Top News

Caterpillar, SunPower team up on CAT-branded solar

Caterpillar-branded SunPower modules will be available in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East - but not yet the United Support.
Highlights

Energy transition slowly forcing hand of oil, gas, but green investment still low

Increasing scrutiny is putting pressure on the world’s biggest oil and gas companies to jump aboard the green energy wagon. While some are making efforts to divest away from conventional energies, figures estimate that just 1.3% of total CAPEX in 2018 ...
Manufacturing

Taiwan’s URE handed $335 million syndicated loan

The Taiwanese solar manufacturer secured the funds from a consortium of banks formed by First Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Mega International Commercial Bank and CTBC Bank.
Announcements

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Installations

Mexico postpones RE auction by a month

The country's fourth long-term power auction, originally scheduled for November, will now be held on December 18. The preliminary call for the auction was made in March.
Markets & Policy

Lazard, Lazard, LCOE – what’s the cheapest energy?

Lazard’s newly released Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis 12.0, and Storage 4.0, finds that where utility scale wind works, it dominates – and that the unsubsidized cost to build new utility wind and solar facilities is equal to, and often less than ...
Markets & Policy

Singapore launches blockchain-based renewable energy marketplace

Companies keen to offset their carbon emissions will be able to purchase renewable energy certificates at Singapore’s first blockchain-powered marketplace, launched by electricity provider SP Group.
Installations

Rooftop solar may see lower development in border regions, study says

While analyzing the role of social spillovers in the adoption of solar energy solutions, a research team has found that cultural and language barriers may represent a factor causing lower levels of development. In particular, they discovered that the ado...

Press Releases

he Mobility House wins Green Apple Award for energy storage system in Johan Cruijff ArenA

Today the largest European energy storage system using second-life and new electric vehicle batteries in a commercial building has won the Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice.

Belectric completes three solar farms for EDF Renewables in Israel

Pduyim (14 MWp), Mefalsim (13 MWp) and Kfar Maimon (7 MWp) are located in the Israeli Negev Desert.

Solar-Log and RainWise Inc. cooperate in Malaysia

Solare Datensysteme GmbH (SDS), manufacturer of the Solar-Log Monitoring system, and RainWise Inc. , manufacturer of PVmet Weather Stations decided to further develop the interaction between professional Monitoring and Energy Management as well as professional Weather analysis in Malaysia and soon in other markets as well.

Azuri and APA Insurance introduce affordable income and funeral cover for solar and off-grid customers in Kenya

Azuri Technologies, a leading provider of pay-as-you-go solar power, in conjunction with APA Insurance, Kenya’s leading insurer, today announced the launch of HospiCash, a low-cost micro-insurance product for Azuri solar power customers across Kenya.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Renewables 2.0: Preparing for the new complexity of renewable energy in a post-subsidy world

As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.

Low demand driving consolidation

With the release of second quarter financial results, the rankings of global module shipments in the first half of the year can be confirmed. JinkoSolar shipped 4.8 GW to take first place in this period.

Will Taiwan meet its 20 GW solar goal by 2025?

By 2025, Taiwan aims to reach a cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 20 GW. However, by mid-2018, just 11.2% of this goal had been met. TrendForce analyst, Rhea Tsao, examines the situation and discusses what needs to be done to reach the target.

Degradation control tests for solar PV modules

Module degradation tests are essential not only for effective plant operations, but also to ensure an optimum ROI. However, fixed laboratories, where such tests are usually carried out, involve transportation issues, while it is not always economically feasible to send in mobile laboratories. So how can degradation in these instances be measured? Leonardo Enrique Pérez Abreu, Technical Manager of the Testing & Optimization department at Enertis discusses this issue.

World Overshoot Day comes early this year

World Overshoot Day marks the day the world has used up its annual budget of the resources it could have sustainably consumed. Despite efforts in relevant sectors, the date is creeping forward every year. Twenty years ago, it was in late September.

India’s trade war will have global repercussions

India is currently the second largest market in the world for PV module demand. With China’s domestic demand frozen since the 31/5 notification, the country’s total module demand in 2018 will likely only achieve 32-34 GW. This will allow India, which may surpass 10 GW in annual demand, to reach 13% of global PV demand this year. As a result, the future of India’s trade war has become an influential factor in the global PV industry.

Markets & Policy

Featured

“The government should be doing more – absolutely.”

While Westminster has brought the U.K.’s solar industry almost to a standstill, city councils are fighting like Gallic villages to keep the industry alive. Still, policy support and legislative security from Westminster are direly needed.

Solar awarded entire 200 MW capacity in France’s mixed energy auction

The entire capacity of an experimental mixed auction for wind and solar has been awarded to large-scale PV projects, the French Government announced. The average tariff price secured was €54.94/MWh.

USA: Five new state governors aim for 100% renewables

Governors-elect in Colorado and Connecticut want a 100% renewables mandate. Approaching 100% is the goal for governors-elect in Illinois, Nevada and Maine.

Nothing can stop Spain’s solar train now

At an event held in Madrid this week, the Spanish solar sector made it clear that it is more than ready to achieve the government’s renewable energy targets, which include 50 to 60 GW of new PV capacity by 2030. The sector is experiencing a rebirth.

$200 million earmarked for green projects in Lebanon

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) yesterday unveiled details for Lebanon’s first Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), the largest thus far in the bank’s Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED). The GEFF program is set to address key issues of energy security, efficiency and sustainability for the Middle Eastern country.

US regulators approve the world’s largest battery projects

CPUC has signed off on four lithium-ion battery projects in California, the United States, one of which at 300 MW is the largest battery project to date known by pv magazine.

Installations

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.

India Power wins Albania’s large-scale solar tender

The Indian company will build a 100 MW solar park in the Akërni salt flats, near Vlorë. A 50 MW section of the plant will sell power to the local distributor at €59.9 per MWh over a 15-year period, while the remaining portion will sell electricity at market prices.

Sunseap to build 5 MW floating PV at sea

Project developer Sunseap has announced plans for one of the world’s largest PV systems floating on seawater, to be built in the Johor strait which separates Singapore and Malaysia. The 5 MW system is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

Solar sector to add 552 GW by 2027 led by China

The leading trio – China, the United States and India – will comprise 70% of the projected 552 GW of solar capacity, which will be added between end-2017 and 2027, finds Fitch Solutions, which has revised down its original forecast for solar capacity growth in China. The curbed growth in China, due to subsidy cuts and restricted access to the United States and India, is expected to squeeze domestic solar equipment manufacturers, but also lead to access to cheaper solar panels in other smaller markets.

The Netherlands installed 658 MW of PV in the first half of this year

New solar installations in the country reached the milestone in six months, according to Dutch New Energy Research, which publishes its first Dutch Solar Quarterly report today.

Germany concludes draft detailing drastic cutbacks for PV systems 40 kW and over

In addition to solar subsidy cutbacks of around 20%, planned for the start of 2019, the German Federal Ministry of Economics’ draft Energy Sources Act includes special tenders for PV and onshore wind. While many say the cuts cause great uncertainty for large-scale project developers, politician Peter Altmaier sees it differently: the energy transition is becoming safer and more affordable, he says. The decision to adopt or change the act now lies with the Federal Parliament.

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.

The weekend read: Coating puts busbars back in the game

In late September, Heraeus launched its Selectively Coated Ribbons (SCR) technology. The product will be rolled out in partnership with ribbon supplier Ulbrich. Delivering a 1.9 W power output boost without any equipment investment and with few process changes, Heraeus’ Toralf Eggert and Ulbrich’s Peter Berghofer claim SCR will make conventional busbars competitive with unwieldy multi-busbars.

Longi sets new PERC module efficiency record

Chinese monocrystalline manufacturer Longi Solar Technology has broken its own record for PERC module efficiency, reaching 20.83% in independent testing conducted by TÜV Süd.

Annual scorecard will rate battery systems for developers

The first annual Battery Performance Scorecard has turned up interesting findings, including the fact high temperatures can help or hinder power output – depending on the product, and seemingly in equal measure.

What’s in store for storage? $1.2tn

The rise of batteries will attract that headline figure in investment up to 2040, say analysts, as exponential growth in EV ownership, falling stationery system costs and the needs of the world’s grid-poor regions combine to boost lithium-ion technology.

Renewables overtake fossil fuels in UK installed capacity

A report published today by U.K.-headquartered energy company Drax says that, for the first time ever, total generation capacity available from renewables has overtaken that of fossil fuels on Britain’s electric grid.

Manufacturing

Featured

Secrets of monocrystalline silicon

Monocrystalline cells and modules are rapidly overtaking multi as the dominant technology in solar markets globally. To understand why, you need to go up the value chain.

Enphase sold out into 2019, margins way up, projections bright

Enphase’s 3rd quarter results saw revenues at $78 million with an estimated $10 million sales shortfall due to a component shortage, as the company shipped 204 MW of inverters. Future speculation saw an international play on the IQ8, the SunPower partnership, and energy storage driving growth.

Singulus doubles up on CNBM production equipment order

A day after signing a 300 MW production capacity deal with the building materials company, the German company has announced exactly the same order – with the same customer – for a facility elsewhere in China.

Indian PV procurement leapt to 3 GW in October figures

Developers gave short shrift to warnings about depreciation, protectionism and tax headwinds as tendering and auction figures soared, but shied away from tough price caps set for the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s procurement exercises.

Chinese manufacturer prepares to raise $434m through bonds

The polysilicon, PV wafer and module and inverter maker has arranged a second EGM of 2018 to seek permission for two bond issues, as its peers scramble to raise their manufacturing capacities.

Singulus signals 300 MW production equipment order as Chinese dragon roars again

Predictions of the imminent demise of Chinese solar demand due to the reining in of subsidies have not stopped manufacturers ramping up production capacities. German equipment maker Singulus is among the suppliers to benefit from a renewed confidence in the Far East.

Energy Storage

Featured

Whole system thinking

Sector coupling is rapidly becoming a reality, writes Andy Bradley, Director of Business Development at Delta Energy & Environment, meaning that whole system thinking – cross vector as well as cross sector – is becoming ever more important. Energy storage has a vital role to play in enabling this more interconnected and dynamic energy system.

NantEnergy acquires Sharp’s US energy systems & services

Zinc battery specialist NantEnergy has acquired the U.S. energy systems and services business from Japanese electronics giant Sharp. The acquisition, according to NantEnergy, will provide the company with an important foothold in the U.S. market and allow it to provide “energy as a service” business models, using its Zinc-air battery, in multiple markets.

EV makers announce latest monthly sales figures

BYD’s electric bus business is growing at an healthy rate. Geely’s EVs lag their more traditional counterparts – but are gaining ground.

UK storage on the fly with 6.9 GW cumulative pipeline

At an event in London, a new tool was presented which lets the user track the UK storage landscape. The market is gaining traction amidst disfavourable policies for solar PV and other renewables from Westminster. The UK’s storage portfolio seems to be growing rapidly.

‘Renewables mini grids need good policy frameworks’

The International Renewable Energy Agency says Asia is offering the largest amount of people mini grid access, with the development of such systems mostly led by governments. Global installed capacity reached 308 MW at the end of 2017.

More subsidy free solar + storage for the UK

Local authority West Sussex County Council has commissioned the 7.4 MW Westhampnett Solar Farm, co-located with a 4.4 MW lithium-ion battery. The project was built without government subsidy, according to the council, and is expected to deliver significant income over its 25-year lifetime.

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