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European Commission approves further €2.9bn battery research project

Companies from a dozen EU member states will commit the public funds in a bid to come up with novel battery chemistries and production methods as well as recycling and circular economy innovation.
Manufacturing

Boeing brings more PV power to NASA International Space Station

Six new arrays with a combined capacity of 120 kW will be installed on the International Space Station starting from this year. The panels will be brought to the station with the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft during three resupply missions. The installa...
Energy Storage

Australian storage pricing could ‘cannibalize’ itself with latest big battery announcements

In November, Cornwall Insight estimated that Australia had 7 GW of battery storage projects in the pipeline. Since then, massive amounts of storage capacity have been added.
Announcements

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Markets & Policy

Italy allocates only 20 MW of PV in fourth renewables auction

The Italian authorities have awarded three solar projects in yet another under-subscribed renewables tender. The lowest bid in the procurement exercise came in at €0.06819/kWh and was submitted for a 10 MW solar project. All bids were slightly below th...
Manufacturing

Satellite-derived datasets to measure ground albedo for bifacial PV

A researcher from the NREL has set up a series of datasets of measured ground albedo values using measurement network data in the U.S. and data contributed by the PV industry. The measured albedo datasets are intended to help developers of ground-mounted...
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Markets & Policy

GCL on verge of cross default over $500m senior notes

The polysilicon manufacturer yesterday extended the deadline for postponing settlement of the investments until Friday – with the notes set to expire on Saturday.
Energy Storage

Axitec launches modular residential battery

The battery has a storage capacity ranging from 10 to 15 kWh and is already commercially available in Germany and Europe.
Markets & Policy

Spanish renewables auction secures lowest price of €0.01498/kWh

The Spanish authorities awarded about 2.04 GW of PV and 998 MW of wind capacity, out of a total allocation of approximately 3.03 GW. The average price for solar was €0.02447/kWh.

Press Releases

Global carbon market value hits a record €229 billion in 2020 on raised climate ambition

The total value of global carbon markets grew 20 percent in 2020, reaching a record €229 billion, according to the annual Refinitiv Carbon Market Year in Review.

Hydrogen experts all under one roof

Fronius has been researching and developing hydrogen solutions for around 20 years and, in this time, has become the innovation leader in the production of green hydrogen. The company has big plans to further build on this enormous wealth of experience.

Gresham House and Anesco to partner on 200MW solar portfolio

Renewable energy business, Anesco, is to partner with Gresham House, a specialist alternative asset manager, on a 200MW ground mounted solar PV portfolio in the UK. The development and construction partnership will span three years.

Ingeteam supplies its technology to a 160 MW solar PV plant in Sacramento County, California

The Rancho Seco II solar plant is located on the premises of the decommissioned Rancho Seco nuclear power plant.

Opinion & Analysis

Xinjiang sanctions and the PV supply chain

Due to forced labor concerns, a ban on imports from Xinjiang to the United States appears likely. This could be another blow for polysilicon producers hit by industrial accidents and the threat of floods in the third quarter of 2020. Chinese polysilicon prices have surged more than 50% in a matter of a months. Consequently, wafer prices have skyrocketed, bringing increasing costs to the solar cell and PV module segments. In the face of price hikes, some projects are now postponed until the first half of 2021.

The world won’t wait – Biden needs to catch up

The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States has brought hope the country will play a central role in the world’s energy transition and combating climate change. However, rather than teaching other countries lessons, the U.S. will need to catch up with the rest of the world, and it needs to do so quickly – the world won’t wait for the U.S.

Module Price Index: 2020 – Taking the time to say ‘thanks’…

Alongside all of the problems, 2020 has brought us a few promising solar module manufacturer initiatives and developments. Martin Schachinger of pvXchange.com looks back over the second half of the year and offers a quick look at what could be in store for 2021.

Turkish PV manufacturer report reveals country’s annual production capacity is 5,610 MW/year

In September 2020, Stantec Turkey launched a market assessment report for the Turkish solar PV panel manufacturing sector. The English version of the “Market Report for Turkey’s Photovoltaic Panel Manufacturing” followed in November. The report, based on collected data from local manufacturers, depicts the history of the market since its inception in 2011 and provides unique insights into its development and future potential.

Guggenheim Solar Index: More to come in ‘21

With the wholesale transformation of the power industry from the inside out and other energy transition mega-trends, capital will continue to flow into renewables from ESG, energy funds, and retail, writes ROTH Capital Analyst Jesse Pichel. Look for a greater mix of unsubsidized economic solar projects to support improving revenue visibility, increasing earnings quality, and multiple expansions.

Solar set to shine in a post-pandemic world

The world is still combating Covid-19, with Europe now impacted by a second wave of the virus. While the market reported delays for a few projects, the impacts on the PV sector remain unclear. But if the world fails to curb the Covid-19’s spread, governments may be forced to reintroduce strict measures, thereby sapping PV demand. PV InfoLink’s Mars Chang expects module demand to hit 126 GW by the end of this year.

Covid-19

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Beijing: China installed 48.2 GW of solar in 2020

With the nation almost doubling its new generation capacity figure for the year last month, the National Energy Administration is reportedly considering a joint solar and wind capacity target of 120 GW for this year.

Jenny Chase predicts up to 194 GW of solar this year

Falling module prices will help PV post another record year after an estimated 132 GW was installed worldwide in 2020, according to an energy transition investment trends report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

IFC says green recovery could drive $2.5tn renewables market this decade

The private-sector arm of the World Bank, which claims to leverage $3 of its own capital and $8 from third parties for every dollar invested in its blended finance funds, has attempted to quantify what devoting Covid recovery funds to green investment would mean for emerging economies.

EU records annual rise of 7 TWh in third-quarter solar output

European renewables, including Spanish solar, made big gains as energy demand recovered before the second wave of Covid infections. Nuclear was a notable loser, in part because clean energy volumes in the north of the continent drove down power prices sufficiently to make reactors uncompetitive.

Renewables cheaper than fossil fuel plants by 2030

A report by McKinsey & Company reinforces the widely-held view renewables will supplant fossil fuels in the energy system but also joins the chorus of voices warning the world is on track to fall well short of limiting global temperature rises this century to 1.5C.

Indian reliance on polycrystalline tech production leaves it trailing China

Polycrystalline PV technology, which is seeing its market share tumble on the global stage, still dominates India’s small solar manufacturing base and is emblematic of the R&D shortfalls in the sector, according to a survey of the state of the industry.

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.

Corporate renewables purchases hit record 23.7 GW in 2020

The growth of the global renewables sector in 2020, despite the negative impact of the pandemic, underscores how companies are prioritizing sustainability, BloombergNEF says in a new report.

Solar system prices to rise – then fall – in 2021, with another record year anticipated

IHS Markit is predicting the world will add 30% more solar capacity this year.

Chinese solar developers scramble to pay down debts

Shunfeng International is already overdue on debts of $381 million and a deadline for investors holding GCL-Poly senior notes worth $500 million to agree to postpone payment is due to expire today as the company prepares to vote on a $309 million, 430 MW solar project sell-off.

Former landfill to become largest US urban solar project

Developers will build the 50 MW Sunnyside solar project on a former landfill site just outside of downtown Houston.

First Solar sells 10 GW solar pipeline for $261 million

The deal includes the Rabbitbrush, Madison, Oak Trail, Horizon, and Ridgely projects, which are expected to start construction in the United States in the next two years, and the 30 MW Barilla Solar project, which is operational.

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.

Indian coal miner plans 300 MW floating PV project

Singareni Collieries, an Indian state-run coal miner, plans to set up a 300 MW floating PV plant on a reservoir in the Indian state of Telangana.

Compressed air storage to be more than just hot air in Israel

Solar-linked projects will be developed by domestic firm Augwind and will feature underground storage tanks. One of the systems will be built by French energy giant EDF and will feature a 20 MWh compressed air storage system and 5 MW solar array.

Storing oversized large scale PV with molten salt storage

Scientists from Israel and France have proposed a PV-plus-thermal-storage (PV-TS) concept that may be applied in regions with low direct solar beam radiation and high levels of global solar radiation. They estimated that the grid penetration rate of a large scale PV plant, when combined with molten salt storage, may rise from around 30% to up to 95%.

Indian utility launches call for 500 MW of PV

GUVNL, an electric utility in the Indian state of Gujarat, is seeking project proposals through competitive bidding, followed by a reverse auction. Bidding closes on Feb. 23.

Trina claims 3% energy gain with new tracking system over traditional trackers

The company’s integrated tracker manufacturer Nclave developed a new system designed primarily for large-form factor modules and with a new algorithm that promises to boost yield in diffuse light conditions.

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.

3-D multi‐ribbon interconnection tech for IBC cells

The interconnection tech, developed by scientists at the Belgian research institute Imec, is based on a three-dimensional fabric of encapsulant with incorporated horizontal and vertical solder‐coated metal ribbons. Mini solar modules built with the proposed technique have provided interesting results in tests for thermal cycling reliability, showing very limited degradation.

French startups develop PV-powered desalination solution

Two French companies have collaborated on the development of the Osmo-Watt system, which is powered by solar panels. They claim that the technology can produce up to 100 cubic meters of drinking water per day.

Silicon-carbide inverter for medium-voltage grids

Developed by scientists from German research institute Fraunhofer ISE, the silicon-carbide device claims 98.4% efficiency and could be used in utility-scale photovoltaic projects.

The impact of solar spectra on PV module performance

Scientists in Poland have measured the effect of solar radiation spectra in variable weather conditions on the performance of different kinds of PV module technologies. They found that amorphous silicon panels offer the best response to this effect in stationary or BIPV projects on facades, while crystalline silicon and CIS solar panels represent the best options in projects with trackers.

Iconic investor signs up for world-first domestic hydrogen battery in Australia

Gowing Bros has become the first major customer of the LAVO 40 kWh battery in Australia. The system, which features an electrolyzer and domestic fuel-cell tech, will be market-ready in June.

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.

Fimer unveils two new three-phase string inverters

The Italian inverter maker said the two devices were designed to deal with increasing PV module currents. The inverters have a power output ranging from 10 to 33 kW and are claimed to reach an input voltage of 1100 V (DC).

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Strong profit growth for Sungrow, new wafer prices from Longi

Furthermore, Risen predicts its solar module shipments will reach 15 GW this year and Sze Tan Hung has increased her stake in solar cell and panel maker Solargiga.

Passive cooling with porous materials for PV modules

Researchers in the Middle East have proposed a new passive technology to cool off solar modules, based on highly conductive porous materials.

pv magazine Award: The Winners

In many respects, the past year has been unlike any other. But the innovation and ambition driving the expansion of the solar and energy storage industries is one constant that has remained, Across seven categories, pv magazine’s award winners for 2020 demonstrate high levels of technical expertise, creativity, mass production capabilities, and real market impact from PV and power electronics companies big and small. Following on from the virtual award ceremony held this morning, the winners are….

Shoals Technologies announces IPO

Tennessee-based Shoals Technologies has balance-of-systems solutions deployed on more than 20 GW of solar energy systems throughout the world.

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.

European scientists want to develop hybrid vanadium redox flow battery with supercapacitor

European scientists are designing a new type of redox flow storage system aimed at flexibly balancing power grids in the event of critical conditions. Funded by the EU, the research project is being coordinated by the Landshut University of Applied Sciences and runs until 2023.

Big interest in Australia’s proposed 1.5 GW solar-wind-hydrogen hub

The Western Australian government has called for expressions of interest for its proposed 1.5 GW solar-wind-hydrogen hub at the Okajee Strategic Industrial Area. This week, it said that 65 companies from around the world are interested.

UK added 545 MW of solar last year to hit 13.9 GW

The news comes on the day a private equity investor in the English North East announced plans to jointly develop a 1.4 GWp solar portfolio with Canadian Solar.

The Indian market for off-grid solar refrigeration

Standalone solar-powered refrigerators present a $20 billion opportunity in India for vaccine storage, milk chillers, households, micro enterprises, and cold storage for farm produce, according to a new report by Gogla.

Improving PV-powered water electrolysis with external fields

Australian researchers have analyzed different ways to improve the efficiency of PV-powered water electrolysis for hydrogen generation. They include the use of magnetic fields, light energy, ultrasonic fields, and pulsating electric fields. Energy costs remain prohibitive, but molecular movement and the redistribution of molecules in water during electrolysis could open a path to viability.

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