Covid-19

Read pv magazine’s coverage of  Covid-19; and tell us how it is affecting your solar and energy storage operations. Email editors@pv-magazine.com to share your experiences.

Top News

Vietnam finally unveils new FITs for large-scale, rooftop, floating PV

Hanoi has set new feed-in tariff rates for utility-scale, rooftop and floating PV projects, ending a long period of policy uncertainty. The government has announced the new rates, which are broadly in line with industry expectations, roughly 10 months after the expiration of its old tariffs.
Energy Storage

Australia to host 600 MW battery

French renewable energy developer Neoen plans to develop a massive battery storage system near the Australian city of Geelong that will dwarf its largest project to date, the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery in South Australia.
Manufacturing

Mali exempts solar from VAT, import duties

The move represents a step forward in the implementation of the National Action Plan for Renewable Energy (Paner), through which the West African nation aims to install 1.42 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
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Fraunhofer ISE tests vehicle-integrated PV in commercial trucks

Two Fraunhofer institutes and four industrial players are working together to develop a concept that will facilitate the use of vehicle-integrated solar modules in electric vehicles and trucks. The three-year "Lade PV" project will also focus on PV compo...
Markets & Policy

Swiss researchers unveil new perovskite process

A group of scientists at Switzerland’s Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) has demonstrated a new manufacturing process, based on slot die coating, for the production of perovskite thin-film solar cells. The laboratory has ...
Installations

Maldives tenders 21 MW of PV

Via a new tender, the archipelago's finance ministry is seeking proposals for an 11 MW floating PV system and a 10 MW ground-mounted solar plant.
Installations

Waves, wind & floating PV

Dutch research center TNO is setting up a test facility for floating PV plants in Oostvoornse, where it will analyze the impact of wind and waves on floating structures and module yield. TNO Senior Project Manager Jan Kroon told pv magazine that i...
Manufacturing

Using ultrasonic irradiation to separate backsheets in PV waste

Chinese researchers have used an industrial-grade, 720 W ultrasonic cleaner – with a frequency rating of 28 Khz and 1,000 W of heating power – to separate backsheets from end-of-life PV modules. They've concluded that an ultrasonic power of 720 W is ...
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Press Releases

Peimar incorporates a new Sales Manager for Latin America team with the aim of reaching new markets

“I am very excited to be part of the Peimar Latin America team and collaborate in the commercialization and generation of awareness of the Peimar brand for solar panels, which offers a timely alternative with great advantages in the PV industry due to the high quality and competitive price of its products, allowing South America […]

12MW solar farm powers up in Buckinghamshire

A 12MW solar farm in Buckinghamshire that will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 2,800 homes and save 5000 tonnes of carbon every year, has officially been energised.

Lux Research predicts which chemical manufacturing platforms will be electrified by 2050

Electrolysis technologies will enable renewable electricity as an alternative to fossil feedstock, but what will it take to end the dominance of oil and gas in the chemicals sector?

India added over 2.2GW rooftop solar capacity with Growatt being the No.1 inverter supplier

2. 2 GW of solar capacity was added to the Indian rooftop sector in 2019 according to Annual India Solar Report Card released recently by JMK Research & Analytics.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Coronavirus: An ill wind for corporate PPAs?

The unforeseen arrival of COVID-19 has brought many negotiations for corporate power purchase agreements to an abrupt halt in Europe, but this may not be all bad news for the sector write Daniel Marhewka, Lis Blunsdon and David Haverbeke, energy specialists at European law firm, Fieldfisher.

Could Covid-19 be the catalyst for change where the COP process has stalled?

While the world’s climate negotiators dither, the post Covid-19 world could see their efforts overtaken – but only if policymakers are bold enough to take the opportunity to offer truly green fiscal stimulus packages to get us through the crisis. Felicia Jackson, from the center for sustainable finance of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, gives her thoughts here.

Perovskite technology – beyond efficiency records

Technological innovation in PV is taking place in the context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, writes Karl Melkonyan, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS Markit. This, he argues, explains the focus on lowering manufacturing costs, increasing efficiencies, and reducing losses at all stages of the manufacturing process.

The sky’s the limit: How solar and storage can set a post-Covid-19 example

The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.

How performance warranties protect revenues

Contracts to build solar PV plants usually contain a performance warranty to ensure that the owner receives an asset that delivers the agreed-upon minimum performance level. But can warranties and assessment methodologies guarantee that plant performance is being correctly assessed? The answer is not entirely straightforward, writes Felipe Canto Teixeira, a partner at Everoze.

Human rights risks threaten battery supply chains’ sustainability – now is the time to act

The battery and renewable energy industries are facing increased scrutiny for their human rights impacts. In December, U.S.-based technology and electric vehicle companies were named in the first lawsuit seeking to hold downstream companies responsible for allegedly aiding and abetting child labour in cobalt extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (https://bit.ly/2UgQPgZ). Energy storage technology, such as batteries, is increasingly developed alongside solar and wind-powered electricity generation. This means the battery industry’s material risks are now of direct concern to a broader group of companies involved in the global transition to a low carbon economy.

Covid-19

Featured

Sunrun withdraws 2020 residential solar guidance, lays off 100 employees

Sunrun laid off about 100 employees last week, according to Business Insider, which reported that furloughed staff will continue to receive benefits for three months.

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Indian installations to be delayed by outbreak

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

Indian government asks utilities to maintain payments to power producers

The clarification came after states across the country reacted to the power ministry’s recent call for a moratorium on conventional power payments by stopping payments and curtailing renewable power.

Greece wraps up PV tender with record-breaking €0.04911/kWh tariff

Greece held its last round of renewable energy tenders in Athens on Thursday, resulting in the lowest tariff ever awarded to a renewable energy project in the country.

Shunfeng posts $265.2m loss in 2019

The Chinese group’s loss widened significantly from the preceding 12-month period, despite posting a 5.4% year-on-year jump in revenue to RMB1.7 billion ($242.2 million).

Tesvolt starts commercial storage system production at gigafactory despite Covid-19

The German manufacturer has started to produce its first commercial storage systems at its new plant under strict safety precautions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The facility’s current annual capacity is set at 255 MWh, but the company aims to eventually expand that to 1 GWh.

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.

EU opens public consultations on climate targets

The European Commission has launched a 12-week online public consultation period for its 2030 climate targets.

World now has 583.5 GW of operational PV

Global grid-connected solar capacity reached 580.1 GW at the end of 2019, along with 3.4 GW of offgrid PV, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Total installed renewables capacity hit a remarkable 2,563.8 GW, with hydropower remaining the dominant source at 1,310.9 GW, followed by wind at 622.7 GW.

Looking back over lithium

Already responsible for changing the way we communicate and power portable devices, lithium-ion technology is now driving revolutions in both transport and energy supply the world over. A new paper published by Arumugam Manthiram of the University of Texas at Austin examines the technology’s development, from initial discoveries made in the 1970s to the considerations of today’s researchers working on the ‘batteries of the future’.

New Zealand may reach 6 GW of solar by 2050

National utility Transpower said that solar could take a 9.3% share of the country’s generation mix by the middle of the century. However, real growth is only forecast to occur from 2035, with distributed generation expected to account for more than 80% of total installed PV.

The weekend read: Turkish policy turns to the rooftop

Turkey’s stuttering economy, shifting PV policy landscape, and the fruitless YEKA tenders have undermined the country’s solar progress, even though it was considered Europe’s most promising market as recently as two years ago. But its rooftops could still bloom if new regulations that will be issued in May manage to make solar attractive to both businesses and households alike.

Installations

Featured

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.

Global solar EPC market dominated by US, German, Indian contractors

Although the Wiki-Solar website ranking only provides a snapshot of PV project engineering, procurement and construction contracts outside of China, it is nevertheless a useful indicator of the changing global solar market landscape. Of the top 11 companies, four are based in India, three in Germany, and two in the United States. But last year’s largest contractor, U.S.-based First Solar, might lose its leading position this year, as it has largely discontinued its EPC activities.

How much money can you make with PV-assisted EV charging stations?

A French-Turkish research team has created an economic model to optimize scheduling for solar-powered EV charging units. The proposed model suggests that such projects might be more profitable today than at the end of the decade, depending on a wide range of variables.

Utility-scale floating PV for Indian coal mines

Solar Energy Corp. of India has tendered two floating PV projects with a combined capacity of 15 MW. The two plants will be deployed at a storage reservoir (10 MW) and an open-cast project void (5 MW) in the Indian state of Telangana.

Lowest shortlisted bid in Saudi 1.47 GW tender was $0.0161/kWh

The shortlisted developers are EDF, Total, ACWA Power, Masdar, First Solar, Marubeni, and Al Blagha Holding.

Golden PV panels for balcony solar systems

German manufacturer a2-solar has supplied 240 solar panels for the renovation of an old building in Bern, Switzerland. The modules, which are being integrated into 96 balconies, feature different transparency options and color variations.

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.

Solar car tarp to recharge EV batteries

French solar thin-film specialist Armor has designed a retractable automotive solar cover. It has deployed an initial prototype on a Gazelle electric car, but it said that the cover can be used on any kind of electric vehicle.

General Electric works on grid-forming inverter controls

The U.S. conglomerate plans to deploy and test new controls with its commercial PV LV5 inverter platform. It aims to develop “grid-forming” controls to allow wind and solar inverters to form voltage and frequency levels like traditional generators. The company wants to improve coordination and synchronization among multiple grid-forming resources, and is working on smart PV reserve controls to improve the transient stability of systems with high renewables penetration.

It’s a good idea to charge an EV with solar when we’re socially distanced

Is there any good reason for putting solar on a Tesla Cybertruck? Or is it just virtue signaling? On the other hand, how far are you driving tomorrow? Do you have range anxiety or just general anxiety?

No such thing as ‘next-generation’ modules

According to one Dutch scientist, the development of PV technology in recent decades should be seen as an evolutionary process, rather than the constant emergence of new generations of equipment.

Carbon nanotubes pave the way for silicon in storage

Scientists in the United States have developed a carbon nanotube method of fabricating a lithium-ion battery with a silicon anode. The device reportedly demonstrated better than 87% capacity retention after 1,500 cycles. The developers say their discovery overcomes many of the obstacles to the use of silicon as an anode and could open up the use of other materials for electrodes in lithium-ion devices.

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.

All-in-one device integrating a microinverter and optimizer

The so-called Optiverter is an all-in-one residential solution developed by startup Ubik Solutions and researchers from Estonia’s TalTech Power Electronics Research Group. The developers claim that the new solution can provide 30% more power than traditional microinverters under partially shaded conditions.

Solaria sues Canadian Solar for alleged patent infringement on PV cell ‘shingling’ tech

The U.S. solar panel manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Solar in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

TOPCon technology hits 23.5% in mass production

Chinese manufacturer Jolywood claims it has reached 23.5% cell efficiency on the production lines for its n-type TOPCon technology. The achievement, which has not been verified by a third party, represents a 0.3% improvement to Jolywood’s reported mass production efficiency.

Solar pump moved by fuzzy logic

Researchers in the United Arab Emirates have proposed a PV-powered irrigation system that runs on a fuzzy logic-based algorithm, with a remote-control wireless monitoring system interface.

Chinese city bars all new solar this year

Yulin, in Shaanxi province has brought the curtain down on around 1 GW of PV projects which are under construction. It had previously been expected the city would add around 5 GW of new solar this year.

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.

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Meyer Burger reduces working hours for staff

The Swiss equipment supplier already needed to shore up its bottom line and is now taking measures to help combat the spread of an epidemic which has also claimed November’s planned climate summit in Glasgow and an estimated 19% of this year’s demand for energy storage.

France awards 960 MW of solar through different tenders

Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Elisabeth Borne told a teleconference of renewables representatives the results of a recent slew of clean energy tenders which allocated 1.7 GW of generation capacity and also revealed new measures being taken to support the industry.

EU research group agrees to back controversial Spanish lithium mine

Australian company Infinity Lithium has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Battery Alliance to promote its lithium mine project in San José, Extremadura. It would be the first lithium project to obtain European financing but has already raised the hackles of local environmentalists and residents.

Covid-19 daily bulletin

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

Netherlands to support residential PV through net metering for the entire decade

The Dutch government is planning to reduce tariffs by 9% annually from 2023 to 2030. The plan should still ensure a reasonable payback time for homeowners willing to go solar, according to the authorities.

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