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Rebuilding for resilience

The islands of the Caribbean have been focusing on the deployment of storage solutions, minigrids and microgrids in response to the damage their power systems suffered during the 2017 hurricane season. But with the opportunities, there are also challenges.
Markets & Policy

EU electricity market summary shows shift from coal to gas

A newly published overview of the European electricity sector suggests that renewables development remains stalled on the continent. Despite some regional differences, EU policy generally favors gas over renewable resources to replace coal. And recent co...
Energy Storage

AEPPL signs $689.7m deal for li-ion battery plant in western India

Automotive Electronics Power Private Ltd. (AEPPL), an India-based lithium-ion battery manufacturing venture between three Japanese companies, aims to produce 30 million cells per year by 2025.
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2019 energy storage North America special

In cooperation with Energy Storage North America, coming to San Diego, California on November 5-7 2019, pv magazine has put together an Energy Storage special edition.

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Markets & Policy

A new battery mix to prevent dendrites

Scientists at the United States Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a root cause of dendrite formation, which can cause battery failure and even fires in lithium-ion technology. With this new knowledge, the group is now working on elect...
Installations

Cronimet finishes 1 MW rooftop PV array on Namibian mall

The German developer and independent power producer claims it finished its latest solar project in the country about one month ahead of schedule.
Installations

Australia’s AEMC calls for energy pricing and transmission overhaul

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has released a new paper outlining a blueprint to coordinate generation and transmission investments. The draft proposal seeks to overhaul wholesale pricing and transmission access to lower electricity costs...
Energy Storage

Solar + storage to survive disasters

Roth Capital Partners expects the U.S. residential storage market to grow more quickly than expected. The prediction is founded just as much in disaster mitigation as it is in economic viability.
Energy Storage

India issues bidding guidelines for solar-wind hybrid projects

India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has suggested minimum 25-year power purchase agreements, while also opening up the option to include energy storage in solar-wind hybrid generation projects that are procured under its public tender regime.
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Press Releases

Arctech Solar to partner with pv magazine for live webinar on Wednesday

Arctech Solar, a leading solar tracking and racking system provider, will partner with pv magazine to present the Smart Tracker Design Enabled by Advanced Testing webinar on Wednesday. The webinar will feature Arctech’s global director of engineering, Pedro Magalhães, along with industry experts David Banks, a principal at wind engineering consultant CPP; and Bernd Zwingmann, a […]

Talesun Led 315MW, the Largest PV Solar Project in Argentina Finished

Recently, news from Argentina said the largest PV solar project, the 315 MW Cauchari PV plant was finished construction on schedule and is now commissioning for the coming grid connection and operation. The project was signed in Buenos Aires G20 Summit, 2017, under the witness of both leaders of China and Argentina, President Xi Jinping […]

Renewable growth drives common goals for electricity networks across the globe

The latest insight paper from Cornwall Insight – Market design amidst global energy transition – looks into this issue. It examines the outlook for transmission networks and how legacy design and policies are supporting decarbonization and shaping the system.

The Solar + Wind Vietnam conference – for all you need to know about the world’s hottest solar market

Vietnam is no doubt the number one emerging PV market in 2019. And it still has great potential.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Only with hydrogen can we save the climate

There is no alternative to using hydrogen for climate protection. Climate change and its ensuing measures require a lot of effort, money, and above all the right solutions. Therefore, a meaningful project, which will be perceived worldwide as a model for complete technological change, is key. That is what the Bonn Climate Project and the CTC Bonn stand for! We can already see great steps towards a hydrogen economy being taken in Germany. Steps are good, but not enough; we need the implementation of a hydrogen economy now!

All that solar jazz

As 2019 enters its final quarter, the solar industry continues to face headwinds, even as the markets for solar deployment in Europe, the United States, and Australia remain strong. Paula Mints of SPV Market Research takes us through what to expect up until 2021.

PERC cells: From shortage to surplus

After the “June rush” to complete solar projects in China – as well as the commissioning rush in Vietnam, which saw higher-than-expected demand of 4 GW in the first half – the growth of the regional solar market started to slow down in July and August, before anticipated Chinese demand picks up the slack again. With unexpectedly low demand in the third quarter, module manufacturers reacted first by marginally reducing utilization rates. Cell producers then cut production after cell prices collapsed.

Safety is paramount

When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.

Maximize the benefits of solar energy through techno-ecological synergies

The dire assessment from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it very clear this past year: To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, a significant shift to clean energy sources must be well underway by 2030.

Tendency toward diversification

Looking back at the PV market in 2018, micro module technologies started maturing in development and moving on to mass production, writes TrendForce analyst Lions Shih. Modules are no longer limited to a single design as before, but rather continuing on the path toward diversification in 2019. The situation is spreading into other areas, as may be seen in the upstream silicon wafer and cell segments.

Markets & Policy

Featured

The specter of PV protectionism

Trade tariffs are spreading across the global PV industry. The United States has been especially active with its sandwich of old antidumping and countervailing duties coupled with new Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. Some of these are part of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute; others impact not only Chinese producers, but manufacturers around the world. So, what will be the impact of this new era of PV protectionism on the solar sector?

Lyon Group, China Huadian, Jera join forces in war on curtailment

Solar infrastructure developer Lyon Group has launched a joint venture with two Asian energy generators to use integrated battery storage systems to reduce curtailment risks and increase the flexibility of renewable energy plants in the Asia-Pacific region.

Plummeting lithium price will further dent Ganfeng profits

Beijing’s sudden retreat on electric vehicle subsidies in the summer has caused the value of lithium to hit the floor, with disastrous effects on the balance sheets of Chinese companies which had invested big in supply chains to support anticipated huge demand.

Australian agrivoltaics start-up aiming for eventual 1 GW of solar capacity

With sun the common component of solar energy production and agriculture, a new company in northern New South Wales is set to combine the benefits of sowing PV and forage crops in the same soil.

State-owned Panda Green set to bank more public funds

The heavily indebted solar project developer has revealed the state-backed element of two trailed fire sales of 636 MW of solar and wind project portfolios in China. The divestments will generate up to RMB450 million for the company while recognizing RMB200 million in losses on its investments.

Mali gold mine set for 30 MW of solar and 13.5 MWh of storage

Two German companies will develop one of the largest off-grid PV and storage projects to date. The low cost of the technology and expense of conventional generators is likely to see the hybrid plant recover its costs in three to seven years.

Installations

The return of BIPV

Since the beginning of 2019, many people within China’s PV industry have started to get the same feeling. Not about grid parity, or about mono replacing multi, but about something more unexpected. More and more people are speaking up at conferences and meetings about building-integrated PV (BIPV), which has been little more than a niche curiosity for years. Now BIPV, it seems, is making a big comeback in China.

Operation Silver Frog: Innovative 2 GW solar production plan for green hydrogen in Europe

European partners have submitted a joint proposal to use EU-made solar modules and wind turbines to power green hydrogen for use by heavy industry. The partners hope to secure designated status and backing from the bloc’s deep coffers.

Shell to power Philippines refinery with solar, storage and natural gas

In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint the oil giant is ramping up its renewable energy production at a refinery in the Philippines. The news was announced by the company in a week which saw it named seventh worst corporate contributor to the climate crisis since awareness of emissions-related damage first emerged.

Singyes Solar figures tell story of a dramatic year in Chinese solar

The PV project developer and BIPV manufacturer has seen a glowing set of first-half figures published last year become a nightmare of lost income, debt defaults and frozen bank deposits. All eyes now turn to the business’ high court date on Wednesday.

Hydrogen powered mining trucks are coming

The building-sized trucks run on diesel and prompt logistical complications as large amounts of diesel must be shipped to remote mining sites. Attempts to decarbonize the mining sector will have to consider the heavy-duty vehicles.

German report makes recommendations for private PPA adoption in China

The German Energy Agency has drawn up a list of proposed measures which it says could help the world’s biggest solar market accelerate its clean energy plans through the adoption of subsidy-free – private – power purchase agreements.

Technology

Featured

Perovskites hit the home stretch

Microquanta Semiconductor holds a 17.25% efficiency record for a relatively large-area perovskite module and wants to build a production facility with fresh capital from investors. pv magazine takes a look at the Chinese startup and some of the basic questions surrounding the technology.

A carbon scaffold to boost lithium-sulfur performance

Scientists at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research have developed a new method to produce lithium-sulfur based cathodes which exhibit stable performance and high storage capacity over 200 cycles. According to the agency, this represents “a promising step towards the commercialization of lithium-sulfur batteries.”

Tesla-based battery project launched in Slovenia

New company NGEN appears to have introduced the Powerpack battery to central Europe in a €15 million, 12.6 MW/22.6 MWh project in the northwest of the country which is the first of two planned utility scale systems due for completion by July.

JA Solar granted intellectual property rights for Ga-doping technology

The Chinese company has announced it has acquired intellectual property rights pertaining to various applications of gallium-doped silicon wafers in solar cell applications from Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemical.

Calcium batteries cool down with new electrolyte

Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a new class of electrolytes they say could bring calcium batteries – currently only a lab technology – a step closer to being a practical reality for energy storage.

ConFlow wraps up acquisition of AI-powered battery testing technology

The company launched a solid-state battery in August it claimed could recharge itself to some degree from electrons in the air. Now ConFlow is preparing to test its devices with the help of artificial intelligence-powered monitoring devices in the new year.

Manufacturing

Featured

Addressing HJT capex, opex in equipment supply

Heterojunction can be an attractive technology pathway for a number of PV producers, says Christian Knechtel CEO and CFO of Von Ardenne. However, the key to deployment could lie in manufacturing key production tools in a cheaper manner while continuously ramping up throughput.

SMA: Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive

In the run up to our Greenwashing vs. verifiable sustainability webinar, the CEO of pv magazine’s UP initiative partner SMA Solar Technology, Jürgen Reinert, talks about what the inverter manufacturer is doing to prove its sustainability credentials.

The weekend read: Next steps for HJT

There is movement in the heterojunction space, but will it be enough to surpass PERC’s momentum? New production lines show promise, but they might also be the last roll of the dice for Swiss production equipment supplier Meyer Burger.

REC kicks off production of new Alpha Series panels in Singapore

With the 600 MW production line the company’s annual module production capacity will approach 2 GW.

Canadian Solar wins 394 MW of solar in two private auctions in Brazil

After emerging as the recipient of most of the Brazilian government’s public allocation of generation capacity, the Canadian-Chinese manufacturer has secured a large share of projects in auctions held by power companies Copel and, probably, Cemig.

Emerging markets help new faces into list of world’s top EPC providers

Although the Wiki-solar website ranking only gives a snapshot of PV project engineering, procurement and construction contracts outside China, it is nevertheless a useful indicator of the changing shape of the global solar market.

Energy Storage

Featured

Flow batteries scale up to GW production

Plans for a gigawatt factory in Saudi Arabia, bullet-proof warranties and an international vanadium rental service are propelling a new generation of batteries into the energy storage big league. Pioneers of redox flow technology claim that they can put an end to the degradation and safety issues afflicting lithium-ion batteries. They also expect imminent economies of scale to reduce the cost of bulk energy storage and unlock new markets for solar power.

Australia is boosting shift to commercial EV fleets

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the governments of New South Wales and South Australia, grid operator Ausgrid and insurer NRMA, have awarded almost AU$500,000 to e-mobility start-up Evenergi to help businesses and consumers plan for the electric vehicle revolution.

‘They created a rechargeable world’

American John B. Goodenough, Brit Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, from Japan, will receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing the lithium-ion battery. A statement from the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden said the invention “laid the foundations of a society without wires and fossil fuels, and [they] are of great benefit to humanity”.

Energy without borders

Germany has long been a global leader in driving acceptance of clean technologies through its progressive energy policies and regulations. Its influence in addressing climate change extends well beyond its borders, and the country is taking an active role to support the global energy transition through international cooperation. Germany has bilateral energy partnerships with approximately 20 countries, and its strong partnership with California is focused on creating a route to the future – a carbon-neutral one. State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Andreas Feicht met with pv magazine to discuss the country’s partnership with California, and its journey toward decarbonization.

Do lead batteries have a role in the clean energy transition?

The Consortium for Battery Innovation has outlined research goals for advanced lead-based battery concepts, claiming the potential of the technology is “nowhere near fully exploited”. The group, comprised of lead-battery industry stakeholders, says such devices can play an important role alongside lithium-ion and other storage technologies in electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and other applications.

The sun shines only at night

Engie has been selected to supply a solar power plant in Guam with 50 MWdc of generation capacity and approximately 300 MWh of storage – with the express purpose to deliver 100% of the electricity after sunset.

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