The pv magazine weekly news digest

Solar energy proponents in Germany are up in arms after the Ministry of Finance proposed a renewable energy tax of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour on power generated by solar systems used for self-consumption.

Across the pond in Florida, a homebuilding company Stellar Homes Group has introduced PV panels as a standard feature on all of its new homes in what could be a sign of the free market meeting growing demand for solar energy.

In Pennsylvania, PJM, the largest U.S. grid operator, reported a significant fall in its capacity auction price this week. The auction for capacity — firm power to meet reliability needs — for the 2019-2020 year resulted in a 40% fall in price to $100 per megawatt-day for the majority of its 13-state area, which stretches from the East Coast to the Midwest.

In industry news, Taiwan’s Foxconn pledged to continue investing in and utilizing Sharp’s solar business after its recent $3.5 billion acquisition of the Japanese electronics giant.

Solar PV has become the largest renewable energy employer, with 2.8 million jobs worldwide — an 11% increase from the last count, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

On the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, a single system combining PV with storage will generate enough clean power to meet more than 23% of its annual power demand. German inverter supplier SMA Solar Technology AG completed the installation of the hybrid energy system on the Caribbean Netherlands island.

German equipment manufacturer Singulus Technologies, meanwhile, is set to make the biggest order deal in its history after signing two precontracts valued at more than €110 million ($123 million). Singulus signed the agreements with a subsidiary of China National Building Materials for production machinery to manufacture CIGS solar modules.

Trouble in Egypt

A dispute between the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and international lenders and developers over the arbitration venue for PV projects that are being developed in the country could lead to delays or even cancellations of some of the planned projects.