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Chinese PV Industry Brief: TCL Zhonghuan reduces wafer prices, TW Solar announces giant solar plant

TCL Zhonghuan reduced its wafer prices by between 16% and 24%, while its competitor Gokin Solar is raising funds to build additional ingot and wafer capacity. Meanwhile, TW Solar announced a 3.4 GW solar plant across 52 fishponds.

Ecoflow unveils new balcony PV system

US-based Ecoflow has announced the commercialization of a balcony solar device with a portable power station for residential applications.

India installs 485 MW of rooftop solar capacity in Q1

India reached 9.3 GW of cumulative installed rooftop solar capacity on March 31, 2023, following the addition of 485 MW in the first quarter of 2023.

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Energy Storage

Sonnen connects heat pumps to virtual power plant in Germany

Sonnen has introduced a new software solution to seamlessly integrate heat pumps into private household energy supplies and enhance grid stability. The company's initial partner is heat pump manufacturer NIBE, but additional partners are expected to join...
Markets & Policy

Australian utility plans to enter solar panel recycling, reuse business

Australian energy major AGL is pushing ahead with plans to transform its Loy Yang power station site into a clean energy industrial hub in the Australian state of Victoria. It has signed a deal with Solar Recovery Corp. (SRC) to explore the feasibility o...

Evonik unveils new wafer-cutting solutions

German chemicals producer Evonik claims that its wetting and defoaming solutions improve the speed and quality of wafer cutting, despite the industry's shift toward harder, more brittle materials.

Assessing effectiveness of icephobic coatings on PV systems located at high latitudes

A Norwegian research team assessed the snow deposits on photovoltaic panels and the consequent energy losses via the PVsyst software and utilized the so-called Marion’s algorithm (MA) for evaluating the sliding coefficient. It found the coatings may ef...

Germany surpasses 3 million PV systems as demand soars

Germany has achieved a significant milestone, with more than 3 million PV systems now in operation, according to new data from German PV association BSW-Solar. It said the country's rooftop PV market is experiencing robust demand and the 4 million mark c...

Press Releases

Kenhardt Solar Site Protects Local Quiver Trees for the Future

Renewable energy company, Scatec, was involved in a massive Quiver tree planting and re-planting operation at their Kenhardt site in the Northern Cape.

LONGi showcases Hi-MO series modules at Future Energy Show Philippines

LONGi has showcased its Hi-MO 5 and Hi-MO 6 series products at the 2023 edition of the Future Energy Show Philippines, both modules receiving significant attention from visitors to the event, with the company’s onsite representatives demonstrating customized green power solutions, covering utility and distributed power generation, and intelligent energy management.

Hanersun was awarded “Top 100 Solar PV Brands” and “The Fastest Growing Brand” this year

On 22-23 May 2023, the CPC 8th Century Photovoltaic Conference of 2023 and PVBL 11th Global PV Global Photovoltaic Brand Rankings Announcement Ceremony were held in Shanghai City, China.

Opinion & Analysis


Polysilicon prices plunge worldwide on bearish market sentiment

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at the main price trends in the global PV industry.

New York and Ontario steal California’s sunshine, as high pressure systems affect May irradiance

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, presents the solar irradiance data it collected for North America in May. New York registered a new record on May 18th, when solar power met 20% of the state power demand, while Los Angeles and San Diego rooftops actually received less irradiance during May than New York’s or Boston’s.

Photovoltaic energy continues to set new records in European electricity markets

Gas and CO2 prices continued their downward trend in the fourth week of May, which led to a general downward trend in prices in European electricity markets and several negative hourly prices were registered, which reached -€400/MWh in Netherlands. The notable exception of the Iberian market, which saw a rise in prices, came from the fall in renewable energy production. During the week, records of solar photovoltaic energy production were reached in Germany, France, and Italy.

Smoke from early fire season impacts irradiance across North America

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, presents the solar irradiance data it collected for North America since early May. The province of Alberta saw close to 100 wildfires raging from the beginning of the month and solar asset operators throughout the impacted regions can expect reduced efficiency from both the irradiance impacts and increased panel soiling.

Cell prices slip, weighed down by sustained falling upstream prices

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at the main price trends in the global PV industry.

New episodes of negative or zero prices in European electricity markets

In the third week of May, negative or zero hourly prices were registered in most of the European electricity markets, especially during the weekend. In the Nord Pool market, the value of -€5.67/MWh registered during an hour on Sunday May 21, is the lowest one in history. For the week as a whole, prices decreased in every market, due to the decrease in demand and gas prices, and also to a higher solar and wind energy production than that of the previous week in several markets.


Producing the goods

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) is demonstrating how a solar-powered refrigeration unit and dryer could be self-sustaining and improve food security in Kenya.

African PAYG solar companies have hogged 72% of sector’s investment

The first post-pandemic update on the state of the world’s off-grid solar industry has painted a picture of domination by European companies, but highlighted the potential for new startups in West Africa and an increasing use of PV as a backup to unreliable grid supplies.

Off-grid solar continues to expand

The off-grid solar sector has shown resilience in the face of pandemic-related challenges, with 70 million people gaining access to electricity from early 2020 to the end of 2021. However, the ability to pay for solar energy kits has taken a hit.

AfDB announces cheap loans to back off-grid solar in Africa

The African Development Bank has announced that European and US donors will provide $20 million of concessional loans to support pay-as-you-go solar companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

SolarEdge reports record-breaking revenue

With comparisons with a Covid-hit 2020 inevitably offering a string of positive numbers, there was also little to concern the board of the inverter and battery manufacturer from the returns generated in the last quarter.

Solar job numbers kept on rising in 2020

The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition’s employment benefits are to be shared equally.

Markets & Policy


Asia takes the lead on floating PV

Floating PV is consolidating as a growth segment for PV demand, mainly driven by supportive policies and incentives extended by governments across the world. A major reason for this push is the limited land availability in many markets. Despite higher equipment prices compared to ground-mounted installations, developers see the opportunity to save on land and O&M costs. The output can also be as much as 30% higher than a ground-mount PV plant, depending on the site and technology used.

Maxeon claims 24.7% efficiency for IBC solar panel

Maxeon said it has achieved a 24.7% efficiency rating for a full-scale Maxeon 7 solar panel using its IBC technology. The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) confirmed the result.

Tokuyama, OCI plan to build 10,000 MT polysilicon factory in Malaysia

Tokuyama said the new factory should meet increasing demand for polysilicon. OCI already operates a polysilicon manufacturing facility in Malaysia.

Solarge launches lightweight PERC modules with low carbon footprint

Dutch solar manufacturer Solarge has unveiled two versions of its lightweight mono-PERC solar panels for rooftop applications. The module have power outputs between 470 W and 520 W and efficiencies ranging from 17.4% to 19.2%.

Nickel-zinc battery systems with hydrogen, EV charging

ZincFive is supplying battery systems for Advanced Power & Energy’s hydrogen-fueling microgrid and pilot DC fast-charging station in Greenville, Pennsylvania

Mitsubishi to deploy heat pumps, solar, storage in remote island project

Mitsubishi Electric has launched a demonstration experiment to assess the efficiency of heat pumps in demand-response control on the Aran Islands in Ireland and San Pietro Island in Italy. As part of the European Union’s REACT project, solar, wind, and storage solutions will also be implemented to enhance the energy self-sufficiency of isolated islands.



Australia builds big

While the first half of 2022 was one of the busiest periods on record for new wind projects in Australia, with more than 2 GW breaking ground, solar got off to a much slower start with construction on 635 MW of new PV projects getting underway. Rystad Energy’s David Dixon attributes this slowdown to high cost and supply chain challenges and a lack of available power purchase agreements.

Brazil hits 30 GW milestone

The country has added 15 GW of new PV capacity since January 2022. In 2023 alone, it deployed 4.4 GW of new solar power, of which 3.15 GW comes from distributed generation and 1,24 GW from utility scale PV.

Avancis achieves 20.3% efficiency in CIGS solar panel

Avancis has set a new world record for a copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS) solar panel with an integrated series connection of 30 cm x 30 cm, achieving an efficiency of 20.3%. The German manufacturer’s accomplishment has been validated by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

German developer moves forward with minigrid project in Senegal

Germany’s development bank, KfW, is financing a new minigrid project in Senegal with a $138.8 million loan.

India to add 2 GW of hybrid wind-solar, 16 GW of PV in 2023

India installed 11.4 GW of utility-scale solar capacity in 2022 and 1.9 GW of rooftop PV, for a total of 13.3 GW.

Improving ground-mounted solar power plant performance via orbiting reflectors

Scientists in the United Kingdom have proposed using orbiting solar reflectors to enhance the electricity yield of terrestrial solar power plants. They claim this new technology may be particularly beneficial for improving generation at dusk and dawn, when irradiance is lower.



Copper is the new silver lining

As the PV industry scales to annual terawatt-level production to rapidly curtail the world’s emissions, it will become more challenging to continue the cost reduction trajectory. Increasing module production from current levels of 200 GW to 300 GW to several terawatts each year will consume significantly more material resources than the industry currently uses. This will require consideration of the additional materials to be sourced, writes Alison Lennon, chief scientist at Sundrive Solar and professor at the UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

NGK starts operating sodium-sulfur battery storage for Japanese utility

NGK Insulators has switched on 1 MW/5.8 MWh of NAS batteries under a demonstration project to assess the performance of stationary storage at a site operated by Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO).

Binary organic solar cell achieves 19,31% efficiency

Hong Kong Polytechnic University researchers have developed a binary organic solar cell (OSC) with a record power conversion efficiency of 19.31%. They invented a non-monotonic intermediate state manipulation strategy to lower the non-radiative recombination loss and boost efficiency.

First attempt to repair glass-damaged solar panels

A Dutch research group has used a series of techniques from the automotive industry to develop a novel methodology to repair glass in double-glass solar panels. Their experimental work represents the step towards transforming glass-damaged solar panels from waste into valuable products.

Global Electronics Council releases new standard for ultra-low carbon PV panels

The Global Electronics Council has delivered standard inspection processes built upon models combining local power grid emissions and subcomponent energy needs to determine the embodied carbon footprint of globally manufactured solar panels.

Hungary cements position in solar gigawatt club

Hungary, one of Europe’s gigawatt-scale solar markets, is a hub of bustling activity. However, government policy shifts and grid constraints are casting a long shadow over growing demand for solar energy. pv magazine recently spoke with Ádám Szolnoki, the president of the Hungarian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MANAP), about the latest market developments.



Catalyst for an EU comeback

Plans for Europe’s largest-ever PV cell and module factory are taking shape, with equipment orders placed and a projected start date in mid-2024. Enel Green Power has received €118 million ($116.36 million) in funding from the EU Innovation Fund to support the project, out of a total €600 million investment. The EU is hoping it will catalyze further investment in similar projects, and start a high-tech comeback for European solar manufacturing.

Deye unveils high-voltage hybrid inverters for rooftop PV applications

Deye’s new three-phase hybrid inverters have efficiency ratings of up to 97.60% and European efficiency ratings of 97.0%. They are available in five versions, with power outputs ranging from 29.9 kW to 50 kW.

Futurasun acquires solar perovskite startup

Futurasun, an Italian module manufacturer, has acquired Rome-based Solertix. It now aims to bring its perovskite-based solar cell technology closer to commercial production.

Terrain-following solar tracker with a pneumatic twist

Sunfolding’s new TopoTrack rows are reportedly 10 times shorter than traditional trackers, and they can provide 20 degrees of variation between trackers, thus improving slope tolerance between rows.

African Development Bank seeking consultants for PV manufacturing study

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched an expression of interest for a consulting study on solar manufacturing in the Desert to Power Sahel countries. Interested parties have until June 7 to submit their bids.

Dutch regulator warns of EMC issues, hacking risks for solar inverters

Most solar inverters in the Netherlands fail electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements, posing interference risks and raising the threat of hacking, says the National Inspectorate for Digital Infrastructure (RDI).

Energy Storage


Cobalt clings on

Cobalt is key for boosting energy density and battery life, but it comes with caveats: expensive, scarce, and linked to unethical mining practices, wild price fluctuations, and a tenuous supply chain. In recent years, battery manufacturers and automakers have intensified efforts to reduce or eliminate cobalt in lithium-ion cathodes. But sometimes, old habits die hard, as pv magazine’s Marija Maisch explains.

ACEN secures approval for 1.4 GW / 2.8 GWh battery in Australia

ACEN Australia has secured approval from the New South Wales state government for its expanded battery proposal, making it the largest battery in Australia at 1.4 GW/2.8 GWh. The battery will be built near the company’s 720 MW New England Solar project.

Australian startup reveals 20-layer battery cell based on semi-solid li-sulfur technology

Brisbane-based Li-S Energy has developed a 20-layer battery cell utilizing semi-solid state lithium sulfur battery technology. The company claims the new cell displays nearly double the gravimetric energy density and a comparable volumetric energy density to lithium-ion cells.

Redflow comissions 30 kWh zinc-bromine flow battery project in Australia

Queensland-based flow battery company, Redflow, has commissioned a 30 kWh zinc-bromine flow battery for the Brisbane City Council.

The Hydrogen Stream: Norway, Finland take the lead in Europe

Plug Power has revealed plans to develop three green hydrogen production plants in Finland, while Statkraft is set to increase its investments in the German hydrogen market.

Japanese group unveils fuel cell system based on green hydrogen, waste plastic

A Japanese consortium is now testing a 100 kW fuel cell system in Tokyo. The system uses green hydrogen and waste plastic hydrogen to provide heat to an industrial building. The demonstration aims to establish an urban hydrogen energy utilization model that combines global and local hydrogen sources.

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