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Oman inaugurates 500MW Ibri 2 solar field

Some 1.5 million bifacial panels make up the power plant in Ad-Dhahirah governorate which was constructed in just 13 months by ACWA Power, the Gulf Investment Corporation and Kuwaiti developer Alternative Energy Projects Co.
Installations

New hybrid inverters for rooftop PV from Germany

The BW-HY3600 and BW-HY4600 inverters can be integrated with existing on-grid or off-grid PV systems and a battery storage system of 48V. Both devices, according to German manufacturer Bosswerk, have AC and DC coupling and are particularly suitable for r...
Manufacturing

Quantum dot layer pushes perovskite solar cell efficiency up to 25.7%

Researchers in Switzerland have replaced the electron transport layers in perovskite solar cells with a thin layer of quantum dots. On an area of 0.08cm2, they achieved a record efficiency of 25.7% and high operational stability.
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Manufacturing

Perovskite-organic tandem PV cell with 23.6% efficiency via optimized interconnecting layer

Scientists in Singapore have developed a cell that could be used to power vehicles and boats, among other applications. The tandem device purportedly retains 90% initial efficiency after 500 hours of maximum power point tracking under continuous one su...
Energy Storage

Zinc-air battery, CHP and PV to power apartment complex in New York

A 100kW/1.5MWh zinc-air battery will be installed in Queens, New York, in combination with a combined heat and power system and a PV array. The pilot project is intended to demonstrate the long-duration energy storage capability of the zinc-air battery.
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Energy Storage

Growatt releases battery for off-grid solar

Growatt's new AXE LV battery covers a wide range of capacities, from 5kWh to 400kWh, and can support off-grid systems with power outputs of 3kW to 30kW.
Markets & Policy

European Commission advisory body slams plan to label gas and nuclear ‘sustainable’

The Platform on Sustainable Finance was unstinting in its criticism of a suggestion made by the EU executive on New Year's Day, that the divisive energy sources be considered eligible for support in the bloc.
Technology

Czechia’s first floating photovoltaic plant

Operated by Czech utility CEZ Group, the pilot solar plant will be located at different heights during the charge and recharge cycles of a pumped-hydro plant and the difference in height may reach up to nine meters.

Press Releases

Philadelphia Solar’s mono module shows a distinguished behavior under PID test

Philadelphia Solar Mono Half Cell Modules continue to show an outstanding performance under testing.

JT Energy Systems builds 25 MW battery storage system

JT Energy Systems is giving used lithium-ion batteries a new lease of life and will produce CO2-neutral batteries in the future: The joint venture of Jungheinrich and Triathlon is building a highly flexible battery storage facility in Freiberg, Saxony, with a peak output of 25 MW.

Desert Technologies exports Saudi solar panels to Greece for projects on the Island of Trifyila

The Greek Commercial Attaché in the Kingdom, Mr. Alexandros Ikonomu, was accompanied by a high-level delegation and visited the Desert Technologies Factory in Jeddah.

Streamergy wins major international order

Streamergy GmbH, software and solution provider for renewable energies, has successfully completed its first financial year.

Opinion & Analysis

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Economic and technical feasibility of a storage-as-a-service model using second-life batteries for a commercial end-user

As part of the EU Horizon 2020 CIRCUSOL project, Belgian PV installer and investor Futech investigated the technical and economic feasibility of integrating a second-life battery storage system at an existing 2MW solar plant in Belgium. The system originates from the automotive industry and was successfully commissioned in August 2021.

How artificial intelligence can be used to identify solar panel defects

One of the biggest challenges for non-AI experts is the terminology. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and computer vision (CV) are frequently discussed, but people outside of data science fields often do not know what they mean. Fortunately, it is not that complex: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Computer Vision all generally refer to the same thing, just with more specificity.

2021 was a record-breaking year for European solar, now we must increase ambition

Right before the holiday season, the European Commission unveiled the latest installment of its “Fit for 55” legislative package – plans that aim to put the continent on track to reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. These additional proposals include the Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Package, as well as a revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBDII).

EU to gut the principle of sustainable taxonomy with inclusion of nuclear and gas

The EU’s Sustainable Taxonomy was intended to complement the Green Deal, provide investors with certainty about the sustainability of their investments, and help channel billions into sustainable, low-carbon processes and technologies. Despite input from experts and NGOs, the inclusion of gas and nuclear power just proposed by the Commission suggests that, once again, politics is trumping science.

Brazil heads for a solar installation rush

Brazil’s deployment of distributed generation PV (below 5 MWp) has exploded from a total capacity of 500 MW in 2018 to 7 GW by September of this year. The trigger for this increase, alongside rocketing electricity prices, was the 2019 proposal of law 5829, writes IHS Markit analyst Angel Antonio Cancino. The proposal is expected to pass into law at the end of this year and will gradually introduce grid-access charges for residential and commercial system owners.

A 200 GW solar year in 2022

Structural imbalances in the supply chain and the energy intensity and consumption controls that China imposed in late September have caused prices for most PV module materials and components to continue to rise. Shipping fees and PV plant construction costs also remain high. PV plants in many regions will therefore be postponed until next year, but it remains unclear when module prices will start to fall. Despite these challenges, the global race to cut carbon emissions continues, and InfoLink’s Corrine Lin forecasts a bright future for PV deployments in 2022.

Covid-19

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Solar supply chain trouble to ease this year, according to analyst

Wood Mackenzie has predicted solar equipment cost increases will ease back after last year saw the average cost of solar electricity rise for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region.

Latvian plan to exempt big energy consumers from renewables surcharge approved by EU

The Baltic state has offered energy-intensive, international-facing industries up to an 85% discount on a surcharge levied on electricity consumers since May 2017 and made the scheme wider ranging this year, in a move approved by the European Commission.

China and India to drive record world coal demand next year

Advances in solar power and other clean energy technologies have failed to keep up with demand for electricity as economies rebound from the Covid crisis and China and India’s fossil fuel appetite will ensure the world stays well short of what is needed for a net zero 2050 for at least the next three years.

Solar company’s Christmas party blamed for Omicron-variant Covid outbreak in Oslo

A news article published on Friday stated 13 cases had been confirmed and a senior physician said the working hypothesis was that at least half of the 120 people who attended the event had been infected. pv magazine has contacted Scatec for an update.

‘World’s biggest TOPCon solar plant’ begins generating

Solar manufacturer Jolywood, which supplied almost 500 MW of its bifacial tunnel oxide passivated contact panels for Oman’s Ibri II facility, has claimed the power plant is the biggest to date to deploy the high-efficiency technology.

Solar job numbers kept on rising in 2020

The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition’s employment benefits are to be shared equally.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What COP26 means for solar

COP26 was either a great success or an abject failure, depending on who you talk to. What matters for the solar industry is the extent to which decisions agreed in the Glasgow Climate Pact are going to change the direction of the energy and financial sectors.

India’s solar module manufacturing capacity on track to soar 400% in four years

Ratings agency Crisil estimates India will have 38-43GW of annual solar module manufacturing capacity by the end of March 2025. Production capacity will be driven by strong domestic demand, favorable government policy, raised module conversion efficiency, and price competitiveness, according to the ratings agency.

Shanghai Electric sounds death knell for CIGS manufacturing project backed by $197m of public money

With five public entities having committed RMB1.25 billion into a project to produce copper, indium, gallium, selenide solar modules five years ago, the joint venture has been abandoned at an estimated impairment cost of RMB1.42 billion.

Philippines utility Meralco launches 850MW renewables tender

Through the procurement exercise, the power utility is seeking proposals to deploy around 600MW of capacity that will have to start providing power in February 2026, and another 250MW to begin commercial operations in February 2027.

US zero-carbon future would require 6TWh of energy storage

US researchers suggest that by 2050, when 94% of electricity comes from renewable sources, approximately 930GW of energy storage power and six and a half hours of capacity will be needed to fully cover demand for electricity in the United States.

Genex heads underground on 250MW/2GWh pumped hydro project in Australia

Genex Power says it is now ahead of schedule on the construction of a new engineering project to transform a retired gold mine site in Australia into a 250MW/2GWh pumped hydro energy storage facility.

Installations

Featured

BIPV no refuge

Deployment in the building integrated PV segment is accelerating, and so too are the number of solar products available to architects and developers. And while BIPV had long been the segment in which an array of thin-film technologies could shine, they are now in increasingly stiff competition with crystalline silicon rivals.

The Hydrogen Stream: World’s first full-scale pilot plant for extracting hydrogen from natural gas pipeline

Germany-based Linde Engineering has started up a full-scale pilot plant in Dormagen to showcase how hydrogen can be separated from natural gas streams using its membrane technology. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy developer Masdar has teamed up with French energy giants Engie and Totalenergies on two separate hydrogen projects and Sweden’s nuclear power company OKG signed its first contract with an external buyer to enter the hydrogen market as a producer and supplier.

Chinese solar industry may reach 500 GW module capacity by year end

According to Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA), this huge capacity may not be met by actual demand in the global market. Furthermore, the consultancy reveals that solar module prices should reach a price level of up to RMB 1.75 ($028)/W by the second half of the year, and that in 2021 new PV additions totaled 53 GW with more than half of this capacity being delivered by distributed generation.

Photovoltaic-thermal panel from China

Developed by Chinese specialist SolarMaster, the panel is sold in four different versions with photovoltaic output ranging from 340 to 545 W and solar thermal output of 910 to 1,436 W.

How artificial intelligence can be used to identify solar panel defects

Solar farm operators are turning to AI-powered inspection to speed up the inspection process and improve accuracy. They use algorithms that can automatically detect solar panel defects from images.

Residential heat storage system uses PV electricity for space heating, hot water

France-based FHE Group has developed a 2.5 kWh storage device that can store electricity as heat during the day and release this heat at night to power a heat pump for space heating and hot water. According to the manufacturer, it can retain over 95% of its initial performance after 20,000 cycles.

Technology

Featured

Finding faults faster

PV cell and module manufacturers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to monitor production lines and the products coming off them in minute detail. As inline monitoring and testing equipment become more sophisticated, cell and module makers must be prepared to manage the enormous amounts of data and pull out the points that will save them time and money. pv magazine examines the software solutions backing state-of-the-art PV production.

Effects of Swirl defects in solar cells based on Czochralski wafers

Scientists in China analyzed defective solar cells based on Czochralski (Cz) silicon wafers and found Swirl defects may be responsible for an efficiency drop of up to 4.7%. According to them, the presence of Swirl defects could be mitigated by applying a heat treatment at a temperature above 1,050 degrees Celsius in a clean environment before the manufacturing of the solar cells.

The weekend read: Dreaming of a MENA integrated electricity grid

The spark of renewables in the MENA region has increased the need for new interconnectors. Big projects with high capacities are being planned across borders to raise electricity exchanges across the region, reviving the dream of a MENA integrated electricity grid.

Sodium-ion battery tech gets commercial testing in UK

Harwell Campus will provide a testbed for energy storage technologies coming from three U.K.-based innovative businesses, bringing their solutions one step closer to the market.

Australia to make world’s-first liquefied hydrogen shipment to Japan

The Suiso Frontier cargo vessel docked at Victoria’s Port of Hastings on Friday to take on the world’s first shipment of liquid hydrogen. The ship’s arrival is a landmark for the Japanese-Australian Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project, which sees liquefied hydrogen generated from brown coal, and an engineering milestone in itself. But while the Australian government describes the product as “clean”, experts maintain that carbon capture and storage technology has proven only to be an expensive failure.

Australian startup gets funds to commercialize modular hydrogen-powered energy solution

Australian startup Endua’s plan to make modular hydrogen-powered energy generation and storage systems has been given a financial boost, as the federal government has provided it with almost AUD 1 million ($719,800) to help it commercialize its technologies.

Manufacturing

Featured

All eyes upstream

The United States faces a number of compelling issues in its push to expand solar. Clean Energy Associates CEO Andy Klump recently spoke to pv magazine about supply chains, domestic manufacturing, climate change, and COP.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: China added 53 GW of new PV capacity in 2021

The National Energy Administration (NEA) reported this week that the newly installed PV capacity for the Chinese market reached around 53 GW last year. Of this capacity, around 29 GW comes from distributed generation projects. The country’s cumulative installed power reached 306 GW at the end of December.

TOPCon vs PERC

TOPCon solar cells are on their way to fully compete with PERC solar products, according to recent research from Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE. Efficiency gains for the TOPCon concept, however, are necessary to help it capture more market share, as production costs remain higher than those for PERC tech. A series of cost-driven strategies to make TOPCon modules advance were outlined in the study.

India’s REIL opens bids to supply 200,000 silicon PV cells

Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments is accepting bids from Indian manufacturers to supply five-busbar monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon solar cells rated for a minimum of 4.62 W. Bidding closes on Jan. 27.

Full solar value chain relief is on the way, says ROTH Capital

Philip Shen, managing director of ROTH Capital Partners, hosted top analysts from PV InfoLink to discuss their outlook on pricing, supply and demand at each step in the solar value chain.

Photon recycling for more efficient perovskite solar cells

Scientists at the Technische Universität Dresden, in Germany, have found that photon recycling and light scattering effects greatly improve light emission in perovskite solar cells, thereby boosting the upper limit for their efficiency to 31.3%.

Energy Storage

Featured

Making cheaper H2

The hype surrounding green hydrogen is real, but does the cost-reduction outlook for its production technologies live up to it? Christian Roselund looks at the technology, transportation, application and enabling policies behind the promising green energy carrier.

Fluence, ReNew to set up energy storage venture

Fluence and ReNew Power will set up a new joint venture to provide energy storage products for the Indian market. ReNew will become its first customer by procuring a 150 MWh battery-based energy storage system for a 300 MW project in the Indian state of Karnataka.

Masdar, partners eye solar exports from Indonesia to Singapore

Masdar will explore the development of 1.2GW of solar and potential storage projects in Indonesia for export to Singapore.

Solar-plus-storage for mineral water producer in Cambodia

The system delivered by French energy giant TotalEnergies will power Kulara Water’s bottling facility in Siem Reap Province.

Quantum battery prototype for superextensive charging

Scientists in Italy designed the prototype as a microcavity enclosing a molecular dye known as Lumogen-F orange (LFO). The charging power of the device is described as super-extensive, meaning that it increases faster with battery size.

Sungrow presents new central inverter

Called the 1+X modular inverter, the new product can be deployed, by combining eight units, to reach a power of 8.8MW. It also features a DC/ESS interface for the connection of storage energy systems.

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