. An international team of scientists has reviewed recent progress with the technology, and examined the form and chemistry that commercial solid-state batteries might take.

Installations

Featured

What broke at Oakey

With its high wholesale power prices, attractiveness to capital, wide open spaces and abundant sunshine, there is every reason to believe Australia is a PV project developer’s nirvana. However, as the wreckage at the 55 MW Oakey 2 site in Queensland reveals, challenges under the Australian sun should not be taken lightly.

The weekend read: Don’t throw caution to the wind

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has opened a formal investigation into the exact failure mode behind the destruction at the Yamakura Dam floating PV installation. In the end, the ministry seeks to draw up a plan to revamp not just the dam, but also the arrays that are still intact. This is a learning exercise that should be closely followed, as floating PV is enjoying growing popularity.

Is thin-film module technology the best solution for offshore PV?

An international research team has claimed that thin-film modules are an ideal solution for floating PV projects in offshore locations, mainly due to their superior hydrodynamic properties. The scientists have also said that direct contact between installations and the water provides additional self-cooling opportunities, while keeping the waterproof modules clean. Such arrays could potentially withstand higher waves and the difficult environmental conditions of the open sea.

Chilean energy provider aims to build 788 MW solar park

Colbún has applied for approval to build a 788 MW solar project in Chile’s northern region of Antofagasta.

Vietnam might maintain FITs for 3 GW of approved large-scale PV projects

The transition from a feed-in tariff scheme to an auction mechanism may take longer than expected in the Southeast Asian country, as the Ministry of Industry and Trade is considering maintaining FITs of $0.0709/kWh to $0.0769/kWh for projects that secured approval before Nov. 23, 2019, if they come online as scheduled by the end of this year. According to law firm Lexcomm Vietnam, there are currently 3 GW of projects with licenses.

Rio Tinto to power Australian iron ore mine with solar PV

Mining giant Rio Tinto has approved the construction of a large-scale solar PV and battery storage system for its Koodaideri mine in Western Australia. When completed, the solar plant will be among Australia’s largest PV installations at a mining site.

Technology

Featured

BIPV: More than the module

Building integrated PV has been described as a place where uncompetitive PV products attempt to go to market. But this may be unfair, says Björn Rau, the technology manager and deputy director of PVcomB at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Rau argues that the missing link to BIPV deployment lies at the intersection of the architectural community, construction industry, and PV manufacturers.

Moisture-resistant perovskite cell with 22.02% efficiency

Scientists in China have used a fluorine-containing Lewis acid treatment to develop a perovskite cell that is said to retain between 63% and 80% of its initial efficiency after 14 days under 75% and 85% relative humidity.

Australian state frees itself from federal shackles to unlock more grid capacity

The government of Victoria has decided to break from national electricity rules and introduce legislation to fast-track priority projects such as grid scale batteries and transmission upgrades, and make room for more large scale solar and wind. The announced reforms have prompted a flurry of reaction.

Preventing lead leakage in perovskite cells

A U.S. research group has used a lead-absorbing material to coat the front and rear of a perovskite solar cell stack. The researchers claim the films captured 96% of lead leakage when the cells were damaged.

Italian car factory to add 15 MW of solar and 850 charging points

Carmaker Fiat Chrysler is bringing solar power to its Mirafiori manufacturing hub in Turin. A rooftop array will be installed by the auto giant with EDF-owned energy company Edison. French group Engie will install electric vehicle charging points in the car park.

SolarEdge figures tick all the boxes for investors

Lack of flannel in the latest quarterly and full-year filing indicates the Israeli inverter maker is happy the figures speak for themselves. The company is in an expansionary mode as it enters the energy storage and electrical vehicle markets with cash from its financial warchest.

Manufacturing

Featured

Preparing for takeoff

With demand for lithium-ion battery cells picking up, largely driven by EVs but also from the fast-growing stationary storage segment, production capacities in China are ramping up quickly. But safety and quality must remain centrally important in the face of the need to scale, even more so after the numerous battery fires that shocked buyers globally and brought the South Korean market to a standstill. Clean Energy Associates (CEA) has launched the 2019 BESS Supplier Market Intelligence Program report, covering 40 suppliers, in an effort to support buyers navigating this novel supplier landscape. George Touloupas, CEA’s director of technology and quality for solar and storage, shares the company’s key findings on the supply chain and tells us what can have an impact on Li-ion safety and reliability.

Hanwha officially exits polysilicon business

Hanwha Solutions has confirmed that it will shut down its polysilicon business over the course of the next year, only a week after saying that it was still evaluating its plans for the sector.

German polysilicon maker will cut 1,000 jobs

Wacker Chemie has taken the first steps of its restructuring program with the lay-offs set to particularly affect its German locations. Poor performance by the chemical company’s polysilicon business is the main cause of the crisis.

Spanish bank acquires big stake in solar racking manufacturer

Banco Sabadell has acquired a 41.5% interest in Pamplona-based STI Norland through its Aurica Capita fund.

New layer raises efficiency of heterojunction solar cells

A Dutch research team has used highly transparent, hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon oxide layers to improve the optoelectrical performance of contact stacks in a silicon heterojunction device. The material is said to offer superior electrical as well as favorable optical properties.

Chinese giant doubles down on cell production expansion

The 5 GW of new production lines announced by JA Solar at the start of the year have now been doubled as the company also unveiled plans to rejig up to 3.6 GW of its existing facilities to accommodate bigger wafers.

Energy Storage

Featured

Exit strategy

With aggressive emissions-reduction goals and renewable energy targets expanding globally, storage is the final puzzle piece in the transition to a 100% renewable energy-powered grid. New gas-fired peaker plants are now being offset with the construction of storage facilities, and it is projected that the favorable economics of clean technologies will overtake existing gas generation assets by 2035. With the near-future potential of leaving stranded assets on the balance sheet, and advancing battery technology capabilities, there is a promising outlook for the accelerated decarbonization of the power sector.

Storage Highlights 2020 – Gigawatt Winner: Areva H2Gen

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once again, this year’s work was crowned by the moderation of the jury meeting, in which six leading industry experts discussed the technologies and solutions. Differing from previous years, the jurors have selected the top five “Gigawatt” winners, followed by five “Megawatt” winners, and a series of “Finalists” which will be published in the coming weeks, leading up to Energy Storage Europe.

Storage Highlights 2020 – Gigawatt Winner: Fraunhofer ISE

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once again, this year’s work was crowned by the moderation of the jury meeting, in which six leading industry experts discussed the technologies and solutions. Differing from previous years, the jurors have selected the top five “Gigawatt” winners, followed by five “Megawatt” winners, and a series of “Finalists” which will be published in the coming weeks, leading up to Energy Storage Europe.

India to add 34 GW of solar through 2024

Consultancy Bridge to India has looked into its crystal ball to predict India will add 10 GW of solar capacity this year and the same next year before deployment slows to 7 GW per year in 2022 and 2023, dogged by hurdles such as an inexplicable ongoing demand for new coal-fired power plants.

Turkey introduces new provisions for energy storage

Rules published in the official journal provide certainty on how storage systems will have to be connected to the grid and who will take care of the process on behalf of governmental institutions. The regulations are expected to benefit rooftop PV and up-to-1 MW ‘unlicensed’ projects

Shell PPA for electricity from 100 MW energy storage facility in the UK

The oil giant says it will use the electricity provided by two 50 MW batteries to optimize the integration of renewables nearby. The task will be undertaken by the group’s Limejump unit. The energy storage units are set to be operational this year.

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