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Trina Solar enters storage business

The module manufacturer's new storage unit, Trina Storage, aims to create innovative solutions for the combination of photovoltaics and storage, grid services and other applications.
Markets & Policy

Enphase to issue $1bn senior notes

The inverter business will use some of the proceeds to buy back notes due to mature in 2024 and 2025.
Markets & Policy

Hybrid PV-CSP has a lower LCOE than gas in Chile

Researchers from the Center for Solar Energy Technologies of Fraunhofer Chile have conducted a comparative analysis which shows that the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE ) in Chile can be achieved by a combination of large scale PV and concentrated ...
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pv magazine Annual Award 2021: open for entries

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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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Sustaining the grid of the future: the role of central inverters complemented with advanced PPC/EMS

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Packed with Power: High-powered solutions for agile utility-scale solar projects

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A good pairing – Inverter and storage compatibility in a changing European residential market

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Our February Edition is out!

Get your hand on our new edition here!

 

What to expect:

 

  • Energy Storage
  • Hybrid inverters
  • Agrivoltaics
  • Solar vs coal

 

 

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Energy Storage

Vehicle-integrated PV reduces EV charging time in sunny regions by 40%

Dutch scientist Bonna Newmann spoke with pv magazine about the present and future of vehicle-integrated PV from a technological and economic perspective. Solar panels installed on cars could have a payback time of only three or four years and ensu...
Covid-19

Photon Energy update after ‘difficult’ quarter

The Amsterdam-based, Australia and central Europe-facing developer saw sales slump thanks to Covid-19 last year but has touted a growing operational project portfolio.
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Manufacturing

New process to assess quality of perovskite semiconductors

According to German scientists, the quality of the photoluminescence quantum yield of the perovskite layers can be reliably and precisely determined for the first time. It shows that the promising material has more potential for optimization than previou...
Installations

Poland granted preliminary grid-connection permits to 4.4 GW of PV last year

Data from the Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej shows that the increasing number of grid-connection approvals may result in another record year for PV in the country in 2021.
Installations

New Italian PV industry body struggles to unleash utility scale PV

As the ongoing changes in Italian politics inevitably create some uncertainties, PV operators continue to organize themselves, pulling together to put forward their agenda. pv magazine spoke with Andrea Cristini, spokesperson of new industry body ...

Press Releases

SolarPower Europe and EIT InnoEnergy launch the European Solar Initiative

The European Solar Initiative, an industry-led effort supported by the European Commission, aims to scale up the solar PV industry value chain in Europe, and capture the booming European demand for solar, estimated at 20 GW per year for the next decade, creating an additional €40bn GDP annually and 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

RP Global to develop a 1GW solar PV and wind project pipeline in Poland

Renewable energy developer and investor RP Global is investing in the development of Solar PV and wind power projects across the country. Wojciech Glocko, former EPA Wind and utility manager, has been hired to head up project development together with a team of senior local experts from Poland’s leading public and private renewable energy organisations.

REC Solar Norway AS has received certification for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for silicon and multicrystalline blocks for use in solar cells

REC Solar Norway AS, a subsidiary of the international pioneering solar energy company REC Group, today announces that EPD Norway has approved and published Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for solar grade silicon and for multicrystalline silicon blocks made by REC.

LONGi Partners with Reon Energy Pushes Forward Commercial Energy Transition in Pakistan

LONGi has announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with Reon Energy Pakistan to supply 70MWp of Hi-MO 5 540/545Wp modules for its project clusters.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

New EU battery rules support a sustainable energy 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.

Residential storage growth continues despite Covid-19 headwinds

The global residential energy storage market continued to grow in 2020, writes IHS Markit Analyst Michael Longson. Many suppliers were looking to build upon a strong first quarter when Covid-19 hit in March 2020 and slowed the market significantly. However, as a result of several funding packages being introduced and the gradual easing of local restrictions, shipments continued to grow throughout the second and third quarters, enabling strong year-on-year growth for the sector in 2020.

Renewables targets falling by the wayside, according to African solar survey

An overview of the state of solar across the continent by trade body the Africa Solar Industry Association has highlighted a patchy policy landscape where clean power ambitions are often not followed through.

Global PV installations to surpass 150 GW in 2021

Despite pandemic-induced impacts, the PV market was bigger than expected last year. In particular, an installation rush in Vietnam and China took place in December and pushed global demand upward. PV InfoLink estimates that global module demand in 2020 reached 140 GW. Analyst Mars Chang delves into the numbers.

Renewable energy project financing in Chile analyzed

Taking a renewable energy project into its operational phase calls for several workstreams to be synchronized. The one that perhaps jumps out the most is permitting processes: correctly navigating the intricate and time-sensitive steps for licenses and permits. Regardless, each workstream calls for a different set of skills, and because of interlinked chicken-or-egg causality, it is difficult to say which single element is most important in a project’s development. However, there is an unsung element of the financial closing which has as much, if not more, impact on a project’s profitability than the cost of debt does: the underlying terms and conditions.

Global actions delivering electricity for rural households through off-grid renewable energy

The Sustainable Development Goal set forth in SDG 7.1 calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030. It is estimated that currently 789 million people do not have access to electricity in their homes or communities. Rural inhabitants encompass 80% of the total number of people lacking household electricity access. On a global scale, rural inhabitants have been gaining access to electricity at a rapid rate over the past couple decades (IRENA 2020, 23). However, certain regions have seen little improvement in this area. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the starkest example.

Covid-19

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Austrian solar industry wants Covid-recovery funds spent on renewables-friendly grid

The national PV body in the country wants €1 billion from the EU's recovery and resilience fund to be allocated to upgrading the electricity network to host more solar power generation capacity.

Renewables compete with coal and shale oil as Jordan pursues energy independence

The kingdom has had a ban on new large scale clean energy projects since January 2019 as Covid-19 exacerbated a situation in which generation capacity already outstripped supply. Lifting that embargo, and re-starting renewables auctions would be a step in the right direction, according to IRENA.

Storage and PAYG critical to deployment of African off-grid renewables

The former need not necessarily relate to conventional lithium-ion batteries, however, as a recent webinar staged by Solarpower Europe and EU body GET.invest discovered.

EU reveals how much each member state can expect from Covid-recovery pot

The European Parliament and Council of Ministers continued to tidy up the details of the bloc’s Covid-recovery package today by publishing the rules of how the money will be disbursed.

Solaredge records pandemic progress despite tough final quarter

Full-year revenues nudged up despite tough comparisons with the end of 2019 for the final quarter of last year. The inverter maker expects to log revenues of $385-405 million in the current three-month window.

EU allocates more cash to help small businesses join green transformation

The European Union agency responsible for providing finance to small and medium-sized businesses will have 64% more funds to disperse after the EIB, European Commission and its other shareholders voted to raise its share capitalization.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Power play under way Down Under

Economics and common sense have to win out over a climate-denying, pro-fossil fuel government, says John Grimes, the chief executive of Australia’s Smart Energy Council. And in the absence of renewable energy targets, he argues that the power of the people seems to be leading the way.

More EU cash for green hydrogen

The sustainable gas is among ten areas of research and innovation which would benefit from backing by the bloc, member states and industry, if a new European Commission proposal is adopted.

Puerto Rico launches first of six calls for renewables and storage

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has been ordered to procure a total of 3.75 GW of renewables and 1.5 GW of energy storage.

Strong recovery expected for European PPA market in 2021

German consultancy Enervis said the European market last year saw a 50% drop in new PPA-linked photovoltaic projects, compared to 2019. This year, however, higher capture prices for the PV energy source should enable a larger number of deals to be closed.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Another massive glass order and a broken partnership

Jinko Solar secured another 338 million square meters of PV glass from Flat Glass. Tongwei and Trina Solar have left the monocrystalline wafer production joint venture they set up with Longi.

BloombergNEF expects up to 209 GW of new solar for this year

A new report from the U.S.-based analyst predicts that new PV additions for 2021 may range from 163 to 221 GW next year and from 179 to 240 GW in 2023. According to BloombergNEF, the current supply bottlenecks for glass and polysilicon will unlikely halt the global PV market.

Installations

Featured

Bulking up for bigger tracking challenges

Bigger modules and more challenging conditions are leading tracker designers to strengthen their offerings to deliver the stability required for long-term operation. Eduardo de San Nicolás, Soltec’s chief strategy officer, says that the Spanish company’s efforts have resulted in a new generation of trackers fit for almost any wind conditions – along with a host of other benefits including advanced communications and optimized bifacial yield.

India’s Adani launches joint venture for renewables-powered data centers

AdaniConneX, the joint venture with US-based data center solutions provider EdgeConneX, will develop renewable energy-powered data centers with up to 1 GW of power demand in India over the next decade.

Agrivoltaics have an average LCOE of €0.093 per kWh in Germany

According to new guidelines by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE, agrivoltaic projects are already competitive with other renewable energy sources today. The lack of a proper regulatory framework, however, is currently preventing the dual use of arable land for food production and power generation from becoming a mainstream solution.

Australian coal company seeks large-scale renewable projects to transition portfolio

The Queensland Government-owned energy company, Stanwell Corporation, has announced it is from today seeking expressions of interest from renewable energy projects to incorporate into its fossil-fuel heavy portfolio.

New shingled PERC solar module from Hyundai

The South Korean manufacturer has brought, to Europe and Australia, its recently launched shingled PERC panel, with an output ranging from 460 to 480 W and an efficiency of up to 20.5%. The products come with a 25-year linear power output guarantee and a 25-year product guarantee.

Work begins on underground hydrogen storage project in Germany

German energy provider EWE wants to set up a test cavern with a capacity of 500 cubic meters at a depth of 1,000 meters. It is scheduled to go into operation in spring 2022.

Technology

Featured

Something truly new

You can try to succeed by making a better version of your competitors’ product, or you can try to do something completely new. NexWafe has chosen the second path. It is developing plans to manufacture wafers for high-efficiency solar cells in Bitterfeld, Germany, that are produced more sustainably and at lower cost than any other products available today.

Hybrid solar to revitalize former mining town in northern Australia

In the middle of Australia’s most iconic natural landscape, the township of Jabiru has begun its transition from a uranium-mine support community, to an Indigenous cultural hub and tourism center. The local arm of German renewable energy pioneer, juwi, brings its deep experience in off-grid power systems to the project.

Improving algorithms to help solar project developers avoid the NIMBY effect

A research group in the United States is proposing to add social variables in GIS-MCDA algorithms for PV project planning as a solution to avoid opposition to large scale solar from local communities. Although some efforts have already been made in this direction, there is still much to be done to understand the degree to which measuring these variables proactively could help mitigate public opposition down the line, on individual projects.

Japan’s largest floating PV plant reconstructed after Typhoon impact

French floating PV specialist Ciel&Terre said the plant was split into smaller islands, with a square shape, to avoid stress concentration.

Northvolt plans to expand gigafactory in Poland

The Northvolt manufacturing facility in Gdansk should become Europe’s largest factory for energy storage solutions. The production is scheduled to begin in 2022 with an annual capacity of 5 GWh. The company wants to expand it to 12 GWh.

The best materials for carrier multiplication in solar cells

Researchers in the Netherlands have sought to identify all those semiconductor materials that may make the application of carrier multiplication in photovoltaics much more than a mere suggestion. According to them, the bandgap of the materials should be between 0.6–1.0 electronvolt (eV), which would result in maximum theoretical efficiency of around 44%. 2D and bulk materials were indicated as the most promising with near-ideal carrier multiplication.

Manufacturing

Featured

Circular innovations

Slowly but surely, environmental concerns are making their way into mainstream thought throughout the PV industry. A look at recycling offers an example of this, with stakeholders trying to get ahead of the high volumes of end-of-life modules already on the horizon. pv magazine examines the technologies that will be needed, alongside policy and economic support, to keep the bulk of these modules out of landfill and ultimately to establish a circular economy for PV materials.

Rising prices may push PV industry away from silver

Increasing prices may prompt module manufacturers to find alternatives, or at least reduce silver use in solar cell metallization, according to a recent study. Researcher Samuele Lo Piano, however, told pv magazine silver availability does not represent an issue for large scale PV. Copper-nickel alloys may offer an alternative, he added, but there could be a long wait for them to be viable.

Eight tracker manufacturers make products compatible with 210mm solar modules

Chinese solar module manufacturer Trina Solar has listed eight solar tracking system manufacturers that have made their products compatible with solar panels based on 210mm silicon wafers. Two weeks earlier, the company had unveiled all inverter makers that already provide compatible devices.

Taiwan’s URE increases module capacity by 500 MW

The manufacturer accounted for around 40% of total solar module demand in Taiwan in 2020. It expects to see its domestic market share increase to 50% this year.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: New glass capacity and a 20 GW wafer order

Flat Glass has activated two new glass furnaces that will bring its total production capacity to 8,600 MT per day. JinkoSolar has secured 20 GW of orders for its 182mm-wafer-based modules.

SunPower posts solid Q4 results as storage drives growth

SunPower’s distributed-generation services platform, as well as storage and digital solutions, will be key to its long-term growth, CEO Tom Werner said in an earnings call this week.

Energy Storage

Featured

Energy supply in an archipelagic nation

Mobile electricity storage systems (MESS) – batteries that are charged and then transported – could offer one of the best scenarios for electrification across the vast Indonesian archipelago, which spans more than 17,000 islands. A team at the University of Indonesia is working with multiple government agencies to bring the idea to scale and provide affordable electricity to rural Indonesians.

Germany has 270,000 residential batteries linked to PV

Around 88,000 energy storage systems linked to rooftop PV were installed last year in the country, which supports residential batteries through a dedicated scheme.

Geo-referenced approach to identify communities that can afford PV mini-grids

The novel methodology can be used for 71 countries located across ‘sun belt’ areas of east Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The model relies on 2014 and 2015 geo-referenced datasets in various formats and spatial resolutions, as well as on a population dataset based on global human settlements (GHSL) and World Bank national-level estimates of electrification.

New method to produce silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries

Scientists in Sweden developed a new aerogel process to manufacture silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries, promising to offer batteries with greatly increased capacity compared to those on sale today. By growing nanometer-sized particles of silicon onto graphite, the group was able to demonstrate a device that overcomes many of the challenges common to silicon as anode material. While there are still challenges in terms of stability and capacity retention, the approach could ultimately yield low-cost, large-scale production processes.

Finance for 49 mini-grids in Sierra Leone and Uganda

Winch Energy has announced the project, which it hopes will be a significant bridgehead towards building $100 million worth of off-grid systems within two years, alongside Franco-Japanese partner Neot Offgrid Africa.

US set to lead utility-scale storage market in record year

Solar+storage installations are emerging as a major growth driver for the overall U.S. market, according to a new report from IHS Markit.

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