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Portugal’s first solar energy community yields results

The first renewable energy community in Portugal was inaugurated in August 2021 in Miranda do Douro, a rural village in the north. One year on, pv magazine spoke with the company behind the project to assess its status. With a production capacity of 73.3 kWp, solar has saved the community €31,500 ($30,850) on electricity bills.
Energy Storage

The Hydrogen Stream: South Korean scientists achieve photocurrent density of 19.8 mA cm−2 in PEC cell for water splitting

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology researchers have unveiled designs for advanced solar hydrogen production systems to broaden the application of LC biomass. Mitsubishi has started building the world's first validation center for hydrogen...
Installations

Statcon Energiaa launches plug-and-play microgrid inverter solution

India’s Statcon Energiaa has developed an outdoor inverter solution for microgrids that can integrate multiple energy sources, including renewables (biomass, wind, hydro and solar), battery storage, and diesel generators. It can deliver continuous, vol...
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Markets & Policy

Zinc-cerium redox flow battery for renewable energy storage

Scientists in Hong Kong have designed a redox flow battery with electrolytes made of zinc and cerium. They claim to have solved the incompatibility issue posed by these two elements. The device achieved a record average Coulombic efficiency of 94% during...
Markets & Policy

Large-scale battery to support German power network

An energy transmission system operator (TSO) has announced plans to install a 250 MW battery project in Kupferzell, Germany, in order to transmit wind power from the northern part of the country to the south.
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Installations

Storage could reshape solar market in MENA

Waleed AlHallaj, the head of business development for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at JinkoSolar, recently spoke to pv magazine about the prospects for the regional energy storage market. He said that storage systems have already penetr...
Markets & Policy

Ripple effects of EU revenue cap on renewable energy

The European Union’s much-needed emergency measures to tackle the ongoing energy crisis may have unintended consequences for the region's renewable energy ambitions, warn analysts, but the impact on power purchase agreements will likely vary, depending...
Highlights

Waaree Energies raises $122.4 million to expand solar manufacturing

Indian solar manufacturer Waaree Energies has raised INR 1,000 crore ($122.4 million) from a number of private investors to support its module capacity expansion to 9 GW and its new cell line to 5.4 GW.

Press Releases

SIG Building Solutions enters solar car parking structure market

SIG Building Solutions has entered the solar car parking structure market with a range of designs developed to help private and public sector organisations with large parking facilities to capitalise on the opportunities the structures provide for generating solar energy and reducing their carbon footprint.

Inauguration Ceremony for Solar Power Generation Facility at Hitachi Astemo Bekasi, Indonesia

PT Hitachi Astemo Bekasi Manufacturing, located in Bekasi, West Java, Republic of Indonesia, a group company of Hitachi Astemo, Ltd. , held an inauguration ceremony for a roof-installed solar power generation facility today, October 7.

Portuguese company specialized in liquid technology for solar panels breaks ground in the US market

The now years old ChemiTek has entered the North American market with its innovative, sustainable, and certified solutions for removing contaminants and protecting solar panels, making its energy production more efficient. Nowadays, 35 countries around the World are using ChemiTek products in solar plants.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

How O&M can ease the issue of scaling in solar PV

There is a growing trend in the European renewable energy space that will likely give us a great overview of the future of the industry. As the industry scales up, we are seeing more big players emerge, who are investing in and managing multiple solar PV plants.

Solar energy tax credits are a boon to blockchain technology solutions

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law by US President Joe Biden, represents the single largest investment in clean energy, GHG emissions reduction, and climate resilience in the country’s history by providing around US$370 billion for green energy tax credits and other incentives to spur large-scale development of solar energy technologies to electrify the US’s digitization.

A game-changer for PPA markets

Extreme volatility and high prices recorded on energy markets, coupled with inflation, and soaring interest rates are impacting long term power purchase agreements. Still there is a way to the success and signing of contracts.

Solar power plants with smart batteries: It’s just a matter of time

At the end of 2021, the total capacity of the solar power plants throughout the world was estimated to be 940 GW. According to the forecasts of solar association SolarPower Europe, the total capacity could reach 2 TW by 2025. With the rapidly growing popularity of solar power plants, experts predict that the next breakthrough in this sector will be smart batteries. In the future, solar power plants will not be able to operate without them.

Strengthening consumer protection in the off-grid solar industry

Almost half a billion people are served by the off-grid solar industry, and a growing number of these via Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) asset financing. For many consumers, not only is the solar product their first access to modern energy but it may also be their first access to finance. The impact of this can be huge – the 60 Decibels Energy Benchmark reveals that 92% of consumers report an improvement in quality of life after purchasing their off-grid solar (OGS) product. On the other hand, consumers of OGS are exposed to product, service, and financial risk that companies must mitigate and balance with sustainable growth objectives. 

Why is green energy infrastructure booming despite global economic woes?

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.

Covid-19

Featured

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.

Indebted Chinese developer spells out obligations in unaudited figures

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.

The sun is still shining on poly makers but solar developers struggling in China

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.

Markets & Policy

Featured

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.

RE-Source 2022: EU revenue cap hamstrings PPA market in hour of need

The RE-Source 2022 event is taking place this week in Amsterdam amidst what is being described as “the perfect storm” of challenges for the European PPA market. Prices have skyrocketed, permitting continues to hamper accelerated development, and a new European Commission policy decision has only added to the inertia in the market.  

Rio Tinto unit signs up for 148 MW of solar

Richards Bay Minerals has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with French renewables developer Voltalia, which plans to build a 148 MW solar project in South Africa’s Limpopo province.

Italian government loosens permits for more large-scale renewables

The Italian government has decided to unlock 314 MW of new renewable energy projects, including a 60 MW agrivoltaic plant in the southern region of Apulia.

Maxeon shuts down French solar module factory

Maxeon has closed its last PV module factory in Europe, as it cannot remain competitive due to its small size and high raw material costs.

World’s largest compressed air energy storage project goes online in China

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has switched on a 100 MW compressed air energy storage system in China’s Hebei province. The facility can store more than 132 million kWh of electricity per year.

Installations

Featured

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.

New solar tiles from Germany

Creaton and Autarq have developed a modular solar tile for complex rooftops. The product is reportedly compatible with all common PV inverters.

Enel Green Power, INES develop DC/DC MPPT converter for solar panels

Enel Green Power’s initial tests show that the addition of DC/DC MPPT converters to a pilot PV plant has driven a 1% energy production gain. It now plans to deploy the solution on a 1 MW power plant in Italy.

Australia’s first solar-powered cryptocurrency-mining center to combat curtailment

The operators of an energy-intensive, cryptocurrency-mining facility in Whyalla, Australia, believe they can offer a solution to the curtailment issues that haunt many developers of solar projects in the National Electricity Market.

US electric truck company activates solar canopy charging yard

Rivian’s electric trucks will receive their first charge at the company’s US factory, from renewable energy produced by a 783 kW solar parking canopy.

Equity investment to back 150 MW of commercial solar in Africa

Norwegian developer Empower New Energy has secured $74 million of mostly public funds from investors and will top it up to build a $100 million, three-year cash pile.

Technology

Featured

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.

Fraunhofer ISE develops direct metallization tech for heterojunction solar cells

Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE is applying its FlexTrail-printing technology to the direct metallization of silicon heterojunction solar cells. It said the technique reduces the use of silver, while maintaining high efficiency levels.

NeoSol unveils 550 W mono PERC solar modules

Indian solar manufacturer NeoSol has unveiled its Black Pearls series of mono PERC modules. The power outputs range from 535 W to 550 W, with power conversion efficiency ratings between 20.7% and 21.33%.

Aptera’s solar car to use Maxeon PV cells

Aptera’s solar electric vehicle, equipped with almost 700 W of PV cells, can drive up to 40 miles (64 km) on solar alone, or 1,000 miles on batteries.

Perovskite solar cell with copper electrode hits 20.1% efficiency

Chinese researchers have developed a new solar cell with a planar n-i-p structure and an indium tin oxide (ITO) substrate. It also has a tin(IV) oxide (SnO2) buffer layer, a perovskite layer, a hole transport layer (HTL), and a layer made of copper. It was able to retain around 92% of its initial efficiency after 1,000 hours.

Iron-air battery startup nets $450 million investment

Boston-based startup Form Energy has raised $450 million in a new Series E financing round.

Manufacturing

Featured

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.

Meyer Burger secures $255.2 million to scale up production capacity to 3 GW

Swiss PV manufacturer Meyer Burger says it wants to rapidly expand its production of heterojunction solar cells and modules, following its recent supply agreement with US project developer DESRI.

Agrivoltaics for vineyards

Developers recently commissioned two different wine-related agrivoltaic projects in Europe.

Heterojunction solar cell based on new black silicon achieves 7.5% efficiency

Russian researchers have developed a heterojunction device based on a new wide-band black material called “black silicide.” The cell has averaged reflection (AVR) of 15% in the spectral range of 200 nanometers to 1,800 nm and purportedly can reach an efficiency of 10%.

Premier Energies unveils India’s first M10 bifacial solar cell

Premier Energies has become India’s first solar manufacturer to develop a bifacial monocrystalline silicon PERC solar cell based on the 182 mm format. The cell has an efficiency rating of up to 23.2%.

Morningstar unveils DC/AC inverters for off-grid applications

US-based solar controller producer Morningstar has launched a new line of off-grid inverters, featuring six models ranging from 150 W to 2,500 W. Production and deliveries are scheduled to start this year.

Energy Storage

Featured

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.

Neoen completes financing for 100 MW/200 MWh battery in Australia

French renewables developer Neoen has completed the financing for its 100 MW/200 MWh “Capital Battery” in Canberra, Australia. It said the project is now on track to be operational in the first half of 2023.

The Hydrogen Stream: Biotech startup targets hydrogen production from depleted wells at $1/kg

Cemvita claims it can produce hydrogen at the “lowest possible cost,” Deutsche Bahn and Fortescue Future Industries have announced plans to jointly modify diesel engines for locomotives, and the Canadian province of Alberta has started promoting its hydrogen potential in Japan.

Panasonic brings air-to-water heat pumps to Europe

Panasonic’s new heat pump can supply domestic hot water, heating and cooling from a single, integrated unit. It can also synchronize with the Japanese company’s PV panels and its CZ-NS4P technology printed circuit board technology, while also ensuring smart-grid compatibility.

Puerto Rico launches tender for 1 GW of renewables, 500 MW of storage

Puerto Rico’s latest procurement exercise is the second round of a tender scheme designed to allocate 3.75 GW of renewablesd capacity and 1.5 GW of storage.

Dutch startup stabilizes Netherlands’ grid with 9 MWh battery-flywheel storage facility

S4 Energy and ABB recently installed a hybrid battery-flywheel storage facility in the Netherlands. The project features a 10 MW battery system and a 3 MW flywheel system and can reportedly offer a levelized cost of storage ranging between €0.020 ($0.020)/kWh and €0.12/kWh.

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