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UK retailers sign 130 MW of solar PPAs as electricity prices surge

UK electricity retailers are ramping up their efforts to sign power purchase agreements for PV projects.
Technology

Laser focus on perovskite film formation

Scientists in the United States developed a method to observe the structure and mechanics of a perovskite material during its synthesis and transition from liquid precursors to a solid thin film. The group says its work will provide new insight into manu...
Markets & Policy

New York to sell PV equipment it bought for Tesla, Panasonic

The state of New York will sell more than $200 million in equipment as Tesla plans to ramp up and expand operations at a manufacturing facility in Buffalo.
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Markets & Policy

NITI Aayog releases geospatial energy map of India

NITI Aayog has released a new map that attempts to identify all primary and secondary sources of energy and their transport/transmission networks to provide a comprehensive view of energy production and distribution in India. 
Highlights

The Hydrogen Stream: Rolls Royce, rising prices, and hydrogen fueled beer

This week sees hydrogen pricing hit new highs, driven by simultaneous jumps in the price of natural gas and electricity. Elsewhere, project plans include green hydrogen production at a UK brewery and Ineos building a 100 MW electrolyzer in Germany, machi...
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Markets & Policy

Umicore to purchase 42,000 tons of lithium battery material

Belgian materials company Umicore has signed a contract with Australia headquartered Vulcan Energy Resources to purchase up to 42,000 tons of lithium hydroxide over a five year period beginning in 2025. The material will be used in Umicore’s production...
Energy Storage

Co-located hubs key to battery industry competitiveness

A report from Australia's Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre which analysed the development of battery hubs in the U.S., Germany and Japan, has found that co-location and cooperation between industry and government were key to their su...
Installations

Solar farms prove to bee hives of economic activity

A new study from researchers at the universities of Lancaster and Reading in the UK has managed to quantify the economic boost provided by the symbiotic relationship between solar farms and honeybee hives.

Press Releases

LONGi announces “Net-zero Plant” pledge at UN biodiversity conference

LONGi founder and president Li Zhenguo has announced an ambitious pledge to convert the company’s Baoshan production base in Yunnan Province into its first “Net-zero Plant” by 2023. The announcement was made at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Kunming, China and delivery on the pledge will see the beginning of “Net-zero LONGi” and a test field for the company's “Solar for Solar” sustainable development concept.

GoodWe inverters are now available from Krannich Solar France

After successful cooperation in countries such as Australia, India and, since the beginning of 2020, most of the countries in Central and Southern Europe, Krannich Solar is extending its cooperation with GoodWe to the French market. With its extensive portfolio of string and hybrid inverters, GoodWe expands Krannich's product range with additional and attractive solutions for every need.

Solis shines at Intersolar 2021

Intersolar 2021, which was finally held after a two- year gap, saw the global solar industry and related sectors turn out in great numbers. For Solis, the event offered an opportunity to connect with its many past and future customers and partners, and the team firm made every effort to make the visit worthwhile for every visitor.

Fulminate comeback – The smarter E South America opens its doors after COVID-19 break

Sao Paulo, October 18, 2021: South America’s solar markets are on the rise. After surpassing the three new milestones of 5, 6, and 7 GW of total cumulative installed solar capacity in 2020, Brazil has already surpassed the 10 GW mark this year.

Opinion & Analysis

China’s emission-reduction action squeezes PV production

Industrial shutdowns and reduced factory production capacity levels indicate the companies producing the raw materials used by solar manufacturers are being afflicted by electricity consumption measures just as other sectors are. It is not clear whether the solar industry will be afforded any favors by Beijing, as analyst Frank Haugwitz explains.

More sun for everyone

It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing, says Mark Byrne of Australia’s Total Environment Centre. Or rather, it’s possible that there is too much rooftop PV at some times in some places. As a result, a range of critical reforms – including the introduction of export tariffs to pay for upgrades of the electricity distribution network – are necessary to allow for the uninhibited growth of solar in the future, he argues.

Nigeria’s solar workforce can help the world to net zero

With a rising chorus of voices calling for more solar industry recruits to perform the energy transition, Nigeria already has a skilled base of PV engineers and, with a little help filling the few gaps they have in their knowledge, the nation can step into the breach immediately, as Testimony Gabe-Oji, chief technology officer for Abuja-based installer Green Energy Spectrum, explains.

The evolution of residential PV in China

China is the largest residential PV market in the world, and this trend is only expected to strengthen in the next few years. By July 2021, China’s cumulative installed residential PV capacity had reached more than 30 GW, with a total of 1.864 million residential units hosting solar PV systems. IHS Markit’s Holly Hu looks behind these impressive numbers.

Time to re-envision the zeppelin: This time as a hydrogen transportation method

The long-distance transportation of hydrogen is a major challenge. However, the total decarbonization of green hydrogen transportation may possible by envisioning hydrogen-filled rigid or frameless airships (blimps) which work on the buoyancy of hydrogen to lift and transport.

Spanish PPAs and the remuneration reduction under RDL 17/2021

The temporary measures enacted by the Spanish government in mid-September to reduce the price of electricity affect many owners of wind and solar power plants on the Spanish mainland to varying degrees.

Covid-19

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EU raises another €9bn for Covid recovery

The latest, seven-year investment attracted offers worth more than €100 billion from investors and means the European Union has already generated €54 billion of the €80 billion of bond proceeds it is aiming for this year, as part of its five-year, €800 billion NextGenerationEU support package.

Is it time for the world to start thinking about 1.7C?

A note issued by Norwegian analyst Rystad has hinted it may be time to consider abandoning the 1.5-degree average global temperature rise ceiling agreed upon in Paris six years ago, because the world will never be able to pump out enough solar panels in time.

EU to start auctioning green bonds next month

An independent third-party has approved the European Commission’s safeguards to ensure the projects in member states financed by €250 billion of green bonds over the next five years, will have genuine emission reduction credentials.

International group offers $68m loans for struggling off-grid clean energy distributors

‘More than 90’ suppliers of appliances such as solar lanterns and home solar panels, as well as mini-grid installers, will be offered low-interest credit by an assortment of government-backed and privately-financed entities.

‘The chance to reset with a green recovery has now been lost’

Norwegian consultancy DNV today published the latest of its annual surveys of the state of the energy transition and lamented the fact so very little has been achieved during the last five years. We are forging ahead into a world that will be 2.3C hotter this century, predicts the report.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Reshaping the climate conversation

Inventor, serial entrepreneur, energy analyst and scientist Saul Griffith is set to add the title of “author” to his collection with the October publication of his new book, “Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future.” Griffith – the CEO of Otherlab and the founder of Rewiring America and Rewiring Australia – says that the discussion of rapid decarbonization can be reimagined by thinking about the electric “machines” that can be installed in our homes.

Lightsource BP invests in 757 MW project pipeline in Poland

UK based developer Lightsource BP today announced plans to enter the Polish market and develop nine projects amounting to 757 MW, working alongside an unnamed local partner. Lightsource BP says around half of the projects could begin construction next year, and that bringing all of the pipeline to completion would require total investment of €500 million.

Huawei wins major energy storage project contract in Saudi Arabia

Chinese tech giant Huawei Digital Power has signed a contract with China’s SEPCOIII, a construction and engineering company and power plant operator, for a 400 MW PV plus 1300 MWh battery energy storage project in Saudi Arabia. Developed by ACWA Power, with SEPCOIII serving as general contractor and handling EPC services, the Red Sea Project […]

Woodside teams with US startup to explore solar thermal technology

Australian oil and gas giant Woodside is partnering with U.S.-based concentrated solar specialist Heliogen to build a 5 MW solar thermal demonstration plant in California. The project will deliver clean energy with nearly 24/7 availability.

US solar PPA prices may continue to rise until new supply chains emerge

Prices for power purchase agreements have been rising steadily since the end of last year. According to solar developers, interconnection delays, permitting challenges, and supply chain constraints are likely to keep them high.

Lowest shortlisted bid in Saudi third PV tender was $0.0148/kWh

The shortlisted developers are Jinko Power, Total, ACWA Power, Alfanar, and a consortium formed by Masdar and EDF.

Installations

Featured

Out of landfill, back in the stream

With technological progress, falling costs, and favorable subsidies all incentivizing Australian households to replace serviceable modules and upgrade their rooftop array, a stockpile of useable second-hand modules is mounting. But efforts to embrace reuse rather than refuse are taking shape.

The changing landscape of the modular marketplace 

The modular solar marketplace is growing, especially in Australia where remote mining and agricultural sites appreciate the benefits of compact, movable solar. One new entrant is Western Australia’s CDI Energy with its “Rapid Solar Module”, which CDI founder and CEO Darryl Bower told pv magazine is up to 30% cheaper than fixed axis alternatives.

‘UK government should incentivize solar, not heat pumps’

One PV installer in Wales said he has experienced a 1,000% surge in demand for solar panels as rocketing gas prices have forced small energy suppliers in the U.K. to the wall and created uncertainty in households.

The weekend read: Powerful equation to expand C&I solar

Big rooftop PV systems on factories, warehouses and public buildings need not be limited by ownership issues nor local grid capacity, claims Australian innovator EleXsys Energy. The company is maxing out an Ikea in Adelaide, Australia, with solar and storage. And it claims its smart technology can allow the same to be done elsewhere.

New tracker design for agrivoltaics

Spanish company Axial Structural is introducing a new type of tracker for agrivoltaic installations. The product can be adapted to various ground conditions and gradients, with programmable to optimize light and shade for different crops in different climates.

Greece, Egypt sign MoU to link their power grids

The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a new subsea electricity line connecting their power systems. The power link, if built, could provide a route for African solar energy to reach European markets.

Technology

Featured

A messy perovskite separation

There are increasing signs that a new era for PV production in Europe may be dawning. However, two pioneers of PV technology have decided, at this moment, to part ways. And while at present there are more questions than answers, technology and business strategy both appear to have played a role.

A lightweight plastic to replace aluminum module frames

South Korean company LG Chem has developed a new plastic material that it says could replace the metal frame of a PV module, making it much lighter. The company says it has already secured mass production capability for the material and begun selling products at full scale.

Drones, software key for intelligent PV plant monitoring

Mobile test equipment is a must for fault detection and performance monitoring of large-scale PV installations. The Australian PV Institute has contributed to an international review of available aerial and portable ground-based technologies, and how to deploy them for reliable, relatable results.

The Hydrogen Stream: $12 million financing for large-scale LH2 tank, new strategy for Australia’s NSW

Among other announcements, the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded financing to a consortium of public, private, and academic experts to demonstrate a large-scale liquid hydrogen LH2 tank, a new hydrogen strategy has been unveiled by Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state government, and Repsol and EDP have teamed up to assess new investment opportunities in renewable hydrogen projects across the Iberian Peninsula.

Strong potential for inorganic perovskites

Scientists in the United States have developed a method to compare the performance and number of defects in different perovskite cell materials. Based on simulations and work with prototype materials, the group finds that all-inorganic materials have higher potential efficiency than their more widely researched organic-inorganic counterparts.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Shuangliang signs billion-dollar wafer contract

This week, Shuangliang Eco-Energy has signed a multi-year sales contract for delivery of its PV wafers to solar cell manufacturer Jiangsu Runergy, and Wuxi-based perovskite start-up UtmoLight Technology has won a Pre-A round investment of RMB 220 million from several private equity funds.

Manufacturing

Featured

What’s next for polysilicon?

The past 12 months have proved profitable for polysilicon manufacturers, as selling prices have soared to levels not seen since 2011. However, with major new capacity expansions on the horizon from most of the leading manufacturers, and new players planning to enter the scene, the market balance looks set to shift. Exawatt’s Alex Barrows rounds up where the industry stands and what might happen next.

Solargiga reports nine-month figures

Shipments and revenue both rose in the first three quarters, for a company which this year announced the painful consequences of winding down its cell manufacturing operation were behind it.

Swiss Solar announces new European PV module factory

Swiss Solar AG has started construction on a new PV manufacturing facility in Europe. It has already invested CHF 50 million (around €47 million) in the project. 

Atess Power launches new hybrid PV inverter for commercial applications

Chinese PV inverter manufacturer Atess Power has launched a new hybrid inverter for commercial solar power plants, featuring an efficiency of ≥96% and supporting up to 600kW system capacity.

JinkoSolar sets new record for n-type solar cell efficiency

Manufacturing giant JinkoSolar has set another world record for n-type solar cell efficiencies with its TOPCon technology, this time pushing to 25.4%. The new world record was confirmed by JET laboratories in Japan, and surpasses JinkoSolar’s previous record of 25.25% set back in May.

VSun unveils new half-cut monocrystalline PERC PV module

The Vietnamese solar manufacturer presented its new half-cut monocrystalline PERC PV module at last week’s Intersolar Europe. It features an efficiency of 21.38% efficiency and maximum power output of 605 W.

Energy Storage

Featured

Moorabool burning

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on July 30, 150 firefighters responded to a fire at Neoen’s 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery in Moorabool, which is due for completion this year. The fire crews arrived to a 13-ton lithium battery ablaze in a shipping container, and the fire wasn’t brought under control until three days later, on the afternoon of Aug. 2. With a widescale investigation now underway, pv magazine asks how such failures can be prevented, and whether we should be better prepared for the inevitability of battery failure.

Northvolt and Cinis to turn battery waste into sustainable fertilizer

Production waste puts a dent in the perception of sustainability of batteries. Northvolt, however, has partnered with a young Swedish company to make the best use of the battery production waste, and also help to decarbonize the fertilizer industry while they are at it.

Sunfire secures €109 million investment to accelerate green hydrogen technology growth

The leading industrial electrolyzer maker is planning to expand its alkaline electrolysis business with the construction of a large-scale production site in Germany that will have an annual manufacturing capacity of 500 MW by 2023, with a further extension to gigawatt-scale already in the planning.

Growing advantage for off-grid storage in grid-tied applications

Swiss-based Studer Innotec is launching a battery inverter which brings the advantages of the off-grid space to grid-tied installations in Europe. In this interview, Pierre-Olivier Moix, chief technology officer and board member at Studer Innotec, explains the differences to a standard energy home system, and some possible applications.

SECI invites proposals for 1 GWh of battery energy storage systems

Solar Energy Corp. of India has released draft guidelines for a tender to set up standalone battery energy storage systems in India.

What energy storage can learn from solar’s import woes

If a U.S. customs enforcement action were to take place, importers would need to prove that no forced labor was used at any stage of production, including all the way back to the mine.

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