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The weekend read: Should solar developers take notice of ESG criteria?

Something is brewing in the financial world. “Sustainable finance” and the growth of ESG funds have been taking the market by storm in recent years. Since most major PV projects end up needing investors from the capital market, it is only a matter of time before they will have to adapt. The beginning of March 2021 saw a milestone reached in this process.
Manufacturing

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Akcome achieves 24.2% efficiency for heterojunction cell in mass production

The solar cell manufacturer claims to have achieved the record efficiency at its 2 GW Huzhou, in northern Zhejiang province. Meanwhile, PV production equipment supplier Jinchen is raising funds for the development of its plasma-enhanced chemical vapor de...
Manufacturing

Vehicle-integrated PV for light commercial vehicles

A German consortium is building a light commercial truck prototype powered by 10 PV modules featuring Meyer Burger’s heterojunction cells. Initial estimates suggest that the panels could cover more than 25% of a vehicle's total annual driving distance,...
Announcements

pv magazine Annual Award 2021: open for entries

Are you a PV or energy storage industry innovator?

 

Have your new product or service recognized in the pv magazine 2021 Annual Awards.

 

Entries are currently being accepted for the awards across six categories: Modules, Inverters, Balance of System (BoS), Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), Sustainability, and Manufacturing. Enter free today to go in the running to be a 2021 winner!

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Why bigger is better when bifacial modules meet single-axis tracking in the APAC region

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Manufacturing

Jinko shipped 18.7 GW of modules in 2020

The Chinese module manufacturer saw its net profit rise only slightly last year, despite a larger increase in turnover and shipments. It expects to almost double its shipments to up to 30 GW of PV modules in the current fiscal year.
Hydrogen

The Hydrogen Stream: strong push from France, new plans and deals in UK, Italy, Brazil, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Portugal

The nascent hydrogen economy has seen a good amount of developments in a week that showed an increasing number of players taking part in the game. In the UK, British Airways has invested in hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia with a focus on hy...
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Markets & Policy

Unsubsidized solar for underground zinc-lead mine in Namibia

Canadian mining company Trevali will buy power from a solar plant located near its Rosh Pinah mine under a 15-year power purchase agreement.
Installations

Italy launches first solar energy community in social housing project

An energy community in northern Italy will integrate a PV installation with a storage system to power 48 households of a social housing project and a fleet of rented electric vehicles. It is a collective effort that could be replicable as soon as 2023.
Installations

PCM-based passive cooling for BIPV systems

Indian scientists tested four kinds of phase change materials (PCMs) for solar module cooling in building-integrated photovoltaics. The PCMs were encapsulated with the PV system and the building envelopes and were also found to be beneficial to the therm...

Press Releases

LONGi to supply modules for projects in Malaysia’s latest LSS3 tender

LONGi announced that it will supply its high-efficiency modules to two of the five awarded projects under the Large Scale Solar (LSS) 3 tender in Peninsular Malaysia for commercial operation in 2021.

Sungrow Strengthens Position as Kazakhstan’s Number One Inverter Solution Provider with Another 100MW Added

Sungrow announced today that it will be supplying its inverters to Kazakhstan’s 100MW Balkhash solar power project, further strengthening its position as Kazakhstan’s number one inverters provider.

Enphase Energy Launches Enphase Installer Network in Europe

Enphase Energy announced that after the successful launches of its Enphase Installer Network (EIN) in the U. S.

K2 System continues its successful course and opens new location in Australia

The German manufacturer of assembly-friendly mounting systems for photovoltaic plants is opening its ninth location worldwide. K2 Systems Pty Limited will serve the fifth continent, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Opinion & Analysis

Africa’s solarized digitalization agenda

The seventh session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development convened on the theme of “Building forward better towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 & 2063 Agenda” and promote the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

Innovations in battery storage key to a solar-powered future

A few years ago, fluctuations and complex storage solutions were the main factors hampering solar growth. Today, the sector is poised to leverage technologies to make a decisive leap. With a sustainable future around the corner, it will be innovative battery storage that will drive solar PV to become more powerful and efficient than ever before. But what are the latest developments in PV and energy storage, and which innovations are poised to transform the industry?

We need an energy access revolution: A new approach to innovation can help

840 million people still don’t have access to electricity today, according to the World Bank. But the radical decrease in the cost of the green technologies of solar and battery storage provides an unparalleled opportunity to close this gap and achieve universal electricity access by 2030.

Covid-19 and distressed solar PPAs in Spain

Spanish law firm Rödl & Partner provides an update on distressed solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Spain, focusing on the impact, and economic and legal consequences, of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A banner year for US solar

Despite the supply and demand challenges that PV faced in 2020, the U.S. solar market had its largest installation year to date, writes IHS Markit’s Maria Chea. More than 22 GW of PV installations were completed last year, with utility-scale projects representing 77% of that volume. A renewables-friendly administration, an extended ITC schedule, increasingly competitive pricing, and a massive late-stage project pipeline will drive strong growth for the United States in 2021.

The promising future of decentralized solar PV in the MENA region

Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar PV users consume a significant amount of energy in the MENA region. In these markets, the residential sector accounts for 41% of the total power demand, followed by the industrial and commercial sectors at 21% and 20%, respectively. The remaining 18% represents other sectors, such as agriculture and transport, as well as network losses.

Covid-19

Featured

Chinese solar company highlights credit downgrades of state-owned entities

A record number of defaults last year has spooked some lenders, according to Solargiga, but the solar manufacturer has announced ambitious plans to ramp production capacity this year and next.

Greece’s recovery plan to invest €10bn in clean energy

The Greek government has published its plan for a post-Covid economic recovery. The strategy aims to mobilize at least €10 billion towards the green energy sector, with the prospect of further EU loans on top.

Solar could help Azerbaijan consolidate gains in Nagorno Karabakh after recent conflict

That was just one of the revelations of the latest Dentons’ Guide to renewables investment in Europe, which also noted solar plants could be switched off in Slovakia, Ireland could go either way on clean power pricing, and Luxembourg is struggling with a surprising headache.

Shuifa Singyes reports annual results

The bailed-out solar company has seen its fortunes reverse since state-owned Shuifa rode to the rescue but it still has some assets frozen as the result of civil cases.

‘Solar can energize the East African recovery’

Patrik Huber, co-founder and managing director for East Africa at renewables leasing company Solarise Africa, has spoken to pv magazine about the company’s take on how the region can prime for a green recovery. Huber explained Solarise’s contribution to the recovery includes recent expansion into three new countries.

‘Falling solar module costs are behind us’

Canadian Solar is pivoting towards energy storage and is preparing to IPO its manufacturing and Chinese solar project activity in China, under the CSI Solar operation, by July.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What Asia needs to turn away from coal

Given the rapid decrease of the solar electricity cost, pv magazine explores the drivers and obstacles behind switching off coal and embracing photovoltaics and other renewable energy technology in Asia. The good news: things are moving in the right direction.

South Korea wants to build large-scale PV along highways

The new plan comes on top of a scheme launched in late March to deploy solar using railway infrastructure. The Korean government expects private developers will build solar plants on the highways’ idle sites for a combined capacity of 243 MW by 2025.

Saudi Arabia’s second PV tender draws world record low bid of $0.0104/kWh

The record low price was offered for the 600 MW Al Shuaiba PV IP project, which competed in the second round of the country’s procurement scheme for renewable energies.

Nickel-salen for a battery that charges in 10 seconds

Scientists in Russia introduce a promising new material for battery energy storage, the product of more than three years of research. Incorporating a nickel-salen polymer into the cathode, the group demonstrated a battery that can charge and discharge ten times faster than today’s lithium-ion batteries. And though the battery still lags in terms of overall capacity, the group is confident that its discovery will lead to big improvements for lithium batteries.

Work begins on green hydrogen storage cavern in Sweden

Vattenfall, SSAB and LKAB are building a rock cavern storage facility in a coastal city in northern Sweden. The 100-cubic-meter facility will be built 30 meters below ground and will begin storing green hydrogen next year.

Taiwan joins the gigafactory club

Taiwan Cement is planning to build a US$352 million EV battery factory in southern Taiwan. The 1.8 GW facility will produce high-charge-discharge nickel ternary batteries.

Installations

Featured

The future is female among Egyptian engineers

How do you achieve gender equality among shift-working engineers in a remote location in North Africa? With a clear vision and concrete measures, according to Scatec’s operations and maintenance (O&M) team in Egypt, which has a 30% share of female engineers.

PV-powered ‘megawall’ to charge electric bus fleet

Australian public transport operator Transdev will use a “green mobility megawall” comprising 250 solar modules and 10 Tesla Powerwall units to charge two new electric buses in Brisbane.

Solar powers novel green hydrogen fuel technology

A homegrown technology developed by the University of Newcastle and Southern Green Gas has seen the development of a novel green hydrogen fuel and carbon-neutral green methane. The fuel was demonstrated in Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV in Sydney.

EDF bags PPA for 20 MW solar park from French railway operator

Construction on the solar plant is expected to begin this year. It will supply power to SNCF’s unit SNCF Energie over a 20-year period.

Australia’s ‘largest’ solar facade

Victorian-based property developer Beulah has announced its soon-to-be-completed Paragon tower, in the heart of Melbourne, will be home to the nation’s largest and most efficient vertical solar PV system.

Hail insurance is about risk management for PV developers

In the second installment of this series, pv magazine talks with Michael Kolodner of Marsh to learn about the evolution of hail risk management and how insuring a solar project is about more than just the policy.

Technology

Featured

Filling the energy technology, poverty gap

Advanced technology is of little use if it cannot reach those who need it most. Two Indonesian companies – Kopernik, an NGO based in Bali, and Sumba Sustainable Solutions, from the island of Sumba – are trying to bridge the gap between those in need and those with technological solutions. They both focus on the PV electrification of rural areas and brightening Indonesia’s “last mile.”

New York Power Authority tests 1 MWh zinc-based battery

The New York Power Authority will deploy a battery to provide peak shaving capability. It aims to validate the system’s performance reliability to help determine O&M and life-cycle costs.

P-type TOPCon solar cell with 21.2% efficiency

Fraunhofer ISE scientists have identified the best metallization pastes to help reduce contact resistivity and contact recombination in p-type TOPCon solar cells. They applied a silicon nitride layer through plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition onto both sides of a cell.

PV rides through semiconductor chip shortage

Many industry sectors across the world are currently being hit by a semiconductor chip shortage as major manufacturers are unable to meet demand. According to Cormac Gilligan, an associate director at IHS Markit, solar and energy storage manufacturers are being less affected. In general, the solar and energy storage industries have learned lessons from being impacted by semiconductor components, for example, transistors, capacitors and resistors in prior years, Gilligan told pv magazine.

LG unveils 390 W n-type module

The Korean manufacturer said the NeON H solar panel is the most reliable and efficient renewable energy solution it has ever created. The new product features an efficiency of 21.2% and a temperature coefficient of -0.33% per degree Celsius,

Solar water heater to maximize self-consumption

French module manufacturer Systovi has developed a smart water heater that can forecast the weather, store surplus green electricity, and return it in the form of hot water, according to household needs.

Manufacturing

Featured

Bifacial adoption spurs rethink on PID

PV systems are unique among electronic devices, as they are expected to survive outdoors for at least 25 to 30 years. This makes module and system quality one of the cornerstones of guaranteed returns on investment. Potential-induced degradation (PID) is a critical failure mode with a potentially high financial impact. New research from imec and Hasselt University looks at the damaging impact that PID can have on bifacial technology, writes Michaël Daenen, a professor at EnergyVille and Hasselt University.

Tata Power Solar expands cell, module capacity

Tata Power Solar, a PV manufacturer and EPC contractor, has added new lines to its factory in Bangalore, India. It is widening its product range to include half-cell and bifacial mono PERC panels.

India extends manufacturing incentive program to solar modules

A national production-linked incentive scheme introduced to encourage domestic manufacturing will now encompass solar. The PV policy will reportedly offer increased rewards for the production of more efficient panels and for Indian content–although it is not clear how.

Maxeon to ramp up solar shingle module production in the US

The expansion depends on the company obtaining debt or equity financing to buy equipment, after which initial sales are expected to start in the first quarter of 2022.

PVH launches tracker for high-power modules

The new solar tracker from PVH was specifically designed to be compatible with large-format modules and was developed in static and aeroelastic wind tunnels.

Further hitch in GCL-Poly annual results

The poly making parent company says it needs extra time to finalize its 2020 figures so trading in the stock appears likely to remain suspended for the rest of the week. GCL is due to complete the paperwork related to a proposed debt restructure this month.

Energy Storage

Featured

New EU battery rules support a sustainable industry

On Dec. 10, European Internal Market and Environment Commissioners Thierry Breton and Virginijus Sinkevičius, in conjunction with Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, announced a keenly anticipated piece of legislation: the commission’s proposal for modernized EU battery rules. Pia Alina Lange – head of communications for Recharge, the European battery industry association – says that while there are potential pitfalls with the new regulation, it could pave the way to sustainable industry development.

Solar PV driving green hydrogen to undercut gas, says BloombergNEF

BloombergNEF has shown that solar PV is the key driver of declining green hydrogen costs. The forecast shows costs falling by 85% by 2050, undercutting natural gas and blue and gray hydrogen production.

New materials for organic redox flow batteries

Scientists in Russia have designed a whole series of new compounds that could serve as catholytes and anolytes in organic redox flow batteries. The materials promise to open up new pathways for further research, and overcome some of the challenges for organic redox flow batteries in commercial, large-scale energy storage projects.

Australian mine lays claim to ‘battery grade’ lithium production

Australia’s only lithium mine outside of Western Australia, Core Lithium’s Finniss Lithium Project, has produced “battery grade” lithium hydroxide, according to the company, with Core hoping the development will place it at the “forefront” of lithium production for the global renewable energy and EV markets.

A long-lasting aluminum battery

Scientists in the U.S. developed an aluminum battery that demonstrates better than 99.5% reversibility, and could offer “up to 10,000 error-free cycles”. By incorporating a substrate of carbon fibers into the anode design, the group gained better control over chemical bonds that form as the battery charges, leading to greatly improved performance.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Longi expands into hydrogen, Eging PV secures 280 MW order

Monocrystalline module manufacturer Longi is venturing into new territory but missed out to its rival on two big panel orders from a state-owned power company.

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