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European PV organization requests €20bn to support manufacturing

The European Union wants to provide €700 billion through its post-pandemic reconstruction program, but the European Solar Manufacturing Council says that €20 billion of the total should be used to shore up the European PV industry.
Manufacturing

Debate on alleged forced labor in Chinese PV industry heats up in the Netherlands

Three Dutch political parties have brought the forced labor issue to Parliament and have asked the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaad, to report on the matter.
Installations

EBRD leads $6m green finance package for Armenia

Private sector businesses will be offered concessional loans to install solar and other climate change related equipment.
Announcements

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Technology

Fraunhofer ISE develops front/back solar cell with 26.0% efficiency

The cell showed open-circuit voltage values of up to 732 mV. It was fabricated with a back junction (BJ) design with a full-area p-n-junction at the back surface.
Manufacturing

Meyer Burger wants to ship first HJT modules in July

The Swiss technology group wants to officially present its heterojunction modules, which are produced in Freiberg, Germany, at the end of April. Meyer Burger concluded its first official sales partnership in Switzerland, with Solarmarkt.
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Manufacturing

Noise-based technique to test crystalline silicon solar cells

The proposed technique is said to be able to connect directly to the microscopic and medium scale defects in the solar cell materials. It is based on three kinds of noises that science has thus far been able to identify in PV devices.
Covid-19

Solar changing shape of electricity prices in Northern Europe

Rising volumes of photovoltaic project capacity are increasing the incidence of negative price periods for electricity–and changing the times of day when they occur.
Installations

Chile’s cumulative PV installations hit 4.6 GW

New statistics from ACERA, the Chilean renewable energy association, show that solar covered around 12.9% of the country's total electricity demand in March.

Press Releases

Otovo launches its operations in Italy

The residential solar market in Italy is one of the most attractive in Europe and expected to be worth more than 1,200 million euros annually by 2025. Otovo expects the Italian unit to contribute more than 100 million euros in revenues annually by 2025.

LONGi completes first shipment of Hi-MO 5 modules to Chile

LONGi has announced the successful shipment of its high-efficiency Hi-MO 5 solar modules to a 3 MW project in the O’Higgins Region of northern Chile, the first using Hi-MO 5 modules to reach the installation stage.

Exide Technologies Goes Live with On-Site Solar Installation and Battery Storage at Portuguese Factory

Exide Technologies and EDP go live with a state-of-the-art solar installation at Exide’s Portuguese battery production facility in Castanheira do Ribatejo

TMEIC obtains VPC Certification in Taiwan for a 1,500Vdc central-type PV inverter for utility-scale PV plants

On April 1, 2021, Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation obtained Voluntary Product Certification (VPC) in Taiwan for its 1,500Vdc PV inverter (model PVH-L2670E) for utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants. TMEIC was the first in the industry to obtain the certification for a 1,500Vdc central-type PV inverter in Taiwan.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Strong growth ahead for battery storage

Annual battery storage installations will exceed 10 GW/28 GWh in 2021, following a particularly strong year in 2020, despite the challenges created by the global pandemic, writes IHS Markit analyst Mike Longson. Combined solar and storage will be a core focus for new deployment in 2021, as the front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter energy storage markets are both expected to grow significantly in the months ahead.

Africa’s solarized digitalization agenda

The seventh session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development convened on the theme of “Building forward better towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 & 2063 Agenda” and promote the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

Innovations in battery storage key to a solar-powered future

A few years ago, fluctuations and complex storage solutions were the main factors hampering solar growth. Today, the sector is poised to leverage technologies to make a decisive leap. With a sustainable future around the corner, it will be innovative battery storage that will drive solar PV to become more powerful and efficient than ever before. But what are the latest developments in PV and energy storage, and which innovations are poised to transform the industry?

We need an energy access revolution: A new approach to innovation can help

840 million people still don’t have access to electricity today, according to the World Bank. But the radical decrease in the cost of the green technologies of solar and battery storage provides an unparalleled opportunity to close this gap and achieve universal electricity access by 2030.

Covid-19 and distressed solar PPAs in Spain

Spanish law firm Rödl & Partner provides an update on distressed solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Spain, focusing on the impact, and economic and legal consequences, of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A banner year for US solar

Despite the supply and demand challenges that PV faced in 2020, the U.S. solar market had its largest installation year to date, writes IHS Markit’s Maria Chea. More than 22 GW of PV installations were completed last year, with utility-scale projects representing 77% of that volume. A renewables-friendly administration, an extended ITC schedule, increasingly competitive pricing, and a massive late-stage project pipeline will drive strong growth for the United States in 2021.

Covid-19

Featured

Chinese solar glass companies enjoy bountiful reporting season

An 'explosive', 'booming' global solar market in the second half of a Covid-hit 2020 saw the previous glass manufacturing overcapacity reversed, as float and auto glass producers bent all their efforts on making material for PV modules.

Chinese solar company highlights credit downgrades of state-owned entities

A record number of defaults last year has spooked some lenders, according to Solargiga, but the solar manufacturer has announced ambitious plans to ramp production capacity this year and next.

Greece’s recovery plan to invest €10bn in clean energy

The Greek government has published its plan for a post-Covid economic recovery. The strategy aims to mobilize at least €10 billion towards the green energy sector, with the prospect of further EU loans on top.

Solar could help Azerbaijan consolidate gains in Nagorno Karabakh after recent conflict

That was just one of the revelations of the latest Dentons’ Guide to renewables investment in Europe, which also noted solar plants could be switched off in Slovakia, Ireland could go either way on clean power pricing, and Luxembourg is struggling with a surprising headache.

Shuifa Singyes reports annual results

The bailed-out solar company has seen its fortunes reverse since state-owned Shuifa rode to the rescue but it still has some assets frozen as the result of civil cases.

‘Solar can energize the East African recovery’

Patrik Huber, co-founder and managing director for East Africa at renewables leasing company Solarise Africa, has spoken to pv magazine about the company’s take on how the region can prime for a green recovery. Huber explained Solarise’s contribution to the recovery includes recent expansion into three new countries.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What Asia needs to turn away from coal

Given the rapid decrease of the solar electricity cost, pv magazine explores the drivers and obstacles behind switching off coal and embracing photovoltaics and other renewable energy technology in Asia. The good news: things are moving in the right direction.

Silicon for batteries moves to commercial production

U.S. company Group14 Technologies today announced the launch of a factory capable of producing 120 tons per year of its innovative silicon-carbon-based anode material for lithium-ion batteries. The factory is located at Group14’s headquarters in Woodinville, Washington and is the first of several planned by the company.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Another big polysilicon deal and rising wafer prices

Risen will sell 50,000 metric tons of poly to Shangji Automation and Zhonghuan Semiconductor has raised the prices of all its wafer products.

Guggenheim Solar Index: PV industry facing headwinds

The solar industry faced headwinds in March, writes Jesse Pichel of Roth Capital Partners, thanks to rising interest rates and, in California, concerns over increasing grid access fees. Despite this, the recent earnings season reveals strong fundamentals and a healthy outlook for most players.

Sun Exchange crowdfunding offers a (Nhimbe) Fresh start

With Cape Town-based solar crowdfunder The Sun Exchange having generated $1.4 million for a 510 kW solar-plus-storage facility for Zimbabwean food company Nhimbe Fresh, pv magazine has spoken to the heads of both businesses–Sun Exchange CEO and founder Abraham Cambridge and Nhimbe executive chairman Edwin Moyo–about the fundraising exercise. First up is The Sun Exchange founder…

Solar may cover 75% of global electricity demand by 2050

A new study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology predicts solar may even achieve a 69% share for total primary energy supply by the end of the first half of the century. In terms of price, solar PV is expected to achieve a capex of €246/kW-installed for utility scale projects, and of €537/kW for residential arrays by 2050. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE), however, is expected to remain constant over the next three decades, as the energy transition will also be implemented with storage technologies, increased flexibility and the production of synthetic fuels.

Installations

Featured

The future is female among Egyptian engineers

How do you achieve gender equality among shift-working engineers in a remote location in North Africa? With a clear vision and concrete measures, according to Scatec’s operations and maintenance (O&M) team in Egypt, which has a 30% share of female engineers.

Larsen & Toubro begins building 300 MW solar plant in Saudi Arabia

India’s Larsen & Toubro has announced plans to provide EPC services to support the deployment of 300 MW of solar in Saudi Arabia, under a contract with a consortium involving Masdar, EDF Renewables, and Saudi Arabia’s Nesma.

Sasol, Air Liquide seek to procure 900 MW of renewables in South Africa

The two companies are seeking proposals to provide power to Sasol’s synthetic fuel plant in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

The Hydrogen Stream: EU launches call for low-carbon hydrogen tech, Netherlands unveils €338m plan

Furthermore, Michelin said it wants to become a world leader in hydrogen fuel cell systems and ScottishPower aims to build a green hydrogen plant at a wind power complex. Moreover, a study led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory suggested new strategies to design perovskite materials to speed up the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), a process that frees up molecular oxygen from water and is key for hydrogen production.

French company unveils new rooftop PV mounting method

Axter, a French waterproofing specialist, has revealed a new mounting process for the installation of rigid solar modules on several types of buildings, including concrete, metal, and wood surfaces.

Larsen & Toubro secures 1.5 GW solar EPC order in Saudi Arabia

Larsen & Toubro is set to work on the 1.5 GW Sudair plant – the largest solar project in Saudi Arabia to have a signed power purchase agreement in place. Upon completion, it will also be one of the biggest PV installations in the world.

Technology

Featured

Filling the energy technology, poverty gap

Advanced technology is of little use if it cannot reach those who need it most. Two Indonesian companies – Kopernik, an NGO based in Bali, and Sumba Sustainable Solutions, from the island of Sumba – are trying to bridge the gap between those in need and those with technological solutions. They both focus on the PV electrification of rural areas and brightening Indonesia’s “last mile.”

Australian vanadium companies unveil new flow-battery strategies

Australian Vanadium filed a patent application this week for its vanadium processing route, while rival TNG signed a deal to commercialize vanadium redox flow batteries.

Solar power has to be about quality as well as quantity

Greater dispatchability will be required from solar as it becomes increasingly mainstream worldwide, or investors could experience diminishing returns as a victim of the technology’s success at bearing down on electricity prices.

Using PET waste bottles to make batteries

Scientists in the U.S. claim to have successfully upcycled PET waste bottles into an electrochemical active-carbon material that functions as a double‐layer supercapacitor substance. They said that this achievement may lay the ground for the production of more sustainable batteries. Devices built with the proposed technique would not store as much energy as lithium-ion batteries but they could charge much faster.

Pilot project to couple wind and solar with heat pumps in Germany

The Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) is testing if renewables can cover 80% of electricity and heating demand combined in some town districts in southern Germany.

Chilean startup using PV to produce potable water from humidity

A Chilean startup is using solar energy to produce high-quality drinking water from the humidity in the air. The first plant is located in Chile, but there are plans in the works to expand to Colombia and Peru.

Manufacturing

Featured

Bifacial adoption spurs rethink on PID

PV systems are unique among electronic devices, as they are expected to survive outdoors for at least 25 to 30 years. This makes module and system quality one of the cornerstones of guaranteed returns on investment. Potential-induced degradation (PID) is a critical failure mode with a potentially high financial impact. New research from imec and Hasselt University looks at the damaging impact that PID can have on bifacial technology, writes Michaël Daenen, a professor at EnergyVille and Hasselt University.

Canadian Solar begins production of 640-665 W panel series

The panel was unveiled in October and is the most powerful product the company has brought to the market to date. The Chinese-Canadian manufacturer expects to reach, for this product, a 10 GW capacity by the end of the year.

Jolywood plans new Indonesian fab

The n-type TOPCon solar module manufacturer is preparing to invest in a joint venture with state-controlled local partner PT Len Agra Energy to set up 1 GW of annual cell and panel capacity.

Beyondsun reveals 535-545 W solar modules series

The Chinese manufacturer said its new panel series features a power conversion efficiency ranging from 20.93% to 21.32%. The panel is claimed to be suitable for both distributed generation and utility scale projects.

GCL auditor raises issue with accounts

Trading in the Hong Kong-listed company stock, which was supposed to resume this morning following publication of the overdue 2020 figures, remains suspended.

Solar-plus-storage signaled by Xinyi internal sales

Lithium-ion battery products will be sold by the group’s storage and autoglass business to its solar glass operation–for use in solar project development–and its float glass manufacturing unit.

Energy Storage

Featured

New EU battery rules support a sustainable industry

On Dec. 10, European Internal Market and Environment Commissioners Thierry Breton and Virginijus Sinkevičius, in conjunction with Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, announced a keenly anticipated piece of legislation: the commission’s proposal for modernized EU battery rules. Pia Alina Lange – head of communications for Recharge, the European battery industry association – says that while there are potential pitfalls with the new regulation, it could pave the way to sustainable industry development.

Malian gold mine powered by 30 MW/15.4 MWh of solar-plus-storage

The solar-plus-storage facility will reduce heavy fuel oil consumption by 13.1 million liters per year.

Bangladesh launches first green bond

With the World Bank celebrating the success of a solar home system installation program which has provided electricity to an estimated 20 million people, an NGO has floated a near-$12 million environmental investment which could drive further PV capacity.

Battery storage 30% cheaper than gas peaker plants for firming renewables

The contest is over. Faster, cheaper, more flexible than gas turbines – battery energy storage must be the future peaking energy service provider of choice, according to a new paper by Australia’s Clean Energy Council.

The Hydrogen Stream: strong push from France, new plans and deals in UK, Italy, Brazil, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Portugal

The nascent hydrogen economy has seen a good amount of developments in a week that showed an increasing number of players taking part in the game. In the UK, British Airways has invested in hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia with a focus on hydrogen-electric power solutions for 50-plus-seat aircraft. In Brazil, Petrobras has joined forces with Siemens to develop green hydrogen solutions. In Portugal, the government and the European Investment Bank signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for hydrogen cooperation.

Solar powers novel green hydrogen fuel technology

A homegrown technology developed by the University of Newcastle and Southern Green Gas has seen the development of a novel green hydrogen fuel and carbon-neutral green methane. The fuel was demonstrated in Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV in Sydney.

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