Top News

Belgium: Flemish regulator challenges smart meter residential PV agreement

The deal introduced a 15-year grace period for household PV system owners, during which they could choose whether to take net metering payments based on assumed energy use or a potential new system based on actual use and measured by smart meters.

African Development Bank sets up $500m facility for sub-Saharan small scale renewables

The new credit lines are for the development of on and off-grid renewable energy projects. The European Commission is offering the fund a €40 million helping hand.
Markets & Policy

Mexico to kick-off first private renewables auction this week

Although it is unclear how much generation capacity will be contracted, several projects submitted for the subsequently cancelled fourth government renewables auction may participate in Thursday’s procurement. ‘Qualified users’ – energy consumers...

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Quality Roundtable tackles glass-glass issue and underground cabling

Future PV Roundtable looks into subsidy free PV

pv magazine test

The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

In BayWa r.e.’s new white paper, Grid parity and the solar renaissance, Dr. Benedikt Ortmann, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, explains what grid parity means to him, where it’s happened and where it’s going next.

Energy Storage

Western Australian mines to be powered with solar, wind and batteries

Two Western Australian mines will be powered by renewable energy hybrid microgrids echoing a global shift away from fossil fuels in the mining sector.

Is the U.S. solar market slipping towards merchant?

As contract lengths shorten, U.S. solar developers and investors are relying more and more on sales of power in the spot market as the future.
Markets & Policy

Another solar park goes online in Mongolia

The 16.4 MW solar facility is located 14 km southwest of the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport. The project was developed by Sharp Corporation in partnership with Sermsang Power (SSP) and Tenuun Gerel Construction (TGC).
Markets & Policy

Saudi’s ACWA Renewables sells 49% stake to China’s Silk Road Fund

The Chinese state-owned infrastructure investment fund, which already has strong ties to the Saudi power company, will be a major shareholder in a Middle East and African clean energy portfolio that adds up to 1668 MW of generation capacity.

Another €4.4 million for solar-plus-storage incentives in northern Italy

After earmarking €3 million last year and €4 million in 2017, the Italian region of Lombardy has decided to further support residential and commercial storage projects linked to renewables.

Press Releases

SPP with a capacity of 17.8 MW is launched in the Dnipro region

The construction works of the SPP with a capacity of 17. 8 MW in Zhovti Vody district have already been completed by Vinnitsa company “Voltage Group”.

Acciona and CaixaBank sign first Green Letter of Credit in the European market

Acciona has arranged the first Green Letter of Credit in the European financial system with CaixaBank for a total of US$129 million.

Acciona starts construction work on its third photovoltaic plant in Chile

By 2020 ACCIONA will have a capacity of almost 700 MW in Chile, with three wind farms and three photovoltaic plants in service

Hevel Group expands production capacity to 260 MW and launches production of busbar bifacial cells and modules keeping smartwire line

Hevel Group announced completion of ramp up works at its factory that resulted in expansion of heterojunction solar module production from 160 to 260 MW.

Opinion & Analysis


Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of a series of blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination afforded by organised solar parks.

Step back to catch up

We need to build solar parks only when there are no more square meters left on the rooftops, writes Mikhail Lifshitz, co-owner of Russia-based JSC Rotec.

An overview of the world’s largest solar power plants

In the third of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar power plants. In these articles, a ‘solar plant’ is defined as an individual generating station.

Sharp cell, module distinctions begin to form

The cost effectiveness of solar energy is becoming a top priority in terms of the selection of end market products, writes EnergyTrend’s Lions Shih. The result? A more varied and diverse module landscape alongside mono’s continued rise.

Why solar parks should replace agricultural land

This year’s Earth Overshoot Day falls on Friday, August 2. The current UN report on biodiversity protection does not report anything good. At least two reasons for our children to demonstrate on Fridays so that we not only talk, but act, says Ralf Schnitzler, project developer, solar parks, Bejulo GmbH. He believes that now is the time to take the energy revolution seriously. Below, he lays out his arguments and ideas on how the energy transition and other transformations could be possible with solar parks.

An overview of the world’s largest solar parks

In the second of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar parks. In these articles, a ‘solar park’ is defined as a group of co-located solar power plants.

Markets & Policy


“We have not yet seen the real age of solar”

As its founding permanent Director General, Adnan Z. Amin has shaped the International Renewable Energy Agency like no other. As he stands aside after a transformational eight years both for the agency and for the renewable energy sector, he reflects on his time at the helm and sends a powerful message to the solar sector.

Cost of developing renewables in Southeast Asia put through new mapping tool

Using an application based on resource data and country-specific techno-economic inputs, a report has analyzed the costs of developing utility scale renewables in Southeast Asia and found abundant, cost-competitive potential.

A thumping 29.7 GW of solar project capacity will compete in Brazil’s A-6 renewables auction

Brazilian energy agency the EPE has pre-qualified 1,829 renewable power projects with a combined capacity of 100.8 GW for the procurement exercise. The A-6 auction is expected to be the largest in terms of allocated capacity and to deliver lower bids than previous rounds.

Shortage of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers lifts prices

Analysts have observed rising demand amid rumors of stock shortages. Meanwhile, the price of mono cells fell further, although not far enough as far as the big beasts of the PERC module jungle are concerned.

Net metering introduced in Albania

The scheme will be open to renewable energy systems not exceeding 500 kW in capacity. The Albanian government expects the program to enable the deployment of 200 MW of PV.

Longi to spend $349m on new 5 GW module fab in Taizhou

The world’s number one mono silicon module manufacturer will add another 5 GW to its annual panel production capacity in 2020 as it pursues 16 GW of output this year and 25 GW next year.



Commercial Appeal

The Australian market for both residential and commercial solar has seen major growth in recent years, and new installations continue to appear at breakneck pace. pv magazine speak with David Naismith, founder of Solgen, an Australian company providing EPC services for commercial projects, on the advantages of partnering with Huawei, and further prospects for this market.

Edison acquires EDF’s Italian solar generation assets

By adding 77 MW of solar generation capacity and 256 MW of wind assets the power company wants to become number two in the Italian wind sector and engage in a significant development of solar.

Iberdrola plans another giant solar park in Spain

The project, in its preliminary development phase, should reach a total generation capacity of around 800 MW. The two solar parks that will make up the Castilla-La Mancha project would each have a 400 MW capacity.

Thai utility EGAT launches tender for 58.5 MW floating project

The project is part of the utility’s plan to deploy large-scale floating PV installations at several hydroelectric dams it operates in Thailand.

Jinko supplied 351 MW plant in Vietnam

The Chinese manufacturer revealed it had supplied the modules to one of the largest PV facilities in the APAC region outside its homeland.

Mexico reaches 4 GW milestone

Of the nation’s installed operational PV capacity, 3,364 MW is in the form of solar parks while distributed generation contributes around 693 MW.



Explosion of cell and module technology

With half-cut, bifacial, shingle cell, and heterojunction designs being deployed at the scale of hundreds of megawatts, it is an exciting time to be in solar cell and module technology.

The weekend read: One side or two

Bifacial modules are here to stay. But even as manufacturers commit further capacities to two-sided module production spanning a whole range of technologies, there are still challenges to overcome, to fulfill predictions that bifacial will represent almost 40% of all modules produced inside the next decade. Flash testing conducted at the end of cell and module production presents one of these, and there is plenty of debate among equipment suppliers as to how this manufacturing stage should treat bifacial cells and modules.

EPFL scientists put perovskite through its paces

Scientists working at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in the lab of renowned PV scientist Michael Grätzel, have developed a new method for testing perovskite solar cells that they say combines the advantages of laboratory and outdoor testing and will contribute to the creation of industry standards for characterizing perovskite stability.

Wärtsilä doubles renewable energy penetration by adding storage in holiday paradise

The Finnish company has commissioned a large scale storage project to reduce curtailment of wind and solar assets on Bonaire. The system will use machine-learning based energy management software to provide grid services and manage all of the island’s power generators.

Solid (state) plans announced by imec

Belgian research institute imec this week said it has set a performance record of 400 watt-hours per liter – at a charge rate of 0.5 – for a solid state lithium metal battery. The institute says it is working with the University of Hasselt to scale up production of solid state cells on a pilot line in Belgium.

France resumes self-consumption tenders

The procurements relate to self-consumption projects with a generation capacity of 100 kW-1 MW. The next tender will be launched in September and will allocate 25 MW of solar capacity. The tenders had been suspended because of low interest and disproportionately high final tariffs for surplus power injected into the grid.



Atomic layer deposition storms market for PERC

Technology made in China competes with conventional plasma-based equipment to deposit the aluminum oxide layers at the heart of passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) cells.

Goodwe plans to increase inverter capacity to 15 GW

In a chat with pv magazine, the managing director of GoodWe’s European unit, Thomas Haering, described the inverter manufacturer’s plans to expand capacity this year, after construction started on new factories in Suzhou and Guangde.

Comtec sells slice of EV unit to online gaming company The9

The Nasdaq-listed game developer will offer shares in return for a 9.9% stake in the Chinese mono solar manufacturer’s Kexin electric vehicle and storage business.

Well it’s Swan for the money…

This year JinkoSolar launched its bifacial Swan module, one of the first to feature a transparent Tedlar backsheet made by DuPont. pv magazine had the chance to catch up with Gener Miao, JinkoSolar VP for global sales and marketing for an update on the module’s innovations, and on how the company sees solar markets this year.

GCL-Poly completes shares placement to help pay down debts

Company stock diluted more than 8% to generate gross proceeds of $87 million as the company continues its policy of expansion at a breakneck rate.

Sunseap ready to install 100 MW in Taiwan

In pursuit of its ambitious 2025 solar goal of 20 GW of installed capacity, Taiwan continues to be an attractive market for foreign companies and investors.

Energy Storage


Virtual certainty

With the excitement of its subsidy-driven renewables boom now firmly in the past, and the full liberalization of its electric power market looming on the horizon, Japan has become a hotbed for virtual power plant (VPP) development. A number of companies have launched demonstration projects in recent years, backed by the Japanese government’s Sustainable Open Innovation Initiative (SII).

India mulls ban on diesel and petrol driven vehicles

The new government’s chief policy thinktank has suggested banning sales of non-electric two and three wheelers in 2025 and cars, trucks and buses five years later as well as forcing public fleets and the cars used by ride hailing apps to be electric.

Statera announced as partner on 1 GW virtual power plant in the UK

Norwegian hydropower company Statkraft has revealed more details of its solar-storage-wind-gas network. Previously announced plans to potentially double capacity this summer were not mentioned in the update.

Energy storage could see refugee camp powered entirely by solar

Swedish company Azelio is studying whether storage could ensure complete self-sufficiency for the 36,000-strong Azraq camp, which already draws 70% of its electricity from solar generation.

Solar, storage and wind can keep us on track as far as 2030

This year’s New Energy Outlook report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts renewables can keep us on track for less than two degrees of global heating for the next decade. But after that, other technologies will have to do their bit.

China’s grid planners could learn from European experience

The world’s biggest solar market is on track for an unsubsidized future but policymakers continue to grapple with grid planning. A report by the German Energy Agency has offered suggestions on how China’s approach to grid design could be tweaked to ensure priority dispatch for PV while slashing administrative costs and reining in renewable energy losses.


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