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The weekend read: Don’t be afraid of BIPV

Necessity, as it’s said, is the mother of invention. For architect Samira Jama Aden, who plays a central role at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin’s BAIP consultancy for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), the need for solar to be part of our built environment is becoming unavoidable. And for Aden, her mission is personal.
Manufacturing

Tesla sells Maxwell Technologies but dry cell tech for lithium-ion batteries retained

Tesla acquired the Californian supercapacitor maker in 2019, leading some to speculate its EVs would use 'supercaps' for top acceleration. Two years on, it appears Elon Musk has moved on and sold Maxwell to UCAP Power, but Tesla has retained the company'...
Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Longi leapfrogs Jinko for first-half module shipments

There is also news of a 1.1 GW central inverter procurement contract, a pending IPO for solar cell player Runergy, and a $700 million-plus solar glass supply contract.
Announcements
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Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: GCL will use Ethiopian natural gas to feed its ammonia and blue hydrogen

Plus there is news this week of a green hydrogen tie-up in India, plans for another German production facility, and of new hydrogen transport networks for Switzerland and the U.S.
Installations

Mining giant unveils AU$73m solar-plus-storage project

Mining giant BHP has taken another step on the path towards a renewable energy future, commissioning a 48.2 MW solar-plus-storage hybrid power facility that will help power its Nickel West mining operations in regional Western Australia.
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Highlights

First Solar plans a 3.3 GW Indian module fab

The U.S.-based manufacturer is planning a vertically integrated thin-film solar module manufacturing facility in India. The factory will likely be built in Tamil Nadu and become operational in the second half of 2023.
Markets & Policy

Acme Solar raises $334 million via offshore green bonds

Indian developer Acme Solar's green bonds were oversubscribed by over three times, and will support it financing twelve projects for a combined 450MW (or 605 MWp) of its operational assets in India.
Markets & Policy

Spanish solar projects secure €68m credit lines

Seven PV plants being planned by Solaria have received direct backing from the European Investment Bank, with the EU lender also the source of a €14 million loan to Natixis which will be passed on to the Spanish developer.

Press Releases

ReneSola Power and Emeren to co-develop solar projects in Italy

Today ReneSola Power and Emeren announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement to co-develop ground-mounted solar projects in Italy. As part of the agreement, ReneSola Power and Emeren will develop projects in a broad range of sizes across the country, with a target of reaching 110 MW shovel-ready projects by 2022.

Solar Village Project to install 10 solar arrays for 10 rural health centers in India

Today, Solar Village Project (SVP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization announced today that they have raised the funding to bring life-saving, reliable solar power to medical clinics in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, India — the country with the second highest number of COVID cases in the world.

Huawei Pakistan, Enertech Kuwait sign MoU to promote development of eco-friendly smart tourist destinations and solar plants

Enertech Holding Company Kuwait aims to develop an Eco-Friendly Smart Destination and 500 MW of Solar Power Plants in Pakistan to promote the tourism and renewable energy sectors of Pakistan, in partnership with Huawei Technologies Pakistan (PVT) Ltd.

Beyondsun’s DuDrive Max series successfully obtains VDE and CGC certification

PV manufacturer, Zhejiang Beyondsun Green Energy Technology Co. , Ltd announced that its DuDrive Max high-efficiency module series have completed the full set of reliability tests conducted by the third party testing and certification organization VDE Germany and CGC (China General Certification Center).

Opinion & Analysis

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The implications of a messy Meyer Burger-Oxford PV divorce for European perovskites

Last week’s announcement Oxford PV wants to wind up its “exclusive cooperation” with Meyer Burger after the fit out of its 100 MW German factory points to a potential divergence in strategies. And with Meyer Burger considering legal action in response, it could result in a messy, disruptive separation.

Post SNEC: Market demand and technology trends

Every year, the SNEC PV Power Expo marks a turning point in the direction of solar market trends, and 2021 was no exception. Corrine Lin, chief analyst at PV InfoLink, was at the show to soak up the latest trends at one of the first big events to go ahead since early 2020.

Europe’s gigafactory boom – 25 by ‘25

A gigafactory, as the name indicates, is a facility that aims to produce Li-ion cells at a gigawatt-hours scale of total capacity, so they can then be used in electric vehicles or stationary storage applications. The global production capacity of Li-ion cells is expected to reach 740 GWh by the end of 2021 – almost a threefold increase from 2017 – and Europe will account for 8% of the total. João Coelho, an analyst at Delta-EE, looks at how Europe plans to catch up.

Southeast Asia’s big PV plans – 27 GW by 2025

PV markets in Southeast Asia have picked up over the past two years, driven by the astounding growth of Vietnam. Regional policies, combined with growing demand for renewable power in the manufacturing industry, will result in 27 GW of new PV installations across the region over the next five years, writes IHS Markit analyst Dharmendra Kumar. PV installations in these countries are driven by attractive feed-in tariffs, net energy metering, tariff-based auction mechanisms, and other incentives.

Strong growth predicted for Middle Eastern solar PV

The Middle East, and the Gulf in particular, has been home to record low solar tariffs in recent years. Major projects are being awarded via tenders, with prices gradually closing in on a remarkable 1 USDct/kWh. Of course, this is no coincidence due to the region’s favorable solar conditions: availability of cheap and sunny desert land, low labor costs, cheap project financing, supportive tax regimes, large projects benefitting from economies of scale, well designed tender structures, and decreasing PV component prices.

Politicians tend to overpromise, except when it comes to solar

The speed of all transitions is inherently underestimated, and solar PV is no exception. The EU has grossly underestimated its coming of age, as its forecasts for 2020 were off by 67% for the Netherlands and 74% for Germany, writes Rolf Heynen, CEO of Dutch New Energy Research.

Covid-19

Featured

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Australia could add 4 GW of rooftop solar this year

The head of the nation’s Smart Energy Council told an event organized by the Global Solar Council, that landmark could be achieved even amid Covid-19 restrictions.

Spain to devote €3.9bn of EU cash to ‘innovative renewables’

The investment has been planned as part of the nation’s recovery and resilience plan to access EU funds for its post-Covid economic stimulus package. The spending plans of Portugal and Greece have also been approved by the European Commission in the last 48 hours.

Universal electricity access by 2030 remains a distant dream

Energy efficiency, electrification of heating and transport, and the provision of clean cooking facilities are all going in the wrong direction as the Covid crisis deprived millions in sub-Saharan Africa of electricity use, according to a report by the IEA, IRENA, WHO, World Bank and UN Statistics Division.

Dubai Solar Show will be held as part of World Expo

The trade show will be held from October 5-7 under the auspices of the Covid-delayed global trade fair.

SNEC opens its doors

The 15th edition of the world’s biggest solar exhibition got up and running in Shanghai today and we have exclusive images from the event.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Indonesia’s coal exit plan

Indonesia, the second-biggest coal exporter in the world, is now taking more steps to reduce its dependency on “black gold” as it starts to consider clean energy.

UK power generation in 2020: Renewables up to 43%

Solar contributed 28% of the U.K.’s total renewable energy generation, which was dominated by wind power. The proportion of fossil fuels in the energy mix fell to a record low last year, at 37.7%.

CATL claims to have made sodium-ion batteries a commercial reality

The manufacturer has launched sodium-ion products online. Production has begun and will be easily scalable, according to the CATL chairman. Researchers have been keen to make the technology work as it offers a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative to lithium-ion products.

Plans for HJT gigafactory in Russia

The controlling shareholder of Russian PV manufacturer Hevel Solar says it has started construction on a gigafactory to manufacture solar ingots, wafers and heterojunction (HJT) cells in the Kaliningrad exclave of Russia, between Lithuania and Poland.

Meyer Burger plans to launch solar PV roof tiles in 2022

The Swiss group has acquired an integrated solar roof system solution from an unidentified German engineering service provider for this purpose. The aim is grow this sector from a niche market.

Bboxx cottons on to pay-as-you-go potential of Burkina Faso

The PAYG solar start-up, which is a darling of impact investors, has formed a joint venture with French cotton farming giant Geocoton to establish a foothold in Burkina Faso and says it is aiming to offer its solar home systems to 2 million customers.

Installations

Featured

PV resilience under fire

The Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, is embracing solar energy as a reliable local energy source. However, its 2 million residents still only have access to electricity for just a few hours per day. Amjad Khashmann reports on damages to installed PV systems and the urgent need for new installations to support education, water, and health care.

European Commission approves France’s €30bn renewables incentive program

Paris intends to secure 34 GW of solar, onshore wind and hydroelectric generation capacity by 2026 by offering generators premium payments – determined by competitive reverse-bidding among developers – to top-up the market electricity price.

Chinese poly maker moves to establish natural gas-fired hydrogen business

An announcement by GCL-Poly to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday about the company’s hydrogen plans made no mention of any intent to deploy carbon capture tech to mitigate the emissions of what would otherwise be considered a ‘grey’, fossil fuel version of the energy storage medium.

Europe had just 650 MW of solar cell manufacturing capacity at the end of 2020

The latest update to the Photovoltaics Report produced by research organization the Fraunhofer ISE has offered up the usual slew of interesting stats on the state of solar across the continent.

The trillions spent by G20 nations on fossil fuels between 2015 and 2019 could have paid for more than 4 TW of solar at today’s prices

Polluting energy sources received more than $3 trillion from the EU and 19 of the world’s largest national economies over that four-year period, despite G20 members having pledged to phase-out fossil fuel subsidy and address climate change back in 2009.

Commercial and industrial rooftops in India could deploy 1,875 MW of solar in 2021

According to a new report, India’s commercial and industrial sectors will increase their rooftop solar deployments by 47% year-on-year, with bifacials and large-size high-wattage modules offering cost-effective support for reducing electricity costs.

Technology

Featured

In Conversation: The effects of defects

Mónica LiraCantú leads a research group investigating nanostructured materials for photovoltaic energy at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Recently, her group led a project that looked deep into the crystalline structure of a perovskite solar cell, revealing new information about the formation of defects in the material and how they could be engineered to improve both efficiency and stability. pv magazine caught up with the Barcelona-based scientist to discuss the state of the art in perovskite solar cells and remaining challenges on the road to commercialization.

Maxeon secures EU cash to make its ‘stick-on’ solar panels in France

The TotalEnergies-controlled solar manufacturer will secure an, as yet undetermined chunk of a new €118.6 million low-carbon innovation fund to start producing its frameless, glass-free solar roofing products at Porcelette, in northeastern France.

Aussie startup invents breakthrough non-toxic battery electrolyte that’s cheaper ‘by factor of 100’

Professor Thomas Nann told pv magazine Australia that a breakthrough idea was almost too simple: “Actually when we submitted the patent in the first place, the patent officers came back to us and said ‘well, that’s too trivial’ and we made exactly that argument – why did no one else do that then?” said Nann.

The Hydrogen Stream: Air Liquide eyes South Korea as Cummins announces fuel-cell truck plans

With Australia prepping plans for vast green hydrogen and ammonia production facilities, two of the country’s state governments are trying to drum up the end-user market as agreements are signed to drive use of the gas in Ukraine and Poland.

Stanford-UAE collaboration tightens solar module forecasting performance

Utility DEWA is leveraging space technology to improve forecasting as the nation continues to develop its gargantuan solar park in Saih Al-Dahal, 50km south of Dubai.

UK government launches competition to spur longer duration energy storage innovation

New tech which can store power for longer than four hours can secure up to €14 million each towards their demonstrator project costs.

Manufacturing

Featured

In Converstation: Top n-type performance

In search of the next leap for cell and module efficiency, module manufacturers are now turning away from mono-PERC and increasingly toward n-type TOPCon technology. A few pioneering manufacturers have already begun mass production for the utility-scale market – including JinkoSolar. pv magazine recently caught up with Roberto Murgioni, Jinko’s division head of technical services and product management in Europe, for an update on the company’s TOPCon plans.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Trina, Longi and Guangdong Electric Power all have reason to celebrate

…but cell manufacturer Aikosolar is expecting a reversal in fortune for the first half of the year and has blamed rising solar panel material costs.

Solar manufacturers warn of 12-18 months disruption for standalone products

Potential price rises of 14% for the solar home systems that are driving access to electricity in the world’s under-served regions could signal further arrested progress towards the UN goal of universal access by 2030.

Waaree completes supply of 300+ MW solar modules for American project

The Indian-based PV module maker supplied mono PERC solar PV modules for a 250 MW project stage for a large Californian project, the 2.7GW Westlands Solar Park, located south of Fresno in California.

Meyer Burger considers legal action as Oxford PV unilaterally terminates exclusive cooperation

Meyer Burger claims machines to produce perovskite tandem solar cells are still missing at Oxford PV’s manufacturing plant in Germany’s Brandenburg an der Havel. Despite this, Oxford PV terminated the cooperation with the turnkey machine supplier in a surprise move last week. The Swiss technology group, which now produces its own heterojunction solar cells and modules in Germany, is now considering legal action.

Oxford PV completes 100 MW factory build out

Perovskite tandem developer Oxford PV has completed the fit out of its 100 MW tandem cell line in Brandenburg, Germany – although the company awaits for the delivery of one perovskite deposition tool, which would complete the high efficiency cell process. Oxford PV, which in December 2020 hit a new world record cell efficiency of 29.52%, hopes to begin commercial production in early 2022.

Energy Storage

Featured

In Conversation: Going full circle

With manufacturing ramping up year by year and policies already looking to get ahead of the large volumes of end-of-life products, the landscape for lithium-ion battery recycling is rapidly changing. pv magazine recently spoke with Mari Lundström, associate professor of chemical and metallurgical engineering at Aalto University, to find out what is needed on the research side for the effective recycling of batteries.

PowerGen and CrossBoundary to deploy solar to 55,000 people in rural Nigeria within a year

U.S.-owned, Nairobi-based mini-grid developer PowerGen has already rolled out seven local solar networks in the West African country, funded by equity investors who will recoup their cash when all 28 systems are sold to CrossBoundary Energy Access.

Queensland energy survey reveals shifts in battery and EV embrace coupled with continued love of solar

Known as Australia’s “Sunshine State,” Queensland households have, in just two years, doubled their residential energy storage, according to a new survey. The figures reveal 37% of Queensland households now have panels installed, with a further 22% looking to install or upgrade their systems.

Tesla Powerwalls in California join the movement to create virtual power plants

Made up of distributed residential energy storage, these “plants” stabilize the grid and often end the need for new fossil generation. Tesla customers in California are the latest to join the movement.

The Hydrogen Stream: New tech to reduce weight, costs of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

U.S.-based Hyzon Motors has developed a new onboard hydrogen storage system technology capable of reducing the weight and manufacturing cost of commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Meanwhile, India’s largest oil provider has announced its first green hydrogen project and the Dutch government has awarded a subsidy contract to an offshore green hydrogen demonstrator.

Australia’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility attracts additional funding

Australia’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturer, Energy Renaissance, has received a grant to develop its pilot manufacturing facility in the Hunter region.

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