Top News

Solar at $17.30/MWh in Brazil‘s auction: is it a world record?

Analysts have scrutinized the result of the recent A-4 auction which delivered, in theory, the world's lowest price for solar electricity from an energy procurement exercise. The two plants in question, however, will sell 70% and 50% of their output outside the power deal signed in the auction.
Markets & Policy

UK Power Network launches smart EV charging market trial

With EV sales continuing their climb, and overall carbon emissions targets getting more ambitious, stakeholders in the energy system will need to consider flexibility options from, among other points, EV charging. A large distribution system operator in ...
Installations

China’s air pollution reduces PV production potential by up to 13%

If China could travel back to the 1960s with its current PV generation capacity it could harvest an additional 14 TWh of solar power, according to a study by academics at universities in Switzerland and the Netherlands. With a mixed record for reducing p...
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Energy Storage

Australia-Singapore power link, world’s biggest solar+storage project get government backing

Australia's Northern Territory has given major project status to an ambitious plan to develop a 10 GW solar farm coupled with a 20-30 GWh storage facility near Tennant Creek and export solar power harvested in the Australian desert to Singapore via subse...
Installations

US utilities approve 551 MW of solar power at 3.8¢/kWh

North Carolina-based Duke Energy has completed a solicitation for 551 MW of solar power through its CPRE program, with average pricing between 3.79¢/kWh and 3.83¢/kWh and 20 year power contracts.
Installations

Brazil’s Cemig launches its third wind, solar auction

Although the volume has not been disclosed, selected projects in this new auction will be awarded a 19-year PPA.
Markets & Policy

Scatec Solar triples production over last year

The IPP released its latest financial figures and leadership says that with growth across all business units, Q2 2019 is its best quarter ever.
Markets & Policy

Meyer Burger seals $100 million HJT order, expects to hit break-even in first half

Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger has signed a contract to supply heterojunction cell manufacturing equipment to an unnamed North American manufacturer. The company also posted its preliminary results for the first half, posting a $14 million EBITDA ...
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Press Releases

Q CELLS to Launch Latest All-Black Half-Cell Module with 25-Year Warranty to U.S. Market

[Irvine, United States, July 19, 2019] Q CELLS (or “the Company”), one of the largest solar cell and module manufacturers in the world, has announced that it will launch its new solar module, the Q. PEAK DUO BLK-G6+, into the U.

What Is the Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis 3.0?

In 2019, Huawei launched the AI Boost Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis 3. 0, integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the field of solar operation and maintenance (O&M) for the first time.

Cubico Sustainable Investments raises EUR 75 million in debt for the refinancing of 27.4 MW solar portfolio in Italy

Cubico Sustainable Investments (Cubico), a global investor in renewable energy backed by two of Canada’s largest pension funds, has achieved financial close on the refinancing of 14 solar PV assets in Italy.

Falck Renewables acquires 70% of solar project under development in Sicily

Falck Renewables S. p.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

Looking ahead, post SNEC

In the wake of the 2019 SNEC trade show in Shanghai, PV InfoLink chief analyst Corrine Lin delves into the new cell and module technologies that were exhibited at the show.

Recharging economies: EV battery manufacturing outlook for Europe

As uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) increases, the EV battery market represents an opportunity for European players. McKinsey assesses the potential and looks at factors guiding the location of production capacity.

Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of a series of blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination afforded by organised solar parks.

Step back to catch up

We need to build solar parks only when there are no more square meters left on the rooftops, writes Mikhail Lifshitz, co-owner of Russia-based JSC Rotec.

An overview of the world’s largest solar power plants

In the third of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar power plants. In these articles, a ‘solar plant’ is defined as an individual generating station.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Install, underneath the radar

While they are often not squarely in the industry’s sights, the number of global markets that are heading toward or beyond the gigawatt level for annual installations continues to grow. Encouragingly, these countries are scattered throughout the world. To provide some insights into some of 2019’s ‘next tier’ markets, pv magazine assembled its global team of editors to find out what can be expected today and in the near future.

Engie secures financing for 60 MW of solar in Senegal

A €38 million loan will be provided by Proparco, the International Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank. A PV plant in Tauba will sell power for €0.0380/kWh and a second facility in Kahone which will sell electricity for €0.0398.

PPA-linked solar park comes online in Sweden

The 5.8 MW Sparbanken Skåne Solar Park is in the Sjöbo Kommun, in the southern region of Skåne. The facility is selling more than half its output to the spot market and around a third to Swedish bank Sparbanken Skåne under a 10-year PPA. The rest is being traded on the Nord Pool electricity certificate market for renewable energy in Sweden and Norway.

The weekend read: One step at a time … is not enough in Africa

The African continent often generates impressive solar news and offers new angles on renewable energy systems and integration. The 21st Africa Energy Forum, held between June 11 and 14 in Lisbon, explored the various ways in which solar is being rolled out across the continent. pv magazine offers a country-by-country review of some of the Sub-Saharan markets discussed at the event.

Why the EU needs binding targets for renewables and decarbonised gas for a climate-neutral Europe

Interview: The Energy Charts, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) shows that the switch from coal to gas in Germany reduced CO2 emissions by one third in June. In a European wide transition, Eurogas General Secretary James Watson considers reductions of up to 45% possible by 2030. The gas sector is also willing to make the transition to renewables and decarbonised gases by the middle of the century. In the case of power-to-gas technologies, medium-term cost reductions which are comparable to the experience curve of photovoltaics is possible, Watson explained.

Eliminate hydrogen for better battery performance, scientists say

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara who are working with sodium-ion batteries have found that the unintended presence of hydrogen is to blame for many of the technology’s shortcomings in terms of degradation and performance loss. Keeping hydrogen out of the materials throughout production could allow sodium-ion batteries to achieve performance levels competing with their lithium-ion counterparts.

Installations

Featured

Tracking in the wind

Extreme wind events are the biggest cause of failure and insurance claims for any PV plant, according to Thorsten Kray, Head of the Building Aerodynamics Department at Institut für Industrieaerodynamik GmbH, Aachen. For structural reasons, single-axis trackers are more prone to the issues than fixed-tilt structures. In this two-part series, pv magazine will examine the ways that wind impacts trackers and what EPCs and investors need to look out for, in addition to outlining a range of approaches from big tracker suppliers that were designed to mitigate wind-related damage.

Mozambique plans for 60 MW solar deployment

The IFC and the country’s power utility are planning to build small on-grid solar parks across three to five different sites, and are seeking a project consultant.

FRV achieves financial close on 68 MW solar project in Australia

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) has secured financing for the 67.8 MW Goonumbla Solar Farm in New South Wales. The Spanish developer inked a power purchase agreement for the project with Snowy Hydro last year.

South Korean government announces 2.1 GW floating PV project

The huge floating plant is expected to be located on a water surface close to the Saemangeum, an estuarine tidal flat on the coast of the Yellow Sea. Construction on the facility is planned to start in the second half of next year. Around 4.6 trillion won ($3.9 billion) of private funds will be invested in the project.

First off-shore PV project launched in the North Sea

A floating solar array will be located in the North Sea near an aquaculture and an offshore wind power facility. The €2 million pilot project is being developed by a consortium including Tractebel, Jan De Nul Group, Deme, Soltech and Ghent University.

Shanghai’s Rafael Gallery to host 1 MW of Hanergy modules

Chinese thin film manufacturer Hanergy has announced plans to integrate its CIGS modules into the 150,000 square meter rooftop of a ‘sky bridge’ project planned as part of a major ‘tech city’ project under construction in Shanghai.

Technology

The importance of staying cool

"Solar cells prefer to operate in a refrigerator," says UNSW Professor Martin Green. His global research team is now identifying viable ways to cool down solar PV modules while amping up energy production to an unprecedented level.

Green hydrogen joins natural gas in Australian pipelines

Canadian gas giant ATCO has unveiled its Clean Energy Hub in Jandakot which will explore the potential of hydrogen for home use in gas appliances. On the same day, the Western Australian government has launched a renewable hydrogen strategy and announced the creation of a $10m green hydrogen fund.

CBEA lets loose first $5.5 million for 60 minigrids in Tanzania

Crossboundary Energy Access (CBEA) was established in January with large investment contributions from Rockefeller and Shell Foundations. The funding facility, which said it would work to unlock $11 billion in funding for the electrification of 100 million people in Africa, has penciled its first transaction with PowerGen Renewable Energy.

Sensing an opportunity for indoor PV

A new paper published by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the potential for integrating small solar cells into the wireless sensors needed to power the fast-growing internet of things (IoT) ecosystem, many of which are located indoors. This market could represent a unique opportunity for thin film PV technologies, and perovskites in particular, to reduce the risk inherent to ramping up commercial scale production.

UK needs 13 GW of DSR, smart EV charging and V2G ramp up for net zero goal

… and it will be quite an effort. The U.K.’s grid operator, National Grid, released a new report on possible energy system transformation pathways, amidst growing public concern over climate change. Ramping carbon emissions reduction targets up from 80% to 100% prompts technical challenges. These can be overcome but will require full alignment of policy effort and individual awareness and decision making.

Another route to high performance perovskites

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have developed a new class of perovskite materials, which they say exhibits unique properties that could have several implications for the development of perovskite solar cells, as well as other electronic applications.

Manufacturing

Featured

Change to the cast

Few in the industry predicted the speed at which monocrystalline technology would develop, or the impressive cost reductions it would achieve by 2019. This has left producers of multicrystalline products facing rapidly shrinking market share and struggling to compete on a cost per watt basis. Many are now turning to cast mono processes, essentially creating a monocrystalline, or ‘mono-like’ silicon ingot in a multicrystalline furnace, to reach higher efficiencies and extend equipment lifetimes.

Sunowe’s trial for solar panel smuggling in Germany: customs must bring evidence

In the fall of 2017, German customs had revealed a “fraud cartel” around the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer Sunowe, which is said to have circumvented the applicable minimum import prices. Among the arrested suspects was a local politician, which drew significant attention to the case. This year, the trial started in the spring, but suspension came at the beginning of July when the customs office did not provide evidence in time. A restart of the trial is expected this winter.

Solar panel demand expected to reach 125.5 GW in 2019, TrendForce says

According to the Taiwanese market research company, PV panel demand will increase by 16% over 2018 shipments. TrendForce also believes this growth trend will continue in 2020.

Japan’s Toray to manufacture battery components in Europe

Japanese materials company Toray has announced plans to open a facility for manufacturing battery separator films for use in lithium-ion batteries. The factory is expected to begin operations in July 2021 and will increase Toray’s production material for the component by around 20%.

ClearVue inks solar strip module supply deal with BeyondPV

Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has signed a deal with Taiwanese thin-film solar module manufacturer BeyondPV to set up a dedicated production line for solar strip modules at its production facility in the city of Tainan.

REC Silicon lays off 100 workers at U.S. facility

Norwegian headquartered polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon has announced that it will lay off another 100 workers at its Moses Lake facility in the western United States, as the factory heads into long term shutdown.

Energy Storage

Featured

The dawn of megastorage

Plummeting costs, industry maturity, and the ever-increasing penetration of global renewables are expanding the use cases for battery storage technology. Over the past year and a half, storage projects are increasing significantly in both scope and capacity.

BlackRock goes behind the meter with GE

The startup formerly known as GE Solar has become a full fledged company, with GE and BlackRock announcing the creation of Distributed Solar Development, a behind-the-meter solar joint venture.

Bringing electricity to 4.5 million people with just 45 MW of off-grid PV

The African Development Bank is providing around $56 million to fund a program to bring electricity to around 900,000 households in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. The financial institution will also provide African distributed energy service companies with critical technical guidance and credit enhancement.

Batteries well-suited to play valuable role in grid management in New Zealand’s energy transition

A report published by New Zealand’s state-owned transmission grid operator Transpower finds the widespread uptake of distributed battery storage could play an important role in supporting the power system as rooftop PV and electric vehicles are increasingly adopted.

Lithium-ion recycling rates far higher than some statistics suggest

While it is often stated only 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, a review of research into the second life and recycling of lithium-ion batteries suggests that is a gross understatement. A new study found almost 100,000 tons of waste batteries were recycled last year – about half of what reached end-of-life.

Toyota shows off solar Prius with 860 W output from 34% efficient cells

The car will be road tested at Toyota City in Japan. Solar charging technology for the vehicle will then be further optimized before the vehicle goes on sale.

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