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Concrete flywheel storage system for residential PV

A French start-up has developed a concrete flywheel to store solar energy in an innovative way. Currently being tested in France, the storage solution will be initially offered in France's overseas territories and Africa.
Installations

The case for microinverters in Indian rooftop solar

Sunil Thamaran, India head for US company Enphase Energy, explains why microinverters are a good investment for rooftop solar. He also talks about the trends in microinverter design and the company’s plans in India.
Markets & Policy

Roundtables Europe video: Financial, contractual, and technical PV industry perspectives

Are solar projects always a sustainable investment class? How can buyers be certain an asset is a lucrative investment? And how can PV project developers fulfill the requirements set by asset managers? This year’s Asset Management Roundtable brought to...
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Striving for Sustainable Solar: Reducing environmental impacts at the module level

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Extreme damping – A new wind mitigation strategy for trackers

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Energy Storage

Construction begins on Spain’s first gigafactory

The factory is located in Noblejas, in the province of Toledo, Castilla–La Mancha, and is planned to reach a capacity of 10 GWh by 2025.
Manufacturing

Premier Energies starts production at new Indian solar factory

The solar manufacturer has started trial production of high-efficiency solar cells at its new site in the southern state of Telangana. The fab can produce 19.2%-efficient multi-crystalline cells using MCCE textured black silicon, as well as making 22.5%-...
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Installations

Bangladesh inaugurates largest solar rooftop

A government minister attending the switching-on ceremony appeared to announce a new renewable energy ambition for the South Asian nation.
Markets & Policy

Maldives launch tender for 14 MW of solar

The planned capacity is expected to be hybridized with diesel power generators across 14 islands.
Hydrogen

Australia’s 23 GW hydrogen/ammonia project facing environmental issues

The murkiness of the federal government’s drive to make Australia an exporter of hydrogen, of any hue, gives rise to concerns.

Press Releases

JinkoSolar delivers initial DC-coupled storage system to West Africa

JinkoSolar announced to deliver 1. 2MWh of energy storage system to West Africa.

energy & meteo systems spins off successful Virtual Power Plant and Redispatch business units

emsys VPP GmbH and emsys grid services GmbH go into operation.

Swedish solar technology innovators Henrik Lindström and Giovanni Fili receive European Inventor Award 2021 in the “SMEs” category

The European Patent Office (EPO) today honoured Swedish innovators Henrik Lindström and Giovanni Fili with the European Inventor Award in the “SMEs” category at a digital ceremony.

Opinion & Analysis

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Carbon neutrality and solar’s role in ASEAN nations

The Paris Agreement has been signed by all ASEAN nations and almost all members have declared a carbon emissions reduction target. The diversity in ASEAN’s readiness for energy transition is reflected in the wide-ranging nationally determined contribution targets set for reducing greenhouse gases. An immediate quick win for the renewable energy transition is the harnessing of solar power from an abundance of resources in the region.

N-type solar development

This year, PV cell manufacturers will face the challenge of transformation. Apart from adjusting the ratio of production for different-sized cells, some manufacturers are turning to next-generation opportunities, shifting investment from p-PERC to n-type technology. PV InfoLink Analyst Amy Fang discusses the issues facing n-type cell development this year.

PV policy developments in the Baltic states

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have seen uneven development in PV installations to date, and the three Baltic states are still highly dependent on imports from Russia. Estonia needs to replace aging energy infrastructure, and so far it has led the region in PV deployments. Latvia, meanwhile, has a high level of hydro in its energy mix, and less incentive to build PV. IHS Markit analyst Susanne von Aichberger examines the latest policy developments in the Baltic states.

IHSM clean energy insights: High module prices and shipping costs jeopardize 2021 installation outlook

In the first installment of a new monthly blog by IHS Markit, Edurne Zoco, executive director for clean energy technology, writes that high prices and increased freight costs are putting solar PV procurement teams under extreme pressure, particularly those teams with connection deadlines this year that were anticipating a more favorable pricing and logistic environment in the second half of 2021.

Turning Nepal’s solar game around

Until 2016, Nepal suffered from chronic power shortages. At that time, just 65% of the country’s population had access to electricity. Assessing the situation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated that the country has the potential for 2.1 GW of installed PV capacity. Although the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has officially been able to buy solar power under long-term PPAs since July 2014, the majority of projects granted these contracts have been large-scale hydropower plants. Following slow activity, plans are finally afoot, however, to boost the country’s solar footprint.

Australia’s energy storage installed base to grow more than five times by 2030

In its latest report, IHS Markit predicts that energy storage installations in Australia will grow from 500 MW to more than 12.8 GW by 2030. Today, Australia makes up less than 3% of total global installations for battery energy storage and is the seventh largest market globally. By 2030, it is forecast to comprise 7% of global installations and become the third largest market. This growth will be largely driven by three distinct market segments: residential, standalone front-of-the-meter, and collocated with utility-scale renewables.

Covid-19

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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.

Are oil and gas companies on the run?

Private sector fossil fuel spending on exploration is drying up just as modest rises in clean energy investments are being observed. With stock market investors increasingly embracing renewables, the IEA has observed positive signals in its latest energy investment report, but warned we are still doing far too little to keep global heating at bay.

UK solar body wants annual auctions to help towards 40 GW this decade

Trade organization Solar Energy UK has called for the government to mandate that solar target in a co-ordinated rallying cry issued with two peers. One of them, the Nuclear Industry Association, is a membership body sure to raise hackles in some quarters of the energy transition movement.

Markets & Policy

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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.

Jinko and JA Solar to invest $100m in 100,000-ton polysilicon fab

The two solar manufacturers will get priority access to polysilicon produced at the planned fab in Inner Mongolia, which developer Xinte Energy has said will be fully operational by June 2023.

Namibia’s capital city seeks proposals for 25 MW of PV

Through the tender, the administration of Windhoek wants to build several projects on a build, own, and operate basis.

Ukraine challenges jurisdiction of Stockholm body to hear retroactive FIT claim by solar generator

A response issued by the Ministry of Justice to questions from an MP has revealed anxiety about any official comments on a case which involves a Lithuanian solar developer claiming restitution from the state after it retroactively reduced feed-in tariff payments for clean power in August.

Italy has 189 MW/295 MWh of distributed storage capacity

The country added around 73.5 MW/109.2 MWh of new, small-sized storage capacity in 2020. Most of the batteries are in Lombardy and Veneto, where rebates are being offered.

The weekend read: Greek solar investment soars

An array of new investment plans were announced in Greece in May, ranging from mega PV projects to battery and electric vehicle production, as well as a move to smart green islands. pv magazine explores the state of these investments and links them to the country’s general policy frameworks – most notably, Greece’s master plan to boost green investments in former lignite regions and establish a new type of economy.

Installations

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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.

Solar 101: It all comes down to curb appeal

The residential solar industry has taken notice of the demand for beautiful, hidden panels, and is now providing creative and attractive designs that you can incorporate into your rooftop solar project.

India’s largest solar carport comes online

The 6.2 MWp solar carport at Tata Motors’ manufacturing facility in Maharashtra spans over 30,000 square meters.

Lightsource BP buys 703 MW of PV projects in Spain, seeks off-takers through tender

The U.K.-based solar developer wants to identify potential buyers for the electricity generated by the facilities through competitive bidding.

Solar mandatory on new buildings in Berlin from 2023

Under the new provisions, which will come into force in 2023, a photovoltaic system will have to cover at least 30% of the roof area of a new building.

Australian town powered 100% by solar PV and battery

Western Australia utility Horizon Power has achieved a major milestone with the coastal town of Onslow powered 100% by solar PV and battery during a successful trial of what is one of Australia’s largest distributed energy resource microgrids.

Technology

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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.”

Black perovskite solar cell with 15% efficiency via thermal evaporation

The cell exhibited an open-circuit voltage of 1.1 V and was able to retain around 90% of its initial performance after 215 days of exposure to dim light at room temperature. According to its creators, this performance and the notable stability were ensured by the thermal evaporation technique used for depositing the perovskite layers onto the cell.

Flexible perovskite solar module with 10.5% efficiency

The methylammonium-free inverted solar module was built on a flexible substrate made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). A hole transporting material made of poly(triarylamine) (PTAA) and a double-cation cesium formamidinium (CsFA) perovskite layer were deposited through blade-coating and nitrogen-assisted blade-coating.

Stand-alone brackish water desalination system powered by photovoltaic-thermal unit

The BWRO unit, which has a treated water production capacity of around 11.80 ​L/h, was built with a pre-filtration module, a high-pressure DC pump, an RO module, and a post-treatment module. The PVT system was designed to meet the energy requirement of a high-pressure DC pump and a diaphragm-type circulation pump utilized to circulate soft water beneath the PV module for the active cooling of the panel itself.

Roll-out solar arrays installed in successful NASA spacewalk

The first new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) has been installed on the International Space Station.

Soltec launches tracker for high-power modules

The SFOne tracker is designed for modules with 72 and 78-cell designs. According to Soltec, it reduces the time spent in its installation by 75% and will be available in all markets where the company operates.

Manufacturing

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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.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 50 GW wafer factory commissioned in Qinghai province

Furthermore, Zhonghuan Semiconductor has slightly reduced its wafer prices, while Longi has maintained them unchanged. Flat Glass is raising funds to support the construction of a new glass factory with a total annual capacity of 750,000 metric tons.

Saule Technologies opens perovskite solar cell factory in Poland

The Polish perovskite solar cell specialist claims to be the first company in the world to have commissioned commercial production of the technology.

JinkoSolar, Longi, JA Solar claim 182mm modules offer lowest LCOE for utility scale solar

In a white paper, the three Chinese module manufacturers have reiterated the well-known refrain “bigger is not always better.” Experts from the three companies compared the BoS costs of 182mm-wafer-based modules and 210mm products, and found that the former have a slight advantage in racking, foundation, and land costs.

China’s Jinchen holds 10 GW of solar production line orders from India

Jinchen Machinery has landed module production equipment orders from leading Indian solar manufacturers. It has already installed 2 GW of production lines and plans to supply the balance within three months. The company will open an India office in Surat, in the state of Gujarat.

Roundtables Europe Video: Maintaining PV quality alongside rapid technological development

The adoption of new technology is required to grow and maintain PV’s place in the energy transition. Thankfully, the rate of change within PV technology is accelerating, pointing to a bright future. But what quality risks are emerging from these new technologies? And how can they be managed? Watch the first of four videos from our pv magazine Roundtables Europe event to find out.

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.

Plug-and-play mobile PV system to power solar parks’ construction sites

A Spanish renewable energy company has installed its first, pilot mobile PV unit at a new detention center in Chile.

Greece’s 680 MW pumped storage project seeks investors

Developer Terna Energy claims the Amphilochia pumped hydroelectric energy storage project has entered the final stretch. If built, the large scale facility can boost Greece’s independence from fossil fuels and the government’s strategy for a coal-free electricity system by 2025.

Costs loom as hurdle for green hydrogen, says Rystad Energy

Australia’s bid to establish itself as a major green hydrogen player has triggered a flood of state funding and new project announcements in recent months. But consultancy Rystad Energy sees potential obstacles for the nascent industry.

FRV builds on Australian portfolio with 2.4 MW/5 MWh solar-storage plant

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures has started building a 5 MW solar-storage hybrid power plant near Dalby, southern Queensland.

General Motors expands EV investments, plans more U.S. battery manufacturing capacity

General Motors said it is accelerating plans for two new battery cell plants in the United States.

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