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UAE says Mohammed bin Rashid solar park is powering aluminum production

A press release issued by utility DEWA and the state-owned metal manufacturer today implied production of solar-powered aluminum is already taking place.
Manufacturing

Tesla launches solar inverter

The EV manufacturer with big solar ambitions has finally leveraged its expertise in power electronics technology and launched a solar inverter.
Installations

EU cash will fund solar lights for fishers

The Electrification Financing Initiative has announced it will award €1.5 million each to two French firms and a Tanzanian business operating in Benin, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo, Burkina Faso and Senegal.
Announcements

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Covid-19

Solar generated EU record 7 TWh during third quarter of 2020

European renewables, including Spanish solar, made big gains as energy demand recovered before the second wave of Covid infections. Nuclear was a notable loser, in part because clean energy volumes in the north of the continent drove down power prices su...
Markets & Policy

The case for floating PV on hydroelectric facilities

A study has analyzed the technical and financial feasibility of floating solar at hydro power plants. The report concludes floating PV reduces evaporation from hydropower reservoirs and the water saved can be used to generate more electricity.
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Markets & Policy

Japan PV auctions not a failure, says IRENA

Land scarcity and grid congestion are the main reasons for unexpectedly low capacity allocations in Japan’s five PV auctions between 2017 and January 2020. However, the auction outcomes should not be seen as disappointing, as the average final prices w...
Manufacturing

Pulsating spray cooling system for PV modules

Iranian scientists have assessed a new active approach for solar module cooling based on water spraying. Water sprayed from different angles can reduce the operating temperature of PV modules, with limited water consumption. However, the team noted that ...
Energy Storage

New phased microgrid approach for industrial-estate development

Peel Renewable Energy is about to energize a 1.2 MW solar farm in Australia, as part of a fresh approach to microgrids. Infrastructure remains small, but the renewables-powered microgrid can grow to meet the needs of incoming businesses.

Press Releases

UK solar industry body adopts new name

The UK’s solar industry body has today unveiled a comprehensive rebrand, including a new name and website and an annual impact report to demonstrate the value it has driven for its members. After 41 years the Solar Trade Association has rebranded as Solar Energy UK

MWT: The Most Efficient Best Back-Contact Solution for PV

As the entire world heading for carbon neutralization to combat the grievous global warming, photovoltaic utilization is becoming more and more popular to make construction greener, or even its own carbon neutral. Different from conventional ground-mounted PV plant, modules used either attached to building (Building Attached PV, BAPV) or integrated in building (Building Integrated PV, […]

Trina Solar first PV manufacturer to obtain a dual Environmental Protection Certification

Trina Solar has recently obtained dual “Environmental Product Declaration” (EPD) certifications from UL, the global independent safety science certification institute, and EPDItaly, which is the first UL and EPDItaly mutually recognized EPD in photovoltaic industry, proving the Company’s environmental performance and sustainability. The recognition ceremony was held on Jan, 13rd in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Asunim Turkey delivered a 31.15 MWp project in 4 months

Asunim Turkey finalised the provisional acceptance of the licensed Küçükköy PV system with a power of 31. 15 MWp in Antalya Province for ANTGES Power Generation.

Opinion & Analysis

Guggenheim Solar Index: More to come in ‘21

With the wholesale transformation of the power industry from the inside out and other energy transition mega-trends, capital will continue to flow into renewables from ESG, energy funds, and retail, writes ROTH Capital Analyst Jesse Pichel. Look for a greater mix of unsubsidized economic solar projects to support improving revenue visibility, increasing earnings quality, and multiple expansions.

Solar set to shine in a post-pandemic world

The world is still combating Covid-19, with Europe now impacted by a second wave of the virus. While the market reported delays for a few projects, the impacts on the PV sector remain unclear. But if the world fails to curb the Covid-19’s spread, governments may be forced to reintroduce strict measures, thereby sapping PV demand. PV InfoLink’s Mars Chang expects module demand to hit 126 GW by the end of this year.

What is the UK government’s problem with solar?

You’ll need to pay close attention to find the few mentions of solar in the long-awaited White Paper issued by the government to outline how it plans to hit net zero by mid century.

Acquisition activity in Europe remains heated

The European solar market saw around 11 GW of projects, and pipelines change hands in 2019. The positive trend is expected to last, as investors remain optimistic about the future of the industry. Project acquisition activity is seen as a key indicator of financial health in many sectors, including the PV market. It reflects optimism among investors and points to a particularly high degree of liquidity, writes IHS Markit analyst Martina Assereto.

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.

Covid-19

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Renewables cheaper than fossil fuel plants by 2030

A report by McKinsey & Company reinforces the widely-held view renewables will supplant fossil fuels in the energy system but also joins the chorus of voices warning the world is on track to fall well short of limiting global temperature rises this century to 1.5C.

Indian reliance on polycrystalline tech production leaves it trailing China

Polycrystalline PV technology, which is seeing its market share tumble on the global stage, still dominates India’s small solar manufacturing base and is emblematic of the R&D shortfalls in the sector, according to a survey of the state of the industry.

Tracking rooftop solar trends in India

Simarpreet Singh, director at EPC firm Hartek Group, speaks to pv magazine about the impact of the Covid pandemic on India’s rooftop solar sector, technology trends shaping the market, and the outlook for 2021.

African Development Bank opens $50-60m pot for off-grid solar Covid recovery

The development lender has established a Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform with impact investors from the Netherlands, U.S. and U.K., to offer affordable loans to off-grid solar companies operating in Africa.

Finnish solar manufacturer finally starts production in Vilnius

Valoe completed the 15-month purchase process of a 60 MW cell production line from Solitek in the spring and installed interdigitated back-contact production equipment. It hopes to begin deliveries in the next quarter.

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.

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.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: New planned IPO and more solar glass deals

Huawei has strengthened its technology partnership with Chint, while TBEA is planning an IPO for its polysilicon unit Xinte Energy. Furthermore, glass manufacturers keep acting to overcome current bottleneck.

Metal producer disconnects solar plant from grid, trial started in Ukraine

Kyiv’s Commercial Court has begun hearing a case that could be of interest to solar developers with a stake in Ukraine’s solar sector, or those looking to buy into the country’s energy market. For nearly a year the grid connection of a solar plant had been capped by an adjacent metal producer. The legal proceedings could prove a test for Ukraine’s suitality to provide sufficient investor protection, the plaintiff stated ahead of the trial.

A 19.5% efficient solar tile with five-busbar technology

The tile has a power output of 45 W, an open circuit voltage of 5.63 V and a short-circuit current of 10.12. The product costs $1.38/W and has a 25-year performance guarantee

Complementary hybrid PV systems can reduce reliance on storage

Looking back over years of research into the topic of hybrid systems based on different combinations of solar, wind, hydro and other renewables, an international group of scientists found strong potential for strategies to exploit complementarity between the different sources integrate more intermittent renewables onto regional and national grids. The scientists present a series of conclusions and recommendations that aim to push research in hybrid renewables forward.

Peeking into 2021: Green bonds to reach US$500 billion per year, solar on track to outrank oil and gas

Global management consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has issued a general economic prediction for 2021. Aside from some general notes on GDP recovery post-Covid, the analysts’ notes were heavily focussed on climate and energy finance and policy.

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.

North Macedonia announces 60 MW solar tender

The procurement exercise has been planned for the first quarter of the year.

What happens to floating PV when the water surface freezes?

What happens to a floating PV system located in cold climates during freezing temperatures? How is the plant handled and which kind of risks could be associated with these unfavorable climatic conditions? We have sought to answer these questions with the help of Kane Wang, manager of Sungrow Floating’s system solution department.

‘SolarEV City’ concept can cut both costs and emissions

Scientists applied a model where rooftop PV and electric vehicle batteries are integrated into the energy system of nine Japanese cities. Their findings suggests that such a system could meet more than half of every city’s total energy demand by 2030, and as much as 95% in some cases. The model also reveals opportunities to cut both pollution and energy costs for urban populations in Japan.

Offshore hydrogen production powered by floating PV

Spain’s Repsol will develop a €4.5 million ($5.5 million) pilot project to produce green hydrogen with floating PV for the Santander Port Authority. It will be completed in December 2023.

India launches tender for deployment of 317,975 solar pumps

The tender was launched by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an energy service company owned by the government of India.

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.

New manufacturing method for kesterite solar cells

German scientists have designed a manufacturing process to reduce the thickness of the molybdenum diselenide interface layer in kesterite solar cells. They used two different configurations of silicon-oxynitride diffusion-barrier layers.

Transparent PV-based greenhouse takes shape in Australia

Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has commenced installation of its transparent solar PV glazing panels at what will be the world’s first clear solar glass greenhouse.

Germanium-based solar cell tech for agrivoltaics

German scientists have fabricated an enhanced amorphous germanium PV cell that confines light in an ultra-thin absorber. It has the potential to combine PV with photosynthesis in new solar applications on bio-reactors, greenhouses, and agricultural land.

Fraunhofer ISE develops technique to produce glowing colored solar modules

The German research institute has proposed a technique based on the surface structure of the wings of the morpho butterfly to produce colored BIPV panels for facades and rooftops. The process is claimed to make it possible to color the modules with an optical effect and not with color pigments, which reduce their efficiency.

Bifacial perovskite-silicon tandem cell with 25.2% efficiency

International researchers have developed a silicon heterojunction PV cell with textured surfaces to accommodate the perovskite top cell. They optimized the rear transparent electrode to collect as much albedo as possible and achieved five different perovskite bandgaps by altering the iodide-to-bromide ratio in the perovskites, resulting in a higher open-circuit voltage.

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.

Bangladesh mandates 2% of loans issued must be for green projects

Some 15% of the finance disbursed must fit the wider definition of being ‘sustainable’ and banks and other lenders have been warned penalties will be applied for non compliance.

Longi says appeal hearing for patent litigation with Hanwha Q-Cells is planned for April

In the first instance, the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany ruled in favor of Hanwha Q-Cells, but Longi Solar has appealed the judgment. There is also still a struggle for the validity of the patent between the photovoltaic companies at the European Patent Office. In addition to Longi Solar, REC is also reporting another partial success in the legal dispute with the South Korean photovoltaic manufacturer.

Anti-soiling nanocoating for large-scale PV

Dutch company Rads Global Business has developed an anti-soiling coating for solar PV modules that is claimed to reduce cleaning cost by around 60%. The anti-reflective and anti-corrosive coating is also said to mitigate potential-induced degradation (PID).

Stretchable CPV module with 15.4% efficiency

Japanese scientists have fabricated a prototype CPV panel that could be applied on spherical surfaces with a curvature radius of 100 mm, and under outdoor one-sun irradiation. The module is based on a silicone concentrator lens, a thermoplastic polyurethane sheet, and a rigid III–V triple-junction solar cell.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Jinko begins work on 20 GW cell factory

The solar cell manufacturing facility, located in China’s Yunnan Province, is expected to raise Jinko’s cell capacity to 30 GW by the end of 2021.

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.

Total, Hanwha Group to build 1.6 GW of solar, storage in US market

French energy giant Total called the 50:50 joint venture a “first significant step” into the U.S. utility-scale solar market.

Engie, Total plan 40 MW solar-powered electrolyzer

The two French energy giants have announced a partnership agreement to develop, build and operate the Masshylia project – a 40 MW electrolyzer coupled with solar parks at the Total biorefinery in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur.

Canada Infrastructure Bank unveils plan for 250 MW/1,000 MWh storage project

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Oneida Energy Storage LP, a joint venture between NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp., have signed a memorandum of understanding for the Oneida Energy Storage project in Ontario.

Seawater aqueous battery based on alloy of zinc and manganese

Scientists in the United States developed a new anode for aqueous batteries. A working battery utilizing this anode, with seawater as an electrolyte, demonstrated impressive energy density, and remained stable after 1,000 hours of high current cycling. The group is already discussing the potential of their approach in large-scale manufacturing.

Australia wants to certify green hydrogen with German expertise

The Australian Smart Energy Council and Deutsche Energie-Agentur will work together to develop a scheme to certify renewable hydrogen and carbon-neutral power fuels.

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