Top News

Ontario to source electricity from auctions from 2022

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in the Canadian province of Ontario has revealed plans to launch annual capacity auctions in a bid to reduce electricity costs for households.
Technology

Perovskites: A solar scientist’s bread and butter

University of Groningen in the Netherlands is adding its name to the growing list of research institutes that have developed an "industrially scalable" technique for the production of perovskite solar cells. In a separate publication, Russian scientists ...
Installations

Rooftop solar and batteries makes their mark at BNEF Future of Energy

Sunrun made a splash at the BNEF Summit in New York City at a time when utilities are increasingly struggling to adapt to new realities. But distributed energy resources have a long way to go to play a major role, and we will still need additional energy...
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pv magazine outdoor test- December 2018 results

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The next batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

 

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Energy Storage

Pumped hydro to triple Australia’s storage capacity

A new study from the Australian National University shows that a series of pumped storage projects currently in the pipeline across five states could triple Australia’s storage capacity and pave the way for more solar and wind.
Markets & Policy

DSOs should only operate storage to a limited extent, European regulators say

According to a new report from the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), distribution system operators should own and operate storage systems only when market-related entities are unable to provide flexibility in accordance with energy regulation...
Markets & Policy

Mali moves forward with another large-scale PV project

The government of the West African country has given a temporary concession to PowerPro to develop the first phase of the project. The plant will be located in the Sikasso Region, in the southernmost part of Mali.
Installations

Uzbekistan’s 100 MW PV tender attracts bids from 23 companies

Through the procurement exercise, utility Uzbekenergo aims to deploy 100 MW of solar at an unspecified location in the Navoiy region in southwestern Uzbekistan.
Energy Storage

500 MW solar-plus-storage project under development in the UK

German developer Wirsol and U.K.-based Tribus are seeking environmental approval to build the country's largest PV facility across two sites in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The Sunnica Energy Farm will also include large-scale storage capacity at both fac...

Press Releases

Growatt Receives All Quality Matters Award by TÜV Rheinland for MAX 80kW

On March 21-22, the “All Quality Matters” Award Ceremony & Solar Congress 2019 hosted by TÜV Rheinland was held in Suzhou. At this top solar stage, Growatt MAX series 80kW inverter won the Award of PV Inverter for Commercial Use with excellent quality and high functionality, ranking first of commercial inverters.

Risen Energy Wins the National Enterprise Technology Center

Recently China National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance, Customs Head Office, jointly released the list of all national enterprise technology centers (the 25th session). The ranking list is targeted towards high-tech enterprises who are competent in comprehensive competitiveness, technological innovation, and industrial leadership.

Anesco chooses EDF Energy & Upside for battery and solar farm trading deal

EDF Energy will provide Anesco with a guaranteed minimum revenue to give income certainty

Solbian and Hevel Group proud partners of TU Delft Solar Boat Team

Solbian and Hevel Group are the proud partners of the Solar Boat Team at the TU Delft. We are very grateful for this collaboration.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Gossip reigns in Dutch Solar-land

If the world of solar was a newspaper, it would be a tabloid. There is no sector where gossip spreads quite so quickly and ultimately does not contribute much. For an example, Good! New Energy’s Rolf Heynen looks back to 2013, when Europe introduced the Minimum Import Price on Chinese solar panels.

A year for transition: Japan’s move beyond the big scale

For the past few years, Japan’s solar industry insiders have been eyeing 2019 as a year of transition in the residential rooftop market, as the original 10 year feed-in tariffs come to an end. So, what will this post-FIT landscape look like, and how are Japan’s leading PV suppliers preparing for the future? Hanwha Q Cells’ Japan Marketing Manager Junichi Katayama breaks down the main points.

The mainstreaming of mono

In the second half of 2018, monocrystalline silicon technology passed an important milestone: Quarterly production of monocrystalline ingots, wafers, cells, and modules overtook that of multicrystalline for the first time in the mainstream PV era. This milestone was tracked by PV technology and market forecasting firm exawatt. CEO Simon Price sets out how mono’s rapid growth could have been, and was, predicted.

Nothing boring about Japan’s year of the boar

With tenders coming in for large-scale projects, and decade-old generous FIT programs being phased out, new opportunities and challenges are facing Japan’s PV players. Izumi Kaizuka from Tokyo-based analyst RTS Corporation sets out the major market trends for 2019.

Global battery storage pipeline reaches 15 GW

As data drifts in, 2018 is shaping up to have been a record-breaking year for battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit senior analyst Julian Jansen. Especially for front-of-the-meter projects, which experienced rapid growth. This growth was led by significant activity in South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and China, which together accounted for 78% of battery energy storage projects commissioned in 2018, according to the Q4 2018 edition of the IHS Markit “Energy Storage Company and Project Database.”

2019: A year for critical adjustments

Since the PV module market has already witnessed intense industrial concentration over the past few years, the top 10 manufacturers didn’t change significantly as 2018 unfolded, writes PV InfoLink Chief Analyst Corrine Lin. On the cell side, the decline of Taiwanese cell makers has Chinese cell makers filling the top three spots this year.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Mega projects, mega problems

The clouds gathering over Turkey’s 1 GW solar park in Konya, the first YEKA tender, are dominating discussions among PV players in the country. Developments surrounding the Konya tender illustrate the Turkish solar market’s challenges, as the country’s unsteady economy and its policy preference for local manufacturing appear to be acting as a break on installations.

Hanwha Q Cells expands Australian patent infringement lawsuit to include REC, BayWa r.e., Sol Distribution

The South Korean solar module maker has filed another claim with the Federal Court of Australia against Norwegian solar manufacturer REC Group, as well as PV distributors BayWa r.e. Solar Systems and Sol Distribution, for distributing products that allegedly infringe on its patents.

16 MW of UK solar could be ‘ghosted’ over deployment cap

Regulator Ofgem has said that 10 MW of small-scale solar projects have breached the deployment cap, leaving stakeholders uncertain about feed-in tariff payments. A failure to collect FITS could spell disaster for investors, says the U.K.’s Renewable Energy Association.

Sentis Capital intensifies call for change at Meyer Burger with new website

Meyer Burger Technology’s largest single shareholder has followed up on its recent call for the Swiss technology group to embark on a new strategic path by launching a new website.

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to… split?

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a type of electrode which is highly resistant to salt corrosion, therefore allowing them to produce hydrogen using seawater. Applied at a larger scale, this development could potentially cut the cost of power-to-gas applications by greatly increasing the amount of water available.

The weekend read: Land of the Crescent Sun

Despite its abundant solar resources, Turkey’s potential for solar energy development remains largely untapped. Although the market grew considerably between 2017 and 2018, the outlook for the next two years, due to the macroeconomic situation and the current regulatory framework, appears rather gloomy. If regulations will not be changed, and tenders for large-scale solar remain unimproved, unsubsidized PV and self-consumption may remain the best options available to seek more growth.

Installations

Featured

Solar carports thrive on dual-use concept

Multiple drivers are increasing the rollout of solar carports. As with all things PV, cost is an important factor, and is heading in the right direction to see this application move out of the niche and into the mainstream. EV adoption could also prove decisive here.

Phase IV of 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park reaches financial close

Phase IV of the huge solar park includes a 700 MW CSP plant and a 250 MW PV facility. Funds for the $4.2 billion project will be provided by banks from the United Arab Emirates and China, as well as other international lenders.

Shunfeng to sell production assets for $447m

A unit of Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE) has agreed to sell PV manufacturing assets to Asia Pacific Resources Development Investment for RMB 3 billion ($447 million).

Saudi Arabia plans 2.6 GW solar park near Mecca

The Faisaliah Solar Power Project is planned to be developed in several stages by the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and the Development Authority of Mecca. Only 600 MW of the project will be tendered by the REPDO, while the remaining 2 GW will be built by the country’s Public Investment Fund along with its partners.

CISOLAR-2019 Kyiv to host solar academy

The opening day of CISOLAR 2019 in Kiev is quickly approaching, with plans to offer workshops for installers and entrepreneurs in a market with massive untapped potential.

Canada’s new budget plan eyes efficiency, EVs and community energy

The new budget looks to lower the cost of energy for households by turning to distributed energy, energy efficiency and community energy programs. To this end, several billion Canadian dollars will be spent.

Technology

Featured

Human vs. machine

Some manufacturers have started to bring self-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence into their monitoring systems and have indicated this in our market overview. In this way, they seek to reduce the personnel costs of O&M service providers. Although humans still have the upper hand in many processes, artificial intelligence is on the rise.

EU call for energy infrastructure proposals backed by €750m of funding

Under its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the bloc has opened another call for applications to build cross-border energy infrastructure projects. It has already agreed to provide a grant of €323 million to synchronize the regional grid in the Baltic States.

Meyer Burger, Oxford PV sign perovskite cooperation deal

Meyer Burger has struck a strategic partnership with Oxford PV to expedite the mass production of perovskite on silicon heterojunction (HJT) tandem cells.

QMC licences quantum dot, thin film cell technology for Indian manufacture

Indian company Amtronics CC has paid Quantum Materials Corp an initial $500,000 as part of an agreement securing the right to manufacture quantum dots and thin-film quantum dot solar cells based on QMC technology for commercial supply in India. Construction has already started on a manufacturing facility in the state of Assam.

Californian solar output met 59% of demand at one point on Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, utility-scale solar output on California’s grid peaked at 10,745 MW – its highest level since last summer. More importantly, California is wringing greater flexibility out of its imports, meaning more renewables with less curtailment.

Smart meters set to disrupt the arch disrupter solar

In both Belgium and Chile, the planned mandatory installation of smart meters is raising concerns among consumers, residential PV system owners and the solar industry. Although seen as a positive, the early stages of smart meter deployment create issues related to the calculation of net metering tariffs and the management and ownership of consumption data, as well as additional costs for consumers.

Manufacturing

Making the connection

From modules and inverters down to the smallest components in a PV system, quality is an issue that needs to be kept firmly in mind. pv magazine spoke with Eric Ast, Head of Business Development at Stäubli Electrical Connectors, about pushing for education on quality in the smaller components and their management, as the company celebrates 20 years in the solar industry.

Innovation boosts lithium-ion battery recycling rate to over 80%

Finnish clean-energy company Fortum has achieved a lithium-ion battery recycling rate of over 80% — against a current rate of 50% — with a low-CO2 hydrometallurgical recycling process.

High-efficiency solar module upgrades from REC and Trina

REC Group has begun production of its residential N-Peak Black series, reaching up to 325 watts. Concurrently, Trina Solar has released four new modules within its Tallmax, Duomax, Duomax Twin and Honey series — some of which reach up to 415 watts.

Sunny prospects for the Netherlands

The exhibition halls of the Solar Solutions Int. trade fair near Amsterdam are full and visitors seem optimistic. And for good reason, as 2 GW of PV capacity could be built in the Netherlands this year — a solid 40% jump on last year’s installations.

Canadian Solar’s PV module shipments surpass 6.6 GW in 2018

Canadian Solar recorded net income of $237.1 million in 2018, from $99.6 million a year earlier, on annual PV module shipments of 6.62 GW.

Motech posts record $220.5m net loss in 2018

Motech Industries revealed this week that its annual net loss widened by 124.19% year on year to NT$6.795 billion ($220.5 million), marking its biggest yearly net loss ever.

Energy Storage

Featured

Why Shell’s acquisition of sonnen is a tipping point

Philipp Schröder, CEO CAPinside, former sonnen Managing Director

NEC ES completes 18 MW, 7.5 MWh storage project for EKZ in Switzerland

NEC Energy Solutions has finished installing an 18 MW, 7.5 MWh grid storage system (GSS) in Switzerland for Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich.

Volkswagen, Northvolt to set up battery research consortium

Automaker Volkswagen and Swedish lithium-ion battery producer Northvolt have announced plans to jointly form and lead a new organization, the European Battery Union (EBU), to conduct research on batteries used in transport and stationary energy storage applications.

Hydrogen home storage, refueling hub get financial shot into the arm

Toyota Australia will transform its former manufacturing site in West Melbourne into a renewable energy hub to produce green hydrogen with the help of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). In other hydrogen-related news, researchers at UNSW Sydney with partners H2Store have received a $3.5 million investment from Providence Asset Group to develop a hydrogen residential storage.

Canadian Solar CEO: Storage key to sustaining long-term, stable Australian PV market

Canadian Solar has been acquiring utility-scale projects and signing module supply and EPC deals at a rapid pace in recent months. Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar’s founder and CEO, would prefer the market to continue at a stable level, rather than boom and bust. And he argues that the dual role of module maker and developer delivers valuable insights into pricing and technology trends — giving the company an advantage over rivals. 

Lithium and cobalt prices down 30%; EV’s watershed moment looming?

Against the backdrop of soaring demand, commodity prices for lithium and cobalt have come down 30% since the beginning of the year. This could have a profound effect on the EV industry, bringing price parity in comparison with conventional vehicles much earlier than previously thought.

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