Top News

Brazil’s faltering manufacturing ambition

A binational integrated solar industry project, announced just over a year ago, aims to build a vertically integrated solar manufacturing industry along the border between Brazil and Paraguay. But the project is now on hold pending an update and reassessment by its new managers.
Highlights

The weekend read: Reactivating Mexico’s large-scale sector

The Mexican electric power industry is maintaining its dynamism, despite a collective perception of inactivity stemming from a lack of information from the federal government. And renewables are barely mentioned in the National Development Plan for 2019...
Markets & Policy

GCL-Poly making polysilicon at a loss as it piles up $3.36bn more in liabilities than assets

With the company’s up-for-sale project development business revealing extensive debt concerns yesterday morning, that turned out to be only half the story as its parent came clean on its first-half performance hours later.
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China added 11.4 GW of solar capacity in first half of this year

According to official statistics produced by the nation’s National Energy Administration, China’s cumulative installed PV generation capacity had reached 185.5 GW at the end of June.
Technology

French scientists try to uncover the secrets of black perovskite

X-ray analysis is said to have solved the mystery of how to preserve optical absorption in perovskite layers. Researchers say the discovery could help stabilize the material and speed up the launch of a new ingredient for PV research.
Installations

There are –data missing– solar power fires per year

International data suggests that fires caused by rooftop solar power systems are rare; however, the United States doesn’t centrally track this information – with the National Fire Data Center classifying them in the “other” category.
Manufacturing

Heraeus claims module output increases by 2.1% with new ribbon

The performance of the company’s Selectively Coated Ribbons was measured for more than a year in a field test. Heraeus says the yield gains are achieved by the device’s optical properties – said to enable improved reflection – even at low angles ...
Installations

Polish mining company to deploy solar on dead coal sites

Poland’s second largest power company, Tauron, wants to build a 5 MW ground-mounted facility in Jaworzno and is seeking EPC contractors through a tender. The project is part of the company’s plan to deploy PV on its unused sites.
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Press Releases

FreeVolt and Apparent, INC. partner to enable consumers to generate, use, and sell energy

FreeVolt, a solar manufacturer based in Poland, and Apparent, INC, an intelligent energy management company based in California, have begun developing a partnership to combine cutting-edge solar panel technology with intelligent energy management to increase the value of residential and commercial solar systems with energy storage. Once developed, these systems can be aggregated to offer valuable Distributed Energy Resources for the evolving modern grid.

New Generation PERC Product of Talesun with Conversion Efficiency Exceeding 23.1%

The R&D team of Suzhou Talesun Technologies Co. , Ltd.

How much of impact would a 25% weight decrease on a panel be to the industry?

JinkoSolar Swan bifacial beats rivals with its lightweight design.

European electricity market prices fell last week, except in Germany

The prices of the main European electricity markets fell on the previous week, with the exception of the EPEX SPOT market. According to the analysis carried out by AleaSoft, a fall in demand drove the change.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Dear European solar industry: Let’s lead the interconnected platform before it is too late

While China is single-handedly reducing CAPEX for modules and inverters, Europe understands that hardware won’t be the holy grail – generally speaking. But what is? Perhaps it is time for a new strategy to surf in front of the digital wave.

Vietnam’s 2019 commissioning rush

Vietnam had already successfully commissioned 1.5 GW of utility-scale PV at the end of May this year, and there is no sign of this slowing down, with another 2 GW teed up for June 2019. The breakneck speed in development is making Vietnam a powerhouse in the region in installed capacity, even nipping at the heels of Australia. Rystad Energy’s Minh Koi Le looks at the state of play in the Vietnamese solar market.

10 GW of utility-scale PV+storage by 2023

In 2019, the United States will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit’s Camron Barati, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement.

Looking ahead, post SNEC

In the wake of the 2019 SNEC trade show in Shanghai, PV InfoLink chief analyst Corrine Lin delves into the new cell and module technologies that were exhibited at the show.

Recharging economies: EV battery manufacturing outlook for Europe

As uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) increases, the EV battery market represents an opportunity for European players. McKinsey assesses the potential and looks at factors guiding the location of production capacity.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Reactivating Mexico’s large-scale sector

The Mexican electric power industry is maintaining its dynamism, despite a collective perception of inactivity stemming from a lack of information from the federal government. And renewables are barely mentioned in the National Development Plan for 2019–2024 drawn up by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Mini series: On prices, technology and 2019 trends

A maturing PV market does not automatically deliver certainty in terms of technology roadmaps and industry dynamics. Crystalizing trends and anticipating developments is the business of analysts, so pv magazine assembled four of solar’s best to talk about prices, technology and market-defining policy developments.

GCL project development business has $1.6bn current liabilities deficit

The opening pages of the first-half update published on the Hong Kong exchange made all the right noises with the company set to be acquired by a Chinese state-owned entity. But the balance sheet makes for shocking reading.

The Chinese solar market is changing shape

Two reports have described how the world’s largest renewable energy market is moving towards maturity. According to the Brookings Institution, the Chinese clean energy market could become more open to Western investors and tech. A report by Fitch claims projects are moving back to inland provinces from coastal regions.

US electricity retailers are ditching fossil fuels

Three different retail electricity providers in the United States have announced new programs to provide customers the option to buy 100% renewably sourced electricity, with one of the three even coming at no additional cost.

Another 300 MW solar auction for Japan

The procurement exercise, which closes tomorrow, will be open to projects larger than 500 kW in size. The results will be announced on September 3.

Installations

Featured

Avoid premature weathering of buried string cables

Faults in underground cabling due to moisture ingress and weathering have been identified as the culprit in many cases of underperforming solar plants, even when the materials used were specified as suitable for underground installation. The topic of cables struck a nerve during this year’s pv magazine Quality Roundtable at The smarter E Europe event, and the right way to lay buried string cables is still an open question.

Karnataka leads Indian states in new rooftop PV attractiveness index

The Indian state of Karnataka has snagged the top spot on the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index.

RES secures development approval for 200 MW in Australia

U.K. developer RES Group has obtained approval to build the 200 MW Avonlie Solar Farm in the Australian state of New South Wales.

US: Walmart accuses Tesla of gross negligence in fire lawsuit

The picture that Walmart is painting of Tesla/SolarCity installation and O&M practices in its U.S. lawsuit is not a pretty one.

Indian petrol giant begins EV transition

IndianOil is the nation’s largest refiner and supplies almost half of Indian demand. In its latest annual report the company has outlined plans to make electric vehicle charging points a feature of its petrol stations.

Indian university to operate solar microgrid pilots

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has issued an expression of interest to set up three solar-backed microgrid projects in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The deadline for submissions for prospective developers is Aug. 30.

Technology

Featured

Inverter issues

PVEL’s inaugural inverter scorecard is showing up the need for much more scrutiny on the reliability of inverters. But are developers and EPCs even paying attention?

Take a break on the solar bench – but not for too long

Engie has raised eyebrows with the installation of several solar benches in Biarritz, southwestern France, as a local official has asked citizens to avoid sitting on them for long periods of time in order to keep their energy yield up. But the authorities over in Cannes are clearly impressed, as the municipal government in the French Riviera resort town has also revealed plans to buy more of the PV benches, which are designed by Croatian startup Include.

Japanese scientists develop dye-sensitized cell with 10.7% efficiency

The improved performance was achieved by using a methylene bridged material, the molecular dye DfZnP-iPr.

PV for cooking

Traditional solar cookers concentrate sunlight on mirrored surfaces and convert it into heat. But this summer, Sunspot unveiled Sunspot Solar Electric Cooking, a new cooker based on PV technology. The system relies on two PV modules, a lead-carbon battery, an inverter, and an induction cooktop.

Global warming will hit solar panel performance

MIT researchers say climate change could reduce the yield of solar modules. Analysis based on the warming scenarios outlined by the IPCC predicts in some areas the annual energy output of PV systems may fall by up to 50 kWh per kilowatt installed.

Meyer Burger abandons plan to relocate operations to China

The Swiss equipment maker is instead preparing to commit its future to PV in its European heartland and will start with plans to help Norwegian module maker REC Solar embark on a gigawatt-scale production expansion.

Manufacturing

Featured

Both sides of the debate

Choosing the best material to cover the backside of a module has long been a contentious issue, and the rise of bifacial technology has brought further complexity to the debate. With transparent backsheet materials quickly making their way to market, the Intersolar Europe edition of the Quality Roundtable event series sought to bring some clarity to the rear side of modules, and illuminate some of the issues that can occur in the field – both with glass-glass and glass-backsheet modules.

Meyer Burger moves to calm shareholders

Meyer Burger’s new chairman has acknowledged that the outlook remains tense for Europe’s largest solar equipment supplier, but he is urging shareholders to support the company’s plan to reposition itself to focus on high-yield technologies and markets beyond China.

German thin-film manufacturer Solibro reportedly set to file for insolvency

Solibro GmbH is expected to make the move this month, according to a German media report. The company has yet to publicly confirm the move.

China electric utility attracts record low module price in 3 GW procurement

The state-owned State Power Investment Corp Ltd has received a bid of 25 cents per watt for monocrystalline panels in a tender to procure 3.04 GW of PV module capacity.

Cell prices have tumbled again since early June

The latest figures show the solar policy vacuum, and related dearth of demand in China earlier this year accelerated price reductions for cell makers. Although prices are expected to rebound in line with renewed thirst for solar in China, cell makers such as Tongwei are feeling the pain.

Risen shines: Manufacturer starts work on 2.5 GW cell and module factory

The Chinese manufacturer is forging ahead with a new gigafactory despite a regulatory decision last year which halted its plans to raise a significant chunk of the costs by issuing convertible bonds. Risen expects to be back on the upswing when it confirms its first-half figures.

Energy Storage

Featured

Chile taps ‘white gold’ for security of energy supply

Chile is home to a massive 10.3 million tons of lithium reserves, most of which is found in the Atacama Desert in the northern part of the country. With some of the highest solar irradiation levels on Earth, this region also boasts the perfect conditions for generating solar power. Developments in the photovoltaic market, alongside implementation of more efficient energy storage systems, are positioning Chile as a regional leader in this field. So what does the future hold for battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Chile, and what obstacles lie in their way?

Renewables and geopolitics: ‘There won’t be as much to fight over’

In the latest installment of pv magazine’s renewable energy and geopolitics series, Indra Overland says a new mindset is necessary to understand the geopolitics ahead as the rules of the fossil fuel era will no longer apply. A renewable world will have fewer strategic locations and bottlenecks and less territorial competition.

MoU for vanadium redox flow battery collaboration in Australia

Australian Vanadium and Metrowest Power Systems have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to look at energy storage opportunities in Australia using vanadium redox flow battery technology.

ANZ, CEFC deepen ties to help businesses invest in PV, EVs, storage

Australian banking and financial services giant ANZ has extended its collaboration with Sydney-based Clean Energy Finance Corp. via an additional $67.7 million financing commitment to help the nation’s businesses cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. The bank is also offering financial discounts for upgrades and new investments in solar PV, energy storage, electric vehicles and other technologies.

Mali launches tender for solar-plus-storage

The country’s agency for rural electrification is seeking proposals for a 1.3 MW solar project and a 1.5 MW/2 MWh storage system.

DEWA to use solar to power new pumped-storage project

The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority will use energy from the gigawatt-scale Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to provide a new hydropower plant with pumped storage capacity. The state-owned utility has announced a number of innovations for the project in recent months, including plans for hydrogen and large-scale storage capacity.

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