Top News

UK: no budge on solar tax breaks in Budget

Today’s Budget see solar remain locked out on the types of tax breaks available to fossil fuels, while general lack of energy policy continues to fail long-term low carbon investors, argues Solar Trade Association.
Events

Video: Quality Roundtable at REI: “Cost is secondary, quality is paramount”

Held in September, the seventh pv magazine Quality Roundtable made its debut in India at the Renewable Energy India Expo. The discussion raised a series of pertinent points relevant to India’s soaring solar market, particularly concerning the need to place quality ahead of cost.

Markets & Policy

China adjusts anti-dumping duties on polysilicon from South Korea

The new anti-dumping duties are effective from November 22 and range from 4.4% to 113.8%.

Installations

India solar installs hit 2.2GW in Q3

Record growth continues as India installed 2,247 MW of solar projects in Q3 2017, up 15% from Q2 2017. The total installation at the end of 2017 is expected to range from 9.5 GW to 10 GW. The 7 GW solar installation in first nine months covered more than one-third of total new power capacity addition in 2017.

Markets & Policy

Germany awards contract to 69 MW solar plant in October auction

The auction’s final average price dropped under €50/MWh for the first time. Since January, PV projects exceeding 10 MW, and which are located in areas designated “bauliche anlagen,” have been allowed to participate in the auction. As a result, the largest winning project was a 69 MW solar facility.

Manufacturing

GCL-Poly unveils $542 million wafer supply deal

A unit of Chinese energy group GCL-Poly Energy has agreed to supply wafers to PV module manufacturer GCL System Integration and one of its subsidiaries in a deal worth up to CNY 3.59 billion ($542.3 million).

Markets & Policy

Chile completes interconnection of its two main power systems

The interconnection of the SIC and SING power systems will now enable the sale of energy from solar power plants installed in the north of the country to other regions.

Installations

Japan’s METI awards 140 MW in first PV auction — report

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has awarded 140 MW of solar capacity to eight companies across nine locations, with the lowest bid coming in at JPY 17.2 ($0.15)/kWh, according to a local media report.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Health check: MLPE

MLPE market: New AC and smart modules, internationalization, and stringent grid regulations are set to drive a surge in MLPE shipments. Miguel de Jesus, solar analyst at IHS Markit looks into upcoming trends hitting the module-level power electronics (MLPE) market.

Netherlands sees growing interest in community solar projects

Around 37 MW of community solar power projects have been built in Holland so far this year.

TFE Consulting: Bangladesh C&I solar primed for growth

With only a few MW of installed capacity and no supportive policies on the books, a global solar developer could be forgiven for overlooking Bangladesh as a growth opportunity. However, research indicates there is strong market potential, particularly for the C&I solar sector.

Egypt’s PV net metering set to bear fruit

Egypt’s feed-in tariff scheme expired in October, however recent regulatory updates on the net metering scheme are set to bear fruit for solar PV in Egypt. pv magazine explores the new policy and business landscape.

Corporate solar funding slips YoY finds Mercom Capital

Total corporate funding in the solar sector has slipped slightly in the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period in 2016 reports Mercom Capital, despite increases in global VC funding and M&A transactions. Some strong quarterly gains were, however, recorded. Downstream remains a key funding focus.

UN report shows China is becoming major PV technology stakeholder

The report describes how knowledge assets are shaping the current structure of the PV supply chain, and how China was able to catch up technologically by acquiring the necessary assets to enter at different stages of the value chain.

Installations

Featured

Hungry for renewables

Solar in Spain: 2020 is around the corner. In order to comply with the European objectives and after five years of standstill, Spain has tendered 8 GW of renewables in only three months. The announced drop in the retribution parameters forecast for that year not only jeopardizes the 4 GW already granted to PV, but also the solvency of old installations.

SMA rounds out 2017 with 1.2 GW of Australian power plant contracts

SMA is set to supply its central inverters and power plant controllers to more than 20 PV power plant projects in Australia. Today the inverter giant revealed that it has signed contracts to supply its Medium Voltage Power Station (MVPS) and the SMA Power Plant Controller to around 1.2 GW in projects.

BNEF: China to install 54 GW in 2017

According to a newly released forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China is likely to install 54 GW of solar PV before the year is out, surpassing previous expectations.

Lazard shows ongoing cost declines in solar (w/ charts)

The consultancy’s 2017 study finds that the global cost of utility-scale solar has reached an unsubsidized LCOE of under $50 per megawatt-hour, making new solar cost-competitive with running existing coal or nuclear plants.

Niger gets its first solar container

Africa GreenTec, alongside the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) and the International Climate Initiative, have installed a solar-plus-storage container in the Tahoua region.

Work on 220 MW Myanmar PV project underway

Work on the first phase of a planned 220 MW solar PV plant is underway in Myanmar, according to Basic Energy Corporation. The Filipino-based energy company is looking to acquire an up to 20% stake in the two EPC companies involved.

Technology

Featured

Black is the new black

Wafer texturing: Though long known within the industry, until recently there had been little interest from PV manufacturers in black silicon processes. Now, with the growth of diamond wire sawing, the technology is making a comeback. pv magazine looks into black silicon’s sudden popularity among manufacturers, and the technology’s potential to bring about a resurgence in multicrystalline silicon.

New coating steps up solar cell efficiency by 20%, Russian researchers find

By putting silica particles inside the top electrode, scientists from Russia’s ITMO University have developed a new solar cell coating, which helps avoid overheating and diminishes light reflection, thus increasing overall efficiency by 20%.

Rotating molecule discovery could bring higher efficiencies to perovskite PV

A team of researchers led by the University of Virginia in the USA has discovered that rotating molecules within a solar are one of the key mechanisms behind the high levels of conversion efficiency seen in perovskite solar cells. The discovery could allow scientists to select and design new materials capable of even more efficient PV generation.

Solliance hits new perovskite milestone

European research group Solliance has announced new conversion efficiencies of 13.5% (cell) and 12.2% (module) for its perovskite based PV technology. The group states that the records were achieved in a factory setting, using an industrially scalable roll to roll process.

UCI scientists develop new type of solar generation

A team of researchers from University of California, Irvine (UCI) has developed a device which which converts sunlight into electricity through the motion of ions, rather than through excitement of electrons as in standard photovoltaics.

MIT researchers release evaluation of solar pumps for irrigation in India

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) study of solar pump technology used in India assesses technical performance and explores innovative business cases to increase user adoption. The study also helps farmers to choose the right size of the pump according to their requirement or size of fields.

Manufacturing

Featured

Ribbon warriors

European manufacturing: In 2007 U.S. specialty metals and PV ribbon manufacturer Ulbrich decided to fund an Austrian startup from the state of Burgenland with a compelling business plan to produce advanced PV ribbons in the heart of Europe. Now 10 years later, the success of this venture was cause for celebration at Forchtenstein Castle in Burgenland. In addition to celebrating a decade of Ulbrich of Austria, participants were treated to an informative one day Photovoltaic Module Conference.

Singulus gets new CIGS order

The German PV equipment provider will supply several CIGS production systems of the type TENUIS II for wet-chemical coating processes to an unnamed Chinese manufacturer.

JA Solar to drop NASDAQ listing, go private

JA Solar has signed an agreement to cancel its listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange and go private in an all-cash transaction.

Solar Frontier reveals production halts in Japan – correction

Solar Frontier has halted operations at its 150 MW Tohoku plant in northeastern Japan and has revealed plans to shut down production at its 50 MW plant in Miyazaki prefecture in late December, in line with plans to consolidate production at its flagship 900 MW Kunitomi facility, which is also located in the southern prefecture.

Anti-dumping petition has created huge uncertainty for entire Indian solar sector, Bridge to India says

Indian renewable analyst firm notes that anti-dumping comes at inopportune time with the industry already reeling from a slowdown in new project procurement, extra costs due to GST, import duties and increased module prices. It is expected to come by October 2018 and may affect all stakeholders and projects in the pipeline as well as those awaiting auction.

Polysilicon shortage in China drives 35% price spike, Bloomberg reports

Amid an unexpected shortage of a key raw material, solar manufacturers in China are now under pressure of higher costs and narrowing margins.

Energy Storage

Featured

A new outlook for the energy transition

Global energy economy: At the 2017 Solar Power International show in Las Vegas, DNV GL presented its expansive global Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) report. The report plots the major reorganization of the world’s energy system, finding that wind and solar will each contribute one third of all electricity supply by 2050. The bad news is that, despite the shift we’re likely going to miss current climate goals. DNV GL Energy CEO Ditlev Engel and Solar Segment Director Ray Hudson spoke to pv magazine.

Global storage market to double six times by 2030, BNEF reports

Global cumulative storage deployment will double six times between 2017 and 2030 to reach 125 GW/305 GWh, with as much as $103 billion pouring into the sector, finds new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Sky Solar buys 24 MW of DGPV projects in Chile

All of the projects are located in the O’Higgins Region and are being developed under the country’s PMGD Program for distributed generation.

Australian government to back blockchain PV, water project

The Australian government has agreed to provide AU$2.57 million (US$1.9 million) to support a two-year pilot project that will use blockchain technology to pair utility-scale and commercial rooftop PV with a battery, electric vehicle charging stations and water treatment and capture systems in the state of Western Australia.

Switching to solar can boost education, prosperity for developing world, study finds

Research from the Overseas Development Institute estimates that children in developing world can gain 15 minutes extra study time a day if their homes switch from fossil fuel to solar, while households can enjoy savings of $10 per month.

Lesotho’s first utility-scale solar project moves forward

The government of the African country has issued an expression of interest in seeking consultancy companies for the environmental and social impact assessment of a 20 MW PV power project.

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Press Releases

Ingeteam wins a new contract in the United Kingdom for the maintenance of 200 MW

Ingeteam has won a new operation and maintenance contract for two wind farms in the United Kingdom. This is a key contract for Ingeteam, making it the company to hold the world record for maintained power.

The Circular Economy in the spotlight at Ecomondo and Key Energy: 116,131 visitors at Rimini Expo Center

The priority commitments for the Green and Circular economy of the European Commission were the highlights of expo contents and events at Ecomondo and Key Energy, which ended today at Rimini Expo Centre.

Fronius Ohmpilot receives award for innovation

Energy sector integration is coming increasingly to the fore in the generation and use of renewable energy. In order to efficiently harness the effects of synergies, the electricity, heating and transport sectors are growing closer together.

Sungrow named top 25 global renewable energy honoree by Thomson Reuters

Sungrow, the global leading inverter solution supplier for renewables, announced recently that Thomson Reuters, a leading source for news and industry reports for professionals across the globe, has named Sungrow as a Top 25 Global Renewable Energy Honoree in its Top 100 Global Energy Leaders rankings.