Top News

Germany launches first auction of coal-exit compensation payments

Federal network agency the Bundesnetzagentur has announced it will retire 4 GW of coal-fired generation capacity through the exercise, which will see plant operators compete to secure one-off payments in return for shuttering, or converting operations.
Markets & Policy

Mexican utility confirms first invesment in solar

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 ...
Soiling

Getting serious about soiling

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 ...
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SMA presenta una nueva solución para optimizar los sistemas fotovoltaicos residenciales

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Back-Contact’s Move to the Front

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Highlights

Ireland may allocate 796 MW of solar in first renewables auction

The government has announced the provisional results of the nation’s first renewable energy procurement exercise and says the 1 TWh auction will end up allocating more than 2.2 TWh of generation capacity for an average final electric price of €0.0740...
Manufacturing

Recom unveils tri-cut solar panel series

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.
Markets & Policy

Panasonic abandons Chinese solar manufacturing tie-up

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.
Markets & Policy

The PV world ten years ago – summer series part I

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 ...
Markets & Policy

Looking to phosphorous for next-gen batteries

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-perf...
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Press Releases

Talesun Solar Launches Super-High Power Module up to 590W

The leading China PV module maker launched its latest super power PV module with larger wafer of 182, the BISTRA PRO series, via an online release. And the company introduced to world audience the features and advantages of the new products.

Fincovi selects AccountsIQ Cloud Financial Management Software for its SPV accounting, consolidation and reporting capability

Fincovi, an Irish financial services company that provides commercial asset management services to clients in the renewable energy industry has adopted AccountsIQ’s financial management software. Fincovi joins a long list of companies using AccountsIQ in this sector including BNRG Renewables, Terra Solar and China General Nuclear.

JA Solar Supplies Modules for Malaysia’s First Bifacial-Plus-Trackers Project

JA Solar recently announced that it supplied 43. 8MW bifacial double-glass modules for the Malaysia’s first solar project that combines bifacial double-glass modules with trackers.

RWE to strengthen its European renewables business with acquisition of 2.7 GW project pipeline

RWE wants to acquire the European onshore wind and solar development platform from Nordex SE with a total pipeline of 2. 7 Gigawatt (GW) in France, Spain, Sweden and Poland.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

Emerging markets and innovation: Twin pillars of the solar tracker market

Global solar tracker shipments reached new record levels in 2019, exceeding 31 GW, up 55% year on year. Exceptional demand in the United States – as well as multiple gigawatt markets in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Spain and Australia – helped propel the market to new heights, writes Cormac Gilligan, associate director at IHS Markit.

Covid-19

Featured

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.

Chinese solar glass company keeps 24-hour furnaces running during Covid crisis

Xinyi Solar has revealed another impressive set of figures and plans another 1,000-ton-per-day production line this month plus a new mine to source raw materials in September.

Indian EPC Sterling and Wilson: Europe will be our next stop

Having bagged large orders in the U.S. and Australia, Indian multinational engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services provider Sterling and Wilson Solar is bidding for tenders in new regions, Europe among them. Kannan Krishnan, S&W’s chief operations officer for solar in India and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation area, speaks to pv magazine about the impact of Covid-19 on the solar EPC business and the company’s expansion plans.

Markets & Policy

Featured

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.

Enphase Q2 micro-inverter revenue falls despite demand ‘rebound’

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.

CPV panels for agrivoltaics

Swiss start-up 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.

English councils tender for solar car parks and storage

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.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: PV glass supply deals, bonds to finance solar incentives

Two solar glass makers kicked off the week with new deals and solid earnings reports while the Chinese government revealed it may issue bonds to fund clean energy incentives.

A residential vanadium flow battery

Flow battery manufacturers typically pursue utility scale storage projects but German start-up VoltStorage is targeting the household market.

Installations

Featured

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.

Three years of intelligent operations data

In 2016, Huaneng Hainan Power and Huawei jointly digitalized the Dongfang solar power plant in Hainan, China. As the first solar PV project to be digitalized, it is worth taking a look back to see how the new technology has actually bolstered performance.

Green hydrogen economy assessment for US, Europe

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.

Chevron turns to renewables to power Australian operations

The power company has announced it will build 500 MW of renewable energy projects to power some of its global facilities under a four-year agreement with Canada’s Algonquin Power & Utilities.

South African chemicals producer seeks bids for 20 MW of PV

Sasol plans to power its operations in the municipalities of Secunda and Sasolburg with two 10 MW solar projects. The successful bidders with sell power to the factories under power purchase agreements.

Albanian utility set to move forward with 12.9 MW floating PV project

Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare began development of the €13.9 million facility in December 2018. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering lending €9.5 million to a project which it is said would help reduce the electric company’s reliance on hydro revenues.

Technology

Featured

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.

Scratching the surface of LeTID

The mechanisms behind light-elevated temperature-induced degradation are still not fully understood, but it is known to cause significant performance losses for modules in the field. Scientists in China are investigating the causes of the phenomenon, and are currently focused on the surface of the materials and the interfaces between the silicon and passivation layers.

South African utility Eskom launches tender for 80 MW/320 MWh of storage

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.

Amorphous lithium discovery could lead to new high-performance batteries

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.

Cadmium-free CIGS solar cell with 18% efficiency

South Korean scientists manufactured the cell with the chemical bath deposition method, using different thiourea concentrations. For the buffer layer, they used zinc instead of cadmium sulfide. The cell is flexible and is available in seven different colors.

Mobile, quick-install mounting system for medium and large scale projects

An Australian innovator has designed a secure racking system he says enables super-fast installation of solar fields, which can then be relocated as needed.

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.

Suntech to reach 10 GW of annual output capacity by year-end

The Chinese manufacturer has completed the first 1.5 GW phase of its 10 GW expansion plan. It will deploy another 4 GW phase by the end of this year at two new facilities in China’s Jiangsu province.

Finnish industrial park gets 12 MW smart grid with central inverters

Inverter manufacturer Fimer provided its PVS980-58 central inverter solution for the project, which will derive 35% of its energy from solar PV.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Big deals in the Middle East

Shanghai Electric has won a contract to build the fifth 900 MW phase of a 5 GW solar park in Dubai. JA Solar also agreed this week to supply 138 MW of PV modules for two projects in Jordan.

Fuzzy logic MPPT to improve PV system performance

A Pakistani-Chinese research group has demonstrated a new maximum power point tracking method, based on a fuzzy logic algorithm to provide faster results. The converter tech is claimed to have an impact on PV system efficiency and provide isolation between the load and the PV array.

Strategies to prevent overvoltage-induced inverter disconnections

Australian scientists have identified seven methods to prevent PV losses when overvoltage-induced inverter disconnections occur. The methods include battery storage, reactive power inverters, export limits, distribution static synchronous compensators, the replacement of old conductors in power grids, load reconfiguration, and dynamic voltage restoration.

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.

The weekend read: In pursuit of universal energy access

Koen Peters has been the executive director of global offgrid solar association GOGLA since 2014. He has more than 20 years of international work experience, with more than 12 years in relation to energy access. He has gathered insights from many different perspectives and organizations, including government, consulting, startup businesses, and international finance organizations.

New reports look at 2019 Arizona battery explosion

A series of failures triggered thermal runaway and an explosion at Arizona Public Service Electric’s McMicken battery facility, according to two new reports that look at how to prevent similar disasters in the future.

Texan utility tenders 900 MW of solar, 50 MW of storage

CPS Energy has taken the first step towards bringing those volumes – plus 500 MW of firming capacity – to the Lone Star State in pursuit of the power company’s 50%-renewables-by-2040 goal.

Perovskite structure also benefits batteries

Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruher Institute of Technology are leading an investigation into a new lithium-ion battery anode. The innovation has a perovskite crystalline structure and, according to the researchers, could provide strong all-round performance from simpler, cheaper production methods than those used for other anode materials.

Hydrogen storage in salt caverns in France

Hydrogène de France and gas grid company Teréga plan to launch a feasibility study for a 1.5 GWh pilot hydrogen storage project in caverns in the southwest of the country.

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