Top News

The weekend read: Time is now for HJT

There’s nothing new under the sun, and this is ever so in PV. So it should come as no surprise that the hottest new cell technology has actually been in mass production for decades. But is now the time for heterojunction to move into the mainstream? There are serious challenges to overcome if so, but momentum is undoubtedly building.
Manufacturing

CdTe facade solar panel with 18.2% efficiency

New cadmium telluride solar panels are now available for applications on tall buildings in urban environments. Their efficiency ranges from 15.3% to 18.2%, with 110 W to 450 W of power output.
Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Tongwei and Longi hold wafer and cell prices

Plus, panel maker Risen began construction of a 15 GW cell and module factory in Yiwu, in the central Zhejiang province of eastern China.
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Markets & Policy

Canadian Solar labels Solaria’s new patent lawsuit ‘flawed’

The Chinese-Canadian manufacturer acknowledged the latest legal filing, which it said will be instituted next month.
Installations

Solar power generation has risen 13% in Germany this year

The proportion of German electricity generated from renewables is five percentage points higher already than it was in the first nine months of last year.
Technology

Over-irradiance events affect utility scale PV components

Researchers are seeking to understand the extent to which sudden spikes in irradiance can affect solar power plants. The preliminary findings indicate large scale PV projects are not immune to such events, especially when the spikes last longer than a mi...
Highlights

Tunisia launches another 70 MW PV tender

The Tunisian government hopes to build six solar plants in its latest procurement round, with capacities of 10 MW each, in addition to 10 smaller solar arrays, each up to 1 MW in size.
Markets & Policy

Two more PPAs for Spanish solar plants

Solaria secured a ten-year deal to supply solar power from a 150 MW of generation capacity this week and a Sino-Israeli consortium signed a deal to supply energy from 50 MW of capacity over the same term.
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Press Releases

How to Accelerate 12GW of Solar Development in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the recognized renewable energy markets in the world, particularly in Southeast Asia region.   It has a great potential to develop solar power, especially in its central and south regions.

ENcome manages top performing solar farms in Australia

ENcome’s success story in Australia continues: As one of the leading O&M companies in the Australian market, ENcome is proud to place three of their managed solar parks in the Top 10 of best performing PV assets in Australia. The Rugby Run project in Queensland took 1st place in the current ranking.

SR Investimenti announces the successful acquisition and refinancing of a 10MWp solar PV portfolio

SR Investimenti, advised by Prothea, acquired a 10MWp solar PV portfolio from a fund managed by InfraRed Capital Partners, advised by L&B Partners. SR Investimenti also completed a refinancing of the assets.

JA Solar’s New DeepBlue 3.0 Modules Earn Multiple Certifications, Product Based on 182mm x 182 mm Wafers Ready for Global Market

JA Solar announced today that its new DeepBlue 3. 0 series modules passed certification testing conducted by TUV SUD to the standards of IEC 61215 and IEC 61730.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The future of solar PPAs in Turkey

Both the current status, and the future of, solar PPAs in the Turkish market as a key tool for increasing PV capacity has become a widely discussed topic. This is particularly due to the fact that after mid-2021, the future of YEKDEM (Turkey’s local FIT regime) is uncertain. The incentives could be lower than expected, or even unavailable for some technologies. This has raised the question of alternative financing mechanisms with respect to new investments.

Floating solar PV gains global momentum

This article explores the current state of floating solar PV (FPV), briefly highlighting several leading markets, and discussing benefits and advantages in detail alongside common applications and business model considerations. The outlook for FPV is positive and is set to break free of its niche perception. It could well become the third pillar of the solar PV sector in future.

System operators are getting more flexible

Distribution system operators have their work cut out for them, as they are tasked with the ever-increasing challenge of managing their networks at times of increasing EV penetration, the electrification of heat, and distributed behind-the-meter generation and storage. As transmission system operator markets have opened to demand-side flexibility across Europe and beyond, we now see a trend of DSOs at the very early stages of a similar transition, writes Philippa Hardy, principal analyst at Delta-EE. DSOs are now starting to call on behind-the-meter assets to support local network management and balancing. This provides cost savings for DSOs, while offering opportunities for DSF providers and asset owners.

Reducing solar’s environmental impact through ecolabels

It is undeniable that easy access to energy has provided tremendous benefits to humankind over the last several decades. But that access has come at a price – one that society only discovered after the fact. From the thousand-year half-lives of spent nuclear fuel to the climate change impact of fossil fuels, access to energy has had a high environmental cost. Renewable energy, especially solar, seeks to provide that same access without the environmental cost. But what is the environmental impact of solar panels and inverters? Is society once again seeking to benefit from an energy source without understanding and addressing its environmental impact? Not this time, writes Green Electronics Council CEO Nancy Gillis.

Bigger and better: Technology

The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.

Texas will outshine California in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cast a cloud on industries around the world, but the U.S. utility-scale solar segment is still growing, writes IHS Markit solar analyst Maria J. Chea. Around 3 GW of solar PV is set to be installed this year in Texas alone, but opportunities also abound across several other southern U.S. states.

Covid-19

Solar technology powers Covid-19 hand washing inventions in Africa

As Africa reels from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, institutions and individuals across the continent are coming up with innovations to help check its spread. Solar-powered hand washing machines to serve communities are dominating the inventions.

South African renewables jobs should be in coal regions

A study into the potential pitfalls of the shift to clean power in the nation’s coal-dependent energy mix, pointed out almost all of South Africa’s solar farms are far to the south and west of the coal regions likely to bear the brunt of job losses in a country which already has 29% unemployment.

Auctions show Indian renewables still primed for growth

A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says there is plenty of investment capital available for Indian renewables, despite pandemic disruption.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 1 GW of distributed solar came online in August

More than 1 GW of subsidized small solar arrays were installed in China last month alone and manufacturer Suntech has announced the start of operations at its 500 MW Indonesian cell and module fab.

Xinte Energy warns of possible polysilicon and inverter glut

The poly manufacturer discussed the impact of Covid-19 on its solar and wind project development business and fleshed out details of global polysilicon oversupply during a pandemic-hit first half of the year.

Bangladesh set to embrace gas, rather than renewables

A national energy strategy which prioritizes coal is being ripped up just two years after its introduction, thanks to Covid-related slumps in demand, but legislators appear likely to look to gas, rather than solar and wind power as an alternative, due to land issues and energy storage costs.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Starting a new industry

As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.

US and UK discover lithium as IHS Markit projects battery price to fall below $100/kWh

The business intelligence firm has projected storage costs will continue their downward trajectory on the back of product and process optimization. That will favor a higher adoption rate in automotive and grid applications, the analysts say. Elsewhere, discoveries of lithium in the U.S. and the U.K. have raised hopes for lower raw material costs and more supply chain diversity.

Sharp unveils 440 W half-cut PV module with 19.9% efficiency

The Japanese manufacturer said the new solar panel features 144 half-cells based on M6 wafers and a nine-busbar design, with a positive power tolerance of up to 5%.

Confirmation Yingli parent company shareholders will be wiped out

A filing made to the Securities and Exchange Commission today has confirmed holders of stock in Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd will be left empty-handed some time around the end of the month.

UK battery specialist considers lithium-ion cell fab in Australia

‘Lithium Valley’, south of Perth, is set for two new faces after U.K. battery manufacturer Amte Power and Perth-based infrastructure firm Infranomics signed an agreement to explore the possibility of establishing lithium-ion cell manufacturing facilities in the state of Western Australia.

‘Nuclear power is now the most expensive form of generation, except for gas peaking plants’

The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report indicates the stagnation of the sector continues. Just 2.4 GW of new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The world’s operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June.

Installations

Featured

Investing in PowerBanks for high returns

Western Australia is soaked in sunshine, and PV uptake is challenging the grid. But small numbers of medium-sized community batteries are taking the heat off the system, while helping more people to reap the dividends of rooftop solar PV.

Aerial imaging for residential PV

U.S.-based EagleView aims to set the “gold standard” for solar aerial imaging.

India launches tender for innovative solar pumps

Bidders will be expected to deploy their tech in real field conditions. Shortlisted entries will be given sites to install solar pumps under India’s rural PV scheme.

Webinar Q&A: Embracing the 600 W+ Era

In a pv magazine webinar earlier this month, Trina Solar took us through some of the key considerations for the PV industry’s rapid switch to new, larger format modules based on 210mm wafers. The rise of such modules raises important questions up and down the supply chain. Here, Lim Cheong Boon, senior director of sales marketing at Trina, and Andrew Gilhooly, head of Trina for the Asia Pacific respond to some of the questions from the audience that we could not cover in the one-hour webinar.

Chinese PV industry headed toward grid parity

Project delays and price changes due to fluctuating demand are disrupting the Chinese solar market. Researchers who have analyzed the situation claim that the nation’s PV industry will be back on track toward grid parity by the end of the year.

Myanmar’s 1 GW solar tender concludes with lowest bid of $0.0348/kWh

The country’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy allocated all tendered solar capacity in its first procurement exercise for large-scale PV. Final prices ranged from $0.0348 to $0.051 per kWh. China Machinery Engineering and Sungrow were the main winners, securing eight and nine projects, respectively.

Technology

Featured

The state of solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries hold the potential to overcome many of the limitations of today’s lithium-ion storage technologies. Though they have been a research topic for more than 30 years, and more recently have seen billions of dollars poured into their development by leading carmakers and electronics giants, commercial development is still extremely limited. Major roadblocks remain in the way of both device performance and industrial-scale processing. pv magazine recently caught up with solid-state’s research community for a look at where the technology stands.

Fraunhofer ISE develops organic solar cell with 14.9% efficiency

The record was obtained with a 1.1 sq cm device.

An optimistic – but realistic – perspective for sodium batteries

International researchers have analyzed the potential of sodium-based energy storage and found recent technical advances have arrived faster than those for the lithium-ion batteries which have been studied for three decades. Issues remain, however, before sodium constitutes a complementary option to lithium.

Half-cut, bifacial, 20.5%-efficient PERC modules from Vietnam

Chinese solar manufacturer Dehui is planning mass production of 12-busbar bifacial panels based on 182mm wafers from next year.

Best membrane for vanadium redox flow batteries

A new research paper looks at the membranes used for applications in vanadium redox flow batteries. It outlines various membrane technologies and the obstacles to bringing batteries to mass production.

Perovskite solar cell based on metal-organic framework with 22.02% efficiency

Scientists in Hong Kong have developed a cell they say retains more than 90% of its initial efficiency under accelerated testing conditions. The device is based on two-dimensional metal-organic frameworks.

Manufacturing

Featured

Coming around

Given the number of batteries (primarily lithium-ion) that are required to decarbonize the power and mobility sectors, the industry is now preparing for a mountain of battery waste. Recycling is technically feasible, but is also subject to sensitive economics. The framework in which recycling companies can achieve the best life-cycle costs for batteries needs to be carefully enabled through policy – and it will likely include a mixture of technologies and business models, in order to allow life-cycle emissions of batteries to be brought down.

Jinko posts $47m, second-quarter profit

The Chinese solar manufacturer shipped 4.46 GW of modules for turnover of $1.2 billion from April to June and expects to move 20 GW of panels this year.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: More ingot and module capacity, China’s largest rooftop project and a possible new listing

A new week has brought another slew of big production capacity announcements as online retailer JD.com prepares to install 200 MW of solar rooftop capacity and project developer SFSY reported on a promising new business stream.

US solar racking industry now innovating, consolidating

With installers and developers trying to squeeze every kilowatt-hour out of every rooftop and every array, racking and trackers are the unsung heroes that secure and tilt panels, while maximizing output and protecting wiring and other gear.

Hemlock Semiconductor becomes vertically integrated polysilicon maker

The U.S. polysilicon manufacturer has acquired DuPont’s trichlorosilane business, in a move that will help it cut production costs and control supply.

Probabilistic model indicates PV module warranty reliability

U.S.-Spanish researchers have proposed a new way to assess the reliability of PV modules and their warranties. It is impossible to fulfill a 25-year warranty if the threshold of returned modules exceeds 5% and the annual degradation rate is over 0.73%.

Energy Storage

Featured

Long-duration storage advances, but regulators need more time

Lithium-ion batteries can do a great job of load shifting to balance solar’s midday peak, while also providing other stability services to the grid. But when it comes to really balancing an energy system that’s led by intermittent renewables, energy storage for longer durations can give system operators a lot more to work with. pv magazine takes a look at some of the technologies promising to fill this gap.

Portuguese green hydrogen for the Port of Rotterdam

The Portuguese and Dutch governments want to connect the hydrogen project of Sines to the Port of Rotterdam and to develop a strategic export-import value chain to ensure the production and transport of green hydrogen to the Netherlands and its hinterland.

‘European cobalt supply hinges on circular economy’

Amid an uptake in EV sales, researchers are examining battery material supply chains. A report has indicated policy-driven circular economy strategies must be introduced in Europe if the bloc is to strengthen its resilience to volatility in the cobalt market.

Iberdrola sets up green hydrogen unit

The Spanish energy company, which has hydrogen projects under way in its homeland and the United Kingdom, says it will allocate new resources to position itself at the forefront of the supply of renewables-powered hydrogen.

How does the US retire 236 GW of coal and 1,000 gas peaker plants?

Victory in the economic realm (increasingly the case with solar, solar-plus-storage and wind) is no guarantee of market victory if the regulations are stacked against renewables.

Australian-designed storage system spells grid independence

“We’ve put together the best components to make a unique Australian-designed solution that is compliant to the new battery standards,” says EVO Power Managing Director Jamie Allen. Offgrid or upmarket – just add solar.

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