Top News

Global PV market to grow by another 621.7 GW by 2022, SolarPower Europe says

Global newly installed capacity for 2018 is forecast to reach 102.6 GW, of which "only" 39 GW are expected to come from China. Fourteen countries are expected to cross the GW threshold this year.
Installations

Lightsource BP completes first Indian solar project

Lightsource BP has announced the completion of its first solar project in India. The 60 MWp solar farm is located in Wagdari, Maharashtra.
Installations

Scatec, Equinor acquire 117 MW PV project in Argentina

The Guañizuil II A project was selected by Argentina's government under phase two of the third round (Ronda 2) of the country’s renewable energy program, Renovar.
Announcements

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Markets & Policy

Court strikes down Canadian solar makers’ attempt to stay solar tariffs

Three manufacturers with Canadian module assembly have had no luck in trying to get a preliminary injunction against the Section 201 tariffs.
Installations

Innogy to develop 440 MW solar pipeline in the US southeast

German-based Innogy SE's US subsidiary will gain exclusive rights for the acquisition of 13 solar PV projects currently owned by Birdseye Renewable Energy LLC. The projects have a cumulative capacity of 440MW and are at various stages of development.
Markets & Policy

Netherlands to replace net metering with new scheme for residential, commercial PV

Under the new scheme, set to come into force in 2020, homeowners and small businesses investing in solar and other renewables can expect a payback period of around seven years. They will also be exempt from paying energy taxes and the ODE (Opslag Duurzam...

Press Releases

REDEN Solar completes the refinancing of its French Solar PV assets for € 270m

REDEN Solar, a leading solar IPP from France, announced today that it completed a refinancing operation for the majority of its French assets, successfully raising a total of €270 million.

Engie to continue expanding decentralised energy offering following year of successes

ENGIE to champion decentralised energy at upcoming Africa Energy Forum

Enphase Energy announces seventh-generation microinverters across Europe

Enphase Energy, Inc. announced the introduction of its seventh-generation Enphase IQ™ microinverters in Europe.

Invertek drives P2 solar pump

Invertek Drives Ibérica, a subsidiary of the Invertek Drives LTD, presents in Spain the solar pump system Optidrives P2 Solar Pump Drives, based on the already proven Optidrives P2 format.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The impact of energy storage, pumped heat storage on global energy

With the percentage of renewables in the global energy mix increasing, and global energy demand projected to increase by 30% over the next two decades, energy storage is more important now than ever. But what are the main technologies for energy storage, and how will these technologies affect global energy? Gabriel Hurtado González, Energy Solutions Manager at Mitie, and Sasaenia Paul Oluwabunmi, Operations Officer at the OPEC Fund for International Development answer this pertinent question.

“We helped large-scale solar be commercially viable,” says departing Australian Renewable Energy Agency boss

The booming large scale and rooftop PV market in 2018 is providing reasons to be optimistic about the future of solar under the Australian sun. Reflecting on his six-year tenure as CEO at ARENA ahead of his departure in August, Ivor Frischknecht points to the role the agency played in bringing down the costs of large scale solar as ARENA’s greatest achievement.

Are the big Chinese powerhouses coming to America?

In the face of actual and threatened tariffs in the US and India, the world’s biggest solar manufacturers may have to set up shop in the protectionist nations in question ahead of a predicted cooling in their home market

Hydrogen, don’t give up!

For decades, hydrogen has been sold to us as the energy carrier of the future. You might not want to hear it anymore, because the future never seems to start. But times will change as recent developments in Germany indicate, writes Berlin-based renewable energy consultant, Stephan Franz.

Data is driving change – adapt or fall off the grid

As global economies develop, and uses for renewable energy diversifies, new pressures are being placed on the electric network. Yet, utilities are sitting on a wealth of data that can reveal better insights into their operations, writes Dan Beasley, Director, Utilities, Cyient.

Energy storage-as-a-service: The hottest game in town?

Alexander Schönfeldt of energy storage specialists, Younicos examines the growing trend of energy storage-as-a-service, and explains why the sector is growing at such a rate.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Large it up Down Under

Australian large-scale solar: From just a handful of large-scale solar PV projects a few years ago, Australia is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. With a substantial project pipeline, the country is in the box seat to experience a banner year in 2018, with the 2020 Renewable Energy Target now in hand and a new policy taking shape for the period beyond.

Residential, commercial PV drives solar demand in Italy

Solar has covered 5.8% of Italy’s power demand so far this year. Newly installed PV capacity for the first four months of this year, meanwhile, has reached 116 MW, around 6.4% up from the same period in 2017.

Japanese government must be more unified in pursuit of PV goals — report

The Japanese government is steadily working toward the release of the country’s fifth strategic energy plan, but it needs to work with the private sector more effectively to promote the deployment of solar over the coming decades, according to a new report. 

Mexico eliminates 15% customs duties on solar module imports

Mexico’s Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice has accepted an appeal lodged by the Mexican solar association, Asolmex, to remove the 15% customs duties applied to imports of solar PV modules.

The weekend read: Signs of life

European markets: Growth in solar installations returned to European shores in 2017, with some of the usual suspects posting big numbers, and several new players awakening to the possibilities of PV. Here, pv magazine provides an overview of the latest movements on the continent.

US could slap additional 25% tariffs on Chinese cells, modules

The new round of IT-related tariffs could make it more expensive for any manufacturers planning to import cells from China for module production in the United States.

Installations

Featured

A burning issue

Cables and connectors: The quality and performance of solar balance of system components in the U.S. market is generally quite high, but there are still low quality, knock-off, or outright counterfeit products available at discounts large enough to attract some shortsighted installers or other buyers in the market.

Enertronica secures 200 MW inverter order from Spain, obtains financing for project in Namibia

The Italian solar developer will provide inverters through its unit Elettronica Santerno.

ReneSola secures €36 million loan for Polish PV projects

The Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund has extended a loan to ReneSola Ltd to €36 million for the implementation of 55 MW of solar PV projects in Poland.

India saw more utility-scale PV tenders in Q1 2018 than in entire 2017 – Bridge To India

India saw the issuance of 13 new utility-scale solar PV tenders totaling 11,945 MW in the quarter ending March 31, 2018, which is 68% more than in the entire of 2017. However, tender capacity for rooftop solar PV (greater than 1 MW in size) was down 50%, at 102 MW.

Four key solar takeaways from Spain’s Genera 2018

Genera 2018, held this June 13 to 15 in Madrid, Spain, set the scene for a market that is once again on track to become Europe’s solar leader. This year, reflecting this positive progress, the Spanish renewable energy fair saw the share of solar exhibitors increase over previous years. While this transition year is not expected to record strong solar growth, 2019 could realistically see the installation of 3 GW. Read on to discover the four key takeaways from this year’s event.

Solaria unveils 1.3 GW, €600mn Spanish PV pipeline

Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente, S. A. has announced a global solar PV project pipeline of 2.3 GW, 1.3 GW of which will be deployed in Spain. Construction work is set to begin this year.

Technology

Featured

The new rising stars

Module technology trends: In the past decade, continued technology advances and cost improvements made solar one of the most dynamic industries of our time, as it continues to make a significant and growing contribution to the global supply of electricity. Technological innovation is taking place in a context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, which explains the focus on cost control.

German scientists to develop energy-storing solar cells

The planned cell is to be based on the so-called norbornadiene-quadricyclane storage system.

Momentum builds for perovskite tandems, 25%+ efficiency achieved

Researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Oxford PV have presented a new record perovskite tandem solar cell, with a 25.2% conversion efficiency, independently verified by Fraunhofer ISE. Bernd Stannowski, from HZB presented the results this week at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-7) in Hawaii.

Fluence to deliver 60 MW battery capacity to UK Power Reserve

Citing the need for ancillary grid services, due to increasing amounts of variable renewable energy assets being installed in the U.K., the two comapnies are stressing the stability this project will bring to the country’s grid.

Australia: Fully-commissioned utility-scale PV capacity to double by July

Australia is set to quadruple its utility-scale PV capacity with 2 GW pipeline. The effects are now beginning to show. So far just 0.1 MW are fully operational, but by July this is going to change.

University of California gives electrons a one-way ticket

A new study from University of California, Riverside, uses electric dipoles to accelerate electron in one direction, whilst completely stopping it in the other. The discovery, according to researchers, could lead to improvements in solar cell and other energy conversion technologies.

Manufacturing

Featured

From cost to tech-driven advances

Quality across the PV chain: With around 100 GW installed in 2017 (according to PV Market Alliance’s preliminary numbers), the global PV industry has once again beaten even the most optimistic of forecasts. However, this rosy picture hides some specific developments that highlight how the road to maturity could be long and at times chaotic, and why support for the industry must continue, both in Europe and beyond, writes Gaëtan Masson, director of the Becquerel Institute.

Schletter to be acquired by investors, closing financial recovery

With the acquisition by Golden Square Capital the German-based PV company can finalize the plans to improve its financial status. Providing a two-digit million figure the Investor ensures that product- and business development units can improve their activity in the future. Yet, cutting jobs in Germany is inevitable.

2018 global PV market to see negative growth following China backtrack

Global solar PV demand this year will be less than in 2017, on the back of China’s latest policy decision, says TrendForce. Overall, it sees new installs dropping 40% in China to 31.6 GW. The protectionist measures taken by the U.S. will also be weakened by the resulting falling module prices.

SunPower and Enphase team up with microinverter acquisition

Through the deal SunPower gets $25 million and stock; however the bigger deal may be Enphase’s right to be the company’s exclusive residential inverter supplier.

First Solar breaks ground on 1.2 GW factory in the US

The plant is the second-largest planned in the Western Hemisphere, and will triple the thin film module maker’s manufacturing capacity in the United States.

SOLAR-ERA.NET launches €22 million call to co-fund development of innovative solar technologies

Through the joint call, the European organization is seeking to provide financial backing for, among other PV and CSP technologies, high-performance crystalline silicon and thin film technologies which can increase module efficiency and decrease turn-key system costs.

Energy Storage

Featured

The cells of the future

Li-ion storage: battery manufacturers have a major task ahead of them, they have to meet runaway global demand, improve the performance, safety and longevity of storage devices, and of course bring down price. Instead of hoping for a big breakthrough, they are pursuing an approach involving many small steps.

Indonesia inaugurates its first three solar plus storage mini-grids

Indonesia has reached a milestone, having inaugurated its first three solar+storage mini-grids, thus enabling three remote villages to enjoy uninterrupted, off-grid access to electricity for the entire day.

RCT Power announces battery plant in eastern China

Germany’s RCT Power will start manufacturing lithium-ion-phosphate battery storage modules in eastern China this week. The fully automated facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, has an initial annual production capacity of 18,000 units.

Australia’s Yorke Peninsula power supply strengthened with microgrid, 30 MW battery

ABB, ElectraNet and ARENA are coming together to deliver a microgrid and large scale battery storage solution to South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. The commercial-deployment phase of the Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project will strengthen the Electranet transmission system in the area, and will deliver increased resilience in the event of interstate connector failure.

India to launch its own battery cell production

India’s PV sector is expanding at a serious pace, creating jobs and further securing energy supply for many businesses. Yet, sourcing battery cell technology at the current rate resulted in annual foreign exchange of $150 million creating deficits, that hopefully can be averted in the future.

The weekend read: Solar’s coming of age in the UK

Subsidy-free solar PV plants have generated buzz in the UK, with some plants commissioned and others planned to be developed outside of any public remuneration scheme. pv magazine explores whether the UK solar industry is ready to embrace the trend in bulk soon.

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