Top News

The weekend read: Is PERC still bankable?

Light-induced initial degradation in PERC modules is currently a subject of intense discussion, but tests at PI Berlin have shown that the problem is solvable. Founder and CEO Paul Grunow explains the effects, the approach, and the results.
Installations

Benin approves four PV projects totaling 50 MW

Four projects, planned to be located across several regions, will be developed through private-public partnerships and a development program supported by the United States.
Markets & Policy

Engie commissions 100 MW solar park in Belgium

Construction on the Lommel project started in October. The facility, owned by Flemish investment company Limburgse investeringsmaatschappij, will sell power to a zinc manufacturer and is also entitled to a premium of €0.0479 on top of the market power ...
Announcements

Quality Roundtable tackles glass-glass issue and underground cabling

Future PV Roundtable looks into subsidy free PV

pv magazine test

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

In BayWa r.e.’s new white paper, Grid parity and the solar renaissance, Dr. Benedikt Ortmann, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH, explains what grid parity means to him, where it’s happened and where it’s going next.

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Markets & Policy

India’s latest 1.2 GW of solar capacity awarded at $0.036 ahead of safeguarding duty fall

The Solar Energy Corporation of India’s 1.2 GW auction saw four companies – Ayana Renewable, ReNew Power, NYSE-listed Azure Power and Mahindra Susten – secure a combined capacity of 1.15 GW at INR2.54/kWh. Avaada Energy landed the remaining 50 MW, ...
Markets & Policy

REC Silicon suspension will hinge on G20 meeting between Trump and Jinping

The Norwegian manufacturer has delayed full shutdown of its U.S. polysilicon operation until mid July as President Trump and his Chinese counterpart are scheduled to hold talks in Osaka in two weeks’ time.
Installations

EDF to acquire Energy2market

German power distributor Energy2market intends to develop its international activity under its new French owner. The founding shareholders and Trailstone UK will sell their stock to EDF subsidiary Pulse Croissance.
Markets & Policy

Seychelles firms up 4 MW floating PV project

The installation will be Africa’s first privately financed, utility scale floating solar installation. A group of pre qualified bidders inspected the site and are expected to submit full technical and financial documentation by September.
Installations

EU approves Italy’s auction scheme for renewables

The €5.4 billion program is expected to spur new growth in large scale PV while also providing incentives for rooftop systems. Originally scheduled for January, the country’s first technology neutral clean energy auctions – which will provide addit...
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Press Releases

Suports starts supply of rooftop structures for a new 427 kWp project in Jamaica

The Suports division of Gonvarri Industries has signed a new 427 kWp deal for the supply of rooftop structures to a project in Jamaica for client SAMPOL.

Trina Solar launches N-type i-TOPCon double-glass bifacial modules

Trina Solar, the world leading global PV and smart energy total solution provider, recently announced that it has begun mass production of n-type i-TOPCon double-glass bifacial modules. The best front side power output of a module with 144 half-cut i-TOPCon cells reaches 425 Wp and the best module efficiency reaches 20.

Virtual Power Plant and battery storage provide system services

A new battery storage system by the public utility company Bordesholm has, for the first time, reached a primary power control level (FRR) of 10 MW upon its implementation in the Virtual Power Power Plant by energy & meteo systems. Moreover, the combination of battery and Virtual Power Plant is applicable to other flexibility markets: […]

NorSun secures NOK515 million for capacity expansion

NorSun, the leading non-Asian producer of monocrystalline wafers for ultra-high efficiency solar cells, has closed a NOK230 million equity round to double production capacity, introduce new technologies and significantly reduce unit costs. The round was led by Nysnø Climate Investments and ABN AMRO’s Energy Transition Fund which invested NOK160 million with the balance from NorSun shareholders.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Why solar parks should replace agricultural land

This year’s Earth Overshoot Day falls on Friday, August 2. The current UN report on biodiversity protection does not report anything good. At least two reasons for our children to demonstrate on Fridays so that we not only talk, but act, says Ralf Schnitzler, project developer, solar parks, Bejulo GmbH. He believes that now is the time to take the energy revolution seriously. Below, he lays out his arguments and ideas on how the energy transition and other transformations could be possible with solar parks.

An overview of the world’s largest solar parks

In the second of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar parks. In these articles, a ‘solar park’ is defined as a group of co-located solar power plants.

The sun rises on the bifacial module market

With market penetration exceeding expectations in 2018, bifacial technology is set to account for one third of global solar module production by 2022, writes Edurne Zoco, Research Director at IHS Markit. Bifacial and half-cell technologies are rapidly gaining momentum due to their improvements in power output, along with their low implementation barriers and minimal capex requirements

How corporates are leading the 100% renewable energy transition

An historic new report from Energy Watch shows that we can reach 100% renewable energy in just a few decades, and it’s affordable; making this the clear answer to tackling climate change.

China’s new solar FIT policy

On April 30, China’s National Development and Reform Commission released the “Improving Issues Related to Feed-in Tariffs for Solar Photovoltaic” notice, the first document that confirms the level of FIT payments for solar projects following several consultation papers issued previously this year. The new FIT rates are set to be effective starting July 1.

A guide to the world’s largest solar power stations

In the first of a short series of blogs, solar energy pioneer Philip Wolfe highlights the differences between solar farms, solar parks and clusters, in order to identify the world’s largest solar power stations.

Markets & Policy

Featured

“We have not yet seen the real age of solar”

As its founding permanent Director General, Adnan Z. Amin has shaped the International Renewable Energy Agency like no other. As he stands aside after a transformational eight years both for the agency and for the renewable energy sector, he reflects on his time at the helm and sends a powerful message to the solar sector.

Morocco’s medium voltage PV market will open this year

The nation’s renewable energy legislation will be updated to expand net metering for projects connected to the medium voltage grid, paving the way for a wave of decentralized installations.

IEEFA joins calls for policy clarity about UK’s net zero ambition

An energy finance consultant from the international thinktank has added his voice to demands Theresa May, or her successor, spell out exactly how the decarbonization target will be met, and cited failings on solar as a warning on how not to proceed.

Norwegian wafer maker and US mounting system supplier join the solar gold rush

It is not just the big beasts of Chinese solar that are investing in aggressive expansion as high-efficiency wafer maker NorSun and tracker supplier GameChange Solar make big announcements. The New York company, however, may fall foul of President Trump’s America First trade mantra by opening production lines in the Far East.

Northvolt secures $1bn for battery gigafactory in Sweden

Initially, the company will construct a 16 GWh factory plus a joint venture fab with Volkswagen in Germany, which will also have a throughput of 16 GWh. Both factories could be extended to tap further into the large market for battery cells in Europe.

Bifacial beats Trump’s tariffs

Federal trade authorities have ruled that bifacial solar modules are no longer subject to the Section 201 ruling, which currently apply a 25% tariff to most solar modules imported to the United States.

Installations

Rating, risk mitigation, and yield improvements

There are various technical reasons why a PV power plant can underperform or completely fail. In such cases, the investors are first in line to suffer financially from underperforming assets. In some cases, writes Thomas Sauer, head of renewable energy consultancy Exxergy, technical performance deteriorations are so severe that even the debt funders are negatively affected, to the extent that significant parts of loan and interest payments can no longer be serviced.

PV industry calls for clarity on UK government’s 2050 emissions target

Representatives of the UK solar industry have praised prime minister Theresa May’s plan to amend the 2008 Climate Change Act with a 2050 net zero emissions target while urging the government to articulate how it will achieve its goal. In particular, the industry has pointed to the need to eliminate barriers that continue to hinder deployment of solar and battery storage systems.

‘PPA deals signed under the opening three rounds of the REIPPPP must be renegotiated’

A representative of South Africa’s energy regulator said deals signed between 2011 and 2013 must be subject to lower tariffs to ease the financial crisis at national utility Eskom. The suggestion failed to convince delegates at an Africa Energy Forum panel discussion in Lisbon, however.

U.K. government announces 2050 carbon neutrality ambition

Leaving with a last hurrah, Brexit casualty prime minister Theresa May has announced a statutory instrument to amend the Climate Change Act of 2008. The law currently prescribes an emissions cut of 80% by 2050, from a 1990 baseline. The new law will aim for net zero emissions by 2050, making the U.K. the first G7 nation to pass such legislation.

How to capitalize on the Chinese clean energy juggernaut

Flying in the face of claims the rise of China’s clean energy sector undermines the security of developed nations and harms the profitability of their businesses, a research paper argues such a view is outdated and ill-advised. It presents four opportunities for Western players to tap ‘Green China Inc’.

Africa Energy Forum: $0.09/kWh the norm for African solar

The 21st Africa Energy Forum, this year in Lisbon, kicked off yesterday and will run until Friday. The meeting offers an insight into the continent’s energy markets.

Technology

Featured

Hacking PV production, an der Havel

The regional train line from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Brandenburg an der Havel is a far cry from the crowded CalTrain linking San Francisco with Silicon Valley. But as pv magazine discovered as it hopped on board last month, perovskite PV development is reviving hopes for solar manufacturing in the region – hacker style.

Trina Solar begins mass production of 425 W bifacial glass-glass module

The Chinese PV manufacturer uses TOPCon half cells for the modules. The additional rear side yield is estimated by Trina at 5-30%.

Plug-in hybrid cars have as much longevity as Betamax and MiniDiscs – stick to pure electric

A report on the prospects for a mooted $2.6tn electric vehicle market over the next decade says PHEVs – part electric, part gas-guzzling – are already losing market share rapidly to pure electric rivals, and will be extinct by 2030.

Video: Longi launched the HiMo4 mono-PERC series at Intersolar Europe

Winfried Wahl, head of product management at Longi Solar spoke to pv magazine about how the HiMo4 has a 15% higher power output than the previous iteration in the series.

Scratching the surface of Brazil’s huge solar potential

Rodrigo Sauaia, CEO of Brazilian solar energy association ABSOLAR, analyzes the chances of PV in this year’s two energy auctions in which it can compete. But it is not all about auctions, Sauaia tells pv magazine, there are 2 GW of solar projects under development for which bilateral PPAs may be signed, and hundreds of MW worth of such schemes that have already secured contracts.

Portugal’s 1.4 GW auction delayed to mid-July

Projects with capacity 10-50 MW can compete for grid connection with a voltage of 15-60 kV. Projects applying for a connection with a higher voltage will have to have more than 50 MW of generation capacity.

Manufacturing

Featured

Pioneering PV in Saudi Arabia

Nabih Cherradi is Chief Technology Officer of Desert Technologies (DT), a Saudi Arabian solar PV developer, EPC, O&M supplier, and module manufacturer. This is quite a comprehensive portfolio and Cherradi seems most proud of the PV manufacturing facility he has set up in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Kingdom finally seems poised to deliver on its exceptional PV promise. Importantly, this applies not only to large-scale installations, but also to rooftop systems and PV manufacturing.

REC Silicon scraps shares placement because stock is cheaper in open trading

Stock in the polysilicon manufacturer appeared to be recovering in early trading on the Oslo exchange this morning after it cancelled plans for a private placement of as many as 50 million shares.

Shareholder dissent clouds boardroom appointments at GCL-Poly

There was significant opposition to the re-appointment of three executives at today’s AGM, suggesting unease at a strategy that involves loading ever more debt onto the manufacturer as it bids to rapidly outgrow its rivals in terms of production capacity.

GCL-Poly dilutes stock to raise $87m to keep on top of debts

The polysilicon and wafer maker has been busy raising cash of late by indulging in a fire sale of project assets. With plans for ever larger production capacities to fund, it has now announced the issue of new shares amounting to more than 8% of the existing stock.

Five hot PV module and cell takeaways from SNEC

While lacking the swarming crowds of previous years, the 2019 SNEC in Shanghai remained a focal point of the global PV industry when it comes to industrial solar cell and module manufacturing and technology. Here are five hot technology takeaways from the pv magazine team on the show floor and conference sessions.

Nothing can bring down the price of III-V solar cells – just add germanium

A research paper from scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory outlines a new approach to the production of gallium arsenide based cells. The approach, termed ‘germanium on nothing’, could enable the cost effective, high volume production of PV cells based on III-V materials such as gallium arsenide.

Energy Storage

Neighborly energy barter

Everybody has asked their neighbor for milk when the shops were closed. But what about electricity? With new legislation, villages in the EU are setting up systems where this could soon be a reality.

India’s lithium gigafactory ambition raised to 50 GW, tender likely soon

The government is considering financial incentives such as import and export duty waivers to woo battery manufacturers to set up a globally competitive manufacturing base in India.

UK government may step in to impose minimum price for solar power sold to the grid

The launch of the U.K. Smart Export Guarantee regime today failed to include a price floor – as predicted by trade body the STA – but the government did not rule out future intervention. Commercial customers, however, still have no way of securing payment for their excess power.

Green hydrogen airs at G20 meeting of energy ministers this week

Hello hydrogen! A number of factors are floating renewably powered hydrogen to the top of the agenda for worldwide energy ministers. Australia is among the countries most favourably placed to turn hydrogen hype into the biggest source of decarbonized energy the world has yet seen.

Indian state of Telangana pitches for 5 GW lithium-ion battery plant

Following the launch of the Indian government’s 40 GW battery production plan for the states, Telangana has pitched for a 5 GW lithium ion plant by announcing the ready availability of 200 acres of land plus power and water for the fab at a concessional rate.

Video interview with Growatt co-founder Qiao: ‘We expect 500 MW shipments in Europe alone’

That goal could easily be achieved judging by the company’s first-quarter results, Qiao said during an interview with pv magazine at Intersolar Europe. He also pronounced himself happy with Growatt’s performance in TÜV testing and with progress in the hybrid inverter segment.

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