Covid-19

Read pv magazine’s coverage of  Covid-19; and tell us how it is affecting your solar and energy storage operations. Email editors@pv-magazine.com to share your experiences.

Top News

Global corporate PV funding down 31% amid Covid-19 crisis

Mercom Capital Group has issued a report tallying up financial activity in the solar sector between January and March 2020. The sobering result is that cash flows are down by considerable margins on all metrics.
Installations

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Mixed bag for global PV sector

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.
Installations

Spain is Europe’s cheapest market for corporate solar PPAs

The country's solar sector offers the lowest average prices for corporate power purchase agreements on the continent, according to BloombergNEF.
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Europe’s largest solar park now online

Ibedrola's 500 MW Núñez de Balboa solar park has started commercial operations, following the completion of construction in December.
Manufacturing

New process for kesterite solar cells with 10% efficiency

German scientists have developed a new process for the formation of a phase pure kesterite Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe), which they claim can improve the material homogeneity and suppress the well-known issue of tin losses. The new technique is based on stacked el...
Covid-19

WoodMac expects 106 GW of newly deployed solar this year

As Chinese PV manufacturers are now on the way to fully utilizing their production capacities, it is becoming increasingly clear how much coronavirus containment measures will affect global demand. Wood Mackenzie expects a decline in residential PV deman...
Markets & Policy

All-organic, sustainable proton battery from Sweden

A group of scientists at Sweden’s Uppsala University have developed a proton battery based on abundant organic materials. They say the battery can be charged "in a matter of seconds" while operating at low temperatures, and can be cycled more than 500 ...
Markets & Policy

Switzerland renews support for renewables

The Swiss government has decided to extend its incentives for renewable energy projects, while also adjusting them to promote greater competitiveness. In addition, it plans to replace feed-in tariffs for large-scale solar installations with a new auction...
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Press Releases

Sonnedix crosses 100 MW of solar PV operating capacity in Japan with its latest acquisition

TOKYO, Japan – Sonnedix Japan K. K.

Trina Solar Vertex modules take Middle East solar market into the era of 500W+ output

Trina Solar Co. , Ltd has announced that it has signed a sales agreement with the Yemeni photovoltaic firm Ai Raebi to supply 6MW of Vertex series modules to high-efficiency distributed PV projects in the Middle East.

Peimar incorporates a new Sales Manager for Latin America team with the aim of reaching new markets

“I am very excited to be part of the Peimar Latin America team and collaborate in the commercialization and generation of awareness of the Peimar brand for solar panels, which offers a timely alternative with great advantages in the PV industry due to the high quality and competitive price of its products, allowing South America […]

12MW solar farm powers up in Buckinghamshire

A 12MW solar farm in Buckinghamshire that will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 2,800 homes and save 5000 tonnes of carbon every year, has officially been energised.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Is it the end of the oil era?

Volatility in the oil markets has played out in the news recently, driven by the Covid-driven collapse in demand and a war for market share between Saudi Arabia and Russia. A G20 meeting is to be held to try and find a way to cut production. As states and the oil majors look to shore up the price though, it’s possible that the coronavirus crisis might be what topples the fundamental driver of the current economic order.

Coronavirus: An ill wind for corporate PPAs?

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.

Could Covid-19 be the catalyst for change where the COP process has stalled?

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.

Perovskite technology – beyond efficiency records

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 sky’s the limit: How solar and storage can set a post-Covid-19 example

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.

How performance warranties protect revenues

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.

Covid-19

Featured

Covid-19 halting European PPA market – Part V

In a recent conversation with pv magazine, Luca Pedretti – the COO of Swiss software developer Pexapark – said that a new mindset is now required for solar and wind PPAs. The market has not completely stalled, he argued, noting that prices have already started to stabilize.

Global survey on Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on solar

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.

Vietnam finally unveils new FITs for large-scale, rooftop, floating PV

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 withdraws 2020 residential solar guidance, lays off 100 employees

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.

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Indian installations to be delayed by outbreak

pv magazine rounds up the latest Covid-19-related stories likely to affect the world of solar and energy storage.

Indian government asks utilities to maintain payments to power producers

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.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Shifting geopolitical sands

After a decade of operation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has become an established presence in assisting the deployment of renewables. Now under the leadership of Director General Francesco La Camera, it continues its work on a range of issues pertaining to renewable energy deployment, with a renewed focus on facilitating international investment.

Australia to host 600 MW battery

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.

Mali exempts solar from VAT, import duties

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.

Swiss researchers unveil new perovskite process

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.

EU opens public consultations on climate targets

The European Commission has launched a 12-week online public consultation period for its 2030 climate targets.

World now has 583.5 GW of operational PV

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.

Installations

Featured

Remote possibilities

If the Canadian Arctic strikes you as a place that doesn’t have enough sunlight for PV, you wouldn’t necessarily be correct. Although there are periods of 24-hour darkness in winter, there are locations with sufficient sunlight for PV to make a major dent in remote communities’ diesel consumption, reports Anteo Petkovic, from Green Sun Rising.

Maldives tenders 21 MW of PV

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.

Waves, wind & floating PV

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.

Global solar EPC market dominated by US, German, Indian contractors

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.

How much money can you make with PV-assisted EV charging stations?

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.

Utility-scale floating PV for Indian coal mines

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.

Technology

Featured

The way to the TOPCon

TOPCon cell technology has become one of the two leading next-generation options after mono PERC. But for the n-type architecture to truly become a rival to PERC, high-quality and cost-effective production technologies must become settled.

Fraunhofer ISE tests vehicle-integrated PV in commercial trucks

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.

Using ultrasonic irradiation to separate backsheets in PV waste

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.

Solar car tarp to recharge EV batteries

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.

Looking back over lithium

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’.

General Electric works on grid-forming inverter controls

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.

Manufacturing

Featured

The hidden contest of the cell makers

Predicting which technological pathway will dominate in solar cell production is somewhat of a fool’s errand. A battle is currently underway between several of solar manufacturing’s big guns regarding both wafer size and p-or-n-type technology, and the outcome remains to be seen.

All-in-one device integrating a microinverter and optimizer

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.

Golden PV panels for balcony solar systems

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.

No such thing as ‘next-generation’ modules

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.

Solaria sues Canadian Solar for alleged patent infringement on PV cell ‘shingling’ tech

The U.S. solar panel manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Solar in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

TOPCon technology hits 23.5% in mass production

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.

Energy Storage

Featured

Zero-waste batteries

Efforts to recycle lithium-ion batteries face a range of technical and economic challenges, but such programs are already far more commonplace than many assume. However, there are still significant obstacles looming a few years down the road.

New Zealand may reach 6 GW of solar by 2050

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.

It’s a good idea to charge an EV with solar when we’re socially distanced

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?

Tesvolt starts commercial storage system production at gigafactory despite Covid-19

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.

Covid-19 daily bulletin: Meyer Burger reduces working hours for staff

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.

France awards 960 MW of solar through different tenders

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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