Top News

GCL Poly extends loan term to subsidiary – has the wafer maker had help with its debt pile?

The polysilicon giant has extended the repayment date for a loan to an EPC subsidiary by 10 months and, with its share price rising sharply, should investors prepare themselves for some as yet unannounced good news?
Energy Storage

Storage Highlights Countdown #8; Supercapacitators – fast and powerful Skeleton Technologies

The Energy Storage Europe conference is nearing and pv magazine is featuring the top ten developments in the field as our Energy Storage Highlights, selected by an independent jury of experts. Having kicked off with a hydrogen fuel cell based appr...
Markets & Policy

Singapore fund and British developer eye stake in UK government’s south Asian renewables company

U.K. developer Lightsource BP – in which oil and gas giant BP has a significant minority stake – and its Singapore fund partner EverSource Capital are reportedly ready to take up all the $100 million slice of Ayana Renewable Power which is being put ...
Energy Storage

Researchers upcycle plastic waste into battery anodes

A new approach could extract carbon from polyethylenes in a cost-competitive way, that could be scaled up. Researchers have also performed electric testing with the extracted carbon and found it suitable for use as anodes in Li-ion batteries, among multi...
Installations

Power-to-gas crucial for solar-based energy system

In the Infrastructure Outlook 2050 study, Gasunie and TenneT say ambitious EU climate targets can only be reached through deeper integration of the power and gas infrastructure, and with power-to-gas technologies supporting renewables. The most bu...
Energy Storage

From laggard to leader: New South Wales Labor party’s election pledge for extra 7 GW of renewables

Australia’s Smart Energy Council welcomed yesterday’s launch by the NSW Labor party of a policy to drive 7 GW of renewable energy into the National Energy Market by 2030 as “the biggest rollout of renewable energy in Australia’s history”.
Technology

Pacific island nation re-tenders big solar-plus-storage project

An initial tender on Palau was won by French energy company Engie, through its unit Engie Electro Power Systems. The 100 MW microgrid project consisted of coupling 35 MW of solar and 45 MWh of storage with diesel generation.
Markets & Policy

Malaysia launches 500 MW solar tender

Selected projects will range from 1-100 MW in capacity. The procurement exercise is the third round of Malaysia’s LSS program for large-scale renewables.

Press Releases

centrotherm receives major order from over 40 million euros from Asia

Blaubeuren, February 18, 2019 - centrotherm international AG, Blaubeuren, (ISIN: DE000A1TNMM9 and DE000A1TNMN7) today signed contracts for the delivery of production solutions and services worth more than 40 million euros with an Asian customer from the photovoltaic industry. This order will contribute to a high utilization of production capacities and will for the most part be sales-effective in 2020.

Tigo launches next generation SMART website with enhanced PV system monitoring, design layouts and alert management

The redesigned online monitoring platform has an intuitive user interface with a full overview and calculated reclaimed energy for Tigo solar installations worldwide.

The MIBEL electricity market price falls this week but it is the highest in Europe

Last week the MIBEL market average price, although lower than the previous week, was the highest in Europe, both on average between February 11 and 14, and on February 12 and 13. According to AleaSoft, while in other European countries renewable energy production in general was higher, lower wind energy production in Spain last week was the fundamental reason the MIBEL market was the most expensive in Europe.

Kasapreko Company Limited and CrossBoundary Energy Ghana complete commissioning of 400KWp solar plant

Kasapreko Company Limited (Kasapreko), CrossBoundary Energy Ghana Limited (CBE Ghana), and Yingli Namene West Africa Limited (Yingli Namene) are today announcing the completion of commissioning of Kasapreko’s 400. 4 KWp solar plant located at Kasapreko’s Spintex Road bottling facility.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Reading between the lines: What is the real message of BP’s Energy Outlook 2019 report?

The rise of renewables may have hogged the headlines but there is, nevertheless, a reassuring underlying message to investors with their money in fossil fuels. However there may be hope in meeting the Paris Agreement goals, if only we could encourage a few more trade wars...

The reform of the European electricity market is imperative for the PV revolution

Antonio Delgado, founder and CEO at AleaSoft Energy Forecasting has analysed the proposal for the reform of the European electricity market, which is still to be approved by the European Parliament. Below he discusses its most relevant aspects for the wholesale electricity market.

Debunking the low-cost nuclear myth

An article published in the FT this week was right to point out that pricing new energy capacity involves more than just comparing strike prices, but if you are in the business of calculating real costs, do it properly. For nuclear in particular, that’s a case of ‘in for a penny, in for (several) pounds’.

Outlook for n-type

Among n-type manufacturers, SunPower, Panasonic, and LG had the leading roles in interdigitated back contact (IBC), heterojunction (HJT), and tunnel oxidized passivated contact (TOPCon), respectively. But Chinese cells with low cost and high efficiency trends have been on the rise. In the future expansion of n-type production lines, the power of Chinese cell manufacturers and equipment makers can’t be underestimated.

Will Colombia’s renewable energy auction set a new bar for the market?

Colombia is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. According to data from the Colombia’s National Mining and Energy Planning Unit, UPME and the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), hydro potential is estimated at 56 GW countrywide, while solar is close to 42 GW and wind 15 GW in the Guajira region alone. Today, hydroelectric sources make up 65% of the energy mix, while wind and solar account for just 0.11% and 0.06%, respectively. As these numbers underscore, Colombia has barely scratched the surface of its renewable potential.

MENA: Opportunity in diversity

MENA countries have made significant strides in recent years in the fostering of both large-scale and distributed solar market segments. However, some investors and developers may turn elsewhere for opportunities if there remains a predominance of large utility-scale projects dominated by a small number of players, writes Iwan Walters, a partner in the corporate practice of Eversheds Sutherland.

Markets & Policy

Featured

PV’s Polish cold turkey

Considering the remarkable advances made by the solar sector since the Rio ‘Earth Summit’ of 1992, PV was notable by its absence at the Convention of Parties (COP) climate change summit held by the UN in Poland.

Bifacial takes all in Alberta large-scale PV auction, final price cheaper than gas

The Albertan Ministry of Infrastructure allocated around 94 MW of solar capacity and the three selected projects, all using bifacial modules, were secured by Canadian Solar. The projects will generate around 55% of the provincial government’s annual electricity needs.

PI Berlin findings say little about module quality in Europe

PI Berlin analysis has suggested the quality of modules is particularly high in Asian factories with a large throughput. However, just 2% of the 67 GW of production capacity audited for the study originated in Europe. The audits for the white paper were mostly carried out by Solarbuyer between 2012 and 2018.

The Windy – or maybe that should be nuclear – City will go 100% renewable

Chicago may be the largest city in the U.S. to commit to 100% renewable energy and has set a 2035 target date. The famous city’s long association with nuclear power says a lot about the future of clean energy Statesside.

Development banks unlock €38 million for Ukrainian PV plant

Black Sea and European lenders have loaned €19.1 million each to a 57 MW solar plant in southern Ukraine, as the country scrambles to renew its electricity sector. The EBRD is committed to lending €250 million to renewables projects in Ukraine to help the country to meet its 11% clean energy target for 2020.

Storage Highlights Countdown #9; Keeping score of battery performance with DNV GL

The Energy Storage Europe conference is nearing and pv magazine is featuring the top ten developments in the field as our Energy Storage Highlights, selected by an independent jury of experts. Having kicked off with a hydrogen fuel cell based approach to self-sufficient living in Switzerland, we continue our ranking with DNV GL’s bid to map the vast battery storage landscape, helping buyers make decisions.

Installations

Featured

Towering utility bills drive C&I tracker market

The growing market for tracker-mounted solar within the U.S. commercial and industrial market is being driven squarely by mammoth utility bills that often include time-of-use charges and total demand charges. Single-axis and double-axis systems are being deployed on warehouses, at agricultural facilities, factories, mines, landfills, carports, and other sites, often with a payback of only a few years, equipment sellers say.

EDF negotiates Luxel acquisition to boost its French solar deployment

France is set to have a near-3 GW annual solar market for the next six years from tenders alone and energy giant EDF wants a 30% piece of the action. To do so, the utility has entered negotiations with Luxel shareholders to acquire the PV developer.

EnBW and Energiekontor ink PPA for subsidy-free PV plant in Germany

The companies have entered a 15-year agreement for the plant, probably the first PPA for a project that size in Germany. Last week, EnBW said it was considering constructing a subsidy-free solar park in Brandenburg.

Chinese city wants 700 MW of new solar within two years

The capital city of pollution-blighted Zhejiang province has announced an ambitious clean air policy in the wake of Beijing’s call for local governments, big lenders and power companies to pull out the stops to restart the solar revolution.

Chint’s 103 MW Dutch solar park will use Astronergy panels

Chinese module maker announces start of construction on big project in the Netherlands weeks after announcing production of solar panels at its German Astronergy unit would be halted.

Storage Highlights Countdown #10; Proton Motor hydrogen electrolyzer for full self-sufficiency

The Energy Storage Europe conference and trade show is nearing and pv magazine is featuring the top ten developments in the field as our Energy Storage Highlights, selected by an independent jury of experts. We kick off with Proton Motor’s contribution to a Swiss project that enables apartment tenants to live without a gas or electricity grid connection.

Technology

Featured

Sweet sweep

The amount and nature of desert dust determines whether daily cleaning of solar modules is a favorable option. However, frequent and water-intensive cleaning, as well as the amount of labor required, can be costly in desert installations. But the ingenuity of automation is on its way to help.

India a $50bn market for energy storage, says US energy firm chief

Given its ambitious goal of achieving 175 GW of renewable power generation capacity by 2022 – and push for electric mobility – the world’s second most populous nation presents a potentially huge investment opportunity.

Rising Nordic power prices lifted Statkraft’s fourth-quarter results

The Norwegian renewable energy company cited rising prices, cost reduction plans and lucrative transactions as the main reason for its positive update. The average Nordic energy price in the quarter was €47.7/MWh, an increase of 56% from the same period a year earlier.

India gets first grid-scale battery energy storage system

The 10 MW system at Tata Power Delhi Distribution’s Rohini substation is said to be South Asia’s largest.

Solar, wind and storage can provide seven key grid services

Former NREL employee pens paper to rebut claims conventional energy can supply the essential grid services needed to return to normality after network disruption. The author says claims renewable energy cannot provide such services are erroneous.

South Africa’s load shedding nightmare may vanish with more renewables

As utility Eskom starts load shedding due to power plant failure, the 4 GW of wind and solar in the country are helping reduce energy shortages. Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services’ Chris Ahlfeldt tells pv magazine renewables – rather than Eskom’s plans to expand conventional generation capacity – would provide a safer, cheaper solution to the power crisis.

Manufacturing

Featured

Reflections on a soiled module

Having quickly proven their performance boosting potential and durability, anti-reflective coatings are now found on the majority of modules rolling off the world’s production lines. Today, coating suppliers are looking to tackle losses from soiling as well as reflection, and working to keep up with cost reductions and extended lifetime expectations at module level. Older modules, installed without a coating, could also be set to benefit from their latest innovations.

Turkey’s 1 GW Konya project in doubt

Project partners Hanwha Q Cells and local company Kalyon Enerji appear to have ended their partnership and to be negotiating the terms of a ‘divorce’.

ABN Amro takes majority stake in Dutch PV module testing company Eternal Sun

The controlling interest in Eternal Sun group was acquired by the Dutch bank’s Energy Transition Fund. The value of the transaction was not revealed.

Chile wants to know amount of local content of its solar plants

Public body Codesser wants to hire experts to carry out a “Study to determine the participation of national suppliers in the provision of construction, operation and maintenance components and services in solar energy projects in Chile”.

REC Silicon to suspend production at Moses Lake poly factory

Norway-headquartered REC Silicon has revealed plans to halt operations at its Moses Lake facility in the U.S. in 17 days’ time. The company says it has taken the decision to maintain liquidity for its semiconductor business with American workers set to pay the price for President Trump’s trade war with China.

Investor search for Solarworld failed, module factory to be auctioned-off

The manufacturer’s insolvency administrator has declared the investor search over. By March at the latest, all production equipment at the German module factory in Freiberg, as well as the buildings themselves, should come under the hammer.

Energy Storage

Featured

A smarter way to charge electric vehicles

It seems that almost every day, there is another big announcement relating to electric vehicles (EVs) and how we are going to charge them. Delta-ee Principal Analyst John Murray examines the ins and outs of different business models proposed for the future of EV charging and its relationship to the energy system.

Shell moves to acquire German storage business Sonnen

In May, oil giant Shell invested in German manufacturer Sonnen. Now the 112-year-old company wants to fully acquire the business, subject to Germany’s monopoly authorities. Sonnen said it hopes the deal will accelerate its growth by expanding its market reach and capacity.

World’s first solar-powered passenger car on roads next year

A Dutch start-up has designed an electric vehicle that runs solely on solar energy, and aims to deliver its first models next year. The car will also be available to lease.

US solar installations grew in 2018 despite tariffs

Clean energy analyst BloombergNEF says the U.S. installed 11.7 GWdc last year – 15% more capacity than earlier estimated – as well as 292 MW of batteries. Despite new solar and wind growth, and coal closures, however, emissions still rose from 2017 levels on the back on increased gas use.

Amprion and OGE announce 100 MW power-to-gas project in Germany

The €150 million project is entering the approval phase. Using the new facility, expected by 2023, the two companies will test how electricity from renewable energy can be converted into green hydrogen and green methane via electrolysis.

Slovakian utility ZSE launches virtual battery for residential PV

The service, costing €2 per month, is for residential customers that use PV products provided by the power company. The system is provided by E.ON group – a shareholder in the Slovak utility – and has already been launched in Germany, Czechia and Italy.

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