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Dutch startup develops offshore floating PV platform

Dutch startup SolarDuck has developed a triangular structure for floating PV that resembles an offshore oil platform. CEO Koen Burgers told pv magazine that it keeps panels more than 3 meters above the water surface, and claimed that the structure can handle waves and dynamic loads. It will be used in a Dutch pilot project from April.
Installations

Novel solar module transport solution from Australia

Safety when transporting solar PV modules from warehouse to job site is an ongoing issue for installers but one Australian solar company has designed and manufactured a simple yet effective racking system that helps allay those concerns. The racking syst...
Manufacturing

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Increasing polysilicon prices and new supply deals

PV Infolink reported a considerable increase in prices for polysilicon and wafer prices for last week. Both products saw their average price increase by over 9% compared to the previous week.
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Spain joins the gigafactory race

SEAT and Iberdrola are planning to build an EV battery manufacturing facility in Barcelona with the support of the Spanish government.
Installations

Zero carbs diet for Coca-Cola in the Netherlands

Dutch power utility Eneco will supply solar and wind power from projects in front of the factory gates to allow the beverage factory to decarbonize its production.
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Installations

Kenyan utility kicks off tender for small solar parks

KTDA Power Company is seeking developers for up to ten small-sized solar parks. The facilities are expected to have a capacity of between 300 kW and 1 MW.
Markets & Policy

Bond market to finance 230 MW solar projects in Bangladesh

Bangladesh-based Beximco Group has said it will raise nearly US$400 million in Islamic bonds to finance two solar PV power plants totaling 230 MW in the country's northern districts.
Manufacturing

Simulating PV’s silver future

Scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE developed a model to simulate different setups for screen printing in solar cell metallization. The model provides a comparable ‘screen utility index’ value that can predict the usefulness of different archite...

Press Releases

Soltec signs 852 MW in Brazil for the largest bifacial tracker project in Latin America

Soltec is committed to Brazil for its potential as a strategic PV market, where it already has a market share of 35. 7% and a track record of more than 2.

Overseas Markets changing rapidly, SOFARSOLAR Won “Top Brand PV Inverter” in Poland, Brazil and India Again

"PV products are different from other products that the market cannot be occupied only by low price. In order to win a place in a country, there must be excellent quality as guarantee, strong brand as support,  and innovate technology as guidance.

LONGi Hi-MO 5 series module receives Carbon Footprint Certification from Certisolis, accelerating the company’s entry into the French solar market

LONGi’s Hi-MO 5 series module has received a “Simplified Carbon Assessment” certification from Certisolis, the official certifier only on ECS for LONGi. Complying with French carbon footprint standards, LONGi’s entry into the French solar market is already well underway.

JinkoSolar Tiger Pro – Creating a New Benchmark for PV Module Safety

Recently JinkoSolar announced that according to the Global PV Installer Monitor 2020/2021, the company has maintained its leading position as the most well-known PV module brand in the Australian market in 2020 and achieved the most purchased module brand among the surveyed installers in Australia.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Creating an alternative PV supply chain in the US is no cakewalk

The US Solar Energy Industry Association in late 2020 launched a campaign against forced labor and said it was “strongly encouraging” member companies to adjust their supply chains by June. Here is what will likely happen.

New EU battery rules support a sustainable energy industry

On Dec. 10, European Internal Market and Environment Commissioners Thierry Breton and Virginijus Sinkevičius, in conjunction with Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, announced a keenly anticipated piece of legislation: the commission’s proposal for modernized EU battery rules. Pia Alina Lange – head of communications for Recharge, the European battery industry association – says that while there are potential pitfalls with the new regulation, it could pave the way to sustainable industry development.

Residential storage growth continues despite Covid-19 headwinds

The global residential energy storage market continued to grow in 2020, writes IHS Markit Analyst Michael Longson. Many suppliers were looking to build upon a strong first quarter when Covid-19 hit in March 2020 and slowed the market significantly. However, as a result of several funding packages being introduced and the gradual easing of local restrictions, shipments continued to grow throughout the second and third quarters, enabling strong year-on-year growth for the sector in 2020.

Renewables targets falling by the wayside, according to African solar survey

An overview of the state of solar across the continent by trade body the Africa Solar Industry Association has highlighted a patchy policy landscape where clean power ambitions are often not followed through.

Global PV installations to surpass 150 GW in 2021

Despite pandemic-induced impacts, the PV market was bigger than expected last year. In particular, an installation rush in Vietnam and China took place in December and pushed global demand upward. PV InfoLink estimates that global module demand in 2020 reached 140 GW. Analyst Mars Chang delves into the numbers.

Renewable energy project financing in Chile analyzed

Taking a renewable energy project into its operational phase calls for several workstreams to be synchronized. The one that perhaps jumps out the most is permitting processes: correctly navigating the intricate and time-sensitive steps for licenses and permits. Regardless, each workstream calls for a different set of skills, and because of interlinked chicken-or-egg causality, it is difficult to say which single element is most important in a project’s development. However, there is an unsung element of the financial closing which has as much, if not more, impact on a project’s profitability than the cost of debt does: the underlying terms and conditions.

Covid-19

Featured

Solar glassmaker posts another set of bumper figures

Xinyi has accelerated plans to add more furnaces this year and predicts the rebound in solar demand being driven, in part, by the desire of nations for a green recovery from Covid-19 will continue to keep supply tight.

Photon Energy update after ‘difficult’ quarter

The Amsterdam-based, Australia and central Europe-facing developer saw sales slump thanks to Covid-19 last year but has touted a growing operational project portfolio.

Austrian solar industry wants Covid-recovery funds spent on renewables-friendly grid

The national PV body in the country wants €1 billion from the EU’s recovery and resilience fund to be allocated to upgrading the electricity network to host more solar power generation capacity.

Renewables compete with coal and shale oil as Jordan pursues energy independence

The kingdom has had a ban on new large scale clean energy projects since January 2019 as Covid-19 exacerbated a situation in which generation capacity already outstripped supply. Lifting that embargo, and re-starting renewables auctions would be a step in the right direction, according to IRENA.

Storage and PAYG critical to deployment of African off-grid renewables

The former need not necessarily relate to conventional lithium-ion batteries, however, as a recent webinar staged by Solarpower Europe and EU body GET.invest discovered.

EU reveals how much each member state can expect from Covid-recovery pot

The European Parliament and Council of Ministers continued to tidy up the details of the bloc’s Covid-recovery package today by publishing the rules of how the money will be disbursed.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What Asia needs to turn away from coal

Given the rapid decrease of the solar electricity cost, pv magazine explores the drivers and obstacles behind switching off coal and embracing photovoltaics and other renewable energy technology in Asia. The good news: things are moving in the right direction.

Solar surpasses wind in India

In January, India’s cumulative PV capacity reached 38.8 GW. This was enough to surpass wind and make solar the first renewable energy source in the country.

Guessing game with 1,550 PV outcome scenarios

Swiss scientists have analyzed scenarios to predict the role of PV in the global energy mix by 2050 and have found that European entities expect a sharply higher compound annual growth rate than their Asian and North American counterparts. They also noted that the growth scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are more conservative than other predictions.

Australian mining company moves ahead with 1 GW green hydrogen project

Province Resources is pushing ahead quickly with its plan to develop a 1 GW hybrid solar PV and wind farm in Western Australia as part of a proposal to produce renewable hydrogen for domestic and foreign markets.

Colombia imposes 10% renewables quota on power distributors

The obligation will be applied annually from 2022. Colombian power utilities will have to procure the clean energy concerned under long-term contracts lasting at least a decade.

Turkish government unveils details of upcoming 1 GW PV tender

The Turkish government has revealed the tender’s five-day schedule between March 8-12. It also specified how much capacity each of the 36 cities reached by the procurement exercise will have.

Installations

Featured

The future is female among Egyptian engineers

How do you achieve gender equality among shift-working engineers in a remote location in North Africa? With a clear vision and concrete measures, according to Scatec’s operations and maintenance (O&M) team in Egypt, which has a 30% share of female engineers.

African Development Bank lends $27.2 million for 200 MW solar park in Egypt

The $156.4 million Kom Ombo photovoltaic solar power plant is being developed by Saudi energy giant ACWA Power.

Austria’s largest PV plant comes online

The 11.5 MW solar park is operated by Austrian power provider Wien Energie. The plant includes sheep farming.

These 3 US states have the most small-scale solar PV

Of the 4.5 GW of small-scale solar capacity added in the United States in 2020, California accounted for 31%. New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts are leaders for small-scale solar capacity despite having less favorable solar resources.

New power electronic device to manage surplus solar power

The device was developed by an international consortium through the EU-funded project Renewable penetration levered by Efficient Low Voltage Distribution grids (RESOLVD). The power electronic technology is claimed to be able to combine different storage technologies in a single electronic-based board interface.

Floating PV plant at California water treatment facility

A 4.8 MW floating PV installation in California has surpassed an array in the metro New York area to become one of the largest floating solar projects in the United States.

Technology

Featured

Filling the energy technology, poverty gap

Advanced technology is of little use if it cannot reach those who need it most. Two Indonesian companies – Kopernik, an NGO based in Bali, and Sumba Sustainable Solutions, from the island of Sumba – are trying to bridge the gap between those in need and those with technological solutions. They both focus on the PV electrification of rural areas and brightening Indonesia’s “last mile.”

Avancis claims 19.64% efficiency for CIGS module

The German manufacturer said the result was confirmed by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The achieved efficiency is claimed to be a world record for a CIGS panel with an integrated series connection of 30×30 cm.

Slot die coating for 20.83% efficient perovskite thin-film solar cell

Scientists in Germany demonstrated a slot die coating process for large-scale production of perovskite thin-film solar cells that achieved a maximum efficiency of 20.83%. Using an additive, and experimenting to find the optimal concentration, the group demonstrated improved control over the crystallization process – crucial for developing stable, repeatable processing.

New parameters to improve prediction models for snow cover

Canadian scientists have developed a way to improve the short-term models used to forecast the impact of snow on PV arrays. The parameters include the warming effect of irradiance on the backs of panels, thermal capacity, and irradiance through snow.

Modular lift system for solar panels

Altrex, a scaffolding and ladder producer in the Netherlands, has developed a new modular lift solution for solar panels. The system can raise one solar panel at a time and can be operated by a single installer using nothing other than a cordless drill, the company claims.

When agrivoltaics meet energy communities

Spain’s Tranesol is setting up two energy communities that will be powered by 2.5 MW of agrivoltaics. The two facilities will be located in the Valencian Community, which is at the forefront for supporting projects for solar power sharing.

Manufacturing

Featured

Bifacial adoption spurs rethink on PID

PV systems are unique among electronic devices, as they are expected to survive outdoors for at least 25 to 30 years. This makes module and system quality one of the cornerstones of guaranteed returns on investment. Potential-induced degradation (PID) is a critical failure mode with a potentially high financial impact. New research from imec and Hasselt University looks at the damaging impact that PID can have on bifacial technology, writes Michaël Daenen, a professor at EnergyVille and Hasselt University.

Australia expects 100,000 tons of waste PV modules by 2035

Researchers at the University of South Australia are spearheading a national push to establish a stewardship scheme to manage the impacts of PV systems through their life cycle, as increasing numbers of decommissioned solar PV modules threaten a waste management nightmare.

Silver accounts for 10% of PV module costs

The share of silver in the total cost of PV modules has increased by around 5% in recent months, according to US analyst Matthew Watson. He told pv magazine that silver prices are set to rise, adding that the metal will eventually account for an even larger percentage of overall module costs.

Solar modules prices rose by up to 15% in China, Jinko’s vice president says

According to JinkoSolar vice president Dany Qian, PV panel prices rose significantly since the second quarter of last year due to an increasing shortage of polysilicon, glass, silver, and module frames. She also stated that rushing demand cannot stop prices from rising for at least the next six months or longer, until sufficient capacity ramps up.

GE chooses Australia to launch new line of solar inverters

Just as Australia thought its pioneering days were over, it has become the first country in the world to sell General Electric’s new solar inverters.

Canadian start-up secures US$2.5 million to launch omnidirectional anti-reflective glass

Edgehog secured the funds from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The special glass is hydrophobic and is claimed to be able to reduce the accumulation of dust and residue, thus reducing the need for maintenance.

Energy Storage

Featured

New EU battery rules support a sustainable industry

On Dec. 10, European Internal Market and Environment Commissioners Thierry Breton and Virginijus Sinkevičius, in conjunction with Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, announced a keenly anticipated piece of legislation: the commission’s proposal for modernized EU battery rules. Pia Alina Lange – head of communications for Recharge, the European battery industry association – says that while there are potential pitfalls with the new regulation, it could pave the way to sustainable industry development.

LG Energy recalling battery systems in Australia due to fire risks

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has confirmed a recall notice for some of LG Energy Solution’s battery energy storage systems due to potential fire-related risks.

Brazil may host $5.4bn green hydrogen plant

The facility is expected to be located in the state of Ceará and to be powered by around 3.6 GW of wind and solar facilities located in the region. The project developer is Australia-based Enegix Energy.

Australian startup aims to become one of the first first Li-ion anode producer outside China

A handful of companies are challenging Chinese control of a core material in lithium-ion battery production, before the electrification of transport truly kicks off the global battery boom. International Graphite, a Perth-based startup at the forefront of this effort, recently spoke to pv magazine Australia about the surprisingly collaborative race to feed global demand.

Australian green hydrogen vessel deemed ‘highly competitive’

A scoping study has found that Global Energy Ventures’ compressed hydrogen ship is technically feasible and ‘highly competitive’ to transport the hyped future fuel at distances that conveniently connect Australia to Asian markets.

Tesvolt launches commercial battery with inverter and energy management system

According to the German manufacturer, the TS-I HV 80 can combine a wide variety of applications such as optimized self-consumption and intelligent peak load capping.

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