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The weekend read: The ground beneath

A number of drivers are highlighting the importance of vegetation management in utility-scale solar projects, from coupling with agriculture to the significance of pollinators, as well as the related permitting and O&M benefits. Tom Karas of Minnesota Native Landscapes sets out why awareness of comprehensive vegetation management is of growing importance in the solar sector.
Manufacturing

Canadian Solar preps to launch 600+ W module

Bigger PV module designs are now hitting the market, but the production of larger, more powerful solar panels is challenging. Canadian Solar is launching its new Series 7 modules with pv magazine in a webinar on Oct. 29. Our editorial team recentl...
Technology

A chemical tune up for better perovskites

Scientists in the United States took a closer look at the way charges move through a perovskite material, and found that replacing hydrogen in the material with a heavier isotope can both reduce thermal conductivity and increase carrier lifetime, potenti...
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Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Beijing reluctant to ease restrictions on PV glass sector

China will not ease restrictions on new investments in additional PV glass production capacity, according to a newly published draft document from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Installations

Satellite data guides module technology choice for different climates and regions

A team of researchers analyzed irradiance spectra using satellite data. The research aimed at determining how different module technologies like silicon, hetero-junction, perovskite and CdTe cope in different geographies and weather conditions.
Manufacturing

Bayesian algorithm to reduce LCOE of bifacial projects

German researchers have proposed a new model, based on a range of parameters, to influence the LCOE of bifacial PV plants, with a focus on components, land costs, inclination angles, albedo, and weather conditions.
Markets & Policy

It’s cheaper to build new solar than it is to operate coal plants

New analysis released by Lazard compares the levelized cost of energy for various generation technologies on a $/MWh basis and shows that renewables, specifically utility-scale solar and wind, are the economic frontrunners.
Installations

Sustainable aircraft fuel will need a lot more renewables capacity

A research paper into the prospects of manufacturing 'power-to-liquid' kerosene in Germany has concluded the government will end up importing it. Wherever the world's clean aviation fuels are made, however, it seems a lot of clean power will be needed to...
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Press Releases

Strategic cooperation for safer Photovoltaic systems

Stäubli, the pioneer and market leader in electrical connectors for photovoltaic systems, invests in application-oriented research and development. The Electrical Connectors division (formerly Multi-Contact) enters into a multi-year cooperation with the Laboratory for Photovoltaic Systems (PV Lab) of the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH).

Trina Solar receives the world’s first IEC 62941:2019 photovoltaic module manufacturing quality system certification from TÜV Rheinland

Recently, Trina Solar received the world's first IEC 62941:2019 certification for their photovoltaic module manufacturing quality system issued by TÜV Rheinland, which once again proves the company's excellent product quality and strict production standards.

Foresight enters into a joint venture with Island Green Power to develop 700MW of UK solar PV projects

Five subsidy-free solar projects in development in England and Wales

Sonnedix reaches 244MW of operating capacity in Italy

Sonnedix, the global independent solar power producer (IPP) has reached 244 MW of operating capacity in Italy, with its latest acquisition of an operating solar PV portfolio from Genergy SpA.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

N-type market growth

Several manufacturers recently brought average mono PERC cell efficiency to 22.5%, and efficiencies will likely go beyond 22.6% in the second half of this year. This suggests that p-PERC cell efficiency could be brought closer to that of n-type, making it more difficult for n-type cells to compete in the increasingly challenging market. Taking costs and market conditions into account, most manufacturers have slowed their capacity expansion plans, leading to a gap between actual output and production capacity. PV InfoLink’s Wells Wang sheds some light on n-type trends in 2020.

Hydrogen and lithium-ion: Europe’s key to a green recovery

The promise of hydrogen as the energy source of the future has long been deliberated by manufacturers, climate professionals, and political figures. These discussions have intensified following the European Commission’s economic recovery package, which features a focus on kick-starting a clean hydrogen economy in Europe. Nikolaos Tsiouvaras, R&D director at Systems Sunlight S.A., a Greek manufacturer of industrial and advanced technology batteries for the energy storage industry, explores storage in Europe.

Reshuffle at the top, as new markets arise

A new wave of consolidation and some reshuffling is underway among market leaders in the solar EPC space, writes IHS Markit’s Josefin Berg. In 2019, the 30 largest EPC providers globally installed 28 GW of non-residential PV, representing 26% of the total market. This increase from 21% in 2018 stems mainly from a growing concentration in the Chinese PV market, as well as integrator concentration in rapidly growing markets like Spain and Vietnam.

Mitigating supply chain risks

Rajendra Khandalkar, group head of supply chain management at India-based infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction services company Sterling and Wilson, has spoken to pv magazine India about learning from the Covid-19 crisis and the importance of smart supplier management to bolster company resilience.

Safely meeting demand for renewable energy with innovative material design for health and sustainability

Clean energy is critical to solving our climate crisis. But we need to consider the full environmental and human health impacts of solar energy generation across its entire lifecycle, including mining, manufacturing, use, decommissioning and recycling. This requires us to identify critical stages in the production process, and how choices in materials and chemicals at different stages of production influence each other.

The future of solar PPAs in Turkey

Both the current status, and the future of, solar PPAs in the Turkish market as a key tool for increasing PV capacity has become a widely discussed topic. This is particularly due to the fact that after mid-2021, the future of YEKDEM (Turkey’s local FIT regime) is uncertain. The incentives could be lower than expected, or even unavailable for some technologies. This has raised the question of alternative financing mechanisms with respect to new investments.

Covid-19

Featured

Corporate funding for battery storage up 75%

Analysts at Mercom Capital Group have tallied up corporate funding, venture capital and debt and public market investment for battery storage, smart grids and energy efficiency companies. From a financial perspective, the industry appears resilient to the Covid-19 crisis and ready to grow further.

Solar generation retreats as hydro and wind lead Euro renewables dominance

Clean energy electricity generation surpassed that from nuclear and fossil fuels for the sixth successive quarter in the July-to-September window, according to data analyst Enappsys, but Europe saw a fall in solar output and demand patterns at the end of the window may presage a second wave of Covid-19.

Fall in off-grid solar sales deprives 5m people of access to clean power

The latest edition of the Global Off-grid Solar Market Report by the World Bank and GOGLA has called for regulatory and financial support to help off-grid distributors create jobs lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state of European energy

The proportion of clean energy consumed in the EU continues to rise but the European Commission’s State of the Energy Union report is critical of failings in energy efficiency, low-carbon-R&D spending, and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.

‘Solar is the new king of energy markets’

The advance of PV has been lauded by the International Energy Agency as it launched the latest edition of a flagship World Energy Outlook 2020 report overshadowed by the Covid-19 crisis and uncertainty over how long the economic recovery could take.

German PV equipment providers still affected by Covid-19 crisis

Orders fell more than 70% in the second quarter but China’s economic recovery is providing the basis for cautious optimism.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Starting a new industry

As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.

EU Council endorses €1.5bn public sector loan facility for energy transition

The credit, to be made available to public bodies in the bloc’s 27 member states, would be bolstered by €10 billion from the EIB and should not, said the Council of Ministers, support nuclear or fossil fuel projects.

Luxembourg launches 40 MW solar tender

The exercise will be open to PV projects ranging in size from 200 kW to 5 MW.

CEO Interview – SPI 2020, USA. Interview with William Sheng, President of Talesun Solar

As one of the world’s top ten PV module manufacturers and an experienced EPC supplier of solar PV power stations, Talesun Solar expanded its business globally based on steady capacity growth and targeted marketing actions. Before the largest solar PV exhibition and conference of the North America, the Solar Power & Energy Storage International (SPI) 2020, PV Magazine has the opportunity to interview with Mr. William Sheng, the president of Talesun Solar, and listen to his view of the PV market, module products with different techniques, and other hot topics.

Tesla’s Musk: ‘Energy business will ultimately be as large as our vehicle business’

Tesla’s solar and battery businesses show signs of life in another profitable quarter for the EV manufacturer.

Scatec Solar completes shares issue to part fund hydropower acquisition

The Norwegian renewables company has already raised $300 million of the $700 million, one-year funding it has shouldered to acquire hydro business SN Power from state-owned Norfund.

Installations

Featured

Investing in PowerBanks for high returns

Western Australia is soaked in sunshine, and PV uptake is challenging the grid. But small numbers of medium-sized community batteries are taking the heat off the system, while helping more people to reap the dividends of rooftop solar PV.

X-Elio to build PPA-linked 200 MW solar park in Australia

The Spanish solar EPC specialist has announced a “landmark” power purchase agreement for the 200 MW Blue Grass solar project in Queensland, Australia.

New central inverter from Kehua

The 4.16 MW inverter has a reported efficiency of 99.02% and a European efficiency of 98.7%. The Chinese manufacturer claims the inverter’s DC parallel connection ensures the continuous operation of devices and increases the overall utilization rate by 1%.

Fire accident at Argentinian solar park’s central inverters

The municipal firefighters of Ullum have been working for about an hour-and-a-half to extinguish a fire in the inverters of the Ullum photovoltaic park, owned by Argentinian energy company Genneia.

BayWa r.e and Alliander develop solar-plus-hydrogen in northern Netherlands

The pilot project, consisting of a 50 MW solar plant and a utility scale electrolyzer, is planned to test how this combination may help reduce grid constraints in the country.

Solar-powered ice making plants for the Maldives

The government of the archipelago is seeking proposals to build solar-powered ice-making plants on four islands. A pilot, 40 kW project powering an industrial ice machine was successfully implemented in 2016.

Technology

Featured

The state of solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries hold the potential to overcome many of the limitations of today’s lithium-ion storage technologies. Though they have been a research topic for more than 30 years, and more recently have seen billions of dollars poured into their development by leading carmakers and electronics giants, commercial development is still extremely limited. Major roadblocks remain in the way of both device performance and industrial-scale processing. pv magazine recently caught up with solid-state’s research community for a look at where the technology stands.

France to support BIPV solar tiles with additional incentives

Barbara Pompili, the French minister of ecological transition, recently announced new bonus incentives for BIPV projects during a visit to a Sunstyle factory that aims to produce 1 GW of “Made in France” solar tiles by 2025.

A stress test for all seasons

Scientists led by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new stress testing protocol for PV modules, one designed to simultaneously expose modules to multiple stresses, as they likely would be in the field. Putting modules through this test, the researchers have already been able to reveal new information regarding backsheet degradation, and they promise new insights into other degradation mechanisms both known and unknown as well.

New method to measure solar-powered hydrogen production

Indian researchers have used an “adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system” to assess the performance of hydrogen production backed by a photovoltaic-thermal collector. They claim it can be applied to other hydrogen production systems.

Australian scientists shed light on perovskite problem

Australian researchers have made a significant discovery in the fight against light-induced phase segregation in next-generation PV cells.

PV-powered drone for emergency services

Netherlands-based technology companies Avy and Wattlab have conducted the first test flight of a drone prototype that is planned to be used in medical projects in Africa.

Manufacturing

Featured

Coming around

Given the number of batteries (primarily lithium-ion) that are required to decarbonize the power and mobility sectors, the industry is now preparing for a mountain of battery waste. Recycling is technically feasible, but is also subject to sensitive economics. The framework in which recycling companies can achieve the best life-cycle costs for batteries needs to be carefully enabled through policy – and it will likely include a mixture of technologies and business models, in order to allow life-cycle emissions of batteries to be brought down.

Update of the ITRPV roadmap shows three wafer formats will prevail

In an update to its International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics, the German engineering association the VDMA said that solar module sizes of up to 4.0m² may be brought to mass production in the future.

LG unveils AC module with own microinverter

The South Korean manufacturer has launched a new 60-cell panel with a power output of up to 365 W. The 21.1%-efficient module features a 320 W microinverter with an efficiency of 97%.

Armor announces 26% efficiency for organic solar cell

The French organic PV specialist has achieved the record efficiency for cells exposed to low light (1000 lux). Armor sees potential in energy-intensive applications.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Record residential solar installs and rumblings in the polysilicon market

The NEA has revealed more than 1.3 GW of solar capacity was added to Chinese rooftops last month, with more than 500 MW of it in Shandong province. While poly maker Daqo was forced to revise down its latest sales forecast it predicted a quick rebound in the current quarter.

UAE revises energy strategy in view of competitive PV prices

Falling solar prices are leading to a new energy strategy for the United Arab Emirates as local energy companies offer unbeatable prices that make green hydrogen increasingly affordable.

Energy Storage

Featured

Long-duration storage advances, but regulators need more time

Lithium-ion batteries can do a great job of load shifting to balance solar’s midday peak, while also providing other stability services to the grid. But when it comes to really balancing an energy system that’s led by intermittent renewables, energy storage for longer durations can give system operators a lot more to work with. pv magazine takes a look at some of the technologies promising to fill this gap.

Organic redox flow battery with PEDOT electrodes

Swedish scientists have developed a redox flow battery with polymer electrodes, based on a special conductive polymer known as PEDOT. The battery features a water-based electrolyte based on a solution of redox quinone molecules, which can be extracted from forest-based materials.

Japan’s largest solar-plus-storage plant is now operational

Softbank has energized a 102.3 MW solar park backed by 27 MWh of lithium ion storage capacity. The project was built on 132 hectares of land near the town of Yakumo, in the northern island of Hokkaido.

Sterling and Wilson to build solar+storage hybrid power plant in Niger

The latest project is another African opportunity for the India-based EPC player after successfully commissioning Nigeria’s first solar-plus-storage hybrid power plant, which is also Africa’s largest battery energy storage system.

WA Govt approves 15 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub, whole project now expanded to 26 GW

The Western Australian government has given environmental approval to the first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a 15 GW hybrid solar and wind plant. The approval is a massive step forward for the project, which will eventually reach 26 GW, and an even larger step forward for green hydrogen development in Australia for domestic use and export.

Wärtsilä’s 9 MW battery storage system reduces demand peaks

An independent power producer, AEP OnSite Partners, will be the first to deploy Wärtsilä’s new storage product.

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