Top News

PV plants lasting longer, with lower operational costs

Solar plants are now expected to last 32.5 years and cost $17 per kW/year to operate, as shown by a Berkeley Lab survey of industry participants.
Energy Storage

China reaches 1.7 GW of electrochemical storage capacity

According to new numbers released by the China Energy Storage Alliance, the country’s storage capacity topped 32.4 GW at the end of last year. The association said the storage market is expected to continue to grow steadily in the years ahead.
Installations

Covid-19 weekly round-up: It is still unclear how the crisis will play out on various solar segments, although one US installer says business has never been better…

Module price falls driven by the energy demand slump and Chinese oversupply may reverse at the end of the year, Germany appears immune to the Covid rooftop curse and emergency funding has been offered up to EU businesses affected by the crisis.
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Manufacturing

Assessing the soiling mitigation properties of anti-reflective coatings

Researchers in China have sought to understand how soiling exacerbated by anti-reflective coatings might inhibit solar panel output. In terms of effectiveness against soiling, the scientists found hollow-silica-nanoparticle coatings did better than solid...
Installations

Anesco builds two solar parks in Netherlands

Anesco is making its international debut with two more major projects for Shell New Energies - its first endeavor outside the UK. The two solar parks in the Netherlands will have a combined capacity of 26 MW. Anesco previously partnered with Shell New En...
Manufacturing

Longi and DuPont expand collaboration on product innovation

The companies aim to jointly develop higher quality and more competitive cells and modules that will in turn ensure the viability of PV power plants.
Manufacturing

Solar costs have fallen 82% since 2010

The levelized cost of energy generated by large scale solar plants is around $0.068/kWh, compared to $0.378 ten years ago and the price fell 13.1% between 2018 and last year alone, according to figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agenc...
Installations

Bulgaria plans to introduce FITs for solar systems up to 30 kW

The government is considering a €0.12/kWh feed-in tariff for PV installations with a generation capacity of up to 5 kW and of €0.10 for 5-30 kW systems. If implemented, the scheme will come into force next month.
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Press Releases

Swedish solar scaleup Alight expands across Europe with new brand

A world powered by solar. Stockholm Design Lab has worked in close collaboration with Alight to develop the new brand identity, which has resulted in a simple and effective solution, positioning Alight as a trusted leader within the PPA sector.

“The PCIM Europe digital days”: Program and registration online

This year, the “PCIM Europe digital days” will be taking place as a virtual event from 7 – 8 July 2020. As ever, the event will cover innovations and developments in the field of power electronics.

Antaisolar provided aluminum solar structure for agriculture solar project in South Korea

Solar application can be various such as Fishery and Agricultural solar. Antaisolar has realized a Agriculture solar project in South Korea after plenty of ground solar projects in this region.

PMT expands management board

As of June 1, 2020, the management board of PMT - Premium Mounting Technologies will be strengthened by Thomas Kercher and Jörg Weber. They support the founder Peter Grass, who from now will be able to refocus on product development as Chief Technology Officer.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Agricultural PV emerges as Japan’s next opportunity

Self-consumption, the ability to isolate from the grid and provide power in the event of outages, and agricultural solar are key components in the 2020 revisions to Japan’s feed-in tariff program, reports RTS Corp.’s Izumi Kaizuka.

N-type uptake under Covid-19

As p-type mono cell efficiencies edge closer to their limits, n-type cells are increasingly being recognized as next-generation technologies, writes PV InfoLink analyst Amy Fang. Manufacturers have focused their research and development efforts in recent years on the creation of commercially viable pathways for heterojunction (HJT) and tunnel-oxidized passivated contact (TOPCon) cells.

Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

Comparisons of PR factors for large-scale solar PV power plants limited

For an investor of large-scale solar PV power plants, efficiency and reliability are two of the most interesting issues. For rating purposes, the Performance Ratio (PR) factor, has been created. However, this metric is only suitable for comparisons to a limited extent, argues Edwin Cunow, owner of LSPV Consulting.

Compensation for curtailments of renewable generation in Ukraine

As of November 2019, certain RES producers have been intermittently forced to reduce their output or halt production of electrical energy altogether under the instructions of Ukraine’s transmission system operator, NEC Ukrenergo. DTEK, along with several other large market players led the call for limitations. Many of the country’s RES producers have become alarmed.

Financing solar in Turkey – Green finance and new business models

Looking at the various solar power plant mechanisms brought by regulatory changes in 2020, the Turkish PV market is aiming to adopt some exciting new financial and business models.

Covid-19

Featured

Covid-19 delayed 63% of India’s planned big solar in first quarter

Coronavirus-related disruption severely impacted solar installation during the first three months of the year, as the nation added only 689 MW of utility scale PV, against the 1,864 MW that was scheduled to be commissioned.

Germany installed 380 MW of solar in April

The rooftop segment maintained strong growth but utility scale PV saw a slowdown on previous months. In the first four months of 2020, newly deployed PV systems added up to 1,479.5 MW of generation capacity, compared with around 1.6 GW in the same period of last year. The nation’s cumulative PV capacity hit 50.46 GW at the end of April.

Electric aircraft engines could take to the skies over Australia

Zero-emission, low-cost regional flights with just eight other sanitized folk and a disinfected pilot! Yes, Covid-19 is warping our view of the future but the successful electrically-powered maiden flight of a Cessna Caravan last week offers the potential for new modes of transport to support a wider economic recovery in Australia.

Solar could hold advantage in post-pandemic global energy sector

The International Energy Agency has acknowledged dramatic falls in energy investment caused by the Covid-19 crisis but said renewables, including PV, offered an attractive proposition to investors as the dust settled, given their enticing economics and short turnaround times.

Renesola warns of Covid-19 project disruption

The solar plant developer, which is now based in the States, was upbeat in its first-quarter figures but balance sheet borrowings remain a concern.

Spain and Italy are European renewables investment hot spots, says CEO, and Mexico really should be too

pv magazine spoke to Mark Jones, chief executive of privately-owned clean energy investment company Susgen about where the newly-launched business is looking to spend the cash pile it has allocated for big, early-stage project pipelines.

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.

Israel wants another 15 GW of solar by 2030

Energy minister Yuval Steinitz has announced the country’s 2030 renewable energy target will rise to 30%, with solar expected to account for the lion’s share. Approximately $23 billion more clean energy investment is envisaged this decade.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Jinko’s new capacity and a 200 MW solar park

JinkoSolar has begun construction of a new 16 GW module production base in Yiwu city, Zhejiang province and Eging PV has resumed a 200 MW solar project in Qitai county in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, after securing approval from local authorities. The China National Energy Administration has confirmed the nation can add no more than 48.45 GW of solar to the grid this year.

PPA signed for solar-wind-storage microgrid on Saint Helena

Pash Global, a subsidiary of multinational commodities trader Trafigura Group, has signed a renewables power purchase agreement for a project on the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. The microgrid will help the South Atlantic island’s aim of investing in renewables, reducing diesel dependence and increasing fuel security and price stabilization.

Siemens and Engie plan 12 MW green hydrogen and gas project in France

A €15.2 million power-to-X-to-power hydrogen storage facility is being planned in Saillat-sur-Vienne, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. The project partners want to use renewable energy from the grid and water to produce and store electrolyzed hydrogen. It would then be mixed with natural gas to power an upgraded, 12 MW Siemens SGT-400 industrial gas turbine which previously generated steam for local manufacturing and would be able to return power to the grid to meet demand.

Armenia kicks off 200 MW solar park tender

The AYG-1 project, planned in the Aragatsotn province of western Armenia, will be 85% owned by the successful developer and 15% by the Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund (Anif).

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.

Australian rooftop PV market continues to thrive

Australia’s rooftop PV fleet continues to grow in the face of uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of the pandemic, posting another big month above 200 MW. Mega-household solar systems are growing in popularity, but retailers and installers can see the storm clouds gathering.

Omani oil provider switches on 100 MW solar park

The PV plant is located at Amin, in the southern desert region of the sultanate. The project, tendered by Petroleum Development Oman in early 2018, was built by a consortium led by the Japanese Marubeni conglomerate.

Mitigating shading in PV modules with new reconfiguration technique

Scientists in India are seeking to mitigate partial shading with a technique based on the Lo Shu nine-square grid of ancient Chinese mathematical tradition. Their approach features the ‘magic grid’ also used in popular sudoku puzzles, as a guide for reconfiguring arrays.

Italy’s second renewables auction secures lowest price of €0.056/kWh

The utility scale renewable energy tender saw wind prevail again, with 18 projects with a total generation capacity of 406 MW. Solar secured four projects with a combined capacity of 19.3 MW but did offer the lowest bid.

Narendra Modi calls for a rooftop-solar-powered city in every Indian state

The prime minister again emphasized the need for India to develop its own solar manufacturing industry and also urged officials to get on with plans to make the region of Ladakh carbon-neutral.

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.

Baywa’s plans for floating PV

Over the past two years, German renewables business Baywa re has developed in-house floating solar technology and installed nearly 50 MW of projects in the Netherlands. Benoît Roux, director of solar activities at Baywa re in France, said the ramp-up in project size has enabled the company to achieve dramatic cost reductions.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 4.3 GW of new cell capacity and a 1 GW solar park

Cell manufacturer Aiko Solar is raising funds to increase its production capacity with 4.3 GW of new lines while Datang Corporation has inked a deal for a 1 GW desert project.

US renewable energy surpasses coal for the first time in more than a century

The coal era could be said to be officially over in the United States.

A 17.5%-efficient dark grey solar tile

U.K. business Roof Tiles Technology Ltd has developed a solar tile with a claimed efficiency of 17.5% and power output of 175 W per square meter. The company’s founder, Antonio Lanzoni, said a PV system featuring the product would cost 25-30% more than a standard solar rooftop.

Dutch grid operators won’t have to compensate for deactivated solar rooftops

Minister of economic affairs and climate change, Eric Wiebes, has written to parliament to confirm grid companies do not have to pay PV system owners when their installations are disconnected from the network due to capacity issues or poor-quality voltage.

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.

Algeria plans 4 GW of solar tenders

The government has announced a plan to deploy new PV capacity at a mega site over the next four years. Around 800 MW of capacity is expected to be tendered annually up to 2024. To be eligible, it is anticipated all modules, cables and mounting structures must have been made in Algeria.

South Korea introduces carbon footprint rules for solar modules

The regulations will come into force on June 15 and will entail panel carbon footprints being calculated according to life cycle assessments of their environmental impacts according to the KS I ISO 14040 Korean standard.

Canadian Solar sees turnover and profits surge

The Chinese-Canadian solar manufacturer reported a 41% year-over-year increase in total module shipments to 2.2 GW in the first quarter. Revenue grew by 70% to $826 million, while net profit improved significantly from $17.2 million to $110.6 million.

It may be safe to put PV panels in landfills, but that doesn’t mean we should

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), health risks from lead in crystalline silicon PV panels are one order of magnitude — or about one-tenth — below the risk levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Indian developer wants to walk away from record low solar price

Acme Solar made headlines in 2018 when its offer to accept $0.0322354 per kilowatt-hour generated at a 600 MW solar farm planned in Rajasthan secured the project from federal body the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Now the developer wants to rip up the agreement, blaming Covid-19-related hold-ups.

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.

Northvolt and aluminum company plot Norwegian EV recycling plant

The sustainable lithium-ion battery manufacturer wants to secure raw materials to recycle into its products and will tap one of the world’s most advanced electric vehicle markets for its end-of-life batteries.

Software developer claims its platform can unlock a distributed generation world

U.K.-based Power Transition today launched a crowdfunding exercise to raise the £300,000 it says it needs to scale up its blockchain-based, peer-to-peer energy trading platform beyond a 47-home demonstration project.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Residential systems in Italy will get a 110% tax rebate and UK consumers are being paid to turn appliances on as coronavirus turns the energy world upside down

Plus, Australia’s Greens want renewables front and center of the post Covid-19 economy and Mexican plant owners are overturning a politically-motivated ban on clean energy, however, Indian developer Acme solar says pandemic delays warrant it reneging on the terms of the record-low solar price agreement it signed.

Used EV batteries for large scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

Total develops electric aircraft refuelling truck

The French oil and gas company will develop the vehicle with engineering compatriot Gaussin. Intended for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, the vehicle will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery made by Total subsidiary Saft and will be able to tow two 30-ton fuel tanks.

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