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French postal service aims to deliver stable energy bill using renewables

The La Poste Group wants one or more green corporate PPAs, to be procured through a tender. The postal service wants to hedge against volatile energy prices.
Markets & Policy

Poland slashes VAT for residential solar from 23% to 8%

The Polish parliament has adopted new environmental provisions which also include a tax reduction for micro PV. The measure comes on top of the Mój Prąd rebate scheme for residential rooftop projects ranging in size from 2 kW to 10 kW which was launche...
Installations

The US tops 37.9 GW of large scale solar

That record figure of utility scale PV was under contract at the end of June with 8.7 GWdc under construction. However, installation levels fell slightly, year-over-year.
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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, covering the storage industry’s latest developments and offering a sneak peek at what will be on the show floor come November.

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Markets & Policy

An organic solar cell for indoor light

A Swedish-Chinese research team has developed an organic cell said to be ideal for wide use in daily life to power internet of things-enabled devices. The cell could be used to power sensors that detect and measure moisture, particle concentrations, temp...
Installations

Renesola rebounds from loss with Q2 profit but loan looms large

The project developer trumpeted its return to the black in the second quarter and appears set to secure an $11 million cash injection from its main shareholder. It needs the cash to help settle a near-$29 million debt due for repayment in March.
Installations

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.
Markets & Policy

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 ...
Markets & Policy

ACWA Power offers African record low $0.02526/kWh for Ethiopian projects

Ethiopia has concluded the tender process for the first round of its Scaling Solar program. The winning bid is the lowest in the continent to date, according to the finance ministry.
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Press Releases

SolaX Power To Showcase Product Range Across 4 Global Shows

As we enter the final stretch of 2019, SolaX Power are showing no signs of kicking back and relaxing after the incredibly busy year that they have had instead, they are stepping up a gear and finishing the year with 4 global exhibitions spanning over the final few months of 2019.

Jolywood to Power Full-electric Heavy Truck With Solar Energy Storage System

The PV modules manufacturer unveiled its solar energy storage system with the launch of the fully electric heavy truck manufactured by Breton. Fueling the emerging electric trucks sector, Jolywood has driven substantial growth in the Internet of Energy (IoE) sector, making renewable energy more accessible.

Product launch under the name ValkCableCare

Van der Valk Solar Systems is proud to announce the new product range: ValkCableCare. This range of products provides a safe and easy solution for cable management of the PV-system.

Dowell premiers new Hybrid inverter model

Dowell launches a new hybrid inverter for the residential market.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

10 GW of utility-scale PV+storage by 2023

In 2019, the United States will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit’s Camron Barati, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement.

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.

Dubai has 106 MW under net metering

Most of the generation capacity – around 63 MW – was deployed in the emirate over the last 14 months.

Total expands solar business in Asia

The French oil giant and China’s Envision Group are forming a joint venture offering PV systems combined with energy management solutions. Total Eren is also involved in a 100 MW solar project in Uzbekistan.

Colombia imposes renewables quota on power distributors

The obligation will be applied annually from 2022. The clean electricity required will have to be bought through power purchase contracts of at least 10 years’ duration.

Dutch government seeks to privatize Tennet

Tennet needs more than €4.75 billion to invest in cross-border grid infrastructure between Germany and the Netherlands, as rising volumes of solar and wind are complicating network operations, said Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra in a recent letter to the Dutch parliament, adding that the government may need to privatize the state-owned transmission system operator or sell off a stake in it.

Goldman Sachs reaches $4 billion in renewable investment potential

Goldman Sachs Renewable Power, a subsidiary of the investment banking giant, has reached an equity pool of $4 billion, which will serve to expand on the hundreds of megawatts in portfolios the company has acquired in the last 12 months alone.

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.

India’s SECI to supply 1.3 GW of clean power through recent deals

With India’s power minister hinting that a new renewable energy tariff policy could be in the works, the federal agency responsible for solar has started boasting about the volume of clean power it has in the pipeline.

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.

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?

IRENA and the UN ink agreement to combat desertification with renewables

A memorandum of understanding signed by the institutions was not solar specific but the use of PV modules for shading, especially in agriculture, can reduce water consumption and help halt the expansion of deserts.

Greece to tender 287 MW of new solar capacity in December

The nation’s energy regulator today announced separate tenders for solar and wind generation capacity will be held on December 12.

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.

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.

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.

Solar-plus-storage vs grid enhancement part II

Grid expert Andrea Mansoldo tells pv magazine how energy markets based on solar and storage are feasible as an alternative to costly grid infrastructure work. He says around 6 GWh of battery capacity may be a good alternative to building 1000km of power line or an AC 750 kV high-voltage line.

Swiss scientists identify causes of defects in silicon carbides for power electronics

Carbon clusters of a few nanometers in size could be responsible for the defects affecting the thermal stability of SiCs. The defective carbon accumulations arise during the oxidation of silicon carbide to silicon dioxide under high temperatures.

Five takeaways from EU PVSEC 2019

This week, pv magazine headed to Marseille for the 36th edition of the EU PVSEC conference and exhibition. During the week-long show, leading universities and research institutes presented their latest results to the industry and public. As the conference heads into its final afternoon, we’ve put together five key takeaways from this year’s event.

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.

Value of local manufacturing demonstrated, utilization up but still a long way to go

Indian module manufacturers are gearing up for an end-of-year surge in solar project procurement and hoping their investments in incorporating global manufacturing benchmarks will translate into enhanced sales.

ABB and Fimer respond to UK criticism of products and customer service

The inverter businesses have responded to the letter published by the UK Solar Trade Association which was critical of the former’s products and customer service record.

Solar pioneer Pierre Verlinden: The big problem is apathy

On the first day of this year’s EU PVSEC conference, veteran solar researcher Pierre J Verlinden won the Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics. The award recognized more than 40 years as a leading PV researcher in academia and at leading companies including Sunpower and Trina Solar. Its recipient spoke to pv magazine about what is needed from solar to stave off catastrophic climate change.

Recovering interest rates may raise large scale solar electric price 11%

Renewables investment may by hit by rising interest rates despite the falling cost of clean energy tech just as fossil fuels avoid the impact of rising base rates.

Innolia Energy to invest $31m in solar module and EV product manufacturing in Hyderabad

The U.S. company claims its 300 MW manufacturing plant in Hyderabad will deliver fully integrated, customizable solar panel, lithium battery pack and controller systems under a single roof.

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?

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.

The cooling effect of PV

Research from Finland’s Aalto University claims the residential cooling sector could sustain 540 GW of solar generation capacity if the world’s air conditioning systems were solar powered. Academics say synergies between PV and the cooling industry will become stronger as demand for the latter shifts nearer the equator, where seasonal differences in weather are less pronounced.

Does slew of solar mega tenders mean Gulf nations are belatedly accepting the inevitable?

With Kuwait, Qatar and even renewables laggard Saudi Arabia following in the wake of regional clean energy pioneer the UAE, a raft of huge solar tenders is entering the Middle Eastern project pipeline. Obstacles remain to overseas project developers but significant rewards are on offer.

Wacker enters battery business with acquisition of 25% stake in Nexeon

The Munich-based chemical company has taken a substantial minority share in the British materials specialist to expand its silicon-based high-performance battery activity. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

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