The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.
Technological innovation in PV is taking place in the context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, writes Karl Melkonyan, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS Markit. This, he argues, explains the focus on lowering manufacturing costs, increasing efficiencies, and reducing losses at all stages of the manufacturing process.
The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.
Contracts to build solar PV plants usually contain a performance warranty to ensure that the owner receives an asset that delivers the agreed-upon minimum performance level. But can warranties and assessment methodologies guarantee that plant performance is being correctly assessed? The answer is not entirely straightforward, writes Felipe Canto Teixeira, a partner at Everoze.
The battery and renewable energy industries are facing increased scrutiny for their human rights impacts. In December, U.S.-based technology and electric vehicle companies were named in the first lawsuit seeking to hold downstream companies responsible for allegedly aiding and abetting child labour in cobalt extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (https://bit.ly/2UgQPgZ). Energy storage technology, such as batteries, is increasingly developed alongside solar and wind-powered electricity generation. This means the battery industry’s material risks are now of direct concern to a broader group of companies involved in the global transition to a low carbon economy.
Supply-chain constraints related to China’s coronavirus outbreak could weigh on the performance of the U.S. solar market in 2020, writes SPV Market Research’s Paula Mints.
Scientists in Moscow have developed a titanium-based electrode material for metal-ion batteries they claim challenges the perceived wisdom of the element’s cathode potential and which could give researchers a ‘playground’ for the design of sustainable, cost-effective, titanium-based electrodes.
The Economic Community of West African States should prioritize the development of solar PV to meet surging energy demand over the next 30 years, according to a newly published study.
The company has warned shareholders about the potential affect of the virus on its operations in the first half of the year but said Chinese operations had almost returned to normal.
The Covid-19 crisis has far-reaching effects – including on the PV industry and solar installation market. The results of a survey conducted in a recent pv magazine webinar painted a picture of businesses unsettled by the pandemic but still taking orders at present.
Solar developers secured 131.4 MW of the capacity awarded in the auction, while a biomass installation accounted for the remaining 500 kW of capacity. The national energy regulator will provide 15-year feed-in premium payments to the winning projects.
Available in three versions, the product costs around $307-324 per square meter although prices will vary depending on project complexity. Swiss manufacturer Freesuns says its tiles can be used on historic buildings and can cover 100% of rooftops.
An Indo-Malay research group has sought to define the best conditions for developing large scale solar projects at airports. The researchers provided insight on glare analysis as well as design and performance.
The solar plant was built with fixed structures on a 400-hectare water surface at a fishery in Anhui province. The project was the first unsubsidized plant approved by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in 2019 and is selling power at a price of RMB 0.3844 ($0.054) per kWh.
A large sheep farming company in Germany is seeking PV asset owners who will let its animals graze sustainably at solar project sites, in a move that could be a win-win situation for everyone.
The government allocated 301 MW of PV capacity across 51 projects in the procurement exercise.
Researchers led by Monash University have made a discovery that will dramatically reduce lithium-from-brine extraction times. The innovative breakthrough is as simple as a sieve.
According to a Norwegian group of researchers, the reactive power capability of three-phase voltage source inverters can help to reduce problems caused by the intermittent nature of solar power on distribution networks. The scientists claim they are preferable to expensive grid infrastructure such as under-load tap changing transformers, step voltage regulators, and fixed and switchable capacitors. The group has developed a system model featuring a 7.63 kW PV array module, a three-phase voltage source inverter with 9.5 kVA of capacity, a boost converter, a three-phase dynamic load, and a utility grid.
Chinese scientists have developed a single-layered organic solar cell based on non-fullerene acceptors with improved fill factor and short-circuit current density. They achieved their results with a new morphology that could be more suitable for vertical charge transport.
Researchers in Brazil have suggested using solar radiation databases and simulator software to scale PV-diesel mini-grid generators. The profiles of PV generation and mini-grid load demand are critical to finding the right balance, according to the academics.
Researchers in Italy extensively analyzed four different configurations of their proposed system to assess its potential, including under non-optimal, ‘off-design’ conditions and concluded that, for now, subsidies would still be required for the commercial production of synthetic natural gas.
GCL System Integration plans to build a 60 GW solar module factory in China’s Anhui province, with a total investment of approximately $2.5 billion.
SunPower CEO: “We remain on track to complete our planned company split into two independently focused pure-play solar companies by the end of the second quarter.”
The US solar company says its production lines in Ohio, Malaysia and Vietnam have thus far been able to carry on operations. The company says measures have been taken to protect its workers at all of its premises.
Xinyi Solar reported record profits earlier this month, not surprisingly prompting bullish talk of extending its plans to expand production capacity this year and next. However, with PV demand in Europe key to its returns, the company has accepted the coronavirus epidemic may have an impact this year.
An international research team has defined the operational parameters needed to design and manufacture crystalline silicon PV modules for tropical climates. The group proposed a back-junction, back-contact cell tech with a selective laser soldering technique it claims offers the best potential to yield such robust panels.
An Austrian consortium has developed a hydrogen generation, storage and fueling station along with fuel cell-propelled snowmobiles. The team was so certain of the readiness of the solution they launched it during an FIS World Cup skiing event.
The country’s power utility has completed the pre-selection process to seek developers for a 20 MW solar project in the Banjul region. The project will feature up to four PV plants and will be developed under the national Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project.
Scientists in China claim to have identified a special cathode material that could be utilized in more stable potassium-ion storage systems. According to the group, this new material could enable the development of storage systems able to retain 94% of their capacity after 2000 cycles, with 0.003% capacity fade per cycle.
A slump in demand would weigh more heavily on the storage industry than a temporary production shutdown and IHS Markit analysts say that is where the risk lies, rather than with a temporary shortage of battery cells. A similar prediction has been made for the PV market.
Tesla’s Nevada operation is still open for business, though. The EV and battery maker has assured the market its cash position is strong enough to weather an “extended period of uncertainty”.
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