Top News

The weekend read: Unsteady progress of a potential MENA solar superpower

With a combination of scale, a growing population, outstanding irradiation, and available capital, solar PV should be a ‘no brainer’ for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But early explorations of the technology have soured expectations, and progress has come in fits and starts.
Markets & Policy

Singyes finally publishes details of last year’s annus horribilis

The collapse in business for the solar EPC provider after last year’s 5/31 policy announcement by Beijing has left the company’s future depending on the progress of a Chinese state bail-out. Provided that is, the business does not end up being wound ...
Markets & Policy

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.
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Manufacturing

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.
Installations

Rooftop PV has reached grid parity in main EU markets

Researchers have developed a high-resolution geospatial method of assessing the solar potential of all buildings in the EU and concluded rooftop PV could provide a quarter of the bloc’s electricity needs. The scientists say grid parity for rooftop sola...
Markets & Policy

All smiles as Canadian Solar quarterly figures PERC up

The module manufacturer and project developer struck a bullish tone as it announced further project sales, higher module selling prices, a transition to entirely PERC module output and ramped up production capacity.
Manufacturing

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.
Markets & Policy

Algerian diesel-solar tender concludes with lowest bid of 11 cents

State-owned gas and power provider Sonegalz intends to develop five hybrid projects in off-grid areas in the south of the country. The highest bid came in at the equivalent of $0.13/kWh.
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Press Releases

Sungrow Supplies Argentina’s Largest Solar Plant with 1500Vdc Central Inverter Solutions

Sungrow announced that a 100. 1 MWp solar plant utilizing the Company's 1500Vdc central inverter solutions came online in Cafayate, Salta Province, Argentina, demonstrating the Company's dedicated contribution to the largest solar plant in one of LATAM's most booming solar energy regions.

Yingli Supplies 110MW of Solar Panels to Solaria for 3 Projects in Spain

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Europe, S. L.

Suntech supplies PV modules to the largest floating solar power plant in Germany

Suntech announced it has supplied all the PV modules for the largest floating solar power plant in Germany.

LONGi chooses Melbourne Australia for premiere of the innovative Hi-MO X

12th August 2019 – LONGi – Launch of breakthrough shingled module technology, now being produced in volume manufacturing. LONGi’s new Hi-MO X debuted in Melbourne, Australia on August 12, 2019, gaining the attention of Australia’s solar industry for its advanced features, high density power and sleek appearance.

Opinion & Analysis

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.

Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of a series of blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination afforded by organised solar parks.

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.

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.

Commercial solar at grid parity in China but a hard line is needed on soft costs

Deploying commercial and industrial PV in China without subsidy is already profitable in some areas, according to a new study, but prohibitive soft costs and cheap electricity are the main barriers for such installations in areas where grid parity remains out of reach.

Thinktank says India must prioritize a vertically integrated solar supply chain

To develop cost-competitive solar modules the nation must adopt a phased program and set up 15 GW of silicon-ingot-to-solar-module manufacturing capacity by 2024, according to The Energy and Resources Institute.

China Power’s Hong Kong business on track for return to China

The High Court has approved plans for the Chinese state-owned power company to reassume control of its Hong Kong-listed solar project development business.

Power deal signed for 230 MW solar plant in Chile

Atlas Renewable Energies has agreed to provide the Chilean unit of French energy giant Engie with 550 GWh annually for 15 years. The electricity will be supplied by the Sol del Desierto project Atlas is building in northern Chile.

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.

UPC/AC Renewables invest in 550 MW of pumped hydro and solar in Australia

AC Renewables, the energy arm of Philippines’ Ayala Corp, and Australia’s UPC Renewables have agreed to buy 51% in a 250 MW pumped hydro project and a neighboring 300 MW solar project, both located in South Australia.

The tide is changing for ground-mounted PV in Ireland

Ireland appears ready to embrace PV after years of failed announcements. Globaldata predicts the EU member state will deploy around 1.3 GW of solar by 2030, with renewables potentially meeting 65% of electricity demand. Furthermore, Irish Water has announced it wants to deploy solar at its water treatment plants.

Cameroon to improve power supply with 25 MW solar projects

Energy of Cameroon wants to build two solar parks to improve power supply in the country’s northern regions. The projects will be developed by a consortium led by Norwegian solar company Scatec.

Botswana kicks off 100 MW solar tender

Botswana Power Corp is seeking independent power producers to build two 50 MW solar parks. The projects are intended to reduce the nation’s dependence on power imports from troubled South African utility Eskom.

China holds key to corporate solar take-up but lags way behind Texas at present

The Lone Star State accounted for almost half of the activity witnessed in the world’s biggest corporate clean energy marketplace but analysts are excited about the prospect of Beijing mandating companies to purchase minimum levels of green electricity.

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.

Exciting excitons

A research team from Columbia University has designed organic molecules that can produce excitons with a longer lifecycle than inorganic equivalents. The excitons have the potential to amplify the amount of electricity generated by the photons a solar cell absorbs.

Nanowire mesh offers better cell performance and lower costs

A new method of creating an ordered mesh of nanowires, developed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States, could lead to the creation of more efficient transparent electrode layers in solar cells – and the elimination of a rare material from the manufacturing process.

‘New and strange properties’ provide a boost to energy storage

MIT scientists have developed a class of liquid electrolyte with properties they say could open up new possibilities for improving the performance and stability of lithium batteries and supercapacitors.

A new spectroscopic method to understand the physical principles of organic PV

A German research team claims to have created a new visualization technique it says can enable detailed mapping of the energetic landscapes of organic PV cells on a nano scale. The technique could lead to organic cells with reduced power losses.

Webinar Q&A: Simulating the gains of bifacial and tracking installations, where’s the rub?

Following up on the webinar held with Trina Solar about the new algorithms needed for bifacial and tracking installations, the word is that gains of 20-30% are not unlikely. To attain that, however, the sweet spot of front and rear side yield has to be reached. Trina has showcased a new algorithm alongside its bifacial n-type modules and claims it can do just that.

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.

Daqo prepares for flood of new PV orders in China

The polysilicon manufacturer took a step back in the last quarter to take two steps forward in the next, bringing forward annual maintenance operations at its main production facility to prepare for a solar gold rush expected to start next month.

German industry body calls for 5 GW cell manufacturing fab in Europe

The VDMA says Europe can restart a solar production sector that can compete on price with Chinese imports by reducing transport costs – provided a Euro supply chain can be established.

German PV equipment makers report fall in revenue

Manz and Singulus have both seen turnover drop in the first half.

PV system prices fell 8.9% in Brazil in the first six months of the year

The cumulative capacity of 5 MW-or-smaller solar systems has reached 958 MW in Brazil, according to consultancy Greener. Around a third of that capacity was installed in the first half of this year, with projects relying on half-cell and PERC modules making up the largest share.

The weekend read: Perovskites step out of the labs

Michael van der Gugten, Sales and Marketing Executive at Smit Thermal Solutions, is convinced that perovskite solar cells have reached maturity, and that they are ready to make the step from the lab to production. He is leading the organization of a conference on this topic and expects that the perovskite community, production equipment suppliers and crystalline silicon cell manufacturers will discuss the implementation of perovskite-silicon tandem cells or the production of standalone perovskite modules.

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.

Lithium-ion batteries still set for US tariffs on September 1

The energy storage market is set to be the latest affected by Trump’s trade war as lithium-ion batteries were excluded from the group of Chinese imports for which the U.S. president announced tariffs would be delayed until December 15.

Ganfeng Lithium’s Hong Kong-based shareholders rebel

Holders of almost two-thirds of the miner’s Hong Kong listed stock voted down a proposal to issue new non-Chinese shares that would dilute their investment by around a quarter. The board had proposed the move to raise funds for further lithium extraction overseas.

Asian battery manufacturers eye European riches on offer

A report produced by an AI and automation market research company says an anticipated boom in the European storage market – driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions – will attract producers as demand outside China tails away.

Flanders provides incentives for residential storage

Since the beginning of August the Flemish government has granted a €250/kWh rebate for the purchase of domestic batteries. The program is set to run until the end of next year.

Vattenfall to build large scale wind-solar-storage plant in the Netherlands

The energy company will build a 38 MW solar, 22 MW wind and 12 MW battery project on one site. The first fully renewable hybrid power plant could be a blueprint for post-subsidy Germany. Vattenfall has an eye on German coalfields in particular.

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