Top News

GCL project development business has $1.6bn current liabilities deficit

The opening pages of the first-half update published on the Hong Kong exchange made all the right noises with the company set to be acquired by a Chinese state-owned entity. But the balance sheet makes for shocking reading.
Installations

The Chinese solar market is changing shape

Two reports have described how the world’s largest renewable energy market is moving towards maturity. According to the Brookings Institution, the Chinese clean energy market could become more open to Western investors and tech. A report by Fitch claim...
Markets & Policy

US electricity retailers are ditching fossil fuels

Three different retail electricity providers in the United States have announced new programs to provide customers the option to buy 100% renewably sourced electricity, with one of the three even coming at no additional cost.
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Markets & Policy

Another 300 MW solar auction for Japan

The procurement exercise, which closes tomorrow, will be open to projects larger than 500 kW in size. The results will be announced on September 3.
Installations

Karnataka leads Indian states in new rooftop PV attractiveness index

The Indian state of Karnataka has snagged the top spot on the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index.
Energy Storage

Renewables and geopolitics: ‘There won’t be as much to fight over’

In the latest installment of pv magazine’s renewable energy and geopolitics series, Indra Overland says a new mindset is necessary to understand the geopolitics ahead as the rules of the fossil fuel era will no longer apply. A renewable world wi...
Manufacturing

Meyer Burger moves to calm shareholders

Meyer Burger's new chairman has acknowledged that the outlook remains tense for Europe's largest solar equipment supplier, but he is urging shareholders to support the company's plan to reposition itself to focus on high-yield technologies and markets be...
Markets & Policy

Hanergy’s Solibro unit reportedly set to file for insolvency

Solibro will probably file for insolvency this month, according to German media reports. However, the company has yet to publicly confirm the matter.
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Press Releases

FreeVolt and Apparent, INC. partner to enable consumers to generate, use, and sell energy

FreeVolt, a solar manufacturer based in Poland, and Apparent, INC, an intelligent energy management company based in California, have begun developing a partnership to combine cutting-edge solar panel technology with intelligent energy management to increase the value of residential and commercial solar systems with energy storage. Once developed, these systems can be aggregated to offer valuable Distributed Energy Resources for the evolving modern grid.

New Generation PERC Product of Talesun with Conversion Efficiency Exceeding 23.1%

The R&D team of Suzhou Talesun Technologies Co. , Ltd.

How much of impact would a 25% weight decrease on a panel be to the industry?

JinkoSolar Swan bifacial beats rivals with its lightweight design.

European electricity market prices fell last week, except in Germany

The prices of the main European electricity markets fell on the previous week, with the exception of the EPEX SPOT market. According to the analysis carried out by AleaSoft, a fall in demand drove the change.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Dear European solar industry: Let’s lead the interconnected platform before it is too late

While China is single-handedly reducing CAPEX for modules and inverters, Europe understands that hardware won’t be the holy grail – generally speaking. But what is? Perhaps it is time for a new strategy to surf in front of the digital wave.

Vietnam’s 2019 commissioning rush

Vietnam had already successfully commissioned 1.5 GW of utility-scale PV at the end of May this year, and there is no sign of this slowing down, with another 2 GW teed up for June 2019. The breakneck speed in development is making Vietnam a powerhouse in the region in installed capacity, even nipping at the heels of Australia. Rystad Energy’s Minh Koi Le looks at the state of play in the Vietnamese solar market.

10 GW of utility-scale PV+storage by 2023

In 2019, the United States will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit’s Camron Barati, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement.

Looking ahead, post SNEC

In the wake of the 2019 SNEC trade show in Shanghai, PV InfoLink chief analyst Corrine Lin delves into the new cell and module technologies that were exhibited at the show.

Recharging economies: EV battery manufacturing outlook for Europe

As uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) increases, the EV battery market represents an opportunity for European players. McKinsey assesses the potential and looks at factors guiding the location of production capacity.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Install, underneath the radar

While they are often not squarely in the industry’s sights, the number of global markets that are heading toward or beyond the gigawatt level for annual installations continues to grow. Encouragingly, these countries are scattered throughout the world. To provide some insights into some of 2019’s ‘next tier’ markets, pv magazine assembled its global team of editors to find out what can be expected today and in the near future.

RES secures development approval for 200 MW in Australia

U.K. developer RES Group has obtained approval to build the 200 MW Avonlie Solar Farm in the Australian state of New South Wales.

US: Walmart accuses Tesla of gross negligence in fire lawsuit

The picture that Walmart is painting of Tesla/SolarCity installation and O&M practices in its U.S. lawsuit is not a pretty one.

China electric utility attracts record low module price in 3 GW procurement

The state-owned State Power Investment Corp Ltd has received a bid of 25 cents per watt for monocrystalline panels in a tender to procure 3.04 GW of PV module capacity.

Cell prices have tumbled again since early June

The latest figures show the solar policy vacuum, and related dearth of demand in China earlier this year accelerated price reductions for cell makers. Although prices are expected to rebound in line with renewed thirst for solar in China, cell makers such as Tongwei are feeling the pain.

Singyes threatens to pursue winding up costs against Deutsche Bank

The heavily-indebted Chinese BIPV manufacturer has warned the petition issued by the German lender to recover a disputed $6.27 million debt could threaten the survival of the business as it would halt a planned bail-out by Beijing.

Installations

Featured

Tracking in the wind

Extreme wind events are the biggest cause of failure and insurance claims for any PV plant, according to Thorsten Kray, Head of the Building Aerodynamics Department at Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH, Aachen. For structural reasons, single-axis trackers are more prone to the issues than fixed-tilt structures. In this two-part series, pv magazine will examine the ways that wind impacts trackers and what EPCs and investors need to look out for, in addition to outlining a range of approaches from big tracker suppliers that were designed to mitigate wind-related damage.

Indian petrol giant begins EV transition

IndianOil is the nation’s largest refiner and supplies almost half of Indian demand. In its latest annual report the company has outlined plans to make electric vehicle charging points a feature of its petrol stations.

Indian university to operate solar microgrid pilots

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has issued an expression of interest to set up three solar-backed microgrid projects in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The deadline for submissions for prospective developers is Aug. 30.

Solar to overtake wind in corporate renewable procurement

A new report by Wood Mackenzie and the American Wind Energy Association shows solar taking the favor of corporate renewable purchasers in 2021 and holding that crown to infinity and beyond.

Coles signs PPA for three solar farms in Australia

The Australian supermarket giant will purchase more than 70% of the electricity generated by three solar power plants to be built and operated by Metka EGN outside the regional centers of Wagga Wagga, Corowa and Junee, in the state of New South Wales – the equivalent of 10% of the company’s national electricity usage.

NTPC reveals plan to build 5 GW in Gujarat, opens global bids for 1.2 GW

The utility has revealed plans to invest roughly $3 billion in the construction of a 5 GW solar park across two to three locations in the Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat. In a separate announcement, the New Delhi-based group opened global bidding to build 1.2 GW of grid-connected solar capacity throughout India.

Technology

The importance of staying cool

"Solar cells prefer to operate in a refrigerator," says UNSW Professor Martin Green. His global research team is now identifying viable ways to cool down solar PV modules while amping up energy production to an unprecedented level.

Take a break on the solar bench – but not for too long

Engie has raised eyebrows with the installation of several solar benches in Biarritz, southwestern France, as a local official has asked citizens to avoid sitting on them for long periods of time in order to keep their energy yield up. But the authorities over in Cannes are clearly impressed, as the municipal government in the French Riviera resort town has also revealed plans to buy more of the PV benches, which are designed by Croatian startup Include.

Japanese scientists develop dye-sensitized cell with 10.7% efficiency

The improved performance was achieved by using a methylene bridged material, the molecular dye DfZnP-iPr.

PV for cooking

Traditional solar cookers concentrate sunlight on mirrored surfaces and convert it into heat. But this summer, Sunspot unveiled Sunspot Solar Electric Cooking, a new cooker based on PV technology. The system relies on two PV modules, a lead-carbon battery, an inverter, and an induction cooktop.

Global warming will hit solar panel performance

MIT researchers say climate change could reduce the yield of solar modules. Analysis based on the warming scenarios outlined by the IPCC predicts in some areas the annual energy output of PV systems may fall by up to 50 kWh per kilowatt installed.

Meyer Burger abandons plan to relocate operations to China

The Swiss equipment maker is instead preparing to commit its future to PV in its European heartland and will start with plans to help Norwegian module maker REC Solar embark on a gigawatt-scale production expansion.

Manufacturing

Featured

Change to the cast

Few in the industry predicted the speed at which monocrystalline technology would develop, or the impressive cost reductions it would achieve by 2019. This has left producers of multicrystalline products facing rapidly shrinking market share and struggling to compete on a cost per watt basis. Many are now turning to cast mono processes, essentially creating a monocrystalline, or ‘mono-like’ silicon ingot in a multicrystalline furnace, to reach higher efficiencies and extend equipment lifetimes.

Risen shines: Manufacturer starts work on 2.5 GW cell and module factory

The Chinese manufacturer is forging ahead with a new gigafactory despite a regulatory decision last year which halted its plans to raise a significant chunk of the costs by issuing convertible bonds. Risen expects to be back on the upswing when it confirms its first-half figures.

Polysilicon prices to rebound in September

Average spot polysilicon price has crossed below the $8/kg threshold for the first time, according to PVInsights. Market analyst Johannes Bernreuter said, however, that the industry should not read too much into $8/kg as a historical threshold and that prices may rise again in September, driven by strong demand in the Chinese market.

Hanergy Thin Film set to lose crucial hydropower project stakes – which could be auctioned off to Hanergy Mobile Energy

Troubled thin film manufacturer Thin Film will see a 51% controlling stake in a hugely profitable hydropower project auctioned off after a move by creditors. Hanergy Thin Film owner Li Hejun’s Hanergy Mobile Energy business in China says it will be among the bidders.

Solargiga issues profit warning

The manufacturer has been unable to get its new mono ingot and wafer making facilities up to full speed and says the delay in confirming Beijing’s new solar policy this year also affected its bottom line.

Big news as Zhonghuan Semiconductor unveils 12-inch super wafer

The manufacturer says its Kwafoo product improves efficiency and, if used in the optimal p-type PERC type of panel, could boast a module output of 610 W.

Energy Storage

Featured

The dawn of megastorage

Plummeting costs, industry maturity, and the ever-increasing penetration of global renewables are expanding the use cases for battery storage technology. Over the past year and a half, storage projects are increasing significantly in both scope and capacity.

MoU for vanadium redox flow battery collaboration in Australia

Australian Vanadium and Metrowest Power Systems have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to look at energy storage opportunities in Australia using vanadium redox flow battery technology.

ANZ, CEFC deepen ties to help businesses invest in PV, EVs, storage

Australian banking and financial services giant ANZ has extended its collaboration with Sydney-based Clean Energy Finance Corp. via an additional $67.7 million financing commitment to help the nation’s businesses cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. The bank is also offering financial discounts for upgrades and new investments in solar PV, energy storage, electric vehicles and other technologies.

Mali launches tender for solar-plus-storage

The country’s agency for rural electrification is seeking proposals for a 1.3 MW solar project and a 1.5 MW/2 MWh storage system.

DEWA to use solar to power new pumped-storage project

The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority will use energy from the gigawatt-scale Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to provide a new hydropower plant with pumped storage capacity. The state-owned utility has announced a number of innovations for the project in recent months, including plans for hydrogen and large-scale storage capacity.

Is a California solar+storage boom about to happen?

The California Independent System Operator has warned state regulators that there could be a 4.7 GW capacity shortfall in 2022, in the early evening hours of the annual peak demand events of September. The grid operator has suggested the alteration of water cooling laws, as well as increased procurement of resources.

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