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Laser-based P3 scribing for perovskite mini modules with 19% efficiency

German scientists have improved the scribing method to interconnect perovskite PV cells, in order to then upscale them into mini PV modules. They established suitable laser fluence ranges for nanosecond and picosecond lasers and found that the former results in higher efficiency levels.
Markets & Policy

UN calls on Bangladesh to put renewables first

As it prepares to lift the nation out of its list of the world's least developed countries, the supranational body said the country should turn its back on coal and other fossil fuels.
Manufacturing

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.
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Markets & Policy

Kosovo to host 150 MW solar park

The solar plant is planned to be built in southwestern Kosovo and to come online next year.
Technology

Dutch grid operator mulls incentives to reduce or curtail solar

The Limburg section of the network could face congestion problems for a decade, according to transmission system operator Tennet, prompting talk of offering auction-determined incentives to clean-power generators to reduce their output.
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Hydrogen

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.
Covid-19

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.
Manufacturing

Nerves of steel: European Commission considers extension to import duty

Since summer 2018, a 25% charge has been levied by the EU on steel-product import volumes in excess of historical norms. European manufacturers say there is still a global steelmaking glut and the U.S. is showing no signs of lifting its restrictions.

Press Releases

Ecoppia strengthens its presence in the Middle East with a first project in Egypt

Already recognized as the world leader in robotic solutions for the solar industry, Ecoppia signed an agreement with an international energy company for the deployment of its robotic solutions in BenBan Solar Park, Egypt

Sunova Supplies 590 W panels to Europe and America

With the passing of a series of certifications of its latest Sol PV Module based on larger size 182mm wafers, Sunova achieved successful PV module shipments to global major markets including Europe, North America and South America.

JinkoSolar is the First Solar Company to Sign on to the Global Framework Principles for Decarbonizing Heavy Industry

JinkoSolar announced that it is the first international solar company to have signed on to the Global Framework Principles for Decarbonizing Heavy Industry, as part of its efforts to continue supporting the decarbonization of the heavy industry sector in favor of a transition towards clean energy.

LONGi´s Hi-MO 4m all black PV module obtains Class 1 fire certification for the Italian market

LONGi announced today that its Hi-MO 4m all black PV module has obtained the highest (Class 1) fire safety certification for the Italian market, having successfully completed all relevant testing.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

Global actions delivering electricity for rural households through off-grid renewable energy

The Sustainable Development Goal set forth in SDG 7.1 calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030. It is estimated that currently 789 million people do not have access to electricity in their homes or communities. Rural inhabitants encompass 80% of the total number of people lacking household electricity access. On a global scale, rural inhabitants have been gaining access to electricity at a rapid rate over the past couple decades (IRENA 2020, 23). However, certain regions have seen little improvement in this area. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the starkest example.

Covid-19

Featured

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.

Solaredge records pandemic progress despite tough final quarter

Full-year revenues nudged up despite tough comparisons with the end of 2019 for the final quarter of last year. The inverter maker expects to log revenues of $385-405 million in the current three-month window.

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.

Berkeley Lab report assesses status of US renewable portfolio standards

In a new report, Berkeley Lab describes recent legislative revisions, key policy design features, compliance with interim targets, past and projected impacts on renewables development, and compliance costs.

India’s installed solar capacity hits 41.6 GW

India’s cumulative installed solar capacity stood at 41.6 GW as of Dec. 31, 2020, with 1.29 GW added in the October-December period. Capacity additions in the first quarter of this year could surpass 2 GW.

Perovskite solar cell with cesium-titanium dioxide nanotubes

A global research group has developed a perovskite PV cell with titanium dioxide nanotubes doped with cesium. It purportedly offers better short-circuit current and power conversion efficiency than cells without cesium nanoparticles. They say it has optimal thermal stability under temperatures up to 800 C.

GCL-Poly continues to ramp production capacity commitments

The poly maker is making significant investment pledges into new production lines in Sichuan and Inner Mongolia.

Germany deployed more than half a gigawatt of solar in January

The rooftop segment was once again the main growth driver in the German PV sector. The feed-in tariff for PV systems not exceeding 10 kW in size will drop under the €0.08/kWh for the first time.

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.

Pumped hydro with desalination, powered by renewables

EDF and Oceanus plan to build a pumped hydro storage station and a desalination system powered by wind and solar. The system will use saltwater to produce hydropower during periods of high demand, while producing affordable freshwater.

IKEA completes first MW-scale solar carport in US market

Distributed Solar Development­­ has built a solar carport for IKEA in Baltimore. It will also handle the furniture giant’s other projects in Maryland and California.

Infrastructure Australia adds world’s biggest PV project to priority list

Sun Cable’s ambitious 13 GW Australia-ASEAN Power Link, which is designed to export solar electricity from Australia’s Northern Territory to Singapore, continues to shine bright, with the Australian government including the mega-project on its Priority Initiative List.

First Solar signs 2.4 GW deal, reports results from a “challenging” 2020

The thin-film module manufacturer achieved a turnover of $2.7 billion and a profit of $400 million last year. The company also revealed that it is evaluating further U.S. manufacturing expansion, “contingent on the right policy environment.”

China may deploy up to 75 GW of PV this year

According to new forecasts from AECEA, China may see strong development of large-scale solar plants this year, due to a massive pipeline of unsubsidized projects. Furthermore, the distributed generation segment will be boosted by incentives provided by the national and regional governments.

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.”

Novel nanomaterial to replace graphite in lithium-ion batteries

Porous nanostructured microspheres made of copper, iron, and iron oxide were used by an international research team as negative anode material in lithium-ion batteries. The new technique is claimed to provide three times more capacity than batteries based on graphite anodes.

The weekend read: 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.

Sensorless fault-detection method for rooftop, large-scale solar

Turkish researchers have developed an algorithm to distinguish faults and changes in PV plant output. The sensorless method only uses electrical data gathered from the DC inputs of inverters. They tested it on 8.5 MW of ground-mount PV at nine sites, as well as 8.2 MW across 18 rooftops.

Metal-perovskite-metal back contact solar cell with 4.31% efficiency

A numerical study by researchers at India’s Chitkara University has shown enhanced charge extraction in metal-perovskite-metal back-contact solar cell structure through electrostatic doping. The proposed design yielded a 59.4% improvement in power conversion efficiency over previously reported structures.

Relectrify launches 36 kW/120 kWh storage system made of second-life EV batteries

Relectrify said its new storage system is suitable for commercial and industrial applications and is designed for installations in the 120 kWh to 2 MWh range.

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.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Thinner wafers, rising profits and new solar ambitions for Yunnan Province

Goodwe and Irico have both announced rising revenue and profits for the fiscal year 2020. Zhonghuan Semiconductor intends to produce thinner wafers to respond to increasing polyisilicon prices. The southwestern province of Yunnan wants to add another 15 GW of clean energy to its power generation mix.

Mini perovskite solar module with 18% efficiency from CEA-INES

The mini panel has a surface of 10 cm². It was built with a manufacturing technique that is claimed to be compatible with the integration of perovskite into heterojunction silicon solar cells in tandem architecture.

MIT scientists develop perovskite solar cell with 25.2% efficiency

The US researchers claim to have achieved the remarkable result by adding a special conductive layer of tin dioxide bonded between the conductive layer and the perovskite material. They also improved the perovskite layer special additives that do not alter the material’s bandgap.

Enphase to issue $1bn senior notes

The inverter business will use some of the proceeds to buy back notes due to mature in 2024 and 2025.

New process to assess quality of perovskite semiconductors

According to German scientists, the quality of the photoluminescence quantum yield of the perovskite layers can be reliably and precisely determined for the first time. It shows that the promising material has more potential for optimization than previously assumed.

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.

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.

German steel giant wants to set up 500 MW green hydrogen plant

German energy company Steag is helping Thyssenkrupp decarbonize its steel production site in Duisburg-Walsum. Green hydrogen generation is expected to be powered by a mix of wind and solar power.

Indian panel-cleaning startup expands manufacturing capacity

Solavio Labs has already held three funding rounds to support the development of its new panel-cleaning robot.

NREL looks at opportunities in lithium-ion battery recycling

U.S. scientists assessed the reuse and recycling of large-format lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems and found there is plenty of room for improvement.

Shell acquires Next Kraftwerke

Through the operation, Shell wants to consolidate its position in the virtual power plant market.

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