This article explores the current state of floating solar PV (FPV), briefly highlighting several leading markets, and discussing benefits and advantages in detail alongside common applications and business model considerations. The outlook for FPV is positive and is set to break free of its niche perception. It could well become the third pillar of the solar PV sector in future.
Distribution system operators have their work cut out for them, as they are tasked with the ever-increasing challenge of managing their networks at times of increasing EV penetration, the electrification of heat, and distributed behind-the-meter generation and storage. As transmission system operator markets have opened to demand-side flexibility across Europe and beyond, we now see a trend of DSOs at the very early stages of a similar transition, writes Philippa Hardy, principal analyst at Delta-EE. DSOs are now starting to call on behind-the-meter assets to support local network management and balancing. This provides cost savings for DSOs, while offering opportunities for DSF providers and asset owners.
It is undeniable that easy access to energy has provided tremendous benefits to humankind over the last several decades. But that access has come at a price – one that society only discovered after the fact. From the thousand-year half-lives of spent nuclear fuel to the climate change impact of fossil fuels, access to energy has had a high environmental cost. Renewable energy, especially solar, seeks to provide that same access without the environmental cost. But what is the environmental impact of solar panels and inverters? Is society once again seeking to benefit from an energy source without understanding and addressing its environmental impact? Not this time, writes Green Electronics Council CEO Nancy Gillis.
The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a cloud on industries around the world, but the U.S. utility-scale solar segment is still growing, writes IHS Markit solar analyst Maria J. Chea. Around 3 GW of solar PV is set to be installed this year in Texas alone, but opportunities also abound across several other southern U.S. states.
The poly manufacturer discussed the impact of Covid-19 on its solar and wind project development business and fleshed out details of global polysilicon oversupply during a pandemic-hit first half of the year.
A national energy strategy which prioritizes coal is being ripped up just two years after its introduction, thanks to Covid-related slumps in demand, but legislators appear likely to look to gas, rather than solar and wind power as an alternative, due to land issues and energy storage costs.
Eneris Group has suspended its financial commitments for the time being and Leclanche shareholder Fefam has provided a bridge loan of CHF34 million to give the historic company more time to set up a joint venture for large scale battery cell production in Europe.
The weeks ahead could prove decisive for the bloc’s decarbonization ambitions as the European Parliament prepares for several votes and legislative proposals from the commission. The European Climate Law and the Just Transition Fund are critical parts of the European Green Deal but remain points of contention at Brussels.
Three big projects are candidates for support from the Covid recovery plan laid out by the bloc.
The two energy giants have announced plans to pivot away from fossil fuel assets as they expand their renewable footprints.
Amid an uptake in EV sales, researchers are examining battery material supply chains. A report has indicated policy-driven circular economy strategies must be introduced in Europe if the bloc is to strengthen its resilience to volatility in the cobalt market.
A new week has brought another slew of big production capacity announcements as online retailer JD.com prepares to install 200 MW of solar rooftop capacity and project developer SFSY reported on a promising new business stream.
The Spanish energy company, which has hydrogen projects under way in its homeland and the United Kingdom, says it will allocate new resources to position itself at the forefront of the supply of renewables-powered hydrogen.
The Dutch government awarded 3.91 GW of renewable-energy capacity in the program’s latest round. It set aside €4 billion for the exercise, but only used €3.3 billion, including €2.1 billion for PV.
With biodiversity concerns and social impacts such as arguments over the loss of agricultural land delaying projects, non-profit The Nature Conservancy India has published a report to help developers choose their locations more carefully and get India’s energy transition back on track.
With installers and developers trying to squeeze every kilowatt-hour out of every rooftop and every array, racking and trackers are the unsung heroes that secure and tilt panels, while maximizing output and protecting wiring and other gear.
The Western Australian government is talking to developers around the world about building a 1.5 GW wind and solar hydrogen hub at the Okajee Strategic Industrial Area. The state’s Mid West region has some of the world’s best solar and wind resources and they could drive the development of a local green hydrogen economy.
The government is aiming for 100 GW of installed generation capacity this decade but analysts suggest 170 GW will be needed to avoid electricity shortages and solar rooftops could hold the key.
Work has started on PV plants with generation capacities of 20 MW and 10 MW. The facilities will be located in Koudougou, in Boulkiemdé province and in Kaya, in Sanmatenga, respectively.
A new research paper looks at the membranes used for applications in vanadium redox flow batteries. It outlines various membrane technologies and the obstacles to bringing batteries to mass production.
Scientists in Hong Kong have developed a cell they say retains more than 90% of its initial efficiency under accelerated testing conditions. The device is based on two-dimensional metal-organic frameworks.
A proposed two-diode model is based exclusively on the standard test condition parameters of solar modules and their irradiance levels. The analytical tool reportedly enables PV system operators to estimate the I-V curves of a shaded array quickly and accurately.
Victory in the economic realm (increasingly the case with solar, solar-plus-storage and wind) is no guarantee of market victory if the regulations are stacked against renewables.
U.S.-Spanish researchers have proposed a new way to assess the reliability of PV modules and their warranties. It is impossible to fulfill a 25-year warranty if the threshold of returned modules exceeds 5% and the annual degradation rate is over 0.73%.
The U.S. polysilicon manufacturer has acquired DuPont’s trichlorosilane business, in a move that will help it cut production costs and control supply.
The 1 GW fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will feature NX Horizon trackers with the deal announced after the manufacturer published new bifacial yield gain claims.
Scientists in India have developed a new molecular precursor for applications in kesterite solar cells. They used the precursor to build a superstrate type solar cell with an efficiency that is purportedly among the highest ever recorded. They relied on a low-temperature process to manufacture the device.
Californian solar module manufacturer Solaria Corporation has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to issue an exclusion order to prevent the sale in the United States of Canadian Solar shingled solar modules it claims infringe its patents.
Indian PV manufacturers have highlighted the need to find alternative supply chains and to push automation and Internet of Things applications on the factory floor, in order to keep production running amid raw material and labor shortages.
“We’ve put together the best components to make a unique Australian-designed solution that is compliant to the new battery standards,” says EVO Power Managing Director Jamie Allen. Offgrid or upmarket – just add solar.
Scientists in Switzerland say power-to-hydrogen is particularly promising for coupling electricity and heating and offsetting seasonal variation in renewables generation in sector-coupled energy networks. Their analysis indicated the technology may be especially useful in areas with a high ratio of seasonal thermal-to-electric demand.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute has conducted a battery-powered test flight of solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle EAV-3. The aircraft is powered by solar cells on its wings and body and an LG Chem lithium-sulfur battery.
The U.K. utility is a partner in the Green Hydrogen for Scotland initiative which aims to be fueling commercial vehicles with sustainable hydrogen within two years, starting with a 10 MW electrolyzer on the outskirts of Glasgow.
Batteries could shrink even more with smaller crystals in the cathodes. Battery packs in electric vehicles and consumer goods could become smaller, while still offering high performance.
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