Top News

Renewables to account for 38% of Germany’s 2018 gross electricity consumption

The figure released by German industry associations BDEW and ZSW shows that no technology has grown as much as solar PV. Indeed, they say production increased 18% year-on-year. Overall, wind energy remains the largest producer of renewables, with annual growth of 7% over 2017.
Markets & Policy

UK utility to add storage at water treatment sites

Driven by the ambition to reduce costumer bills, Northumbria Water is turning its head to storage systems for peak shedding and uninterrupted power supply. The MW-scale storage project will use second-life EV batteries from Renault.
Markets & Policy

Zola receives $32.5 million for expansion in Tanzania

Zola Electric has received financial backing worth $32.5 million from social investment firm Symbiotics and the Dutch development bank FMO. The lending facility will be used to grow Zola’s operations in Tanzania over the following five years.
Announcements

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The next batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

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Events

COP24 live blog

Max Hall is back on the solar beat at COP24 in Katowice on behalf of pv magazine, prowling the corridors trying to establish whether the world's politicians can unite to stave off catastrophic global warming.
Highlights

EnerGaïa: Solar will be main pillar of France’s energy transition

The French renewable energy fair confirmed the central role of solar in the country’s energy transition. Despite the current difficult political situation, the event attracted more visitor and exhibitor numbers than ever. Read on to discover the four k...
Markets & Policy

EBRD unveils new energy strategy without coal or oil, looks to mobilize €1 billion in private sector capital

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development yesterday unveiled its new energy sector strategy, which aims to ramp up renewables investment, while moving away from coal and oil. Gas will still remain a focus, however. It has also announced this w...
Highlights

275 MW solar+100 MWh storage at Darlington Point, Australia get regulatory nod

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has given the green light to a massive solar farm coupled with a utility-scale energy storage facility. The Australian project proposed by Edify Energy is valued at AU$407 million.
Highlights

US: Tariffs bite Q3 solar market

Wood Mackenzie and SEIA’s latest Solar Market Insight report shows a big fall in utility-scale project completions from July through the end of September, but the promise of a massive fourth quarter.

Press Releases

JinkoSolar to supply 9 MW for juwi’s First 1500 V project in Greece

JinkoSolar Holding Co. , Ltd today announced that it supplied juwi Hellas SA, with 9 MW of PV solar modules for juwi's first 1500V DC system in Greece.

STA strengthened by three new Board members as sector pioneers move to become the first market competitive clean energy resource

The STA is delighted to welcome three new appointments to the Board representing key industry sectors. They join during a challenging period for the solar and nascent battery storage industries in the UK as we head towards a market competitive environment and fight for fair tax and market treatment of the UK’s favourite energy technology.

Canadian Solar secures US$50 million long-term financing for a 100.1 MWp solar power project in Argentina

Canadian Solar Inc. today announced it has secured US$50 million in non-recourse project financing for its 100.

Sonnedix expands portfolio in France by 31.8 MW

Sonnedix, an independent solar power producer (IPP), has acquired three solar PV plants in the Bordeaux area, south west France, increasing its country capacity by a further 31. 8 MW.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Obscured policies in Taiwan’s FIT scheme to impact on sustainable development of local solar supply chain

The Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has announced a 10.17% decrease to next year’s feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for solar PV installations, which is much higher than the average decrease of 4.25% in the global PV industry. This will make 2019 a tough year for Taiwan’s PV industry, with wider-than-expected impacts on the whole market.

Positive signals from China boost 2019 forecasts

On November 2, China’s National Energy Administration held a symposium to evaluate the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan for solar PV development at its halfway point, discussing the adjustment of PV and thermal generation targets in the plan. As a result of this, there is renewed positivity regarding China’s domestic solar demand in 2019-2020.

A call to action

Solar PV has come a long way as a power generation technology. As highlighted in SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook for 2018 to 2022, solar added 98 GW of net generation capacity last year, eclipsing all other forms of electricity generation. But solar needs to do a lot more, and to do it very soon if we want to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and keep global warming to below 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels.

Renewables 2.0: Preparing for the new complexity of renewable energy in a post-subsidy world

As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.

Low demand driving consolidation

With the release of second quarter financial results, the rankings of global module shipments in the first half of the year can be confirmed. JinkoSolar shipped 4.8 GW to take first place in this period.

Will Taiwan meet its 20 GW solar goal by 2025?

By 2025, Taiwan aims to reach a cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 20 GW. However, by mid-2018, just 11.2% of this goal had been met. TrendForce analyst, Rhea Tsao, examines the situation and discusses what needs to be done to reach the target.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Is the bottom in sight?

Judging merely by the prices over the past few weeks, the answer would seem to be an unequivocal no. But if you believe the voices of some manufacturers, then the end of the across-the-board slump in module prices is within reach. Once again, a shortage seems to be emerging, at least among some tier-1 manufacturers.

New renewable funding mechanisms higlighted for China – report

In light of the massive Renewable Energy Development Fund deficit, China is looking for new ways to support the further deployment of renewables. German Energy Agency, Dena has prepared a new report, detailing how the country can move away from FITs to a more sustainable financing framework. Overall, it points to the increasing importance of auctions; and discusses how the right policy design can improve the cost competitiveness of renewable energies.

Swiss fintech startup builds platform for post-tariff renewable energy markets

As renewable energy subsidies slowly evaporate, managing risks and securing revenue streams is becoming increasingly complex for investors. Pexapark is looking to address this helping companies transact PPAs and manage energy sales.

First Solar sees a doubling coming in 2019

The thin film PV maker projects 5.4 to 5.6 GW of module shipments next year, more than double its current projected 2018 volumes of 2.6 to 2.7 GW.

SMA announces over 400 job losses, China closure

SMA Solar technology AG has announced that around 425 full time jobs or 12.8% of its global workforce will be lost as part of its restructuring efforts. The PV inverter manufacturer will also discontinue operations in China, preferring to refocus its efforts on Germany.

Australia’s NSW plans 24 pumped hydro projects totaling 7 GW

Australia’s New South Wales Government has launched its ambitious pumped hydro roadmap designed to back the rising level of wind and solar in the energy mix. Meanwhile, the board of government-owned energy provider Snowy Hydro has given the green light to its landmark $4 billion pumped hydro expansion project, Snowy 2.0.

Installations

Featured

Staying afloat, whatever the weather

From a little known niche just a few years ago, floating solar has quickly grown to more than 1 GW of installed capacity worldwide, and a source of great hope for the industry’s future, particularly in countries where space for solar is at a premium. pv magazine spoke with experts from leading floating PV test centers in Singapore and the Netherlands to outline the challenges still faced by floating PV as the technology moves towards major growth.

Room for US residential solar to reach 41 GW by 2025

A new analysis by Credit Suisse forecasts that installed residential solar capacity in the United States could grow more than 3x to reach 41 GW by 2025, and shows that there is plenty of space on rooftops to do this.

ADB invests $155 million in Thai green bonds

The bank continues its involvement in Thailands largest IPP B.Grimm, which is set to grow its renewable energy portfolio. According to ADB, the green bond proceeds will go to nine operational solar PV plants with a cumulative rating of 67.7 MW, and 30.8 MW that are currently still under construction.

Policy plan for rapid transition to 100% renewable-powered Europe handed to politicians

Politicians take note: “The energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.” Indeed, according to a new study, it is possible to rapidly transition to a Europe 100% powered by renewables and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Solar PV leads the charge, followed by wind. Overall, eight policy recommendations have been laid out to achieve this bold goal by 2050.

$126 million earmarked for small-scale RE in Africa

During COP24, U.K. Energy Minister Claire Perry announced that her government will increase its efforts to help bring clean energy to Sub-Saharan Africa. A total of $126 million will be channeled via the REPP platform, which has already realized 18 projects with a considerable number of beneficiaries.

UK removes ‘key barrier’ to installation of household battery storage

The government regulator for gas and electricity markets in the United Kingdom has released updated guidance clearing up the confusion surrounding the installation of storage at households exporting solar to the grid. More still needs to be done though, argues the Solar Trade Association.

Technology

Featured

Flashing key for bifacial value

As new cell and module concepts move into large-scale production, and efficiencies are pushed ever higher, manufacturers of flash testing equipment must innovate to ensure their tools can provide reliable measurements, and cope with ever expanding production throughput. The expansion of bifacial technology beyond niche applications in particular raises new issues for flash testing standards. pv magazine spoke with several flasher manufacturers to shed light on the latest developments in this segment.

Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better

NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves.

UK grants £9.5 million for smart energy systems

The United Kingdom has announced £9.5 million (around US$12 million) in funding for the creation of a new research consortium and 12 projects to speed the uptake of smart energy systems.

World’s largest distributed energy management system to be deployed in Western Australia

PXiSE will deploy its Active Control Technology to manage up to 50,000 distributed energy resources across Horizon Power’s 2.3 million square kilometre network, which it says will enable higher levels of renewable energy.

Australia’s QUT discovers process to lower the cost of renewable hydrogen

Hydrogen holds promise for harnessing renewables to produce clean fuel for transport, growing a green energy-export industry, and overcoming seasonal intermittency challenges in the grid. On the road to viable hydrogen production every cost-efficiency measure counts.

Molten silicon storage enough to power city, says MIT

The system turns light of white-glowing molten silicon into electricity using specialized PV cells. The researchers claim that the concept could store electricity at around half the costs of pumped hydro. A single system comprising two ten meter tanks could power 100,000 households.

Manufacturing

Featured

A route to repowering for inverters

While the replacement of modules in aging PV systems with new, higher efficiency technologies has proved profitable for many projects in Europe, the route to improvements on the inverter side has been less clear. Greentech’s IPG Efficiency Kit, writes Ingo Rehmann, Founder and Managing Partner of greentech, offers a significant yield increase and further benefits for inverters of the Conergy IPG K series.

German equipment suppliers report ‘strong’ bookings for cell, thin film segments

In its Q3 2018 report, VDMA finds that German PV equipment providers are continuing to enjoy much improved fortunes compared to the previous year. Solar cell and thin film equipment suppliers account for the vast majority of bookings.

Greatcell Solar enters administration

Australia-based perovskite solar cell specialist Greatcell Solar has failed to secure refinancing for its activities and has been forced to appoint administrators. The company lays the blame at the federal government’s door, pointing to the R&D rebate changes and policy settings that are unsupportive of renewable energy investment as the reasons behind its downfall.

Sentis Capital urges Meyer Burger to establish GW-scale HJT production

Meyer Burger’s largest single shareholder has requested the company change strategy. Sentis Capital has urged the Swiss technology company’s board to raise sufficient capital for it to set up its own GW-sized production facility for its heterojunction and tandem cell PV technology. Meyer Burger has responded that it is view of only one shareholder.

Global-PV market: demand increasing – prices largely stable

According to EnergyTrend and PV Info Link, the downward spiral of prices along the PV value chain has come to a halt. Nonetheless, by bringing together the two pieces of recent market analysis, regional and value chain variations can be observed.

UNSW, Leadmicro to partner on ALD for PERC production

UNSW Sydney has partnered with Leadmicro to develop the next generation of PERC solar cells and fast-track their time to market. The Chinese PV production machinery manufacturer is donating $1 million Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) reactor to UNSW to test and adapt a new process for PERC cell solar cell production.

Energy Storage

Featured

Stepping out of the dark…

With a take-up in distributed energy resources and the imperative to render the energy system of tomorrow in a decentralized fashion, energy regulators might be in for a surprise when they try to determine the true capacity and location of residential storage systems. Getting the numbers right is inevitable, but also surprisingly complex.

US: Top Senate Democrat calls for permanent renewable energy, storage, EV tax credits

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for permanent tax credits for clean electricity, storage and EVs as part of a set of demands for the form of any new infrastructure package. What does this mean for solar?

Daimler brings its EV plans to the table with €20 billion battery cell order

Another German car manufacturer has announced ambitious electric vehicle plans. Daimler AG says it has invested €20 billion in the purchase of battery cells to further advance its electric fleet.

Switching to solar could save aid missions half a billion per year

A new report published by Chatham House for the Moving Energy Initiative examines energy spending of humanitarian aid organizations. The authors claim that with modern clean energy systems the sector could save US$517 million per year on fuel costs, as hitherto the majority of refugee camps and other facilities are run on diesel gensets.

Kenya’s 2022 universal electrification goal bets on off-grid solar

The World Bank and the Kenyan Government have announced a new strategy for attaining universal energy access for Kenyans by 2022. The plan underlines the importance of off-grid solar installations in reaching that goal. The investment opportunities for the coming five years are around US$14 billion.

US energy storage storm grows in strength

A Wood Mackenzie report shows U.S. energy storage deployments tripling in capacity during Q3 ’18 versus last year’s volume, while noting that the future pipeline growth rate doubled versus prior quarters to reach 33 GW of future projects.

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