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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.
With the World Bank celebrating the success of a solar home system installation program which has provided electricity to an estimated 20 million people, an NGO has floated a near-$12 million environmental investment which could drive further PV capacity.
The contest is over. Faster, cheaper, more flexible than gas turbines – battery energy storage must be the future peaking energy service provider of choice, according to a new paper by Australia’s Clean Energy Council.
India had installed 6.8 GW of cumulative rooftop PV capacity by the end of 2020, with consumer-owned systems accounting for about 72% of the total, according to Bridge to India.
Something is brewing in the financial world. “Sustainable finance” and the growth of ESG funds have been taking the market by storm in recent years. Since most major PV projects end up needing investors from the capital market, it is only a matter of time before they will have to adapt. The beginning of March 2021 saw a milestone reached in this process.
The solar cell manufacturer claims to have achieved the record efficiency at its 2 GW Huzhou, in northern Zhejiang province. Meanwhile, PV production equipment supplier Jinchen is raising funds for the development of its plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technology for heterojunction cell production lines.
The solar-plus-storage facility will reduce heavy fuel oil consumption by 13.1 million liters per year.
The nascent hydrogen economy has seen a good amount of developments in a week that showed an increasing number of players taking part in the game. In the UK, British Airways has invested in hydrogen-electric aircraft developer ZeroAvia with a focus on hydrogen-electric power solutions for 50-plus-seat aircraft. In Brazil, Petrobras has joined forces with Siemens to develop green hydrogen solutions. In Portugal, the government and the European Investment Bank signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for hydrogen cooperation.
Canadian mining company Trevali will buy power from a solar plant located near its Rosh Pinah mine under a 15-year power purchase agreement.
An energy community in northern Italy will integrate a PV installation with a storage system to power 48 households of a social housing project and a fleet of rented electric vehicles. It is a collective effort that could be replicable as soon as 2023.
Indian scientists tested four kinds of phase change materials (PCMs) for solar module cooling in building-integrated photovoltaics. The PCMs were encapsulated with the PV system and the building envelopes and were also found to be beneficial to the thermal comfort inside the buildings.
The result was achieved for a small area device with the size of 0.1 sq cm. The cell was fabricated with a Tin(IV) oxide electron transport layer modified with crystalline polymeric carbon nitrides (cPCN).
Scientists have found that a human hair derivative can protect, stabilize and enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells.
A German consortium is building a light commercial truck prototype powered by 10 PV modules featuring Meyer Burger’s heterojunction cells. Initial estimates suggest that the panels could cover more than 25% of a vehicle’s total annual driving distance, and researcher Robby Peibst told pv magazine that the vehicle-integrated photovoltaic market could hit 5 GW by 2030.
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.
The Chinese module manufacturer saw its net profit rise only slightly last year, despite a larger increase in turnover and shipments. It expects to almost double its shipments to up to 30 GW of PV modules in the current fiscal year.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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