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Solarwatt brings new module and battery factories online in Germany

German manufacturer Solarwatt today announced the opening of a new 300 MW module production facility, as well as new battery pack assembly lines, located on the outskirts of Dresden. The company invested around €35 million in the new lines and says it will begin delivering modules produced on the new equipment to customers as early as next week.
Installations

PV-powered autonomous sea access for people with disabilities

Greek startup Tobea has developed a PV-powered platform for people with disabilities. The system consists of a fixed-track mechanism in which a moving chair can be shifted in and out of the water. It can be powered by conventional modules and relies on a...
Manufacturing

Fraunhofer ISE develops solder-free aluminum interconnection tech for shingled PV modules

The German research institute has unveiled a novel interconnection technology for shingled PV modules that eliminates the need for electrically conductive adhesives and screen-printed busbars. It consists of an 8-μm-thick aluminum foil that is joined to...
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Geopolitics

China pledges not to build new coal plants abroad yet questions remain

President Xi Jinping’s pledge this week at the United Nations General Assembly that China will not build new coal-fired plants abroad is welcome news; however, Asia’s transition to low carbon energies remains in dire need of policy reforms.
Manufacturing

Sonnenstromfabrik launches new PV module series with large wafers and power of up to 490 W

The German solar manufacturer has unveiled three new formats for its glass-film and glass-glass PV modules for the first quarter of 2022.
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Energy Storage

Residential battery inverter from the US

US storage system provider NeoVolta has developed a battery inverter that provides 32 A of AC output power. It has a storage capacity of 14.4 KWh that can be expanded to 24.0 kWh with the addition of another battery without the need for a second inverter.
Manufacturing

Aerocompact starts making flat-roof PV racking products in India

Aerocompact, an Austrian supplier of solar racking solutions, has started manufacturing PV mounting products for flat rooftops in India.
Energy Storage

Triple Solar unveils new photovoltaic thermal panel for heat-pump houses

Dutch company Triple Solar has launched a new PVT module for residential applications which can be connected to water-to-water or PVT heat pumps. The new panel is said to be 10% larger and have a 15% higher output than the company's other products and ca...

Press Releases

Fimer to power up Intersolar 2021 with new innovative solutions

Fimer is set to unveil its new era of technologies at Intersolar 2021, including the world premiere of its ‘best-in-class’ platforms for residential applications.

Jolywood talked on TOPCon Industrialization Technology Seminar

TOPCon Industrialization Technology Seminar was held by Key Laboratory of Photovoltaic and Energy Conservation Materials (CAS) and well-known solar technology media Mole PV on 17 September 2021.

Up to €80 million funding for Recap Energy to build Spanish and Portuguese solar C&I portfolio

Recap’s industrial and commercial solar rooftop and energy solutions in Spain and Portugal reached first closing of up to 80 million EUR in funding for its solar PV platform.

KRD Global Group is celebrating 10 years of expertise and growth in the photovoltaic industry

KRD Global Group, a manufacturing, project development, and consulting leader in the photovoltaic industry, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The world’s largest solar parks

In the third of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar parks. In these articles, a “solar park” is defined as a group of co-located solar power plants.

Trolley car conundrum

The U.S. solar industry faces a moral dilemma, writes Paula Mints of SPV Market Research. Either continue to deploy projects and set aside concerns about forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, or source PV cells and modules from elsewhere, while bearing higher costs, in the pursuit of urgent action against climate change.

Polysilicon amid international trade disputes

Polysilicon capacity is unable to catch up with rapid capacity expansion in the mid and downstream segments, writes Corrine Lin, chief analyst for PV InfoLink. New polysilicon capacity requires big capex investment and a lead time of more than two years to complete construction and reach full operation. With unbalanced capacity between the upstream and downstream segments, polysilicon prices have been rising since the second half of 2020, with prices for mono-grade polysilicon surpassing CNY 200/kg ($27.40) in June 2021, up more than 250% year on year.

The world’s largest solar power plants

In his second article, Philip Wolfe founder of Wiki-Solar lists the world’s largest individual solar PV power plants. The biggest solar parks and other clusters of plants will be listed in subsequent blogs.

Global tracker shipments reached 45 GW in 2020

The global single-axis tracker market increased shipment volume by 40% year on year to reach 45 GW in 2020. This was despite significant pandemic-related supply chain turbulence that resulted in longer lead times for the delivery of components, the idling of steelmaking capacity in some key markets, container shipping dislocation, and widespread restrictions, particularly at ports. Most notably, this caused the cost of some commodities, such as steel, to more than double between 2020 and 2021. Jason Sheridan, a senior research analyst for IHS Markit, runs through some of the key developments in the tracker market.

IHSM clean energy insights: The 30 largest EPC PV system providers took 28% of the global market in 2020

This summer, IHS Markit published its annual global ranking of EPC providers that build in-house developed and third-party PV projects, based on last year’s installations. 2020 was a year of many contradictions, with lockdowns and increasing component prices taking their toll on many of the companies, both large and small. At the same time, EPC providers with their main share of business in mainland China and the United States had a remarkable year.

Covid-19

Featured

EU raises another €9bn for Covid recovery

The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.

Is it time for the world to start thinking about 1.7C?

A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.

EU to start auctioning green bonds next month

An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.

International group offers $68m loans for struggling off-grid clean energy distributors

‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.

‘The chance to reset with a green recovery has now been lost’

Norwegian consultancy DNV today published the latest of its annual surveys of the state of the energy transition and lamented the fact so very little has been achieved during the last five years. We are forging ahead into a world that will be 2.3C hotter this century, predicts the report.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Indonesia’s coal exit plan

Indonesia, the second-biggest coal exporter in the world, is now taking more steps to reduce its dependency on “black gold” as it starts to consider clean energy.

New rules to boost Indonesian net metered rooftop PV

The new rules will increase the PV net metering factor from 0.65 to 100 and the credit accumulation period from three to six months.

US solar association warns that tariffs could jeopardize one-third of solar projects by 2023

Anti-dumping tariffs would jeopardize 18 GW of solar projects by 2023, the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said in a letter to the Commerce Department.

Hero Future Energies secures India’s first deal for large scale solar in Bangladesh

The Haryana-based renewables company, which is part of a bike and motorbike manufacturing conglomerate, will be paid $0.1025/kWh by the Bangladeshi government for the electricity that will be generated by a 50 MW plant in Khulna district, with the power purchase deal running for 20 years.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Zhonghuan Semiconductor raises wafer prices

The manufacturer has raised the cost of all its products. Elsewhere, Xinyi is planning to deploy 5 GW of solar in Heilongjiang province and the China Electricity Council has reported the nation added 22 GW of solar in the first eight months of the year.

Croatia launches rebate scheme for rooftop PV

The €7.4 million scheme is being financed through the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. Rebates will cover up to 85% of the costs for buying and installing a PV system.

Installations

Featured

PV resilience under fire

The Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, is embracing solar energy as a reliable local energy source. However, its 2 million residents still only have access to electricity for just a few hours per day. Amjad Khashmann reports on damages to installed PV systems and the urgent need for new installations to support education, water, and health care.

How long do residential storage batteries last?

Multiple factors can affect the lifespan of a residential battery energy storage system. We examine the life of batteries in Part 3 of our series.

Rio Tinto ramps up PV at remote mine in Australia

Rio Tinto has confirmed that Energy Developments Ltd. is set to start construction of a new PV array and battery storage system that will more than triple the generation capacity at the miner’s AUD 2.6 billion ($1.9 billion) bauxite mining operation at Weipa, in the Australian state of Queensland.

Agrivoltaics for strip farming

Vattenfall is leading a Dutch consortium in a research project to assess whether agrivoltaics is also compatible with strip cropping. The company’s head of Solar Development NL, Annemarie Schouten, spoke with pv magazine about the first 0.7 MW pilot project under development in the northern Dutch province of Flevoland.

Russia’s renewables auction concludes with lowest solar bid of $0.059/kWh

In the procurement exercise, the Russian energy regulator allocated 775 MW of PV capacity, 1,851 MW of wind power, and 96 MW of hydropower capacity. The auction concluded with an average price of RUB 5.18 ($0.070)/kWh.

South African miner tenders 70 MW solar plant

Exxaro Resources wants to generate clean electricity for its Grootegeluk site in Limpopo province and has opened a tender for the EPC and operations contract.

Technology

Featured

In Conversation: The effects of defects

Mónica LiraCantú leads a research group investigating nanostructured materials for photovoltaic energy at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Recently, her group led a project that looked deep into the crystalline structure of a perovskite solar cell, revealing new information about the formation of defects in the material and how they could be engineered to improve both efficiency and stability. pv magazine caught up with the Barcelona-based scientist to discuss the state of the art in perovskite solar cells and remaining challenges on the road to commercialization.

Lightyear solar car has raised more than $110m this year

The Dutch start-up behind the world’s first commercial grid-independent solar car has generated significant investment this year. Deliveries of the prototype Lightyear One are now set for next summer.

Recycling solar panels: Making the numbers work

NREL researchers said a profitable and sustainable solar panel recycling industry could establish itself by 2032. Here’s how the numbers work.

Hybrid PV-thermal modules providing heat source to brine-water heat pumps

Developed by Dutch company UseAllEnergy, the module is fabricated with a heat exchanger placed on the rear side that works as a heat source for a brine-water heat pump. Thanks to this innovation, the heat pump does not need to get heat from a borehole yet can still generate sufficient thermal energy. The solution is claimed to be easy to install and also to be suitable for retrofits.

Russian scientists achieve 21.1% efficiency in perovskite solar cell via Mie-resonant silicon nanoparticles

A Russian-Italian research group has developed resonant silicon nanoparticles that are claimed to improve the performance of perovskite solar cells. These particles serve as nanoantennae – they catch light and it resonates inside them, which amplifies the cell’s light absorption.

Agrivoltaics for viticulture

French specialist Sun’Agri installed a pilot facility on five hectares in southern France in 2018. Its goal is to protect the vines from weather hazards and to improve the quality of the wine by lowering its alcohol content. The first harvest took place in mid-September.

Manufacturing

Featured

In Converstation: Top n-type performance

In search of the next leap for cell and module efficiency, module manufacturers are now turning away from mono-PERC and increasingly toward n-type TOPCon technology. A few pioneering manufacturers have already begun mass production for the utility-scale market – including JinkoSolar. pv magazine recently caught up with Roberto Murgioni, Jinko’s division head of technical services and product management in Europe, for an update on the company’s TOPCon plans.

Indian solar manufacturers go big on high-output modules

Adani Solar, Jakson, Premier Energies, Vikram Solar, Waaree and other Indian manufacturers are showcasing their high-output modules ranging from 500 W to over 600 W at this year’s Renewable Energy India Expo 2021.

CPV module with improved short-circuit current via microstructured encapsulant coatings

A Canadian consortium led by the Sherbrooke University has developed a CPV panel with improved light absorption through a microstructured anti-reflecting coating consisting of a monolayer of silica beads, which they claim can improve the device’s short-circuit current by up to 3.7%. The module is based on III-V solar cells.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Work begins on 3.3 GW solar-CSP project linked to 500 MW of storage, in Qinghai

China Green Development Group is building a giant project consisting of 3 GW of photovoltaics and 300 MW of concentrating solar power. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2025 and is part of China’s 14th five-year plan.

Sungrow supplies ‘Thailand’s largest floating solar plant’

The Chinese inverter company said the dam-hosted 58.5 MW project in northeastern Thailand was connected to the grid this month.

CEA-INES unveils shingled heterojunction PV panel with 21.41% efficiency

The module is claimed to be one of the top five most performant heterojunction solar modules, in terms of power density, with the champion panel achieving 214.15 W/m² and the average device 209.5 W/m². The panel showed an efficiency ranging from 20.95% to 21.41%.

Energy Storage

Featured

In Conversation: Going full circle

With manufacturing ramping up year by year and policies already looking to get ahead of the large volumes of end-of-life products, the landscape for lithium-ion battery recycling is rapidly changing. pv magazine recently spoke with Mari Lundström, associate professor of chemical and metallurgical engineering at Aalto University, to find out what is needed on the research side for the effective recycling of batteries.

Novel technique to prevent fires in lithium-ion batteries

Singaporean scientists have developed a special device that prevents the formation of dendrites in lithium-ion storage. The additional layer they created works as an interface on behalf of the negative electrode, to exchange lithium-ions with the positive electrode.

Broadband in Sierra Leone capital to be powered by off-grid solar-plus-storage

A 1.2 MW solar plant and ‘up to 2 MWh’ energy storage system will replace generators to power the city broadband network in Freetown from mid next year.

Australian developer secures approval for 1 GW green hydrogen and battery project

Renewables developer Edify Energy has been granted development approval to build and operate a green hydrogen production plant of up to 1 GW, as well as a behind-the-meter solar and battery storage facility within the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct in Townsville, northern Queensland.

The Hydrogen Stream: Indian group makes bold green hydrogen claim as plans emerge for production capacity in Spain

The renewables-powered sustainable hydrogen announcements have come as a group of international researchers made controversial claims about the potential of gas-fired blue hydrogen to be part of the climate change solution.

Dutch gas giant begins storing hydrogen in underground salt cavern

Operated by Gasunie, the underground storage facility is located near Veendam in the province of Groningen and should be fully operational in 2026. Tests will be run until spring 2022.

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