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Algeria announces 1 GW renewables tender

The tender is expected to be launched between June and July and to be divided into ten slots of 100 MW each. Domestic content requirements for modules, cables and mounting structures should be included in the procurement exercise.
Manufacturing

Webinar Q&A: A recipe for improved performance

In a recent pv magazine webinar, module degradation experts took our audience through the role of temperature and mechanical stress in causing modules to under-perform. We were treated to a look at some impressive results for modules integrated wi...
Installations

New SunPower chief fronts tough set of quarterly figures

Peter Faricy was barely at the helm during the first quarter of 2021 but his first earnings call will involve him explaining a quarter-on-quarter reverse from a $413 million profit to a near $50 million loss.
Announcements

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Markets & Policy

New details emerge on Spanish 5 GW solar panel factory

Greenland Gigafactory aims to start building a vertically integrated manufacturing facility in southern Spain later this year. Production activities are scheduled to start in December 2023.
Technology

Inverted perovskite solar cell with 22.8% efficiency

The cell features an open-circuit voltage of 1.1 V and a short-circuit current of 26 milliampere per cm-2, which the research team described as the best performance for an inverted perovskite cell based on single-crystal methylammonium lead triiodide. Th...
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Manufacturing

Industry reacts to India’s production-linked PV incentive scheme

Indian solar manufacturers have welcomed the bidding criteria for incentives to set up gigawatt-scale, high-efficiency PV production lines, but said that they would like a bigger budget to finance significant capacity build-out.
Markets & Policy

Delta launches 50 kW inverter for commercial arrays

The 98.7%-efficient device features six MPPT trackers and an overall input voltage range that is from 200 V to 1000 V.
Energy Storage

Australia’s recycling opportunity emerges as batteries boom

Australia’s national science agency has identified a potential AUD 3.1 billion ($2.4 billion) industry, as the increasing penetration of renewable energy continues to drive growth in the battery energy storage sector.

Press Releases

Swiss Solar to open a new warehouse in the Netherlands

Swiss Solar AG keeps expanding into European market. A brand-new distribution center in Rotterdam will make Swiss Solar products more accessible to the clients, while reducing the delivery time and introducing no-contact delivery, an essential feature during a pandemic.

A2EI Launches Global Climate Impact Payments Platform (CLIPP)

The Access to Energy Institute (A2EI) has launched its global “Climate Impact Payments Platform” (CLIPP), joining forces in a pilot project with five off-grid solar companies providing larger solar business systems and productive use appliances.

Trace Software takes an additional step in photovoltaic design with the new version of PV software, archelios PRO

Trace Software International and its solar subsidiary Cythelia Energy are pleased to announce the release of the latest version of the archelios™ PRO photovoltaic software range.

ReneSola Power and Eiffel Investment Group sign JV Agreements with the goal of accelerating Solar Development in Europe

ReneSola Ltd announced the signing of JV agreement with Eiffel Investment Group that aims to accelerate the development and financing of ReneSola Power's current and future solar projects across Europe.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Botswana tops list of world’s ‘super abundant’ renewables nations

A Carbon Tracker report estimates 60% of the world's technical solar potential – enough to produce 3.5 exawatt-hours of clean electricity per year – would already be cheaper than fossil fuel if installed. Of the remainder, most would be in sub-Saharan Africa, a region which has the potential to be a global solar and wind powerhouse.

Asia Pacific’s solarized digitization agenda

The virtual 7th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum was hosted in March by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, together with the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) Secretariat. The theme was “Enabling Resilience for All: The Critical Decade to Scale-up Action” with the goal of formulating National Adaptation Planning for science and technology, and energy and fiscal policies that consider the interlinkages between climate change, health, and biodiversity. These nature- and ecosystem-based policies will serve as the basis for the Asia-Pacific region’s contributions to the “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” in the United States; the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Kunming, China; and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Battery testing builds certainty

Owners and operators of energy storage systems, as well as investors, need transparent ways to evaluate battery performance. They need certainty that the selected batteries for their ESS projects will perform reliably, have predictable life expectancies, and meet projected revenue and contractual obligations over their lifetimes. The economic viability of entire projects depend on this confidence, writes Michael Kleinberg of DNV.

Analysis of France’s CRE4 PV tenders and their impact

This year will witness the end of the French program for PV tenders known as “CRE4”, which began in 2016. To date, they have enabled over 7.2 GW of solar capacity to benefit from a subsidized tariff (feed-in tariff or feed-in premium). A few months before the last CRE4 tenders and the launch of the PPE2 (or CRE5), Finergreen evaluates their impact on the French solar industry.

We all trust the PV performance ratio test – but should we?

The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particularly demanding guaranteed values to be achieved – these tests fail good projects. This can lead to costly delays and wasted effort spent trying to find issues that might not exist. Everoze Partner Dario Brivio reviews the likelihood of this happening and considers ways to increase confidence in the precision of such tests, based on recent independent analysis of real-world projects.

Solar and silver price hikes

The PV industry has experienced several rounds of price increases since the second half of 2020, from polysilicon to materials such as PV glass and films. Between July 2020 and February 2021, prices quoted for 3.2 mm and 2 mm glass surged by more than 60% per square meter. Prices for EVA and POE encapsulant films skyrocketed by more than 40% and 10%, respectively. Prices for silver paste also rose 7%, and have since remained stubbornly high. PV InfoLink Chief Analyst Corrine Lin examines the impact of silver’s recent price turbulence on PV cell manufacturing.

Covid-19

Featured

China’s Covid recovery saw green bond issuance rebound in second half of 2020

The $18bn worth of sustainable finance instruments floated in the nation last year marked a retreat from previous highs but, with most of the bonds issued from July onwards, the recovery is under way, according to the IFC, which is anticipating a more-than-$100 billion sector in emerging markets over the next three years.

African solar installers feel the pinch of rising panel prices

With Chinese manufacturers having warned they will pass on escalating component costs, and shipping expenses soaring since last summer, the rising price of solar is forcing some installers to redraft quotes, pv magazine has discovered.

India’s solar imports dipped 75% in ten months

Covid-19 disruption has been cited as the chief culprit as imports from China, Thailand and Vietnam slumped from April to January, but safeguarding duty also appears to have had an impact, with unaffected imports from nations such as Myanmar, Chad and Russia on the rise and Malaysian trade keeping steady.

Covid delays drove 20% dip in solar project revenue for Chinese developer last year

But new ventures into coal-fired steam and petrochemicals products helped state-owned China Shuifa Singyes towards a significantly healthier balance sheet in 2020.

GCL confirms thumping annual loss for 2020

The polysilicon maker lurched from a $17m profit in 2019 to a $960 million loss last year, according to an unaudited extract from its overdue annual figures. Publication is being held up by an auditor enquiry relating to a $71m abandoned-production-project pre-payment which appears to be either owed by, or to, a GCL subsidiary.

UK added 175 MW of solar in first quarter

More than 7% of the U.K.’s solar generation capacity is now unsubsidized, according to trade body Solar Energy UK, with the nation reaching more than 14 GW of photovoltaic projects during the first three months of the year.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What Asia needs to turn away from coal

Given the rapid decrease of the solar electricity cost, pv magazine explores the drivers and obstacles behind switching off coal and embracing photovoltaics and other renewable energy technology in Asia. The good news: things are moving in the right direction.

Best countries for renewable energy investment

IHS Markit has released its latest Global Renewables Markets Attractiveness Rankings, based on measures related to investment confidence and ease of development.

A stable sodium battery, without the anode

Scientists in the U.S. demonstrated a sodium-ion battery with no anode, that retained 99.93% of its initial capacity per cycle. Their design was able to overcome many of the stability issues associated with using ‘pure’ alkali metals in batteries, thanks to carefully minimizing water content in the liquid electrolyte.

Software to speed up permitting proceedings for rooftop PV

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and UL have joined forces to develop Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus software. NREL has committed to adding new features to SolarAPP+ until March 2023.

Big solar-plus-storage comes to Taiwan

Taiwanese module maker URE Corp is planning to link a 150 MW solar plant to a 15 MW/15 MWh storage facility.

Legal challenge to Ukraine’s retroactive FIT cuts

Lithuanian-owned solar developer Modus Energy International is reportedly seeking €11.5 million from the Ukrainian government after it retroactively reduced feed-in tariff payments from August. Modus claims Kiev breached the Energy Charter Treaty with its reduced-payment legislation.

Installations

Featured

The future is female among Egyptian engineers

How do you achieve gender equality among shift-working engineers in a remote location in North Africa? With a clear vision and concrete measures, according to Scatec’s operations and maintenance (O&M) team in Egypt, which has a 30% share of female engineers.

German standards for environmentally-friendly solar parks

German solar association BSW and environmental association Naturschutzbund have published a joint paper that defines criteria that can be used to establish whether a ground-mounted solar plant is able to protect nature and species, as well as to add ecological value to the area it occupies.

Breaking the rules to foster green hydrogen innovation

The Danish Energy Agency has granted permission, to two power-to-X specialists, for the development of innovative projects without having to comply with the country’s energy legislation. This exemption is part of an upcoming pilot scheme to support new clean energy technologies, including green hydrogen.

Ingeteam unveils power station for string inverters

The Ingecon Sun String Station reaches 6.4 MW of medium voltage output and is supplied as a “turnkey” solution. It was already installed in solar plants located in Toledo and Huesca.

French solar installers ramp up storage offerings

The “Global PV Installer Monitor 2020/2021” reports shows that nearly two-thirds of French PV installers now integrate storage solutions into their product portfolios. EUPD Research said this is a clear sign that rising electricity prices and demand for electric vehicles are creating new business models.

India’s 250 MW solar auction concludes with lowest bid of $0.033/kWh

A unit of Tata Power has secured the rights to develop a 250 MW grid-connected solar project in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Technology

Featured

Filling the energy technology, poverty gap

Advanced technology is of little use if it cannot reach those who need it most. Two Indonesian companies – Kopernik, an NGO based in Bali, and Sumba Sustainable Solutions, from the island of Sumba – are trying to bridge the gap between those in need and those with technological solutions. They both focus on the PV electrification of rural areas and brightening Indonesia’s “last mile.”

16.63%-efficient perovskite PV module via slot-die coating

Scientists in China have developed a large-area perovskite solar panel by utilizing diphenyl sulfoxide (DPSO) as an electron acceptor. The device was fabricated via slot-die coating, and featured a parallel-interconnection architecture.

A different angle on perovskite defects

Scientists in China took a closer look at the role of defects in limiting the performance of perovskite solar cells, demonstrating a screening effect that could be tuned to make material defects “invisible” to charge carriers, greatly improving cell performance. Using this approach they demonstrate a 22% efficient inverted perovskite solar cell, and theorize several new pathways to even higher performance.

Storing large scale renewables with basalt stones

A Danish consortium is seeking to store electricity from large scale renewable energy plants in the form of thermal energy in big tanks containing crushed, pea-sized stones made of basalt. The first 10 MWh demonstrator is planned to be developed in Denmark and to be powered by a wind facility. Another project is also under development in the United States and is planned to be linked to a solar plant.

Solar sculpture to produce 300 MWh of electricity annually

Called Solar Mountain, the permanent installation should be built in Nevada with modular design elements of recycled wood and other environmentally friendly materials.

Lithium saturation to make old batteries new

Scientists investigating the aging mechanisms affecting today’s lithium-ion batteries observed that the loss of lithium over time is one of the main causes of performance loss. With this in mind, they developed and tested a “relithiation” process that promises to eliminate much of the cost and complexity from recycling battery components and materials.

Manufacturing

Featured

Bifacial adoption spurs rethink on PID

PV systems are unique among electronic devices, as they are expected to survive outdoors for at least 25 to 30 years. This makes module and system quality one of the cornerstones of guaranteed returns on investment. Potential-induced degradation (PID) is a critical failure mode with a potentially high financial impact. New research from imec and Hasselt University looks at the damaging impact that PID can have on bifacial technology, writes Michaël Daenen, a professor at EnergyVille and Hasselt University.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Xinte seeks to raise $309 million for 100,000-ton polysilicon factory

Furthermore, Luoyang Glass reported first-quarter net profits of RMB136 million (US$21 million) and TBEA Xinjiang New Energy announced the settlement of a dispute over a 99 MW wind farm.

SolarEdge posts first-quarter results

The manufacturer says it shipped 1.69 GW of its inverters in the first three months of the year and predicted a further quarter-on-quarter rise in revenue from the current window.

Floating structure design for offshore PV

Researchers at the Norwegian institute Sintef are testing a special floating structure that Equinor wants to deploy in offshore waters. The structure is built with an anchoring system that is claimed to give the installation enough freedom to cope with the waves.

GCL nears resolution of its $500m senior notes headache

The Chinese poly maker expects to sign off a debt reorganization plan in Bermuda next month and has announced its latest $102 million solar project sell-off.

India’s Gautam Solar doubles capacity with new production line

Gautam Mohanka, managing director of New Delhi-headquartered Gautam Solar, told pv magazine its Haridwar module factory, now scaled up to 250 MW, is producing panels with a power output of up to 400 W, using mono PERC and polycrystalline cells.

Energy Storage

Featured

New EU battery rules support a sustainable industry

On Dec. 10, European Internal Market and Environment Commissioners Thierry Breton and Virginijus Sinkevičius, in conjunction with Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, announced a keenly anticipated piece of legislation: the commission’s proposal for modernized EU battery rules. Pia Alina Lange – head of communications for Recharge, the European battery industry association – says that while there are potential pitfalls with the new regulation, it could pave the way to sustainable industry development.

Canadian investor plans 1.3 GW renewable energy hub in South Australia

Amp Energy, a Canadian clean energy investor with a growing Australia portfolio, has unveiled a new 1.3 GW renewables expansion strategy. Its plan includes at least three massive PV projects, two of which could support South Australia’s green hydrogen aims.

Massive solar-plus-storage plant comes online in the United States

The 420 MW/40 MW storage-plus-storage facility was deployed by the Danish energy company Ørsted on a 3,600-acre site alongside existing oil and gas installations in Texas.

The Hydrogen Stream: Rosatom, EDF join forces, Shell builds Europe’s largest PEM electrolyzer

Moreover, the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology has announced it is progressing with its research to reduce the cost of PEM water electrolysis and the Spanish government has established the criteria for its first pre-selection of renewable hydrogen projects.

Leclanché unveils modular, plug-and-play solution for utility scale storage

The proposed solution is claimed to be able to mitigate potential fire risk, improve logistics and reduce costs. It consists of a series of interchangeable wide blocks that are said to be easily movable for simplified transportation.

Solar-plus-storage for Egyptian gold mine

German developer Juwi plans to have a 36 MW off-grid solar plant and 7.5 MW of battery storage operational at the Sukari mine during the second quarter of next year.

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