Covid-19

Read pv magazine’s coverage of  Covid-19; and tell us how it is affecting your solar and energy storage operations. Email editors@pv-magazine.com to share your experiences.

Top News

Solar car tarp to recharge EV batteries

French solar thin-film specialist Armor has designed a retractable automotive solar cover. It has deployed an initial prototype on a Gazelle electric car, but it said that the cover can be used on any kind of electric vehicle.
Installations

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Indian installations to be delayed by outbreak

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.
Markets & Policy

EU opens public consultations on climate targets

The European Commission has launched a 12-week online public consultation period for its 2030 climate targets.
Announcements

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Markets & Policy

World now has 583.5 GW of operational PV

Global grid-connected solar capacity reached 580.1 GW at the end of 2019, along with 3.4 GW of offgrid PV, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Total installed renewables capacity hit a remarkable 2,563.8 GW, with hydropower remaining ...
Installations

How much money can you make with PV-assisted EV charging stations?

A French-Turkish research team has created an economic model to optimize scheduling for solar-powered EV charging units. The proposed model suggests that such projects might be more profitable today than at the end of the decade, depending on a wide rang...
Installations

Utility-scale floating PV for Indian coal mines

Solar Energy Corp. of India has tendered two floating PV projects with a combined capacity of 15 MW. The two plants will be deployed at a storage reservoir (10 MW) and an open-cast project void (5 MW) in the Indian state of Telangana.
Markets & Policy

Looking back over lithium

Already responsible for changing the way we communicate and power portable devices, lithium-ion technology is now driving revolutions in both transport and energy supply the world over. A new paper published by Arumugam Manthiram of the University of Tex...
Manufacturing

General Electric works on grid-forming inverter controls

The U.S. conglomerate plans to deploy and test new controls with its commercial PV LV5 inverter platform. It aims to develop “grid-forming” controls to allow wind and solar inverters to form voltage and frequency levels like traditional generators. T...
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Press Releases

LONGi conducts “Green Sustainability” manufacturing concepts and practices across its global factories and supply chains

In March 2020, LONGi officially joined the Global Initiative RE100, committing to sourcing 100% of renewable electricity across its entire global operations by 2028, with an interim target of 70% by 2027. In November 2018, LONGi announced its “Solar for Solar” concept of manufacturing clean energy products using 100% clean energy.

Scatec Solar’s 258 MW Upington project in South Africa completed

Scatec Solar and partners have grid connected and started commercial operation of the third 86 MW solar plant in Upington, South Africa, completing the 258 MW solar power complex. The 86 MW facility, known as Dyason’s Klip 2, is expected to produce 217 GWh annually.

Cisolar 2020: Ukraine may join the Top15 of the world’s most advanced countries in terms of solar power in 2020

The main regional business event in the field of solar energy devoted to the latest technology, trends, and investment opportunities – Cisolar 2020, the 9th International Solar Energy Conference and Trade Show of Central and Eastern Europe – will take place in Kyiv on July, 15-17 (2020. cis-solar.

Total Solar Distributed Generation signs one of Thailand’s largest corporate solar PPAs with Betagro

Total Solar Distributed Generation (DG) will provide agro- industrial company Betagro with solar-powered rooftops for 24 facilities across Thailand. The 25 MWp system will generate an estimated 38 GWh of renewable electricity per year, providing about 15% of the company's total power consumption.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Could Covid-19 be the catalyst for change where the COP process has stalled?

While the world’s climate negotiators dither, the post Covid-19 world could see their efforts overtaken – but only if policymakers are bold enough to take the opportunity to offer truly green fiscal stimulus packages to get us through the crisis. Felicia Jackson, from the center for sustainable finance of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, gives her thoughts here.

Perovskite technology – beyond efficiency records

Technological innovation in PV is taking place in the context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, writes Karl Melkonyan, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS Markit. This, he argues, explains the focus on lowering manufacturing costs, increasing efficiencies, and reducing losses at all stages of the manufacturing process.

The sky’s the limit: How solar and storage can set a post-Covid-19 example

The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.

How performance warranties protect revenues

Contracts to build solar PV plants usually contain a performance warranty to ensure that the owner receives an asset that delivers the agreed-upon minimum performance level. But can warranties and assessment methodologies guarantee that plant performance is being correctly assessed? The answer is not entirely straightforward, writes Felipe Canto Teixeira, a partner at Everoze.

Human rights risks threaten battery supply chains’ sustainability – now is the time to act

The battery and renewable energy industries are facing increased scrutiny for their human rights impacts. In December, U.S.-based technology and electric vehicle companies were named in the first lawsuit seeking to hold downstream companies responsible for allegedly aiding and abetting child labour in cobalt extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (https://bit.ly/2UgQPgZ). Energy storage technology, such as batteries, is increasingly developed alongside solar and wind-powered electricity generation. This means the battery industry’s material risks are now of direct concern to a broader group of companies involved in the global transition to a low carbon economy.

US boom in the shadow of a black swan

Supply-chain constraints related to China’s coronavirus outbreak could weigh on the performance of the U.S. solar market in 2020, writes SPV Market Research’s Paula Mints.

Covid-19

Featured

Indian government asks utilities to maintain payments to power producers

The clarification came after states across the country reacted to the power ministry’s recent call for a moratorium on conventional power payments by stopping payments and curtailing renewable power.

Greece wraps up PV tender with record-breaking €0.04911/kWh tariff

Greece held its last round of renewable energy tenders in Athens on Thursday, resulting in the lowest tariff ever awarded to a renewable energy project in the country.

Shunfeng posts $265.2m loss in 2019

The Chinese group’s loss widened significantly from the preceding 12-month period, despite posting a 5.4% year-on-year jump in revenue to RMB1.7 billion ($242.2 million).

Tesvolt starts commercial storage system production at gigafactory despite Covid-19

The German manufacturer has started to produce its first commercial storage systems at its new plant under strict safety precautions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The facility’s current annual capacity is set at 255 MWh, but the company aims to eventually expand that to 1 GWh.

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Meyer Burger reduces working hours for staff

The Swiss equipment supplier already needed to shore up its bottom line and is now taking measures to help combat the spread of an epidemic which has also claimed November’s planned climate summit in Glasgow and an estimated 19% of this year’s demand for energy storage.

France awards 960 MW of solar through different tenders

Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Elisabeth Borne told a teleconference of renewables representatives the results of a recent slew of clean energy tenders which allocated 1.7 GW of generation capacity and also revealed new measures being taken to support the industry.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Shifting geopolitical sands

After a decade of operation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has become an established presence in assisting the deployment of renewables. Now under the leadership of Director General Francesco La Camera, it continues its work on a range of issues pertaining to renewable energy deployment, with a renewed focus on facilitating international investment.

New Zealand may reach 6 GW of solar by 2050

National utility Transpower said that solar could take a 9.3% share of the country’s generation mix by the middle of the century. However, real growth is only forecast to occur from 2035, with distributed generation expected to account for more than 80% of total installed PV.

The weekend read: Turkish policy turns to the rooftop

Turkey’s stuttering economy, shifting PV policy landscape, and the fruitless YEKA tenders have undermined the country’s solar progress, even though it was considered Europe’s most promising market as recently as two years ago. But its rooftops could still bloom if new regulations that will be issued in May manage to make solar attractive to both businesses and households alike.

Australian rooftop solar surged to record highs before lockdown

Research by Green Energy Markets shows that the Australian rooftop PV market remained healthy throughout the first three months of 2020. According to STC data, more than 30,000 rooftop installations were registered in the month, for a total of close to 250 MW of capacity. And then came Covid-19.

Lowest shortlisted bid in Saudi 1.47 GW tender was $0.0161/kWh

The shortlisted developers are EDF, Total, ACWA Power, Masdar, First Solar, Marubeni, and Al Blagha Holding.

Covid-19 halting European PPA market – Part IV

In a recent chat with pv magazine, Jason Tundermann – vice president of business development at U.S. trading advisory service LevelTen Energy – predicted a better-than-expected scenario for corporate clean-energy PPAs on the Old Continent. He said the net value of long-term PPA offers has not dropped dramatically, offering hope to corporate buyers.

Installations

Featured

Remote possibilities

If the Canadian Arctic strikes you as a place that doesn’t have enough sunlight for PV, you wouldn’t necessarily be correct. Although there are periods of 24-hour darkness in winter, there are locations with sufficient sunlight for PV to make a major dent in remote communities’ diesel consumption, reports Anteo Petkovic, from Green Sun Rising.

Golden PV panels for balcony solar systems

German manufacturer a2-solar has supplied 240 solar panels for the renovation of an old building in Bern, Switzerland. The modules, which are being integrated into 96 balconies, feature different transparency options and color variations.

Malaysia’s Yinson acquires 37.5% stake in Indian IPP

Yinson will pay Rs 554 million ($7.3 million) for a stake in New Delhi-based Rising Sun Energy, which operates two PV plants in the massive Bhadla Solar Park in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Toshiba bags contract for 147 MW project in Japan

The electronics brand said the project will be its largest engineering, procurement and construction order for a solar plant. Facilities on such a scale are rare in Japan because of land constraints.

Giant transformers for grid debottlenecking

Dutch power company Liander has installed two large transformers at a distribution station in Ulft, in the province of Gelderland. The devices should provide more room for renewables on the network from next year.

Vertical PV project on dam in Alps gets approval

Swiss developer Axpo is now modifying the design of the 2 MW plant and is expected to make a final decision on construction later this year. It is currently in negotiations with potential electricity consumers.

Technology

Featured

The way to the TOPCon

TOPCon cell technology has become one of the two leading next-generation options after mono PERC. But for the n-type architecture to truly become a rival to PERC, high-quality and cost-effective production technologies must become settled.

It’s a good idea to charge an EV with solar when we’re socially distanced

Is there any good reason for putting solar on a Tesla Cybertruck? Or is it just virtue signaling? On the other hand, how far are you driving tomorrow? Do you have range anxiety or just general anxiety?

No such thing as ‘next-generation’ modules

According to one Dutch scientist, the development of PV technology in recent decades should be seen as an evolutionary process, rather than the constant emergence of new generations of equipment.

Carbon nanotubes pave the way for silicon in storage

Scientists in the United States have developed a carbon nanotube method of fabricating a lithium-ion battery with a silicon anode. The device reportedly demonstrated better than 87% capacity retention after 1,500 cycles. The developers say their discovery overcomes many of the obstacles to the use of silicon as an anode and could open up the use of other materials for electrodes in lithium-ion devices.

TOPCon technology hits 23.5% in mass production

Chinese manufacturer Jolywood claims it has reached 23.5% cell efficiency on the production lines for its n-type TOPCon technology. The achievement, which has not been verified by a third party, represents a 0.3% improvement to Jolywood’s reported mass production efficiency.

Solar pump moved by fuzzy logic

Researchers in the United Arab Emirates have proposed a PV-powered irrigation system that runs on a fuzzy logic-based algorithm, with a remote-control wireless monitoring system interface.

Manufacturing

Featured

The hidden contest of the cell makers

Predicting which technological pathway will dominate in solar cell production is somewhat of a fool’s errand. A battle is currently underway between several of solar manufacturing’s big guns regarding both wafer size and p-or-n-type technology, and the outcome remains to be seen.

All-in-one device integrating a microinverter and optimizer

The so-called Optiverter is an all-in-one residential solution developed by startup Ubik Solutions and researchers from Estonia’s TalTech Power Electronics Research Group. The developers claim that the new solution can provide 30% more power than traditional microinverters under partially shaded conditions.

Solaria sues Canadian Solar for alleged patent infringement on PV cell ‘shingling’ tech

The U.S. solar panel manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Solar in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

Chinese city bars all new solar this year

Yulin, in Shaanxi province has brought the curtain down on around 1 GW of PV projects which are under construction. It had previously been expected the city would add around 5 GW of new solar this year.

Preventing PID at 1500 volts

Scientists in Germany have developed a “heavy duty” test to provide insight into the long term effects of potential induced degradation in PV modules. The tests go well beyond those established by IEC standards and seek to guide manufacturers and investors on the best choice of materials – encapsulants in particular – when it comes to long term PID resistance.

Chinese module manufacturer unveils bolt-on plan to raise capacity

A Solargiga subsidiary has handed over $2.5 million to almost double its stake in a 1.2 GW capacity module manufacturing business set up in June by investors which include the local government.

Energy Storage

Featured

Zero-waste batteries

Efforts to recycle lithium-ion batteries face a range of technical and economic challenges, but such programs are already far more commonplace than many assume. However, there are still significant obstacles looming a few years down the road.

EU research group agrees to back controversial Spanish lithium mine

Australian company Infinity Lithium has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Battery Alliance to promote its lithium mine project in San José, Extremadura. It would be the first lithium project to obtain European financing but has already raised the hackles of local environmentalists and residents.

Covid-19 daily bulletin

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

Netherlands to support residential PV through net metering for the entire decade

The Dutch government is planning to reduce tariffs by 9% annually from 2023 to 2030. The plan should still ensure a reasonable payback time for homeowners willing to go solar, according to the authorities.

Covid-19 daily bulletin

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

BYD launches Blade Battery for improved fire safety in electric vehicles

During an online launch event, a Blade Battery pack was pierced with a nail without becoming unstable or experiencing dangerous high temperatures. The company says the device will be safer during car accidents.

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