The unforeseen arrival of COVID-19 has brought many negotiations for corporate power purchase agreements to an abrupt halt in Europe, but this may not be all bad news for the sector write Daniel Marhewka, Lis Blunsdon and David Haverbeke, energy specialists at European law firm, Fieldfisher.
While the world’s climate negotiators dither, the post Covid-19 world could see their efforts overtaken – but only if policymakers are bold enough to take the opportunity to offer truly green fiscal stimulus packages to get us through the crisis. Felicia Jackson, from the center for sustainable finance of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, gives her thoughts here.
Technological innovation in PV is taking place in the context of extreme price competition among solar manufacturers, writes Karl Melkonyan, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS Markit. This, he argues, explains the focus on lowering manufacturing costs, increasing efficiencies, and reducing losses at all stages of the manufacturing process.
The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.
Contracts to build solar PV plants usually contain a performance warranty to ensure that the owner receives an asset that delivers the agreed-upon minimum performance level. But can warranties and assessment methodologies guarantee that plant performance is being correctly assessed? The answer is not entirely straightforward, writes Felipe Canto Teixeira, a partner at Everoze.
The Global Solar Council has launched a survey to assess the impact of the Covid-19 emergency and understand potential outcomes for the global solar energy sector.
Hanoi has set new feed-in tariff rates for utility-scale, rooftop and floating PV projects, ending a long period of policy uncertainty. The government has announced the new rates, which are broadly in line with industry expectations, roughly 10 months after the expiration of its old tariffs.
Sunrun laid off about 100 employees last week, according to Business Insider, which reported that furloughed staff will continue to receive benefits for three months.
pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.
The clarification came after states across the country reacted to the power ministry’s recent call for a moratorium on conventional power payments by stopping payments and curtailing renewable power.
French renewable energy developer Neoen plans to develop a massive battery storage system near the Australian city of Geelong that will dwarf its largest project to date, the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery in South Australia.
The move represents a step forward in the implementation of the National Action Plan for Renewable Energy (Paner), through which the West African nation aims to install 1.42 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
A group of scientists at Switzerland’s Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) has demonstrated a new manufacturing process, based on slot die coating, for the production of perovskite thin-film solar cells. The laboratory has fabricated small perovskite modules using this process and has plans to move into the field-testing phase later this year.
The European Commission has launched a 12-week online public consultation period for its 2030 climate targets.
Global grid-connected solar capacity reached 580.1 GW at the end of 2019, along with 3.4 GW of offgrid PV, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Total installed renewables capacity hit a remarkable 2,563.8 GW, with hydropower remaining the dominant source at 1,310.9 GW, followed by wind at 622.7 GW.
Via a new tender, the archipelago’s finance ministry is seeking proposals for an 11 MW floating PV system and a 10 MW ground-mounted solar plant.
Dutch research center TNO is setting up a test facility for floating PV plants in Oostvoornse, where it will analyze the impact of wind and waves on floating structures and module yield. TNO Senior Project Manager Jan Kroon told pv magazine that it will assess module damage and the impact of waves on light absorption. It has already found that the ratio between wave-height and wave-length is a key factor in mismatch losses, while noting that optimizers and micro-inverters on panels could mitigate losses.
Although the Wiki-Solar website ranking only provides a snapshot of PV project engineering, procurement and construction contracts outside of China, it is nevertheless a useful indicator of the changing global solar market landscape. Of the top 11 companies, four are based in India, three in Germany, and two in the United States. But last year’s largest contractor, U.S.-based First Solar, might lose its leading position this year, as it has largely discontinued its EPC activities.
A French-Turkish research team has created an economic model to optimize scheduling for solar-powered EV charging units. The proposed model suggests that such projects might be more profitable today than at the end of the decade, depending on a wide range of variables.
Solar Energy Corp. of India has tendered two floating PV projects with a combined capacity of 15 MW. The two plants will be deployed at a storage reservoir (10 MW) and an open-cast project void (5 MW) in the Indian state of Telangana.
Two Fraunhofer institutes and four industrial players are working together to develop a concept that will facilitate the use of vehicle-integrated solar modules in electric vehicles and trucks. The three-year “Lade PV” project will also focus on PV components and manufacturing processes.
Chinese researchers have used an industrial-grade, 720 W ultrasonic cleaner – with a frequency rating of 28 Khz and 1,000 W of heating power – to separate backsheets from end-of-life PV modules. They’ve concluded that an ultrasonic power of 720 W is ideal for the separation process.
French solar thin-film specialist Armor has designed a retractable automotive solar cover. It has deployed an initial prototype on a Gazelle electric car, but it said that the cover can be used on any kind of electric vehicle.
Already responsible for changing the way we communicate and power portable devices, lithium-ion technology is now driving revolutions in both transport and energy supply the world over. A new paper published by Arumugam Manthiram of the University of Texas at Austin examines the technology’s development, from initial discoveries made in the 1970s to the considerations of today’s researchers working on the ‘batteries of the future’.
The U.S. conglomerate plans to deploy and test new controls with its commercial PV LV5 inverter platform. It aims to develop “grid-forming” controls to allow wind and solar inverters to form voltage and frequency levels like traditional generators. The company wants to improve coordination and synchronization among multiple grid-forming resources, and is working on smart PV reserve controls to improve the transient stability of systems with high renewables penetration.
The so-called Optiverter is an all-in-one residential solution developed by startup Ubik Solutions and researchers from Estonia’s TalTech Power Electronics Research Group. The developers claim that the new solution can provide 30% more power than traditional microinverters under partially shaded conditions.
German manufacturer a2-solar has supplied 240 solar panels for the renovation of an old building in Bern, Switzerland. The modules, which are being integrated into 96 balconies, feature different transparency options and color variations.
According to one Dutch scientist, the development of PV technology in recent decades should be seen as an evolutionary process, rather than the constant emergence of new generations of equipment.
The U.S. solar panel manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Solar in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.
Chinese manufacturer Jolywood claims it has reached 23.5% cell efficiency on the production lines for its n-type TOPCon technology. The achievement, which has not been verified by a third party, represents a 0.3% improvement to Jolywood’s reported mass production efficiency.
National utility Transpower said that solar could take a 9.3% share of the country’s generation mix by the middle of the century. However, real growth is only forecast to occur from 2035, with distributed generation expected to account for more than 80% of total installed PV.
Is there any good reason for putting solar on a Tesla Cybertruck? Or is it just virtue signaling? On the other hand, how far are you driving tomorrow? Do you have range anxiety or just general anxiety?
The German manufacturer has started to produce its first commercial storage systems at its new plant under strict safety precautions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The facility’s current annual capacity is set at 255 MWh, but the company aims to eventually expand that to 1 GWh.
The Swiss equipment supplier already needed to shore up its bottom line and is now taking measures to help combat the spread of an epidemic which has also claimed November’s planned climate summit in Glasgow and an estimated 19% of this year’s demand for energy storage.
Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Elisabeth Borne told a teleconference of renewables representatives the results of a recent slew of clean energy tenders which allocated 1.7 GW of generation capacity and also revealed new measures being taken to support the industry.
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