Top News

The weekend read: Inverter issues

PVEL’s inaugural inverter scorecard is showing up the need for much more scrutiny on the reliability of inverters. But are developers and EPCs even paying attention?
Installations

IRENA and the UN ink agreement to combat desertification with renewables

A memorandum of understanding signed by the institutions was not solar specific but the use of PV modules for shading, especially in agriculture, can reduce water consumption and help halt the expansion of deserts.
Markets & Policy

Greece to tender 287 MW of new solar capacity in December

The nation’s energy regulator today announced separate tenders for solar and wind generation capacity will be held on December 12.
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2019 energy storage North America special

In cooperation with Energy Storage North America, coming to San Diego, California on November 5-7 2019, pv magazine has put together an Energy Storage special edition, covering the storage industry’s latest developments and offering a sneak peek at what will be on the show floor come November.

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Installations

Germany will need 160 GW of solar by 2030 to prevent power shortages

EuPD Research has calculated what needs to be done to replace the nuclear and coal generation to be phased out in Germany. Accelerated expansion of PV appears the best short-term option. However, storage capacity will need to increase 30-fold by 2040 so ...
Installations

Sweden increases budget for solar incentives by $48m

Funding for the rebate scheme had already been increased in April. Overall, the budget for this year now amounts to almost $125 million.
Manufacturing

Silicon and perovskites should stick together, say Korean scientists

Researchers from the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a new method of fabricating perovskite-on-silicon tandem devices, using a transparent conductive adhesive to combine the two cells. The scientists have developed devices wit...
Energy Storage

Solar-plus-storage vs grid enhancement part II

Grid expert Andrea Mansoldo tells pv magazine how energy markets based on solar and storage are feasible as an alternative to costly grid infrastructure work. He says around 6 GWh of battery capacity may be a good alternative to building 1000km of...
Manufacturing

Swiss scientists identify causes of defects in silicon carbides for power electronics

Carbon clusters of a few nanometers in size could be responsible for the defects affecting the thermal stability of SiCs. The defective carbon accumulations arise during the oxidation of silicon carbide to silicon dioxide under high temperatures.
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Press Releases

Jolywood to Power Full-electric Heavy Truck With Solar Energy Storage System

The PV modules manufacturer unveiled its solar energy storage system with the launch of the fully electric heavy truck manufactured by Breton. Fueling the emerging electric trucks sector, Jolywood has driven substantial growth in the Internet of Energy (IoE) sector, making renewable energy more accessible.

Product launch under the name ValkCableCare

Van der Valk Solar Systems is proud to announce the new product range: ValkCableCare. This range of products provides a safe and easy solution for cable management of the PV-system.

Dowell premiers new Hybrid inverter model

Dowell launches a new hybrid inverter for the residential market.

Electric vehicles on track to pass National Grid’s consumer evolution projections

Research by Cornwall Insight into the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures showed, at the current pace of battery electric vehicle registration the U. K.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Maximize the benefits of solar energy through techno-ecological synergies

The dire assessment from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it very clear this past year: To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, a significant shift to clean energy sources must be well underway by 2030.

Tendency toward diversification

Looking back at the PV market in 2018, micro module technologies started maturing in development and moving on to mass production, writes TrendForce analyst Lions Shih. Modules are no longer limited to a single design as before, but rather continuing on the path toward diversification in 2019. The situation is spreading into other areas, as may be seen in the upstream silicon wafer and cell segments.

Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Dear European solar industry: Let’s lead the interconnected platform before it is too late

While China is single-handedly reducing CAPEX for modules and inverters, Europe understands that hardware won’t be the holy grail – generally speaking. But what is? Perhaps it is time for a new strategy to surf in front of the digital wave.

Vietnam’s 2019 commissioning rush

Vietnam had already successfully commissioned 1.5 GW of utility-scale PV at the end of May this year, and there is no sign of this slowing down, with another 2 GW teed up for June 2019. The breakneck speed in development is making Vietnam a powerhouse in the region in installed capacity, even nipping at the heels of Australia. Rystad Energy’s Minh Koi Le looks at the state of play in the Vietnamese solar market.

10 GW of utility-scale PV+storage by 2023

In 2019, the United States will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit’s Camron Barati, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Kosovo planning auction scheme for solar and wind capacity

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is helping the Kosovan government develop a competitive scheme for the award of payments to renewable energy generators. The Balkan state wants to add 400 MW of clean energy capacity by 2026.

Five takeaways from EU PVSEC 2019

This week, pv magazine headed to Marseille for the 36th edition of the EU PVSEC conference and exhibition. During the week-long show, leading universities and research institutes presented their latest results to the industry and public. As the conference heads into its final afternoon, we’ve put together five key takeaways from this year’s event.

The cooling effect of PV

Research from Finland’s Aalto University claims the residential cooling sector could sustain 540 GW of solar generation capacity if the world’s air conditioning systems were solar powered. Academics say synergies between PV and the cooling industry will become stronger as demand for the latter shifts nearer the equator, where seasonal differences in weather are less pronounced.

Does slew of solar mega tenders mean Gulf nations are belatedly accepting the inevitable?

With Kuwait, Qatar and even renewables laggard Saudi Arabia following in the wake of regional clean energy pioneer the UAE, a raft of huge solar tenders is entering the Middle Eastern project pipeline. Obstacles remain to overseas project developers but significant rewards are on offer.

Teaming up on tandem performance

California-based Hanergy subsidiary Miasolé and European perovskite research institute Solliance have combined their thin film expertise to produce a 23% efficient flexible tandem device consisting of a semi-transparent perovskite cell on top of a flexible CIGS counterpart.

Installations

Featured

PV in need of a new chapter for wind

In part two of this feature on wind resilience in the PV industry, the lack of structural codes comes into focus. Weather events, and wind above all, are the most common causes of failure for PV plants. In the United States, the first steps have been taken to catch up with other industries and a dedicated chapter for PV is set to be included in the next update of the American Society of Civil Engineers code. In Europe, no such plans are in place.

Bangladesh’s first state-owned solar plant comes online

The new generation facility was financed by the Asian Development Bank and built by Chinese company ZTE Corp. The project will sell power to the grid for $0.065/kWh, a record low for solar in the country.

Essent takes over Belgian solar installer Aralt

The Essent business of German utility RWE wants to widen its clean energy offer for Belgian clients. Last year Aralt achieved a €5 million turnover.

The energy transition is easily affordable but all hope of 1.5C warming will vanish in 2028

Technical consultancy DNV GL has published its Energy Transition Outlook 2019. While the electric vehicle, storage and renewable energy industries are likely to see significant rises in demand, the sobering conclusion is the world will miss carbon reduction targets by a long shot.

Value of local manufacturing demonstrated, utilization up but still a long way to go

Indian module manufacturers are gearing up for an end-of-year surge in solar project procurement and hoping their investments in incorporating global manufacturing benchmarks will translate into enhanced sales.

50 MW solar park comes online in Malaysia

The Kuala Ketil Solar Farm is in the state of Kedah, northwest Malaysia. Built by Chinese state-owned Edra Power, the plant also hosts agricultural activity.

Technology

Featured

Floating PV – niche market or transformative disruptor?

Why on earth would you want to install PV on water? There seem to be plenty of safer sites for solar PV on solid ground or stable rooftops. Nicolas Choleur of Everoze highlights the key requirements for the bankability of floating PV, right through the project life cycle, from development to dismantling.

Discovery challenges accepted wisdom on organic PV

Researchers at the University of Warwick in the U.K. have made a discovery that could lead to new designs for organic PV devices. Their findings could open up a new range of materials for the electrode layer and bring low cost, flexible organic PV devices a step closer commercial reality, say the academics.

HZB hits 23.26% efficiency with CIGS-perovskite tandem cell

Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin research institute this morning presented a new world record efficiency for a tandem cell combining CIGS and perovskite technology at the EU PVSEC conference in Marseille. The development of an organic coating layer between the two semiconductors was key.

Solar pioneer Pierre Verlinden: The big problem is apathy

On the first day of this year’s EU PVSEC conference, veteran solar researcher Pierre J Verlinden won the Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics. The award recognized more than 40 years as a leading PV researcher in academia and at leading companies including Sunpower and Trina Solar. Its recipient spoke to pv magazine about what is needed from solar to stave off catastrophic climate change.

New methods for fault detection revealed at EU PVSEC

Quality control and problem detection and classification was brought into focus at the conference in Marseille. A packed house at a session focused on the latest fault detection techniques indicated the high level of interest in the field.

Opportunities for integration: EU PVSEC 2019

Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE is presenting a wide range of solutions for integrated PV – alongside farming, vehicles, the built environment and more, at the 2019 EU PVSEC show happening this week in Marseille.

Manufacturing

Featured

Pushing sustainability UP the agenda

As pv magazine’s UP campaign aims to place sustainability issues at the forefront of the solar industry, we take a look at the current situation and the programs, incentives and regulations that are in operation worldwide to promote responsibility in the design, operation and disposal of PV systems.

ABB and Fimer respond to UK criticism of products and customer service

The inverter businesses have responded to the letter published by the UK Solar Trade Association which was critical of the former’s products and customer service record.

Recovering interest rates may raise large scale solar electric price 11%

Renewables investment may by hit by rising interest rates despite the falling cost of clean energy tech just as fossil fuels avoid the impact of rising base rates.

Innolia Energy to invest $31m in solar module and EV product manufacturing in Hyderabad

The U.S. company claims its 300 MW manufacturing plant in Hyderabad will deliver fully integrated, customizable solar panel, lithium battery pack and controller systems under a single roof.

Eric Luo: China will see just 20-25 GW of solar per year through 2025

The GCL System chief executive made comments that fly in the face of an expected solar gold rush in China that analysts predict will start this month. Though rising overseas demand will address overcapacity fears, according to Luo, the soundbite is sure to chill PV boardrooms across the world’s biggest solar market.

Singulus lowers outlook after delayed CNBM order

The German PV equipment provider will not achieve the sales and earnings targets set for this year. CNBM is not expected to place orders for the expansion of its CIGS thin-film production operations in China until the fourth quarter.

Energy Storage

Featured

Chile taps ‘white gold’ for security of energy supply

Chile is home to a massive 10.3 million tons of lithium reserves, most of which is found in the Atacama Desert in the northern part of the country. With some of the highest solar irradiation levels on Earth, this region also boasts the perfect conditions for generating solar power. Developments in the photovoltaic market, alongside implementation of more efficient energy storage systems, are positioning Chile as a regional leader in this field. So what does the future hold for battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Chile, and what obstacles lie in their way?

Wacker enters battery business with acquisition of 25% stake in Nexeon

The Munich-based chemical company has taken a substantial minority share in the British materials specialist to expand its silicon-based high-performance battery activity. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Los Angeles says “Yes” to the cheapest solar plus storage in the USA

Los Angeles’ municipal utility has voted 5-0 to approve a 25-year contract with a 400 MWac solar plus 300 MW / 1.2 GWh energy storage facility, with the aggregate price of the electricity from the project at 3.962¢/kWh.

Big storage comes to Ireland

A 200 MW storage project is being developed by Hanwha Energy Corporation and Lumcloon Energy. The €300 million facility is intended to stabilize the grid to host more renewable energy capacity.

RES battery prevented complete blackout in the UK

On August 9, a thunderstorm caused 1.5 GW of generation capacity to go offline within seconds in the U.K. The incident caused millions of households to temporarily lose power but the situation could have been considerably worse if not for the country’s battery storage reserves.

High power prices, falling PV costs and new regulations behind Brazil’s solar carnival

The nation’s thriving distributed generation market is flying, as was evident at last week’s Intersolar South America trade show. The sector seems unconcerned by mooted changes to net metering incentives in the new year and when even an environmental non-believer like President Bolsonaro is on side, it is difficult to be pessimistic.

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