Top News

Spain and Italy are European renewables investment hot spots, says CEO, and Mexico really should be too

pv magazine spoke to Mark Jones, chief executive of privately-owned clean energy investment company Susgen about where the newly-launched business is looking to spend the cash pile it has allocated for big, early-stage project pipelines.
Markets & Policy

Canadian Solar sees turnover and profits surge

The Chinese-Canadian solar manufacturer reported a 41% year-over-year increase in total module shipments to 2.2 GW in the first quarter. Revenue grew by 70% to $826 million, while net profit improved significantly from $17.2 million to $110.6 million.
Installations

EIB greenlights €18 million loan for 65.6 MW Polish PV project

The funds will be used by Polish developer Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o. to build 66 PV projects selected in Poland's auction scheme for renewable energy projects not exceeding 1 MW in size.
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Dutch grid operators won’t have to compensate for deactivated solar rooftops

Minister of economic affairs and climate change, Eric Wiebes, has written to parliament to confirm grid companies do not have to pay PV system owners when their installations are disconnected from the network due to capacity issues or poor-quality voltag...
Markets & Policy

Final call for feedback on EU rules for renewables financing

European citizens and stakeholders have until midnight June 3 to comment on a set of draft EU rules for a new financing mechanism that would enable member states to finance renewable energy projects in other member states as a way of reaching their 2030 ...
Installations

France embraces solar with viticulture, arboriculture and market gardening

The French government has selected seven agrivoltaic projects with a total generation capacity of 12 MW in its latest tender for innovative PV technology.
Covid-19

Climate-friendly businesses can secure €500,000 of EU cash to get through Covid crisis

A cash fund is offering financial aid to start-ups and SMEs to mitigate the effects of the public health crisis.
Installations

Israeli national lottery supports rooftop PV program with $0.12/kWh feed-in tariff

The incentive scheme awards a 23-year, $0.12/kWh feed-in tariff to rooftop arrays with a generation capacity of up to 200 kW. Already, 141 municipalities have applied to install 116 MW of rooftop solar capacity and the government has increased the progra...
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Press Releases

R.POWER has signed the largest contract for the utility scale solar inverters in CEE

The company has signed a contract for the purchase of Huawei SUN2000 105KTL series inverters. The equipment will be used to carry out projects with a total capacity of 122 MWp, contracted by R.

Talesun Hands with Lys Energy for ASEAN Market

China leading solar cell and module manufacturer, Talesun Solar, announce recently that the company signed an agreement through internet with top Singapore home-grown Solar Independent Power Producer (IPP), LYS Energy Group, for future solar PV project development in Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) regions. As a leading PV module manufacturer and solution provider, […]

Sungrow Received UL9540 Compliance Certificate for C&I Energy Storage System ST556kWh-250UD in the North American Market

Sungrow, the global leading inverter solution supplier for renewables, announced recently that the Company's energy storage system (ESS) had received the UL9540 certificate issued by TÜV Rheinland for North American C&I energy storage market, demonstrating that this competitive ESS solution meets the comprehensive and stringent local requirements in system safety and compliance, and forecasting more installations that it will be involved in.

EU recovery instrument looks to renewables to ensure ‘next generation’ sustainable growth and employment

Today, the European Commission unveiled the details of its recovery instrument, ‘Next Generation EU’, which, through a combination of loans and grants, aims to provide the funds necessary for a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

N-type uptake under Covid-19

As p-type mono cell efficiencies edge closer to their limits, n-type cells are increasingly being recognized as next-generation technologies, writes PV InfoLink analyst Amy Fang. Manufacturers have focused their research and development efforts in recent years on the creation of commercially viable pathways for heterojunction (HJT) and tunnel-oxidized passivated contact (TOPCon) cells.

Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

Comparisons of PR factors for large-scale solar PV power plants limited

For an investor of large-scale solar PV power plants, efficiency and reliability are two of the most interesting issues. For rating purposes, the Performance Ratio (PR) factor, has been created. However, this metric is only suitable for comparisons to a limited extent, argues Edwin Cunow, owner of LSPV Consulting.

Compensation for curtailments of renewable generation in Ukraine

As of November 2019, certain RES producers have been intermittently forced to reduce their output or halt production of electrical energy altogether under the instructions of Ukraine’s transmission system operator, NEC Ukrenergo. DTEK, along with several other large market players led the call for limitations. Many of the country’s RES producers have become alarmed.

Financing solar in Turkey – Green finance and new business models

Looking at the various solar power plant mechanisms brought by regulatory changes in 2020, the Turkish PV market is aiming to adopt some exciting new financial and business models.

PV module recyclers aiming for high-purity material recovery

France’s National Institute for Solar Energy takes a look at the state of play in the European solar panel recycling industry.

Covid-19

Featured

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Residential systems in Italy will get a 110% tax rebate and UK consumers are being paid to turn appliances on as coronavirus turns the energy world upside down

Plus, Australia’s Greens want renewables front and center of the post Covid-19 economy and Mexican plant owners are overturning a politically-motivated ban on clean energy, however, Indian developer Acme solar says pandemic delays warrant it reneging on the terms of the record-low solar price agreement it signed.

Indian developer wants to walk away from record low solar price

Acme Solar made headlines in 2018 when its offer to accept $0.0322354 per kilowatt-hour generated at a 600 MW solar farm planned in Rajasthan secured the project from federal body the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Now the developer wants to rip up the agreement, blaming Covid-19-related hold-ups.

Renewables can avoid crippling LNG and coal subsidy bill for Bangladesh

U.S. thinktank the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says the nation should reorder its power network to harness cheap, modular renewables after existing power station overcapacity was worsened by plunging electricity demand during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: US job losses raise concern but France and China continued to add new solar

Cell supply shortages could kick-start manufacturing activity in India, EV car sales are braced for a fall while still gaining market share and a new date has been set for the world’s biggest solar trade show.

China added almost 4 GW of solar in first quarter despite Covid-19

The world’s solar superpower saw the amount of new capacity added in the first three months of the year fall 24% from the same period of 2019 as 1.75 TWh of solar electricity was curtailed, but the National Energy Administration expects both statistics to improve as China exits the public health crisis.

France added 176 MW of solar in first three months of the year

Quarterly new additions were 15% lower than in the October-to-December window. The France Territoire Solaire thinktank said the lower volumes could be explained by the initial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

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.

Another 500 MW of unsubsidized solar for Denmark

German PV asset manager Encavis and Danish renewables company Greengo have already secured approval for one large project.

Albania’s 140 MW PV tender concludes with final price of €0.02489/kWh

The project was awarded to French developer Voltalia. The plant will be located in the Karavasta area, in the centre of the country.

Software developer claims its platform can unlock a distributed generation world

U.K.-based Power Transition today launched a crowdfunding exercise to raise the £300,000 it says it needs to scale up its blockchain-based, peer-to-peer energy trading platform beyond a 47-home demonstration project.

Solar parks may have better biodiversity impact than intensive monoculture farming

A research project in the Netherlands is seeking to assess the impact of large scale PV projects on soil quality and biodiversity. Principal scientist Wim Sinke, of Dutch research center TNO, says well-designed and operated and maintained solar parks could prove to have better outcomes than monoculture farming.

Innovation promises cheaper solar cell glass manufacturing

Scientists have developed a hybrid production method combining metal mesh and a metal-oxide layer over a glass substrate which they say brings down production cost by 80% compared to the tin-doped, indium oxide-based technology currently in use.

Installations

Featured

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.

Another Romanian oil company unveils solar plans

Romanian petroleum transport services provider Conpet announced plans to install PV plants across five of its facilities. Initial investment will be limited to 3 million ROL ($680,000), but the group aims to create a renewable energy business unit under its 2020-2025 strategy.

Dubai utility clamps down on net-metered commercial solar

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has published new regulations blocking ground-mounted commercial and industrial solar projects and capping rooftop installations at 2 MW.

London fund announces investment vehicle for new subsidy-free UK solar

NextEnergy Capital Group has secured a £100 million credit line from Spanish lender Santander as it aims to connect the U.K.’s largest solar plant to the grid this year.

Malta launches 15 MW solar tender

The government wants to procure several 1 MW-plus solar plants. The tender is the third of its kind, and part of the 50 MW incentive scheme the island’s government launched in November 2017.

Norway deployed 51 MW of solar in 2019

The figure took the nation to a cumulative 120 MW at the end of the year, according to figures published by Norwegian solar industry organization the Solenergiklyngen. Around 2 MW of the capacity added in 2019 came in the form of off-grid projects.

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.

Pouch lamination technique for solar cell encapsulation

Scientists in India have used a pouch laminator to encapsulate a polycrystalline solar cell. The resulting device, the researchers claim, showed better UV photon absorption than solar cells treated with a polymer surface coating.

New method to measure cell voltages in operational PV modules

Scientists in Japan have proposed a new model to estimate cell voltages in solar modules by irradiating the cells with a weak modulated laser light. The method could be used to detect hot spots and other panel-degradation issues, such as potential induced degradation (PID) peeling, cracking, and poor contacts.

JA Solar opens up on new 525 W+ module

The Chinese manufacturer has not revealed the price of its new ‘ultra-high power’ products, nor whether the power output claims associated with them have been independently verified, but claimed the 78-piece module in the series could generate ‘very close to 600 W.’

Used EV batteries for large scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

New solar module backsheet based on polyamide

Backsheet manufacturer Tomark-Worthen LLC has developed a new polyamide backsheet under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative. The product is based on a novel polyamide-ionomer alloy created by U.S. chemicals producer Dow. The alloy, as well as the other materials in the backsheet, are stabilized with a UV/anti-oxidant package that slows down the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The manufacturer claims that the backsheet is 25-30% more affordable than high-efficiency fluoropolymer products.

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.

It may be safe to put PV panels in landfills, but that doesn’t mean we should

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), health risks from lead in crystalline silicon PV panels are one order of magnitude — or about one-tenth — below the risk levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Lower wafer prices, module procurement, and a new production line

Sveck, China’s top supplier of EVA films for PV modules, has revealed plans to list shares in Shenzhen. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. has selected Longi and EGing to respectively supply 238 MW and 112 MW of panels for its projects, with Longi also announcing wafer price cuts. Jincheng Machinery, meanwhile, has started raising funds to develop a new production line.

Sharp unveils black, half-cut-cell module

The solar panel will be part of the half-cut-cell series recently launched by the Japanese manufacturer and the company claims it is ideal for rooftop PV projects with aesthetic requirements. The 19.0%-efficient product has a power output of 320 W.

New 650 V MOSFET for silicon carbide inverters

CREE has developed a new MOSFET that could be suitable for silicon-carbide-based string inverters above 10 kW in size. The U.S. manufacturer says switching losses are 20% lower with the new transistor than with silicon carbide MOSFETs, and claims that the product reduces conduction losses by 50%, to offer potential power-density growth of 300%.

Schletter increases production capacity in China

The German mounting system maker has expanded its production capacity in Shanghai after opening a new, bigger fab in March.

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.

Total develops electric aircraft refuelling truck

The French oil and gas company will develop the vehicle with engineering compatriot Gaussin. Intended for the Airbus industrial site in Toulouse, the vehicle will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery made by Total subsidiary Saft and will be able to tow two 30-ton fuel tanks.

Northvolt unveils modular lithium-ion battery

The Swedish storage system manufacturer said its Voltpack Mobile System can be used in different market segments, particularly for remote or weak grids. The battery has a scalable storage capacity ranging from 245 kWh to 1,225 kWh. Swedish utility Vattenfall is now testing the system’s capabilities.

Investors bet $27.5 million that Nanotech Energy’s graphene battery breakthrough is the real thing

The startup claims to be “the world’s top supplier of graphene” and plans to release a non-flammable, environmentally friendly lithium battery that can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market” — within the next year.

Borehole thermal energy storage for solar

The municipality of Drammen, Norway, has started testing a seasonal PV storage project that uses boreholes in the ground. The operators of the project are using electricity from PV modules to produce heat via a CO2 heat pump and outdoor air. The heat is produced by the CO2 pump during the spring, summer and fall, in addition to heat produced by solar thermal collectors.

Greece to tender up to 482 MW of PV in July, set up storage framework

The Greek energy regulator said on Wednesday that it wants to tender up to 482 MW of new solar capacity on July 27 for plants up to 20 MW in size.

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