Looking at the various solar power plant mechanisms brought by regulatory changes in 2020, the Turkish PV market is aiming to adopt some exciting new financial and business models.
France’s National Institute for Solar Energy takes a look at the state of play in the European solar panel recycling industry.
With Swiss solar equipment company Meyer Burger laying plans for a module fab in North Rhine-Westphalia and Norwegian panel maker REC Group mulling a fab in Sarreguemines, northeastern France, Xavier Daval – from French renewables association the SER – says it is time Europe resumes its path to a stable solar manufacturing industry, not least because of the rising proportion of solar module costs accounted for by shipping.
Following the easing of drastic measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, paused or decelerated PPA negotiations are starting to regain momentum as corporates signal their intention to stick to long-term carbon-reduction targets.
Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global economic and social crisis all over the globe. Ukraine is no exception. The pandemic has significantly affected all aspects of life, including the country’s domestic energy sector.
The world’s solar superpower saw the amount of new capacity added in the first three months of the year fall 24% from the same period of 2019 as 1.75 TWh of solar electricity was curtailed, but the National Energy Administration expects both statistics to improve as China exits the public health crisis.
Quarterly new additions were 15% lower than in the October-to-December window. The France Territoire Solaire thinktank said the lower volumes could be explained by the initial impact of the coronavirus crisis.
EV sales are set to be 1.7 million off because of the economic fallout of the Covid-19 crisis, however analyst BloombergNEF predicts that will be less of a hit than the anticipated fall in sales of conventional cars, increasing the penetration of electric models into the overall market.
Installers which took advantage of cheaply-priced government finance say customers affected by the Covid-19 crisis cannot afford to pay for the solar home systems they have rolled out while expanding renewables programs.
Pure EVs had begun to claim a rising market share before coronavirus containment measures decimated sales last month. Even in the face of an 88% monthly fall in EV sales from March to April, however, clean energy models fared better than petrol and diesel sales.
The Chinese manufacturer has not revealed the price of its new ‘ultra-high power’ products, nor whether the power output claims associated with them have been independently verified, but claimed the 78-piece module in the series could generate ‘very close to 600 W.’
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.
The German mounting system maker has expanded its production capacity in Shanghai after opening a new, bigger fab in March.
The Romanian government has decided to re-introduce directly negotiated Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to boost investment in its renewables sector, but only projects commissioned after June 1, 2020 will be eligible.
According to the Czech Solar Association, the move against solar will likely trigger defaults for thousands of PV projects. The Czech government also plans to build more nuclear power plants and has vowed to extend the lifespan of its coal-fired plants.
The municipality of Drammen, Norway, has started testing a seasonal PV storage project that uses boreholes in the ground. The operators of the project are using electricity from PV modules to produce heat via a CO2 heat pump and outdoor air. The heat is produced by the CO2 pump during the spring, summer and fall, in addition to heat produced by solar thermal collectors.
The Greek energy regulator said on Wednesday that it wants to tender up to 482 MW of new solar capacity on July 27 for plants up to 20 MW in size.
The Italian government has raised the tax breaks it offers for building renovations and energy-requalification projects – potentially including storage-backed rooftop PV systems – to 110%. The new measure is part of the Relaunch Decree, which is a package of guidelines aimed at reviving the Italian economy in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The authorities plan to assign 2.26 GW of renewable energy capacity overall under the scheme, which will include other energy sources such as hydropower, wind, biomass, biogas, and geothermal energy. The government will provide projects it selects with a feed-in price premium, which will be paid for the power generated by the projects, on top of spot market prices.
Twenty-three renewable-energy operators have resumed testing of their installations, just a few weeks after the Mexican government halted grid connections for new solar and wind power projects, pending further notice. Mexicio’s National Energy Control Center (Cenace) has faced a series of “amparo” lawsuits since the government introduced the new measures against renewables.
Scientists in Japan have proposed a new model to estimate cell voltages in solar modules by irradiating the cells with a weak modulated laser light. The method could be used to detect hot spots and other panel-degradation issues, such as potential induced degradation (PID) peeling, cracking, and poor contacts.
Backsheet manufacturer Tomark-Worthen LLC has developed a new polyamide backsheet under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. The product is based on a novel polyamide-ionomer alloy created by U.S. chemicals producer DuPont. The alloy, as well as the other materials in the backsheet, are stabilized with a UV/anti-oxidant package that slows down the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The manufacturer claims that the backsheet is 25-30% more affordable than high-efficiency fluoropolymer products.
Researchers in Singapore have created a device that can produce electricity from the contrast in illumination between lit and shadowed areas under weak ambient light. Although not directly related to solar, this new technology opens up new horizons for producing clean energy under indoor lighting conditions.
In a world-first, perovskite solar cells developed by Australian scientists have passed a series of heat and humidity tests using a low-cost solution to overcome some of the challenges that are hindering the technology’s commercialization. The scientists did this by suppressing the decomposition of the perovskite cells using a simple, low-cost polymer-glass blanket.
Scientists in the United States have created a quantum dot solar cell which has a photon-to-electron conversion efficiency of 85%. The device is also said to exhibit remarkable defect tolerance and toxic-element-free composition.
CREE has developed a new MOSFET that could be suitable for silicon-carbide-based string inverters above 10 kW in size. The U.S. manufacturer says switching losses are 20% lower with the new transistor than with silicon carbide MOSFETs, and claims that the product reduces conduction losses by 50%, to offer potential power-density growth of 300%.
Jinko Power has moved forward with plans to list shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, while Trina Solar said that the China Securities Regulatory Commission has approved its application for its own initial public offering. Polysilicon producer Daqo, meanwhile, reported solid first-quarter results, and the organizer of the SNEC solar show changed the exhibition’s dates and location once again.
Production is set to start in the first quarter of next year at the planned fab in Greiz, Thuringia. The facility will manufacture 370 W panels featuring half cells, large wafers and nine busbars.
Researchers in the United States claim to have significantly increased the efficiency of a perovskite solar cell by applying a range of pressures to the device. According to them, pressure-assisted processes such as lamination, cold welding and rolling/roll-to-roll processing can be used to improve interfacial surface contacts in perovskite cells.
Datang Group has launched a bidding process to procure 5.5 GW of PV modules and inverters for its own solar projects. The SNEC trade show in Shanghai has set new official dates, after being postponed in early April due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And Topray Solar is seeking to raise funds for a 200 MW solar project in Guangdong province.
The French oil and gas company will develop the vehicle with engineering compatriot Gaussin. Intended for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, the vehicle will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery made by Total subsidiary Saft and will be able to tow two 30-ton fuel tanks.
The Swedish storage system manufacturer said its Voltpack Mobile System can be used in different market segments, particularly for remote or weak grids. The battery has a scalable storage capacity ranging from 245 kWh to 1,225 kWh. Swedish utility Vattenfall is now testing the system’s capabilities.
The startup claims to be “the world’s top supplier of graphene” and 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” — within the next year.
With the inclusion of battery energy storage into new building codes and safety standards, it’s obvious just how mainstream storage is today.
The Indian government plans to set up of a 10 MW grid-connected solar project and a range of unique off-grid applications – including solar trees and solar drinking water kiosks – to meet all the energy requirements of town situated next to a 13th-century Hindu temple.
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