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US solar module imports fall 27% in Q3

The largest single-quarter drop in three years comes as the American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention propose greater tariffs against Asian-imported modules.
Markets & Policy

Poly and wafer price rises helped GCL with debt pile, seven-months-overdue figures indicate

The polysilicon manufacturer and solar project developer has finally managed to publish the annual figures for 2020 and appears to be placing a lot of faith in its less-energy-intensive granular silicon product. In the meantime, though, another debt repa...
Energy Storage

Compressed-air storage for commercial applications

Israel-based Augwind has built its first 250 kW/1 MWh compressed air storage system for the collective community of Yahel, in the southern, desert part of the country. The commercial scale facility will be connected to a PV system and will be used for be...
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Installations

Faster permitting crucial to help Italy add 70 GW of renewables this decade

In a chat with pv magazine at the Key Energy event in Rimini, Roberta Valenziani, of Italian trade body Elettricità Futura, explained the factors preventing Italy's PV market from having a renaissance. She said the country has Europe's lon...
Technology

TotalEnergies commissions vertical agrivoltaic demonstrator in northeastern France

The 240 kW facility was built with the support of German mounting system provider Next2Sun.
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Markets & Policy

Denmark gets no bid in third renewables tender

The Danish Energy Agency said it will now begin talks with the renewable energy industry to analyze the tender's disappointing result and to evaluate if more tenders of this kind should be held, starting from next year.
Manufacturing

Perovskite solar cell with improved stability via graphite electrode

The solar cell was built on a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate coated with titanium dioxide, an electron selective layer made of mesoporous titanium dioxide, a zirconium dioxide insulating spacer layer, and a graphite electrode. A mini-module fabricate...
Markets & Policy

India added 8.8 GW of solar in first nine months of 2021

The country is expected to reach 14 GW of newly installed PV capacity this year. Of this power, around 11 GW should come from utility scale projects and 3 GW from distributed generation.

Press Releases

500 KG Containerized Hydrogen Refueling Station, A Milestone in the Hydrogen Energy Industry

With the rapid development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicle industries, the increase of public awareness of environmental protection, and the conscious guidance of governments and institutions, the preparation, transportation, and storage of hydrogen energy have become the focus of the world’s attention in the recent years. Meanwhile, the demand for hydrogen refueling facilities […]

Powertis obtains 99 MW in the Colombian renewable auction

Powertis, a Spanish company dedicated to the development of solar photovoltaic projects that belongs to Soltec Power Holdings, has been awarded with 99 MW in Colombia as part of the renewable energy auction organized by the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy on October 26.

SolarPower Europe and Google launch #SolarWorks campaign, shining a light on growing solar job opportunities in Europe

Solar power is set to become Europe’s main source of energy before the end of the decade. Solar is one of the most job-creating energy technologies and could create 4 million jobs across Europe by 2050.

Promoting skill development in solar pumps

SwitchON Foundation has launched a Basic Solar Water Pump Training with 180 participants. The training is being conducted on e-platform and has participants from all over the country.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

What’s next for polysilicon?

The past 12 months have proved profitable for polysilicon manufacturers, as selling prices have soared to levels not seen since 2011. However, with major new capacity expansions on the horizon from most of the leading manufacturers, and new players planning to enter the scene, the market balance looks set to shift. Exawatt’s Alex Barrows rounds up where the industry stands and what might happen next.

Will China’s ‘double carbon’ and ‘dual control’ policies drive demand for solar?

Factories suffering from rationed grid electricity could help drive a boom in on-site solar systems, and recent moves to mandate the retrofitting of PV on existing buildings could also lift the market, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.

Prioritizing electrification

The urgency to decarbonize the building sector has caught global attention in the lead-up to the COP26 summit, commencing on Oct. 31. Wood Mackenzie’s Ben Hertz-Shargel says that success will require a two-pronged strategy of massively electrifying building heat over the coming decade, while also investing in technologies that can pick up future heating demand if the grid cannot handle it.

China’s emission-reduction action squeezes PV production

Industrial shutdowns and reduced factory production capacity levels indicate the companies producing the raw materials used by solar manufacturers are being afflicted by electricity consumption measures just as other sectors are. It is not clear whether the solar industry will be afforded any favors by Beijing, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.

More sun for everyone

It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing, says Mark Byrne of Australia’s Total Environment Centre. Or rather, it’s possible that there is too much rooftop PV at some times in some places. As a result, a range of critical reforms – including the introduction of export tariffs to pay for upgrades of the electricity distribution network – are necessary to allow for the uninhibited growth of solar in the future, he argues.

Nigeria’s solar workforce can help the world to net zero

With a rising chorus of voices calling for more solar industry recruits to perform the energy transition, Nigeria already has a skilled base of PV engineers and, with a little help filling the few gaps they have in their knowledge, the nation can step into the breach immediately, as Testimony Gabe-Oji, chief technology officer for Abuja-based installer Green Energy Spectrum, explains.

Covid-19

Featured

Solar job numbers kept on rising in 2020

The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition's employment benefits are to be shared equally.

Module and shipping cost inflation could cost the world 50 GW of solar next year

The input costs of the two biggest contributors to solar plant development expense have gone through the roof since the world began to come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, to leave project developers with some difficult choices.

EU raises another €9bn for Covid recovery

The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.

Is it time for the world to start thinking about 1.7C?

A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.

EU to start auctioning green bonds next month

An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.

International group offers $68m loans for struggling off-grid clean energy distributors

‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Reshaping the climate conversation

Inventor, serial entrepreneur, energy analyst and scientist Saul Griffith is set to add the title of “author” to his collection with the October publication of his new book, “Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future.” Griffith – the CEO of Otherlab and the founder of Rewiring America and Rewiring Australia – says that the discussion of rapid decarbonization can be reimagined by thinking about the electric “machines” that can be installed in our homes.

Colombia’s renewables auction assigns 796 MW of solar at average price of $0.041/kWh

Among the selected developers were EDF, Canadian Solar, Solarpack, Enel and Celsia. The final average price for the PV technology was significantly higher than that of the previous procurement exercise.

Taxes set to push up solar energy tariffs in India

The recent increase in the goods and services tax applied to solar cells and modules, from 5% to 12%, coupled with a planned 40% customs duty on panel imports, is set to increase project costs for developers.

‘Italy can be a laboratory for agrivoltaics’

Efforts are being made to come up with a less convoluted approach to planning farm-based solar systems, in the only EU member state which explicitly apportioned funds for agrivoltaics in its post-Covid spending plans.

Polish distributor launches 250 MW module procurement in response to rising solar panel prices

Menlo Electric said the procured modules will be primarily offered to B2C and B2B installers across Central Europe.

Australian hydrogen ship maker to develop 2.8 GW green facility

Compressed hydrogen ship maker Global Energy Ventures will develop a 2.8 GW green hydrogen export project on the Tiwi Islands, off the coast of the Northern Territory. It says the project will demonstrate the simplicity and efficiency of compressed hydrogen for Asia-Pacific supply chains, and will of course use a fleet of its own hydrogen-powered and hydrogen carrying 430-tonne ships.

Installations

Featured

Out of landfill, back in the stream

With technological progress, falling costs, and favorable subsidies all incentivizing Australian households to replace serviceable modules and upgrade their rooftop array, a stockpile of useable second-hand modules is mounting. But efforts to embrace reuse rather than refuse are taking shape.

Dragon scale solar tiles installed on Google buildings in Silicon Valley

Some 90,000 individual solar panels will generate enough electricity to cover around 40% of the electricity used in two buildings for Google.

Colombia’s largest PV plant comes online

The 61 MW solar facility is owned by Colombian oil company Ecopetrol.

The Hydrogen Stream: Saudi Arabia bets on blue hydrogen, Denmark wants to improve green alkaline electrolysis

Elsewhere, Snam and Toyota are pushing for more hydrogen-based mobility in Italy, and Woodside Petroleum wants to establish an export-oriented hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Australia.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Government confirms plan to install 1.2 TW of renewables by 2030

Elsewhere, cell maker Aikosolar has announced two major wafer purchase agreements with manufacturers Shuangliang and Shangji, and Zhonghuan Semiconductor has reported solid financials for the third quarter.

Russia launches major solar plant in Siberia

A $40 million solar field which will double the generation capacity of the Omsk region is planned to start generating in December as part of the national government’s clean air ambitions.

Technology

Featured

A messy perovskite separation

There are increasing signs that a new era for PV production in Europe may be dawning. However, two pioneers of PV technology have decided, at this moment, to part ways. And while at present there are more questions than answers, technology and business strategy both appear to have played a role.

Synthetic inertia put to test with big battery registered in Australia

From pv magazine Australia Lumea, the commercial arm of AustralianMega transmission network operator TransGrid, said commissioning of the $61.9 million Wallgrove Grid Battery has begun after it achieved registration with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) earlier this week. The 50 MW/75 MWh lithium-ion battery has been installed adjacent to Transgrid’s Wallgrove substation in Western […]

Gravity-based energy storage tower developer notches a customer order

From pv magazine USA The gravity-based energy storage tower developed by Energy Vault has reached commercialization, with the company signing an agreement with DG Fuels to supply 1.6 GWh of energy storage. The tower will be charged with solar photovoltaic energy. The dispatched storage will support the creation of renewable hydrogen, biogenic based, synthetic aviation […]

Hydrogen power generator for isolated areas, construction sites, events

Developed by French start-up EODev, the 100 kVa system is equipped with fuel cells manufactured by Toyota. The generator has a power of 110 kVA and its lifetime is guaranteed for 15,000 hours.

New flow battery from the United States

Developed by Honeywell, the flow battery is currently being tested by U.S. utility Duke Energy. The battery can reach a storage capacity of 12 MWh and be used through a modular approach in large scale renewable energy projects.

Japanese scientists build 23.27%-efficient heterojunction solar cell with 56.2μm-thick wafer

The 4cm2 cell showed a remarkable open-circuit voltage of 754 mV. It was fabricated with a hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) layer, which is said to show lower parasitic absorption and higher external quantum efficiency.

Manufacturing

Featured

What’s next for polysilicon?

The past 12 months have proved profitable for polysilicon manufacturers, as selling prices have soared to levels not seen since 2011. However, with major new capacity expansions on the horizon from most of the leading manufacturers, and new players planning to enter the scene, the market balance looks set to shift. Exawatt’s Alex Barrows rounds up where the industry stands and what might happen next.

Solaria announces initial favorable ruling in patent dispute with Canadian Solar

According to a statement released by the Californian manufacturer, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an initial determination finding that Canadian Solar may have violated two U.S. patents covering Solaria’s shingled photovoltaic panels.

Large format modules present a new set of challenges

As modules change in size and form factor, ripple effects are felt across the entire solar industry, requiring tweaks, modifications, and outright changes to longstanding project development and construction practices.

GCL has no record of performing due diligence on lender which walked away with $120m of its stock

An investigation into internal controls at the polysilicon maker found the company permitted deals to be signed off solely on paper in certain circumstances and also unearthed no evidence anyone had done their homework before handing over 865 million shares to secure a loan which, GCL says, never materialized in full.

Retractable PV awning for recreational vehicles

The 1.2 kW solar awning can be retracted automatically in the event of adverse weather conditions. The patented technology, developed by Xponent Power, may enable a wide range of additional applications such as for use by the military, for emergency relief, and residential power.

Four winning bidders in India’s gigawatt-scale solar manufacturing tender

Jindal India Solar Energy, Shirdi Sai Electricals, Reliance New Energy Solar, and Adani Infrastructure will each have half of their planned 4 GW annual production of polysilicon-to-module output subsidized by public funds.

Energy Storage

Featured

Moorabool burning

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on July 30, 150 firefighters responded to a fire at Neoen’s 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery in Moorabool, which is due for completion this year. The fire crews arrived to a 13-ton lithium battery ablaze in a shipping container, and the fire wasn’t brought under control until three days later, on the afternoon of Aug. 2. With a widescale investigation now underway, pv magazine asks how such failures can be prevented, and whether we should be better prepared for the inevitability of battery failure.

Converting coal mines into gravity-based renewable energy storage facilities

U.K.-based Gravitricity is planning to deploy its gravity-based energy storage solution at a decommissioned coal mine in Czechia. The project is part of a plan to commence a full-scale, 4-8 MW prototype scheme in disused mines next year.

Nigeria franchising out sections of power distribution network

The move will encourage private sector renewables companies to be part of the national energy industry, a representative of the regulator told a recent webinar which considered how to accelerate clean energy roll-out in Africa.

Microgrid-forming PV microinverter from Enphase

The 97%-efficient device is said to be the most powerful PV microinverter developed by the company to date and is capable of forming a microgrid during a power outage. The U.S. manufacturer expects to ship the first products in December.

Italy reaches 252 MW/405 MWh of distributed energy storage capacity

The country added 60MW/106 MWh in the first half of the year. Energy storage continues to grow with the region of Lombardy and Veneto being the two largest contributors.

Morocco + green hydrogen could be at heart of sustainable shipping revolution

With green hydrogen needed to produce the ‘e-ammonia’ required for carbon-free vessels, new clean power generation capacity and potential solar power hotspots near international shipping lanes will be crucial.

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