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A few years ago, fluctuations and complex storage solutions were the main factors hampering solar growth. Today, the sector is poised to leverage technologies to make a decisive leap. With a sustainable future around the corner, it will be innovative battery storage that will drive solar PV to become more powerful and efficient than ever before. But what are the latest developments in PV and energy storage, and which innovations are poised to transform the industry?
840 million people still don’t have access to electricity today, according to the World Bank. But the radical decrease in the cost of the green technologies of solar and battery storage provides an unparalleled opportunity to close this gap and achieve universal electricity access by 2030.
Spanish law firm Rödl & Partner provides an update on distressed solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Spain, focusing on the impact, and economic and legal consequences, of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the supply and demand challenges that PV faced in 2020, the U.S. solar market had its largest installation year to date, writes IHS Markit’s Maria Chea. More than 22 GW of PV installations were completed last year, with utility-scale projects representing 77% of that volume. A renewables-friendly administration, an extended ITC schedule, increasingly competitive pricing, and a massive late-stage project pipeline will drive strong growth for the United States in 2021.
Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar PV users consume a significant amount of energy in the MENA region. In these markets, the residential sector accounts for 41% of the total power demand, followed by the industrial and commercial sectors at 21% and 20%, respectively. The remaining 18% represents other sectors, such as agriculture and transport, as well as network losses.
The Greek government has published its plan for a post-Covid economic recovery. The strategy aims to mobilize at least €10 billion towards the green energy sector, with the prospect of further EU loans on top.
That was just one of the revelations of the latest Dentons’ Guide to renewables investment in Europe, which also noted solar plants could be switched off in Slovakia, Ireland could go either way on clean power pricing, and Luxembourg is struggling with a surprising headache.
The bailed-out solar company has seen its fortunes reverse since state-owned Shuifa rode to the rescue but it still has some assets frozen as the result of civil cases.
Patrik Huber, co-founder and managing director for East Africa at renewables leasing company Solarise Africa, has spoken to pv magazine about the company’s take on how the region can prime for a green recovery. Huber explained Solarise’s contribution to the recovery includes recent expansion into three new countries.
Canadian Solar is pivoting towards energy storage and is preparing to IPO its manufacturing and Chinese solar project activity in China, under the CSI Solar operation, by July.
The new plan comes on top of a scheme launched in late March to deploy solar using railway infrastructure. The Korean government expects private developers will build solar plants on the highways’ idle sites for a combined capacity of 243 MW by 2025.
The record low price was offered for the 600 MW Al Shuaiba PV IP project, which competed in the second round of the country’s procurement scheme for renewable energies.
Scientists in Russia introduce a promising new material for battery energy storage, the product of more than three years of research. Incorporating a nickel-salen polymer into the cathode, the group demonstrated a battery that can charge and discharge ten times faster than today’s lithium-ion batteries. And though the battery still lags in terms of overall capacity, the group is confident that its discovery will lead to big improvements for lithium batteries.
Vattenfall, SSAB and LKAB are building a rock cavern storage facility in a coastal city in northern Sweden. The 100-cubic-meter facility will be built 30 meters below ground and will begin storing green hydrogen next year.
Taiwan Cement is planning to build a US$352 million EV battery factory in southern Taiwan. The 1.8 GW facility will produce high-charge-discharge nickel ternary batteries.
Australian public transport operator Transdev will use a “green mobility megawall” comprising 250 solar modules and 10 Tesla Powerwall units to charge two new electric buses in Brisbane.
A homegrown technology developed by the University of Newcastle and Southern Green Gas has seen the development of a novel green hydrogen fuel and carbon-neutral green methane. The fuel was demonstrated in Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV in Sydney.
Construction on the solar plant is expected to begin this year. It will supply power to SNCF’s unit SNCF Energie over a 20-year period.
Victorian-based property developer Beulah has announced its soon-to-be-completed Paragon tower, in the heart of Melbourne, will be home to the nation’s largest and most efficient vertical solar PV system.
In the second installment of this series, pv magazine talks with Michael Kolodner of Marsh to learn about the evolution of hail risk management and how insuring a solar project is about more than just the policy.
The New York Power Authority will deploy a battery to provide peak shaving capability. It aims to validate the system’s performance reliability to help determine O&M and life-cycle costs.
Fraunhofer ISE scientists have identified the best metallization pastes to help reduce contact resistivity and contact recombination in p-type TOPCon solar cells. They applied a silicon nitride layer through plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition onto both sides of a cell.
Many industry sectors across the world are currently being hit by a semiconductor chip shortage as major manufacturers are unable to meet demand. According to Cormac Gilligan, an associate director at IHS Markit, solar and energy storage manufacturers are being less affected. In general, the solar and energy storage industries have learned lessons from being impacted by semiconductor components, for example, transistors, capacitors and resistors in prior years, Gilligan told pv magazine.
The Korean manufacturer said the NeON H solar panel is the most reliable and efficient renewable energy solution it has ever created. The new product features an efficiency of 21.2% and a temperature coefficient of -0.33% per degree Celsius,
French module manufacturer Systovi has developed a smart water heater that can forecast the weather, store surplus green electricity, and return it in the form of hot water, according to household needs.
Tata Power Solar, a PV manufacturer and EPC contractor, has added new lines to its factory in Bangalore, India. It is widening its product range to include half-cell and bifacial mono PERC panels.
A national production-linked incentive scheme introduced to encourage domestic manufacturing will now encompass solar. The PV policy will reportedly offer increased rewards for the production of more efficient panels and for Indian content–although it is not clear how.
The expansion depends on the company obtaining debt or equity financing to buy equipment, after which initial sales are expected to start in the first quarter of 2022.
The new solar tracker from PVH was specifically designed to be compatible with large-format modules and was developed in static and aeroelastic wind tunnels.
The poly making parent company says it needs extra time to finalize its 2020 figures so trading in the stock appears likely to remain suspended for the rest of the week. GCL is due to complete the paperwork related to a proposed debt restructure this month.
BloombergNEF has shown that solar PV is the key driver of declining green hydrogen costs. The forecast shows costs falling by 85% by 2050, undercutting natural gas and blue and gray hydrogen production.
Scientists in Russia have designed a whole series of new compounds that could serve as catholytes and anolytes in organic redox flow batteries. The materials promise to open up new pathways for further research, and overcome some of the challenges for organic redox flow batteries in commercial, large-scale energy storage projects.
Australia’s only lithium mine outside of Western Australia, Core Lithium’s Finniss Lithium Project, has produced “battery grade” lithium hydroxide, according to the company, with Core hoping the development will place it at the “forefront” of lithium production for the global renewable energy and EV markets.
Scientists in the U.S. developed an aluminum battery that demonstrates better than 99.5% reversibility, and could offer “up to 10,000 error-free cycles”. By incorporating a substrate of carbon fibers into the anode design, the group gained better control over chemical bonds that form as the battery charges, leading to greatly improved performance.
Monocrystalline module manufacturer Longi is venturing into new territory but missed out to its rival on two big panel orders from a state-owned power company.
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