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Europe approves €3.2bn to support battery R&D

The European Commission has approved use of funds given by seven member states to back Europe-wide R&D projects across the lithium-ion battery value chain, with the aim of potentially unlocking an additional €5 billion in private sector investment.
Installations

Taiwanese government proposes solar tariffs of US$0.13-0.19/kWh

The draft feed-in tariff scheme should be approved by the end of the month. Payments for residential solar systems are expected to fall only 0.34% but those for utility scale solar may be reduced by 2.2%. An increase is set to be granted to projects in r...
Installations

Oman reveals bidders in 146 MW solar-diesel-storage tender

The state-owned Rural Areas Electricity Company wants to build 11 solar-diesel-storage projects in isolated rural areas. Pre-qualified bidders in the tender include Engie, Canadian Solar, Akuo, Longi, Jinko, GCL, Abengoa, Total and Belectric.
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View-factor vs. ray tracing – which bifacial modelling techniques should you use?

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High or low tilt angles for single-axis trackers in extreme winds – a different approach

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Hybrid inverters – the new trend in residential solar+storage?

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Did you miss our Future PV Roundtable at RE? The video is out!

2019 energy storage North America special

In cooperation with Energy Storage North America, which took place in San Diego, California in November, pv magazine has put together an Energy Storage special edition.

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2019 Sustainability Award window opened

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The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

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Manufacturing

Scientists analyze toxic gases released from burning thin-film, PET-laminated modules

Scientists from China’s State Key Laboratory of Fire Science have analyzed the combustion behavior of flexible PET-laminated PV panels. They found toxic gases including sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide and a small amount of volatile ...
Markets & Policy

African Development Bank to lend almost €49 million for 208 MW of solar in Burkina Faso

The lender is providing the funds to support the West African country’s solar ambitions under the bank’s Desert to Power program. Several other European organizations have vowed to back the €137 million Yeleen solar project, which will encompass fo...
Installations

BlackRock aims $2.5 billion at solar, wind, battery storage

The good news is that the world’s largest fund manager, BlackRock, just closed $1 billion of a record $2.5 billion fund dedicated to solar, wind, and energy storage projects. The bad news is that the $2.5 billion fund is a tiny fraction of BlackRock’...
Installations

Chint Solar connects 103 MW of solar to Dutch grid

A PV project by the Chinese company started generating electricity in late October, the group said. German subsidiary Astronergy supplied the solar panels.
Markets & Policy

Singyes set for name change

Now Chinese state-owned, the developer appears to want to draw a line under a traumatic two-year period which saw its fortunes reversed in dramatic fashion. Effectively now part of China’s Shuifa construction conglomerate, the proposed new name is inte...
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Press Releases

US order demand Soaring, Talesun’s capacity in Thailand accelerated to 2 GW

In order to meet the U. S.

Solar monitoring specialist Solytic and Powerdoo join forces

Powerdoo is joining Berlin-based Solytic. The startup is building a digital advisor for all topics around solar to turn data into profitable actions.

Jema awarded with a new battery energy storage system project in Tonga Islands

Tonga’s first large scale Battery Energy Storage System to be built at the Popua Power Station is expected to be operational in May 2020, contributing to Tonga’s 50% Renewable Energy target.

Antaisolar provided solar racking for 34 MW PV project in Japan

The 34 MW solar project is located in Hokkaido, Japan- a remote area with a slope of 0-20º. Combined with the local complex terrain environment, Antaisolar provided aluminum solar racking solution with E-W direction adjustable and ground screw foundation.

Opinion & Analysis

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How solar could save the Mekong

A simple feasibility analysis shows the Mekong River in Cambodia would benefit from floating solar plants coupled with storage, rather than more hydro.

Success factors for hybrid microgrids

When it comes to hybrid microgrids, writes Fabian Baretzky, senior business development and sales manager for Dhybrid Power Systems, the incorporation of various sources of energy and complex requirements for long-term stability of the energy supply require expertise and an effective energy management system.

Module prices continue to slide

After China’s National Day holiday, demand started picking up at a slow pace, but the anticipated installation rush did not occur as expected, due to land and financing issues, as well as the return of winter. These factors will also delay the timing of more than 6 GW of capacity to the first half of next year. PV InfoLink has thus downwardly revised its estimates for installed capacity in the fourth quarter to 11.3 GW in China and 30 GW globally, bringing this year’s global demand forecast to below 120 GW.

Is the EU solarizing its digitized economy sans an environmental tax policy?

The EU is solarizing its digital economy at a fast pace. The factors behind this paradigm shift in energy – when renewable energy is projected comprise 90% of the electricity mix in Europe by 2040 – include technical, economic, environmental.

A record year for trackers

It was a record year for global shipments of single-axis solar photovoltaic (PV) trackers in 2018, as they increased by more than 40%, surpassing 20 GW globally for the first time, writes IHS Markit senior analyst Camron Barati. While the United States continued to be the largest individual market for single-axis trackers last year, shipments also increased in Mexico, Australia, Egypt, Spain, and other large utility-scale markets.

Solar will power ahead to offer 20% more output for 25% lower module costs within 15 months

PV industry veteran Karl-Heinz Remmers recalls the trajectory of solar power this decade and predicts stronger than expected development for the ten years ahead.

Markets & Policy

Featured

A second chance to electrify Africa?

The April 2019 insolvency of shooting-star solar provider Mobisol hit the offgrid solar sector like a bombshell, throwing into question the private-sector model of supplying renewable energy to some of the world’s poorest people. Industry insiders concluded that socially minded entrepreneurs, among them Mobisol, took the revolutionary pay-as-you-go system as far as they could, before becoming bogged down in the unforgiving terrain of Africa’s markets. Then, in early September, French energy giant Engie acquired Mobisol, shocking the sector with its against-the-grain plan to take the company’s quest for universal access to energy to another level.

India seeks global bids for 1.2 GW of PV-wind projects, plus another 1.2 GW of PV

Solar Energy Corp. of India will sign 25-year power purchase agreements for the projects, which developers will be free to build, own and operate anywhere in India.

Australia lacks interest in EVs, global study finds

A global study has found that Australia lacks interest in electric vehicles, due largely to the impedimental admixture of cost, range anxiety, and a lack of charging options.

EU data protection rules could kill VPPs and other new business models

Ursula von der Leyen’s newly-appointed EU Commission is facing an early test of its credentials with the European Council caught in the crossfire over citizen data rights. The renewables industry voiced fears yesterday, at a digitalization conference in Berlin, that overstrict data protection rules could kill data-driven business models while the media is set to portray any perceived weakening of the legislation as evidence of EU lawmakers being in thrall to the Silicon Valley internet giants.

Poly-maker Wacker blames Chinese state subsidies for its latest €750m hit

The Munich-based group has reported a big impairment on its polysilicon production assets. The company cited the lack of a recovery in the PV project market, persistently low polysilicon prices and overcapacity in manufacturing, blaming state subsidies to Chinese rivals.

Scottish Power enters PV business

The distribution network operator for central and southern Scotland says it wants to maximize onshore renewables potential by adding solar and storage to its clean energy business. The company said hybrid projects combining wind, solar and storage will become the industry standard in 2021.

Installations

Featured

Islanding on and off the ocean

Microgrids are traditionally deployed where end users are not spoiled for choice. The remoteness and terrain of the Maldives make grid access impossible, and without any other choice, the deployment of hundreds of microgrids could be spot on. A leaf out of the island nation’s book could also support other less remote regions in preparing for the energy transition.

Walking on sunshine

Chinese scientists have developed a PV floor tile they say is suitable for pavements and cycling tracks. The devices were tested on a ‘green deck’ in Hong Kong. The developers say the tiles have demonstrated satisfactory solar energy conversion, anti-slip performance, heat-resistance and strength.

Ambitious 1 GW agrivoltaic livestock farming project announced in Malaysia

The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute is planning a huge solar power project which will integrate agriculture and livestock farming in the Sabah region. The research institute claims to have already secured $50 million for the project’s first, 200 MW phase. The 25,000ha required for the projects will host up to 150,000 cattle as well as cultivation of forage crops such as kenaf, corn, wheat and hay.

French researchers developing algorithm to identify losses in PV projects

Liten, a research institute of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, is developing a method of assessing losses at every stage from the reception of solar rays to the injection of electricity into the grid, to ‘make it possible to optimize the maintenance of the power plants to guarantee their performance’.

Danish renewables auction too successful at driving down public cost of clean energy

The Danish Energy Agency allocated 252 MW of clean energy generation capacity, of which 83 MW was solar and 93 MW solar-wind hybrid facilities which included 34.1 MW of PV capacity. The average price premium to be paid on top of wholesale electricity rates to the successful bidders has fallen 30% in a year, prompting the authorities to muse they may be allocating too much public money to support such projects.

Cyprus installs largest rooftop PV under net billing program

The 2.5 MW array will operate under a payment system which guarantees grid operators will not be left out of pocket.

Technology

Featured

Model progress

While it has often been referred to as “the future of PV” in recent years, discussions surrounding bifacial technology are now very much in the present. Modules are beginning to roll off production lines in significant numbers, and industry players are boasting of gigawatts of bifacial projects that are already installed or in the late stages of development. But it’s still early days for the technology, and there are questions to answer for it to achieve its full potential. pv magazine investigates the modeling and optimization of bifacial PV’s performance.

Hot charge extraction to push perovskite efficiency

With the absorption of ‘hot’ charges, which lose their energy faster than it can be absorbed by any convention technology, solar cells could become massively more efficient. An international group of scientists has developed a method to examine the bond between a perovskite and charge extraction layer, and determine the most suitable materials for hot charge extraction in a solar cell.

Teaming up for 20% efficient CIGS

Manufacturers and research institutes from across Europe have announced plans to collaborate on creating improved processes for CIGS module production. Optimistically named SUCCESS, the project targets production line efficiencies of better than 20% for 30x30cm modules.

Coupling pumped hydro with renewables and other storage technologies

The combination of pumped hydro with other storage technologies can increase renewables penetration, improve operational safety and reduce maintenance costs at large-scale hydropower plants, according to new research. The study also focuses on techniques to determine the optimal size of renewables-based pumped hydro storage systems. Costs for hybrid solar-pumped hydro projects currently range from $0.098/kWh to $1.36/kWh.

Chalcogenide perovksites for PV energy and waste heat recovery

According to new research, metal chalcogenide perovskites can be used as a thermoelectric material than can convert thermal energy from the sun to usable electric power. These materials, which can also be used to develop perovskite PV cells, are known for their high thermal and aqueous stability, along with their nontoxic elemental composition.

Australia’s Marinus Link interconnector project inches forward following new reports

Tasmania’s ambitions of becoming the “battery of Australia” improved following early reports on the proposed Marinus Link, a second interconnector between the states of Tasmania and Victoria, which show that the project’s economic advantages far outweigh expected costs.

Manufacturing

Featured

A responsible compromise?

Toxicologists are struggling to follow the pace at which perovskite solar cells race from laboratory test benches to factory production lines. While researchers continue to assess the health and safety risks stemming from the lead used at the core of these new materials, the startups commercializing them argue that established encapsulation techniques and sound recycling schemes are enough to safety-proof their potentially disruptive technology and offset broader environmental threats.

The weekend read: Taking the lead

This quarter, pv magazine‘s UP Initiative focuses on lead – a toxic heavy metal that’s present in many PV technologies, and one that’s often mentioned in connection with hazardous substances across the green energy supply chain. We take a closer look at the issue and ask what it would mean for manufacturers to replace lead in their modules with more environmentally friendly materials.

Elon Musk calls for an ‘immediate’ and ‘significant increase’ in Tesla’s solar installs

Tesla was once the unquestioned leader in the U.S. residential rooftop market with a market share of around 33 percent, but today, the company is No. 3, and its market share during the first quarter was a little more than 6 percent.

Longi Solar signs 1.2 GW bifacial module deal with Adani

The Chinese module maker will supply Adani Green Energy with 1.2 GW of Hi MO4 bifacial modules, with cell efficiency reaching 22.5% and module power peaking at 430W (72 cells).

Hanergy-owned Alta Devices reportedly lays off 250 employees without notice

The U.S. business built and sold record-setting gallium-arsenide solar cells but its parent has seemingly run out of patience. Having failed to give its workers notice of the move, Hanergy is either in contravention of U.S. employment law, ‘faltering’ or subject to ‘unforeseen business circumstances’.

Assessing metal leaching from PV modules dumped in landfill

An Indian research team has analyzed around 300 scientific studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.

Energy Storage

Featured

Success factors for hybrid microgrids

When it comes to hybrid microgrids, writes Fabian Baretzky, senior business development and sales manager for Dhybrid Power Systems, the incorporation of various sources of energy and complex requirements for long-term stability of the energy supply require expertise and an effective energy management system.

BYD to introduce next-generation Battery-Box in 2020

The Chinese manufacturer has also announced plans for a tenfold production capacity increase, as it wants to cater to all project sizes with two versions of its high-voltage storage system.

South Sudan to get 20 MW/35 MWh solar-plus-storage plant

Egyptian manufacturer El Sewedy Electric has secured a contract from the authorities in Juba to build the $45 million project in Nesitu county. The African Export-Import Bank is financing the facility.

Nevada toys with 1 GW of storage by 2030

In what has been a crazy year for Nevada, the Public Utilities Commission is ending on an equally insane note by proposing 1 GW of energy storage to be deployed across the state by the last day of 2030.

17MW/15MWh storage system for solar plant at gold mine in Mali

Mali is set to host one of the world’s largest off grid solar+storage projects, as a 30 MW solar plant will soon be coupled with a 17MW/15MWh storage facility to power the Fekola gold mine. Finland’s Wärtsilä will supply the battery.

Could EVs start to displace fossil fuel-driven vehicles within five years?

With almost a decade having passed since electric vehicles hit public roads, the price of battery packs has dropped 87% since 2010, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. With rising efficiency and evolving supply chains, the market research group suggests cumulative demand will bring prices down to parity with internal combustion engine vehicles by 2024.

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