Top News

India ranked the world’s most attractive PV market by Ernst & Young

The latest edition of the accountant's renewables attractiveness index has placed the nation in top spot for photovoltaics, helping it to fourth spot for overall clean energy investment. Mexico has been hammered by the government's attitude to clean power and France has also slipped, four places.
Markets & Policy

Horizon looks to future with green hydrogen microgrid

Western Australian utility Horizon Power will build the nation’s first remote microgrid using renewable hydrogen generation at Denham, in the state’s northwest, having secured the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Installations

Chint energizes 152 MW of solar in the Netherlands

The three solar parks are located across the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Drenthe.
Announcements

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Albania launches tender for 100 MW solar park

The country’s third large-scale solar plant will be built near Durrës, a port city on the Adriatic Sea in western Albania.
Energy Storage

India and Israel to work together on perovskite solar cells and lithium sulfur batteries

Low-cost batteries and novel perovskite materials are among the topics selected for joint research and development.
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Installations

Eiffage RMT set to begin work on 25 MW solar plant in Benin

The French company and its partners will build the PV project in Illoulofin, near the city of Pobè.
Hydrogen

Australian power provider to install big batteries, 300 MW electrolyzer

Australian power supplier Origin Energy is accelerating its transition to clean energy through large-scale storage projects and newly announced hydrogen plans.
Manufacturing

New manufacturing process for 15.5% efficient perovskite solar panels

Stanford scientists have used a robotic device with two nozzles to quickly produce thin films of perovskite. With these films, they have manufactured perovskite cells and modules with efficiencies of 18% and 15.5%, respectively. According to them, this t...

Press Releases

Top 3 Module Manufacturers with over 50% Market Share Chose 182mm Modules

On November 12, 2020, the "182mm Modules and System Technology Forum" jointly organized by Jinko, JA and Longi was successfully held in Shanghai. Hundreds of company from the PV sector were invited to attend this exclusive event, including inverter enterprises, bracket manufacturers, EPC enterprises, and third-party certification institutes to express their point of view and comprehensively analyze the design, production cost, compatibility, system applications, and product certification of 182mm modules.

Mibet: Shining on the Roof of Asia’s Largest Railway Station

Just in past September, as the first inspection train passing through Xiongan Railway station, the new Asia’s largest railway station is closing to complete all construction and start formal operation. The Xiongan Railway Station, which with land occupation of over 680,000 meters square, surrounded with halos since the date of its approval: the largest one […]

LONGi supplies 273MW of its solar modules for Southeast Asia’s largest solar plant, Phase I of the Xuan Thien Ea Sup Project in Dak Lak, Vietnam

LONGi has successfully supplied its Hi-MO 4 Series modules for Southeast Asia’s largest solar plant, Phase I of the Xuan Thien Ea Sup Project in Dak Lak, Vietnam. Commissioned by Xuan Thien Group on November 15, 2020, the 600 MWac / 831 MWp utility-scale solar plant is estimated to have an electricity output of 1.

Growatt partners with the top PV retailer in Australia, having installed over 2,500 residential PV storage systems

Australia is one of the world’s most developed solar markets. With supportive policies, the country leads in the residential PV sector over the years, thus creating unique market soil for residential storage.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Boosting the energy transition: why the European Commission should support independent aggregators

Aggregators continuously monitor the needs of the electricity grid on one side and the energy consumption of a large number of distributed assets on the other. When the grid is stressed or out of balance, aggregators adjust the consumption or production of those distributed energy assets to help the grid restore balance. These services either lead to direct compensation from a transmission system operator (TSO), or a reduction in the total energy bill of the owner of the distributed asset.

The solar development process in Vietnam, its barriers and hurdles

The development process for ground-mounted utility scale solar projects in Vietnam is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and still largely difficult to navigate for foreign developers without entering a strategic partnership, in whatever form, with a local Vietnamese counterpart.

Why the solar M&A landscape in Vietnam is set to heat up

Vietnam has now effectively overtaken Thailand as the largest solar market in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar operational capacity, with more than 6,314 MW installed up to September 2020. Many hundreds of MWs of solar projects are also still under construction or development. However, its solar (and other renewable energy) M&A activity has developed very slowly to date. There are many reasons to expect that this is about to change, but before we examine them, let us review the main factors behind this sluggish tempo.

The potential for UK solar

Focusing on the big picture is always challenging, particularly in light of the current all-consuming coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some key issues related to the U.K. solar sector, which will feature significantly on the domestic agenda in the months ahead.

Why has the M&A landscape struggled to take off for renewables in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese renewables industry has been flourishing lately. Taking the example of the solar sector, the installed capacity increased from barely 134 MW in 2018 up to 6,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam has definitely emerged as one of the most active countries in South-East Asia and with the merit of diversifying its energy mix. They added capacity not only in solar – utility scale, commercial & industrial (C&I) rooftop – but also onshore/nearshore wind, hydro and to some extent biomass energy projects. Vietnam has shown levels of dynamism which has attracted initial investor interest.

Prospects for bifacial and large-format products

The pandemic and accidents at polysilicon labs in China’s Xinjiang region put PV manufacturers under pressure to maintain production this year, while slowing cell and module R&D. After half-cut and multi-busbar becomes commonplace, manufacturers will continue to explore the high-density assembly methods that emerged last year, as well as n-type cells. But the market is also shifting to large formats, and the share of bifacial products is growing this year. As sizing up modules can bring immediate returns, PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang expects the PV industry to prioritize the development of large formats and bifacial products next year.

Covid-19

Featured

Green projects eligible as EU throws another €40bn at Covid recovery

Italy is in line for €11.4 billion if member states sign off an emergency funding package which will distribute funds based on the GDP and unemployment figures of their economies in June, July and August.

‘Solar should be at heart of EU recovery’

Solarpower Europe has called on member states to put solar and battery storage front and center when it comes to drawing up the Recovery and Resilience plans needed to secure a slice of the bloc’s proposed €672.5 billion post-Covid stimulus package.

European Council reaches €1.82tn budget agreement with parliament

The parliament and EU member states will now mull the proposed budget for 2021-27 which includes a €750 billion Covid recovery package and a Strategic Investment Facility it is hoped will unlock €150 billion for renewables and energy storage to 2027.

World could add more than 900 GW of solar by 2025 if politicians grasp the nettle – IEA

With the International Energy Agency publishing its latest five-year clean energy forecast today, pv magazine takes a look at the solar content of the 162-page document.

Scatec stock price stymies extra shares issue plan

Shares in the Norwegian renewables company have been trading below the $26 price linked to a recent $527 million fundraising issuance which the developer launched to fund its planned acquisition of hydropower business SN Power.

Solar challenges and trends and Covid-19 discussed at 2020 Africa Energy Forum

The 24-day, digital 2020 Africa Energy Forum kicked off on October 20. The event brings together African energy sector officials to identify opportunities, air their views, form partnerships, and take the necessary steps to improve the industry. For solar, challenges in policy making, procurement processes and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were discussed, as well as emerging trends such as solar digitalization.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Power play under way Down Under

Economics and common sense have to win out over a climate-denying, pro-fossil fuel government, says John Grimes, the chief executive of Australia’s Smart Energy Council. And in the absence of renewable energy targets, he argues that the power of the people seems to be leading the way.

‘China renewables will hit grid parity with new-build coal next year’

Analyst WoodMac says South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam will also join India and Australia next year, among the nations where clean energy projects are cheaper than new coal power plants.

Switzerland raises rebates for PV systems up to 30 kW

The rebate for small-sized rooftop PV projects was raised from CHF340 (€314) to CHF380 per kilowatt installed.

Enel plans to drive 120 GW of renewables capacity by 2030

The Italian energy business plans to spend €70 billion on clean energy this decade and also announced plans to invest in e-mobility and grid flexibility, in concert with outside investors.

UK government leaves door open on more regular renewables auctions

Developers dodged more onerous supply-chain and carbon-footprint commitments in the results of a recent consultation exercise announced by BEIS but appear set to lose all Contracts for Difference top-up payments during periods of negative electricity prices.

New round, same result: PV takes it all in Germany’s wind-solar tender

The German authorities allocated around 202 MW of solar power in the procurement exercise. Final prices ranged between €0.0518 and €0.0545 per kWh.

Installations

Featured

Bulking up for bigger tracking challenges

Bigger modules and more challenging conditions are leading tracker designers to strengthen their offerings to deliver the stability required for long-term operation. Eduardo de San Nicolás, Soltec’s chief strategy officer, says that the Spanish company’s efforts have resulted in a new generation of trackers fit for almost any wind conditions – along with a host of other benefits including advanced communications and optimized bifacial yield.

Another 100 MW of solar under development in Chad

Two 50 MW solar parks are planned to be built near N’Djamena, the country’s capital. These facilities will sell power to the national utility, SNE, at a price of €0.083/kW.

Large-scale PV plant planning for weak power grids

Researchers in New Zealand have developed a new methodology for solar park planning that considers clear-sky radiation for voltage stability analysis. It is based on two different generation profiles for separate purposes.

India secures record-low solar tariff of $0.027/kWh

Solar Energy Corp. of India secured a bid of $0.027/kWh in a recent auction, which is 15% lower than Solarpack’s INR 2.36/kWh winning bid in a previous 2 GW procurement exercise.

Italy awards tariff of €0.11/kWh for shared electricity in energy communities

Energy communities in Italy will be awarded a special tariff for all shared power in renewable energy systems not exceeding 200 kW in size. Surplus power can be injected into the grid, but with no remuneration, which may encourage the members of these communities to resort to storage.

pv magazine video: How quality can lower solar risk and insurance rates

This year’s pv magazine Quality Roundtable USA looked at extreme weather, and how resiliency can be built through modern O&M. Representatives from DuPont, Stäubli, Nextracker and RETC took to the virtual stage to discuss weather-related damages, and how to harness quality materials and workmanship to industry’s advantage, particularly when it comes to insurers. Ariel Re and NovaSource, meanwhile, looked at issues like risk management insurance solutions and asset stabilization. Case studies and presentations on the field performance of PV modules, and extreme hail and fire, were also included.

Technology

Featured

Something truly new

You can try to succeed by making a better version of your competitors’ product, or you can try to do something completely new. NexWafe has chosen the second path. It is developing plans to manufacture wafers for high-efficiency solar cells in Bitterfeld, Germany, that are produced more sustainably and at lower cost than any other products available today.

The future of cars is electric – but how soon is this future?

According to a new report by BloombergNEF, 58% of global passenger vehicle sales in 2040 will come from electric vehicles, yet they will make up less than 33% of all cars on the road.

Ever heard of photovoltatronics, the new frontier of solar in urban environments?

Scientists in the Netherlands are planning to build intelligent PV devices for energy and information applications. Their intention is to make this approach a new field of PV research, whose ultimate goal is enabling solar cells to communicate with each other and with other devices, ensuring that all the generated energy ends up exactly where it’s needed, especially in the urban environment.

Mounting structure for balcony solar modules

Sino-Australian manufacturer Clenergy has unveiled a new mounting solution for PV panels installed in balconies. The structure is adjustable to different types of commonly-sized balconies with metal railings.

Online algorithm to estimate open-circuit voltage in PV systems

The new technique, proposed by researchers in Pakistan, is claimed to estimate the voltage, current and temperature of a PV system without interrupting the power flow to load.

Carbon nanotubes in search of a solar niche

A group of German scientists has analyzed the possible trajectory of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in photovoltaic research and industry and has suggested a roadmap to bring this technology closer to mass production. Despite a large number of challenges, the academics predicted a brilliant future for CNTs in PV applications, explaining that the barriers to their adoption are constantly being reduced.

Manufacturing

Featured

Circular innovations

Slowly but surely, environmental concerns are making their way into mainstream thought throughout the PV industry. A look at recycling offers an example of this, with stakeholders trying to get ahead of the high volumes of end-of-life modules already on the horizon. pv magazine examines the technologies that will be needed, alongside policy and economic support, to keep the bulk of these modules out of landfill and ultimately to establish a circular economy for PV materials.

DSM unveils ‘all purpose’ polyolefin-based backsheet for PV panels

Dutch materials specialist DSM launched a new polyolefin-based backsheet that is claimed to have outstanding UV and abrasion resistance as well as good moisture barrier and hydrolysis resistance.

Production begins at 500 MW Mexican solar panel fab

Mexican solar module manufacturer Solarever has switched on the production lines of its manufacturing facility in Tecomán, in the state of Colima.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: More glass, module production capacity and a 400 MW solar park

Kibing Group and CECEP have announced plans to increase their PV glass and solar module capacities, respectively. China Energy Investment Corp is planning a 400 MW solar park in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Daqo notes PV glass shortage in otherwise positive update

The polysilicon manufacturer says a lack of the raw material is causing a bottleneck for the industry but CEO has predicted it will be resolved as new production capacity comes online in the months ahead.

Longi releases statement on patent dispute with Hanwha Q-Cells

The Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer said the recent invalidation procedure for its patent at the Chinese Patent Office’s examination and invalidity department is only an administrative examination procedure that only examines whether or not the authorized Chinese patent complies with patent law requirements.

Energy Storage

Featured

Energy supply in an archipelagic nation

Mobile electricity storage systems (MESS) – batteries that are charged and then transported – could offer one of the best scenarios for electrification across the vast Indonesian archipelago, which spans more than 17,000 islands. A team at the University of Indonesia is working with multiple government agencies to bring the idea to scale and provide affordable electricity to rural Indonesians.

5 MW/7.5 MWh Li-ion battery to provide network services in Australia

Spanish storage specialist E22 is now working on its first project in Australia – a 5 MW/7.5 MW Li-ion battery in Victoria that will provide AusNet with network services during periods of summer congestion.

EU solar manufacturers must show willing on circular approach to secure funding

An extensive European Commission regulation has set the bar on those economic activities deemed to help in the war against global heating and, by implication, those which may hinder the effort.

Interest grows in going with the vanadium flow

The choice of battery storage technologies in support of solar energy supply is broadening to suit a variety of emerging applications. VSUN has just made its first power play for vanadium-redox-flow batteries in the off-grid residential market.

Chile to launch auction for 2.31 TWh of renewables+storage in May

The country’s energy regulator will publish the auction’s final bidding terms in December. Projects awarded contracts under the auction will supply electricity under 15-year power purchase agreements for 2026-2040.

New ‘slide-in’ solar canopy tech from Australia

Australian design and manufacturing company PVDymanics has unveiled a solar canopy technology which can be used with both framed and frameless solar modules. The company believes its system can revolutionize the micro-grid market.

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