Top News

Lightsource BP acquires Ireland-based software company Ubiworx

British developer Lightsource has announced the acquisition of Irish software company Ubiworx. The company is a specialist in the internet of things and has already worked closely with Lightsource over the past two years
Markets & Policy

$758 million financing for the first PV-CSP plant in Latin America

Chilean company Cerro Dominador have announced the signing of a $758 million deal to finance the first combined concentrated solar power-PV project in Latin America – a 210 MW scheme in the Atacama desert

Markets & Policy

US: Rush to gas risks hundreds of billions in stranded assets

A new report by Rocky Mountain Institute finds that gas plants proposed across the United States over the next 15 years could be replaced by clean energy portfolios at a net savings, and that these projects are at risk of becoming stranded assets.

Installations

EBRD arranges financing for 50 MW project in Kazakhstan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced it will work alongside the Clean Technology Fund and Asian Development Bank to provide a loan for the construction of a 50 MW solar power plant in Kazakhstan’s central Baikonur region.

Installations

BNEF: E-buses expected to take 84% of global sales by 2030

Bloomberg New Energy Finance says EVs will make up only 7% of new car sales in nation by 2030, compared to a predicted 44% for European sales, 41% in China, 34% in the US and 17% in Japan

Installations

The unstoppable tide of solar illustrated by the rise of floating projects

Price deflation and technological innovation are helping solar transform the global electricity sector. A new report by IEEFA highlights the latest solar milestones around the world and charts important trends including the rise of floating solar and the corporate PPAs helping the tech giants ‘green’ their energy-hungry data centres.

Energy Storage

How solar emergency microgrids provide resilience to vulnerable communities

In this op-ed for pv magazine, Clean Coalition’s Frank Wasco explores how microgrid projects by Solar Saves Lives and other organizations show that communities can build back right and prepare for natural disasters.

Markets & Policy

Hurricane Maria moves Solartech Universal’s expansion to South Florida

Solartech Universal plans to expand its current 80 MW/year capacity by 180 MW/year. The company is seeking a facility in South Florida.

Opinion & Analysis

Are the big Chinese powerhouses coming to America?

In the face of actual and threatened tariffs in the US and India, the world's biggest solar manufacturers may have to set up shop in the protectionist nations in question ahead of a predicted cooling in their home market

Hydrogen, don’t give up!

For decades, hydrogen has been sold to us as the energy carrier of the future. You might not want to hear it anymore, because the future never seems to start. But times will change as recent developments in Germany indicate, writes Berlin-based renewable energy consultant, Stephan Franz.

Data is driving change – adapt or fall off the grid

As global economies develop, and uses for renewable energy diversifies, new pressures are being placed on the electric network. Yet, utilities are sitting on a wealth of data that can reveal better insights into their operations, writes Dan Beasley, Director, Utilities, Cyient.

Energy storage-as-a-service: The hottest game in town?

Alexander Schönfeldt of energy storage specialists, Younicos examines the growing trend of energy storage-as-a-service, and explains why the sector is growing at such a rate.

The sun shines brighter if the risks don’t cloud it

Finance in developing countries: Economics teaches that capital flows from where it is in surplus to where it is in demand. But that is not the case with renewable energy. The biggest pots of institutional capital in advanced economies are not shifting to developing ones. It is time to take a hard look and develop solutions that resolve this anomaly.

Regulations clarifying the use of solar PV in Cambodia

On January 26, 2018, the EAC issued a set of regulations to clarify the general conditions for installing and operating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Cambodia. Kohe Hasan, partner at Reed Smith and director of Resource Law LLC (Singapore), and Kaknika Lin, assistant consultant at KPMG Cambodia Ltd provide a summary of the key regulations, in addition to discussing the country’s investment climate.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Large it up Down Under

Australian large-scale solar: From just a handful of large-scale solar PV projects a few years ago, Australia is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. With a substantial project pipeline, the country is in the box seat to experience a banner year in 2018, with the 2020 Renewable Energy Target now in hand and a new policy taking shape for the period beyond.

India may miss solar PV target, says CEO survey

The country will achieve solar PV capacity of 50 to 75 GW by 2022 – a little over 60% of the 100 GW target. Total rooftop capacity will be less than 10 GW.

Solar, wind will drive the value of energy storage in the US

A much heralded report shows solar and wind will lower wholesale prices, but it also shows a coming evolution in the pricing profile of the grid. These shifts in timing, shape, regularity and length will drive energy storage demand.

Turkey introduces tax exemption for solar up to 10 kW

Although the promised new provisions for net metering are not in force yet, the Turkish government has prepared the ground for future development by granting residential projects under the upcoming scheme an exemption from the 5% income tax on excess power delivered to the grid.

Court orders Yingli to repay $10.6 million in medium term notes

A court in China has ruled that Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Company Limited must pay back RMB 65.7 million in medium term notes, due from 2015 and 2016. The Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited subsidiary plans to appeal the decision.

By 2030, EVs could outnumber the total vehicles in India today

To smoothen this transition, the country needs to build fast solar PV-powered charging stations. In 2017, there were only 220-250 operational charging stations in India, compared to 56,000 petrol stations.

Installations

A burning issue

Cables and connectors: The quality and performance of solar balance of system components in the U.S. market is generally quite high, but there are still low quality, knock-off, or outright counterfeit products available at discounts large enough to attract some shortsighted installers or other buyers in the market.

Study: 100% global energy system feasible

Several scientist have joined to rebut an Australian article that questions the feasibility of a global energy transition. For this purpose, they have gathered hundreds of studies on energy systems and conclude, that there are neither fundamental technical nor financial barriers to achieve 100% renewable energy supply.

Shuangdeng Group wins Afghanistan’s tender for 40 MW hybrid solar project

The Chinese provider of storage and back-up power systems has been awarded the $59.7 million contract to build the facility, which will be located at an industrial area in the Nangarhar province. The tender had been issued in September 2017.

T Plus begins work on two solar facilities totaling 105 MW in Russia

The two solar plants, both located in the region of Orenburg, are scheduled for completion by early 2019.

Brazil now has 250 MW of solar under net metering

According to data from Brazilian association ABSOLAR, Brazil currently has 27,803 solar PV systems connected to the grid, which benefit 32,924 consumer units and total more than BRL 1.9 billion (around $515 million) in accumulated investments since 2012.

India: Azure Power awarded 130 MW solar project

Azure Power has been awarded a 130 MW solar PV project by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). It is expected to be commissioned in 2019.

Technology

Featured

The new rising stars

Module technology trends: In the past decade, continued technology advances and cost improvements made solar one of the most dynamic industries of our time, as it continues to make a significant and growing contribution to the global supply of electricity. Technological innovation is taking place in a context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, which explains the focus on cost control.

JinkoSolar hits new output records for p-type and n-type

Chinese module giant JinkoSolar today announced that it hit record power output levels for modules based on p-type and n-type technology. Both records are confirmed by TÜV Rheinland in Shanghai.

SolarEdge posts 82% revenue growth, announces acquisition of Gamatronic

GAAP gross margin improved 4% year-on-year, while shipments grew by 345 MW in the most recent quarter. Through the acquisition of the U.S.-based UPS provider, the Israeli inverter supplier makes its first move outside of the pure-play solar sector.

Silver prices to fall by $4/toz by 2030, World Bank says

A recently published report on commodity markets published by the World Bank indicates that the recent decline in commodity prices for silver is likely to continue over the next 10-20 years. The looming trade dispute between the U.S. and China is impeding investor trust, as future outlook remains murky.

Japanese scientists develop wireless optical neural stimulator based on PV

A very small implantable device that can be used to control brain patterns has been developed by Japanese researchers using photovoltaic technology. The device is both the smallest and the lightest wireless optical biodevice to have ever been developed.

Ecosummit Berlin Round Up: software solutions for the solar industry

The 2018 Ecosummit Berlin, a EU cleantech startup platform, focussed on smart green energy and mobility. Of the 99 speakers, 69 were startups presenting innovative solutions to a changing energy economy, catering to the needs of end-customers, developers and utilities alike.

Manufacturing

Featured

From cost to tech-driven advances

Quality across the PV chain: With around 100 GW installed in 2017 (according to PV Market Alliance’s preliminary numbers), the global PV industry has once again beaten even the most optimistic of forecasts. However, this rosy picture hides some specific developments that highlight how the road to maturity could be long and at times chaotic, and why support for the industry must continue, both in Europe and beyond, writes Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute.

PV inverter market becoming more diversified as price pressure intensifies – IHS Markit

PV inverter shipment volumes have gone up recently, but an increasingly competitive market has seen declining prices, forcing manufacturers to think out of the box to find new business applications for their products.

China’s GCL-Si mulls purchase of semiconductor manufacturer, may leave cell, module business

GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-Si) has revealed tentative plans to buy an unspecified state-linked semiconductor manufacturer, with Chinese media reports suggesting that the Shenzhen-listed PV module supplier may leave the solar cell and module business to exclusively focus on producing wafers for the semiconductor industry.

Panasonic to hire 80 workers at Tesla’s US gigafactory

The Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory is taking on more workers, as a sign of health. However many details remain unclear.

2018 Technology Highlights: Announcing the winners

After much lively debate, a jury of independent experts pv magazine has selected three top innovations for special recognition in the Technology Highlights feature.

Neo Solar Power increases turnover, reduces losses

On the last stretch to the merger between NSP, Gintech and Solartech, the company still posted losses due to “operational challenges” and solar trade disputes.

Energy Storage

Featured

The cells of the future

Li-ion storage: battery manufacturers have a major task ahead of them, they have to meet runaway global demand, improve the performance, safety and longevity of storage devices, and of course bring down price. Instead of hoping for a big breakthrough, they are pursuing an approach involving many small steps.

Crowd investment kicking off PV, storage system market in developing countries

Autarsys reports the roll-out of two off-grid battery systems in Madagascar. Thanks to crowd investment, its order books are full. Streamlining the process of investment, the Germany-based start-up will cooperate with crowd investment platforms, Greenvesting and Ecoligo.

Brazil’s first solar-plus-storage power plant to come online

The plant, which consists of a 300 kW solar installation and a 1 MW storage system, was built by local power utility Cemig in partnership with Grupo Algar. The project is located in Uberlândia, in the state of Minas Gerais, which is the Brazilian region with the highest penetration of solar and renewables – and a grid that is in a urgent need of improvement.

Battery Inverter Webinar with Kaco: Your questions answered

Kaco developed its Blueplanet gridsave 50.0 TL3-S battery inverter based on experience gained from storage projects in Europe. In pv magazine‘s recent webinar in partnership with Kaco, a number of questions were raised about the device, which the experts now answer.

From black to green in Flanders

The installation of an 18 MW battery storage system shows the region’s pioneering work in integrating innovative storage systems to its electricity grid.

Anesco to deploy 380 MW of storage by 2020

The renewable energy developer claims that more opportunities in the UK storage business will be created by the balancing mechanism and growing demand for storage retrofits.

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Press Releases

GCL SI to Release New High Efficiency Modules During SNEC

GCL System Integration (GCL SI) (002506. SZ), a subsidiary of the world's leading clean energy conglomerate GCL Group, will bring a variety of new mono and multi high-efficiency modules to the exhibition to the annual SNEC PV Power Expo (SNEC) in Shanghai at the end of May.

SCI Engineered Materials, Inc. announces CEO retirement plans effective June 2019

SCI Engineered Materials, Inc. , a global supplier and manufacturer of advanced materials for physical vapor deposition thin film applications who works closely with end users and OEMs to develop innovative, customized solutions, today announced Daniel Rooney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has informed the Board of Directors (Board) of his plans to retire in June 2019.

VARTA Storage and E-One Moli Energy to develop high performance Lithium-Ion battery applications for the European market

With the new cooperation the companies will meet the demand for LiB’s in high performance Lithium-Ion cells. The demand arises from major cell vendors and large scale energy storage applications.

Hanwha Q CELLS powers one of the largest self-consumption solar projects in northern France

Hanwha Q CELLS has supplied 140 of its Q. PEAK-G4.