Top News

Self-cleaning tech for small off-grid PV arrays

A U.S.-Pakistan research group has created a new self-cleaning mechanism for standalone PV systems up to 5 kW in size. The system increases power yields by around 35%, while its payback period is estimated at around five years.
Energy Storage

UK assembles experimental hydrogen network from decommissioned gas infrastructure

The £12.7 million project will explore how to transport pure and blended hydrogen for use in heating and industrial purposes. Construction will start next year.
Markets & Policy

Benban developers agree to pay an extra $102m for building materials

Half of the EGP1.6 billion charge will be paid up front with the balance staggered over five years, pv magazine has learned.
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Belgium’s Flanders region to provide €58 million for PV rebates in 2021

The authorities in Flanders will grant maximum rebates of €1,500 per PV system to homeowners from Jan. 1. The scheme is expected to drive up solar installations by 1.5 GW by 2025.
Installations

Aurora Solar raises $50 million to support remote PV sales, design

The investment underscores the critical role of software in driving the mainstream adoption of solar.
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FRV to add 300 MW in Australia, GRS connects 39 MW

FRV Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abdul Latif Jameel, is set to install 300 MW of solar in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Hydrogen

Italy targets 5 GW of electrolyzer capacity by 2030

The Italian government has unveiled a new hydrogen strategy that aims for 20% hydrogen penetration into final energy demand by 2050.
Markets & Policy

Trina sweeps up another 30,000-plus tons of polysilicon

Chinese giant has signed orders for more than 100,000 metric tons of poly to the end of 2023 in a further sign of confidence in the outlook for solar.

Press Releases

Ecoppia announces IPO after successfully completing public tender phase

Recognized as the world leader in robotic solutions, Ecoppia maintains its competitive advantage, completing initial offering stage at $300 million valuation. Ecoppia Scientific LTD.

Everoze creates Skyray to design and engineer solar PV projects

Technical consultancy Everoze has formally launched a new company called Skyray. Skyray’s experienced team will provide design, engineering and site services to owners, developers and EPCs in the large-scale PV market (including new-build solar-storage).

Forum ITALIA SOLARE 2020: Current policy instruments and future challenges for a decarbonised energy system

On 1 December the fifth edition of the ITALIA SOLARE Forum will be held, this year dedicated to "Current policy instruments and future challenges for a decarbonised energy system", with the radio host and journalist Maurizio Melis.

GCLSI Supplies 64MW Solar Modules to Two Large PV Plants in Japan

GCL System Integration has announced its cooperation with a leading Japanese solar energy project construction company to build two utility-scale solar power stations in Japan.

Opinion & Analysis

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Boosting the energy transition: why the European Commission should support independent aggregators

Aggregators continuously monitor the needs of the electricity grid on one side and the energy consumption of a large number of distributed assets on the other. When the grid is stressed or out of balance, aggregators adjust the consumption or production of those distributed energy assets to help the grid restore balance. These services either lead to direct compensation from a transmission system operator (TSO), or a reduction in the total energy bill of the owner of the distributed asset.

The solar development process in Vietnam, its barriers and hurdles

The development process for ground-mounted utility scale solar projects in Vietnam is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and still largely difficult to navigate for foreign developers without entering a strategic partnership, in whatever form, with a local Vietnamese counterpart.

Why the solar M&A landscape in Vietnam is set to heat up

Vietnam has now effectively overtaken Thailand as the largest solar market in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar operational capacity, with more than 6,314 MW installed up to September 2020. Many hundreds of MWs of solar projects are also still under construction or development. However, its solar (and other renewable energy) M&A activity has developed very slowly to date. There are many reasons to expect that this is about to change, but before we examine them, let us review the main factors behind this sluggish tempo.

The potential for UK solar

Focusing on the big picture is always challenging, particularly in light of the current all-consuming coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some key issues related to the U.K. solar sector, which will feature significantly on the domestic agenda in the months ahead.

Why has the M&A landscape struggled to take off for renewables in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese renewables industry has been flourishing lately. Taking the example of the solar sector, the installed capacity increased from barely 134 MW in 2018 up to 6,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam has definitely emerged as one of the most active countries in South-East Asia and with the merit of diversifying its energy mix. They added capacity not only in solar – utility scale, commercial & industrial (C&I) rooftop – but also onshore/nearshore wind, hydro and to some extent biomass energy projects. Vietnam has shown levels of dynamism which has attracted initial investor interest.

Prospects for bifacial and large-format products

The pandemic and accidents at polysilicon labs in China’s Xinjiang region put PV manufacturers under pressure to maintain production this year, while slowing cell and module R&D. After half-cut and multi-busbar becomes commonplace, manufacturers will continue to explore the high-density assembly methods that emerged last year, as well as n-type cells. But the market is also shifting to large formats, and the share of bifacial products is growing this year. As sizing up modules can bring immediate returns, PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang expects the PV industry to prioritize the development of large formats and bifacial products next year.

Covid-19

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The weekend read: Green utilities show resilience

European utilities with large exposure to renewable energy have performed well this year, despite a downturn in both energy demand and prices on the back of Covid-19.

Green projects eligible as EU throws another €40bn at Covid recovery

Italy is in line for €11.4 billion if member states sign off an emergency funding package which will distribute funds based on the GDP and unemployment figures of their economies in June, July and August.

‘Solar should be at heart of EU recovery’

Solarpower Europe has called on member states to put solar and battery storage front and center when it comes to drawing up the Recovery and Resilience plans needed to secure a slice of the bloc’s proposed €672.5 billion post-Covid stimulus package.

European Council reaches €1.82tn budget agreement with parliament

The parliament and EU member states will now mull the proposed budget for 2021-27 which includes a €750 billion Covid recovery package and a Strategic Investment Facility it is hoped will unlock €150 billion for renewables and energy storage to 2027.

World could add more than 900 GW of solar by 2025 if politicians grasp the nettle – IEA

With the International Energy Agency publishing its latest five-year clean energy forecast today, pv magazine takes a look at the solar content of the 162-page document.

Scatec stock price stymies extra shares issue plan

Shares in the Norwegian renewables company have been trading below the $26 price linked to a recent $527 million fundraising issuance which the developer launched to fund its planned acquisition of hydropower business SN Power.

Markets & Policy

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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.

Behind-the-meter solar sharing technology from Australia

Allume Energy’s SolShare technology equitably spreads the solar love among residents of community housing and apartment buildings that can install PV on top. It has just achieved the certification that will let residents of “multi-family units” across America enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.

IRENA raises carbon price issue in green hydrogen policy guide

Guide to drawing up national green hydrogen strategies acknowledges the global hydrogen economy could fail to take shape if any of the world’s powers decide to stick with fossil fuels to gain a price advantage.

Germany deployed 421 MW of PV in October

In the first ten months of the year, the country saw the addition of PV systems totaling 3,924 MW. The rooftop segment keeps prevailing in the German PV market.

Soft loans for Jordan’s solar rebate scheme

The Jordanian government has announced more financial support for the rebate scheme for residential PV systems and solar thermal collectors.

Europe could double ambition of its hydrogen strategy – white paper

Big brands will have to put their money where there mouth is on carbon commitments, though, and the EU will have to put its shoulder to the wheel, particularly in respect of the commonly-heard call to dispense with red tape. The prize could be a call for 280 GW more renewables capacity by 2030.

Installations

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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.

The unstoppable trajectory of photovoltaic water pumps

Scientists in Russia have analyzed the most important technological advances achieved for solar water pumps over the past decades and have indicated the roadmap that future research should follow to expand their use and application.

Indian state plans 880 MW solar park

The authorities in Himachal Pradesh have already identified a site for the solar plant. State-owned Satluz Jal Vidyut Nigam will develop the project.

Rooftop PV vs. rooftop farming

U.K. researchers have developed a way to optimize urban rooftop use with solar PV and agriculture.

India ranked the world’s most attractive PV market by Ernst & Young

The latest edition of the accountant’s renewables attractiveness index has placed the nation in top spot for photovoltaics, helping it to fourth spot for overall clean energy investment. Mexico has been hammered by the government’s attitude to clean power and France has also slipped, four places.

Chint energizes 152 MW of solar in the Netherlands

The three solar parks are located across the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Drenthe.

Technology

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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.

Water-based cooling technique for photovoltaic-thermal systems

The novel technique consists of a PVC pipe with 20 holes that is placed on the top of a PV module and is able to maintain a constant discharge of water. It was demonstrated on an experimental photovoltaic-thermal PV system in which the PV panel was not integrated with the solar collector but connected to it via pipes.

‘Renewables superhighway’ to link Australian states

Work will proceed on a new electricity transmission line linking the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales, under a joint funding agreement between the Victoria state government and the federal coalition.

Large-scale printing for perovskites

Scientists in Germany investigated printing processes for perovskite solar cells, making some important conclusions for the development of inks suitable for the deposition of perovskite cell materials onto a substrate.

A new catalyst for lithium-air batteries

Scientists in the United States demonstrated a lithium-air battery with improved energy and stability performance, thanks to the use of molybdenum triphosphide as a catalyst for both charge and discharge reactions.

India and Israel to work together on perovskite solar cells and lithium sulfur batteries

Low-cost batteries and novel perovskite materials are among the topics selected for joint research and development.

Manufacturing

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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.

New manufacturing process for 15.5% efficient perovskite solar panels

Stanford scientists have used a robotic device with two nozzles to quickly produce thin films of perovskite. With these films, they have manufactured perovskite cells and modules with efficiencies of 18% and 15.5%, respectively. According to them, this technique may enable the production of perovskite modules at a cost of around $0.25 per square foot.

Ever heard of photovoltatronics, the new frontier of solar in urban environments?

Scientists in the Netherlands are planning to build intelligent PV devices for energy and information applications. Their intention is to make this approach a new field of PV research, whose ultimate goal is enabling solar cells to communicate with each other and with other devices, ensuring that all the generated energy ends up exactly where it’s needed, especially in the urban environment.

DSM unveils ‘all purpose’ polyolefin-based backsheet for PV panels

Dutch materials specialist DSM launched a new polyolefin-based backsheet that is claimed to have outstanding UV and abrasion resistance as well as good moisture barrier and hydrolysis resistance.

Mounting structure for balcony solar modules

Sino-Australian manufacturer Clenergy has unveiled a new mounting solution for PV panels installed in balconies. The structure is adjustable to different types of commonly-sized balconies with metal railings.

Production begins at 500 MW Mexican solar panel fab

Mexican solar module manufacturer Solarever has switched on the production lines of its manufacturing facility in Tecomán, in the state of Colima.

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.

Europe’s largest battery project gets approval in the UK

U.K.-based energy company InterGen has received planning permission to deploy 320 MW/640 MWh of capacity at a logistics park near London. The storage complex is planned to provide fast-reacting power and system balancing with an initial, two-hour duration.

Horizon looks to future with green hydrogen microgrid

Western Australian utility Horizon Power will build the nation’s first remote microgrid using renewable hydrogen generation at Denham, in the state’s northwest, having secured the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Australian power provider to install big batteries, 300 MW electrolyzer

Australian power supplier Origin Energy is accelerating its transition to clean energy through large-scale storage projects and newly announced hydrogen plans.

‘China renewables will hit grid parity with new-build coal next year’

Analyst WoodMac says South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam will also join India and Australia next year, among the nations where clean energy projects are cheaper than new coal power plants.

5 MW/7.5 MWh Li-ion battery to provide network services in Australia

Spanish storage specialist E22 is now working on its first project in Australia – a 5 MW/7.5 MW Li-ion battery in Victoria that will provide AusNet with network services during periods of summer congestion.

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