Top News

Daqo relentlessly increases polysilicon output

Chinese polysilicon maker Daqo New Energy today announced it has raised its production capacity to 30,000 MT, with a further 5,000 to follow within six months, and 35,000 on top of that by the end of March 2020.
Markets & Policy

Greece awards 62 MW of small-scale PV, cancels tender for larger projects in the same day

Greece ran two separate tenders for PV on December 10. However, the Greek energy regulator has decided not to award the winners of the tender for large-scale farms, due to lack of adequate competition. The tender for the large projects will be repeated n...
Installations

UK export payments won’t end – but they will get much smaller

The government has finally announced the results of its consultation on ending FIT export payments. With the vast majority of respondents against the proposal... it has responded by going ahead anyway.
Announcements

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Markets & Policy

Wacker Chemie reaches agreement with Yingli over poly supply deals

If the German polysilicon manufacturer is the ‘Supplier A’ referred to in the Chinese panel maker’s annual report, Wacker has negotiated a near $33 million settlement from arbitration. As part of the settlement, Wacker will continue to supply its c...
Markets & Policy

Israel lauded for ditching coal – for gas

The Middle Eastern state has been praised for joining the global anti coal movement, but its plan to switch to natural gas is more a victory for pragmatism than the environmental or renewables cause.
Markets & Policy

New energy regulation in Germany details 2019 changes for PV industry

As expected, Germany’s second chamber of parliament has passed a new package of laws. They will enter into force on January 1, 2019. Among the the changes are the extraordinary FIT cuts for rooftop systems between 40 and 750 kW in size for February, Ma...
Highlights

US: New York officially ups its energy storage goal – 3 GW by 2030

With the passing of twin initiatives, New York has set an ambitious plan to raise its energy storage capacity to 1.5 GW by 2025 and 3 GW by 2030.
Highlights

Efficiency record isn’t the biggest change for Alta Devices’ GaAS solar technology

Alta Devices’ gallium arsenide solar research cells have been certified with a 29.1% efficiency, setting a new single junction solar cell efficiency record. The most significant change, however, isn’t actually the efficiency; it is that the weight fe...

Press Releases

Complete Solar unveil new senior appointment

Complete Solar today announced the hiring of Shane Messer as chief revenue officer.  Mr.

REC launches two new TwinPeak panels

The new products come just four months after REC began production of its N-Peak series.

Oxis Energy key component of safe road electrification project to launch in Januray

The Lithium Sulphur for Safe Road Electrification (LISA) 43 month project starts on the 1st January 2019. It is worth over €7.

Mondragon Assembly installs 60 MW PV production line to Arab International Optronics in Egypt

The Spanish PV equipment manufacturer is soon to finish commissioning of another project in North Africa, a 60 MW line in Egypt, by February 2019.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Revamping and repowering: The size of the opportunity

The concept of revamping and repowering is one of the newest terms in the solar industry. As the installed base of PV systems ages, the concept of upgrading and improving operating plants becomes increasingly relevant to both manufacturers and PV plant asset managers. However, the real market size for new PV components in existing plants will depend on the characteristics of each plant, the overall regulatory framework and the economic benefits that will accrue to asset managers.

Obscured policies in Taiwan’s FIT scheme to impact on sustainable development of local solar supply chain

The Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has announced a 10.17% decrease to next year’s feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for solar PV installations, which is much higher than the average decrease of 4.25% in the global PV industry. This will make 2019 a tough year for Taiwan’s PV industry, with wider-than-expected impacts on the whole market.

Positive signals from China boost 2019 forecasts

On November 2, China’s National Energy Administration held a symposium to evaluate the results of the 13th Five-Year Plan for solar PV development at its halfway point, discussing the adjustment of PV and thermal generation targets in the plan. As a result of this, there is renewed positivity regarding China’s domestic solar demand in 2019-2020.

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.

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.

More private PPAs signed in Italy

U.K. renewable investment firm Octopus has signed another private PPA in Italy, this time with EGO Group for 63 MW of unsubsidized solar PV projects. Meanwhile, Canadian Solar Inc. has signed a 10-year PPA with TrailStone GmbH for the energy generated from a 17 MW project in Sicily.

Solar not in COP24’s spotlight

As the dust settles on an imperfect, but still welcome, international agreement thrashed out at COP 24, the chairman of the European Energy Research Alliance has criticized the solar industry for its lack of representation in Katowice.

Fine is mounting up against FAS

The Saudi developer is reportedly suffering fines of $700/MW/day for late delivery of a project at the Benban solar complex in Egypt as 180 MW of plants near completion.

A new solar powered #2 rises, and it looks to keep growing

Con Edison states that it has become the number two solar power generator in North America with the finalization of its Sempra purchase which included 980 MWac of operating solar.

CREO 2018: A new era in the Chinese energy transition

A new era in the Chinese energy transition is on the menu and renewables are the order of the day, according to the latest China Renewable Energy Outlook (CREO). China will not require a gas bridge between coal and renewables, it finds, adding that renewables will become the core of the nation’s energy system by 2050, with annual PV installs of between 80-160 GW possible. Not only that, but electricity supply could be cheaper in this future than it is today.

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.

12 GW Indian solar plan shelved

Citing a recent dip in solar tariffs, the central government has withdrawn a plan to install 12 GW of PV capacity – out of total 15 GW envisaged – via the state-owned NTPC Ltd.

Voltalia bags EPC, O&M contract for 40 MW PV project in Kenya

The services will be provided for Alten Africa. The IPP says the project is its first utility-scale system in Kenya. The country has recently presented its universal electrification strategy, which places emphasis on solar PV generation.

Australia’s NSW gives two large-scale solar farms go-ahead

After approving a major solar+storage project at Darlington Point this week, Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning and Environment has just greenlit two more utility-scale solar PV projects: The 170 MW Suntop Solar Farm and the 47 MW Gregadoo Solar Farm.

Afghanistan announces EoI for 2 GW solar tender

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water is calling for expressions of interest (EoI) for 2 GW of grid connected solar PV projects. The last date of submissions is December 20.

Scatec Solar reaches financial close on 47 MW Ukranian solar project

Scatec Solar ASA, in partnership with the Rengy Development Group, has closed financing on its 47 MW solar PV project in the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine.

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.

The weekend read: TOPCon boosts demand for EU equipment

Photovoltaic manufacturers in Asia are importing deposition reactors from the EU to test the latest word in silicon solar cell passivation. Two thin buffer layers sandwiched between silicon wafers and metal contacts are increasing the efficiency of conventional solar cells and setting new records. Equipment suppliers expect the technology to spread through the industry and boost their bottom line.

Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better

NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves.

UK grants £9.5 million for smart energy systems

The United Kingdom has announced £9.5 million (around US$12 million) in funding for the creation of a new research consortium and 12 projects to speed the uptake of smart energy systems.

World’s largest distributed energy management system to be deployed in Western Australia

PXiSE will deploy its Active Control Technology to manage up to 50,000 distributed energy resources across Horizon Power’s 2.3 million square kilometre network, which it says will enable higher levels of renewable energy.

Australia’s QUT discovers process to lower the cost of renewable hydrogen

Hydrogen holds promise for harnessing renewables to produce clean fuel for transport, growing a green energy-export industry, and overcoming seasonal intermittency challenges in the grid. On the road to viable hydrogen production every cost-efficiency measure counts.

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.

Meyer Burger picks up 600 MW heterojunction equipment order

Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger has received a CHF 74 million (US$74.4 million) order for a 600 MW production line combining heterojunction and smart wire technologies. The order was placed by an unnamed manufacturer, with the line expected to begin cell and module production in the second half of 2019.

First Solar sees a doubling coming in 2019

The thin film PV maker projects 5.4 to 5.6 GW of module shipments next year, more than double its current projected 2018 volumes of 2.6 to 2.7 GW.

German equipment suppliers report ‘strong’ bookings for cell, thin film segments

In its Q3 2018 report, VDMA finds that German PV equipment providers are continuing to enjoy much improved fortunes compared to the previous year. Solar cell and thin film equipment suppliers account for the vast majority of bookings.

Greatcell Solar enters administration

Australia-based perovskite solar cell specialist Greatcell Solar has failed to secure refinancing for its activities and has been forced to appoint administrators. The company lays the blame at the federal government’s door, pointing to the R&D rebate changes and policy settings that are unsupportive of renewable energy investment as the reasons behind its downfall.

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 and tandem cell PV technology. Meyer Burger has responded that it is view of only one shareholder.

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.

UK utility to add storage at water treatment sites

Driven by the ambition to reduce costumer bills, Northumbria Water is turning its head to storage systems for peak shedding and uninterrupted power supply. The MW-scale storage project will use second-life EV batteries from Renault.

275 MW solar+100 MWh storage at Darlington Point, Australia get regulatory nod

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has given the green light to a massive solar farm coupled with a utility-scale energy storage facility. The Australian project proposed by Edify Energy is valued at AU$407 million.

Australia’s NSW plans 24 pumped hydro projects totaling 7 GW

Australia’s New South Wales Government has launched its ambitious pumped hydro roadmap designed to back the rising level of wind and solar in the energy mix. Meanwhile, the board of government-owned energy provider Snowy Hydro has given the green light to its landmark $4 billion pumped hydro expansion project, Snowy 2.0.

Policy plan for rapid transition to 100% renewable-powered Europe handed to politicians

Politicians take note: “The energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.” Indeed, according to a new study, it is possible to rapidly transition to a Europe 100% powered by renewables and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Solar PV leads the charge, followed by wind. Overall, eight policy recommendations have been laid out to achieve this bold goal by 2050.

US: Top Senate Democrat calls for permanent renewable energy, storage, EV tax credits

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for permanent tax credits for clean electricity, storage and EVs as part of a set of demands for the form of any new infrastructure package. What does this mean for solar?

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