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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 has closed its last PV module factory in Europe, as it cannot remain competitive due to its small size and high raw material costs.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Boston-based startup Form Energy has raised $450 million in a new Series E financing round.
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.
Developers recently commissioned two different wine-related agrivoltaic projects in Europe.
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 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%.
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.
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.
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’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’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.
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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