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The weekend read: What Lebanon’s default means for PV

Lebanon failed to make a bond payment of $1.2 billion due on March 9 – the first sovereign default in the country’s history. pv magazine looks at how Lebanon’s debt troubles are now starting to affect the development of renewable energy.
Installations

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Huadian kicks off 2 GW tender

Also, a court in Beijing is now reviewing an application for bankruptcy filed by a unit of Hanergy. In other developments this week, a diverse range of solar industry players launched the 600W+ Photovoltaic Open Innovation Ecological Alliance.
Markets & Policy

Meyer Burger reveals locations for new cell, module plants in Germany

Production of highly efficient solar cells and modules will start at two sites in Germany from the first half of 2021. The Swiss tech group plans to eventually expand annual production to 5 GW.
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Technology

Printed protection for perovskite cells

Scientists led by the University of Cambridge have developed a new method to print a protective layer of copper directly onto a perovskite solar cell, providing protection to the active layer from damage often caused in later production stages. Cells usi...
Highlights

Interview: How a German startup aims to alleviate energy poverty with circular solar solutions

SunCrafter is a small German startup with a global ambition: to alleviate energy poverty by upcycling used solar PV modules. Having established an innovative business model, which sees it subsidizing its goals by meeting the infrastructure needs of big e...
Installations

US installed more solar in Q1 2020 than ever before

The record-setting quarter was driven by nearly 2 GW of utility-scale solar, supplemented by another 1.6 GW of residential capacity. And while the pandemic will slow the industry in 2020, five-year projections are strong, especially for Texas.
Markets & Policy

Hitachi ABB Power Grids India wins $16 million order

The company has bagged an order from state-run Chittaranjan Locomotive Works to supply transformers for locomotive engines.
Covid-19

Enel joins the Indian solar gold rush

The Italian utility, fresh from securing its first 300 MW of PV generation capacity in the country in a recent, record-setting tender, has teamed up with the state-owned Norwegian Investment Fund to commit to further clean energy facilities in India.
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Press Releases

SoliTek’s Solid modules receive cradle-to-cradle Silver Certificate

European solar panel manufacturer SoliTek (Vilnius, Lithuania) has earned a Silver level Cradle to Cradle Certified™ award for its advanced glass-glass Solid module range. The company embarked on a demanding cradle-to-cradle certified process at the beginning of 2020, responding to growing interest for environmentally sustainable solar panels in Europe, especially in Scandinavian and Benelux nations, the primary SoliTek markets.

Enerparc, the EU’s largest PV asset owner, establishes partnership with Sitemark

Enerparc AG, an independent power producer (IPP), has selected Sitemark as its partner of choice for aerial data analytics services.

Overview and comparison of solar panels above 500 Wp

Recent research from BloombergNEF shows a significant drop in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from renewables. In 2020, solar and wind energy became cheaper than coal as a source of electricity in global trend-setters such as the U.

TBEA New Energy nudges “You”: TC3125KFT provides for you the best LCOE solution

TBEA New Energy, as a company mainly engaged in the electrics and electronics manufacturing industry, has a strong team working on improving the utilization rate of the new energy by technology innovation, which has been not only developing a series of high-quality centralized/string inverters, but also providing the market with optimal solutions constantly to bring about more benefits for the customers.

Opinion & Analysis

Green electricity tariffs, 1 GW solar tender ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Turkish PV

The new 1 GW Yeka tender in Turkey is more than welcome, says KRC Consulting’s Hakki Karacaoglan and Life Enerji’s Ramazan Aslan. Regulations to enable “green electricity” tariffs, also announced this month, add further momentum to the country’s solar sector – allowing Turkish consumers choose renewable energy for their power supply.

Beware of zombies: PV thriving after chaos

In times of crisis, a population usually divides itself into two opinion groups. On the one hand, there are those who believe the storm will pass and things will return to business as usual. And on the other, there are those who took the time to embrace the new reality, accepted it, and now swear that the old world has disappeared and won’t ever come back. In general, writes Becquerel Institute’s Gaëtan Masson, reality splits between the two and makes everyone wrong. And this is what might be about to happen in the solar PV sector.

Module prices plunge as Covid-19 hammers demand

Some European countries and emerging markets are now showing signs of slow recovery, as the Covid-19 pandemic brought overseas markets to a shuddering halt in late March. However, demand is expected to remain weak through the beginning of the third quarter, writes PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang, as it will take time for overseas markets to snap back. Meanwhile, the Chinese market is again busy with the June 30 installation rush, as the government has left tariff timelines unchanged up to the middle of May.

Does corona pave the way for a real Green Deal revolution?

Germany will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1 and will be responsible for progressing EU legislation over the next six months.

Record shipments push global solar PV inverter market past $9 billion in 2019

The PV inverter market achieved record shipments in 2019, writes IHS Markit’s Miguel de Jesus, driven by booming shipments in key markets such as the United States, Spain, Latin America, Ukraine and Vietnam. Revenue rose rapidly, surpassing the $9 billion mark in 2019 for the first time.

Climate-neutral EU before 2050

The European Commission has positioned the Green Deal at the center of its policy priorities. The goals have been set: climate-neutrality, zero greenhouse gas emissions, and the complete decarbonization of the energy sector by 2050. The stakes are high, writes SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, but thus far Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made good on her promises.

Covid-19

Featured

EU hydrogen strategy could drive 120 GW of renewables capacity

The European Commission has outlined a long-anticipated plan it says could unlock up to €340 billion for new solar and wind projects over the next decade. The 30-year strategy envisages up to €470 billion being spent on electrolyzer capacity.

First-half solar funding fell by a quarter as Covid-19 bit

The latest PV finance report released by Mercom Capital had solar investment falling almost entirely across the board with the number of new solar funds launched in the last three months offering a rare piece of good news.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Q Cells has given a timely boost to EU solar as the clamor grows for a green recovery

Plus, there was plenty of hope in predictions made by Norwegian institute DNV GL but U.S. households are facing hefty energy bills just as data from Delhi showed the link between industrial shutdowns and cleaner skies.

Q Cells commits to three-year, €125m German R&D spend

The Korean company has committed to invest in solar innovation in Germany at a time when the EU and member states are desperately trying to kick-start the Covid-19 recovery.

Have global carbon emissions peaked?

Accreditation institute DNV GL has made some astonishing carbon-related predictions as it prepares the next edition of its Energy Transition Outlook report. The Norwegian body says transport-related emissions have peaked and those of the iron and steel industries may well have too.

Lockdown and PV’s positive feedback loop

Scientists measuring air pollutants and PV performance in Delhi have found the lockdown conditions imposed in the Indian capital since late March have brought about a significant reduction in air pollution which has led to an 8% increase in solar irradiation reaching rooftop arrays.

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.

PV mini-grid to back Congolese agriculture

Equatorial Power and SustainSolar are installing containerized, off-grid solar battery power systems to support farming projects on an island in Lake Kivu.

BP commits $70m to UK-India Green Growth Fund

The fossil fuel company will become a partner in the fund, which invests in clean energy projects.

US sodium-ion battery developer raises $35M as storage investment surges

Startup Natron Energy is building a battery using Prussian blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte. Investors include ABB Technology Ventures, NanoDimension Capital, Volta Energy Technologies, Chevron, Khosla Ventures, and Prelude Ventures.

Italian solar company changes hands

The operations and maintenance and the engineering, procurement and construction arms of PV company Enerray have been sold off by troubled industrial conglomerate Gruppo Industriale Maccaferri for cash, transferring 240 MWp of Italian generation capacity to the management of rival LT Renewables.

Burkina Faso kicks off ‘Solar Cluster’ plan

The West African nation is launching a capacity-building program to create an ‘ecosystem’ of PV and energy-efficiency businesses. The Green Climate Fund is providing access to international finance.

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.

Eastern Europe coal exit offers a €50bn clean power opportunity

With Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Czechia having dragged their heels over climate legislation for years, BloombergNEF has estimated the most economic route out of the coal habit. It is a path which could see 40% less carbon emissions in 2030 than were recorded last year, with a 47% clean energy power mix.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Longi to grow by 10 GW, China opens world’s largest floating PV project

Plus, equipment manufacturer Shangji Automation is set to enter the silicon ingot making game with plans for an 8 GW fab, while state-owned developer Panda Green says it plans to add 500 MW of annual project capacity over the next three years.

Is Kuwait ready to ditch landmark solar project?

The, variously reported, 1 GW or 1.5 GW, $1.2-1.43 billion ‘Dibdibah’ or ‘Dabdaba’ solar project is reportedly at risk of being abandoned altogether. The ambitious project was supposed to have been tendered in the first quarter of 2018 with a view to completion this year.

Baywa sells ‘largest floating PV park outside China’

The 27 MW Dutch project in Zwolle has been sold to a consortium featuring a provincial energy transition fund and a local energy co-operative in a deal backed by public funding.

Jinko bifacial panel order to expand 160 MW Chilean project

The Chinese manufacturer will supply 126 MW of modules to a project in Antofagasta which was originally installed using its products in 2016.

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.

Sticking together

A cell interconnection method developed by a Swedish company promises lower-cost and higher-throughput production of PERC and more advanced silicon PV modules. The process is ready to move to pilot production, and its creators want to play a role in the anticipated European solar manufacturing renaissance.

Huawei’s latest intelligence: Smart PV for future

The new president of Huawei’s Smart PV Business Unit, Chen Guoguang, talks to pv magazine about his new role in the company and the future of his division. Increased investment in smart PV R&D and technological innovation are at the top of the agenda. The intelligentization of energy products is also a priority, with much to be gained from the integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) and energy.

Canberra project REVS up Australia’s vehicle-to-grid readiness

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is putting US$1.66 million into a vehicle-to-grid trial to demonstrate how electric vehicles can provide grid ancillary services. The REVS research and industry consortium hopes to show how EVs can generate revenue for fleet owners.

Easy-to-clean solar panel coating developed in India

The super-hydrophobic coating uses nanoparticles to reduce dust deposition on solar panels and cleans itself by the movement of water on modules.

There’s something fishy about this flow battery innovation

Scientists led by MIT have suggested chitin, a carbon and nitrogen-rich material made from waste shrimp shells, could produce sustainable electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy storage technologies.

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.

Off-grid Brazil: extending beyond isolated communities

The Brazilian power grid reaches approximately 99% of the country’s population. To connect the remaining 1% has been challenging – often located in isolated communities of regions that are difficult to reach. With increasing global adoption of solar+storage, and significant price drops across the two technologies over the past decade, the solution is showing promise for the remote Brazilian market. Solar+storage is becoming a more competitive solution than its most popular alternative – diesel – to supply the needed power for off-grid communities. And now, even grid-connected residential properties are opting for independence.

Russian solar manufacturer goes green

Hevel Group has announced it will source all the 65 GWh required annually to run its Novocheboksarsk factory from renewables sources via the wholesale market.

Chinese-made HJT hitting Australian rooftops

Risen Australia and distributor One Stop Warehouse signed an expanded 150 MW distribution deal last week, marking the Chinese manufacturer’s latest attempt to expand in the rooftop segment. With Risen’s new heterojunction module, the 415-435 W Sieger, now moving into mass production, One Stop Warehouse’s Leo Ye welcomed the “new, fresh” tech.

Jetion Solar completes 2 GW site

The Chinese state-owned manufacturer has started operations at its 1 GW mono PERC cell line after installing a 1 GW module fab last year.

India will add just 50 GW of solar in the next five years, according to company bosses

The expected return would leave the nation woefully short of its ambitious 175 GW clean energy target, which was laid down with a 2022 deadline. Chief executives who criticized aggressive clean power auctions said they would like to see more fossil fuel facilities thrown into the mix.

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.

Battery storage steps in to support renewable targets on French islands

France’s Energy Transition Law has set forth aggressive renewable targets with plans to achieve energy independence by 2030 for its Non Interconnected Areas (NIA), or small isolated electricity networks. The renewable targets for its primarily overseas regions are more ambitious than the country’s mainland energy transition goals, with the national plan aiming to achieve 50% renewable energy penetration for NIA electricity by the end of this year. The rapid deployment of solar PV on the country’s islands across international waters creates challenges for grid operations, and battery storage is stepping in as a solution.

EU opens applications for €10bn, ten-year clean tech innovation fund

Funded by the bloc’s Emissions Trading System, the warchest will look to spend more than €10 billion on bringing clean energy innovations to market over the next decade. The scheme will work with other green recovery programs to secure jobs and lay a foundation on which to restart the European economy.

Hitachi-ABB Power Grids takeover could boost e-mobility and energy storage

The Japanese brand has closed the initial $6.85 billion purchase price for 80% of the Power Grids business that was owned by ABB. The buyer will have the option of purchasing the outstanding shares in 2023.

The weekend read: Adding blockchain to battery supply chains

Responsibility in battery supply chains has become a growing focal point over the last few years and will remain a key theme as demand for mobile phones, electric vehicles, and alternative forms of energy continue to increase. Alexander Preston from SAFE sets out how the application of blockchain technology can deliver visibility, build trust, and facilitate the battery sector’s digital transformation.

Sub-Saharan solar minigrid market worth $128 billion by 2030

BloombergNEF and Sustainable Energy for All have jointly published a report by the Mini-Grid Partnership proposing solar minigrids as a critical technology to bring electricity to the 789 million people who still lack access.

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