Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.
For an investor of large-scale solar PV power plants, efficiency and reliability are two of the most interesting issues. For rating purposes, the Performance Ratio (PR) factor, has been created. However, this metric is only suitable for comparisons to a limited extent, argues Edwin Cunow, owner of LSPV Consulting.
As of November 2019, certain RES producers have been intermittently forced to reduce their output or halt production of electrical energy altogether under the instructions of Ukraine’s transmission system operator, NEC Ukrenergo. DTEK, along with several other large market players led the call for limitations. Many of the country’s RES producers have become alarmed.
Looking at the various solar power plant mechanisms brought by regulatory changes in 2020, the Turkish PV market is aiming to adopt some exciting new financial and business models.
France’s National Institute for Solar Energy takes a look at the state of play in the European solar panel recycling industry.
Acme Solar made headlines in 2018 when its offer to accept $0.0322354 per kilowatt-hour generated at a 600 MW solar farm planned in Rajasthan secured the project from federal body the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Now the developer wants to rip up the agreement, blaming Covid-19-related hold-ups.
U.S. thinktank the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says the nation should reorder its power network to harness cheap, modular renewables after existing power station overcapacity was worsened by plunging electricity demand during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Cell supply shortages could kick-start manufacturing activity in India, EV car sales are braced for a fall while still gaining market share and a new date has been set for the world’s biggest solar trade show.
The world’s solar superpower saw the amount of new capacity added in the first three months of the year fall 24% from the same period of 2019 as 1.75 TWh of solar electricity was curtailed, but the National Energy Administration expects both statistics to improve as China exits the public health crisis.
Quarterly new additions were 15% lower than in the October-to-December window. The France Territoire Solaire thinktank said the lower volumes could be explained by the initial impact of the coronavirus crisis.
German PV asset manager Encavis and Danish renewables company Greengo have already secured approval for one large project.
The project was awarded to French developer Voltalia. The plant will be located in the Karavasta area, in the centre of the country.
U.K.-based Power Transition today launched a crowdfunding exercise to raise the £300,000 it says it needs to scale up its blockchain-based, peer-to-peer energy trading platform beyond a 47-home demonstration project.
A research project in the Netherlands is seeking to assess the impact of large scale PV projects on soil quality and biodiversity. Principal scientist Wim Sinke, of Dutch research center TNO, says well-designed and operated and maintained solar parks could prove to have better outcomes than monoculture farming.
Scientists have developed a hybrid production method combining metal mesh and a metal-oxide layer over a glass substrate which they say brings down production cost by 80% compared to the tin-doped, indium oxide-based technology currently in use.
Romanian petroleum transport services provider Conpet announced plans to install PV plants across five of its facilities. Initial investment will be limited to 3 million ROL ($680,000), but the group aims to create a renewable energy business unit under its 2020-2025 strategy.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has published new regulations blocking ground-mounted commercial and industrial solar projects and capping rooftop installations at 2 MW.
NextEnergy Capital Group has secured a £100 million credit line from Spanish lender Santander as it aims to connect the U.K.’s largest solar plant to the grid this year.
The government wants to procure several 1 MW-plus solar plants. The tender is the third of its kind, and part of the 50 MW incentive scheme the island’s government launched in November 2017.
The figure took the nation to a cumulative 120 MW at the end of the year, according to figures published by Norwegian solar industry organization the Solenergiklyngen. Around 2 MW of the capacity added in 2019 came in the form of off-grid projects.
Scientists in India have used a pouch laminator to encapsulate a polycrystalline solar cell. The resulting device, the researchers claim, showed better UV photon absorption than solar cells treated with a polymer surface coating.
Scientists in Japan have proposed a new model to estimate cell voltages in solar modules by irradiating the cells with a weak modulated laser light. The method could be used to detect hot spots and other panel-degradation issues, such as potential induced degradation (PID) peeling, cracking, and poor contacts.
The Chinese manufacturer has not revealed the price of its new ‘ultra-high power’ products, nor whether the power output claims associated with them have been independently verified, but claimed the 78-piece module in the series could generate ‘very close to 600 W.’
MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.
Backsheet manufacturer Tomark-Worthen LLC has developed a new polyamide backsheet under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. The product is based on a novel polyamide-ionomer alloy created by U.S. chemicals producer Dow. The alloy, as well as the other materials in the backsheet, are stabilized with a UV/anti-oxidant package that slows down the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The manufacturer claims that the backsheet is 25-30% more affordable than high-efficiency fluoropolymer products.
According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), health risks from lead in crystalline silicon PV panels are one order of magnitude — or about one-tenth — below the risk levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sveck, China’s top supplier of EVA films for PV modules, has revealed plans to list shares in Shenzhen. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. has selected Longi and EGing to respectively supply 238 MW and 112 MW of panels for its projects, with Longi also announcing wafer price cuts. Jincheng Machinery, meanwhile, has started raising funds to develop a new production line.
The solar panel will be part of the half-cut-cell series recently launched by the Japanese manufacturer and the company claims it is ideal for rooftop PV projects with aesthetic requirements. The 19.0%-efficient product has a power output of 320 W.
CREE has developed a new MOSFET that could be suitable for silicon-carbide-based string inverters above 10 kW in size. The U.S. manufacturer says switching losses are 20% lower with the new transistor than with silicon carbide MOSFETs, and claims that the product reduces conduction losses by 50%, to offer potential power-density growth of 300%.
The German mounting system maker has expanded its production capacity in Shanghai after opening a new, bigger fab in March.
The French oil and gas company will develop the vehicle with engineering compatriot Gaussin. Intended for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, the vehicle will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery made by Total subsidiary Saft and will be able to tow two 30-ton fuel tanks.
The Swedish storage system manufacturer said its Voltpack Mobile System can be used in different market segments, particularly for remote or weak grids. The battery has a scalable storage capacity ranging from 245 kWh to 1,225 kWh. Swedish utility Vattenfall is now testing the system’s capabilities.
The startup claims to be “the world’s top supplier of graphene” and plans to release a non-flammable, environmentally friendly lithium battery that can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market” — within the next year.
The municipality of Drammen, Norway, has started testing a seasonal PV storage project that uses boreholes in the ground. The operators of the project are using electricity from PV modules to produce heat via a CO2 heat pump and outdoor air. The heat is produced by the CO2 pump during the spring, summer and fall, in addition to heat produced by solar thermal collectors.
The Greek energy regulator said on Wednesday that it wants to tender up to 482 MW of new solar capacity on July 27 for plants up to 20 MW in size.
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