Top News

The weekend read: A watershed year for Belgium

Belgium market update: Once among Europe’s leaders in solar PV deployment, with more than 1 GW of capacity added in its peak year of 2011, Belgium’s market lost momentum following the abrupt closure of generous subsidy programs. In recent years, driven by its residential PV segment, the country has experienced a solar comeback, which became particularly prominent in the year just passed.

US FERC counts 48 GW-AC of large solar projects planned by 2021

Proposed utility-scale projects have begun piling up at the U.S. federal agency, as the end of the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) draws closer.

Markets & Policy

GCL-Poly reports 8% revenue growth for 2017

Last year, the Chinese polysilicon maker saw robust demand for wafers and polysilicon, paticularly between the second and third quarters. Furthermore, the company said it achieved all its technological upgrade goals, and started construction on its new 20,000 MT polysilicon factory in Xinjiang in December.

Markets & Policy

Peru to hold new auction for solar and renewables in 2H of 2018 – Interview

In an interview with pv magazine, the president of the Peruvian Society of Renewable Energies, Juan Coronado, discusses the auction for solar and renewables, which the government is obliged to hold this year, and the different options large-solar has to resume its development in the Andean country. According to him, when the obstacles that are currently impeding private PPAs are eliminated, utility-scale PV projects could be conceived outside of the auction mechanism.


Natcore develops new processes for patented foil cell

U.S. based technology company, Natcore has announced two new processes, which it says could dramatically reduce the production costs of its foil cell, which it has been working to commercialize for the past couple of years.

Markets & Policy

Mexico to hold new power auction including solar in November

This year’s auction will be carried out by Mexico’s energy regulatory commission, CRE. Final results will be announced in early November.


India: Ground breaks on 200 MW PV cell manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh

CETC (India) has broken ground on an around US$49 million 200 MW solar PV cell manufacturing facility in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It will produce both standard polysilicon and PERC monocrystalline cells pv magazine has learned.


Norwegian solar market grew by 59% in 2017

The country’s cumulative installed PV capacity reached 45 MW at the end of last December. Newly installed PV systems for 2017 totaled around 18 MW, which was the largest annual growth ever registered in the Norwegian PV market.

Opinion & Analysis


Regulations clarifying the use of solar PV in Cambodia

On January 26, 2018, the EAC issued a set of regulations to clarify the general conditions for installing and operating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Cambodia. Kohe Hasan, partner at Reed Smith and director of Resource Law LLC (Singapore), and Kaknika Lin, assistant consultant at KPMG Cambodia Ltd provide a summary of the key regulations, in addition to discussing the country’s investment climate.

Building a better world of smart structures on the smart grid

It is a truth universally acknowledged that billions of people around the world live in poverty. But does it have to be that way? Today’s technological progress means that tomorrow we will be able to produce more, more efficiently – lifting people above the breadline with accelerated economic growth all around the world. Key to these efforts are smart buildings, argues Hussain Kazmi, a PhD student at KU Leuven and Enervalis.

Ukraine’s renewable energy outlook under the new electricity market design

Svitlana Teush, counsel at Redcliffe Partners law firm in Kyiv, Ukraine, discusses the country’s new electricity market design and what it means for renewables. Currently, she says, the renewable energy sector in Ukraine is an attractive investment prospect and has considerable potential for further growth in the coming years.

Markets & Policy


Tracking disruptive technologies

China road trip, pt III: 2017 was a big year for China’s PV industry, with the 50 GW+ installation figure exceeding expectations. Against such a backdrop of growth, excitement for pv magazine’s third China road trip grew as we finalized details to visit key suppliers and see firsthand what developments might be in store for this year. Taking in n-type cells and modules, bifacial double glass modules and trackers developed specifically for such technology, this was Eckhart K. Gouras’ journey.

BBOXX raises €1 million for off-grid solar through crowdfunding

U.K.-based off-grid developer, BBOXX and online renewable energy investment platform, Trine have raised €1 million from crowdfunded investments in less than one month. The financing will be disbursed at the beginning of April, to enable BBOXX to scale up its operations in Kenya.

Egypt’s largest PV plant inaugurated

German firm, ib vogt and Egypt’s Infinity Solar inaugurated first 64.1 MW PV farm in the Aswan Governorate, Southern Egypt this week. pv magazine, which attended the event, reports on the future plans of the two partners, and looks at the Egyptian solar market.

SolarEdge launches inverter with EV-charging capability

Power electronics company, SolarEdge has announced the launched of an EV charging inverter in Europe.

The US residential solar market fell 16% in 2017

GTM Research and SEIA’s final report on the U.S. solar market in 2017 shows both the struggle of the residential sector, as well as a larger than anticipated fall in utility-scale volumes, leading to a 30% contraction overall.

Pilot project for flywheel storage underway in Hawaii

Utility, Hawaiian Electric has announced the start of operations of a pilot project featuring flywheel energy storage technology provided by Amber Kinetics. The project will test the technology’s capability of supporting the grid and allowing further integration of renewable generation.



Adapt and integrate

Mounting and BIPV: Solar mounting systems are being used in new and unusual ways for building-integrated photovoltaic projects, ranging from rooftop to wall and to awning installations. As the market slowly moves from select government buildings, educational campuses and corporate flagships to the mainstream commercial segment, the mounting systems required for BIPV will become more standardized, more readily adaptable, and less expensive, manufacturers say.

YES Bank lends $146.3 million to India’s Mahindra Renewables for 250 MW project

The project is part of the 750 MW Rewa solar park in India’s Madhya Pradesh. YES Bank has also reaffirmed its commitment to mobilize US$5 billion for financing solar power projects in India by 2030 with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the latter’s founding ceremony in New Delhi, held last week.

Norway’s Statoil changes name to Equinor to reflect new clean energy strategy

The Norwegian oil company announced its intention to enter the solar energy business in October, when it launched a US$197 million fund dedicated to renewable energies.

BayWa enters Dutch solar market with 2 GW, €159 million deal

The Munich-based company will acquire a 70% stake in a solar PV project pipeline totaling 2 GW in the Netherlands through its renewable energy arm Baywa re. The transaction will have to be approved by antitrust authorities.

Rooftop solar could provide half of Dutch electricity needs, Deloitte finds

Based on analysis of publicly available data, Deloitte estimates that solar panels installed on every suitable roof surface across the Netherlands could meet half of the current Dutch electricity demand, despite the country’s cloudy and rainy climate.

KGAL further invests in large-scale PV in southern European countries

The solar plans of the German independent investment and asset manager in Spain, Italy and Portugal are part of a broader plan to further invest in renewables, including wind and hydropower.



Made in Germany

PV equipment supply: While the bulk of the world’s solar module manufacturing is now located in China, supply of production tools has remained largely the remit of European, and particularly German, engineering companies. pv magazine investigates whether this dominance can continue as China’s equipment providers begin to step up their game.

Q&A: JinkoSolar discusses half cut cells, multi-busbars and bifacial technology

Ahead of its upcoming webinar, on March 27, JinkoSolar’s Head of Technical Service Europe, Andrea Viaro, discusses the company’s new Half Cell (HC) Series, the benefits of multi-busbar and bifacial technology, and upcoming innovations, in a Q&A with pv magazine.

Australian researchers demonstrate first working proton battery

Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have demonstrated the first working example of a “proton battery”, which utilizes a carbon electrode and a reversible hydrogen fuel cell for the storage of energy. The scientists say their small prototype has already demonstrated similar storage capacities to commercially available lithium-ion batteries, with plenty of potential for further optimization.

Chinese breakthrough in harvesting energy from the sun and the rain

A team of scientists based at the Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices has integrated a silicon solar cell with a device that generates power from the motion of raindrops, an innovation which could greatly enhance performance in cloudier climates.

Berkeley Lab scientists confirm century-old theory of high performance batteries

Researchers in the U.S. have confirmed the existence of a novel state of the element manganese, first proposed in a journal dating from 1928, which could allow for the development of low-cost, high performance batteries for grid level and other energy storage applications.

US researchers develop new organic solar cell architecture

A team of scientists based at New York University (NYU)’s Tandon School of Engineering has developed a method of improving the performance of non-fullerene organic solar cells, by introducing a crystallizing agent.



An arm and a leg

Robotics in PV: The momentum of China’s solar growth appears unstoppable, driving the hunger for faster, qualitative automated solutions for the domestic PV manufacturing industry. Thus, most new solar manufacturing facilities or production upgrades are equipped with nearly fully automated lines.

Wacker reports €1.07 billion EBIDTA for 2017

The turnover of the Munich-based chemical company increased by 6%. The polysilicon business of Wacker Chemie also continued to increase last year; however, the production halt in the U.S. prevented even stronger growth.

India: Topaz Solar, Appolon Solar sign bifacial manufacturing MOU

India’s Topaz Solar Private Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with France-based Appolon Solar SAS for the supply of a complete turnkey system for manufacturing bifacial PV modules.

Risen Energy to invest $1.58 billion to expand Chinese production facilities

Risen Energy has revealed it has committed to investing CNY 10 billion (US$1.58 billion) in the expansion of its solar PV cell and module production operations in China since December.

JA Solar step closer to privatization

Shareholders have agreed to the proposed merger of JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd with JASO Holdings and its wholly owned units, JASO Parent and JASO Acquisition, thus taking the manufacturer one step closer to privatization.

Interview: GCL-Si CEO Eric Luo talks tech innovation

Eric Luo, the recently appointed CEO at GCL-Si, met with pv magazine at the recent PV Expo in Japan to discuss the company’s Japanese and global marketing strategies, technological innovation and China’s position in the PV market in 2018.

Energy Storage


South Australia’s big battery delivers

Utility-scale storage: The 100 MW Hornsdale Power Reserve was delivered by Tesla in under 100 days – a good thing as the company would’ve picked up the tab if it had failed to do so. But the project is also delivering grid services and demonstrating arbitrage trading at a pace and scale that is changing minds about the potential of utility-scale storage and the role of synchronous generation on Australia’s National Electricity Market.

Varta enters Australian residential storage market

German energy storage producer, Varta Storage has entered the Australian market. It is introducing the pulse 3 and pulse 6 models, sized at 3.3 kWh and 6.5 kWh.

Energy storage or grid extension – wrong question, right answers, finds panel

Panel discussion at Energy Storage Europe tackled the issue of whether the best way for keeping the lights on as economies around the world grow is to extend the grid network or add energy storage, and found that the best solution lies somewhere in between.

NextEra builds largest solar+storage plant in USA

The power company, which recently placed bids to build the largest battery energy storage project in the world, has connected a 74.5 MW PV project with a 10 MW/40 MWh storage facility, in the United States.

Panasonic begins supply of prismatic-type automotive Li-ion batteries, unveils new storage solution in India

Panasonic’s Chinese factory has started the mass production and global supply of prismatic-type automotive lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Its Indian subsidiary, Panasonic India, meanwhile has launched a new energy storage solution, CBPS 8000, for telecom towers at the Elecrama 2018 exhibition, currently taking place in India.

Energy Storage Europe opening session presses home focus on sector coupling

The keynote session of the Energy Storage Europe conference in Düsseldorf, Germany, delivered a series of presentations on the role flexible sector coupling can play in expediting the adoption of storage technologies and renewable energy, in Germany and worldwide.

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Press Releases

Solar Philippines ends brownouts in Mindoro town by completing Asia’s largest micro-grid

While millions suffer from daily brownouts, the town of Paluan is now completely brownout-free.

SolarPower Europe: 5 Board Directors elected

Yesterday, 5 new Directors were elected to the SolarPower Europe Board.

Booming solar market profits from PV production technologies

The global solar market is booming. Market researchers predict photovoltaics (PV) deployment of roughly 110 gigawatts (GW) in 2018, and competitive PV production is fueling this momentum.

Energy Storage Europe 2018 reflects positive development in the industry

According to the current estimate of the German Energy Storage Association (Bundesverband Energiespeicher e. V.