Covid-19

Read pv magazine’s coverage of  Covid-19; and tell us how it is affecting your solar and energy storage operations. Email editors@pv-magazine.com to share your experiences.

Top News

All-in-one device integrating a microinverter and optimizer

The so-called Optiverter is an all-in-one residential solution developed by startup Ubik Solutions and researchers from Estonia's TalTech Power Electronics Research Group. The developers claim that the new solution can provide 30% more power than traditional microinverters under partially shaded conditions.
Covid-19

Shunfeng posts $265.2m loss in 2019

The Chinese group’s loss widened significantly from the preceding 12-month period, despite posting a 5.4% year-on-year jump in revenue to RMB1.7 billion ($242.2 million).
Manufacturing

No such thing as ‘next-generation’ modules

According to one Dutch scientist, the development of PV technology in recent decades should be seen as an evolutionary process, rather than the constant emergence of new generations of equipment.
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Malaysia’s Yinson acquires 37.5% stake in Indian IPP

Yinson will pay Rs 554 million ($7.3 million) for a stake in New Delhi-based Rising Sun Energy, which operates two PV plants in the massive Bhadla Solar Park in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Installations

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Meyer Burger reduces working hours for staff

The Swiss equipment supplier already needed to shore up its bottom line and is now taking measures to help combat the spread of an epidemic which has also claimed November’s planned climate summit in Glasgow and an estimated 19% of this year’s demand...
Installations

France awards 960 MW of solar through different tenders

Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Elisabeth Borne told a teleconference of renewables representatives the results of a recent slew of clean energy tenders which allocated 1.7 GW of generation capacity and also revealed new measures bein...
Covid-19

World’s largest solar conference postponed

The SNEC PV Power Expo has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The organizers of the event have not provided new dates.
Markets & Policy

Toshiba bags contract for 147 MW project in Japan

The electronics brand said the project will be its largest engineering, procurement and construction order for a solar plant. Facilities on such a scale are rare in Japan because of land constraints.
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Press Releases

The world’s first cost effective dual axis solar tracker

M/s. Ezon Energy Solutions Private Limited – an Indian Start-Up has released its innovative and patented product, the world’s first dual axis solar tracker designed and constructed in the principle of ‘Horizontal Primary Dual Axis Tracker (HPDAT)’ invented by the founder cum Managing Director of the company Dr.

LONGi supplies 92MW of its Hi-MO 4 modules for Beijing Energy Holding solar project in NingXia Hui Autonomous Region

Connected to the national grid on December 25, 2019, Beijing Energy Holding’s 180MW solar project is located at the Taiyangshan New Energy Base in Wuzhong City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, in north-west China. LONGi worked as EPC for this project, also supplying 92MW of its Hi-MO 4 modules for the project’s Phase B.

EnergyNet responds to COVID-19 pandemic

EnergyNet recognises these are uncertain and difficult times for individuals, organisations and countries across the world.

The future is now – Analyse your solar projects in less than 10 seconds

The renewable energy software company, VesBox, has created an automation tool that measures the financial bankability of renewable energy solar projects globally. The VesBox Platform also identifies all possible environmental, social and ecosystem risk factors associated with your project, all in less than 10 seconds.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Could Covid-19 be the catalyst for change where the COP process has stalled?

While the world’s climate negotiators dither, the post Covid-19 world could see their efforts overtaken – but only if policymakers are bold enough to take the opportunity to offer truly green fiscal stimulus packages to get us through the crisis. Felicia Jackson, from the center for sustainable finance of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, gives her thoughts here.

Perovskite technology – beyond efficiency records

Technological innovation in PV is taking place in the context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, writes Karl Melkonyan, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS Markit. This, he argues, explains the focus on lowering manufacturing costs, increasing efficiencies, and reducing losses at all stages of the manufacturing process.

The sky’s the limit: How solar and storage can set a post-Covid-19 example

The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.

How performance warranties protect revenues

Contracts to build solar PV plants usually contain a performance warranty to ensure that the owner receives an asset that delivers the agreed-upon minimum performance level. But can warranties and assessment methodologies guarantee that plant performance is being correctly assessed? The answer is not entirely straightforward, writes Felipe Canto Teixeira, a partner at Everoze.

Human rights risks threaten battery supply chains’ sustainability – now is the time to act

The battery and renewable energy industries are facing increased scrutiny for their human rights impacts. In December, U.S.-based technology and electric vehicle companies were named in the first lawsuit seeking to hold downstream companies responsible for allegedly aiding and abetting child labour in cobalt extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (https://bit.ly/2UgQPgZ). Energy storage technology, such as batteries, is increasingly developed alongside solar and wind-powered electricity generation. This means the battery industry’s material risks are now of direct concern to a broader group of companies involved in the global transition to a low carbon economy.

US boom in the shadow of a black swan

Supply-chain constraints related to China’s coronavirus outbreak could weigh on the performance of the U.S. solar market in 2020, writes SPV Market Research’s Paula Mints.

Covid-19

Featured

Covid-19 daily bulletin

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

Brazil postpones energy auctions

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has delayed auctions to procure new transmission as well as generation capacity and has not announced when they will resume.

Chinese city bars all new solar this year

Yulin, in Shaanxi province has brought the curtain down on around 1 GW of PV projects which are under construction. It had previously been expected the city would add around 5 GW of new solar this year.

Intersolar South America postponed to November

The annual event, originally scheduled to take place on Aug. 25-27, has now been postponed to Nov. 16-18, 2020. The organizers claim that existing contracts will remain valid for the new dates, and the venue and all contractual conditions will remain unchanged.

Covid-19 to wreck economics of new solar, wind projects

While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the renewable energy market is still not clear, Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy says that new solar and wind projects will grind to a halt in 2020, creating a ripple effect in the years to come, as currencies throughout the world continue to slide against the US dollar.

Covid-19 daily bulletin

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

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.

Carbon nanotubes pave the way for silicon in storage

Scientists in the United States have developed a carbon nanotube method of fabricating a lithium-ion battery with a silicon anode. The device reportedly demonstrated better than 87% capacity retention after 1,500 cycles. The developers say their discovery overcomes many of the obstacles to the use of silicon as an anode and could open up the use of other materials for electrodes in lithium-ion devices.

EU research group agrees to back controversial Spanish lithium mine

Australian company Infinity Lithium has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Battery Alliance to promote its lithium mine project in San José, Extremadura. It would be the first lithium project to obtain European financing but has already raised the hackles of local environmentalists and residents.

Seychelles to host 5.8 MW of floating PV

French developer Qair will start building a 5.8 MW floating solar array later this year on a lagoon on the East African nation’s main island. It claims the installation will be the world’s largest floating PV project to be built on saltwater upon completion.

Power Ledger to give French customers their choice of energy

The Australian peer-to-peer energy trading pioneer has revealed the world’s biggest “choose your own energy source” project in France.

Netherlands to support residential PV through net metering for the entire decade

The Dutch government is planning to reduce tariffs by 9% annually from 2023 to 2030. The plan should still ensure a reasonable payback time for homeowners willing to go solar, according to the authorities.

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.

Giant transformers for grid debottlenecking

Dutch power company Liander has installed two large transformers at a distribution station in Ulft, in the province of Gelderland. The devices should provide more room for renewables on the network from next year.

Vertical PV project on dam in Alps gets approval

Swiss developer Axpo is now modifying the design of the 2 MW plant and is expected to make a final decision on construction later this year. It is currently in negotiations with potential electricity consumers.

Solar pump moved by fuzzy logic

Researchers in the United Arab Emirates have proposed a PV-powered irrigation system that runs on a fuzzy logic-based algorithm, with a remote-control wireless monitoring system interface.

Crucial Chinese solar portfolio sale held up a third time

Investors in debt-saddled PV developer GCL New Energy will have to wait at least another month before a vote on a proposed project sale to a Chinese state-owned entity which would bring benefits of $526 million.

Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on Europe’s PPA market – Part III

In a recent conversation with pv magazine, Virginia Canazza, the CEO of Italian consultancy REF-E, outlined future scenarios for PV in the Italian PPA market. Projects will be delayed, as prices for gas and CO2 certificates are already low. Unsubsidized PV projects via PPAs might still be bankable, but it is unlikely that investors will risk dealing with small margins. Current capture prices do not justify investments and new entrants may wait for market stability.

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.

TOPCon technology hits 23.5% in mass production

Chinese manufacturer Jolywood claims it has reached 23.5% cell efficiency on the production lines for its n-type TOPCon technology. The achievement, which has not been verified by a third party, represents a 0.3% improvement to Jolywood’s reported mass production efficiency.

A mechanical technique for PV module recycling

An Italian consortium has developed a panel recycling process it claims can recover up to 99% of raw materials. The developers claim their technique takes only 40 seconds to fully recycle a standard panel, depending on size and recycling site conditions.

Preventing PID at 1500 volts

Scientists in Germany have developed a “heavy duty” test to provide insight into the long term effects of potential induced degradation in PV modules. The tests go well beyond those established by IEC standards and seek to guide manufacturers and investors on the best choice of materials – encapsulants in particular – when it comes to long term PID resistance.

Jordan switches off unsubsidized solar projects

The Middle Eastern kingdom has ordered the shutdown of solar wheeling facilities which use the grid to connect to energy offtakers. The move has come in response to tumbling electricity demand after the nation halted all non-essential industries as it tries to limit the spread of Covid-19.

A good year for solar: Agrivoltaics in vineyards

French agricultural PV specialist Sun’Agri has revealed the results of tests run on a solar plant integrated with viticulture. During heat waves, the company said, vines shaded by solar panels continued to grow and needed less water.

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.

Solaria sues Canadian Solar for alleged patent infringement on PV cell ‘shingling’ tech

The U.S. solar panel manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Solar in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

Chinese module manufacturer unveils bolt-on plan to raise capacity

A Solargiga subsidiary has handed over $2.5 million to almost double its stake in a 1.2 GW capacity module manufacturing business set up in June by investors which include the local government.

Cooling down PV panels with water

France’s Sunbooster has developed a technology to cool down solar modules when their ambient temperature exceeds 25 C. The solution features a set of pipes that spread a thin film of water onto the glass surface of the panels in rooftop PV systems and ground-mounted plants. The cooling systems collect the water from rainwater tanks and then recycle, filter and store it again. The company claims the technology can facilitate an annual increase in power generation of between 8% and 12%.

Trina announces its first shipment of 500 W modules

The Chinese manufacturer says the first products exited the factory 11 days after mass production started. The panels were launched by the company late last month.

Covid-19 and dependence on China’s PV supply chain

The Asian Development Bank says developing countries in Asia and the Pacific should consider developing their own solar industry supply chains as the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed their over-reliance on China to carry through the energy transition.

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.

BYD launches Blade Battery for improved fire safety in electric vehicles

During an online launch event, a Blade Battery pack was pierced with a nail without becoming unstable or experiencing dangerous high temperatures. The company says the device will be safer during car accidents.

US behind-the-meter storage forecast falls 31% on coronavirus fears

Wood Mackenzie has cut its 2020 storage outlook to 430 MW – still an increase of more than 100% over 2019 – amid concerns over the role of sales, commissioning and interconnection in a period of shelter-in-place ordinances.

Intersolar Europe canceled

Another big solar event has joined the list of those canceled because of Covid-19. The next edition of The Smarter E event will take place next year.

A battery breakthrough for titanium cathodes

Scientists in Moscow have developed a titanium-based electrode material for metal-ion batteries they claim challenges the perceived wisdom of the element’s cathode potential and which could give researchers a ‘playground’ for the design of sustainable, cost-effective, titanium-based electrodes.

Solar emerging as best bet for West Africa’s future energy mix

The Economic Community of West African States should prioritize the development of solar PV to meet surging energy demand over the next 30 years, according to a newly published study.

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