Top News

Canadian Solar secures PPAs for 862 MW of solar in Brazil

The Chinese-Canadian company has secured two more deals in the Brazilian deregulated energy market. A 12-year PPA was awarded by BTG bank while a second, 15-year contract was awarded by power provider Furnas Centrais Elétricas.
Markets & Policy

France hits 10 GW milestone

The country's cumulative installed PV capacity reached 10.2 GW at the end of September. Newly installed capacity for the third quarter was 283 MW.
Technology

Interest grows in going with the vanadium flow

The choice of battery storage technologies in support of solar energy supply is broadening to suit a variety of emerging applications. VSUN has just made its first power play for vanadium-redox-flow batteries in the off-grid residential market.
Announcements

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Markets & Policy

Floating solar could benefit from EU offshore renewables strategy

A clean energy plan drawn up by the European Commission includes details of the various funding pots available to help ocean-based renewables hit 340 GW of generation capacity by mid century.
Manufacturing

Trends in solar modules – Interview with RenewSys CEO

Avinash Hiranandani, global chief executive officer and managing director of RenewSys India, speaks to pv magazine about solar module technology trends and the company’s manufacturing focus.
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Manufacturing

Even if it is cheap enough, efficiency does matter

A British-German research team claims that organic PV technologies may become mature enough to compete with crystalline silicon and thin-film products not only in BIPV, but also in power generation in the electricity market. In order to get there, howeve...
Markets & Policy

Chile to launch auction for 2.31 TWh of renewables+storage in May

The country's energy regulator will publish the auction's final bidding terms in December. Projects awarded contracts under the auction will supply electricity under 15-year power purchase agreements for 2026-2040.
Manufacturing

25.17% efficient perovskite solar cell via new photoactive layer

Scientists in South Korea demonstrated a perovskite cell with a certified efficiency of 24.4%. The device is claimed to maintain over 80% of its initial efficiency after 1,300 hours in the dark at 85 degrees Celsius.

Press Releases

Shipments of LONGi high-efficiency bifacial modules reach 10GW

Shipments of LONGi’s high-efficiency bifacial modules have now reached 10GW, with expectations that production will reach 12GW by the end of 2020.

In-depth analysis | What is so good about 210 mm modules? The power station application cases

Addressing Customer Pain Points

Yingli’s Restructuring Plan Officially Approved by the Court Ruling

On November 20, the "Restructuring plan of Yingli Energy (China) Company Limited and other five manufacturing entities" (the "Plan") has been approved by the ruling of Baoding Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in Hebei Province, China, and the Judicial proceedings are terminated.

Growatt ranks among the top PV brands in Hungary, Poland and Denmark

This year, even with the world hit hard by COVID-19, Growatt, one of the world’s leading suppliers of PV inverters has managed to excel in the solar PV markets of Hungary, Poland and Denmark. German market intelligence provider EuPD Research has ranked Growatt as the top PV inverter brand in these markets.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The solar development process in Vietnam, its barriers and hurdles

The development process for ground-mounted utility scale solar projects in Vietnam is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and still largely difficult to navigate for foreign developers without entering a strategic partnership, in whatever form, with a local Vietnamese counterpart.

Why the solar M&A landscape in Vietnam is set to heat up

Vietnam has now effectively overtaken Thailand as the largest solar market in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar operational capacity, with more than 6,314 MW installed up to September 2020. Many hundreds of MWs of solar projects are also still under construction or development. However, its solar (and other renewable energy) M&A activity has developed very slowly to date. There are many reasons to expect that this is about to change, but before we examine them, let us review the main factors behind this sluggish tempo.

The potential for UK solar

Focusing on the big picture is always challenging, particularly in light of the current all-consuming coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some key issues related to the U.K. solar sector, which will feature significantly on the domestic agenda in the months ahead.

Why has the M&A landscape struggled to take off for renewables in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese renewables industry has been flourishing lately. Taking the example of the solar sector, the installed capacity increased from barely 134 MW in 2018 up to 6,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam has definitely emerged as one of the most active countries in South-East Asia and with the merit of diversifying its energy mix. They added capacity not only in solar – utility scale, commercial & industrial (C&I) rooftop – but also onshore/nearshore wind, hydro and to some extent biomass energy projects. Vietnam has shown levels of dynamism which has attracted initial investor interest.

Prospects for bifacial and large-format products

The pandemic and accidents at polysilicon labs in China’s Xinjiang region put PV manufacturers under pressure to maintain production this year, while slowing cell and module R&D. After half-cut and multi-busbar becomes commonplace, manufacturers will continue to explore the high-density assembly methods that emerged last year, as well as n-type cells. But the market is also shifting to large formats, and the share of bifacial products is growing this year. As sizing up modules can bring immediate returns, PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang expects the PV industry to prioritize the development of large formats and bifacial products next year.

Reform meets opposition

Since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s election at the end of 2018, renewable energy in Mexico has faced an uncertain regulatory environment. The current government is focused on restoring the power and influence of Mexico’s state-owned energy companies. But it is now at a crossroads, as the previous administration aimed to open the segment up to foreign investment. Maria Chea of IHS Markit examines the policy decisions the government has taken this year and how these have soured private investor sentiment. These changes will likely weigh on utility-scale PV procurement in the country through 2024.

Covid-19

Featured

Green projects eligible as EU throws another €40bn at Covid recovery

Italy is in line for €11.4 billion if member states sign off an emergency funding package which will distribute funds based on the GDP and unemployment figures of their economies in June, July and August.

‘Solar should be at heart of EU recovery’

Solarpower Europe has called on member states to put solar and battery storage front and center when it comes to drawing up the Recovery and Resilience plans needed to secure a slice of the bloc’s proposed €672.5 billion post-Covid stimulus package.

European Council reaches €1.82tn budget agreement with parliament

The parliament and EU member states will now mull the proposed budget for 2021-27 which includes a €750 billion Covid recovery package and a Strategic Investment Facility it is hoped will unlock €150 billion for renewables and energy storage to 2027.

World could add more than 900 GW of solar by 2025 if politicians grasp the nettle – IEA

With the International Energy Agency publishing its latest five-year clean energy forecast today, pv magazine takes a look at the solar content of the 162-page document.

Scatec stock price stymies extra shares issue plan

Shares in the Norwegian renewables company have been trading below the $26 price linked to a recent $527 million fundraising issuance which the developer launched to fund its planned acquisition of hydropower business SN Power.

Solar challenges and trends and Covid-19 discussed at 2020 Africa Energy Forum

The 24-day, digital 2020 Africa Energy Forum kicked off on October 20. The event brings together African energy sector officials to identify opportunities, air their views, form partnerships, and take the necessary steps to improve the industry. For solar, challenges in policy making, procurement processes and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were discussed, as well as emerging trends such as solar digitalization.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Power play under way Down Under

Economics and common sense have to win out over a climate-denying, pro-fossil fuel government, says John Grimes, the chief executive of Australia’s Smart Energy Council. And in the absence of renewable energy targets, he argues that the power of the people seems to be leading the way.

Ignite Power solar ‘Extreme Affordability Plan’ gains traction in Rwanda

Pan-African developer and financier of distributed infrastructure projects, Ignite Power is providing solar solutions to many low-income rural dwellers in Rwanda through its ‘Extreme Affordability Plan’, setting the Eastern African country on course to achieve its vision of becoming an upper-middle-income economy by 2035.

Solar parks in Netherlands to be connected at 70% of their peak capacity

The Netherlands’ renewable energy sector has reached an agreement with the country’s grid operators and power providers for a faster grid connection of solar parks. PV plant operators will be able to connect their projects at 70% of their capacity and, in turn, they will be allowed to connect them without having to wait for more grid availability.

China set to acquire 820 MW of solar project capacity

The latest, seven-project, 217 MW, $150 million project sell-off announced by the development business of polysilicon producer GCL-Poly means a lot will be at stake in the vote by its shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting in the new year.

Australian state governments introduce tax on electric vehicles

Some Australian states are choosing this moment to ensure that electric vehicle drivers are paying their fair share of funds needed to maintain road infrastructure given that they don’t contribute via fuel excise. The moves are expected to throw a spanner in the works of drivers deciding in favour of zero-emissions motoring.

Five pro-renewable energy actions to expect from President-Elect Joe Biden

As the U.S. economy continues to recover from its Covid-19-induced recession, it’s likely that Congress and the president will put together a multi-trillion dollar relief package, similar to the one that lifted the economy out of its doldrums following the 2008 economic crisis.

Installations

Featured

Bulking up for bigger tracking challenges

Bigger modules and more challenging conditions are leading tracker designers to strengthen their offerings to deliver the stability required for long-term operation. Eduardo de San Nicolás, Soltec’s chief strategy officer, says that the Spanish company’s efforts have resulted in a new generation of trackers fit for almost any wind conditions – along with a host of other benefits including advanced communications and optimized bifacial yield.

New ‘slide-in’ solar canopy tech from Australia

Australian design and manufacturing company PVDymanics has unveiled a solar canopy technology which can be used with both framed and frameless solar modules. The company believes its system can revolutionize the micro-grid market.

Akuo commissions 50 MW solar plant in Mali

The latest PV installation in West Africa by France’s Akuo features an agricultural and social component on a 5-hectare plot of land next to the project site.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Jinko announces 2 GW agrivoltaic project in Heilongjiang Province

Meanwhile, Chinese state-owned energy company State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) has acquired a solar energy developer in Mexico and JA Solar has started construction on the second phase of its 20 GW ingot factory in Yunnan Province.

More solar PPAs from Spain, Germany

In Spain, Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis has agreed to buy wind and solar power through six different PPAs. In Germany, Enerparc has secured a PPA from German railway operator Deutsche Bahn.

Iberdrola and Ingeteam set up JV to produce electrolyzers in Spain

Iberlyzer will begin operations next year and will produce more than 200 MW of electrolyzers in 2023, with an initial investment of close to €100 million. In addition, the Spanish energy giant has signed an agreement with Norwegian company Nel to build and develop large electrolyzers in Spain.

Technology

Featured

Something truly new

You can try to succeed by making a better version of your competitors’ product, or you can try to do something completely new. NexWafe has chosen the second path. It is developing plans to manufacture wafers for high-efficiency solar cells in Bitterfeld, Germany, that are produced more sustainably and at lower cost than any other products available today.

Solar for trekking

Belgian start-up Sunslice has developed small, portable, high-performance solar panels that can be applied to backpacks and be used as rechargers for smartphones and watches.

The struggle against LeTID continues

Researchers in Australia have conducted extensive research on all possible causes behind the light-elevated temperature-induced degradation (LeTID) in solar panels and presented a few mitigation strategies put in place by manufacturers to reduce its effects.

BIPV module with novel encapsulation design

Researchers at the University of Malaga say they have developed a panel for building-integrated photovoltaics that improves light absorption without losing efficiency and durability.

Midsummer to set up 50 MW BIPV module factory in southern Italy

Through this new project, the Swedish CIGS turnkey equipment supplier aims to expand its presence in southern European PV markets.

Hanwha Q Cells unveils special panels for floating PV

The South Korean module manufacturer has developed two new products for large-scale floating PV plants. They have power outputs of 415 W and 420 W and efficiencies of 19.4% and 19.6%.

Manufacturing

Featured

Circular innovations

Slowly but surely, environmental concerns are making their way into mainstream thought throughout the PV industry. A look at recycling offers an example of this, with stakeholders trying to get ahead of the high volumes of end-of-life modules already on the horizon. pv magazine examines the technologies that will be needed, alongside policy and economic support, to keep the bulk of these modules out of landfill and ultimately to establish a circular economy for PV materials.

The weekend read: Bigger modules yes, but better…?

It is now a well-established trend. After the switch to larger wafer sizes played out in 2019, this year has seen virtually all of the biggest PV manufacturers introduce new modules in dimensions above the 2-meter mark, and with power ratings in excess of 500 W – in some cases, as high as 800 W. As these modules begin to roll off production lines in larger quantities, it’s vital to take a look at the challenges and opportunities they bring to system design, installation, and long-term operation.

Canadian Solar flags up polysilicon, glass and EVA shortages

The solar manufacturer’s impressive third-quarter gross margin is set to fall back in the current three-month window because global shortages have seen some material costs double since the world came out of Covid-19 shock.

Trina moves to buy 72,000 tons of Tongwei polysilicon for 210mm operation

The Chinese giant plans to further strengthen the supply chain for solar modules based on 210mm wafers by establishing joint ventures with its rival.

New solar window tech from Australian startup

Australia’s ClearVue wants to push ahead with the development of its transparent solar glass technology. Construction is now beginning on a commercial-scale trial project.

REC identifies location for 4 GW solar module factory in France

The French National Commission of Public Debate validated, on November 3, the launch of a public consultation on the project initiated by the Norwegian group REC. The chosen location is Hambach, in the northeastern region of Moselle. The planned investment is €680 million.

Energy Storage

Featured

Energy supply in an archipelagic nation

Mobile electricity storage systems (MESS) – batteries that are charged and then transported – could offer one of the best scenarios for electrification across the vast Indonesian archipelago, which spans more than 17,000 islands. A team at the University of Indonesia is working with multiple government agencies to bring the idea to scale and provide affordable electricity to rural Indonesians.

Solar microgrid powers Indian health center

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has installed a 5.2 kW solar system linked to 150 Ah of lead-acid battery storage in a project supported by the Sunrise program led by Swansea University, in Wales.

Standalone EV recharging station integrating renewables, storage and hydrogen

Scientists in Qatar have developed a new model for setting up standalone EV recharging stations based on the hybridization of multiple renewable energy sources and different types of storage. The system includes power generation devices from CPV/T, wind, and biomass and is designed to fast-charge 80 electrical vehicles daily.

Investors bet $27.5 million on Nanotech Energy’s graphene battery breakthrough

Nanotech Energy plans to release a non-flammable, environmentally friendly lithium battery that can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market.” And it aims to do it within the next year.

The best renewables combination for off-grid power supply

Scientists in India have proposed a model to design an off-grid, hybrid energy system based on a combination of solar, wind, biomass, biogas and fuel cell, linked to storage, for electrifying a cluster of three village hamlets in the Indian state of Karnataka. The model is implemented through the HOMER software and a genetic algorithm.

UK utility unveils £50m flexibility tender

Hong Kong-owned UK Power Networks is aiming to commission 250 MW of grid flexibility from energy storage assets with capacities as small as 10 kW, on contracts ranging in length from six months to seven years.

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