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Skyrocketing energy, carbon prices already make green hydrogen competitive

Antonio Delgado Rigal, chief executive of energy forecasting service AleaSoft, tells pv magazine that skyrocketing gas and electricity prices are putting the global economy under strong pressure, while also opening up huge opportunities for solar, renewables and green hydrogen. He says current gas and electricity prices, along with rising CO2 prices, already make green hydrogen competitive. He therefore calls for immediate action on building new capacity, but acknowledges that a quick end is not yet in sight for rising prices.
Technology

Fresh grid congestion warning as almost 5 GW of solar and wind backs up in Netherlands

Electricity transmission system operator Tennet has been forced to notify its regulator of more bottlenecks ahead, with the 5.6 GW capacity of the Gelderland and Flevopolder regional network already contracted out.
Installations

Solar on new-build homes has significantly shorter payback period

A report by BloombergNEF and Schneider Electric has pressed the case for governments to unlock the world's potentially huge rooftop solar potential, and cited California's solar mandate as a shining example.
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The September edition is packed with the latest insights into:

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PV on the northern roof – a proposition for the cold season

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Manufacturing

Semi-transparent organic solar cell for window applications

Developed by U.S. scientists, the 10%-efficient device is intended for applications in solar windows and promises efficiencies close to 15%. According to its creators, the cell retained 80% of its efficiency after 1,900 hours at 55 degrees Celsius.
Installations

Italy deployed 362 MW of PV in H1

At the end of June, Italy's cumulative PV capacity surpassed 22.4 GW. Rooftop PV keeps driving the Italian solar market.
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Manufacturing

PV-powered mobile home with 730km range

Solar Team Eindhoven has developed an experimental mobile house that is powered exclusively by vehicle-integrated PV and is claimed to achieve a range of 730km, on a sunny day and at a, moderate speed of up to 85kph. The vehicle is equipped with a foldab...
Energy Storage

Rosatom identifies location for 3 GWh lithium-ion battery factory

Russian energy giant said its gigafactory will be located in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad. The facility is expected to begin manufacturing activities in 2026.
Manufacturing

Goldi Solar plans 210 mm module production from next year

Indian PV manufacturer Goldi Solar will start producing its HELOC̣ Pro series M10 (182 mm) modules in November, and will add G12 (210 mm) panels to its lineup next year.

Press Releases

A workshop discussing the localization of the photovoltaic energy industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia according to Vision 2030

The press release details the framework of the National Renewable Energy Program, where the Kingdom is expected to witness the development of over 35 renewable energy projects by the year 2030, the production of renewable energy to go from 9. 5 GW in 2019 to 27.

Relaunch: KOSTAL Solar Portal – powered by Solytic

The new KOSTAL Solar Portal was further developed as a relaunch with the Berlin PV monitoring specialist Solytic. With the new solar portal, more than 100,000 users possess a quicker, more comprehensible insight into the performance of their photovoltaic systems.

SAPVIA comments on SUNTECH SOLAR legal case against Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association has been named as a Respondent in an application filed by Suntech Solar Power South Africa (PTY) Limited (“Suntech Solar”) on 3rd September 2021.

Midsummer announces relaunch of solar design software Easy PV, with free access in the UK and Ireland

Midsummer, a leading renewables distributor in the UK and the parent of Easy PV, is relaunching its solar design software on 15th September. With free access to users in the UK and Ireland for at least the next year, as well as great new features like a satellite view interface (enabling users to draw roof shapes directly on a satellite image of the property), Easy PV is better than ever!

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Trolley car conundrum

The U.S. solar industry faces a moral dilemma, writes Paula Mints of SPV Market Research. Either continue to deploy projects and set aside concerns about forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, or source PV cells and modules from elsewhere, while bearing higher costs, in the pursuit of urgent action against climate change.

Polysilicon amid international trade disputes

Polysilicon capacity is unable to catch up with rapid capacity expansion in the mid and downstream segments, writes Corrine Lin, chief analyst for PV InfoLink. New polysilicon capacity requires big capex investment and a lead time of more than two years to complete construction and reach full operation. With unbalanced capacity between the upstream and downstream segments, polysilicon prices have been rising since the second half of 2020, with prices for mono-grade polysilicon surpassing CNY 200/kg ($27.40) in June 2021, up more than 250% year on year.

The world’s largest solar power plants

In his second article, Philip Wolfe founder of Wiki-Solar lists the world’s largest individual solar PV power plants. The biggest solar parks and other clusters of plants will be listed in subsequent blogs.

Global tracker shipments reached 45 GW in 2020

The global single-axis tracker market increased shipment volume by 40% year on year to reach 45 GW in 2020. This was despite significant pandemic-related supply chain turbulence that resulted in longer lead times for the delivery of components, the idling of steelmaking capacity in some key markets, container shipping dislocation, and widespread restrictions, particularly at ports. Most notably, this caused the cost of some commodities, such as steel, to more than double between 2020 and 2021. Jason Sheridan, a senior research analyst for IHS Markit, runs through some of the key developments in the tracker market.

IHSM clean energy insights: The 30 largest EPC PV system providers took 28% of the global market in 2020

This summer, IHS Markit published its annual global ranking of EPC providers that build in-house developed and third-party PV projects, based on last year’s installations. 2020 was a year of many contradictions, with lockdowns and increasing component prices taking their toll on many of the companies, both large and small. At the same time, EPC providers with their main share of business in mainland China and the United States had a remarkable year.

Looking at the world’s largest solar power stations

Solar energy pioneer and founder of Wiki-Solar, Philip Wolfe updates his series of blogs on the world’s largest solar power stations, first published in pv magazine in 2019. At that time, there were no single solar power plants over 1 GWAC. The record now is 2.2 GWAC.

Covid-19

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EU raises another €9bn for Covid recovery

The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.

Is it time for the world to start thinking about 1.7C?

A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.

EU to start auctioning green bonds next month

An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.

International group offers $68m loans for struggling off-grid clean energy distributors

‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.

‘The chance to reset with a green recovery has now been lost’

Norwegian consultancy DNV today published the latest of its annual surveys of the state of the energy transition and lamented the fact so very little has been achieved during the last five years. We are forging ahead into a world that will be 2.3C hotter this century, predicts the report.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Indonesia’s coal exit plan

Indonesia, the second-biggest coal exporter in the world, is now taking more steps to reduce its dependency on “black gold” as it starts to consider clean energy.

EU $6m credit line for solar appliances in Africa and South East Asia

Energy access entity EDFI ElectriFi has offered the revolving credit facility to a Californian distributor which supplies affordable, pay-as-you-go-enabled devices.

Australian generator teams with Japanese on 3 GW green hydrogen project

The Australian state of Queensland’s aim to become a leading producer and exporter of green hydrogen has received a boost, as state-owned electricity generator Stanwell has teamed up with a group of Australian and Japanese companies to launch a feasibility study for a proposed large-scale production and export project.

Legal dispute over South African content rules in 2 GW tech-neutral tender

The South African Department of Mineral Resources launched a tech-neutral procurement process for 2 GW of capacity in August 2020, in response to a chronic short-term electricity supply gap in the country.

Gransolar switches on 63 MW solar plant in South Africa

The PV project, near the agricultural town of Douglas, is expected to generate enough clean electricity to power 20,000 households.

Niger launches tender for 50 MW solar park

The solar plant is expected to have a capacity of up to 50 MW and to be located at the 100 MW Gorou Banda thermal power station commissioned in 2017.

Installations

Featured

PV resilience under fire

The Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, is embracing solar energy as a reliable local energy source. However, its 2 million residents still only have access to electricity for just a few hours per day. Amjad Khashmann reports on damages to installed PV systems and the urgent need for new installations to support education, water, and health care.

Coupling balcony solar panels with residential storage

South Korean researchers have tested four operational modes to combine residential batteries with balcony PV modules and have found that the best configuration is when solar is supplied to the load after the battery is fully charged. Charging the battery with the grid prevents the risk of full discharge in the absence of PV power, they said.

New incentive round for electric heat pumps in Denmark

The scheme is open to companies specializing in district heating and offers rebates covering up to 15% of the total investment made to buy and install the heat pump, with developers being eligible for a maximum of DKK5 million for each project.

Megawatt-scale, solar-powered EV truck charging

WattEV will build 1 MW solar-powered chargers to deliver 320 miles (515 km) of range to Class 8, 80,000-pound trucks in 30 minutes.

Ecuador announces renewables auctions, plans to allocate 1 GW

Ecuador plans to launch a 500 MW procurement exercise in November.

Off-grid data center powered exclusively by PV in Australia

Edge Centres – a data center operator based in Queensland, Australia – has announced its first off-grid, 100% solar-powered facility in the state of Victoria.

Technology

Featured

In Conversation: The effects of defects

Mónica LiraCantú leads a research group investigating nanostructured materials for photovoltaic energy at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Recently, her group led a project that looked deep into the crystalline structure of a perovskite solar cell, revealing new information about the formation of defects in the material and how they could be engineered to improve both efficiency and stability. pv magazine caught up with the Barcelona-based scientist to discuss the state of the art in perovskite solar cells and remaining challenges on the road to commercialization.

How long do residential solar inverters last?

Multiple factors affect the productive lifespans of residential solar inverters. In the second part of our new series on resiliency, we look at PV inverters.

Agrivoltaics to protect crops from heavy rainfall

BayWa r.e. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have built a 258 kW agrivoltaic system that hosts apple cultivation under four different crop protection systems. The system utilizes agrivoltaic technology with permanent, light-permeable PV modules that block rain, and tracking PV module tech that blocks rain only if necessary.

Solaria unveils 430 W pure black residential solar panel

The new residential module of the U.S.-based manufacturer has a power conversion efficiency of 20.40%, a size of 1,076×1,957x35mm, and a weight of 21.3kg. The product is claimed to be compatible with next-generation, module-level power electronics.

Antimony trisulfide solar cell with 5.84% efficiency

The cell was fabricated by adding a special additive that improves the low crystallinity and high resistivity of the antimony trisulfide film. On top of the improved efficiency, the device showed an open-circuit voltage of 0.62 V, a short-circuit current density of 15.85 mA/cm2 and a fill factor of 59.61%.

How long do rooftop residential solar panels last?

Multiple factors affect the productive lifespan of a residential solar panel. In the first part of this series, we look at the solar panels themselves.

Manufacturing

Featured

In Converstation: Top n-type performance

In search of the next leap for cell and module efficiency, module manufacturers are now turning away from mono-PERC and increasingly toward n-type TOPCon technology. A few pioneering manufacturers have already begun mass production for the utility-scale market – including JinkoSolar. pv magazine recently caught up with Roberto Murgioni, Jinko’s division head of technical services and product management in Europe, for an update on the company’s TOPCon plans.

Dutch construction company invests in 300 MW solar module factory

The factory is under development in Eindhoven by Dutch start-up Solarge, and is scheduled to begin manufacturing activities in March.

SDN opens heterojunction module factory in South Korea

Planned to be located in Gwangju, in southwestern Korea, the new factory is expected to reach a capacity of 385 MW and to produce 550 W panels.

Indian PV manufacturer expands panel capacity with new 700 MW factory

Insolation Energy Director Vikas Jain recently spoke to pv magazine about the company’s plans to expand its solar panel manufacturing capacity to 700 MW with the addition of a 500 MW facility. The new factory will be equipped to produce poly, mono, mono PERC, and bifacial panels, with individual outputs of up to 600 Wp.

Price increases hit US solar as trade uncertainties with China cloud growth goals

Price increases, supply chain disruptions, and a series of trade risks are threatening the U.S.’s ability to decarbonize the grid, warned SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Rising wafer prices and a big tracker order

AntaiSolar has secured a 400 MW contract from Ningxia Jiayang Energy and Longi has raised the prices of all its wafers. Elsewhere, GCL New Energy has announced the sale of another 198 MW of project capacity.

Energy Storage

Featured

In Conversation: Going full circle

With manufacturing ramping up year by year and policies already looking to get ahead of the large volumes of end-of-life products, the landscape for lithium-ion battery recycling is rapidly changing. pv magazine recently spoke with Mari Lundström, associate professor of chemical and metallurgical engineering at Aalto University, to find out what is needed on the research side for the effective recycling of batteries.

The Hydrogen Stream: work begins on Chile’s first green hydrogen project and French energy giants target decarbonized hydrogen

TotalEnergies wants to decarbonize hydrogen production in Normandy with the support of Air Liquide and, in Chile, an international consortium has begun construction of the country’s first green hydrogen facility. Elsewhere, the Indian government has invited U.S. companies to bid for green hydrogen and electrolyzer contracts.

Pakistan’s looming water crisis could be eased by a solar-led energy system

With renewable energy generation said to consume up to 95% less water than fossil-fuel fired power plants, solar could lead the way to a less stressed existence in mid century, according to researchers from Finland’s LUT.

Developers move forward with GW-scale PV-wind-storage project in Australia

A couple of years ago, the Australian state of Queensland became a beacon to advisory Energy Estate and international renewables developer RES Group. The Moah Creek Renewable Energy Project, the first stage of their gigawatt-scale plan, is now about to be introduced to the community.

Indonesia moves forward with 1 GW pumped storage hydropower plant

The World Bank has agreed to finance part of a project owned by Indonesian state-owned utility, PLN. The facility is planned to enable a larger penetration of renewable energy to provide with power two large demand centers in West Java.

Regional strategy to turbocharge Indonesian solar

A roadmap to rapid carbon emission reduction has suggested the nation add 2.4 GW of generation capacity next year as part of a 15 GW new-solar target this decade. The claims of solar-plus-storage should be ignored for now, according to a new policy document, because batteries will make PV less competitive with coal.

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