Top News

UAE minister and OPEC chief says IRENA’s solar forecasts for Gulf nations will prove conservative

With the International Renewable Energy Agency’s number-crunchers predicting almost 5.4 GW of new solar across the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations today, Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui said his nation alone would install 6-7 GW of new renewables capacity by 2024, as pv magazine editor-in-chief Jonathan Gifford reports.
Markets & Policy

American utility PG&E set to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company, founded 114 years ago, is filing for bankruptcy and may be broken up by regulators. None of which is good news for solar project owners holding contracts with the utility.
Markets & Policy

Investment funds scramble to acquire Indian giant’s 1 GW assets

Global Infra Partners, KKR, Brookfield, I Squared Capital and Macquarie are reported to be among those eyeing the renewable energy assets of debt riddled Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services.
Installations

SolarNow to bring off-grid PV to 17,500 more Ugandan homes

The domestic company has cleared a third debt funding facility of $9 million with Kenya-based SunFunder, responsAbility and Oikocredit. The credit means 2.5 MW of off-grid capacity, enough to bring energy to 70.000 people.
Markets & Policy

Statkraft plans its first floating solar plant in Albania

Norway’s state-owned hydropower and wind company intends to deploy a 2 MW floating installation at its 72 MW hydropower plant in Albania’s Elbasan district.
Installations

Solar stars at new-look Zayed Sustainability Awards

A Californian company which provides PV power to maternity clinics in the developing world was an award winner alongside British pay-as-you-go electricity provider BBOXX. And a school in Tajikistan which aims to go fully solar powered secured a cool $100...
Installations

EU issues £1.9 million grant to Britain for PV and energy efficiency

The UK cities of Bristol and Plymouth and the county of Devon will get £1.9 million to develop energy efficiency, sustainability, and clean energy projects. Bristol in 2014 received a £50 million grant to accelerate its plans to be carbon neutral by 20...
Technology

Webinar Q&A: “Are half-cut cell modules the future?”

Many manufacturers are converting large parts of their production capacities to half-cut cell technology. Is this a niche or will the traditional full cell module eventually disappear? The use of the new technology has clear advantages for manufacturers ...

Press Releases

Elettronica Santerno signs a contract for the supply of 60 MW in Jordan for 2 million euros

Elettronica Santerno signed a contract for supply of photovoltaic inverters to be installed in a 60 MW plant in Jordan, one of the largest of the region. Santerno will supply its central inverters TG1800 1500V, about € 2 million, in 2019.

3 Things to Consider When Buying Residential Inverters

With the development of PV technologies and the decrease of PV system costs, more people choose to install PV panels on their roofs to reduce electricity fees and enjoy green energy. As the heart of solar power systems, solar inverters play an important role in the entire system.

The Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center plans to supply 700 MW of PV off grid solar to its occupants

Solar Farms llc. , owned by one of majority owners of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center is developing and seeking buyers, developers, partners, investors, suppliers for the largest solar farm in the US, 1750 acres, 700MW off grid.

Growatt Receives Certification for the BDEW’s Medium Voltage Directive

Growatt has become one of the few Asian inverter brands to receive the certification in accordance with Medium Voltage Directive of the German Federal Association for Energy and Water (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft in German, BDEW).

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Financing Indigenous-partnered renewables in Alberta

Promoting the full inclusion of Indigenous peoples in Alberta’s renewable energy market is a key facet of the Alberta Climate Leadership Program. To achieve this, the Alberta Government has allocated CA$151 million, equating to around 2.8% of projected carbon levy revenues, to support Indigenous community participation in renewables over the next three years.

French PV project developers: Beware of protected species!

The regulations for protected species and the procedure to obtain a derogation are complex and should not be understated by solar PV project developers. The avoidance of the significant risks linked with those regulations requires technical and legal expertise, and support from the very beginning of the development of the project, write lawyers Anouk Darcet-Felfen and Laurence Duriez.

Revamping and repowering: The size of the opportunity

The concept of revamping and repowering is one of the newest terms in the solar industry. As the installed base of PV systems ages, the concept of upgrading and improving operating plants becomes increasingly relevant to both manufacturers and PV plant asset managers. However, the real market size for new PV components in existing plants will depend on the characteristics of each plant, the overall regulatory framework and the economic benefits that will accrue to asset managers.

Obscured policies in Taiwan’s FIT scheme to impact on sustainable development of local solar supply chain

The Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has announced a 10.17% decrease to next year’s feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for solar PV installations, which is much higher than the average decrease of 4.25% in the global PV industry. This will make 2019 a tough year for Taiwan’s PV industry, with wider-than-expected impacts on the whole market.

Positive signals from China boost 2019 forecasts

On November 2, China’s National Energy Administration held a symposium to evaluate the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan for solar PV development at its halfway point, discussing the adjustment of PV and thermal generation targets in the plan. As a result of this, there is renewed positivity regarding China’s domestic solar demand in 2019-2020.

A call to action

Solar PV has come a long way as a power generation technology. As highlighted in SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook for 2018 to 2022, solar added 98 GW of net generation capacity last year, eclipsing all other forms of electricity generation. But solar needs to do a lot more, and to do it very soon if we want to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and keep global warming to below 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Is the bottom in sight?

Judging merely by the prices over the past few weeks, the answer would seem to be an unequivocal no. But if you believe the voices of some manufacturers, then the end of the across-the-board slump in module prices is within reach. Once again, a shortage seems to be emerging, at least among some tier-1 manufacturers.

Balfar Solar wants to bring production of solar cells to Brazil

The Brazilian module maker expects to start construction of a factory in the state of Tocantins in the second half of the year. The project is receiving support from the local ministry of environment.

Morocco issues 200 MW PV tender

Through the procurement, now at the pre-qualification stage, Moroccan state-owned utility ONE aims to build seven large-scale PV plants in the south and east of the country. German development bank KfW is a partner in the project.

Another big solar PPA signed in Italy

Danish developer European Energy has secured a 12-year agreement from Axpo Italia, the local unit of Swiss energy provider Axpo. Around half the 300 MW of solar projects the company is developing in Italy are now ready to build.

Abu Dhabi lends $23m for solar, Mauritius to get 10 MW of PV rooftops

Togo, Mauritius and Guyana will all receive backing for solar projects in the latest round of funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development-IRENA Project Facility.

UK government opens consultation on large scale PV-plus-storage rules

In the U.K., systems bigger than 50 MW fall under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime and require special permitting. With the aim of optimizing the market for higher storage penetration, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is holding a consultation until March 25 to determine whether to retain the 50 MW threshold.

Installations

Featured

Staying afloat, whatever the weather

From a little known niche just a few years ago, floating solar has quickly grown to more than 1 GW of installed capacity worldwide, and a source of great hope for the industry’s future, particularly in countries where space for solar is at a premium. pv magazine spoke with experts from leading floating PV test centers in Singapore and the Netherlands to outline the challenges still faced by floating PV as the technology moves towards major growth.

Planned 5 GW Indian solar plant will be ‘the world’s largest’

Known as the “roof of the world,” the scenic Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir could soon host the world’s largest single-location PV plant.

BBOXX secures $31m investment – as well as a top eco prize

Topping off a great week for the British next generation utility platform, BBOXX won the Zayed Energy Prize after receiving funding from the Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers fund to speed up roll out of its platform in Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bahrain launches 100 MW PV tender

The large-scale IPP project will be developed at a landfill site. The plant is part of the kingdom’s plan to deploy 255 MW of solar by 2025.

Turkey scraps 1 GW solar tender

The procurement exercise, intended for the deployment of large-scale projects across three locations, was to have been held on January 29. The tender will be re-issued this year – and it may include storage.

Greece adds just 41 MW of solar in 2018

The amount of new PV added by Greece in 2018 is tiny but signals the sector has been restarted, mainly thanks to renewable energy tenders. However, significant challenges remain when it comes to meeting a 2020 solar energy target.

Technology

Featured

Flashing key for bifacial value

As new cell and module concepts move into large-scale production, and efficiencies are pushed ever higher, manufacturers of flash testing equipment must innovate to ensure their tools can provide reliable measurements, and cope with ever expanding production throughput. The expansion of bifacial technology beyond niche applications in particular raises new issues for flash testing standards. pv magazine spoke with several flasher manufacturers to shed light on the latest developments in this segment.

PV rooftop simulators may unlock solar growth in developing cities

IRENA says technologies for 3D rooftop footprint generation and solar irradiation modelling are becoming increasingly cheap, making them suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. Developing cities across Africa and Asia could access such technical resources to plan rooftop PV development.

US will see more than 8 GW of solar come online this year

With 4.3 GW of utility-scale solar and 3.9 of distributed generation predicted, the figures collated from federal sources don’t take account of the huge capacity of solar projects waiting in the interconnection queues of seven grid operators.

IRENA: Energy transition will see geopolitical “winners and losers”

The International Renewable Energy Agency has plotted the potentially dramatic impacts of a global transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels. Today’s A New World report notes the transition requires international cooperation to manage disruption, as it will leave behind countries and industries that fail to adapt.

UK researchers say transport layers with low permittivity and doping make perovskite solar cells more stable

Scientists are seeking to push ion migration to areas of perovskite-based solar cells where more electric charge can be extracted.

Fraunhofer IKTS unveils alternative for PV home storage based on sodium-nickel-chloride

At a storage fair in Dusseldorf, researchers will present a ceramic high-temperature battery. Storage costs using sodium-nickel-chloride battery cells are said to be 50% lower than those of lithium-ion.

Manufacturing

Featured

A route to repowering for inverters

While the replacement of modules in aging PV systems with new, higher efficiency technologies has proved profitable for many projects in Europe, the route to improvements on the inverter side has been less clear. Greentech’s IPG Efficiency Kit, writes Ingo Rehmann, Founder and Managing Partner of greentech, offers a significant yield increase and further benefits for inverters of the Conergy IPG K series.

SMIT Thermal Solutions secures a big order from China

The Dutch PV equipment provider will supply 15 vacuum coating systems for a planned 500 MW production capacity of cadmium telluride thin film modules. The value of the contract is more than €40 million.

Glass business Sunpartner Technologies files for insolvency

French BIPV glass manufacturer Sunpartner is seeking buyers for its two businesses after starting insolvency proceedings due to the lack of short-term funding.

Astronergy will halt module production in Germany

The German subsidiary of the Chinese Chint Group will be restructured. The German site will in future focus on marketing and sales as well as areas such as customer care, logistics, customs clearance and other business-related services for European and global customers. More than 200 of the 230 employees will lose their jobs when production stops.

Hanergy tops list of top Chinese listed companies active in solar

The thin-film manufacturer, developer and maker of the Humbrella, HanTile and HanWall made 78th position in a ranking of China’s Top 500 companies, an improvement on last year’s 91st place, to lead the six solar-linked businesses on the list.

Analysts expect stable prices along the PV value chain

Energy trend and PV Info Link assume little movement in prices for silicon, wafers, solar cells and modules in the coming weeks. The capacity adjustments of solar manufacturers, however, are set to continue.

Energy Storage

Featured

Stepping out of the dark…

With a take-up in distributed energy resources and the imperative to render the energy system of tomorrow in a decentralized fashion, energy regulators might be in for a surprise when they try to determine the true capacity and location of residential storage systems. Getting the numbers right is inevitable, but also surprisingly complex.

Volkswagen is all set to become a green energy supplier

The German car giant has created Elli, a subsidiary that will provide green power and charging solutions for the EV sector. Volkswagen – still haunted by the diesel emissions scandal – says it wants to make mobility sustainable.

World Bank injects $100 million to support solar in Pakistan

The funds will be used to implement the Sindh Solar Energy Project, a scheme aimed at increasing solar power generation and access to electricity in Sindh province.

Canadian-UK funding for pilot smart grid solutions

A competition backed by public funding from the governments of the two nations is seeking proposals for projects that will help electricity grids transition to clean and flexible energy.

Industry offers cautious welcome as UK government guarantees export payments after all

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has proposed a replacement for the flat rate FIT payment regime that is hard to argue with, as it is linked to the actual amount of electricity exported back into the grid.

Tesla begins construction of GW factory in China

The US electric car maker wants to start production of its Model 3 in the Chinese factory. Next year, according to high-profile CEO Elon Musk, mass production of electric cars will start there.

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