Top News

The Weekend Read: Technology is accelerating

Research and development: Martin Green has attended the SNEC every year since its inception. During that time, he and his University New South Wales (UNSW) collaborators have driven a wide range of innovations within the Chinese and global PV manufacturing sector. Green, a Scientia Professor at UNSW and the Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics shares his take on PV technology in 2018.
Energy Storage

Study: 100% global energy system feasible

Several scientist have joined to rebut an Australian article that questions the feasibility of a global energy transition. For this purpose, they have gathered hundreds of studies on energy systems and conclude, that there are neither fundamental technical nor financial barriers to achieve 100% renewable energy supply.

Energy Storage

Solar, wind will drive the value of energy storage in the US

A much heralded report shows solar and wind will lower wholesale prices, but it also shows a coming evolution in the pricing profile of the grid. These shifts in timing, shape, regularity and length will drive energy storage demand.

Manufacturing

PV inverter market becoming more diversified as price pressure intensifies – IHS Markit

PV inverter shipment volumes have gone up recently, but an increasingly competitive market has seen declining prices, forcing manufacturers to think out of the box to find new business applications for their products.

Highlights

Turkey introduces tax exemption for solar up to 10 kW

Although the promised new provisions for net metering are not in force yet, the Turkish government has prepared the ground for future development by granting residential projects under the upcoming scheme an exemption from the 5% income tax on excess power delivered to the grid.

Highlights

JinkoSolar hits new output records for p-type and n-type

Chinese module giant JinkoSolar today announced that it hit record power output levels for modules based on p-type and n-type technology. Both records are confirmed by TÜV Rheinland in Shanghai.

Highlights

Shuangdeng Group wins Afghanistan’s tender for 40 MW hybrid solar project

The Chinese provider of storage and back-up power systems has been awarded the $59.7 million contract to build the facility, which will be located at an industrial area in the Nangarhar province. The tender had been issued in September 2017.

Markets & Policy

Court orders Yingli to repay $10.6 million in medium term notes

A court in China has ruled that Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Company Limited must pay back RMB 65.7 million in medium term notes, due from 2015 and 2016. The Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited subsidiary plans to appeal the decision.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Hydrogen, don’t give up!

For decades, hydrogen has been sold to us as the energy carrier of the future. You might not want to hear it anymore, because the future never seems to start. But times will change as recent developments in Germany indicate, writes Berlin-based renewable energy consultant, Stephan Franz.

Data is driving change – adapt or fall off the grid

As global economies develop, and uses for renewable energy diversifies, new pressures are being placed on the electric network. Yet, utilities are sitting on a wealth of data that can reveal better insights into their operations, writes Dan Beasley, Director, Utilities, Cyient.

Energy storage-as-a-service: The hottest game in town?

Alexander Schönfeldt of energy storage specialists, Younicos examines the growing trend of energy storage-as-a-service, and explains why the sector is growing at such a rate.

The sun shines brighter if the risks don’t cloud it

Finance in developing countries: Economics teaches that capital flows from where it is in surplus to where it is in demand. But that is not the case with renewable energy. The biggest pots of institutional capital in advanced economies are not shifting to developing ones. It is time to take a hard look and develop solutions that resolve this anomaly.

Regulations clarifying the use of solar PV in Cambodia

On January 26, 2018, the EAC issued a set of regulations to clarify the general conditions for installing and operating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Cambodia. Kohe Hasan, partner at Reed Smith and director of Resource Law LLC (Singapore), and Kaknika Lin, assistant consultant at KPMG Cambodia Ltd provide a summary of the key regulations, in addition to discussing the country’s investment climate.

Building a better world of smart structures on the smart grid

It is a truth universally acknowledged that billions of people around the world live in poverty. But does it have to be that way? Today’s technological progress means that tomorrow we will be able to produce more, more efficiently – lifting people above the breadline with accelerated economic growth all around the world. Key to these efforts are smart buildings, argues Hussain Kazmi, a PhD student at KU Leuven and Enervalis.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Large it up Down Under

Australian large-scale solar: From just a handful of large-scale solar PV projects a few years ago, Australia is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. With a substantial project pipeline, the country is in the box seat to experience a banner year in 2018, with the 2020 Renewable Energy Target now in hand and a new policy taking shape for the period beyond.

By 2030, EVs could outnumber the total vehicles in India today

To smoothen this transition, the country needs to build fast solar PV-powered charging stations. In 2017, there were only 220-250 operational charging stations in India, compared to 56,000 petrol stations.

Brazil now has 250 MW of solar under net metering

According to data from Brazilian association ABSOLAR, Brazil currently has 27,803 solar PV systems connected to the grid, which benefit 32,924 consumer units and total more than BRL 1.9 billion (around $515 million) in accumulated investments since 2012.

Water-stressed countries should resort to solar, World Resources Institute says

Unlike traditional power generation, wind and solar require zero, or a mimimum amount of, water for the operations of their respective technologies. This may help most Middle Eastern and North African countries solve their chronich water supply issues, as well as several more African, Asian, American and European countries.

Crowd investment kicking off PV, storage system market in developing countries

Autarsys reports the roll-out of two off-grid battery systems in Madagascar. Thanks to crowd investment, its order books are full. Streamlining the process of investment, the Germany-based start-up will cooperate with crowd investment platforms, Greenvesting and Ecoligo.

Spain’s oil giant Repsol turns to renewables

Repsol President Antonio Brufau has ratified the company’s commitment to fighting climate change, while acknowledging the high levels of competitiveness achieved by the renewable energy technologies. In Repsol’s view, however, gas is still considered one of the main pillars of the energy transition, said to ensure a safer power supply than intermittent renewables.

Installations

A burning issue

Cables and connectors: The quality and performance of solar balance of system components in the U.S. market is generally quite high, but there are still low quality, knock-off, or outright counterfeit products available at discounts large enough to attract some shortsighted installers or other buyers in the market.

T Plus begins work on two solar facilities totaling 105 MW in Russia

The two solar plants, both located in the region of Orenburg, are scheduled for completion by early 2019.

India: Azure Power awarded 130 MW solar project

Azure Power has been awarded a 130 MW solar PV project by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). It is expected to be commissioned in 2019.

Etrion completes 13.2 MW solar project in Japan ahead of schedule

The Swiss IPP finished its fourth Japanese PV plant located in Japan. Overall, the Swiss company is working on a 190 MW backlog of projects in Japan.

Oman seeks to further implement rooftop PV plan

The country’s energy regulator is now seeking proposals for the supply of a risk management system to perform operational management and risk mitigation for the Sahim 2 rooftop PV initiative.

The Weathering Steel tracker by Convert

Convert will present its new product to intersolar 2018. Convert is an Italian company active for more than 35 years in the energy sector. The TRJ single axis Tracker, is the Convert flagship product, completely designed, developed and patented by Convert and leverages the relevant experience and know-how as reached in the construction of large photovoltaic systems worldwide from 2006.

Technology

Featured

The new rising stars

Module technology trends: In the past decade, continued technology advances and cost improvements made solar one of the most dynamic industries of our time, as it continues to make a significant and growing contribution to the global supply of electricity. Technological innovation is taking place in a context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, which explains the focus on cost control.

SolarEdge posts 82% revenue growth, announces acquisition of Gamatronic

GAAP gross margin improved 4% year-on-year, while shipments grew by 345 MW in the most recent quarter. Through the acquisition of the U.S.-based UPS provider, the Israeli inverter supplier makes its first move outside of the pure-play solar sector.

Silver prices to fall by $4/toz by 2030, World Bank says

A recently published report on commodity markets published by the World Bank indicates that the recent decline in commodity prices for silver is likely to continue over the next 10-20 years. The looming trade dispute between the U.S. and China is impeding investor trust, as future outlook remains murky.

Japanese scientists develop wireless optical neural stimulator based on PV

A very small implantable device that can be used to control brain patterns has been developed by Japanese researchers using photovoltaic technology. The device is both the smallest and the lightest wireless optical biodevice to have ever been developed.

Ecosummit Berlin Round Up: software solutions for the solar industry

The 2018 Ecosummit Berlin, a EU cleantech startup platform, focussed on smart green energy and mobility. Of the 99 speakers, 69 were startups presenting innovative solutions to a changing energy economy, catering to the needs of end-customers, developers and utilities alike.

Report calls on UK Government to embrace power to gas

A new report published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers outlines the potential for power to gas as a technology to support the addition of renewable energy capacity to the grid, and as a storage alternative with advantages over much talked about lithium-ion technology.

Manufacturing

Featured

From cost to tech-driven advances

Quality across the PV chain: With around 100 GW installed in 2017 (according to PV Market Alliance’s preliminary numbers), the global PV industry has once again beaten even the most optimistic of forecasts. However, this rosy picture hides some specific developments that highlight how the road to maturity could be long and at times chaotic, and why support for the industry must continue, both in Europe and beyond, writes Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute.

China’s GCL-Si mulls purchase of semiconductor manufacturer, may leave cell, module business

GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-Si) has revealed tentative plans to buy an unspecified state-linked semiconductor manufacturer, with Chinese media reports suggesting that the Shenzhen-listed PV module supplier may leave the solar cell and module business to exclusively focus on producing wafers for the semiconductor industry.

Panasonic to hire 80 workers at Tesla’s US gigafactory

The Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory is taking on more workers, as a sign of health. However many details remain unclear.

2018 Technology Highlights: Announcing the winners

After much lively debate, a jury of independent experts pv magazine has selected three top innovations for special recognition in the Technology Highlights feature.

Neo Solar Power increases turnover, reduces losses

On the last stretch to the merger between NSP, Gintech and Solartech, the company still posted losses due to “operational challenges” and solar trade disputes.

Jürgen Stein steps down as SolarWorld Americas CEO

As what may be the first sign of many changes, the President and CEO who led SolarWorld through the Section 201 case is being replaced by a restructuring veteran.

Energy Storage

Featured

The cells of the future

Li-ion storage: battery manufacturers have a major task ahead of them, they have to meet runaway global demand, improve the performance, safety and longevity of storage devices, and of course bring down price. Instead of hoping for a big breakthrough, they are pursuing an approach involving many small steps.

Brazil’s first solar-plus-storage power plant to come online

The plant, which consists of a 300 kW solar installation and a 1 MW storage system, was built by local power utility Cemig in partnership with Grupo Algar. The project is located in Uberlândia, in the state of Minas Gerais, which is the Brazilian region with the highest penetration of solar and renewables – and a grid that is in a urgent need of improvement.

Battery Inverter Webinar with Kaco: Your questions answered

Kaco developed its Blueplanet gridsave 50.0 TL3-S battery inverter based on experience gained from storage projects in Europe. In pv magazine‘s recent webinar in partnership with Kaco, a number of questions were raised about the device, which the experts now answer.

From black to green in Flanders

The installation of an 18 MW battery storage system shows the region’s pioneering work in integrating innovative storage systems to its electricity grid.

Anesco to deploy 380 MW of storage by 2020

The renewable energy developer claims that more opportunities in the UK storage business will be created by the balancing mechanism and growing demand for storage retrofits.

Blue Sky Energy offers saltwater-based residential solar storage

Interview: Saltwater technology is similar to that of lead battery storage, but only natural materials are used. Helmut Mayer, Managing Director of Blue Sky Energy, explains how this compares to lithium-ion, which currently dominates the residential PV sector.

Keep up to date

pv magazine offers daily updates of the latest photovoltaics news. Stay informed. Join our newsletter.
  • Hold Ctrl or Cmd to select multiple editions.

Subscribe to our global magazine

Subscribe

Press Releases

GCL SI to Release New High Efficiency Modules During SNEC

GCL System Integration (GCL SI) (002506. SZ), a subsidiary of the world's leading clean energy conglomerate GCL Group, will bring a variety of new mono and multi high-efficiency modules to the exhibition to the annual SNEC PV Power Expo (SNEC) in Shanghai at the end of May.

SCI Engineered Materials, Inc. announces CEO retirement plans effective June 2019

SCI Engineered Materials, Inc. , a global supplier and manufacturer of advanced materials for physical vapor deposition thin film applications who works closely with end users and OEMs to develop innovative, customized solutions, today announced Daniel Rooney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has informed the Board of Directors (Board) of his plans to retire in June 2019.

VARTA Storage and E-One Moli Energy to develop high performance Lithium-Ion battery applications for the European market

With the new cooperation the companies will meet the demand for LiB’s in high performance Lithium-Ion cells. The demand arises from major cell vendors and large scale energy storage applications.

Hanwha Q CELLS powers one of the largest self-consumption solar projects in northern France

Hanwha Q CELLS has supplied 140 of its Q. PEAK-G4.