Top News

US energy storage market redefined in Q3

Installations hit a record 476 MW/764 MWh in the third quarter, with California’s deployment figures alone shattering all previous quarterly records.
Installations

Ikea extends PV offer to Spain

Starting from January, the Swedish furniture provider will launch its Solstrale PV panel offer in the Spanish market.
Installations

Simulation tool for mismatch conditions at cell level

Scientists in Portugal have proposed a new framework to simulate mismatch conditions at the cell level. They claim the tool is particularly suitable for simulations of small PV systems with few module strings.
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Manufacturing

Chinese PV Industry Brief: JA Solar commissions 3.5 GW module factory in Shanghai

And Risen has agreed to buy 2.25 billion wafers from monocrystalline wafer manufacturer Wuxi Shangji Automation, while Trina has cornered another 30,000-ton slice of the global polysilicon market.
Energy Storage

All-in-one residential battery inverter solution from Solax

The new solution integrates the inverters of Solax's X-1 Hybrid G4 series and its Triple Power 3.0 Battery systems. According to the manufacturer, the hybrid battery inverter can be deployed in only 30 minutes and by a single person.
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Technology

The market for hybrid energy and storage

Deepak Thakur, CEO of the hybrid and energy storage business at Indian solar developer Sterling and Wilson, has spoken to pv magazine about the global market, and said: “Efficient and economically viable energy storage, and optimal hybridization...
Covid-19

Asian Development Bank provides more than $1bn finance for renewables power lines

The development lender has followed up a $600 million loan for distribution infrastructure in eastern Indonesia with a $430 million credit line for installations in India.
Hydrogen

Enel, Eni to build joint 20 MW pilot green hydrogen project

The two Italian energy giants have joined forces to bring online 20 MW of hydrogen capacity between 2022 and 2023. Two 10 MW pilot electrolyzers will be built at unspecified Eni refineries.

Press Releases

Ecoppia announces IPO after successfully completing public tender phase

Recognized as the world leader in robotic solutions, Ecoppia maintains its competitive advantage, completing initial offering stage at $300 million valuation. Ecoppia Scientific LTD.

Everoze creates Skyray to design and engineer solar PV projects

Technical consultancy Everoze has formally launched a new company called Skyray. Skyray’s experienced team will provide design, engineering and site services to owners, developers and EPCs in the large-scale PV market (including new-build solar-storage).

Forum ITALIA SOLARE 2020: Current policy instruments and future challenges for a decarbonised energy system

On 1 December the fifth edition of the ITALIA SOLARE Forum will be held, this year dedicated to "Current policy instruments and future challenges for a decarbonised energy system", with the radio host and journalist Maurizio Melis.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Boosting the energy transition: why the European Commission should support independent aggregators

Aggregators continuously monitor the needs of the electricity grid on one side and the energy consumption of a large number of distributed assets on the other. When the grid is stressed or out of balance, aggregators adjust the consumption or production of those distributed energy assets to help the grid restore balance. These services either lead to direct compensation from a transmission system operator (TSO), or a reduction in the total energy bill of the owner of the distributed asset.

The solar development process in Vietnam, its barriers and hurdles

The development process for ground-mounted utility scale solar projects in Vietnam is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and still largely difficult to navigate for foreign developers without entering a strategic partnership, in whatever form, with a local Vietnamese counterpart.

Why the solar M&A landscape in Vietnam is set to heat up

Vietnam has now effectively overtaken Thailand as the largest solar market in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar operational capacity, with more than 6,314 MW installed up to September 2020. Many hundreds of MWs of solar projects are also still under construction or development. However, its solar (and other renewable energy) M&A activity has developed very slowly to date. There are many reasons to expect that this is about to change, but before we examine them, let us review the main factors behind this sluggish tempo.

The potential for UK solar

Focusing on the big picture is always challenging, particularly in light of the current all-consuming coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some key issues related to the U.K. solar sector, which will feature significantly on the domestic agenda in the months ahead.

Why has the M&A landscape struggled to take off for renewables in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese renewables industry has been flourishing lately. Taking the example of the solar sector, the installed capacity increased from barely 134 MW in 2018 up to 6,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam has definitely emerged as one of the most active countries in South-East Asia and with the merit of diversifying its energy mix. They added capacity not only in solar – utility scale, commercial & industrial (C&I) rooftop – but also onshore/nearshore wind, hydro and to some extent biomass energy projects. Vietnam has shown levels of dynamism which has attracted initial investor interest.

Prospects for bifacial and large-format products

The pandemic and accidents at polysilicon labs in China’s Xinjiang region put PV manufacturers under pressure to maintain production this year, while slowing cell and module R&D. After half-cut and multi-busbar becomes commonplace, manufacturers will continue to explore the high-density assembly methods that emerged last year, as well as n-type cells. But the market is also shifting to large formats, and the share of bifacial products is growing this year. As sizing up modules can bring immediate returns, PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang expects the PV industry to prioritize the development of large formats and bifacial products next year.

Covid-19

Featured

The weekend read: Green utilities show resilience

European utilities with large exposure to renewable energy have performed well this year, despite a downturn in both energy demand and prices on the back of Covid-19.

Green projects eligible as EU throws another €40bn at Covid recovery

Italy is in line for €11.4 billion if member states sign off an emergency funding package which will distribute funds based on the GDP and unemployment figures of their economies in June, July and August.

‘Solar should be at heart of EU recovery’

Solarpower Europe has called on member states to put solar and battery storage front and center when it comes to drawing up the Recovery and Resilience plans needed to secure a slice of the bloc’s proposed €672.5 billion post-Covid stimulus package.

European Council reaches €1.82tn budget agreement with parliament

The parliament and EU member states will now mull the proposed budget for 2021-27 which includes a €750 billion Covid recovery package and a Strategic Investment Facility it is hoped will unlock €150 billion for renewables and energy storage to 2027.

World could add more than 900 GW of solar by 2025 if politicians grasp the nettle – IEA

With the International Energy Agency publishing its latest five-year clean energy forecast today, pv magazine takes a look at the solar content of the 162-page document.

Scatec stock price stymies extra shares issue plan

Shares in the Norwegian renewables company have been trading below the $26 price linked to a recent $527 million fundraising issuance which the developer launched to fund its planned acquisition of hydropower business SN Power.

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.

Canadian Solar law suit settlement approved

The Ontario-based solar company will pay US$13 million to settle a class action filed in August 2010, after the Ontario Superior Court approved the offer.

EU says Netherlands must pay €659m for evading anti-dumping duties on solar panels

The Netherlands has allegedly evaded anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on solar imports from China, Taiwan and Malaysia between May 2015 and March 2017, according to the European Commission. The Dutch government said the claims from Brussels are not justified.

China could drive 4.2 TW of solar capacity by 2050 under decarbonization plan

The solar and wind industries could benefit from a $6.4 trillion boom under the most ambitious of two scenarios described by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and $2.4 trillion even in the business-as-usual outlook.

India tweaks 100 MW solar-plus-storage tender

The peak DC capacity of the project has been reduced, along with the size of the battery storage element of the facility.

UK assembles experimental hydrogen network from decommissioned gas infrastructure

The £12.7 million project will explore how to transport pure and blended hydrogen for use in heating and industrial purposes. Construction will start next year.

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.

Solar will dominate Neom City’s energy mix, but CSP may prevail

Saudi Arabia’s futuristic Neom City will not use the cheapest sources of renewable energy, but those with the best chances of being dispatched, due to the storage potential of concentrated solar power. But several issues must be addressed to make the tech viable.

Chinese coal mine hosts 300 MW solar plant

TBEA New Energy’s new solar park relies on flexible mounting systems and large-gradient, large-span slope support technology.

Self-cleaning tech for small off-grid PV arrays

A U.S.-Pakistan research group has created a new self-cleaning mechanism for standalone PV systems up to 5 kW in size. The system increases power yields by around 35%, while its payback period is estimated at around five years.

Benban developers agree to pay an extra $102m for building materials

Half of the EGP1.6 billion charge will be paid up front with the balance staggered over five years, pv magazine has learned.

Belgium’s Flanders region to provide €58 million for PV rebates in 2021

The authorities in Flanders will grant maximum rebates of €1,500 per PV system to homeowners from Jan. 1. The scheme is expected to drive up solar installations by 1.5 GW by 2025.

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.

US ‘aqueous air battery’ developer reveals investors in recent $76 million funding round

The holy grail of energy storage has always been low-cost and long-duration. Form Energy plans to deploy a 1 MW/150 MWh system with a Minnesota utility before 2023 – an unprecedented energy storage duration, if successful.

New process to recover PET and EVA from recycled solar panels

Researchers in China are proposing a new technique to recover polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) in solar panels at the end of their lifecycle. The two materials represent around 15% of the total material in a wasted solar cell, with a share of 10% for EVA and 5% for PET, respectively.

pv magazine video: US storage market under spotlight

In pv magazine’s second roundtable session, Advanced technologies, the U.S. storage market came under the spotlight – in particular, the lessons that can be learned from solar as the market moves towards greater maturity. Also under discussion was the trend among PV manufacturers to producing ever larger cells and modules in the continuous drive to bring down LCOE. But is big necessarily better?

Water-based cooling technique for photovoltaic-thermal systems

The novel technique consists of a PVC pipe with 20 holes that is placed on the top of a PV module and is able to maintain a constant discharge of water. It was demonstrated on an experimental photovoltaic-thermal PV system in which the PV panel was not integrated with the solar collector but connected to it via pipes.

IRENA raises carbon price issue in green hydrogen policy guide

Guide to drawing up national green hydrogen strategies acknowledges the global hydrogen economy could fail to take shape if any of the world’s powers decide to stick with fossil fuels to gain a price advantage.

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.

Trina sweeps up another 30,000-plus tons of polysilicon

Chinese giant has signed orders for more than 100,000 metric tons of poly to the end of 2023 in a further sign of confidence in the outlook for solar.

New manufacturing process for 15.5% efficient perovskite solar panels

Stanford scientists have used a robotic device with two nozzles to quickly produce thin films of perovskite. With these films, they have manufactured perovskite cells and modules with efficiencies of 18% and 15.5%, respectively. According to them, this technique may enable the production of perovskite modules at a cost of around $0.25 per square foot.

Ever heard of photovoltatronics, the new frontier of solar in urban environments?

Scientists in the Netherlands are planning to build intelligent PV devices for energy and information applications. Their intention is to make this approach a new field of PV research, whose ultimate goal is enabling solar cells to communicate with each other and with other devices, ensuring that all the generated energy ends up exactly where it’s needed, especially in the urban environment.

DSM unveils ‘all purpose’ polyolefin-based backsheet for PV panels

Dutch materials specialist DSM launched a new polyolefin-based backsheet that is claimed to have outstanding UV and abrasion resistance as well as good moisture barrier and hydrolysis resistance.

Mounting structure for balcony solar modules

Sino-Australian manufacturer Clenergy has unveiled a new mounting solution for PV panels installed in balconies. The structure is adjustable to different types of commonly-sized balconies with metal railings.

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.

Europe’s largest battery project gets approval in the UK

U.K.-based energy company InterGen has received planning permission to deploy 320 MW/640 MWh of capacity at a logistics park near London. The storage complex is planned to provide fast-reacting power and system balancing with an initial, two-hour duration.

Europe could double ambition of its hydrogen strategy – white paper

Big brands will have to put their money where there mouth is on carbon commitments, though, and the EU will have to put its shoulder to the wheel, particularly in respect of the commonly-heard call to dispense with red tape. The prize could be a call for 280 GW more renewables capacity by 2030.

Horizon looks to future with green hydrogen microgrid

Western Australian utility Horizon Power will build the nation’s first remote microgrid using renewable hydrogen generation at Denham, in the state’s northwest, having secured the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

India and Israel to work together on perovskite solar cells and lithium sulfur batteries

Low-cost batteries and novel perovskite materials are among the topics selected for joint research and development.

Australian power provider to install big batteries, 300 MW electrolyzer

Australian power supplier Origin Energy is accelerating its transition to clean energy through large-scale storage projects and newly announced hydrogen plans.

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