Top News

Scratching the surface of LeTID

The mechanisms behind light-elevated temperature-induced degradation are still not fully understood, but it is known to cause significant performance losses for modules in the field. Scientists in China are investigating the causes of the phenomenon, and are currently focused on the surface of the materials and the interfaces between the silicon and passivation layers.
Installations

Chinese solar glass company keeps 24-hour furnaces running during Covid crisis

Xinyi Solar has revealed another impressive set of figures and plans another 1,000-ton-per-day production line this month plus a new mine to source raw materials in September.
Energy Storage

A residential vanadium flow battery

Flow battery manufacturers typically pursue utility scale storage projects but German start-up VoltStorage is targeting the household market.
Announcements

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Why Large-Scale Solar Alone no Longer Makes Sense

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SMA presenta una nueva solución para optimizar los sistemas fotovoltaicos residenciales

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Back-Contact’s Move to the Front

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Markets & Policy

South African utility Eskom launches tender for 80 MW/320 MWh of storage

The South African national power company is planning to deploy large scale energy storage capacity at the Skaapvlei substation. The facility will help manage the intermittent energy generated by a 100 MW Eskom wind farm.
Energy Storage

Amorphous lithium discovery could lead to new high-performance batteries

Researchers have set out to study the kinetics of lithium deposition during cycling in a battery. By changing different parameters, they’ve found that it’s fairly easy to put lithium into amorphous form, which is superior on an electromechanical leve...
Markets & Policy

Former Panda Green finance chief backtracks on backdated paperwork interview

Li Hong, former chief finance officer of the now-state-owned Chinese solar developer has reportedly told Panda Green the information he gave KPMG investigators about $146 million of missing project rights payments ‘may not be accurate.’ He has refuse...
Installations

Albanian utility set to move forward with 12.9 MW floating PV project

Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare began development of the €13.9 million facility in December 2018. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is considering lending €9.5 million to a project which it is said would help reduce the elec...
Installations

Indian EPC Sterling and Wilson: Europe will be our next stop

Having bagged large orders in the U.S. and Australia, Indian multinational engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services provider Sterling and Wilson Solar is bidding for tenders in new regions, Europe among them. Kannan Krishnan, S&W’s ...
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Press Releases

Sonnedix achieves financial close for 5.5 MW of operational capacity in the Shimane prefecture

On 17 July 2020, Sonnedix Japan, on behalf of the Sonnedix Group of companies (Sonnedix Group), completed a JPY 2. 4bn (EUR 20 million) project financing led by Iyo Bank.

Hevel launched new off grid solar PV projects in Far East remote areas

Russian HJT solar cell and module manufacturer Hevel Group started construction of several off-grid solar PV plants in Russia’s Far East.

FuturaSun participates at SNEC, the international photovoltaic fair held in Shanghai

SNEC is the biggest yearly photovoltaic event in the world, but also this fair, like all the other national and international trade fairs, should have taken place a few months ago but was postponed due to the coronavirus emergency.  

Schneider Electric Solar unveils Insight, a smart digital platform for solar & storage energy management

Schneider Electric Solar has announced the launch of Insight, its powerful yet simple energy management platform for residential and commercial users. It is available through its local, cloud and mobile interfaces.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Solar’s warranty risk

The warranty risk of solar must be addressed early in the development phase of PV projects, as it is not possible to buy warranty insurance later during the operational phase. Decisions taken by developers at this stage will remain important for the next 25 years. The good news is that an industry standard exists, and it can be easily and cost-effectively applied to most PV projects, writes Ronald Sastrawan from Munich Re.

Three factors for success in the Irish solar market

Recent years have seen an explosion of installed PV capacity across the European Union, fueled by the well-documented rapid reduction in technology costs and favorable subsidy regimes in many jurisdictions. However, one corner of Northern Europe remains relatively untouched by the solar revolution, writes Adam Sharpe of Everoze. The Republic of Ireland currently has the second-lowest amount of installed PV capacity in the European Union, at just 36 MW by the end of 2019.

Terawatt scale by 2022

The solar sector is no stranger to breaking records. Perhaps the most impressive figure to emerge from SolarPower Europe’s new ‘Global Market Outlook’ is that the global solar sector will reach terawatt scale by 2022 – just four years after the 500 GW milestone was reached. Michael Schmela from SolarPower Europe sets out the reasoning behind this and other key findings in the report.

As countries reopen, market recovery begins

As the Covid-19 pandemic gradually eases, countries around the world have slowly begun to relax lockdown measures. Some countries have also launched varying types of economic stimulus to support the solar sector. In contrast to others, the Chinese market is stable, as the country has had some success in controlling the virus.

Universal energy access just got harder

This year marks a uniquely critical juncture on the road to universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy. The massive disruption caused by Covid-19 complicates the outlook to 2030, which is the target date for reaching UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, writes Rohit Khanna, manager of the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program.

Emerging markets and innovation: Twin pillars of the solar tracker market

Global solar tracker shipments reached new record levels in 2019, exceeding 31 GW, up 55% year on year. Exceptional demand in the United States – as well as multiple gigawatt markets in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Spain and Australia – helped propel the market to new heights, writes Cormac Gilligan, associate director at IHS Markit.

Covid-19

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Covid-19 weekly round-up: Solar resilient in the US as Australia and Europe forge ahead through crisis

Plus, U.K. analyst Cornwall Insight reports the price of green energy certificates in the nation could stay in the doldrums for some time and industry executives consider the upsides of the new virtual PV business.

Renewables outpace nuclear and coal in the US

The latest edition of the US Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly report shows renewables generated more electricity through May 31 than coal and nuclear.

Umweltbank finances 110 MW solar project in Germany

Developer Anumar has secured the signature of Norwegian renewables company Statkraft on a 50 MW power purchase agreement for the project and another 30 MW of generation capacity has been awarded a feed-in premium tariff in a tender. Umweltbank provided a €55 million loan.

Exclusive interview – Jinko Power on how it offered the world’s lowest solar power price

pv magazine’s Amjad Khashman has spoken to Chinese solar developer Jinko Power about negotiating the world record low price tariff agreed for electricity generated at the Al Dhafra solar project in Abu Dhabi.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Biden’s $2tn green recovery program as Germany prepares to return to normality

Plus, even stay-at-home orders and plunging commercial energy demand failed to take the sting out of Australia’s solar duck curve and China’s GCL System counts the first-half cost of the public health crisis.

Germany reinstates regular solar tender schedule

The extraordinary measure of not publishing the results of successful project bids – brought in during the Covid-19 crisis – is set to be lifted from September, when the projects allocated in procurement rounds over the last five months will be made public.

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.

Mobile, quick-install mounting system for medium and large scale projects

An Australian innovator has designed a secure racking system he says enables super-fast installation of solar fields, which can then be relocated as needed.

Is Mexican utility CFE entering the solar business?

Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) is seeking approval to develop 350 MW of solar in the state of Baja California. The arrays will be built on the same site as the 820 MW Cerro Prieto geothermal project. However, it remains unclear whether the PV installations mark the company’s formal entry into the solar business.

Finnish industrial park gets 12 MW smart grid with central inverters

Inverter manufacturer Fimer provided its PVS980-58 central inverter solution for the project, which will derive 35% of its energy from solar PV.

Meyer Burger secures creditor approval to buy SolarWorld factory in Germany

Creditors of SolarWorld Industries have approved the sale of a production facility to Meyer Burger. The Swiss tech group plans to manufacture highly efficient solar modules at the plant.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Big deals in the Middle East

Shanghai Electric has won a contract to build the fifth 900 MW phase of a 5 GW solar park in Dubai. JA Solar also agreed this week to supply 138 MW of PV modules for two projects in Jordan.

Installations

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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.

The weekend read: In pursuit of universal energy access

Koen Peters has been the executive director of global offgrid solar association GOGLA since 2014. He has more than 20 years of international work experience, with more than 12 years in relation to energy access. He has gathered insights from many different perspectives and organizations, including government, consulting, startup businesses, and international finance organizations.

US utility invests in Australian prefab PV system manufacturer

AES, one of the world’s largest power companies, has made a strategic investment in Sydney-based prefabricated solar system manufacturer 5B.

German PV tender concludes with lowest price of €0.0490/kWh

The country’s latest tech-specific PV tender was oversubscribed, but the final prices are slightly lower than those recorded in the last procurement round.

Strategies to prevent overvoltage-induced inverter disconnections

Australian scientists have identified seven methods to prevent PV losses when overvoltage-induced inverter disconnections occur. The methods include battery storage, reactive power inverters, export limits, distribution static synchronous compensators, the replacement of old conductors in power grids, load reconfiguration, and dynamic voltage restoration.

India to hit large-scale PV target of 60 GW by 2022

India’s cumulative renewables capacity will hit 120 GW to 125 GW by December 2022, with solar to account for about 50% of the total, according to a new report by ICRA.

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.

Cadmium-free CIGS solar cell with 18% efficiency

South Korean scientists manufactured the cell with the chemical bath deposition method, using different thiourea concentrations. For the buffer layer, they used zinc instead of cadmium sulfide. The cell is flexible and is available in seven different colors.

A step forward for single-crystal perovskites

Scientists in the United States have developed a lithography-based process for the fabrication of single-crystal perovskites. Thin films made using this process have been integrated into a range of devices, including solar cells, and have demonstrated better stability performance than their more commonly researched polycrystalline counterparts.

Fuzzy logic MPPT to improve PV system performance

A Pakistani-Chinese research group has demonstrated a new maximum power point tracking method, based on a fuzzy logic algorithm to provide faster results. The converter tech is claimed to have an impact on PV system efficiency and provide isolation between the load and the PV array.

Texan utility tenders 900 MW of solar, 50 MW of storage

CPS Energy has taken the first step towards bringing those volumes – plus 500 MW of firming capacity – to the Lone Star State in pursuit of the power company’s 50%-renewables-by-2040 goal.

Perovskite structure also benefits batteries

Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruher Institute of Technology are leading an investigation into a new lithium-ion battery anode. The innovation has a perovskite crystalline structure and, according to the researchers, could provide strong all-round performance from simpler, cheaper production methods than those used for other anode materials.

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.

India confirms one-year extension of solar cell import duty

The ‘safeguard’ duty will be levied on Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai solar cells – whether assembled into modules or not – at 14.9% from today and falling to 14.5% in six months’ time. Malaysian products are exempted as their imports have fallen dramatically since the duty was introduced, in July 2018.

Restrictions for solar on agricultural land may slow PV growth in Taiwan

Taiwan-based TrendForce says the nation added only 410 MW of solar capacity to the end of May, towards this year’s 2.2 GW target. The lower-than-expected deployment volume may be further hampered by new restrictions for PV on agricultural land introduced by the Council of Agriculture this month.

Understanding the fate of end-of-life modules

Scientists in India have taken a close look at the potential impact of growing volumes of PV waste, and have conducted surveys that suggest a lot more work is needed from manufacturers and policymakers to develop management systems for end-of-life PV products.

US racking company moves manufacturing to China

Despite strong revenue growth in its domestic market, Quick Mount PV – which was acquired by Netherlands-based Esdec last year – is abandoning its U.S. manufacturing to move overseas.

Temperature-based MPPT algorithm to improve PV system efficiency

Researchers in Spain have developed a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm based on just one input parameter – PV module temperature. The algorithm has already shown stability in testing, the scientists claim.

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.

New reports look at 2019 Arizona battery explosion

A series of failures triggered thermal runaway and an explosion at Arizona Public Service Electric’s McMicken battery facility, according to two new reports that look at how to prevent similar disasters in the future.

Hydrogen storage in salt caverns in France

Hydrogène de France and gas grid company Teréga plan to launch a feasibility study for a 1.5 GWh pilot hydrogen storage project in caverns in the southwest of the country.

Testing floating PV, storage and hydrogen at Netherlands’ largest off-shore wind complex

Energy companies Shell and Eneco have secured the tender to build the 759 MW wind power plant. The partners will build a pilot solar park, short-term storage capacity and a green hydrogen plant at the facility, to assess their capabilities of balancing intermittent power.

Portuguese consortium plans 1 GW green hydrogen cluster

A consortium will develop the huge project with Danish wind turbine maker Vestas by 2030.

Aid organization seeks developers for mini-grids in Ethiopia

The U.S.-based Mercy Corps has opened a call for expressions of interest in the installation of mini-grids at three refugee camps on the Somali border.

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