The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a cloud on industries around the world, but the U.S. utility-scale solar segment is still growing, writes IHS Markit solar analyst Maria J. Chea. Around 3 GW of solar PV is set to be installed this year in Texas alone, but opportunities also abound across several other southern U.S. states.
The State of Qatar is a World Bank high-income economy, backed by the world’s third-largest natural gas and oil reserves. Qatar has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world, with very high human development. Similar to other Gulf Cooperation Council states – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain – Qatar is wrestling with the fluctuations in global hydrocarbons prices that started in 2014 and are now compounded by the Saudi-led embargo since 2017.
While mono-grade polysilicon prices did not decrease much in the first quarter owing to stable demand, multi-grade fell to record lows as its market share diminished. During the second quarter, writes PV InfoLink senior analyst Cooper Chen, the market saw excessive supply. Monocrystalline manufacturers have been running at full tilt and bringing new capacities online as scheduled, while the pandemic rages on overseas.
Bifacial modules are one of the older developments in solar panel technology, dating back to the 1960s. It is also one of the latest advances to take hold. According to many experts, however, it is now on track as the latest trend to sweep the solar industry and will soon become the standard.
A national energy strategy which prioritizes coal is being ripped up just two years after its introduction, thanks to Covid-related slumps in demand, but legislators appear likely to look to gas, rather than solar and wind power as an alternative, due to land issues and energy storage costs.
Eneris Group has suspended its financial commitments for the time being and Leclanche shareholder Fefam has provided a bridge loan of CHF34 million to give the historic company more time to set up a joint venture for large scale battery cell production in Europe.
The weeks ahead could prove decisive for the bloc’s decarbonization ambitions as the European Parliament prepares for several votes and legislative proposals from the commission. The European Climate Law and the Just Transition Fund are critical parts of the European Green Deal but remain points of contention at Brussels.
Three big projects are candidates for support from the Covid recovery plan laid out by the bloc.
Clean energy power plants will figure prominently as Queensland and Victoria bid to reset their economies for a post-coronavirus world. France suffered a hit to its new solar deployment figures in the first half of a Covid-hit year but its neighbor appears to have no such concerns.
The U.K. utility is a partner in the Green Hydrogen for Scotland initiative which aims to be fueling commercial vehicles with sustainable hydrogen within two years, starting with a 10 MW electrolyzer on the outskirts of Glasgow.
Indian PV manufacturers have highlighted the need to find alternative supply chains and to push automation and Internet of Things applications on the factory floor, in order to keep production running amid raw material and labor shortages.
The state’s new net metering is a highly anticipated, high-stakes proceeding. It will effectively modify the rules for the net metering tariff in California, which is arguably the most important policy mechanism for customer-sited solar of the last decade.
The Australian government has announced new long-term funding and an expanded remit for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency beyond 2022. The funding package, which looks more like a cut than anything else, pushes investment away from solar and wind toward technologies like carbon capture and storage.
German tech company Tube Solar AG has secured €10.8 million to develop its cylindrical agrivoltaic modules. The lightweight devices could also be used on roofs until now considered unsuitable for PV.
The electronics giant is building two PV plants with a combined generation capacity of 58 MW with U.S. module manufacturer First Solar. Toshiba is also extending its hydrogen research project in Fukushima for another two years.
Financial newspaper Les Echos claims the government is mulling a renegotiation of historic feed-in contracts after the Court of Auditors in 2018 ruled the incentives too generous.
The country’s regulator has approved a government plan to tender for 11.81 GW of power generation capacity on top of the 2 GW tender opened last month.
Developer Solarity has completed the first floating PV array to be connected to the national distribution network under Chile’s net billing scheme. The plant will supply 100% of project owner Hortifrut’s energy needs, while allowing it to sell excess power to the grid.
The government’s energy strategy targets new clean energy capacity this decade but all existing coal power plants will also remain active, gas pipelines could be upgraded and new nuclear facilities deployed.
Scientists in Germany have achieved 12.6% efficiency with a 26 sq cm organic panel and 11.7% for a 204 sq cm device. The feats were achieved with a new module layout and a slower, high-resolution, short-pulse laser structuring process.
Scientists in the United States theorize that a ‘double absorber’ cell comprising two active thin-film layers within one cell stack could achieve impressive efficiencies, whilst eliminating many of the challenges inherent to the design of tandem cells. For now though, it’s only on paper.
Batteries could shrink even more with smaller crystals in the cathodes. Battery packs in electric vehicles and consumer goods could become smaller, while still offering high performance.
Solar PV tracking manufacturer, Convert, is launching its TRJ-AI Tracker Control System. The company says its new TRJ-AI innovation provides the industry the opportunity to easily control, manage, and monitor tracking systems from digital devices reliably and remotely to optimize the energy production of solar plants.
Scientists in Saudi Arabia headed outdoors to test the effects of the region’s high desert temperatures on the performance of small perovskite-silicon tandem cells in several different configurations. Their findings could offer new insight into selecting the best materials for long-term stability in the field.
Businesses, supported by the government, will join forces to strengthen their industry and contribute to the European Green Deal through made-in-EU products.
As one of the most rapidly growing inverter manufacturers, Ginlong Solis went public and became listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) early last year. With the support from the capital market, Ginlong Solis continued its rapid growth. According to Wood Mackenzie, the company ranked among the top ten inverter manufacturers in terms of global product shipments in 2019. How has Ginlong Solis developed its market strategy? What new products and solutions is Ginlong Solis showcasing at SNEC 2020 in Shanghai? And how is the company dealing with the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic? These issues are addressed in the following interview with Wang Yiming, the founder and CEO of Ginlong Solis.
An Anglo-Egyptian research group has developed a passive cooling method based on saturated activated alumina, with saline water as a cooling agent.
Scientists in South Korea combined two processes to etch a nanostructure of tiny pyramids onto the surface of a silicon wafer. As well as trapping more light and increasing the cell efficiency, the group claims that its nanostructure improves the mechanical flexibility of the cells. This could potentially allow for the use of much thinner silicon wafers than is currently possible in production.
Power company Datang Group is reportedly planning to spend around $148 million replacing a coal-fired power plant with a 200 MW solar project in Shanxi province and two solar players are set to issue stock.
Tesla battery day is next week. Earlier this year, Elon Musk told analysts that what he had to say “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” Here’s a list of battery hyperbole and terms you’re bound to hear at the event.
Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance have quantified the influence of markets around the world. The ranking supplies a snapshot of 25 countries and also offers a five-year outlook.
The two nations have brought their national hydrogen strategies together after signing a new agreement for a joint feasibility study into green hydrogen production and trade. The agreement was welcomed around the country as auspicious of Australia’s potential as a global green hydrogen superpower.
Researchers in India have developed a 5 kW/25 kWh vanadium redox flow battery with an energy density of 30 watt-hours to 40 watt-hours per liter.
Researchers have sounded the alarm. If no serious efforts are made on second-life battery use, recycling and vehicle-to-grid applications, decarbonization efforts may hit the buffers a lot sooner than expected.