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Microquanta claims 20.2% efficiency on small perovskite module

The result, confirmed and certified by the China Institute of Metrology, amounts to the sixth conversion efficiency landmark achieved by the six-year-old, Hangzhou-based manufacturer.
Manufacturing

Compressed air tech for solar module cleaning, cooling

British scientists have developed an experimental compressed air system for the simultaneous cleaning and cooling of PV modules. The system was built with a compressed-air unit which was made of a compressor, an air tank, and an airflow regulation valve,...
Installations

Australian water utility deployed 350,000 PV panels across 33 sites

State-owned utility SA Water has completed an extensive solar project in South Australia, with more than 350,000 PV panels installed at 33 water treatment plants and pump stations.
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Supply chain transparency on the rise – Where is the solar industry?

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Our May Edition is out!

Get your hand on our new edition here!

What to expect:

  • Bigger modules present bigger supply chain challenges
  • Life after PERC is a battle that’s going down to the wire
  • Only so big, the limits to the power of size alone

 

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Manufacturing

Thermodynamic model to build more-stable perovskite solar cells

Dutch scientists claim to have developed a theory that explains the mechanisms behind halide segregation, which is the main factor affecting thermal stability in perovskite solar cells. They affirmed that the theory may provide technical solutions to bui...
Energy Storage

Indian states must start planning for utility-scale battery storage

A new IEEFA report says that state governments across India need to start developing plans to incentivize investments in utility-scale battery storage – just as they did for solar.
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Hydrogen

How will you know it’s green hydrogen?

Australia’s Smart Energy Council says that its new verification scheme for green hydrogen is gaining international traction.
Installations

Solar 101: What’s my solar system going to cost?

Think of your solar system as a custom retrofit. That means the list of unique variables and components can be long, and hardware requirements may result in significant pricing differences.
Highlights

The weekend read: Large-format PV modules – is bigger really better?

Large-format PV modules are a key development in solar technology and advocates say their emergence has the potential to be one of the most significant innovations the industry has ever seen. But many people remain unconvinced that bigger is actually bet...

Press Releases

Phono Solar Signs 100MW Module Supply Agreement with Aldo Solar

Phono Solar, a global leading high-end photovoltaic products manufacturer, announced that it has signed a 100MW PV module supply agreement with Aldo Solar, a Brazilian leading solar energy solution provider as well as the largest distributor in Brazil.

JinkoSolar Awarded the Best HR Strategy of the Year

JinkoSolar today announced that it has been awarded the Best HR Strategy of the Year at the Energy HR Summit India 2021 commending JinkoSolar’s outstanding HR performance during these challenging times.

EBRD backs first green bond issued by a bank in Romania

Reinforcing its position as a leader in green finance and a strong supporter of capital markets, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested RON 53 million (€11 million equivalent) in a senior preferred green bond issued by Raiffeisen Bank Romania, a subsidiary of the Austria-based group Raiffeisen Bank International.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

China reaches a tipping point in 2021

This year will be a key period in the development of China’s solar PV market. It is the first year of the 14th five-year plan, the first calendar year after President Xi Jinping announced the 2030-60 carbon emissions commitment, and the first year for utility and commercial unsubsidized projects. IHS Markit expects the solar industry in China to reach another milestone with more than 60 GW of installations this year, advancing the ground for the energy transition and the displacement of traditional energy sources to fulfill the goal of a net carbon future over the next four decades to come.

Botswana tops list of world’s ‘super abundant’ renewables nations

A Carbon Tracker report estimates 60% of the world’s technical solar potential – enough to produce 3.5 exawatt-hours of clean electricity per year – would already be cheaper than fossil fuel if installed. Of the remainder, most would be in sub-Saharan Africa, a region which has the potential to be a global solar and wind powerhouse.

Asia Pacific’s solarized digitization agenda

The virtual 7th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum was hosted in March by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, together with the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) Secretariat. The theme was “Enabling Resilience for All: The Critical Decade to Scale-up Action” with the goal of formulating National Adaptation Planning for science and technology, and energy and fiscal policies that consider the interlinkages between climate change, health, and biodiversity. These nature- and ecosystem-based policies will serve as the basis for the Asia-Pacific region’s contributions to the “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” in the United States; the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Kunming, China; and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Battery testing builds certainty

Owners and operators of energy storage systems, as well as investors, need transparent ways to evaluate battery performance. They need certainty that the selected batteries for their ESS projects will perform reliably, have predictable life expectancies, and meet projected revenue and contractual obligations over their lifetimes. The economic viability of entire projects depend on this confidence, writes Michael Kleinberg of DNV.

Analysis of France’s CRE4 PV tenders and their impact

This year will witness the end of the French program for PV tenders known as “CRE4”, which began in 2016. To date, they have enabled over 7.2 GW of solar capacity to benefit from a subsidized tariff (feed-in tariff or feed-in premium). A few months before the last CRE4 tenders and the launch of the PPE2 (or CRE5), Finergreen evaluates their impact on the French solar industry.

We all trust the PV performance ratio test – but should we?

The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particularly demanding guaranteed values to be achieved – these tests fail good projects. This can lead to costly delays and wasted effort spent trying to find issues that might not exist. Everoze Partner Dario Brivio reviews the likelihood of this happening and considers ways to increase confidence in the precision of such tests, based on recent independent analysis of real-world projects.

Covid-19

Saudi Arabia’s 1 GW solar tender invites bids by June 3

The 1.2 GW, Covid-delayed third round of the kingdom's clean power program appears to be back up and running, despite the fact the top news story on the relevant government department's website is dated April 2020.

Eurostat figures confirm rise of renewables during Covid-hit 2020

While solar, wind and hydro generated 80 TWh more electricity last year than in 2019, coal and oil use fell in every EU member state, and Greek energy emissions fell almost 19%.

China’s Covid recovery saw green bond issuance rebound in second half of 2020

The $18bn worth of sustainable finance instruments floated in the nation last year marked a retreat from previous highs but, with most of the bonds issued from July onwards, the recovery is under way, according to the IFC, which is anticipating a more-than-$100 billion sector in emerging markets over the next three years.

African solar installers feel the pinch of rising panel prices

With Chinese manufacturers having warned they will pass on escalating component costs, and shipping expenses soaring since last summer, the rising price of solar is forcing some installers to redraft quotes, pv magazine has discovered.

India’s solar imports dipped 75% in ten months

Covid-19 disruption has been cited as the chief culprit as imports from China, Thailand and Vietnam slumped from April to January, but safeguarding duty also appears to have had an impact, with unaffected imports from nations such as Myanmar, Chad and Russia on the rise and Malaysian trade keeping steady.

Covid delays drove 20% dip in solar project revenue for Chinese developer last year

But new ventures into coal-fired steam and petrochemicals products helped state-owned China Shuifa Singyes towards a significantly healthier balance sheet in 2020.

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.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: New 5 GW heterojunction solar module factory, increasing wafer and cell prices

China-based wind turbine manufacturer Mingyang Smart Energy wants to build a heterojunction module factory with a capacity of 5 GW. Both Longi and Tongwei have raised the prices of their wafers and cells, respectively.

Dutch farmers left with no connection for their PV arrays

Grid congestion issues are increasing in the Netherlands and several Dutch farmers claim to have remained without access to the grid despite having completed their rooftop arrays.

20 MW/5 MWh solar-plus-storage project moves forward in Malawi

The Golomoti solar plant is expected to come online by the end of the year. The plant will be used to provide grid stability and reduce national dependence on diesel generators and hydroelectric generation.

Indian government approves scheme to support storage

India’s production-linked incentive scheme for battery storage is designed to facilitate the construction of 50 GWh of cumulative advanced chemistry cell (ACC) capacity and 5 GWh of “niche” ACC production facilities in India.

Canadian Solar invests in British ‘merchant battery’ AI company

Oxford-based Habitat Energy uses machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and its own trading platform and software to maximize profits from utility scale storage facilities. A Canadian Solar statement about the arrangement, issued today, contained no financial details about the co-operation.

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.

The Hydrogen Stream: US port wants to produce 9,000 MT with 260 MW/840 MWh of solar-plus-storage

Aurora Energy Research reports that the size of electrolyzers is increasing. Furthermore, Chile moves forward with its first green hydrogen project and German car manufacturer BMW said it would unveil a hydrogen fuel cell SUV in 2022.

Iberdrola seeks innovative solutions for agrivoltaics

The Spanish utility said agrivoltaic projects and solutions will be evaluated based on costs, technological maturity, crop diversity, and level of digitization among other things.

Lightsource BP secures approval for 600 MW solar energy hub

Lightsource BP plans to build a new PV hub in the Australian state of New South Wales.

New York state funds study on benefits of grazing for PV

Sheep and solar farms can exist symbiotically, and the American Solar Grazing Association says that now is the time to convert that relationship into a full-scale industry.

3.3 GW renewables pipeline provides cover for coal-fired power plant closures in Australia

Record investment in solar and wind farms across the National Electricity Market has helped to quell concerns that Victoria and South Australia will face increased risk of blackouts later this decade following the impending closure of the Yallourn coal-fired power plant.

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.”

New discovery promises to bring singlet fission enhanced C-Si solar cells nearer to commercial production

New research from Australia has shown that singlet fission solar cells do not only have the potential to raise the theoretical efficiency of the PV technology to unexpected levels but also to provide a better temperature behavior and longer duration compared to conventional PV devices. The scientists believe that this technique may help conventional crystalline silicon solar cell technologies reach efficiencies close to 30%.

Harvard scientists unveil solid-state lithium battery that can be charged and discharged at least 10,000 times

US scientists have created a new design for lithium-metal, solid-state batteries that should avoid the formation of dendrites that grow into the electrolyte. Their multilayered battery could potentially recharge electric vehicles within 10 to 20 minutes.

Could hydrogen replace diesel in large-scale agriculture?

Australian farmer Thomas Blair is expanding the horizons of his industry to cultivate green hydrogen.

Future of cadmium telluride PV tech

In the third interview of a series, pv magazine spoke to Prof. Arvind Shah of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and Associate Prof. Alessandro Romeo from the University of Verona about the challenges and opportunities of cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV tech. They said there is still potential to ramp up efficiency and cut costs, and claimed that the toxicity of cadmium should not be seen as a serious concern.

Best membrane for non-aqueous redox flow batteries

A Chinese-Finnish research team has identified composite membranes as the best future option for non-aqueous redox flow batteries.

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.

Daqo opens Xinjiang polysilicon factory to international observers

The polysilicon manufacturer has once again rejected allegations of forced labor by opening the doors of its factory in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to international investors and journalists. Video footage of the event was published by the company on its website.

Micro III-V solar cell with 33.8% efficiency

Developed by a French-Canadian research group, the triple-junction cell is based on indium gallium phosphide (InGaP), indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) and germanium (Ge) and has an active area of only 0.089 mm2. It can be used for applications in micro-concentrator photovoltaics (CPV).

Rooftop CPV-thermal tech to produce electricity and freshwater

It’s claimed the decentralized desalination system can deliver a levelized cost for desalinated water of US$0.7-4.3/m3, depending on PV costs and electricity prices. It was built with several concentrated photovoltaic/thermal (CPV-T) collectors, a hot water tank, a V-MEMD module, a seawater feed tank, and a distillate tank.

Indian incentives to support up to 13% of 240 GW of panel demand by fiscal 2030

India is targeting 280 GW of solar by 2030, of which 240 GW has yet to be built, but India Ratings says the country’s production-linked incentives will only cover up to 13% of future deployments.

US shingled module maker to move production out of Asia

GAF Energy has announced plans to set up a new manufacturing facility in California. It currently produces BIPV panels in South Korea.

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.

West African commercial solar installer looks east

Nigeria and Ghana-based Starsight Energy has spent an undisclosed amount to acquire a half stake in the Kenyan subsidiary of East African peer Premier Solar Group.

Green hydrogen supply chain concerns

With South Africa holding 63,000 of the world’s estimated 69,000 metric tons of platinum reserves – according to the Statista.com website – and Russia and Zimbabwe a further 5,100 between them, the European Commission has cited the metal as an example of a potential supply chain bottleneck that could handicap its grand plans for renewables-powered hydrogen production.

Exploring defects in a solid-state electrolyte

Scientists in the U.S. used sophisticated imaging techniques to observe previously unknown defects in the crystalline structure of a solid-state electrolyte. The scientists theorize that these defects could play an important role in the electrolyte’s performance, and that designing them more carefully into the material could have impressive results.

Enapter develops MW-sized AEM electrolyzer

The new electrolyser with anion exchange membrane technology is expected to produce 450 kilograms per day and will be available on the market in 2022.

Redox launches high-voltage redox flow storage solution

Australia’s Redflow has unveiled its new Energy Pod Z module.