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New kesterite solar cell with 8.7% efficiency

Estonian researchers have developed a new monograin powder technology made of microcrystals, which can form parallel connected miniature solar cells in a large module. By replacing copper with silver in the absorber material, the researchers were able to increase the efficiency of the cells by more than 2%.
Markets & Policy

EU Commission presents ‘historic’ European Green Deal plan

Described as “historic”, the draft outlines the future climate protection course of the European Union. Overall, the EU should become climate neutral by 2050, and trigger €1 trillion in investment. €1 billion is expected to be made available for ...
Markets & Policy

Engie secures solar PPA in France, vows to shut 1 GW of coal in Latin America

At the ongoing COP25 summit in Madrid, the French energy group announced the closure of nearly 1 GW of coal assets in Chile and Peru between 2019 and 2024. It also secured a PPA for an 18 MW solar park that will come online in southern France in June 202...
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View-factor vs. ray tracing – which bifacial modelling techniques should you use?

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High or low tilt angles for single-axis trackers in extreme winds – a different approach

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Did you miss our Future PV Roundtable at RE? The video is out!

2019 energy storage North America special

In cooperation with Energy Storage North America, which took place in San Diego, California in November, pv magazine has put together an Energy Storage special edition.

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2019 Sustainability Award window opened

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

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Manufacturing

Risen Energy unveils 500 Wp+ half cut mono PERC modules

The PV manufacturer announced the development of the new solar panels, which feature new M12 series monocrystalline wafers, at a conference on Thursday in the Chinese city of Ningbo. The 50-cell modules are actually slightly bigger than 72-cell designs w...
Installations

Power Ledger, Japan’s Kepco extend blockchain energy collaboration

Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power has extended a demonstration project with Australian P2P energy pioneer Power Ledger to track renewable energy certificates and trade PV-generated electricity.
Installations

Offshore PV system goes online in North Sea

The 8.5 kW pilot project, which was launched in February 2018, will soon be expanded to 50 kW. The Dutch consortium behind the installation eventually plans to expand it to 1 MW and then up to 100 MW at a later stage. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (R...
Manufacturing

LBIC: Seeing solar’s potential

Digital imagery with laser lights has been used to measure a solar cell’s performance for some time now through a process called light beam induced current (LBIC) mapping. However, due to the serial nature of image processing, it hasn’t been easy to ...
Markets & Policy

100% renewables means 95% less water consumption for conventional power generation

According to a new study by Finland's LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce just 1 MWh of output; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. Under the researchers' best...
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Press Releases

OPES Solutions Launches Lead-Free Soldering in Production

OPES Solutions announces the mass production of lead-free soldered solar modules. By achieving lead-free soldering in the manufacturing process, the organization eliminates a harmful but common substance found in many solar production methods.

Swiss startup provides price transparency in the renewable energy market

Imagine having access to daily prices and quotes for hundreds of PPA products, at your fingertips. A new software offering by Pexapark AG, aims to put you in the driver’s seat to gain the most out of your renewable energy investments.

Focus on climate protection through energy storage at the Energy Storage Europe 2020 conferences

Climate protection and the decarbonisation of value chains using energy storage and hydrogen are focus topics of the 14th IRES conference by EUROSOLAR and the 9th Energy Storage Europe conference. This dual conference will take place from 10 to 12 March 2020, concurrently with the Energy Storage Europe trade fair in Düsseldorf.

JinkoSolar’s Cheetah Success Hits 9GW of Backlog Orders

One year after a rocky debut, Cheetah modules are currently on back order. Outselling the other 400+ watt power-defining models combined, Cheetah has taken over the premium class and is doing so at a good price.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Green shoots of recovery

There has been significant progress in the decarbonization of the electricity supply in Great Britain in recent years, underscored by a record run of 19 days of zero coal generation in May and June 2019. With National Grid’s stated aim of operating a carbon-neutral electricity system by 2025, the co-location of PV with battery storage could play a key role. The proposition offers the twin benefits of enabling increasingly high renewables penetration while simultaneously improving network stability. Adam Sharpe of Everoze explores the role of co-located PV and energy storage assets within the context of the UK’s future decarbonization plans.

The sun rises on a European Green Deal

As the European Commission prepares its strategy for a European Green Deal, it is important to understand how solar can deliver on ambitious climate targets.

Implementing the blueprint for carbonless power

The emergence of hydrogen power is changing the dynamic of the power supply arena. With new technology coming through comes increased demand for specialist skills from other industries, including from manufacturers. The following article why these technical abilities will be vital in the development of hydrogen storage vessels and, crucially, ensuring the industry operates safely.

How solar could save the Mekong

A simple feasibility analysis shows the Mekong River in Cambodia would benefit from floating solar plants coupled with storage, rather than more hydro.

Success factors for hybrid microgrids

When it comes to hybrid microgrids, writes Fabian Baretzky, senior business development and sales manager for Dhybrid Power Systems, the incorporation of various sources of energy and complex requirements for long-term stability of the energy supply require expertise and an effective energy management system.

Module prices continue to slide

After China’s National Day holiday, demand started picking up at a slow pace, but the anticipated installation rush did not occur as expected, due to land and financing issues, as well as the return of winter. These factors will also delay the timing of more than 6 GW of capacity to the first half of next year. PV InfoLink has thus downwardly revised its estimates for installed capacity in the fourth quarter to 11.3 GW in China and 30 GW globally, bringing this year’s global demand forecast to below 120 GW.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Is China’s market heading toward a cliff edge?

Even when taken in the context of the growing pessimism that has gripped China’s PV industry regarding 2019 demand since the middle of the year, the latest figures from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) are astonishing. More optimistic forecasts from earlier in the year have been downwardly revised, with installations headed for a “cliff edge” decline that could see demand fall by as much as 50% year on year. So, what exactly has taken place?

US senators call for Huawei ban in letter to energy regulator

Eleven U.S. Senators have signed a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the threat that Huawei’s equipment poses to the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Investors learn about Tasmania’s green hydrogen potential

The Australian state of Tasmania has approached international investors to present its unique potential for the production of hydrogen from renewable sources, as it aims to position itself at the forefront of the nation’s green hydrogen push.

ReNew Power, South Korea’s GS E&C to build 300 MW of PV in India

The Indian developer will hold a 51% stake in the venture, with Seoul-based GS E&C taking the remainder. The capacity was awarded under Solar Energy Corp. of India’s tranche-IV auction earlier this year.

Winners do not always win

As part of a series of interviews on renewable energy and geopolitics, Indra Overland – head of the Center for Energy Research at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs – explains why some countries will take the lead in the energy transition. All of the countries in Africa, with the exception of a few oil exporters, will be part of the solar revolution, he said, noting the recent release of the GeGaLo Index. He also looks at why big economies such as the United States, Germany, China and Australia are not geopolitically well-situated for the energy transition, and why others, such as Japan, France and Spain, are positioned more favorably. In addition, Overland discusses why it is particularly important that nations under strong political pressure grasp the benefits of clean energy.

Neural networks improving solar power forecasting

An international research team has developed a new approach for solar power forecasting that combines neural networks and pattern sequences for the first time. The performance of the new Pattern Sequence Neural Network (PSNN) was tested on an Australian data set that includes information from two years of forecasts. It can be used with different clustering and cluster-sequence extraction algorithms, and can be applied to multiple related time sequences

Installations

Featured

What broke at Oakey

With its high wholesale power prices, attractiveness to capital, wide open spaces and abundant sunshine, there is every reason to believe Australia is a PV project developer’s nirvana. However, as the wreckage at the 55 MW Oakey 2 site in Queensland reveals, challenges under the Australian sun should not be taken lightly.

ACWA Power switches on 50 MW solar park in Jordan

The PV project, which was tendered by Jordanian utility NEPCO in 2017, will sell power at $0.059/kWh. The plant is located in Jordan’s Risha region, which is roughly 300 km northeast of Amman.

2.2 MW/1.5MWh of storage linked to 5 MW off-grid PV plant in Tunisia

Italian gas and oil producer Eni has followed the recent commissioning of a 10 MW solar+storage project in Pakistan with the completion of a similar off-grid installation at an oil field in Tunisia. The power plant was built in partnership with Tunisian state-owned oil company Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activités Pétrolières

Solaredge brings its three-phase inverter with integrated memory interface to Europe

Solaredge wants to enable households have a higher solar self-consumption with its new product. The Israeli PV company’s solution can now be ordered in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Date set for Panda Green state bail-out vote

The Hong Kong-listed, Chinese state-owned solar developer is in a race against time to settle a US$350 million bond which is due to mature on January 25. The bail-out, which will be put to the vote on December 30, will leave the company a further US$125 million shy.

Europe on track for decade-topping 16.7 GW of new solar this year

Trade body SolarPower Europe’s preliminary statistics suggest this could be the continent’s best year for PV since 2010, with capacity additions set to soar 104% year on year. Spain is leading the way with an expected 4.7 GW of new solar, followed by Germany, with 4 GW.

Technology

Featured

BIPV: More than the module

Building integrated PV has been described as a place where uncompetitive PV products attempt to go to market. But this may be unfair, says Björn Rau, the technology manager and deputy director of PVcomB at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Rau argues that the missing link to BIPV deployment lies at the intersection of the architectural community, construction industry, and PV manufacturers.

New transparent solar cell for window applications

South Korean scientists have transformed an opaque crystalline silicon solar cell into a transparent one by punching holes into it measuring around 100 μm in diameter. A neutral-colored, transparent c-Si substrate was used to develop the new cell, which is said to have an efficiency of up to 12.2%.

Another one fights the dust

Scientists from Israel have used nanowires to detach particles from the surfaces of solar panels. The proposed microscopic self-cleaning technology is said to raise the efficiency of particle removal with hydrophobicity.

ARENA announces major research funding into end-of-life solar PV issues

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced AUD 15 million ($10.3 million) in research funding to investigate end-of-life issues for PV modules. Ultimately it is hoped that the research will increase solar PV efficiency while lowering costs.

US research lab rewires solar cell efficiency to 27.3%, sees path to greater than 32%

NREL has published a paper showing an experimental solar cell, with a unique technique for wiring two separate solar cells into one, that increased the cell’s efficiency by 4%. The document also offers a respectable review of other technologies being developed.

Liten research institute claims 24.25% efficiency for heterojunction cell

The French institute said the result has been certified by ISFH CalTeC, in Germany. The manufacturers claim they were able to increase cell performance by improving the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition of amorphous silicon nanolayers and the conductive and anti-reflective transparent oxide layers.

Manufacturing

Featured

Preparing for takeoff

With demand for lithium-ion battery cells picking up, largely driven by EVs but also from the fast-growing stationary storage segment, production capacities in China are ramping up quickly. But safety and quality must remain centrally important in the face of the need to scale, even more so after the numerous battery fires that shocked buyers globally and brought the South Korean market to a standstill. Clean Energy Associates (CEA) has launched the 2019 BESS Supplier Market Intelligence Program report, covering 40 suppliers, in an effort to support buyers navigating this novel supplier landscape. George Touloupas, CEA’s director of technology and quality for solar and storage, shares the company’s key findings on the supply chain and tells us what can have an impact on Li-ion safety and reliability.

JinkoSolar to begin shipping Tiger bifacial modules

Chinese module manufacturer is stepping up its prowess with 314 MW of new high-efficiency Tiger modules being released to the market.

Another day, another $483m – of Longi production capacity plans

The Shaanxi-based solar manufacturer has made its 14th announcement this year of an intent to expand its ingot, wafer, cell and module output. Thus far – and we’re still three weeks short of year-end – the bill for the 112 GW of extra production spelled out in 2019 comes to a near $4.2 billion.

Scientists analyze toxic gases released from burning thin-film, PET-laminated modules

Scientists from China’s State Key Laboratory of Fire Science have analyzed the combustion behavior of flexible PET-laminated PV panels. They found toxic gases including sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide and a small amount of volatile organic compounds are released when such a PV system burns.

Chint Solar connects 103 MW of solar to Dutch grid

A PV project by the Chinese company started generating electricity in late October, the group said. German subsidiary Astronergy supplied the solar panels.

The weekend read: Taking the lead

This quarter, pv magazine‘s UP Initiative focuses on lead – a toxic heavy metal that’s present in many PV technologies, and one that’s often mentioned in connection with hazardous substances across the green energy supply chain. We take a closer look at the issue and ask what it would mean for manufacturers to replace lead in their modules with more environmentally friendly materials.

Energy Storage

Featured

Exit strategy

With aggressive emissions-reduction goals and renewable energy targets expanding globally, storage is the final puzzle piece in the transition to a 100% renewable energy-powered grid. New gas-fired peaker plants are now being offset with the construction of storage facilities, and it is projected that the favorable economics of clean technologies will overtake existing gas generation assets by 2035. With the near-future potential of leaving stranded assets on the balance sheet, and advancing battery technology capabilities, there is a promising outlook for the accelerated decarbonization of the power sector.

EU green-lights aid for European Battery Alliance

The European Commission has approved state aid for the so-called European Battery Alliance to promote the development of a lithium-ion battery supply chain in the European Union.

Solar to the fore as Athens Airport announces plan for net zero carbon ground operations by 2025

Greece’s largest international airport has set a goal to operate as a net zero carbon emitter by 2025, mainly via investing in on-site solar. Should the goal be met, the airport will be Europe’s first to rely on self-generated electricity and operate with net zero emissions.

European Investment Bank signs hydrogen investment deal

The EIB and the Hydrogen Council aim to jointly develop new ways to generate funding for hydrogen projects under the European Commission’s InnovFin Advisory program. The two parties, however, have not disclosed the financial terms of their planned collaboration.

Canada’s Nova Scotia wants solar-plus-storage on brownfield sites

The province’s Alternative Energy Resource Authority is seeking proposals for three utility scale PV projects ranging in generation capacity from 800 kW to 4 MW. Two of them should be coupled with large scale batteries with a total storage capacity of up to 2.4 MWh.

Europe approves €3.2bn to support battery R&D

The European Commission has approved use of funds given by seven member states to back Europe-wide R&D projects across the lithium-ion battery value chain, with the aim of potentially unlocking an additional €5 billion in private sector investment.

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