This article explores the current state of floating solar PV (FPV), briefly highlighting several leading markets, and discussing benefits and advantages in detail alongside common applications and business model considerations. The outlook for FPV is positive and is set to break free of its niche perception. It could well become the third pillar of the solar PV sector in future.
Distribution system operators have their work cut out for them, as they are tasked with the ever-increasing challenge of managing their networks at times of increasing EV penetration, the electrification of heat, and distributed behind-the-meter generation and storage. As transmission system operator markets have opened to demand-side flexibility across Europe and beyond, we now see a trend of DSOs at the very early stages of a similar transition, writes Philippa Hardy, principal analyst at Delta-EE. DSOs are now starting to call on behind-the-meter assets to support local network management and balancing. This provides cost savings for DSOs, while offering opportunities for DSF providers and asset owners.
It is undeniable that easy access to energy has provided tremendous benefits to humankind over the last several decades. But that access has come at a price – one that society only discovered after the fact. From the thousand-year half-lives of spent nuclear fuel to the climate change impact of fossil fuels, access to energy has had a high environmental cost. Renewable energy, especially solar, seeks to provide that same access without the environmental cost. But what is the environmental impact of solar panels and inverters? Is society once again seeking to benefit from an energy source without understanding and addressing its environmental impact? Not this time, writes Green Electronics Council CEO Nancy Gillis.
The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a cloud on industries around the world, but the U.S. utility-scale solar segment is still growing, writes IHS Markit solar analyst Maria J. Chea. Around 3 GW of solar PV is set to be installed this year in Texas alone, but opportunities also abound across several other southern U.S. states.
The proportion of German electricity generated from renewables is five percentage points higher already than it was in the first nine months of last year.
As Africa reels from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, institutions and individuals across the continent are coming up with innovations to help check its spread. Solar-powered hand washing machines to serve communities are dominating the inventions.
A study into the potential pitfalls of the shift to clean power in the nation’s coal-dependent energy mix, pointed out almost all of South Africa’s solar farms are far to the south and west of the coal regions likely to bear the brunt of job losses in a country which already has 29% unemployment.
A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says there is plenty of investment capital available for Indian renewables, despite pandemic disruption.
More than 1 GW of subsidized small solar arrays were installed in China last month alone and manufacturer Suntech has announced the start of operations at its 500 MW Indonesian cell and module fab.
According to Brazilian solar association ABSolar, there are currently more than 300,000 distributed generation PV systems connected to the country’s grid.
Projects can be established anywhere in Gujarat which has spare grid capacity, with the relevant substations listed on the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation website.
And module manufacturer Trina Solar announced on Monday afternoon that the company has signed an agreement with the government of Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, for the construction of a 10 GW solar module factory.
The tariff, imposed by the regional energy regulator for use of the distribution network, will be charged via bills issued by electricity suppliers.
Alsace start-up Ecosun is developing innovative microgrid solutions to provide electricity in isolated areas.
Big solar projects in the U.S. are back in style and growing in number.
How can you get the gigawatts of distributed solar generation in the WA South West Interconnected System to play nicely with the network? Western Power has gathered 100 MW of resource to test its coordinated ability to stabilize the system on low-demand days.
Law firm Riad & Riad has confirmed the levy will be applied but said the level of the charge had not been determined, despite a report to the contrary in one local newspaper.
Factors like a labour shortage and proposed duties on module imports could lead to significant cost overruns for Indian developers.
Oil and metals trader will join forces with Australian investment group IFM to launch the new entity, which will develop solar, wind and energy storage projects – some of them supplying clean energy to Trafigura operations – as well as making acquisitions.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur have developed 12×12 cm2 sub-modules from organic solar PV cells on a paper substrate that could be used to power flexible electronic devices under an indoor lighting environment. The modules are said to deliver a power density of up to 12 µW/cm2 under illumination from a 1000-lux cool‐white LED.
Researchers in South Korea have analyzed the effects of alkali doping on the fill factor of kesterite solar cells and have built a device on a flexible metal foil optimized with a sodium fluoride doping layer.
Highline Technology GmbH has a production process in which metal contacts are applied without touching the front of solar cells, reportedly saving resources and raising efficiency.
The Spanish renewables company is offering up two of its solar and wind power sites in Spain for the testing of energy storage systems. The call for companies to take part is open until the end of next month.
According to a new study from Japan, the global installed PV capacity in solar-powered EVs may reach up to 50 GW by 2030. Its authors claim that solar cells with efficiencies higher than 30%, including multijunction III-V cells and III-V cells combined with silicon cells, are the best candidates for applications in the automotive sector due to the limited space of electric car rooftops. However, a series of technical and economic challenges must still be addressed.
The SunPower spinoff claims that Canadian Solar has infringed its Japan Patent No. JP6642841B2 for shingled solar modules.
The 30 MW fab will assemble modules with power ratings from 260 W to more than 330 W.
The Chinese giant now has plans in place to hit more than 50 GW of panel capacity – and 26 GW of cell lines – next year.
New cadmium telluride solar panels are now available for applications on tall buildings in urban environments. Their efficiency ranges from 15.3% to 18.2%, with 110 W to 450 W of power output.
Plus, panel maker Risen began construction of a 15 GW cell and module factory in Yiwu, in the central Zhejiang province of eastern China.
The business intelligence firm has projected storage costs will continue their downward trajectory on the back of product and process optimization. That will favor a higher adoption rate in automotive and grid applications, the analysts say. Elsewhere, discoveries of lithium in the U.S. and the U.K. have raised hopes for lower raw material costs and more supply chain diversity.
‘Lithium Valley’, south of Perth, is set for two new faces after U.K. battery manufacturer Amte Power and Perth-based infrastructure firm Infranomics signed an agreement to explore the possibility of establishing lithium-ion cell manufacturing facilities in the state of Western Australia.
International researchers have analyzed the potential of sodium-based energy storage and found recent technical advances have arrived faster than those for the lithium-ion batteries which have been studied for three decades. Issues remain, however, before sodium constitutes a complementary option to lithium.
The Portuguese and Dutch governments want to connect the hydrogen project of Sines to the Port of Rotterdam and to develop a strategic export-import value chain to ensure the production and transport of green hydrogen to the Netherlands and its hinterland.
Amid an uptake in EV sales, researchers are examining battery material supply chains. A report has indicated policy-driven circular economy strategies must be introduced in Europe if the bloc is to strengthen its resilience to volatility in the cobalt market.
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