Top News

Mixed reaction from solar industry to plunging Turkish currency

As the lira's troubles continued to weigh on the markets today, it remained unclear how the country's solar market will be affected. While the plunging currency fosters uncertainty – public enemy number one for investors – it could also create conditions for lower system costs and cheaper PV projects. Nevertheless, a serious slow-down for 2018 must be considered.
Highlights

Saudis may take Tesla private

Elon Musk has revealed that a Saudi sovereign wealth fund has approached him with a definite offer, and has announced advisors as the company forms a special committee.
Installations

When the wind doesn’t blow don’t worry, the sun shines

The heatwave across Western Europe saw wind power 20% lower than usual while solar irradiance was 20% above average, according to Vaisala, a provider of measurement systems and equipment for meteorology. If this balancing effect is confirmed by further a...
Announcements

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August pv magazine: The In Conversation special


The latest edition of pv magazine is available now. In our In Conversation special, subscribers can swot up on the latest PV developments and future trends shared by thought leaders across the industry, in addition to learning about the next gen string inverter concepts, among other topics.

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Markets & Policy

Increased shipments, falling revenues for Canadian Solar in Q2

Module manufacturing giant Canadian Solar shipped 1.7 GW of modules in the second quarter of 2018, a 23.7% increase on the previous quarter, according to the company’s latest update. Net revenue, however, fell more than 50% quarter-on-quarter with the ...
Markets & Policy

PV business pushes up Manz sales

In the first half of the year, the PV equipment manufacturer recorded a significant increase in sales. This was largely due to orders from the solar industry.
Markets & Policy

Longi exempt from EU minimum import price for products from Malaysia

The Chinese PV manufacturer has proved to the European Commission that it does not use products from China at its Malaysian plant. Therefore, the commission has exempted these products from the applicable minimum import price regime.
Installations

Renewables body hails introduction of solar to UK capacity market

Solar – and wind – will finally bring an element of environmental consciousness, and value for money, to the system charged with keeping the lights on in Britain. Is PV finally shaking off long-held fears about its intermittent nature?

Press Releases

Working together to light the way for renewable energy in Chad

N’Djamena, Chad: Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed with the Government of Chad for the 60MWp Djermaya Solar project.

The 2nd Edition of the Phanes Group Solar Incubator kicks off

Phanes Group, an international end-to-end solar provider headquartered in Dubai, UAE, has announced the 2nd edition of its Solar Incubator program, aimed at identifying PV projects of potential in sub-Saharan Africa by providing support to funding, and commercial and technical knowledge.

Asunim successfully connects 9 MW licensed PV system for YBT Energy in Hamal, Turkey

With the 10. 9 MWp system presented here, Asunim Turkey has now completed the second licensed Solar Power Plant.

Dhamma Energy to build 87.5 MWp solar park in France

Solar PV developer and operator Dhamma Energy will build one of the largest solar plants in France, an 87. 5 MWp project located in the north of the country.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

India’s trade war will have global repercussions

India is currently the second largest market in the world for PV module demand. With China’s domestic demand frozen since the 31/5 notification, the country’s total module demand in 2018 will likely only achieve 32-34 GW. This will allow India, which may surpass 10 GW in annual demand, to reach 13% of global PV demand this year. As a result, the future of India’s trade war has become an influential factor in the global PV industry.

Why can’t LID effects be completely removed in PERC cells?

Jay Lin, CEO of PVGuider discusses why the effects of light induced degradation (LID) in PERC cells cannot be completely eliminated. To explain the difficulty, we first need to understand the LID behavior of the cells, he says.

Setting the stage for solar + storage

As more states adopt ambitious renewable power and storage targets, hopes increase for continued market opportunities beyond the ITC. In the mid-term, the overall market opportunity is clear. At IHS Markit, we project 73 GW of solar PV systems will be installed in the United States from 2018 to 2022.

The China effect: Decreasing PV utilization rates, serious oversupply and future strategies

Independent energy analyst, Corinne Lin discusses the fallout of China’s recent solar PV policy decision, including decreasing utilization rates and serious oversupply; and a focus on equipment upgrades, particularly for PERC, SE, half cut and bifiacial technologies. The industry will bounce back in 2019, she concludes.

The impact of energy storage, pumped heat storage on global energy

With the percentage of renewables in the global energy mix increasing, and global energy demand projected to increase by 30% over the next two decades, energy storage is more important now than ever. But what are the main technologies for energy storage, and how will these technologies affect global energy? Gabriel Hurtado González, Energy Solutions Manager at Mitie, and Sasaenia Paul Oluwabunmi, Operations Officer at the OPEC Fund for International Development answer this pertinent question.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What does it have to do with the price of PV in China?

Following China’s announcement to drastically reduce solar PV installations from over 50 GW in 2017 to reach no more than 30 GW in 2018, profound effects reach all markets. pv magazine assembles expert opinion to provide an anaylsis.

Group buying could make up for UK loss of export payments

With a group purchasing program securing hefty discounts for British households – and attracting thousands of potential customers as a result – solar has a viable business case no matter what further cuts the government throws at the industry.

Namibia’s largest PV-plus-storage system installed

German EPC company Cronimet has installed a 150 kW solar array to work alongside a 332 kWh battery storage system at a luxury lodge complex in a remote part of the African nation.

PV Info Link: Mono-cSi cell price drops below multi

According to PV Info Link, the price for monocrystalline cells in China fell below that of the usually cheaper multicrystalline products. However analysts expect it to be a blip, with multi prices expected to fall and mono to be supported by the Top Runner Program, now China’s main source of demand for the rest of 2018.

Macquarie puts faith in Asia-Pac solar

The Conergy brand has changed hands again with the Australian infrastructure giant acquiring the company’s Asia-focused business from its previous US-based fund management owners. Macquarie may be positioning itself to take advantage of a flood of cheap Chinese-made panels.

Japan’s PV sector should focus on future energy mix target — report

The Japanese PV industry should respond to the government’s recent decision to leave its 2030 energy mix targets unchanged by pushing for a higher share of solar in the next version of the country’s strategic energy plan, according to a new report.

Installations

Featured

The caterpillar effect

The solar industry is still debating the extent to which this problem, whereby temperature-related expansions and contractions cause an installed system to move gradually across a rooftop, actually occurs in flat-roof PV systems, and what a practical remedy might look like.

Temporary halt to Indian safeguarding duties on imported modules

The stay on the newly-proposed duty imposed by the Odisha High Court will offer relief to developers waiting to collect shipments from port. But companies must agree to pay the tariff at a later date if it is upheld by the judicial system.

Philippine utility Meralco receives Southeast Asia’s lowest solar bid

In a tender for 50 MW of solar, local PV module manufacturer and project developer, Solar Philippines submitted a bid of P2.34 (US$0.044) per kWh.

5 GW of renewable plans hang in the balance following reenaction of Iranian sanctions

When U.S. President Trump’s re-imposed sanctions on Iran, many solar companies – predominantly from Europe – were in the process of developing massive project pipelines. These are now in jeopardy, even with the recently imposed EU blocking statute. Those seeking to pursue plans demand safe financial channels from the EU in order to continue developing PV projects, and to provide signal a clear commitment to the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Australia to get first solar-powered crypto mining farm

A data center, which will be used for crypto and Bitcoin mining, will be powered by a combination of solar power generated at an adjacent 20 MW solar PV farm and coal-fired generator.

Trina to supply 167 MW modules to Europe’s largest PV plant

The Chinese solar module manufacturer will supply 167 MW worth of modules to what is on track to becoming Spain’s, and Europe’s, largest PV plant when completed.

Technology

More strings to the bow

New developments in inverter architecture suggest that string inverters have charged forwards again to take on the challenge and kick central inverters off the throne in the utility-scale market. Hardware design innovations allowing to cut down BoS capex and improve efficiency of the plants might push string inverters further to take more space in the utility-scale market place.

The weekend read: “It’s all about controlling the hydrogen”

When pioneering and award-winning solar researcher Stuart Wenham passed away suddenly shortly before Christmas last year, some in the PV industry may have wondered what would become of his research into the role of hydrogen in crystalline silicon cells. His daughter, Alison Ciesla is answering that question alongside Wenham’s former team at UNSW, advancing its work into the crucial role of hydrogen in the degradation of silicon cells.

UNSW scientists surpass 10% efficiency with CZTS PV cell

Researchers at Australia’s University of New South Wales have surpassed 10% efficiency for a cell based on copper zinc tin sulfide – sulfide kesterite. It is the fourth time in two years the group has set a new record for the efficiency of cells based on such materials.

Study: 32% tandem cell solar still competitive at triple the price

Arizona State University researchers have determined that a 32% efficient perovskite-silicon tandem cell could produce electricity at the same price as cutting-edge 22% efficient panels in the most cost-competitive of situations

Odyssey surpasses $500 million mini-grid pipeline

Odyssey connects stakeholders along the mini-grid value chain to streamline development and financing processes. Reportedly over 275,000 connections would be achieved if the full pipeline is realized, and recently, it experienced a significant boost in a very dynamic mini-grid market.

Enel and Raptor Maps to develop AI drone software for operations and maintenance applications

Enel Green Power North America and Raptor Maps will develop AI-based drones to reduce O&M costs. Kicking off this month, the project will see its first batch of 30 field workers trained by the end of the year. Both companies already have the relevant technology in their portfolios.

Manufacturing

Featured

Cells of the future

For solar to survive in a world without feed-in tariffs, further innovation focused on cost reduction is necessary. In this white paper, scientists from Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger argue that high efficiency cell concepts, and in particular heterojunction, will be among the best technologies solar can bet on to achieve this.

Seraphim plans 1.5 GW solar module, 300 MW cell fab in Africa

Chinese solar PV manufacturer, Seraphim has inaugurated a US$14 million, 300 MW solar PV module manufacturing facility in South Africa. Plans are in place to ramp this up to 1.5 GW over the next three years, and add 300 MW of cell production.

Daqo New Energy maintains production amid falling prices

Chinese polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy says it maintained full production capacity in June, and reiterated its full year production guidance of 22,000-23,000 MT. The company’s Q2 financials show, however, sales volume and profits fell over the previous quarter, thanks to loss of demand in China.

Trump confirms additional 25% tariffs on Chinese cells and modules

While the duties make importing solar from China even more impractical, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on trade flows or on the U.S. market, with Chinese manufacturers outsourcing operations overseas.

Taiwan’s Neo Solar Power narrows loss ahead of merger

Taiwanese cell producer, Neo Solar Power has posted a net loss of NT$390 million (US$12.75 million) for the second quarter of 2018. Though indicative of the difficult times currently facing Taiwan’s cell manufacturers, the figures represent a 39.3% reduction compared with the previous quarter’s loss.

Beijing about-turn influenced collapse of polysilicon deal

Shanghai Electric says the Chinese government’s abrupt decision to rein in solar was a significant factor in the collapse of its planned $3.64 billion acquisition of a controlling stake in the world’s biggest poly maker.

Energy Storage

Are electric vehicles changing BP’s business model?

Old energy giants are eyeing up big investments and acquisitions in the world of EV charging infrastructure. Delta-ee’s Alex Lewis Jones looks into the way these companies are positioning themselves in the growing landscape of EV adoption.

Australian states harden stance on unambitious national policy as energy bodies take opposing sides 

As the debate heats up before Friday’s meeting between federal, state, territory and local government energy ministers in Australia, the Victoria authority has issued a last-minute call to redraft the proposed National Energy Guarantee, and the Australian Capital Territory has redefined its NEG approval condition with regard to the emissions target. Meanwhile, Australia’s energy bodies have taken separate paths.

Engie to deploy hybrid solar in Gabon

Mini-grid solutions are becoming more popular to deliver electricity to rural areas. There are 1 billion people worldwide without access to electricity and off-grid solutions could be the cheapest and easiest solution for about 70% of them. It is estimated the market in the segment will be worth $64 billion by 2030.

Majority of Australians want more renewables, poll shows

In the lead-up to a Council of Australian Governments meeting of energy ministers this week, a poll conducted by ReachTEL for Greenpeace Australia Pacific shows more than 70% of respondents want an ambitious renewable energy target to drive down electricity prices.

Second-life EV battery market to grow to $4.2 billion by 2025

Circular Energy Storage, a London-based research and consulting group, reports a strong business case for reconstituted electric vehicle batteries for energy storage applications. As the EV and static storage system markets grow rapidly, synergies could be a useful tool for continued cost optimization.

Ireland launches long-expected scheme for PV microgeneration

The program will be be grant aided, and will provide funds mainly for self-consumption projects. At a later stage, the scheme may also offer incentives for home battery storage.

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