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The weekend read: The specter of PV protectionism

Trade tariffs are spreading across the global PV industry. The United States has been especially active with its sandwich of old antidumping and countervailing duties coupled with new Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. Some of these are part of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute; others impact not only Chinese producers, but manufacturers around the world. So, what will be the impact of this new era of PV protectionism on the solar sector?
Highlights

Climate strike!

As of 11.30 CEST, the global pv magazine team in Berlin will down tools to attend the global climate strike at Brandenburger Tor.
Markets & Policy

South Africa’s water-energy nexus leaves room for improvement

A team of researchers modeled the country's energy future, finding that the drought plagued municipalities could benefit massively from large scale renewables deployment. The current reliance on coal-fired power stations causes immense water consumption,...
Announcements

2019 energy storage North America special

In cooperation with Energy Storage North America, coming to San Diego, California on November 5-7 2019, pv magazine has put together an Energy Storage special edition.

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pv magazine webinar

Assessing the impact of bifacial modules with transparent backsheet on savings and ROI

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2019 Sustainability Award window opened

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Installations

Google buys power from another 1.6 GW of renewables

The new deals worth $2 billion in new investments were made by the Internet giant in in the U.S., Chile and Europe.
Energy Storage

Solar-plus-storage for social housing

U.K. nonprofit organization Together Housing is launching a solar-plus-storage demonstration project in a social housing complex. The $2.4 million pilot is designed to identify alternative commercial models for residential storage, following the abrupt r...
Sustainability

Solar, renewables and hydrogen for greener marine transport

A new report in Sweden suggests that renewables are an ideal source of power for marine vessels, based on a case study in which solar PV and proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, combined with a diesel generator, were used to reduce the greenhouse gas and...
Installations

Amazon pledges zero emissions by 2040

Amazon unveiled a number of new climate initiatives this week, including 80% renewables by 2024, zero emissions by 2040, a fleet of 100,000 electric vans and a $100 million investment in reforestation measures.
Installations

Indian renewables leaders split over need for regulation

While some of the industry insiders at REI 2019 have made predictable calls to scrap restrictions imposed by regulators, others have continued to maintain that policy support is crucial, while audience members voiced concerns about India’s lack of recy...
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Press Releases

AustrianSolar has closed another transaction in Chile

AustrianSolar Chile has signed off on an EPC and O&M deal for the 86 MW La Huella solar project north of Santiago.

Q Cells to reveal its first gapless solar modules at the 2019 Solar Power International exhibition

Gapless solar module prototypes the Q. Peak Duo BLK ML-G9 and the Q.

ASEAN Energy Business Forum 2019

ASEAN Energy Business Forum took place in Bangkok, 3 - 5 September 2019, while the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) took place on 4th September 2019. On this occasion, the Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the MoU between ACE and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NTSDA) of Thailand during AMEM.

PBOX Lighting announce new frameless solar street light

This new design frameless solar street light ensures there be limited build up of dirt on the structure, enabling the lights to work at full capacity for an extended period of time.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Safety is paramount

When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.

Maximize the benefits of solar energy through techno-ecological synergies

The dire assessment from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it very clear this past year: To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, a significant shift to clean energy sources must be well underway by 2030.

Tendency toward diversification

Looking back at the PV market in 2018, micro module technologies started maturing in development and moving on to mass production, writes TrendForce analyst Lions Shih. Modules are no longer limited to a single design as before, but rather continuing on the path toward diversification in 2019. The situation is spreading into other areas, as may be seen in the upstream silicon wafer and cell segments.

Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Dear European solar industry: Let’s lead the interconnected platform before it is too late

While China is single-handedly reducing CAPEX for modules and inverters, Europe understands that hardware won’t be the holy grail – generally speaking. But what is? Perhaps it is time for a new strategy to surf in front of the digital wave.

Vietnam’s 2019 commissioning rush

Vietnam had already successfully commissioned 1.5 GW of utility-scale PV at the end of May this year, and there is no sign of this slowing down, with another 2 GW teed up for June 2019. The breakneck speed in development is making Vietnam a powerhouse in the region in installed capacity, even nipping at the heels of Australia. Rystad Energy’s Minh Koi Le looks at the state of play in the Vietnamese solar market.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Distributed generation growing in Latin America

In the early years of the 21st century, distributed generation systems in Latin America were mainly installed off-grid in remote rural areas, writes Maria Chea, solar analyst at IHS Markit. As the El Niño phenomenon and high oil prices continued to exacerbate high electricity prices and power shortages, governments began to turn their attention to distributed generation, including PV systems, to assuage strains on their national grid networks.

Open PV Project goes offline

The US Department of Energy has shut down the site for its Open PV Project, which supplied cost and installation data. Is this the winding down of a project whose time had come, or is the administration of President Donald Trump closing off another data source on renewable energy?

Fitch predicts a decade of corporate renewable power procurement growth in the US

Growth in U.S. solar and wind generation capacity will average 7.9% and 3.9%, respectively, between 2022 and 2028 according to Fitch Solutions, who projects almost 120 GW of solar power to be deployed in that period. Corporate clean energy buyers are to be a large part of the trend, and to accelerate deployments during the period.

Deal signed for 110 MW Netherlands solar park

An estimated output of 104 GWh of clean energy per year from the second half of 2020 is not the only benefit the Vlagtwedde Solar Farm will bring. There will also be an awful lot of blueberries.

A common language for bifacial PV

This week pv magazine was in Amsterdam for the sixth edition of the BifiPV workshop, where the discussion focused on the impressive achievements made by bifacial solar modules and the challenges the technology faces as it moves toward mainstream adoption.

Moldova sets renewables tariffs

The energy regulator has set a 15-year payment of $0.10/kWh for PV projects with a generation capacity of 10 kW-1 MW. The first auctions for large renewables projects are planned for early next year and will grant a fixed rate rather than a variable premium.

Installations

Featured

PV in need of a new chapter for wind

In part two of this feature on wind resilience in the PV industry, the lack of structural codes comes into focus. Weather events, and wind above all, are the most common causes of failure for PV plants. In the United States, the first steps have been taken to catch up with other industries and a dedicated chapter for PV is set to be included in the next update of the American Society of Civil Engineers code. In Europe, no such plans are in place.

GE to supply 100 MW/300 MWh battery for South Australia solar farm

GE Renewable Energy has been chosen to supply a massive battery for the 200 MW Solar River Project in South Australia.

Uzbekistan builds 40 MW solar park to power free economic zone

The self-consumption project, being built by EPC contractor Helios Energy, is being realized by the Ministry of Innovative Development. The energy generated will power a free economic zone in the Chust district of the Namangan region.

Mexico may resume cancelled energy auction

Energy minister Norma Rocío Nahle García yesterday announced the tender round believed to have been cancelled in January had merely been held up by the inability of power lines to cope with new generation capacity. The minister added, expanded nuclear capacity is under consideration.

Korea’s South Jeolla province is becoming a solar hub

According to Korean government, around 18,000 unlicensed projects up to 1 MW in size are being developed in the area. Restrictions on such projects, which are driving this year’s strong solar growth in the country, are being introduced to reduce their environmental impact.

Austria mulls mandatory PV as new rebates for solar and storage launched

With the region of Styria considering making PV mandatory on all new buildings, the nation’s Climate Fund will support PV and storage projects in agriculture and forestry. Applications can be submitted by November 2020 – or until the pot is empty.

Technology

Featured

Floating PV – niche market or transformative disruptor?

Why on earth would you want to install PV on water? There seem to be plenty of safer sites for solar PV on solid ground or stable rooftops. Nicolas Choleur of Everoze highlights the key requirements for the bankability of floating PV, right through the project life cycle, from development to dismantling.

UK scientists find way to cut down indium

A research team led by the University of Liverpool has developed a transparent conductive oxide material to replace tin with molybdenum. The results demonstrated better performance and potentially lower material costs than the transparent conducting layers used in today’s commercial solar cells.

The blackest black for more efficient solar cells

MIT scientists claim to have created a material 10 times more black than anything witnessed to date. It is said to be able to absorb more than 99.96% of incoming light and reflect 10 times less light than other superblack materials. The invention may be interesting for the development of black silicon PV technology and carbon nanotube-based solar cells.

‘The world has no chance of beating climate change if natural gas is part of the mix’

A report by Germany’s Energy Watch Group thinktank has said we would be better off sticking to coal and oil than switching to gas because emissions of methane, the most potent greenhouse gas, caused by gas extraction render any related carbon savings irrelevant.

Solar-plus-storage vs grid enhancement, part IV

Co-location of solar and storage may accelerate the deployment of profitable merchant renewable energy projects in the United Kingdom, according to a report by Aurora Energy Research. The study predicts installed solar capacity in the U.K. may increase from around 13 GW next year to 19 GW in 2030 and 32 GW in 2040.

EU approves Eon’s bid to take over Innogy

It took a while, but now the energy giants can finalize the mega deal. Rival energy companies have criticized approval of the deal amid fears Eon could dominate the German market.

Manufacturing

Featured

Pushing sustainability UP the agenda

As pv magazine’s UP campaign aims to place sustainability issues at the forefront of the solar industry, we take a look at the current situation and the programs, incentives and regulations that are in operation worldwide to promote responsibility in the design, operation and disposal of PV systems.

‘Mono will supply 80% of the world’s solar by 2021’

Polysilicon manufacturer Daqo has announced the start of pilot production in Xinjiang and expects to ramp up to full output by the end of the year, doubling the company’s annual capacity to 70,000 MT. Some 90% of its poly will be mono by that stage and Daqo expects 40% to be suitable for n-type products next year.

Canadian Solar raises efficiency record for mono cast cell

The result was verified by Germany’s Institute für Solarenergieforschung GmbH. The Canadian-Chinese manufacturer claims to have achieved 22.8% efficiency for its multi-crystalline P5 cell, produced with a mono cast manufacturing process.

SMA: ‘We can’t be credible if we’re not sustainable’

Credibility comes not just from offering products that generate clean electricity, but also from the way in which those products are manufactured, says SMA Solar Technology CEO Jürgen Reinert. Here, transparency and sustainability are key. That’s why one of the world’s largest PV inverter producers has partnered with pv magazine’s UP sustainability initiative. In the following Q&A, Reinert lays out what SMA is doing to step UP its green game.

The weekend read: Inverter issues

PVEL’s inaugural inverter scorecard is showing up the need for much more scrutiny on the reliability of inverters. But are developers and EPCs even paying attention?

Silicon and perovskites should stick together, say Korean scientists

Researchers from the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a new method of fabricating perovskite-on-silicon tandem devices, using a transparent conductive adhesive to combine the two cells. The scientists have developed devices with demonstrated efficiencies of 19.4%, and propose strategies to bring that above 24% using existing technology.

Energy Storage

Featured

Chile taps ‘white gold’ for security of energy supply

Chile is home to a massive 10.3 million tons of lithium reserves, most of which is found in the Atacama Desert in the northern part of the country. With some of the highest solar irradiation levels on Earth, this region also boasts the perfect conditions for generating solar power. Developments in the photovoltaic market, alongside implementation of more efficient energy storage systems, are positioning Chile as a regional leader in this field. So what does the future hold for battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Chile, and what obstacles lie in their way?

Brexit paralysis and lack of incentives leave community energy facing uphill struggle in the UK

The future benefits of technology such as smart meters and the associated aggregation of small scale generation are not being adequately rewarded, support for solar and wind is being cut off and parliament is fixated solely on one issue.

Solar-plus-storage vs. grid enhancement, part III

A new IRENA report highlights how large-scale storage systems can be thought of as “virtual power lines” that enhance the performance and reliability of power networks when congestion occurs. It expects global storage capacity from large-scale batteries to grow from about 11 GWh at present to between 100 GWh and 167 GWh by 2030.

Solar microgrid to power Australian industrial park

A consortium led by gas network owner Enwave Australia is developing Australia’s first industrial renewable energy microgrid at a new 120-hectare business park in Nambeelup, Western Australia.

Australia’s AEMO radically curtails output of five large solar farms

The Australian Energy Market Operator constrained the output of several large-scale solar plants by 50% on Friday, in response to voltage fluctuations in a 220 kV network spanning the states of Victoria and New South Wales.

Germany will need 160 GW of solar by 2030 to prevent power shortages

EuPD Research has calculated what needs to be done to replace the nuclear and coal generation to be phased out in Germany. Accelerated expansion of PV appears the best short-term option. However, storage capacity will need to increase 30-fold by 2040 so solar can become the main pillar of the country’s energy system.

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