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More than 1 million European homes powered by solar batteries

SolarPower Europe’s latest analysis reveals that 9.3 GWh of battery energy storage systems have been installed in more than 1 million European households this year.

Germany slashes VAT for residential PV to 0%

The German parliament has approved a new package of tax breaks for rooftop PV, including a value-added tax exemption for PV systems up to 30 kW in size.

PV system fires potentially exacerbated by gap between solar panels, rooftops

Norwegian researchers have published a new study showing that the space between solar panels and rooftop surfaces might play a critical role in contributing to PV system fires.



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Understanding Australia’s tantalizing battery market

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Adiós, PERC; hola, TopCon

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Hail risk in solar: Identify, quantify, and mitigate

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Markets & Policy

Novel sodium-sulfur battery for renewables storage

A Chinese-Australian research group has created a new sodium-sulfur battery that purportedly provides four times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries. They say it is far cheaper to produce and offers the potential to dramatically reduce energy st...

Spanish winemaker using photovoltaic wall for protection, energy

Vins Raïmat has built a 30 kW vertical solar installation as part of a 300 kW PV system at its winery in the Catalonian town of Raïmat, Spain. It protects the wine tubs from the sun while also reducing their energy consumption.

Cooling solar panels with cold steam from ultrasonic thermoelectric generators

Iranian researchers have looked at how ultrasonic thermoelectric generators could be used to lower the operating temperature of solar modules. Their new system can generate cold steam via ultrasonic piezoelectrics in a simple batch system.

Paths to commercial success for renewable energy tech

Analysts have studied lab-to-market pathways for clean energy technologies, including First Solar’s cadmium-telluride thin-film solar modules.

Trina Solar unveils 425 W all-black solar module with 21.3% efficiency

China's Trina Solar has developed an upgraded version of its Vertex S All Black PV module, with about 30 W of additional output. It is offering the new product on the Australian market.

Press Releases

Trina Solar starts deliveries of 125 MW Vertex bifacial modules to Bundorf Solar Park

Visionary ‘energy village’ involves and benefits the local community

Timbabwe: Total Eren and Chariot to deliver solar PV project for Karo mining’s platinum mine

Total Eren, a renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) based in France and Chariot, the Africa-focused transitional energy company, are pleased to announce that, pursuant to the partnership entered into in November 2021, Total Eren and Chariot have agreed to work together on the development, financing, construction, and operation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) project that will provide competitive electricity for the Karo Platinum Project, in Zimbabwe.

JinkoSolar Signed a Strategic Distribution Agreement with Blue Sun Group for Future Cooperation

JinkoSolar announced it has signed a strategic distribution agreement with Blue Sun Group, a well-known wholesaler in Australia. The agreement includes 1GW high-efficiency modules and 200MWh Energy Storage Systems shipments in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Power Purchase Agreements signed under South Africa’s REIPPPP Bid Window 5

Today, Scatec ASA signed power purchase and implementation agreements (Legal Close) for the three solar Grootfontein projects in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), alongside the South African government.

Opinion & Analysis

Regulator could prove solar’s NEMesis

The latest attempt by the California Public Utilities Commission – CPUC, the US state’s regulator – to reform net metering rules, seems to again be solely motivated by the desire to kill off rooftop PV, as energy economist Ahmad Faruqui reported in the latest issue of pv magazine.

PV and the cable guide

While solar modules and inverters can greatly influence the output of a planned solar project, it is important not to overlook how to select and design cabling systems for your solar plant – for safety as well as generation considerations. Ye Qilin, a senior system engineer at Huawei’s FusionSolar smart PV and energy storage business, runs us through some dos and don’ts.

Big solar already pulling its weight on emission reduction – especially in Chile

Following a disappointing COP27 climate change summit in November, solar industry veteran Philip Wolfe reviews the contribution utility-scale PV is starting to make to emissions reduction.

Perovskites and microgrooves can revolutionize solar

Ambitious targets for solar energy generation present challenges to an industry keen to explore new avenues for solar production. Neil Spann, chief executive of UK thin film solar manufacturer Power Roll, describes a commercial solution to the problems of over reliance on silicon solar modules.

COP27 was a crucial step forward for hydrogen – here’s why

Three import deals signed by the EU at Sharm El Sheikh during this month’s COP27 summit show the European Union is serious about harnessing green hydrogen for its heavy industry, and about distributing the fruits of the energy transition on an equitable basis.

Roadmap to increase solar acceptance

The PV sector has significant implications for the economy, society and the environment. Positive impacts show that PV is a key contributor on the path to sustainability, and that highlighting these benefits could raise social and political acceptance in the transition to sustainable energy.


African PAYG solar companies have hogged 72% of sector’s investment

The first post-pandemic update on the state of the world's off-grid solar industry has painted a picture of domination by European companies, but highlighted the potential for new startups in West Africa and an increasing use of PV as a backup to unreliable grid supplies.

Off-grid solar continues to expand

The off-grid solar sector has shown resilience in the face of pandemic-related challenges, with 70 million people gaining access to electricity from early 2020 to the end of 2021. However, the ability to pay for solar energy kits has taken a hit.

AfDB announces cheap loans to back off-grid solar in Africa

The African Development Bank has announced that European and US donors will provide $20 million of concessional loans to support pay-as-you-go solar companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Irena gives latest update on stark chances of electricity access for all by 2030

The International Renewable Energy Agency’s latest annual report on the progress towards UN sustainable development goal seven estimates 670 million people will still lack electricity in 2030, and more than 2 billion will be reliant on unhealthy, polluting cooking methods.

Poland prioritizes renewables in pandemic-recovery plans

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.

Irena fleshes out chilling effect of Covid on off-grid solar

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.

Markets & Policy


Asia takes the lead on floating PV

Floating PV is consolidating as a growth segment for PV demand, mainly driven by supportive policies and incentives extended by governments across the world. A major reason for this push is the limited land availability in many markets. Despite higher equipment prices compared to ground-mounted installations, developers see the opportunity to save on land and O&M costs. The output can also be as much as 30% higher than a ground-mount PV plant, depending on the site and technology used.

Adani Green commissions 450 MW hybrid wind-solar plant in India

Indian developer Adani Green has commissioned a 450 MW wind-solar power plant in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It has reached 1.44 GW of cumulative hybrid power generation capacity.

Italy expected to install 12 GW of solar in 2023-24 period

Italy’s solar sector is poised for growth over the next two years, according to participants in the recent Italia Solare Forum in Rome. Analysts say they expect the Italian authorities to issue more permits for PV projects, potentially pushing annual installations to 4 GW in 2023 and 8 GW in 2024.

Romanian government accepting proposals for renewables auction

The Romanian Ministry of Energy has started seeking expressions of interest for its first renewables auction, likely to be held the end of June. Developers have until Dec. 30 to express interest.

Finnish mine to host 75 MW/530 MWh underground pumped hydro facility

Suomen Energiavarasto Oy has secured €26.3 million ($27.5 million) from the Finnish government to build an underground pumped hydro project at a former zinc and copper mine.

Germany allocates 609 MW in tender for large-scale solar

Germany concluded its latest renewables tender with a final average price of €0.0580 ($0.06)/kWh, which is slightly higher than the €0.0510 level from the last such exercise. Bids ranged from €0.0520/kWh to €0.0590/kWh.



Australia builds big

While the first half of 2022 was one of the busiest periods on record for new wind projects in Australia, with more than 2 GW breaking ground, solar got off to a much slower start with construction on 635 MW of new PV projects getting underway. Rystad Energy’s David Dixon attributes this slowdown to high cost and supply chain challenges and a lack of available power purchase agreements.

Canadian company unveils portable off-grid solar, battery kit

SEI Logistics has developed a portable, folding solar panel kit with batteries. The system is designed to work in harsh, remote environments.

Sembcorp to deploy more than 400 MW of PV at coal facility in Bangladesh

Singapore’s Sembcorp plans to install several solar plants near 1.4 GW of coal power capacity that developers are now building in Bangladesh.

Sterling & Wilson switches on 162 MW solar plant in Australia

The Australian state of Queensland’s push to source 70% of its energy supplies from renewables by 2032 has received a boost with the completion of the 162 MW Columboola Solar Farm.

US solar assets underperforming, says kWh Analytics

The 2022 Solar Generation Index report shows that solar asset performance is falling below estimates.

Design framework for BIPV shading devices

Canadian researchers have developed a new model to improve the performance of building-integrated PV (BIPV) shades in buildings. They considered solar electricity, heat transferred through windows, and interior daylighting quality.



Copper is the new silver lining

As the PV industry scales to annual terawatt-level production to rapidly curtail the world’s emissions, it will become more challenging to continue the cost reduction trajectory. Increasing module production from current levels of 200 GW to 300 GW to several terawatts each year will consume significantly more material resources than the industry currently uses. This will require consideration of the additional materials to be sourced, writes Alison Lennon, chief scientist at Sundrive Solar and professor at the UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

Selenium solar cell with 5.2% efficiency, 0.99 V open-circuit voltage

Danish researchers have built a selenium solar cell with the highest open-circuit voltage ever reported. They said that with further improvements in the optoelectronic quality of selenium, the device could reach an efficiency of up to 8%.

Monolithic perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells for water splitting

Researchers in the Netherlands have designed a water-splitting system with an electrochemical cell and a 25%-efficient tandem perovskite-silicon solar cell. It can reportedly achieve a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency rating of more than 21%.

The Hydrogen Stream: Global renewables capacity for hydrogen to surge by 2027, says IEA

The International Energy Agency says that it expects the use of renewables to support global hydrogen production to surge over the next five years. The Netherlands and Denmark, meanwhile, have revealed plans to expand electrolysis capacity.

The mobility rEVolution: Lightyear becomes first to launch series production of solar EVs

Acciona Energia is setting up its first V2G network in Spain, ADS-TEC has unveiled a battery-based, all-in-one system with up to 300 kW of charging power, and Volkswagen is looking for a location for its first battery cell factory in North America.

PV-powered residential air-source heat pump with PCM thermal storage

A UK research group has proposed the combination of solar-powered heat pumps and thermal storage based on phase-change materials for residential applications. They said such a system could facilitate cost savings of up to 39%.



Catalyst for an EU comeback

Plans for Europe’s largest-ever PV cell and module factory are taking shape, with equipment orders placed and a projected start date in mid-2024. Enel Green Power has received €118 million ($116.36 million) in funding from the EU Innovation Fund to support the project, out of a total €600 million investment. The EU is hoping it will catalyze further investment in similar projects, and start a high-tech comeback for European solar manufacturing.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Linyang Energy to build 20 GW TOPCon factory

Linyang Energy has revealed plans to build a new solar factory in Jiangsu province, while Daqo has said it will build a new silicon production base in Inner Mongolia.

Enphase to add up to 7.2 GW of US solar microinverter production capacity

Enphase CEO Badri Kothandaraman has said that the company will build four to six new manufacturing lines in the United States.

REC scraps plan to build 4 GW solar module factory in France

REC says it has dropped its plans to set up a factory in France due to “various market changes.” It wanted to invest €680 million ($716 million) to produce heterojunction solar modules in the town of Hambach.

Australian supply chains would benefit from addressing modern slavery issue

Australia’s Clean Energy Council and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright have published a white paper arguing that the country’s renewable energy supply chains could “benefit significantly” from a concerted effort to address forced labor.

Novel approach to thermophotovoltaics could lead to thermodynamic limit

US researchers have developed a new way to design solar thermophotovoltaics (STPV) with a lower efficiency deficit. They claim that the power generation tech could approach the Landsberg limit.

Energy Storage


Cobalt clings on

Cobalt is key for boosting energy density and battery life, but it comes with caveats: expensive, scarce, and linked to unethical mining practices, wild price fluctuations, and a tenuous supply chain. In recent years, battery manufacturers and automakers have intensified efforts to reduce or eliminate cobalt in lithium-ion cathodes. But sometimes, old habits die hard, as pv magazine’s Marija Maisch explains.

US research institute proposes compensation for storage

Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) researchers have developed a new framework to compensate energy storage as a dual-use asset.

Online tool provides answers to complexities of home solar, storage in Australia

The Australian PV Institute (APVI) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have launched a free version of SunSPOT, a tool for tailored guidance on ideal solar and battery setups.

Scientists identify molecules for potential use in redox flow batteries

Scientists at the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) have set up a database of 31,618 molecules that could potentially be used in future redox flow batteries. They used artificial intelligence and supercomputers to identify the properties of the molecules.

Panasonic unveils vehicle-to-home system for PV-powered homes

Panasonic claims that its new vehicle-to-home system can increase the self-consumption rate of residential solar and storage capacity to 90%.

Weekend read: Shining magnate

Mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is the founder and executive chair of Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group. The company has announced an ambitious $6.2 billion decarbonization strategy and its Fortescue Future Industries subsidiary has rapidly become a global player in green hydrogen, along with a host of other energy transition technologies. Whether it is pushing to decarbonize mining, hashing out headline-making green energy deals, or using the popular “Rick and Morty” cartoon to educate people about the potential of green hydrogen, Fortescue and its shining magnate are talking the talk. But can they walk the walk? Blake Matich reports.

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