Top News

It’s all in the electrons – Japanese scientists give perovskites a push

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology have developed a process for the creation of perovskite cells with better than 20% efficiency. The cells use a tin-oxide electron transport layer, which the scientists say can triple their operational lifetime.
Markets & Policy

EU clean energy transition receives an €800 million boost

The funds will come from the Connecting Europe Facility. Around €504 million will be used for electricity infrastructure and smart grids and another €286 million will be devoted to gas. The remaining €9 million will be allocated to studies on the d...
Markets & Policy

Toyota and Panasonic to form EV battery joint venture

The deal foresees 3,500 employees from both companies joining the unit, as well as equipment and production facilities to be used to improve battery technologies and develop next-generation solutions.
Markets & Policy

Rejection of Azure Power bid confirms failure of India’s 10 GW ‘mega-tender’

Delhi-based developer Azure had bid for a 2 GW project on a single site – plus 600 MW of manufacturing capacity – as part of a much-hyped national 10 GW manufacturing-linked tender. The government has decided to reject the bid because it says the quo...
Installations

Smart-grid based hybrid wind-solar project goes online in Dubai

The Smart Grid Station wind-PV facility also incorporates a 500 kWh lithium-ion battery storage system, around 2,000 internet of things-derived sensors and smart meters. The plant was installed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Korean util...
Installations

Brazilian energy regulator recommends keeping incentives for distributed solar

Although power companies have urged the new administration of Jair Bolsonaro to reduce incentives for net metered solar distributed generation, ANEEL has proposed maintaining them until PV reaches a certain proportion of the electricity sector.
Markets & Policy

Panda Green – shareholder’s daughter appointed non-exec director

Economics graduate Xie Yi is the daughter of shareholder He Bing, whose BVI-registered Asia Pacific Energy and Infrastructure Investment Group Ltd are preparing to acquire a 6.49% stake in the enlarged business, on top of He’s existing holding.
Markets & Policy

Scatec Solar’s 65 MW Malaysian plant reaches commercial operation

It is the first of three solar parks of that size the Norwegian IPP has put in commercial operation in Malaysia's growing market.

Press Releases

SUNfarming secures €20 million for PV projects in Poland

The SUNfarming Group, from Erkner in Germany, has secured a financing framework of €20 million for the construction of 40 MWp of photovoltaic projects in Poland.

GETI 2019: renewables reaping rewards of smart skills strategies

The third annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), the world’s largest energy recruitment and employment trends report, released today, shows that renewables businesses’ strategic approach to talent investment is paying dividends.

JinkoSolar Supplies 5 MW for Mesokomo Project in Greece

JinkoSolar Holding Co. , Ltd.

Registration open for Japan’s largest PV shows

PV Expo 2019 and its PV system counterpart will be held at Tokyo’s Big Sight venue from February 27 to March 1.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Will Colombia’s renewable energy auction set a new bar for the market?

Colombia is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. According to data from the Colombia's National Mining and Energy Planning Unit, UPME and the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), hydro potential is estimated at 56 GW countrywide, while solar is close to 42 GW and wind 15 GW in the Guajira region alone. Today, hydroelectric sources make up 65% of the energy mix, while wind and solar account for just 0.11% and 0.06%, respectively. As these numbers underscore, Colombia has barely scratched the surface of its renewable potential.

MENA: Opportunity in diversity

MENA countries have made significant strides in recent years in the fostering of both large-scale and distributed solar market segments. However, some investors and developers may turn elsewhere for opportunities if there remains a predominance of large utility-scale projects dominated by a small number of players, writes Iwan Walters, a partner in the corporate practice of Eversheds Sutherland.

MENA PV additions quadrupled in 2018

As anticipated, 2018 was a pivotal year for PV installations in Middle East and North Africa, writes Josefin Berg, Research and Analysis Manager at IHS Markit. Our end-of-year estimates show that approximately 3.6 GW of PV systems were installed in the region in 2018, compared to less than 1 GW in 2017.

Financing Indigenous-partnered renewables in Alberta

Promoting the full inclusion of Indigenous peoples in Alberta’s renewable energy market is a key facet of the Alberta Climate Leadership Program. To achieve this, the Alberta Government has allocated CA$151 million, equating to around 2.8% of projected carbon levy revenues, to support Indigenous community participation in renewables over the next three years.

French PV project developers: Beware of protected species!

The regulations for protected species and the procedure to obtain a derogation are complex and should not be understated by solar PV project developers. The avoidance of the significant risks linked with those regulations requires technical and legal expertise, and support from the very beginning of the development of the project, write lawyers Anouk Darcet-Felfen and Laurence Duriez.

Revamping and repowering: The size of the opportunity

The concept of revamping and repowering is one of the newest terms in the solar industry. As the installed base of PV systems ages, the concept of upgrading and improving operating plants becomes increasingly relevant to both manufacturers and PV plant asset managers. However, the real market size for new PV components in existing plants will depend on the characteristics of each plant, the overall regulatory framework and the economic benefits that will accrue to asset managers.

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.

India mulls anti-dumping duty on Malaysian solar glass

The government may impose anti-dumping duty of $114.58 per tonne on tempered solar glass imports to provide a level playing field to domestic manufacturers.

UK council to deploy solar-plus-storage on landfill to generate income

With budgets continuing to be slashed, one authority is eyeing solar-plus-storage to boost revenue. It is not the first time a U.K. council has decided to turn a landfill site into an income generating asset.

Solar will rebound this year with more than 100 GW of new capacity

Wood Mackenzie’s number-crunchers are the latest analysts queueing up to predict a bumper year ahead for PV, with falling prices, rising efficiency rates and booming markets outside China all on the cards. And it could be a make-or-break year for mega-projects, says Wood Mac.

‘No alternative to 100% renewables’

Transition to a world run entirely on clean energy – together with the implementation of natural climate solutions – is the only way to halt climate change and keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C, according to another significant study.

Bangladeshi DISCOMS told to sign up net metering customers

With the nation’s net metering regime up and running for industrial generators, the government is trying to drum up interest and wants another 600 customers signed up by June, with the help of a soft loans program.

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.

Innogy builds unsubsidized 50 MW solar park in Spain

The German company acquired the rights to build the plant from Synergia Energy Solutions. The Alarcos solar park will be in the municipalities of Ciudad Real and Poblete. Work is expected to begin in April, with grid-connection this year.

Solar must deal with grid constraints in northeastern Netherlands

Despite recent efforts to improve the power network, in order to host more generation capacity from large-scale solar and renewables, Dutch transmission system operators TenneT and Enexis have said that there is very limited capacity for more solar in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel.

Oman to install hybrid PV-diesel plants totaling 160 MW across 11 sites

The hybrid plants will be developed as independent power producer (IPP) projects at 11 off-grid sites. The largest project will be developed on the island of Mazeira, off the east coast of mainland Oman in the Arabian Sea.

Solar installations see an unprecedented boom in Estonia

The Baltic nation installed 90 MW of PV last year, four times more than it had done since it began adopting solar. The growth was down to a new regulation issued by the government in June and the big push came mainly from small installations.

State-owned lenders will stump up cash to bail out developer Panda Green

With a $3bn debt pile, gearing of 73.1% and $127m due for repayment in around three months’ time, the directors of the former United PV Group want shareholders to dilute their investment by issuing shares worth more than 40% of an enlarged company, with a chunk of the proceeds coming from public funds.

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 may target green hydrogen exports in billion-dollar plan

The Australian Labor Party has released a National Hydrogen Plan, which involves directing AU$1 billion in CEFC funding towards clean hydrogen projects, $100 million in ARENA grants for hydrogen technology refuelling infrastructure, and $40 million from the CEFC’s Innovation Fund to help commercialise new hydrogen technologies and businesses. Looking towards clean energy exports, the plan will provide $3 million in funding to Queensland coal port in Gladstone with the aim of creating a hydrogen hub.

Korean scientists demonstrate new lead-free perovskite

A team of researchers from South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has demonstrated a new type of tin-based perovskite. The researchers say that, despite current low efficiency, levels could lead to improved understanding and the development of solar cells using lead-free perovskites.

European researchers want to develop digitally printed, highly efficient and stable perovskite PV modules

German and Greek scientists are working with industrial partners on the technological feasibility of making solar modules based on perovskite absorbers. The prototypes should be freely configurable in size, shape and color.

Solar Frontier hits new CIS cell efficiency record

The Japanese module maker has set a new record for CIS thin film cell efficiency. The company, with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, achieved 23.35% conversion on a cell measuring 1 cm². The record was confirmed by the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

EU heeds call for priority dispatch for small-scale generators

Homeowners and businesses with small-scale solar arrays have fought off a threat to priority treatment for excess energy they want fed back into national grids. The EU has refused to heed a call to treat such generators on the same terms as giant utilities.

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.

PI Berlin: Asia leading the way for module quality

Quality assurance provider PI Berlin has found the solar industry has made significant improvements to module quality in the past six years and that, perhaps surprisingly, manufacturers in China and South East Asia are setting the standard by producing higher quality modules, on average, than other regions.

Wacker’s polysilicon business sees profit and turnover fall

The Munich-based chemical company posted an increase in sales but the fall in polysilicon prices last year and the temporary closure of US production after a hydrogen explosion had a significant impact on the results.

Hanwha Q-Cells completes internal going-private reorganization

The South Korean PV manufacturer has finalized its plan to merge with Hanwha Solar. The company will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange and will continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hanwha Chemicals.

China installed 43.6 GW of solar last year – despite 5/31 New Policy

Central subsidies may have been cut back but the domestic market rebounded quickly and overseas shipments soared on the back of rising production volumes and ever cheaper module prices.

Indian Railways plans to tender 4 GW solar project

The procurement will be worth an estimated $2.25 billion, and will stipulate the use of 1.2 GW of Indian-made equipment. The power generated will replace 4 GW of coal-fired electricity consumption used by the railways.

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.

New York governor’s Green New Deal starts with 1 GW of large-scale solar

The state has also awarded 614 MW of wind, and three of the 20 renewable energy projects commissioned are paired with energy storage. NextEra, Invenergy and EDF are each set to build solar projects larger than 100 MW.

The weekend read: Why are we not making the most out of big data analysis?

Although the solar industry sees itself as young, its assets are aging. Owners still struggle with the complexity of making the best use of big data analysis to improve plant efficiency and profitability. Ragna Schmidt-Haupt, of Everoze, examines why this has not changed, and what can or should be improved. Artificial intelligence, advanced data analytics, automated assessments and smart monitoring software – holistic solar asset management starts here.

Renewables, an antidote against volatile electricity prices for the EU

The European Commission says renewables are playing a central role in lowering spot prices and stopping rises in network charges and fees. In the EU energy market, however, coal and gas still dominate, ensuring power prices are unpredictable.

Interview: CellCube president Stefan Schauss on Brexit’s impact on the British storage industry

Vanadium redox flow battery supplier Cellcube spoke to pv magazine about the latest political developments in the U.K. and what the effects on storage could be.

Sonnen receives €25 milllion financing from the European Investment Bank

The EIB said supporting the battery supplier will help Europe realize its clean energy targets. The funds are earmarked for the company’s European R&D, as well as stemming ‘operational burdens’ from its growth rate. Sonnen recently made headlines by opening a factory in Australia to supply its virtual power plant in Adelaide.

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