Top News

The weekend read: A bump in the road for pay-as-you-go solar and self-sustainability

Two high-profile bankruptcies this year could serve as a warning for the potential pitfalls of pay-as-you-go solar. However, Marcus Wiemann and David Lecoque of the Alliance for Rural Electrification say such business models can lead to long-term success and have a key role to play in providing power to the 1 billion people throughout the world who still live without electricity.
Markets & Policy

Ukraine solar industry poised between optimism and fears of FIT renegotiation

Ukrainian energy market reforms are continuing and amid uncertainty about future auction mechanisms and prices, attendees at the SEF Kyiv sustainable energy forum again called out the government for dragging its heels on the legislation. However, there w...
Energy Storage

Tesla gigafactory orders see LG Chem supplant BYD as third biggest global battery supplier

The Chinese e-mobility company has been hammered since Beijing’s abrupt reduction of electric vehicle subsidies in the summer. Korean outfit LG Chem’s shipment volumes have gone in the opposite direction.
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Events

Sub-standard PV equipment worries Bangladeshi solar developers

Visitors to this year’s Solar Bangladesh Expo have called for the implementation of quality standards on solar imports – action which the government is currently pursuing – with one industry insider rubbishing Indian-made products.
Markets & Policy

Yingli in talks with creditors over break up

The Chinese solar manufacturer today admitted it is in talks with its lenders and strategic investors about a break up of the company after its 2018 annual accounts revealed an apparently unserviceable debt pile. Any strategic investor is likely to const...
Markets & Policy

Green bonds lead sustainable funding past $1tn mark

Since debuting in 2007, green bonds have raised nearly $800 billion for investment in clean energy and other sustainability projects and companies are now pegging bond interest payments to their environmental performance.
Markets & Policy

Electricity regulator steps in to Indian state’s attempt to renegotiate signed PPAs

The latest blow in the political battle between clean energy project developers and an anti-renewables state government has seen the electricity regulator order power distribution companies to honor PPAs signed after a public tender.
Markets & Policy

Singyes winding-up petition adjourned until November

The latest date for hearing the petition will fall just four days after shareholders vote on a proposed Chinese state-backed HK$1.55 billion bail-out of the business.
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Press Releases

Off-grid module manufacturer OPES Solutions expands smart manufacturing

OPES Solutions is introducing a series of new production solutions for the smart manufacturing of solar modules. The expansion is a response to the ever more diverse requirements for energy supply solutions in segments serving energy access and smart city applications.

Huawei among First Solar Inverter Manufacturer to Pass NTS Tests

As standards-based grid code testing is being developed ever faster, CERTIFICATION ENTITY FOR RENEWABLE ENERGIES, S. L.

Energy Storage North America 2019 to Focus on Innovation and Safety

SAN DIEGO, Calif. October  14, 2019 – Energy Storage North America (ESNA), the most influential gathering of policy, technology and market leaders in energy storage, takes place November 5-7, 2019 at the San Diego Convention Center with a sold out expo and an impressive line-up of energy storage leaders ready to tackle the topics of innovation and safety.

Arctech Solar to partner with pv magazine for live webinar on Wednesday

Arctech Solar, a leading solar tracking and racking system provider, will partner with pv magazine to present the Smart Tracker Design Enabled by Advanced Testing webinar on Wednesday. The webinar will feature Arctech’s global director of engineering, Pedro Magalhães, along with industry experts David Banks, a principal at wind engineering consultant CPP; and Bernd Zwingmann, a […]

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Only with hydrogen can we save the climate

There is no alternative to using hydrogen for climate protection. Climate change and its ensuing measures require a lot of effort, money, and above all the right solutions. Therefore, a meaningful project, which will be perceived worldwide as a model for complete technological change, is key. That is what the Bonn Climate Project and the CTC Bonn stand for! We can already see great steps towards a hydrogen economy being taken in Germany. Steps are good, but not enough; we need the implementation of a hydrogen economy now!

All that solar jazz

As 2019 enters its final quarter, the solar industry continues to face headwinds, even as the markets for solar deployment in Europe, the United States, and Australia remain strong. Paula Mints of SPV Market Research takes us through what to expect up until 2021.

PERC cells: From shortage to surplus

After the “June rush” to complete solar projects in China – as well as the commissioning rush in Vietnam, which saw higher-than-expected demand of 4 GW in the first half – the growth of the regional solar market started to slow down in July and August, before anticipated Chinese demand picks up the slack again. With unexpectedly low demand in the third quarter, module manufacturers reacted first by marginally reducing utilization rates. Cell producers then cut production after cell prices collapsed.

Safety is paramount

When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.

Maximize the benefits of solar energy through techno-ecological synergies

The dire assessment from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it very clear this past year: To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, a significant shift to clean energy sources must be well underway by 2030.

Tendency toward diversification

Looking back at the PV market in 2018, micro module technologies started maturing in development and moving on to mass production, writes TrendForce analyst Lions Shih. Modules are no longer limited to a single design as before, but rather continuing on the path toward diversification in 2019. The situation is spreading into other areas, as may be seen in the upstream silicon wafer and cell segments.

Markets & Policy

Featured

The specter of PV protectionism

Trade tariffs are spreading across the global PV industry. The United States has been especially active with its sandwich of old antidumping and countervailing duties coupled with new Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. Some of these are part of the Sino-U.S. trade dispute; others impact not only Chinese producers, but manufacturers around the world. So, what will be the impact of this new era of PV protectionism on the solar sector?

Tesla all-electric ‘ute’ verges on a reality

CEO Elon Musk has continued to tease the November release of the company’s all-electric utility vehicle. In a tweet, Musk suggested the design resembled an “armored personnel carrier”.

US scientists create first rechargeable lithium-carbon dioxide battery

Researchers in Chicago have developed a world first fully rechargeable lithium-carbon dioxide battery, an achievement they claim could pave the way for the use of the greenhouse gas in advanced energy storage systems.

Exhibitors in Dhaka upbeat about solar future

Getting on for 300 international exhibitors are attending the Solar Bangladesh Expo in Dhaka which opened today and runs until Saturday. pv magazine’s Syful Islam is walking the floors and hearing optimistic messages.

Singyes state bail-out vote at end of the month

Shareholders in the heavily-indebted solar project EPC and building-integrated PV manufacturer will vote on the last day of the month on the proposed takeover of the business by a Chinese state-backed entity. No news has emerged of a winding-up order due to be heard yesterday.

UK: Give more power to regulators, says report

A report published recently by the United Kingdom’s National Infrastructure Commission says that the UK’s regulatory system must “adapt to meet the demands of the future” by providing new powers for regulators to ensure utility investments in sustainable infrastructure. The report notes that without such powers, the country will be unlikely to meet its target of zero emissions by 2050.

Installations

The return of BIPV

Since the beginning of 2019, many people within China’s PV industry have started to get the same feeling. Not about grid parity, or about mono replacing multi, but about something more unexpected. More and more people are speaking up at conferences and meetings about building-integrated PV (BIPV), which has been little more than a niche curiosity for years. Now BIPV, it seems, is making a big comeback in China.

EnBW to start building subsidy-free, 175 MW solar plant in Germany in early 2020

The German utility has finalized its investment plan for the massive PV array, which will be built in the state of Brandenburg from the start of 2020. It first announced the project — the largest subsidy-free PV plant under development in Germany thus far — back in the spring.

Solargiga’s unaudited Jan-Sept revenue spikes 11% on year

The Hong Kong-based solar manufacturer appears to have posted impressive revenue gains this year, based on preliminary, unaudited operating results for the first three quarters of 2019. But as the troubled company continues to pin its hopes on a much-anticipated turnaround in Chinese solar demand, its long-term outlook remains uncertain, mere weeks before the scheduled de-listing of its shares in Taiwan.

AC Energy, UPC Solar set up new Asia-Pacific joint venture

Philippines-based AC Energy will work with UPC Solar Asia Pacific – the solar energy unit of Hong Kong-headquartered UPC Renewables – to build more than 1 GW of solar in the coming years, with an initial focus on Asian markets such as India, South Korea and Taiwan.

DuPont on the hunt for Aussie field survey partners

Over the last decade, DuPont has surveyed more than 2 GW of PV installations and has analyzed a range of failure types and their causes. Hong-Jie Hu, DuPont’s solar technical and development lead in China, says that the materials giant is looking for Australian partners for its Global Field Survey program, with a particular interest in hot and humid and desert environments.

8minute, Capital Dynamics complete massive Springbok PV project in California

The 121 MWdc Springbok 3 project in Kern County, California, brings the Springbok series to 448 MW, as Capital Dynamics continues its investments in U.S. solar.

Technology

Featured

Perovskites hit the home stretch

Microquanta Semiconductor holds a 17.25% efficiency record for a relatively large-area perovskite module and wants to build a production facility with fresh capital from investors. pv magazine takes a look at the Chinese startup and some of the basic questions surrounding the technology.

Rebuilding for resilience

The islands of the Caribbean have been focusing on the deployment of storage solutions, minigrids and microgrids in response to the damage their power systems suffered during the 2017 hurricane season. But with the opportunities, there are also challenges.

A new battery mix to prevent dendrites

Scientists at the United States Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a root cause of dendrite formation, which can cause battery failure and even fires in lithium-ion technology. With this new knowledge, the group is now working on electrolyte recipes that eliminate dendrite growth entirely.

A carbon scaffold to boost lithium-sulfur performance

Scientists at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research have developed a new method to produce lithium-sulfur based cathodes which exhibit stable performance and high storage capacity over 200 cycles. According to the agency, this represents “a promising step towards the commercialization of lithium-sulfur batteries.”

Tesla-based battery project launched in Slovenia

New company NGEN appears to have introduced the Powerpack battery to central Europe in a €15 million, 12.6 MW/22.6 MWh project in the northwest of the country which is the first of two planned utility scale systems due for completion by July.

German report makes recommendations for private PPA adoption in China

The German Energy Agency has drawn up a list of proposed measures which it says could help the world’s biggest solar market accelerate its clean energy plans through the adoption of subsidy-free – private – power purchase agreements.

Manufacturing

Featured

Addressing HJT capex, opex in equipment supply

Heterojunction can be an attractive technology pathway for a number of PV producers, says Christian Knechtel CEO and CFO of Von Ardenne. However, the key to deployment could lie in manufacturing key production tools in a cheaper manner while continuously ramping up throughput.

Wacker slashes profit forecast amid polysilicon price slump

German polysilicon producer Wacker Chemie AG has reduced its earnings expectations for 2019, citing low prices for polysilicon. The company blamed the polysilicon price slump on oversupply from competitors in China, which muted an expected price increase in the second half of 2019.

SMA: Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive

In the run up to our Greenwashing vs. verifiable sustainability webinar, the CEO of pv magazine’s UP initiative partner SMA Solar Technology, Jürgen Reinert, talks about what the inverter manufacturer is doing to prove its sustainability credentials.

The weekend read: Next steps for HJT

There is movement in the heterojunction space, but will it be enough to surpass PERC’s momentum? New production lines show promise, but they might also be the last roll of the dice for Swiss production equipment supplier Meyer Burger.

Operation Silver Frog: Innovative 2 GW solar production plan for green hydrogen in Europe

European partners have submitted a joint proposal to use EU-made solar modules and wind turbines to power green hydrogen for use by heavy industry. The partners hope to secure designated status and backing from the bloc’s deep coffers.

REC kicks off production of new Alpha Series panels in Singapore

With the 600 MW production line the company’s annual module production capacity will approach 2 GW.

Energy Storage

Featured

Flow batteries scale up to GW production

Plans for a gigawatt factory in Saudi Arabia, bullet-proof warranties and an international vanadium rental service are propelling a new generation of batteries into the energy storage big league. Pioneers of redox flow technology claim that they can put an end to the degradation and safety issues afflicting lithium-ion batteries. They also expect imminent economies of scale to reduce the cost of bulk energy storage and unlock new markets for solar power.

AEPPL signs $689.7m deal for li-ion battery plant in western India

Automotive Electronics Power Private Ltd. (AEPPL), an India-based lithium-ion battery manufacturing venture between three Japanese companies, aims to produce 30 million cells per year by 2025.

Cronimet finishes 1 MW rooftop PV array on Namibian mall

The German developer and independent power producer claims it finished its latest solar project in the country about one month ahead of schedule.

Solar + storage to survive disasters

Roth Capital Partners expects the U.S. residential storage market to grow more quickly than expected. The prediction is founded just as much in disaster mitigation as it is in economic viability.

India issues bidding guidelines for solar-wind hybrid projects

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has suggested minimum 25-year power purchase agreements, while also opening up the option to include energy storage in solar-wind hybrid generation projects that are procured under its public tender regime.

Lyon Group, China Huadian, Jera join forces in war on curtailment

Solar infrastructure developer Lyon Group has launched a joint venture with two Asian energy generators to use integrated battery storage systems to reduce curtailment risks and increase the flexibility of renewable energy plants in the Asia-Pacific region.

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