Top News

The weekend read: China’s 31/5 malaise

While recent signs from the Chinese administration, including the National Energy Administration, are that the PV sector in the country will return to robust health, the contagion of the 31/5 policies is still being felt throughout the supply chain. Vincent Shaw in Shanghai investigates the symptoms and causes of Chinese solar’s ill health.
Markets & Policy

“Wall of money” fighting for U.S. solar projects

Wood Mackenzie notes that new investors and sources of capital are chasing down a limited supply of viable U.S. solar projects and sees tightening targets, expanding project appetite, and evolving techniques.
Technology

Molten silicon storage enough to power city, says MIT

The system turns light of white-glowing molten silicon into electricity using specialized PV cells. The researchers claim that the concept could store electricity at around half the costs of pumped hydro. A single system comprising two ten meter tanks co...
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Markets & Policy

BayWa r.e. and Longi Solar ink global framework agreement

The deal marks the first time BayWa r.e. enters into a distribution agreement with a Chinese module manufacturer, according to a company statement. The deal has been described by the companies as a 'win-win' for both.
Markets & Policy

Turkey hits 5 GW of registered PV capacity

A total of 1.58 GW of new PV systems have been registered with Turkey's grid administrator in 2018. Of this new capacity, 1.51 GW is in the unlicensed project segment, for arrays up to 1 MW in capacity, while the remaining 63 MW is for larger projects th...
Manufacturing

Sentis Capital urges Meyer Burger to establish GW-scale HJT production

Meyer Burger's largest single shareholder has requested the company change strategy. Sentis Capital has urged the Swiss technology company's board to raise sufficient capital for it to set up its own GW-sized production facility for its heterojunction an...
Manufacturing

Global-PV market: demand increasing – prices largely stable

According to EnergyTrend and PV Info Link, the downward spiral of prices along the PV value chain has come to a halt. Nonetheless, by bringing together the two pieces of recent market analysis, regional and value chain variations can be observed.
Markets & Policy

Cape Verde commissions solar plant, sets 2030 RE target at 50%

Although renewable energy targets have been revised down, the archipelago's government said that wind and solar will still see their share increase considerably over the next decade.

Press Releases

Solar Datensysteme and SAJ continue energy management and inverter technology innovation in European markets

Solare Datensysteme GmbH (SDS), manufacturer of the Solar-Log™ Monitoring system, and SAJ, manufacturer of PV inverter have come to the conclusion to further develop the interaction between professional Monitoring and Energy Management as well as professional inverter technology in markets like Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and other markets as well.

Talesun’s New Generation MBB Module Be Honored with Certifications from Both TÜV SÜD and TÜV Rheinland

Talesun announces its new generation MBB module passing through the new standard IEC testings from two German based authoritative authentication institutes, TÜV SÜD and TÜV Rheinland. Talesun believes that MBB module is with high quality, high reliability and excellent performance, and will be a competitive product in module market.

CISOLAR 2019 submit new opportunities for developing solar energy in Central and Eastern Europe

The 8th International Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition of Central and Eastern Europe, CISOLAR-2019 KYIV, the largest regional business event, devoted to solar energy industry, will take place at the in Kyiv (Ukraine) on April 16-18, 2018.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

Renewables 2.0: Preparing for the new complexity of renewable energy in a post-subsidy world

As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.

Low demand driving consolidation

With the release of second quarter financial results, the rankings of global module shipments in the first half of the year can be confirmed. JinkoSolar shipped 4.8 GW to take first place in this period.

Will Taiwan meet its 20 GW solar goal by 2025?

By 2025, Taiwan aims to reach a cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 20 GW. However, by mid-2018, just 11.2% of this goal had been met. TrendForce analyst, Rhea Tsao, examines the situation and discusses what needs to be done to reach the target.

Degradation control tests for solar PV modules

Module degradation tests are essential not only for effective plant operations, but also to ensure an optimum ROI. However, fixed laboratories, where such tests are usually carried out, involve transportation issues, while it is not always economically feasible to send in mobile laboratories. So how can degradation in these instances be measured? Leonardo Enrique Pérez Abreu, Technical Manager of the Testing & Optimization department at Enertis discusses this issue.

World Overshoot Day comes early this year

World Overshoot Day marks the day the world has used up its annual budget of the resources it could have sustainably consumed. Despite efforts in relevant sectors, the date is creeping forward every year. Twenty years ago, it was in late September.

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.

Kenya’s 2022 universal electrification goal bets on off-grid solar

The World Bank and the Kenyan Government have announced a new strategy for attaining universal energy access for Kenyans by 2022. The plan underlines the importance of off-grid solar installations in reaching that goal. The investment opportunities for the coming five years are around US$14 billion.

US energy storage storm grows in strength

A Wood Mackenzie report shows U.S. energy storage deployments tripling in capacity during Q3 ’18 versus last year’s volume, while noting that the future pipeline growth rate doubled versus prior quarters to reach 33 GW of future projects.

New plans by VW, Tesla and BYD support predictions that EV sales are set to skyrocket

A number of significant manufacturing and investment plans in China, Germany and North America by major automobile makers VW, Tesla and BYD are backing up predictions that electric vehicle car sales are set to skyrocket in the coming decades.

EU uses energy industry to strengthen euro against US dollar

The European Commission has adopted a recommendation to promote the wider use of the euro in international energy agreements and transactions. The aim is to strengthen the role of the single currency on the international financial system.

Japan postpones FIT cuts by six months for projects over 2 MW

A reduction of the feed-in tariff to ¥21/kWh (around US$0.19) for projects over 2 MW in size and approved between 2012 and 2014 will be applied starting from September 2019 and not from March, as originally planned. For approved projects with a capacity of less than 2 MW, however, no postponement has been granted.

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.

Just two bidders for India’s 1.2 GW wind-solar hybrid project

India’s much-hyped first wind-solar hybrid auction found just two bidders, with 360 MW of the 1,200 MW finding no takers at all. This is the second time the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has held this auction, after the first round in May failed to attract bidders.

Kiwis launch 18 MWh VPP, green investment scheme

New Zealand will connect 3,000 home battery systems to the national grid to provide demand response services. The government has also set up a US$69 million finance company to accelerate investment in distributed energy generation and electric vehicles as part of its 2050 carbon neutral goals.

Construction begins on 66 MW solar park in Malawi

The large-scale power plant is being built by JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited. A 20-year PPA has been signed with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM).

US utility Xcel Energy gets in front of the 100% renewable energy movement

By setting a timeline for the inevitable decarbonization of its fleet, Xcel is moving to have an energy transition on its terms.

Sonnen to provide primary balancing power to German grid from networked home storage

After months of preliminary work, the time has come: With its PV+home storage network, sonnen GmbH has received prequalification from TenneT to participate in Germany’s primary control energy market. While it is currently allowed to deliver 1 MW, the goal is to supply 100 MW.

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.

Substantial solar gains to be had from clean air – study

Eliminating emissions from the air would increase solar radiation by an average of 11%, allowing solar cells to generate one tenth more electricity claim researchers in a new study. Focusing on China, they say an additional 85-158 TWh of electricity could be generated annually in 2040, if the air was clean.

UNSW, Leadmicro to partner on ALD for PERC production

UNSW Sydney has partnered with Leadmicro to develop the next generation of PERC solar cells and fast-track their time to market. The Chinese PV production machinery manufacturer is donating $1 million Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) reactor to UNSW to test and adapt a new process for PERC cell solar cell production.

Self-tracking solar panels, inspired by a lizard’s feet

Scientists at Harvard University have developed a type of material that can be programmed to move in response to various stimuli, including light. One possible application, says the group, could be in solar panels with integrated microstructures that track the sun without any energy input.

World-first base for Airbus solar powered pseudo-satellite launches in Australia

The world’s first Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating base has been officially established in Western Australia’s far north. The unmanned aerial vehicle, running exclusively on solar power, will be operating out of Wyndham with the goal to provide observation and communications services to a range of customers.

Finding the optimal solar cell design to maximize energy production

Researchers in Spain have proposed a new standard for solar cell testing, which they say could enable more accurate determinations of a cell’s annual energy yield. Using machine learning, the method processes data sets consisting of thousands of solar spectra, creating representative examples which can then be used to predict average annual efficiency.

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.

SolarPower Europe calls for 5 GW of EU solar module manufacturing

The European solar association has called on Europe to set up 5 GW of solar PV module manufacturing capacity to cater to the expected around 15 GW of annual demand.

Seraphim expands South African solar cell fab plans to 500 MW

Chinese solar manufacturer Seraphim has announced plans for a 500 MW cell factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The company also plans to expand an existing 300 MW module factory in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region by 200 MW.

Kostal, RCT Power take the lead in storage system efficiency ranking

Researchers from Berlin’s College for Technology and Economics have determined a ‘system performance index’ for 16 residential storage systems. The index ranks systems according to economic efficiency. The compilers of the index say many manufacturers lack transparency regarding system performance.

EU-funded initiative set to launch new anti-soiling coating

A project backed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program says it has developed a self-cleaning coating for modules which is also anti reflective and weather resistant. The project – SolarSharc – expects to launch the product next year.

Leclanché plans for debt restructure helped by Swiss Takeover Board

Agreement to wave requirement for chief shareholder FEFAM to conduct a full takeover paves way for shareholders to vote through a debt-for-equity swap that will reduce the historic battery maker’s debts by a reported 65% next Tuesday.

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.

South Australia’s Tesla big battery saves $40 million in grid stabilization costs

A new report analyzing the world’s largest lithium-ion battery’s performance in the first year of operation shows the Hornsdale Power Reserve has delivered on high expectations of its performance and market impact. It has helped stabilize the grid, avoid outages and reduce system costs, as well as triggered a surge in uptake of similar fast response systems across Australia.

Australia’s first hydrogen test station opens in Canberra

ACT gas network operator Evoenergy and the Canberra Institute of Technology have partnered to build a first of its kind hydrogen test facility at CIT Fyshwick. The station will test up to 100% hydrogen in deployments in which natural gas is currently used.

Switzerland’s third largest canton launches $3 million incentive scheme for solar-plus-storage

The scheme will provide incentives for solar-plus-storage projects for self-consumption, as well as for projects for virtual power storage.

Tesvolt receives €2.15 million for serial production leap

The manufacturer of C&I storage systems has been awarded funding from the EU’s SME funding scheme to enable mass production of its systems. The company’s production site could see an additional 60 employees added over the next 24 months.

Limejump secures solar PPA from NextEnergy Solar Fund

The UK energy technology company said the new contract will provide 120 MW of solar generation through its Limejump Virtual Power Platform. The energy bought from NextEnergy Solar Fund will then be traded on the national grid.

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