Top News

Coronavirus concerns overshadow PV Expo in Tokyo

The annual trade show was not particularly well-attended this year, but market sentiment is still positive in Japan – nobody believes that installations will drop due to the coronavirus outbreak. And the country's upstream industry – modules, batteries, and hydrogen tech – clearly remains compelling, given the number of brave souls who actually did make the trip out to Tokyo Big Sight this year.
Energy Storage

Storage Highlights 2020 – Megawatt Winner: Lumenion

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once agai...
Installations

Tunisia introduces new rules for self-consumption, net metering

The new regulatory framework includes the option to sell electricity to large energy consumers through bilateral PPAs.
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The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

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Installations

Portuguese fossil fuel giant creates renewables unit

Galp Energia aims to develop a sustainable power project portfolio based on solar and wind. It will devote up to 15% of its total investments to its renewable energy plans.
Manufacturing

Integrating stress and temperature sensors in crystalline silicon cells

Fraunhofer ISE researchers have integrated stress and temperature sensors within a PV module. They claim that the devices cover a very minimal part of the cells, and that their interaction with the module and the cell itself is quite limited. The sensors...
Energy Storage

Storage prevails in France’s capacity auction

The Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition's long-term auction was organized by grid operator RTE under the French capacity procurement mechanism. Storage accounted for 253 MW of the capacity assigned in the auction, which was open to all d...
Manufacturing

Quantum dot hybrid HTJ cell with 12.82% efficiency

South Korean researchers have developed a hybrid tandem solar cell based on quantum dots and organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photoactive materials. They claim that the cell could reach an efficiency rate of around 15% if they continue to reduce energy ...
Technology

Australia’s AEMC rejects new rule for calculating transmission losses

The Australian network regulator has ignored pleas from some of the biggest solar and wind project owners in Australia to change the way marginal loss factors (MLFs) are calculated. While it has acknowledged that transmission has failed to keep pace with...
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Press Releases

Industrial strategy for solar can increase European manufacturing competitiveness

IPVF signs letter calling for European industrial strategy for solar

IFC to assess the potential for private energy storage solutions in Burkina Faso

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Energy to assess how private investment in energy storage can contribute to higher levels of solar power production while enhancing grid stability and dispatch issues. This assessment will lead to the definition of a storage investment roadmap based on PPP models in Burkina Faso.

Anesco appoints Mark Futyan as CEO

Anesco has appointed energy sector specialist Mark Futyan as Chief Executive Officer.

RECOM acquires Swiss SUNWATT & completes three roof-top projects

Three major commercial rooftop installations in the Geneva area with a total capacity of 1,6MW—the Stadium of Geneva, College of Voirets and College of Bude—were completed by RECOM-SUNWATT late December 2019.

Opinion & Analysis

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Renewable energy procurement comes to China

A growing number of companies globally have set sustainability targets to address the climate emergency. More than 700 companies are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint, write Caroline Zhu and Jiayin Song of Rocky Mountain Institute, and over 200 companies have publicly made the RE100 commitment to procure 100% of their electricity from renewable energy.

The beginnings of a post FIT-market

The annual installed PV capacity for Japan is expected to be 7 GW (DC) in 2019, according to RTS Corp. Cumulative PV installed capacity now stands at 63 GW. In addition to the robust introduction of small-scale PV projects, the development of already approved large-scale PV projects under the FIT program was advanced by the end of the year, say RTS analysts Takashi Ohigashi and Izumi Kaizuka.

New markets for old batteries

The increased urgency for the automotive industry to deal with the disposal of EV batteries in the mid-term future will act as a catalyst for the emerging second-life battery market, writes Abhishek Sampat, Principal Analyst at Delta-EE. Automakers, and potentially third parties, are expected to exploit new value streams and a second-life market is predicted to drive down costs for stationary energy storage, with little to no compromise in quality to the end user.

Discussing bifacial project economics

Bifacial solar module technology will find beneficial application in a significant number of solar energy power plants, according to a technical assessment conducted by ArcVera Renewables. While advertised 25% or greater gains in energy yield are unlikely for most projects, typical project energy production gains are 3-10%. Analysis finds that many projects under the scrutiny of informed technical due diligence, proper measurement and site design, will reap meaningful net present value. Although financing institutions have recently not awarded significant debt financing value to bifacial projects, full credit for bifacial benefits are expected to accrue rapidly, as experience and market penetration increases.

2020 module market forecast

According to PV InfoLink’s database, JinkoSolar topped the 2019 rankings for global module shipments with around 14 GW – far higher than any of its rivals. Notably, this is not the first time Jinko has secured the No. 1 spot; it has avoided slipping from the top as many of its predecessors did in the industry’s earlier years. The company is followed by JA Solar and Trina Solar (each shipping more than 10 GW), and then Longi, Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q Cells, Risen Energy, Suntech, Astronergy, and Talesun.

Out with old inverters, in with the new

Global demand for replacement inverters will likely grow by almost 40% to reach 8.7 GW in 2020, as a large and expanding installed base of aging solar PV installations drives deployment, writes Miguel De Jesus of IHS Markit.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Shifting geopolitical sands

After a decade of operation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has become an established presence in assisting the deployment of renewables. Now under the leadership of Director General Francesco La Camera, it continues its work on a range of issues pertaining to renewable energy deployment, with a renewed focus on facilitating international investment.

Sunrun installs record capacity in Q4 while cutting customer acquisition costs

The largest residential solar company in the United States installed 117 MW in the fourth quarter and reached a total customer base of 285,000 – all while bringing creation costs lower than they have ever been.

Chinese solar production juggernaut rumbles on

Three more PV manufacturers are jostling to announce plans to invest in an expansion of production capacities as the industry appears to make light of coronavirus fears.

Quebec as a big battery for the northeastern US

Researchers at MIT say the immense hydropower resources of the Canadian province could be used as storage to even out the supply of intermittent renewables generation in New England and New York state.

US: Solar could be installed on Appalachian coalfields

Former surface mines in central Appalachia could be re-purposed for solar. Environmental group The Nature Conservancy is exploring the options.

Marubeni acquires Taiwanese solar developer

The Japanese conglomerate will buy Chenya Energy for an undisclosed sum. The Taiwanese developer has a 270 MW solar project pipeline on the island.

Installations

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Remote possibilities

If the Canadian Arctic strikes you as a place that doesn’t have enough sunlight for PV, you wouldn’t necessarily be correct. Although there are periods of 24-hour darkness in winter, there are locations with sufficient sunlight for PV to make a major dent in remote communities’ diesel consumption, reports Anteo Petkovic, from Green Sun Rising.

Juwi applies new coating to operations and maintenance portfolio

The developer of the material, US-based specialist Pellucere, says its innovation can raise PV energy yield 3.5-4.2%.

REC Group all set to kick off production of Alpha 72 Series module

The Norwegian solar manufacturer is readying the 72-cell version of its Alpha Series heterojunction module for the factory floor.

Indian energy efficiency body pledges 1.5 GW of distributed solar within 13 months

Energy Efficiency Services Limited, which has already bagged orders for 800 MW of distributed solar installations in the state of Maharashtra and 113 MW in Rajasthan, says it will roll out the generation facilities by the end of the next fiscal year.

Why go solar? We can think of at least 333 reasons

Australian researchers have compiled data from 173 studies which examined homeowner behavior when buying rooftop PV and identified 333 predictors related to the attitude, knowledge, tendency, awareness, willingness and intent of householders.

Slovakia launches first renewables auction

The ceiling price for solar and wind power has been set at €84.98/MWh. It is expected around 30 MW of generation capacity will be allocated and solar projects ranging in size from 100 kW to 2 MW will be entitled to participate.

Technology

Featured

The way to the TOPCon

TOPCon cell technology has become one of the two leading next-generation options after mono PERC. But for the n-type architecture to truly become a rival to PERC, high-quality and cost-effective production technologies must become settled.

Trina unveils two 500 W bifacial solar modules

The Duomax V and Tallmax V panels are equipped with glass-glass and glass-backsheet frames, respectively. Both offer a reported 21% efficiency and orders will be taken from the second quarter on. Trina plans to have a combined 5 GW of annual production capacity for the products this year.

International consortium claims 25% efficiency for perovskite CIGS solar cell

Researchers led by Belgian institute imec claim to have achieved the result with a 1cm² perovskite tandem solar cell. The result tops the 24.6% efficiency the consortium announced in September 2018. The cell’s developers are now aiming for 30%.

Code-based modeling for PV of the future

A British-Nigerian team of researchers claims to have developed a code-based approach for solar modeling and simulation which could facilitate better decisions in PV tech research. The model can reportedly be applied to the study of solar thermodynamics, cell material characteristics, PV system design and power monitoring potential.

Wireless sensing for remote operation of off-grid tracker solar

Researchers in Thailand are proposing a wireless monitoring solution for PV in remote locations. The system, based on global standard ZigBee 2.4 GHz wireless technology, can read data and tilt solar panels in auto and manual modes.

How do solar cells work underwater?

Although cells lose much of their power yield when submerged, they may not be useless. Researchers in India say submerged cells could be used in monitoring sensors and for other commercial and defense applications. An amorphous silicon cell from Panasonic was tested in their study.

Manufacturing

Featured

The hidden contest of the cell makers

Predicting which technological pathway will dominate in solar cell production is somewhat of a fool’s errand. A battle is currently underway between several of solar manufacturing’s big guns regarding both wafer size and p-or-n-type technology, and the outcome remains to be seen.

Global energy storage market to surge to 15 GW by 2024

As the sector continues to grow rapidly, delays in manufacturing scale-ups, difficulties sourcing raw materials and a separate path taken by the electric vehicle sector could all chuck ‘sand in the gears’, according to analyst Wood Mackenzie.

How FIT cuts killed plans for UK solar manufacturing hub

With the European Commission claiming its €100 billion ‘Just Transition’ fund will ease EU coal mining regions into a post-fossil-fuel future energy system, Adam Smith considers what happened in one deprived area of Britain when government policy failed to support talk of clean energy ambitions.

A new residential inverter with battery interface from Growatt

The inverters of the TL-XH series have efficiencies ranging from 98.2% to 98.4%. The 10.8 kg devices are compatible with double-glass modules and higher yields, the manufacturer claims.

‘Tesla and Panasonic are scrapping their partnership’ in solar cell production at Buffalo factory

Elon Musk has spoken of an ‘exponential’ ramp-up of its solar glass tile at the facility in New York state. Panasonic’s tiles never made the cut.

Chinese solar giant steps in to acquire rival in $250m swoop

Longi Solar has dramatically stepped in to take over fellow Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Yize New Energy Technology, which operates 7 GW of module production capacity and 3 GW of cell facilities in northern Vietnam.

Energy Storage

Featured

Zero-waste batteries

Efforts to recycle lithium-ion batteries face a range of technical and economic challenges, but such programs are already far more commonplace than many assume. However, there are still significant obstacles looming a few years down the road.

Storage Highlights 2020 – Megawatt Winner: Ecocoach

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once again, this year’s work was crowned by the moderation of the jury meeting, in which six leading industry experts discussed the technologies and solutions. Differing from previous years, the jurors have selected the top five “Gigawatt” winners, followed by five “Megawatt” winners, and a series of “Finalists” which we are publishing here, leading up to Energy Storage Europe.

Storage Highlights 2020 – Megawatt Winner: Nilar

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once again, this year’s work was crowned by the moderation of the jury meeting, in which six leading industry experts discussed the technologies and solutions. Differing from previous years, the jurors have selected the top five “Gigawatt” winners, followed by five “Megawatt” winners, and a series of “Finalists” which we are publishing here, leading up to Energy Storage Europe.

Future perspectives on solid-state storage

Solid-state batteries are viewed by many as the most promising technology to succeed today’s lithium-ion technologies in many energy storage applications. But there are still plenty of barriers to large-scale use of this type of battery. An international team of scientists has reviewed recent progress with the technology, and examined the form and chemistry that commercial solid-state batteries might take.

Storage Highlights 2020 – Gigawatt Winner: Areva H2Gen

With the new decade, pv magazine brings forth yet another energy storage highlights. Approximately two weeks of work went into sifting through this year’s 22 highlights submissions, conducting research, and preparing them for the jury. Once again, this year’s work was crowned by the moderation of the jury meeting, in which six leading industry experts discussed the technologies and solutions. Differing from previous years, the jurors have selected the top five “Gigawatt” winners, followed by five “Megawatt” winners, and a series of “Finalists” which will be published in the coming weeks, leading up to Energy Storage Europe.

Rio Tinto to power Australian iron ore mine with solar PV

Mining giant Rio Tinto has approved the construction of a large-scale solar PV and battery storage system for its Koodaideri mine in Western Australia. When completed, the solar plant will be among Australia’s largest PV installations at a mining site.

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