Top News

South Korea to raise renewables target to 129 GW by 2040

Under the South Korean government's new strategy, renewables would cover up to 35% of total power demand by 2040. The government sees the potential to deploy up to 235 GW of solar and wind, but cites a lack of land and relatively low solar radiation as factors that could hinder growth.
Installations

PV plants in China under greater pressure than wind farms — Fitch

Chinese solar plant operators must contend with higher financial costs than companies that run wind farms in the country. And delayed subsidy payments are only complicating their woes, the ratings agency reports.
Manufacturing

Taiwan’s PVEVL expands performance tests to perovskite, quantum dot and organic solar cells

Despite the difficulties its solar manufacturing industry faces, the Taiwanese government is ramping up its R&D efforts to measure the efficiency of what it calls "new-generation light-driven photovoltaics".
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Improving the output and lifetime of PV through cost effective cooling

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Understanding the next technological advance – passivating contacts using technology known as TopCon or POLO.

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Bifacial’s true potential: the importance of innovation excellence in ensuring yield gains

Find out how bifacial module innovations can help to boost your solar investment

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Nueva generación de módulos bifaciales

Formas en las que la nueva generación de módulos bifaciales puede reducir el costo nivelado de energía (LCOE)

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pv magazine outdoor test- January 2019 results

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Installations

Facebook brings solar to two more US states

Dominion is building three solar projects and acquiring two more completed plants the U.S. states of Virginia and North Carolina. Add in one recently completed project, and the utility will be supplying 350 MWac to feed Facebook’s desire for emissions-...
Installations

The prospects for solar after the Indian elections

Narendra Modi’s BJP party is seeking re-election with the aim of ensuring the electrification of all railways by 2022 and turning renewable energy into a popular movement with steps including an emphasis on solar farming. Even if the elections spring a...
Markets & Policy

California just made more clean energy than it needed

The state grid operator has shown that for most of the period between 1:50 PM and 3:05 PM on Sunday, more carbon emission-free electricity than users demanded was generated in its region.
Markets & Policy

Recom to install 20 MW of new solar in Cyprus this year

The French manufacturer and EPC company says it is building a 4.5 MW solar farm in the country as part of a commitment to Cypriot PV in 2019.
Installations

PV waste a rising challenge for Bangladesh

With concerns over the mountains of PV system waste that will one day pile up around the world, Bangladesh is no exception – the nation currently has no solar panel recycling policy.

Press Releases

Technique Solaire raises €54 million for the construction of its 47 mw solar portfolio in france

Technique Solaire, advised by financial advisor Finergreen, reached financial close in April 2019 for a long-term financing totalling 54 M€ which will go towards the construction of it’s 47 MWp solar portfolio comprising assets which were awarded a tariff mechanism under the government’s so-called “CRE4. 2” & “CRE 4.

Korea hosts Green Energy Expo 2019

International Green Energy Expo Korea 2019, which shed light on technology and products in the solar sector, drew to a successful conclusion.

First Bifacial Photovoltaic Panel Installed at Magdalena II

Mexico celebrates the installation of the first of 550,000 bifacial panels that will make up the 220-MW Magdalena II plant. Another step forward to achieving Mexico’s ambitious sustainability targets.

Tongwei Group Donated PV Power Station for Depopulated Zone of Tibetan Plateau

On April 17, a donation ceremony, titled "To illumine depopulated zone and protect Yangtze River--Tongwei Group is committed", was successfully held at the Yangtze Source Ecological Protection Station.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Strategies vary, but the goal remains the same

It’s no secret that global energy demand continues to rise, with some estimating an increase of a third by 2040. Meanwhile, writes David Green, Research & Analysis Manager for Smart Utilities Infrastructure at IHS Markit, the energy industry is on the cusp of a 100 year change away from oil and coal hydrocarbons towards renewables and natural gas. Every stakeholder in the industry has a role to play in the energy transition, including within the industrial sector which accounts for 50% of global energy consumption.

Inverter suppliers go digital

More than 11 million PV inverters will be shipped in 2019 alone, and most of these will be connected to a software platform and controlled by the inverter companies. This creates an opportunity for suppliers to create new models and revenue sources, writes Cormac Gilligan, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit. And indeed, in recent years inverter suppliers have been rapidly developing ‘Internet of things’ software platforms to take advantage of this.

China’s PV policy still under discussion

Although the National Energy Administration (NEA) held a seminar to talk about the development of the 13th five-year plan last November, a positive signal for domestic demand, the Chinese government still has not released new official targets for solar, as of February 2019.

Supply distribution under trade barriers and the trend of market diversification

Despite a number of unfavorable policy announcements, the global PV market still added 101 GW in 2018. It looks likely that this momentum will continue this year, with as much as 110 GW of new capacity expected.

Exponential or slow growth?

The Turkish solar market finds itself at a crossroads in 2019, with previous policy settings coming to an end and more questions than answers being raised by recent government efforts. While the YEKA projects to date have delivered little in terms of installations, Muren Guler from Global Energy Ltd believes that ‘Mini YEKA’ could provide just the boost manufacturers, suppliers, and developers are looking for.

What sustainable solar means to Turkey

There is no denying that Turkey is an ideal fit for a major solar market and key player in the PV sector, located on the border between east and west. But while the country has shone as a solar star this decade, writes Eren Engür, Managing Partner at Icarus Energy, it is quickly fading as the government has failed to promote a sustainable solar sector. However, this could be about to change.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Mega projects, mega problems

The clouds gathering over Turkey’s 1 GW solar park in Konya, the first YEKA tender, are dominating discussions among PV players in the country. Developments surrounding the Konya tender illustrate the Turkish solar market’s challenges, as the country’s unsteady economy and its policy preference for local manufacturing appear to be acting as a break on installations.

The weekend read: European solar comes of PPAge

From scorching Seville to rainy Rostock, investors claim that power purchase agreements (PPAs) have made European solar farms bankable without government subsidies. By providing lower risk for cheaper capital, they are powering a renaissance in established PV markets and lowering the cost of solar electricity in Europe.

The what and when of P2G

Often touted as the missing link in the energy transition, power-to-gas (P2G) has not yet had its time to shine. While the technology has been around for decades, large-scale projects have been exceptionally rare. Over the last year, however, encouraging signals are emerging as research, pilot projects, and small-scale applications appear to have picked up pace. As debate continues about the tipping point for P2G in terms of conversion efficiency and costs, some market players are optimistic about near-term prospects.

The Netherlands: PV’s Iron Throne

While relatively small compared to its more populous neighbors, the Netherlands has a history of punching above its weight. This is certainly true of its solar market in 2019, writes Rolf Heynen from Dutch New Energy Research. And for companies awake to the nuances of its policy settings and market opportunities, The Netherlands could prove a jewel in the European solar crown.

Solar once again the only winner in German renewables auctions

In the first round of this year’s mixed wind and solar tender there were only bids for PV projects. Some 18 projects with a combined capacity of 210 MW were selected and the final feed-in premium tariffs were almost the same as those seen in the previous round, with the average price slightly higher.

New figures reveal effect of policy vacuum on China’s large scale solar

Just 5.2 GW of new PV generation capacity was installed in the world’s biggest solar marketplace in the first three months of this year. And virtually all of that was made up of small systems as developers wait to see what emerges from solar policy discussions in Beijing.

Installations

Featured

Syncons come back Down Under

Sometimes there are old solutions to new problems. But often the problem would be best avoided in the first place. The developers of one of Australia’s most ambitious solar and eventually battery storage projects encountered precisely this – as the rate of wind and large-scale solar development in Australia outstrips the capabilities of the grid, at least in some locations.

Solar ready to take more risks in Brazil’s upcoming auction

According to Brazilian solar energy association ABSOLAR, PV project developers will be awarded “quantity contracts” in the auction to be held on June 27. The association, however, warns that changes in contract structures require adequate adaptation and correct implementation to achieve success.

Agro PV raised efficiency of land by shielding crops from harsh sunlight

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems has demonstrated combining solar generation with agricultural activity is now not only viable at lower costs, but may be particularly suitable for arid regions.

Moixa to build virtual power plant as first phase of UK smart energy project

The storage supplier will set up a mixed-asset virtual power plant that will initially aggregate up to 2 MW of capacity as the first phase of a planned smart local energy system in southern England. Moixa aims to eventually scale the VPP up to 17 MW.

Battery group unveils online map of global storage installations

The Consortium for Battery Innovation has produced an interactive, online map highlighting the location of lead-battery storage installations worldwide.

US presidential hopeful calls for huge increase in renewables on public lands

Senator and 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren has announced plans for a targeted expansion of renewable energy development on public lands along with a moratorium on new fossil fuel leases.

Technology

Featured

Quality on the line

With competition on the module market as cutthroat as ever, manufacturers are increasingly looking to emphasize the quality and reliability of their products and services as a differentiator. pv magazine investigates what’s behind some of these claims, and the move from manufacturers to more sophisticated quality assurance methods.

Global renewables R&D will further drive down energy transition cost

The Netherlands’ Organisation for Applied Scientific Research says renewables would not only contribute to a cheaper energy system but would also create more opportunities for new business, exports and jobs – as well as a cleaner environment.

Australians across all parties support EV policy and expect to buy electric cars

Coming hot on the heels of major reports and a heated public debate about electric vehicles, a poll commissioned by the Climate Council has confirmed Australians believe electric cars are the future. Another poll, by The Australia Institute, has 50% of Australian voters supporting all car sales being electric by 2025.

UK researchers warn of potentially rising silver costs

A study has highlighted that the two growth phases of solar panel manufacturing – after the 2008 global downturn and again after 2011 – coincided with higher prices for the precious metal.

App mobility service to add 300 e-buses in India by 2020 as utility pledges to go all-electric by 2030

Mobility company Shuttl will also set up more than 50 EV charging points in prime locations and state-run power distributor BSES Rajdhani Power Limited will invest in testing facilities to support stabilizing the grid for EV charging, as well as pilot schemes on effectively integrating renewable electricity into its network.

DuPont unit and Fraunhofer ISE to work on c-Si module testing

The PV solutions division of DuPont Electronics and Imaging has revealed plans to work with the Fraunhofer ISE on optimizing testing protocols for crystalline silicon solar modules.

Manufacturing

Featured

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.

GCL Poly secures more public backing with second investment fund deal

The polysilicon manufacturer will be one of the partners in a fund for the city of Leshan which appears to be planned chiefly to upgrade the poly production facilities of one of the company’s subsidiaries.

Longi plans two new production lines in China’s PV heartland

The solar manufacturer has revealed plans to invest around $875 million in production capacity for monocrystalline ingots, wafers and cells – and expects to raise a chunk of the cost with a shares issue this week.

GCL Poly subsidiary secures public backing for its operations in Xuzhou

A subsidiary of the poly maker and PV developer will commit more than $200 million of its cash to an investment fund which could then finance projects for one of its fellow GCL Poly Energy Holdings businesses.

India’s solar sector will outperform globally despite near-term challenges, says Fitch Solutions

With Narendra Modi being tipped to triumph again in the current Indian elections, Indian solar capacity is expected to grow robustly, at 15.3% per year, on the back of continued strong government support.

The weekend read: Out with the old…

PV demand started weakly this year but will show an upward trend in the second half. Corrine Lin, chief analyst at PV InfoLink, examines supply and demand for polysilicon and predicts huge new capacities will come online in the west of China and shake up the market, spelling bad news for some international players.

Energy Storage

Featured

The what and when of P2G

Often touted as the missing link in the energy transition, power-to-gas (P2G) has not yet had its time to shine. While the technology has been around for decades, large-scale projects have been exceptionally rare. Over the last year, however, encouraging signals are emerging as research, pilot projects, and small-scale applications appear to have picked up pace. As debate continues about the tipping point for P2G in terms of conversion efficiency and costs, some market players are optimistic about near-term prospects.

Washington state’s 100% renewables bill passes both Houses

Washington is looking to become the fourth state to make the move to 100% renewable electricity, with only a senate review and the hand of Governor Inslee left in the path of SB 5116.

GCL Poly subsidiary sweats solar assets for $89m cash injection

The poly maker’s project development business has entered a sale and leaseback deal for a 140 MW project that will bring in a financial lift in the short-term but cost more than $31 million over nine years.

Getting (almost) all our energy from the sun by 2050

Solar could meet approximately 68% of global energy demand with other renewables making up the rest, according to a new report. A 100% renewable energy system could also create 22 million solar jobs by 2050, the study claims. Keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C, though, would require FITs for projects up to 40 MW in capacity, auctions for bigger systems, removing fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies and providing more education and R&D and less red tape.

Hawaii utilities seek more renewables, storage and now grid services too

Hawaiian Electric Companies has laid out plans to source the equivalent of 135 MW of solar and 1,378 MWh of energy storage – as well as load shifting and frequency response from distributed energy resources through aggregators.

EDP to build Portugal’s first MW-sized PV plant coupled with storage

The 3.8 MW project is conceived for self-consumption of two facilities of the lead-acid battery manufacturer Exide in Castanheira do Ribatejo and Azambuja.

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