The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic fallout have had a variety of impacts on the clean energy transition, with some sectors being more affected than others. Earlier this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned of slowed progress towards sustainable energy goals due to Covid-19 and reversed progress in many areas crucial in reaching net zero, such as energy efficiency, clean cooking, or access to electricity. There is one sector, however, that has shown remarkable resilience since the beginning of the pandemic and has been able to maintain, and even accelerate, its rapid growth since 2020: green energy infrastructure.
The world’s energy sector is concentrated in solar, wind, electricity transmission/distribution and hydroelectric power. For example, investment in solar power plants alone is higher than investment in natural gas, coal-fired and nuclear power plants combined. This is encouraging, but another fact is worrying: China’s exports of solar modules to Europe in the first four months of 2022 were 2.5 times higher compared to 2021. In April alone, nearly 8 GW of solar modules worth more than €2 billion were imported from China into Europe.
The war in Ukraine continues to disrupt the global energy sector and, combined with the recent heatwaves affecting Europe, the need to restructure economies is starker than ever. Luckily, there are some countries that have kept working on their energy transition reforms and taking tangible actions towards tackling climate change. Uzbekistan is one of them.
High temperatures can affect different components of PV systems. Inverters can fail, the efficiency of solar modules can decline, and existing cell damage can become worse. However, investors, planners, and operators can adjust to heat waves in a number of different ways.
On June 27, the Guidelines for The Design, Construction and Operation of Agrovoltaic Plants were published in Italy by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in coordination with the Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics (CREA), Gestore dei Servizi Energetici S.p.A. (GSE), the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), and Research on the Energy System S.p.A. (RSE). From now on, developers and, in general, RES plant owners will have to consider the principles herein outlined, to have their plants classified as agrovoltaic.
It should come as no surprise that clean energy spending is a big chunk of Warsaw’s four-year EU grant and loans package, given that the nation’s grid-connected solar capacity rose from 3.99 GW at the end of 2020 to 6.3 GW four months ago, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The clean power numbers published annually by the International Renewable Energy Agency provide a snapshot of the global solar market and, this year, a lot of figures were unchanged from the previous dataset, especially in the off-grid segment.
Covid-19 has left Shunfeng International’s accountants unable to publish its official 2021 numbers on time, but its estimated figures announced a net current liability of almost $155 million and a “capital deficiency” of near $140 million.
Polysilicon maker Xinte is forging ahead with a huge expansion strategy just as solar developers at the opposite end of the industry continue to bleed cash.
Lack of locally-denominated finance, and of sufficiently long-term loans, are well established hurdles to the development of photovoltaics in Africa.
Companies are starting to offer new products and services in response to booming demand for off-grid solutions in Australia.
US President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, ushering in a new decade of $370 billion in climate and energy spending.
Hygenco will build, own and operate a multi-megawatt facility that will supply green hydrogen to Jindal Stainless, one of the world’s largest stainless steel producers.
Metal roofing has become a driver for roof type selection in many cases because not only is a metal/solar roof system less expensive upfront than other roof system combinations, but it also leads to improvements in the lifetime return on investment of the system.
Investments in renewables are hitting new highs in China, as recurrent Covid-19 outbreaks and a crisis-stricken housing market threaten the world’s second-biggest economy, according to BloombergNEF.
SMA’s Home Solutions segment was particularly badly hit as the PV inverter manufacturer struggled to meet the demand due to the shortage of materials. The sales and results in the first half of 2022 were therefore significantly worse than in 2021. The company now wants to take “a series of measures to improve its long-term ability to deliver.”
The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Serb Republic has adopted a net metering scheme to facilitate the deployment of 50,000 PV rooftop PV systems on residential and commercial buildings.
SolarApex has built what it calls the world’s largest rooftop PV array. A 140 MW project on a steelmill will help Turkish steelmaker Tosyali to shift its production to carbon-free “green steel.” Chief Marketing Officer Besime Özderici says the project could be an example for other energy-intensive industries.
BASF has signed virtual power purchase agreements for 250 MW of solar and wind power in the United States.
India is expected to install 20 GW of new solar capacity in 2022, according to JMK Research.
Researchers in China have reported a colorization strategy for solar based on photonic glass. They created solar panels that took on blue, green, and purple hues, while only dropping the efficiency of power generation from 22.6% to 21.5%.
The authorities in China’s Guangdong province have released a 2022-25 plan that foresees the retail price for hydrogen dropping to less than CNY 30/kg ($4.42/kg). Germany and Canada, meanwhile, are set to strengthen their collaboration on hydrogen, and Ford has revealed plans to team up with Southern California Gas for a hydrogen fuel cell electric truck that will be on the road by 2025.
Scientists in China demonstrated a process to “heal” defects in a perovskite film by using an ammonia treatment after the film is formed through a solvent process. Small solar cells made using these films achieved maximum efficiency of 23.21%, while a mini-module with a 14-square-centimeter active surface area reached 20.61%.
LevelTen Energy, a renewables transaction infrastructure company, has launched a new platform to simplify and accelerate power purchase agreement market analysis. The new platform, MarketPulse, provides 24/7 access to PPA price data, renewable energy project data, and analytics.
In a study that began in 2016, US scientists purchased 834 PV modules, representing seven manufacturers and 13 module types, and installed them in various climate conditions to observe their performance over time. The results show that, while plenty of opportunities still exist to extend module lifetimes and reduce performance loss in the field, reductions in the manufacturing cost of PV have not come with an increase in their degradation rate.
Meyer Burger has announced that it has concluded a binding supply agreement with Norwegian Crystals for silicon wafers to use in heterojunction cell manufacturing. Hydro facilities primarily power the production of the wafers and their precursor materials in Norway. Combined with the shorter distance they’ll have to travel, this adds up to a low carbon footprint.
China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) has announced plans to invest €7.34 billion ($7.6 billion) to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary. It will be the company’s second battery cell manufacturing facility in Europe.
A new report form analysts at IHS Markit notes that the market for module-level power electronics (MLPE) grew by 33% between 2019 and 2021, with around one-third of new residential solar installations now taking advantage of MLPE’s promise of improved safety, energy yield and fault detection. And with smaller, distributed generation systems expected to represent 43% of global PV installations between now and 2025, the opportunity for MLPE will only get larger.
New Mexico-based Array Technologies is keen to emphasize the revenue benefits of buying Spanish rival STI Norland and said US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act would also be good for business.
Huawei Digital Power Technologies, a unit of Chinese multinational tech giant Huawei, recently signed a deal with Ghana-based solar developer Meinergy Technology to build a 1 GW solar plant coupled with 500 MWh of storage in Ghana over the next years. Under the terms of the deal, Huawei will supply solar-plus-storage systems for the project. Meinergy will be responsible for the development and construction of the facility. pv magazine recently spoke about the project with Kevin Wu, CEO of Meinergy, and Peter Acheampong, Deputy Director of Renewables for the Bui Power Authority, which owns the installation.
Researchers at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) have developed a broadly applicable and versatile post-electrode-engineering process. It can be applied to a range of conventional anodes to improve their stability.
Hype and hope for solid-state batteries (SSBs) continues to grow as industries from automotive to storage bet big on the technology. Leading battery manufacturers and a roll call of start-ups are jostling to get from lab to fab. The reality of SSBs is in question though. As Marija Maisch reports, the window of opportunity for the decades-old technology to make the next big step toward commercialization is now.
UK researchers have revealed that gaseous hydrogen could cause problems in natural gas pipelines, while electrolyzer manufacturer Nel has announced plans to build a second production line in Norway.
FlexGen, a US-based storage system integrator, has launched a new modular battery solution for the commercial and industrial market. The FlexPod energy storage system combines lithium iron phosphate batteries, a power conversion system, and HVAC in a single container solution, with a range of configurations.
Scientists in Japan have developed black glasses grafted silicon microparticles as a negative electrode material to improve lithium-ion battery performance.
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