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The weekend read: Starting a new industry

As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.
Manufacturing

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Production expansion plans for Trina, JA Solar, ZNshine

Trina Solar said this week that it plans to expand cell production output by 10 GW at its factory in Jiangsu province, while JA Solar revealed plans to ramp up wafer production by 20 GW. ZNshine Solar, meanwhile, is aiming for 10 GW of new PV module capa...
Markets & Policy

JA Solar launches 800 W solar panel

The new product, currently the most powerful panel on the market, was showcased at the SNEC PV Power Expo in Shanghai. Also presented at the fair was a 780 W product from Tongwei and a 660 W module from Trina.
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SMA presenta una nueva solución para optimizar los sistemas fotovoltaicos residenciales

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SMA presenta una nueva solución para optimizar los sistemas fotovoltaicos residenciales

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GE enters Australian residential solar segment

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Back-Contact’s Move to the Front

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Markets & Policy

“Capacity deferral is the primary source of storage value”

Big batteries derive most their value from replacing gas peaker plants and averting the installation of excessive amounts of transmission and generation infrastructure. However, batteries cannot replace all gas plants, MIT researchers found. From a holis...
Markets & Policy

Qatar’s first storage project relies on Tesla batteries

The 1 MW/4 MWh storage system will be used to store power during peak hours or when the station reaches maximum load as well as for improving network voltage.
Markets & Policy

India’s PV capacity tops 37 GW

Newly installed PV capacity for the second quarter was just 205 MW. This compares to around 1.5 GW a year earlier.
Markets & Policy

SMA reports 42% increase in turnover, Meyer Burger swings to a loss

German inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology reported solid financial results for the first half of 2020 despite the Covid-19 crisis. Meyer Burger, however, saw sales and profits decline.
Markets & Policy

Australian utility unveils gigawatt-scale battery storage plan

In addition to 330 MW of batteries already announced, AGL has unveiled a plan for another 850 MW of grid-scale storage, the bulk of which will be installed alongside its Liddell coal-fired power plant.
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Press Releases

Technology to generate solar energy continues to evolve and its global reach does not stop

Innovation in photovoltaic equipment technology continues to grow and its rate of expansion has not stopped despite the strong pandemic. On August 8th, 9th and 10th, the largest Solar Fair in the world SNEC 2020 was held in Shanghai, China.

Photovoltaic + Energy Storage – the ultimate solution for future energy

In keynote address in the opening of SNEC 2020, President of LONGi Group Li Zhenguo believes that with declines in LCOE driven by solar photovoltaic and maturity of energy storage technology, PV will assume greater responsibilities to boost the global energy transition.

Strategic cooperation agreement signed by TÜV- SÜD and VSUN, to improve the quality of PV products and services

On August 8, in Shanghai/China, the third-party testing and certification organization TÜV SÜD (hereinafter referred to as "TÜV SÜD") and VSUN SOLAR (hereinafter referred to as "VSUN") at 2020 SNEC PV Power Expo signed a strategic cooperation agreement on PV products and services.

Opinion & Analysis

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All details of Ukraine’s new feed-in tariffs for PV

On July 21, 2020, the Law on Feed-in Tariff Restructuring was passed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Solar’s warranty risk

The warranty risk of solar must be addressed early in the development phase of PV projects, as it is not possible to buy warranty insurance later during the operational phase. Decisions taken by developers at this stage will remain important for the next 25 years. The good news is that an industry standard exists, and it can be easily and cost-effectively applied to most PV projects, writes Ronald Sastrawan from Munich Re.

Three factors for success in the Irish solar market

Recent years have seen an explosion of installed PV capacity across the European Union, fueled by the well-documented rapid reduction in technology costs and favorable subsidy regimes in many jurisdictions. However, one corner of Northern Europe remains relatively untouched by the solar revolution, writes Adam Sharpe of Everoze. The Republic of Ireland currently has the second-lowest amount of installed PV capacity in the European Union, at just 36 MW by the end of 2019.

Terawatt scale by 2022

The solar sector is no stranger to breaking records. Perhaps the most impressive figure to emerge from SolarPower Europe’s new ‘Global Market Outlook’ is that the global solar sector will reach terawatt scale by 2022 – just four years after the 500 GW milestone was reached. Michael Schmela from SolarPower Europe sets out the reasoning behind this and other key findings in the report.

As countries reopen, market recovery begins

As the Covid-19 pandemic gradually eases, countries around the world have slowly begun to relax lockdown measures. Some countries have also launched varying types of economic stimulus to support the solar sector. In contrast to others, the Chinese market is stable, as the country has had some success in controlling the virus.

Universal energy access just got harder

This year marks a uniquely critical juncture on the road to universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy. The massive disruption caused by Covid-19 complicates the outlook to 2030, which is the target date for reaching UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, writes Rohit Khanna, manager of the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program.

Covid-19

Featured

Portugal’s 700 MW solar auction ten times oversubscribed

Minister of the environment and climate action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, announced the development and revealed nine of the ten lots tendered include energy storage.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Updates shed light on tough second quarter for solar industry firms

But Israeli inverter company Solaredge and Indian engineering, procurement and construction services provider Sterling and Wilson have both offered hope of a recovery in Europe as Chinese glass producer Xinyi said it kept the furnaces going throughout the worst of the pandemic.

Wacker CEO hits out at Chinese rivals

Rudolf Staudigl highlighted polysilicon manufacturing overcapacity among Chinese competitors as he announced Covid-19-battered second-quarter figures for the Munich-based chemicals conglomerate.

REC Silicon sells off last remnants of Moses Lake polysilicon

The Norwegian company mothballed its Washington State facility more than a year ago and is now reliant on semiconductor-grade poly and silane gas produced at its fab in Butte, Montana – a facility for which the business says it has received plenty of interest from potential purchasers.

SolarEdge up 12% after hours on second-quarter revenue and solid earnings – despite Covid-19

The inverter and energy storage company was able to maintain its streak of profitable quarters in what was expected to be a hard period for solar and the Israeli business said it sees “signs of recovery in the U.S.”

Value of Indian PV imports tanked 83% in second quarter

Mercom India Research has said the quarterly value of solar cell and module imports was down 83% in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period of 2019, to sit 54% lower than the value recorded in the January-to-March window.

Markets & Policy

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Shifting geopolitical sands

After a decade of operation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has become an established presence in assisting the deployment of renewables. Now under the leadership of Director General Francesco La Camera, it continues its work on a range of issues pertaining to renewable energy deployment, with a renewed focus on facilitating international investment.

Netherlands’ largest power provider wants to connect new solar parks to 75% of their peak capacity

Liander said its new plan may result in savings ranging from €1.4 billion to €1.8 billion. Possible losses for PV power producers are estimated at a maximum of 3% of their electricity production per year. If implemented, this new measure would push PV project developers to rely on underdimensioned inverters.

Plan to deploy 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh storage project gets approval in the US

A permit to expand Vistra’s natural gas-fired Moss Landing generation station to 1,500 MW/6,000 MWh has been approved, setting the stage for the world to see gigawatt-scale battery energy storage for the first time ever.

The PV world 10 years ago – Summer Series Part VII

pv magazine editor Pilar Sánchez Molina takes a look at PV sector news from 10 years ago as part of an ongoing series. These insights bring back memories of an exciting, challenging period, while pointing to where we might be in 2030.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Higher cell prices and plans for 36 GW of new cell capacity

Chinese solar cell manufacturer Tongwei has raised its cell prices by 9% this week after having increased them by 10% three weeks earlier. Another cell manufacturer, Aiko Solar, has unveiled a plan to deploy 36 GW of new cell production capacity.

The PV world 10 years ago – Summer Series Part VI

pv magazine editor Pilar Sánchez Molina takes a look at PV sector news from 10 years ago as part of an ongoing series. These insights bring back memories of an exciting, challenging period, while pointing to where we might be in 2030.

Installations

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Remote possibilities

If the Canadian Arctic strikes you as a place that doesn’t have enough sunlight for PV, you wouldn’t necessarily be correct. Although there are periods of 24-hour darkness in winter, there are locations with sufficient sunlight for PV to make a major dent in remote communities’ diesel consumption, reports Anteo Petkovic, from Green Sun Rising.

Tender launched for 279 MW of solar in India’s Maharashtra state

Bids are invited to install solar power generating systems ranging from 2 MW to 10 MW at various locations in Maharashtra. Bidding closes on September 25.

Russia’s first floating PV plant comes online

The facility was built with 140 heterojunction solar panels mounted on pontoon-type floats. The project is located at the site of the 320 MW Nizhne-Bureyskaya hydropower plant, owned and operated by Rushydro in the Russian Far East’s Amur region.

Another record year for small-sized solar in Germany

Germany may see the deployment of around 800 MW of PV systems not exceeding 10 kW in size so far this year, according to EUPD Research. If this result is achieved, this year may even surpass record year 2011.

UK water utility launches solar tender

Southern Waters is considering buying electricity from generation facilities on its sites in southern England. After launching a request for information process last year, it is now seeking bids from independent power producers.

Photo-electrochemical cells vs. PV electrolysis

Dutch researchers have analyzed the two most promising solar-assisted technologies to produce green hydrogen, based on the levelized cost of hydrogen. They found that PV-powered hydrogen production offers the lowest costs, at $6.22/kg, with a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency ratio of 10.9%.

Technology

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The way to the TOPCon

TOPCon cell technology has become one of the two leading next-generation options after mono PERC. But for the n-type architecture to truly become a rival to PERC, high-quality and cost-effective production technologies must become settled.

Talesun unveils 570-590 W solar module series

The new module series is available in five versions with power outputs claimed by Talesun of 570-590 W and reported efficiencies of 20.3-21.0%.

Solar modules with glass-enameled steel backs

U.S.-based Toledo Solar has secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct research on lighter, steel-backed solar modules.

Jolywood announces bifacial panel with 615 W ouptut

Presented at the SNEC fair in China, the Niwa Super module series has a power output ranging from 570 W to 615 W and a reported efficiency of 22.1%.

Designer molecules enable ‘two for one’ efficiency boost

Scientists in the U.S. have come a step closer to taking advantage of singlet fission – a phenomenon seen in certain solar cell materials that promises to greatly increase energy yield. By designing and testing various molecules, the group was able to better understand the fundamental processes behind the mechanism and optimize materials to better take advantage of it.

Power-to-gas facility in Canada could pay back in just under three years

The facility’s size and operational pattern could be optimized using a mixed-integer linear programming-based model. By selling hydrogen, supplying grid ancillary services and selling by-product oxygen, power-to-gas economics could be dramatically improved.

Manufacturing

Featured

The hidden contest of the cell makers

Predicting which technological pathway will dominate in solar cell production is somewhat of a fool’s errand. A battle is currently underway between several of solar manufacturing’s big guns regarding both wafer size and p-or-n-type technology, and the outcome remains to be seen.

New 1,500 V string inverter from Growatt

The new device is available in four different versions with nominal power ranging from 185 to 253 kW. The inverter has a reported efficiency of 99.0% and a European efficiency between 98.5% and 98.7% depending on the size.

Germany’s untapped potential for balcony PV panels

In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a balcony module, with an upfront investment of €350 to €500, can provide electricity with a current value of €54 per year. The payback period ranges from six to nine years.

Fraunhofer ISE claims 25.9% efficiency for III-V tandem solar cell

The new results mark an improvement on the institute’s previous 24.3% efficiency record. The III-V tandem solar cell is directly grown on silicon.

SNEC: Yingli Solar intensifies ties with Chinese PV companies

China’s Yingli Solar is partnering with a number of high-profile players in its domestic market to achieve mutually beneficial endeavors and promote the country’s clean energy sector.

Canadian Solar plans new listing in China

Module manufacturing giant Canadian Solar says it has seen demand for modules bounce back in the second quarter of 2020, with module shipments and revenue for the period both exceeding guidance. The company is pressing ahead with plans for a second listing on a stock market in China as part of its strategy to deal with accelerating industry growth and market consolidation over the coming months.

Energy Storage

Featured

Zero-waste batteries

Efforts to recycle lithium-ion batteries face a range of technical and economic challenges, but such programs are already far more commonplace than many assume. However, there are still significant obstacles looming a few years down the road.

Battery manufacturing capacity set to increase fourfold to 1.3 TWh by 2030

Analysts at Wood Mackenzie have looked at plans for the incoming decade and concluded that about 119 manufacturing sites will be up and running by 2030. China currently sits firmly in the driving seat, with Asia Pacific comprising 80% of global manufacturing capacity, but Europe is catching up.

Australian gas supplier signs green hydrogen deal with Hyundai

Utility Jemena has agreed to produce hydrogen gas for Hyundai’s Macquarie Park headquarters in greater Sydney from early 2021.

EBRD, KfW provide €135 million loan for next-gen cathode material plant in Poland

The new material is not commercially available yet, but in trials the materials allegedly proved its technical and economical superiority over NMC 622, NMC 811 and NCA batteries.

Hydrogen can be transported by rail, German railway company says

A study by DB Energie shows that technically and legally there is nothing to be said against the transport of hydrogen by rail. However, there is still a lack of suitable transport containers.

The weekend read: Europe ramps up policy support for storage

Policy support for battery energy storage is gaining momentum across Europe as national governments remove regulatory barriers and the EU pledges financial support for this emerging technology. In several countries, revised capacity markets now allow energy storage operators to compete for subsidy contracts on a more equal footing with power generators. Support from the European Battery Alliance and €1 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank in 2020 alone should help shore up investor confidence. Battery storage will be a key component to support the growth of solar PV – but the rollout of projects will have to accelerate faster to fulfill this potential.

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