Top News

EVs could become key to renewables uptake and world’s largest source of battery storage

For renewables to claim a more sizable share of the global energy mix, the adoption of energy storage would need to pick up pace and the rapidly increasing size of the EV fleet will offer a scalable way to ramp up such access, says Fitch Solutions.
Manufacturing

Dutch battery maker signs agreement for €1.6bn Chinese gigafactory

Lithium Werks has ambitious plans for a global chain of utility-scale production lines that has secured the backing of the Netherlands government and PM Mark Rutte, as EU leaders contemplate a post-US trade future.
Manufacturing

Eguana Technologies recruits new executives

Mercedes Benz execs join Eguana Technologies to help drive Calgary-based business' global expansion plans.
Announcements

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Installations

India added world’s second largest PV capacity in first half of 2018

The nation installed 4.9 GW of solar, surpassing the USA – which installed 4.7 GW – to become the second largest solar market in the first half of the year, second only to China's 24.3 GW.
Highlights

High-yield recycling of PV modules demonstrated by EU team

A project has demonstrated the numerous advantages of PV recycling and highlighted three techniques to turn panel waste into high-value materials.
Markets & Policy

Hanwha continues tidy up of solar business with Nasdaq delisting

Hanwha Q Cells' New York-listed business unit will come back under the company umbrella early next year, with a separate merger between two further units of the Korean conglomerate set to consolidate its solar expertise in house.
Markets & Policy

Meyer Burger to lay off 100 workers and relocate most of PV business to Asia

There may be a much-vaunted 'solar renaissance' in the offing for Europe, but it hasn't come quickly enough for the Swiss PV equipment supplier, which wants to handle most of its sales and services from China.

Press Releases

Small-scale renewables will democratise the energy transition

Upcoming EU Electricity Market Design Directive must enable small renewable players

Upside Energy signs demand side response deal with EDF Energy

EDF Energy has paved the way for its business customers to access additional revenue streams traditionally associated with generators and large suppliers, after signing a deal with Upside Energy.

The 8th Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo Opens in One week

Arrangements have now been concluded for the hosting of the 8th edition of Nigeria’s largest single renewable energy conference at Shehu Yar’Adua Conference Centre, Abuja. Speaking at the end of a training and empowerment workshop, in Delta State, the Chairman of the Local and International Organising Committee, Dr.

Enphase Energy Joins Forces with BayWa r.e. in Southeast Asia to Distribute its Seventh-Generation IQ Microinverters

Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:ENPH), a global energy technology company and the world's leading supplier of solar microinverters, today announced that the Company has partnered with BayWa r.

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

Clean energy versus gas

Solar and energy storage, either on their own or as part of clean energy portfolios, are showing that they can compete with natural gas in the United States. But will regulators wake up to this reality before half a trillion dollars worth of future stranded assets are built?

Daqo aims to slash polysilicon price as it forges ahead with production expansion

Deal negotiated with local electric utility for cheaper energy and a comprehensive modernization program will enable the poly maker to drive down production costs even more aggressively as it bids for market share in a swollen marketplace.

Trina bags 123 MW order from Ukraine

The Chinese module manufacturer will supply its panels for a huge solar project under development in the Dnipropetrovsk region, in southeastern Ukraine.

Tunisia postpones deadline for 70 MW solar tender, again

The country’s second 70 MW procurement – for solar projects up to 10 MW in size – was launched in May. The Tunisian government had already extended the deadline for the tender in August.

Decentralized solar-plus-storage would fire sub-Saharan Africa

According to a UC Berkeley study, the falling costs of storage technologies will make it possible for Sub-Saharan countries to rely on decentralized systems based mainly on solar-plus-storage, bringing access to electricity to more than 600 million people.

URE gets $90m financial backing from Taiwanese government

Taipei will invest in the company through its National Development Fund and government-run glass manufacturer Yao Hwa Glass Co. Ltd.

Installations

Featured

A factor of 10

Solar power plants not only need to be built, but also operated, monitored, and maintained. Many approaches to digitalization promise to make these plant management processes significantly more efficient – up to a factor of 10.

Germany: Tendered PV projects need no public subsidy in August

Marking a historic moment in the German renewable energy sector, no public incentive was paid in August for PV installations up to 10 MW and selected under the country’s tender mechanism. This was due to the fact that market prices were higher than the price including the feed-in premium tariff, awarded in the tender.

Nigeria’s MBSO launches tender for 100 MW solar park

The project is being developed by independent power producer Alten Africa in Kogi State, in the central region of Nigeria.

Washington DC 100% renewables bill could supercharge solar

A bill is moving through the DC council to set a more aggressive renewable energy target than any state has yet approved, and to shift the city to solar.

India’s ‘world’s biggest’ solar auction delayed by a month

The bid submission deadline for the national 10 GW PV project plus manufacturing tender is now November 12. According to officials, there are amendments to be made to the tender requirements.

Niger streamlines 20 MW solar project at diesel-fueled thermal plant

The solar plant has been declared a project of strategic interest to fast-track construction. It will be located at the 100 MW Gorou Banda thermal power station commissioned 18 months ago.

Technology

Featured

Taking the wrap

It’s nothing new, but at this scale and in Europe it represents a significant endeavor. The team from Dutch startup module maker Energyra is currently overseeing the assembly and installation of a hulking multi-stack laminator from SM InnoTech, front-end metalization line, and back-end module assembly equipment at its 100 MW fab in Holland’s Zaanstad region. And beyond bringing module production back to Europe, the Energyra endeavor is notable for its choice of technology: metal wrap through (MWT) PERC.

Blockchain: Impediments to transformative disruption

The World Energy Council, in partnership with PwC, has interviewed 39 top level management energy leaders to find out if blockchain is driving an evolution or a revolution in the energy ecosystem.

Report eyes alternative battery technologies due to socio-ecological concerns

Lead, sulphuric-acid, nickel, cobalt and rare earth metals are highly toxic and have adverse impacts on the environment and the societies in which they are mined. As the EU is looking to become a world leader in battery production, a report considers new battery technologies – such as sodium-ion – which would have less negative impacts.

Swiss research group develops methylammonium-free perovskite cells

The organic methylammonium (MA) molecules in the cell were replaced with inorganic elements such as rubidium and cesium. The planar perovskite cells resulting from the research have an efficiency of more than 20%.

China’s Tongwei ramping up solar research and development

Heterojunction and TOPcon cell technologies being explored by Hefei-based cell and module maker. The Chinese giant is also preparing to fly in the face of predictions the big players will curtail plans to expand production after this year’s policy developments in their homeland.

Solaredge charges into storage market, acquiring Kokam

The inverter maker will buy 75% of Kokam’s shares for $88 million, with an intent to acquire the remainder shortly after, on the open market. Strategic company acquisitions and close partnerships are characterizing this year’s inverter market, as companies seek to diversify and integrate storage systems and other technologies.

Manufacturing

Featured

Nobody said it was easy

Solar manufacturing industries have shown similar characteristics across Latin America: low to medium technological level (with very few exceptions), relatively small capacities, high dependence on national policy, limited scope of exports, need for more automation, and lack of vertically integrated manufacturing. Here, pv magazine provides a snapshot of manufacturing across the region’s leading markets.

American scientists give PV a paint job

Berkeley researchers have discovered a shade of blue – dating back to ancient Egypt – which has impressive qualities they say could reduce building energy consumption and boost solar energy output. Meanwhile, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a perovskite cell material that could be applied to a substrate using a paintbrush.

Module prices have decreased by up to 25% so far this year, TrendForce says

According to the Gold Member Solar Report by EnergyTrend (Q3 2018), monocrystalline module prices have fallen almost 20% this year, while those for polycrystalline modules have dropped by more than 25%. Increased consolidation among manufacturers and developers is expected to occur in China and the global solar market, with more merger deals, plans for capacity reductions and even factory closures.

Ecoprogetti supplies 250 MW production line for Moroccan bifacial module fab

The line, supplied by the Italian PV equipment provider, will produce glass-glass and bifacial modules. Almaden’s factory is expected to begin manufacturing activities in late October.

Solar manufacturing in the Arab region remains difficult, IRENA says

In a study on the potential for local manufacturing of renewable energy equipment in the Arab region, IRENA has assessed how three pilot Arab countries – Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE – where development of clean energy is currently strong, may host PV, CSP and wind energy industries. In all of them, however, there are currently few chances of seeing a rising solar and renewable energy manufacturing industry, due to a series of challenges, such as, among others, the lack of a qualified workforce, and favorable regulatory settings.

TOPCon: The next big thing after PERC

TOPCon technologies could further increase solar cell efficiencies, said Guangyao Jin, chief scientist, DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, at this year’s Energy Taiwan, held in September. He added that metallization paste is crucial.

Energy Storage

Featured

Hydrogen and PV – soon to be a profitable combination

Hydrogen for the chemicals industry, for large cargo vehicles and as a substitute for natural gas: There are attractive applications for the eternal‘energy source of the future.’ It also creates new marketing opportunities for solar power. After all, the production of green hydrogen needs two things: cheap electricity and water.

France reveals winners of tender for large-scale storage in Corsica and overseas territories

Eleven storage projects with a power rating of 50 MW and storage capacity of 54 MWh were selected by the French Energy Regulatory Commission through the tender. One will be in Corsica, while Guadeloupe and Guiana will each have three projects. Martinique and La Réunion will each host two.

Swedish PV market set for more growth

Although provisional statistics indicated the country had 230 MW of PV capacity at the end of last year, a new report reveals solar growth in 2017 was larger than expected – at 117.6 MW – and that cumulative installed capacity surpassed 300 MW.

Micro and mini-grids to bring power to Indonesia’s off-grid communities

The government wants to help the provinces of eastern Indonesia – in particular Papua, which has the lowest electrification rate in the country. Policymakers are in talks with the Asian Development Bank and seeking advice for implementation.

Innolith launches non-flammable battery with 50,000 charging cycles

Inorganic electrolytes will do the trick the company says. For multi-MW grid-scale applications the company says its technology can boost battery life to 50,000 cycles and is non-flammable. It adds that the costs of the product are competitive with conventional battery systems. Innolith is taking over the baton from Alevo, including chief executive and engineers. Alevo, however, went bankrupt last year, making the same promises.

Hawaii’s march to 100% adds 260 MW solar + 1 GWh storage

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are in negotiations with developers to build seven solar projects across three islands.

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