Top News

Italy awards tariff of €0.11/kWh for shared electricity in energy communities

Energy communities in Italy will be awarded a special tariff for all shared power in renewable energy systems not exceeding 200 kW in size. Surplus power can be injected into the grid, but with no remuneration, which may encourage the members of these communities to resort to storage.
Installations

pv magazine video: How quality can lower solar risk and insurance rates

This year’s pv magazine Quality Roundtable USA looked at extreme weather, and how resiliency can be built through modern O&M. Representatives from DuPont, Stäubli, Nextracker and RETC took to the virtual stage to discuss weather-related dam...
Manufacturing

Ever heard of photovoltatronics, the new frontier of solar in urban environments?

Scientists in the Netherlands are planning to build intelligent PV devices for energy and information applications. Their intention is to make this approach a new field of PV research, whose ultimate goal is enabling solar cells to communicate with each ...
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Enel plans to drive 120 GW of renewables capacity by 2030

The Italian energy business plans to spend €70 billion on clean energy this decade and also announced plans to invest in e-mobility and grid flexibility, in concert with outside investors.
Manufacturing

DSM unveils ‘all purpose’ polyolefin-based backsheet for PV panels

Dutch materials specialist DSM launched a new polyolefin-based backsheet that is claimed to have outstanding UV and abrasion resistance as well as good moisture barrier and hydrolysis resistance.
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UK government leaves door open on more regular renewables auctions

Developers dodged more onerous supply-chain and carbon-footprint commitments in the results of a recent consultation exercise announced by BEIS but appear set to lose all Contracts for Difference top-up payments during periods of negative electricity pri...
Markets & Policy

New round, same result: PV takes it all in Germany’s wind-solar tender

The German authorities allocated around 202 MW of solar power in the procurement exercise. Final prices ranged between €0.0518 and €0.0545 per kWh.
Manufacturing

Mounting structure for balcony solar modules

South Korean manufacturer Clenergy has unveiled a new mounting solution for PV panels installed in balconies. The structure is adjustable to different types of commonly-sized balconies with metal railings.

Press Releases

Top 3 Module Manufacturers with over 50% Market Share Chose 182mm Modules

On November 12, 2020, the "182mm Modules and System Technology Forum" jointly organized by Jinko, JA and Longi was successfully held in Shanghai. Hundreds of company from the PV sector were invited to attend this exclusive event, including inverter enterprises, bracket manufacturers, EPC enterprises, and third-party certification institutes to express their point of view and comprehensively analyze the design, production cost, compatibility, system applications, and product certification of 182mm modules.

Mibet: Shining on the Roof of Asia’s Largest Railway Station

Just in past September, as the first inspection train passing through Xiongan Railway station, the new Asia’s largest railway station is closing to complete all construction and start formal operation. The Xiongan Railway Station, which with land occupation of over 680,000 meters square, surrounded with halos since the date of its approval: the largest one […]

LONGi supplies 273MW of its solar modules for Southeast Asia’s largest solar plant, Phase I of the Xuan Thien Ea Sup Project in Dak Lak, Vietnam

LONGi has successfully supplied its Hi-MO 4 Series modules for Southeast Asia’s largest solar plant, Phase I of the Xuan Thien Ea Sup Project in Dak Lak, Vietnam. Commissioned by Xuan Thien Group on November 15, 2020, the 600 MWac / 831 MWp utility-scale solar plant is estimated to have an electricity output of 1.

Growatt partners with the top PV retailer in Australia, having installed over 2,500 residential PV storage systems

Australia is one of the world’s most developed solar markets. With supportive policies, the country leads in the residential PV sector over the years, thus creating unique market soil for residential storage.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The solar development process in Vietnam, its barriers and hurdles

The development process for ground-mounted utility scale solar projects in Vietnam is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and still largely difficult to navigate for foreign developers without entering a strategic partnership, in whatever form, with a local Vietnamese counterpart.

Why the solar M&A landscape in Vietnam is set to heat up

Vietnam has now effectively overtaken Thailand as the largest solar market in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar operational capacity, with more than 6,314 MW installed up to September 2020. Many hundreds of MWs of solar projects are also still under construction or development. However, its solar (and other renewable energy) M&A activity has developed very slowly to date. There are many reasons to expect that this is about to change, but before we examine them, let us review the main factors behind this sluggish tempo.

The potential for UK solar

Focusing on the big picture is always challenging, particularly in light of the current all-consuming coronavirus pandemic. However, there are some key issues related to the U.K. solar sector, which will feature significantly on the domestic agenda in the months ahead.

Why has the M&A landscape struggled to take off for renewables in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese renewables industry has been flourishing lately. Taking the example of the solar sector, the installed capacity increased from barely 134 MW in 2018 up to 6,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam has definitely emerged as one of the most active countries in South-East Asia and with the merit of diversifying its energy mix. They added capacity not only in solar – utility scale, commercial & industrial (C&I) rooftop – but also onshore/nearshore wind, hydro and to some extent biomass energy projects. Vietnam has shown levels of dynamism which has attracted initial investor interest.

Prospects for bifacial and large-format products

The pandemic and accidents at polysilicon labs in China’s Xinjiang region put PV manufacturers under pressure to maintain production this year, while slowing cell and module R&D. After half-cut and multi-busbar becomes commonplace, manufacturers will continue to explore the high-density assembly methods that emerged last year, as well as n-type cells. But the market is also shifting to large formats, and the share of bifacial products is growing this year. As sizing up modules can bring immediate returns, PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang expects the PV industry to prioritize the development of large formats and bifacial products next year.

Reform meets opposition

Since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s election at the end of 2018, renewable energy in Mexico has faced an uncertain regulatory environment. The current government is focused on restoring the power and influence of Mexico’s state-owned energy companies. But it is now at a crossroads, as the previous administration aimed to open the segment up to foreign investment. Maria Chea of IHS Markit examines the policy decisions the government has taken this year and how these have soured private investor sentiment. These changes will likely weigh on utility-scale PV procurement in the country through 2024.

Covid-19

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Green projects eligible as EU throws another €40bn at Covid recovery

Italy is in line for €11.4 billion if member states sign off an emergency funding package which will distribute funds based on the GDP and unemployment figures of their economies in June, July and August.

‘Solar should be at heart of EU recovery’

Solarpower Europe has called on member states to put solar and battery storage front and center when it comes to drawing up the Recovery and Resilience plans needed to secure a slice of the bloc’s proposed €672.5 billion post-Covid stimulus package.

European Council reaches €1.82tn budget agreement with parliament

The parliament and EU member states will now mull the proposed budget for 2021-27 which includes a €750 billion Covid recovery package and a Strategic Investment Facility it is hoped will unlock €150 billion for renewables and energy storage to 2027.

World could add more than 900 GW of solar by 2025 if politicians grasp the nettle – IEA

With the International Energy Agency publishing its latest five-year clean energy forecast today, pv magazine takes a look at the solar content of the 162-page document.

Scatec stock price stymies extra shares issue plan

Shares in the Norwegian renewables company have been trading below the $26 price linked to a recent $527 million fundraising issuance which the developer launched to fund its planned acquisition of hydropower business SN Power.

Solar challenges and trends and Covid-19 discussed at 2020 Africa Energy Forum

The 24-day, digital 2020 Africa Energy Forum kicked off on October 20. The event brings together African energy sector officials to identify opportunities, air their views, form partnerships, and take the necessary steps to improve the industry. For solar, challenges in policy making, procurement processes and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were discussed, as well as emerging trends such as solar digitalization.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Power play under way Down Under

Economics and common sense have to win out over a climate-denying, pro-fossil fuel government, says John Grimes, the chief executive of Australia’s Smart Energy Council. And in the absence of renewable energy targets, he argues that the power of the people seems to be leading the way.

Germany’s largest solar park begins feeding power into the grid

Although still unfinished, the 187 MW solar park under construction by German utility EnBW near Berlin has already begun delivering power to the grid.

Sheikh Mohammed opens third phase of park bearing his name

The latest 800 MW of the 5 GW solar field to go live takes Dubai past its 2020 clean energy target of 7% by ensuring 9% of the emirate’s power comes from clean sources, according to the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: More glass, module production capacity and a 400 MW solar park

Kibing Group and CECEP have announced plans to increase their PV glass and solar module capacities, respectively. China Energy Investment Corp is planning a 400 MW solar park in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Daqo notes PV glass shortage in otherwise positive update

The polysilicon manufacturer says a lack of the raw material is causing a bottleneck for the industry but CEO has predicted it will be resolved as new production capacity comes online in the months ahead.

Indoor solar cells based on lead-free perovskite-inspired materials

Lead-free perovskite-inspired materials still provide efficiencies that are too low for solar cells in outdoor environments. A British-Chinese research team, however, has demonstrated they have strong potential for indoor PV devices due to their ability to capture visible light.

Installations

Featured

Bulking up for bigger tracking challenges

Bigger modules and more challenging conditions are leading tracker designers to strengthen their offerings to deliver the stability required for long-term operation. Eduardo de San Nicolás, Soltec’s chief strategy officer, says that the Spanish company’s efforts have resulted in a new generation of trackers fit for almost any wind conditions – along with a host of other benefits including advanced communications and optimized bifacial yield.

Online algorithm to estimate open-circuit voltage in PV systems

The new technique, proposed by researchers in Pakistan, is claimed to estimate the voltage, current and temperature of a PV system without interrupting the power flow to load.

Massive corporate solar deal for the world’s largest telecommunications company

US giant AT&T has signed an agreement with Invenergy to purchase 500 MW from the upcoming 1.3 GW Samson Solar Energy Center in Texas. The deal will make AT&T one of the largest purchasers of corporate solar in the world.

Sri Lanka seeks consultants for $100m solar project

The project will be developed under a credit line facility from the Exim Bank of India.

EU solar manufacturers must show willing on circular approach to secure funding

An extensive European Commission regulation has set the bar on those economic activities deemed to help in the war against global heating and, by implication, those which may hinder the effort.

Canadian Solar secures PPAs for 862 MW of solar in Brazil

The Chinese-Canadian company has secured two more deals in the Brazilian deregulated energy market. A 12-year PPA was awarded by BTG bank while a second, 15-year contract was awarded by power provider Furnas Centrais Elétricas.

Technology

Featured

Something truly new

You can try to succeed by making a better version of your competitors’ product, or you can try to do something completely new. NexWafe has chosen the second path. It is developing plans to manufacture wafers for high-efficiency solar cells in Bitterfeld, Germany, that are produced more sustainably and at lower cost than any other products available today.

Carbon nanotubes in search of a solar niche

A group of German scientists has analyzed the possible trajectory of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in photovoltaic research and industry and has suggested a roadmap to bring this technology closer to mass production. Despite a large number of challenges, the academics predicted a brilliant future for CNTs in PV applications, explaining that the barriers to their adoption are constantly being reduced.

Interest grows in going with the vanadium flow

The choice of battery storage technologies in support of solar energy supply is broadening to suit a variety of emerging applications. VSUN has just made its first power play for vanadium-redox-flow batteries in the off-grid residential market.

Floating solar could benefit from EU offshore renewables strategy

A clean energy plan drawn up by the European Commission includes details of the various funding pots available to help ocean-based renewables hit 340 GW of generation capacity by mid century.

Even if it is cheap enough, efficiency does matter

A British-German research team claims that organic PV technologies may become mature enough to compete with crystalline silicon and thin-film products not only in BIPV, but also in power generation in the electricity market. In order to get there, however, organic PV products will have to achieve higher efficiencies.

25.17% efficient perovskite solar cell via new photoactive layer

Scientists in South Korea demonstrated a perovskite cell with a certified efficiency of 24.4%. The device is claimed to maintain over 80% of its initial efficiency after 1,300 hours in the dark at 85 degrees Celsius.

Manufacturing

Featured

Circular innovations

Slowly but surely, environmental concerns are making their way into mainstream thought throughout the PV industry. A look at recycling offers an example of this, with stakeholders trying to get ahead of the high volumes of end-of-life modules already on the horizon. pv magazine examines the technologies that will be needed, alongside policy and economic support, to keep the bulk of these modules out of landfill and ultimately to establish a circular economy for PV materials.

Production begins at 500 MW Mexican solar panel fab

Mexican solar module manufacturer Solarever has switched on the production lines of its manufacturing facility in Tecomán, in the state of Colima.

Longi releases statement on patent dispute with Hanwha Q-Cells

The Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer said the recent invalidation procedure for its patent at the Chinese Patent Office’s examination and invalidity department is only an administrative examination procedure that only examines whether or not the authorized Chinese patent complies with patent law requirements.

Trends in solar modules – Interview with RenewSys CEO

Avinash Hiranandani, global chief executive officer and managing director of RenewSys India, speaks to pv magazine about solar module technology trends and the company’s manufacturing focus.

The weekend read: Bigger modules yes, but better…?

It is now a well-established trend. After the switch to larger wafer sizes played out in 2019, this year has seen virtually all of the biggest PV manufacturers introduce new modules in dimensions above the 2-meter mark, and with power ratings in excess of 500 W – in some cases, as high as 800 W. As these modules begin to roll off production lines in larger quantities, it’s vital to take a look at the challenges and opportunities they bring to system design, installation, and long-term operation.

The struggle against LeTID continues

Researchers in Australia have conducted extensive research on all possible causes behind the light-elevated temperature-induced degradation (LeTID) in solar panels and presented a few mitigation strategies put in place by manufacturers to reduce its effects.

Energy Storage

Featured

Energy supply in an archipelagic nation

Mobile electricity storage systems (MESS) – batteries that are charged and then transported – could offer one of the best scenarios for electrification across the vast Indonesian archipelago, which spans more than 17,000 islands. A team at the University of Indonesia is working with multiple government agencies to bring the idea to scale and provide affordable electricity to rural Indonesians.

Chile to launch auction for 2.31 TWh of renewables+storage in May

The country’s energy regulator will publish the auction’s final bidding terms in December. Projects awarded contracts under the auction will supply electricity under 15-year power purchase agreements for 2026-2040.

New ‘slide-in’ solar canopy tech from Australia

Australian design and manufacturing company PVDymanics has unveiled a solar canopy technology which can be used with both framed and frameless solar modules. The company believes its system can revolutionize the micro-grid market.

Iberdrola and Ingeteam set up JV to produce electrolyzers in Spain

Iberlyzer will begin operations next year and will produce more than 200 MW of electrolyzers in 2023, with an initial investment of close to €100 million. In addition, the Spanish energy giant has signed an agreement with Norwegian company Nel to build and develop large electrolyzers in Spain.

Solar microgrid powers Indian health center

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has installed a 5.2 kW solar system linked to 150 Ah of lead-acid battery storage in a project supported by the Sunrise program led by Swansea University, in Wales.

Standalone EV recharging station integrating renewables, storage and hydrogen

Scientists in Qatar have developed a new model for setting up standalone EV recharging stations based on the hybridization of multiple renewable energy sources and different types of storage. The system includes power generation devices from CPV/T, wind, and biomass and is designed to fast-charge 80 electrical vehicles daily.

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