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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.
Markets & Policy

JinkoSolar shipped 11.4 GW of modules in 2018

Chinese module manufacturing giant JinkoSolar today published its financial results for the full year 2018. While the company achieved an impressive 16% growth in shipments over the previous year, its total revenue took a 5.4% hit compared to 2017, thank...
Installations

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.
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Markets & Policy

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 ...
Energy Storage

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.
Installations

Malaysia mulls P2P energy trading and renewable energy certificates

Giving an update on the country's renewable energy future, Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said that the government is looking into P2P energy trading schemes and virtual net metering to expand solar uptake. On the residential side, a recent g...
Installations

Victoria to require installers to sign CEC’s Code of Conduct for Solar Homes

The Victorian government is giving smaller solar installers eight months to sign up to the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct if they want to qualify for the Solar Homes program. For larger retailers, the deadline to become Approved ...
Manufacturing

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.

Press Releases

Ginlong lists on Shenzhen Stock Exchange

Ningbo Ginlong Technologies Co Ltd “Ginlong (Solis)” celebrated their listing ceremony this week at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and received stock code "300763". Ginlong (Solis) issued 20 million shares at a price of 26.

Suntech Won A Bifacial Module Project and Opened A New Era of the PV Industry in Britain

Suntech has signed a supply agreement with GRIDSERVE recently for a total of 37. 4MW to build a solar power station using bifacial modules in Warrington UK, the project of which will all adopt bifacial modules, P-type, monocrystalline Perc, manufactured by Suntech, who will start supplying for the biggest bifacial modules power station in Europe from June.

Gold Award of Utility Solar Conferred Upon Phono Solar at Nepal Solar Week

March 2019, Nepal Solar Week, the most influential and largest solar energy forum in Nepal, was recently held in Kathmandu. Over 100 government authorities, project developers, investors, equipment manufacturers, engineers and financing specialists gathered to discuss key topics in the solar industry, including the rapidly evolving Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) business model, project financing, and the rapidly changing solar regulations and standards.

Trina Solar: four new series of modules launched, unleashes a new era of mass-produced high-output modules

Trina Solar annouced four new series of modules at its HQ of Changzhou, China this Thursday. The maximal output of new series of modules reached 415 watt (415W) in mass production.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

Developing an energy sector vision in Andhra Pradesh – IEEFA India

Situated in south-east India, the state of Andhra Pradesh is a leading producer of renewable energy with 7.2 GW of installed capacity as of December 2018. The state’s share of renewable energy as part of total capacity has trebled in the last four years from 11% in 2014 to 30% in 2018.

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.

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.

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.

Fossil fuel financing on upward trajectory with trillions invested since 2015

While some lenders and financiers have signaled plans to stop funding polluting power stations, a new report shows that 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing the fossil fuel industry as a whole since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Big U.S. banks led by JPMorgan have invested most heavily.

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.

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.

ADB offers $50m to Avaada to push PV in India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revealed plans to invest $50 million to help New Delhi-based renewables developer Avaada to quickly deploy solar throughout India.

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.

$200 million fund seeks C&I and small scale utility solar projects

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has invested $200 million in a new distributed solar company — Madison Energy Investments — focused on ground-mount, rooftop and carport projects ranging from 500 kw to 20 MW.

ADB, LEAP to back 15 MW in Mongolia with $18.7m loan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) have agreed to provide an $18.7 million loan to support the development of a 15 MW solar project in Mongolia.

Spanish utility Audax signs up for another 300 MW of solar power

The power company has reportedly moved to expand its Iberian solar portfolio to a huge 1.7 GW with the latest deal, signed with Trina Solar and related to projects planned for the south and east of Spain.

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.

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.

Meyer Burger joins the fray over Hanwha patent infringement claims

The Swiss solar equipment maker has endorsed a claim by Chinese solar manufacturer Longi that the technology it uses differs from that at the center of Hanwha Q Cells’ patent infringement complaints.

Smart electrification 36% cheaper than green hydrogen in Europe

A report commissioned by the European Climate Foundation suggests a fossil fuel-free energy system in Europe by 2050 should largely rely on smart electrification and energy efficiency. Green hydrogen deployment, the report finds, would require prohibitively expensive infrastructure investment.

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.

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.

Meyer Burger contract announcement emphasizes difference from Hanwha passivation tech

With the legal squabble between Hanwha Q Cells and three rival solar manufacturers now encompassing three countries, equipment supplier Meyer Burger saw fit to refer to the dispute in its latest announcement of an Asian contract win.

Shunfeng forecasts $255m loss for 2018

Shunfeng International Clean Energy expects its annual losses to have widened to around $255 million last year, up from $125 million in the preceding 12-month period.

Oxford PV raises $41m to commercialize perovskite tech

Just three months after revealing that it had achieved a 28% conversion efficiency with its perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells, Oxford PV has closed the initial portion of a Series D funding round aimed at bringing its core technologies to market.

Rise of bifacial lifts profits for the world’s tracker companies

Things are hotting up in the tracker world as the desire to squeeze down the price per Watt of solar power intensifies. And the rise of the trackers is attracting some well-known businesses to buy their way into the field.

Energy Storage

Featured

Why Shell’s acquisition of sonnen is a tipping point

Philipp Schröder, CEO CAPinside, former sonnen Managing Director

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.

Batteries stacking up in anticipation of Australia’s May election

Analysis released today by independent energy and consulting firm, Rystad Energy shows an incredible reserve of energy storage has been added to Australia’s ongoing boom in solar and wind projects during the first two months of 2019 — confidence, perhaps, that an energy-transition policy will finally triumph at the Federal polls!

Ikea tests rooftop PV and blockchain on miniature wooden village

The Solarville project, by Ikea’s Danish research and design laboratory, has seen the participation of blockchain companies such as Bloc, Blocktech, WeMoveIdeas India and Temporal. It was conceived to help create cooperative community micro-grids to enable homeowners to become clean energy traders.

The blockchain club

Open-source blockchain platform Energy Web Foundation has revealed the number of its affiliates has risen from 37 to 100 in recent months. New members include EnBW, Total and a unit of the State Grid Corporation of China. The platform was conceived to create an energy-blockchain ecosystem and to accelerate the energy transition.

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