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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Rudolf Staudigl highlighted polysilicon manufacturing overcapacity among Chinese competitors as he announced Covid-19-battered second-quarter figures for the Munich-based chemicals conglomerate.
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.
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.”
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.
Another stalwart of the solar industry was able to take the necessary precautions in order to maintain a sense of normalcy during the pandemic, leading to a quarter of increased sales, net cash, and a positive outlook to finish off the year.
The high-profile electric car maker is conducting a survey of German customers to gauge their interest in a Tesla electricity tariff.
pv magazine editor Pilar Sánchez Molina recalls news from the PV sector of ten years ago as part of a new series. The insights offered will not only bring back memories for the pioneers of that exciting, challenging period but may also offer an idea of where we could be in 2030.
The government has finally issued guidelines on how solar-powered irrigation system owners can be paid for exporting power back to the grid. However, for those who expect to have to use grid power to augment solar from time to time, there could be a sting in the tail.
The Croatian energy regulator is seeking to allocate 88 MW of renewable energy generation capacity. The tender is part of the country’s plan to procure 2.26 GW of renewables including more than 1 GW of solar.
Dutch researchers are trying to determine whether large-scale PV projects can be deployed on flood-control dikes across the Netherlands. A 5 MW solar project has already been built on a dike near Groningen, but the researchers believe there is potential to build up to 2.9 GW of PV on such embankments.
German utility RWE will sell solar electricity to the German conglomerate under a 16-year power purchase agreement. The electricity will be generated by a 50 MW solar plant in southern Germany. Bosch has also sealed power supply deals with Statkraft and Vattenfall.
New Zealand researchers have proposed a way to assess the technical and economic feasibility of PV-powered parking machines. Solar might be an ideal solution, but the siting of the machines is critical and should be planned in advance, in line with available solar radiation and potential shading.
The British energy company has pledged to raise investment in low-carbon energy – including biomass and natural gas-fired hydrogen – tenfold by 2030 and said it would reduce its upstream oil and gas activity 40% over the same period.
The Comisión Federal de Electricidad will invest around $342 million into two PV plants with a total generation capacity of 350 MW at its geothermal facility in Baja California. President Obrador, meanwhile, has described the previous regime’s Energy Reform program as a ‘pillage policy.’
U.S. scientists have found a new ‘de-doping’ process in perovskite solar cells that could cut production costs and produce better devices. They have used this to fabricate a mini-module with 17.8% efficiency.
Researchers in Singapore have taken a deep dive into spinel oxides – a class of materials known to act as a catalyst in the production of hydrogen through water electrolysis. Better understanding of how the materials work enabled the scientists to develop a machine learning model to predict their efficiency.
Scientists in the United States and India are investigating the impacts of soiling on PV installations in the Indian state of Gujarat. The group, which found that soiling losses for the state could add up to $12 million per year, is looking for low-cost ways to monitor and reduce the impacts of soiling on modules in the field.
The Jaguar series, with 20.81% efficiency and 445 W of maximum output, may be a solution for installations with space constraints. The panels are based on a special cell design, which Recom describes as an evolution of the half-cut cell concept.
Scientists in the United States have fabricated a working lithium-ion battery using a phosphorous-based anode. The batteries show significantly higher capacity than today’s lithium-ion tech, and could serve as a guideline for future design of high-performance anodes for Li-ion batteries.
Supply chain and manufacturing disruptions will lead to shipping decreases in the third quarter, but SunPower’s pre-pandemic measures ensured strong performance, solid demand, and higher installations.
The Japanese electronics giant said a partnership with GS-Solar will not materialize and it will continue producing its modules in Japan and Malaysia while seeking other cooperation opportunities.
pv magazine editor Pilar Sánchez Molina recollects everyday news from the PV sector of ten years ago as part of a new series. The insights offered will not only bring back memories for the pioneers of that exciting, challenging period but may also offer an idea of where we could be in 2030.
Coming off a strong, profitable first quarter, Enphase sees the second-quarter results of Covid-19 in compressed revenue and a swing to a loss. Gross margins remain strong.
Swiss startup Insolight has raised €4.6 million to bring its concentrating PV module technology to commercial production. The panels have a claimed efficiency of 30% and power output of 160 W. Originally conceived for rootop solar, the product is now being recommended as an interesting option for agrivoltaic projects.
Two local authorities on the English south coast are tendering for up to 250 kW of solar generation capacity and at least 300 kWh of energy storage under an arrangement which should not cost the cash-strapped councils a penny.
A new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation provides forecasts for green hydrogen prices by 2050. The group claims to have included system costs that have been ignored in green hydrogen economy assessments thus far. Average green hydrogen prices, however, will almost be halved in the United States and Europe.
Flow battery manufacturers typically pursue utility scale storage projects but German start-up VoltStorage is targeting the household market.
The South African national power company is planning to deploy large scale energy storage capacity at the Skaapvlei substation. The facility will help manage the intermittent energy generated by a 100 MW Eskom wind farm.
Researchers have set out to study the kinetics of lithium deposition during cycling in a battery. By changing different parameters, they’ve found that it’s fairly easy to put lithium into amorphous form, which is superior on an electromechanical level.
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