Top News

COP24 live blog

pv magazine's Max Hall will be pounding the vast spaces of the COP24 venue in Katowice to bring you the latest developments in Poland and trying to shine a light on solar's presence here.
Energy Storage

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, ...
Highlights

India will auction 80 GW of solar, wind capacity by March 2020

The Indian Government plans to tender 60 GW of solar and 20 GW of wind capacity by March 2020. This would complete the planned auctions for its targets of 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind installations by 2022, leaving two years for project execution, accordi...
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Highlights

Over $11 billion in large scale PV under construction in Australia

The Clean Energy Council has tallied the numbers underlying Australia’s large scale renewables boom. And big PV is shattering all records, with almost AU$11.5 billion in projects currently being constructed.
Markets & Policy

Industry urges policymakers to catch up with technology at COP24

The Global Solar Council has released a 15 point plan, which is largely policy focussed, alleging that the industry has down its homework to slash the costs of solar. Now its policies turn to even the playing field. In a similar effort, the World Future ...
Technology

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.
Events

COP24 live blog

Max Hall will be attending the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland on behalf of pv magazine and bringing you all the developments as they happen, as well as sniffing out anything solar related.
Markets & Policy

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.

Press Releases

PI Berlin becomes an approved testing institute for First Solar modules

The Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) has been accepted as an independent testing institute by the thin-film module manufacturer First Solar.

SMP Montage completes the first solar park in the Randstad metropolitan area

SMP Montage has completed what is now the fourth solar park for the Dutch EPC company KiesZon with a total nominal output of around 6 MWp.

Apex Energies raises 13.5 million euros and accelerates its growth

Apex Energies, a French independent power producer, raises € 13. 5 million from a consortium of Crédit Agricole Group investment funds, including IDIA Capital Investissement and SOFILARO, and Bpifrance.

ESS partners with CWL Energy to develop energy storage opportunities across Canada

ESS Inc. , a leading manufacturer of safe, low-cost and long-duration energy storage systems, has signed a partnership and collaboration agreement with CWL Energy, a leading Canadian energy project owner and developer.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

Degradation control tests for solar PV modules

Module degradation tests are essential not only for effective plant operations, but also to ensure an optimum ROI. However, fixed laboratories, where such tests are usually carried out, involve transportation issues, while it is not always economically feasible to send in mobile laboratories. So how can degradation in these instances be measured? Leonardo Enrique Pérez Abreu, Technical Manager of the Testing & Optimization department at Enertis discusses this issue.

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.

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.

Over 400 investors call on world’s leaders to address climate change

A total of 414 investors managing US$32 trillion in assets have called on the world’s policy makers to take action against climate change. It has been called the “single largest policy intervention” of its kind.

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.

Regional EU leaders demand clarity for energy communities

Consumer- and municipally-owned energy systems are lauded as key elements of the energy transition. However, their market design in many regions is still prohibitively complex. The European Committee of the Regions has presented a policy recommendation to address these issues, and enable a just and democratic energy transition.

Wind, solar could be self-financing by 2025 under current European electricity market design

According to a report from the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), lower capital costs for large-scale wind and solar projects, and much higher fossil fuel and carbon prices could lead to renewables becoming self financing by 2025. If these conditions do not materialize, more auctions and tenders may still be needed.

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.

India: Maharashtra discom issues 1 GW tender with tariff cap

The Indian state is looking to install 1 GW of new solar PV power under a new tender issued. A ceiling tariff of Rs 2.80 (US$0.039) has been set.

Turkey hits 5 GW of registered PV capacity

A total of 1.58 GW of new PV systems have been registered with Turkey’s grid administrator in 2018. Of this new capacity, 1.51 GW is in the unlicensed project segment, for arrays up to 1 MW in capacity, while the remaining 63 MW is for larger projects that had been successful in bidding for PEKA auctions.

Cape Verde commissions solar plant, sets 2030 RE target at 50%

Although renewable energy targets have been revised down, the archipelago’s government said that wind and solar will still see their share increase considerably over the next decade.

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.

Just two bidders for India’s 1.2 GW wind-solar hybrid project

India’s much-hyped first wind-solar hybrid auction found just two bidders, with 360 MW of the 1,200 MW finding no takers at all. This is the second time the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has held this auction, after the first round in May failed to attract bidders.

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.

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.

Substantial solar gains to be had from clean air – study

Eliminating emissions from the air would increase solar radiation by an average of 11%, allowing solar cells to generate one tenth more electricity claim researchers in a new study. Focusing on China, they say an additional 85-158 TWh of electricity could be generated annually in 2040, if the air was clean.

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.

Self-tracking solar panels, inspired by a lizard’s feet

Scientists at Harvard University have developed a type of material that can be programmed to move in response to various stimuli, including light. One possible application, says the group, could be in solar panels with integrated microstructures that track the sun without any energy input.

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.

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.

New plans by VW, Tesla and BYD support predictions that EV sales are set to skyrocket

A number of significant manufacturing and investment plans in China, Germany and North America by major automobile makers VW, Tesla and BYD are backing up predictions that electric vehicle car sales are set to skyrocket in the coming decades.

SolarPower Europe calls for 5 GW of EU solar module manufacturing

The European solar association has called on Europe to set up 5 GW of solar PV module manufacturing capacity to cater to the expected around 15 GW of annual demand.

Seraphim expands South African solar cell fab plans to 500 MW

Chinese solar manufacturer Seraphim has announced plans for a 500 MW cell factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The company also plans to expand an existing 300 MW module factory in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region by 200 MW.

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 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.

Kiwis launch 18 MWh VPP, green investment scheme

New Zealand will connect 3,000 home battery systems to the national grid to provide demand response services. The government has also set up a US$69 million finance company to accelerate investment in distributed energy generation and electric vehicles as part of its 2050 carbon neutral goals.

South Australia’s Tesla big battery saves $40 million in grid stabilization costs

A new report analyzing the world’s largest lithium-ion battery’s performance in the first year of operation shows the Hornsdale Power Reserve has delivered on high expectations of its performance and market impact. It has helped stabilize the grid, avoid outages and reduce system costs, as well as triggered a surge in uptake of similar fast response systems across Australia.

Sonnen to provide primary balancing power to German grid from networked home storage

After months of preliminary work, the time has come: With its PV+home storage network, sonnen GmbH has received prequalification from TenneT to participate in Germany’s primary control energy market. While it is currently allowed to deliver 1 MW, the goal is to supply 100 MW.

Australia’s first hydrogen test station opens in Canberra

ACT gas network operator Evoenergy and the Canberra Institute of Technology have partnered to build a first of its kind hydrogen test facility at CIT Fyshwick. The station will test up to 100% hydrogen in deployments in which natural gas is currently used.

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