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LG unveils heat pump for water heating

LG has developed an air source heat pump with the capacity to heat 200 liters to 270 liters of domestic water. It uses R134a as a refrigerant and the pump has a coefficient of performance (COP) of up to 3.85.
Energy Storage

World’s biggest solar, storage project up for sale

Sun Cable, the company behind the world’s largest solar and storage project, has officially gone up for sale after entering voluntary administration in Australia in January. Its administrator, FTI Consulting, is seeking binding offers of acquisition or...
Installations

Only5mins! – Standards in agrivoltaics might limit innovation

Makoto Tajima, an agrivoltaics analyst for Japan's Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), speaks to pv magazine about the growth of agricultural PV in Japan, as well as cost considerations and the pace of technological development.
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Markets & Policy

Canadian Solar reveals plans to set up 14 GW of solar cell, module capacity

Canadian Solar says its cell and module capacity will reach 50 GW by the end of this year.
Markets & Policy

Cadmium selenium telluride solar cell achieves 20% efficiency via bandgap gradient

US scientists have applied bandgap gradient to a cadmium telluride PV cell for the first time. The result is an improvement of its efficiency and open-circuit voltage, and lower non-radiative recombination.
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Markets & Policy

General Electric switches on 1.2 GW pumped hydro facility in China

General Electric has switched on two more 300 MW pumped storage turbines at a 1.2 GW hydro battery complex in China’s Anhui province, after finalizing the facility's first 600 MW unit in December. The project has completed a trial period and commercial...
Energy Storage

Swiss manufacturer unveils mini batteries for balcony solar panels

Soleis AG has developed two storage systems with capacities of 1 KWh and 2 kWh.
Installations

Community solar up, net metering down in US this year

Five US states will introduce community solar programs in 2023. Net metering continues to be challenged, but flexible financing may offer a competitive edge, says Wood Mackenzie.

Press Releases

PowerField sees rapid growth for sustainable and innovative energy solutions by raising circa €500 million

Van Lanschot Kempen is pleased to announce it acted as Sole Financial Advisor to PowerField Netherlands B. V.

TotalEnergies Starts Up its Fourth Solar Power Plant in Japan

TotalEnergies has started up commercial operation of a 51-megawatt (MW) solar power plant located in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, Japan.

Canadian Solar partners with Gardant SGR on its first Italian alternative investment fund

Canadian Solar Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement to sell 30% of the preferred units of the Company's first Italian alternative investment fund to Gardant Investor SGR.

LONGi signs distribution agreements for 500MW of Hi-MO 6 modules at WFES 2023

LONGi has announced that its participation at the 2023 edition of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi saw the signing of several distribution agreements, totalling 500MW, for its new Hi-MO 6 product with regional partners including Power N Sun, Nanosun, AGS, Power City and Noon, as well as other partners from Africa and Central Asia.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Consumers have a right to know the energy make-up of goods

With energy certification already a must-have for any business which makes green energy claims, Ed Everson, chief executive of England-based, global certification company Evident, makes the case for firms to be required to make full disclosure of their energy sources.

The fastest energy change in history

Solar and wind are being installed at a rate that is three times faster than all other new electricity sources combined. This offers compelling market-based evidence that PV and wind are now the most competitive and practical methods for deploying new generating capacity.

Ready for takeoff

Airport PV can provide an instant boost to emission-reduction efforts while work continues on sustainable aviation fuels. Developing solar projects at or near airports, however, is not as straightforward as typical ground-mount installations.

Rethinking soiling

The two dominant methods used in the industry to estimate soiling levels on solar projects go some way in mitigating losses, but there is plenty of scope for more accurate observation.

Will Africa be left behind in the scramble for renewables?

Buoyant predictions about a rosy future for African photovoltaics, based on the continent’s abundant solar resources, continue to overlook the difficulties of securing investment, as Empower New Energy co-founder and CEO Terje Osmundsen explains, referring to a report published by the Africa Solar Industry Association at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today.

Hope springs renewable

Russia is destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, raising questions about how to ensure the safety and function of the country’s energy industry, particularly its nuclear power plants. What role can renewable energy play in such extreme circumstances?

Covid-19

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

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.

Iberdrola, Prosolia secure approval for 1.2 GW of solar in Portugal

Iberdrola says it will build the massive Fernando Pessoa solar facility in Santiago do Cacém, about 200 kilometers south of Lisbon.

Rays Power Infra to build 1.8 GW solar park in India

Rays Power Infra has signed an agreement with the government of the Indian state of Rajasthan to build a 1.8 GW solar park, with an estimated investment of INR 9,140 crore ($1.11 billion).

Deploying solar, storage, heat pumps in the Arctic

US researchers have conducted case studies on the successful deployment of distributed renewables in the state of Alaska. In one study, two cities installed 223.5 kW solar PV arrays coupled with 351 kWh batteries and 250 kW inverters, in addition to cold climate heat pumps.

Only5mins! – PV system prices could drop by around 10% in Europe in 2023

Andreas Thorsheim, the CEO of Norway-based residential solar specialist Otovo, speaks to pv magazine about solar array prices, current market trends for distributed storage, and shortages of qualified professionals.

The Hydrogen Stream: World’s largest hydrogen airplane makes first flight

ZeroAvia tested its new 19-seat hydrogen-powered aircraft, Chinese scientists unveiled new tech to promote bubble removal in electrolyzers, and Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology researchers claimed that the most efficient hydrogen production systems are based on waste heat.

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 lithium iron phosphate batteries for rooftop solar

V-Tac’s new 10 kWh lithium iron phosphate, wall-mounting battery system purportedly runs for more than 5,000 cycles.

Katek unveils silicon carbide inverter for residential applications

Katek, a German PV inverter manufacturer, says its 4.6 kW coolcept fleX inverter features silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors from US-based Navitas Semiconductor. It is smaller and weighs less than non-SiC models.

Netherlands posts another record year for residential PV in 2022

The Netherlands may have deployed 2 GW of new residential solar capacity in 2022, according to provisional figures from grid operators.

Steam-generating heat pump for industrial applications

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) plans to build a heat pump that generates steam at 184 C at 11 bars without using gas. The tech, which uses natural refrigerants, will be used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Only5mins! – Europe may deploy 53 GW of solar this year

pv magazine speaks to Raffaele Rossi, head of market intelligence for SolarPower Europe, about the solar outlook in 2023. He says the European solar market may grow by around 29% compared to 2022.

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.

Australian startup develops systems to inject hydrogen into diesel engines

H2i Technology has developed a hydrogen enhancement kit that injects hydrogen into existing diesel engines to reduce diesel use. It is building 10 commercial-ready systems and plans to soon start field testing.

Zinc-bromine redox flow batteries with superpower density

Indian researchers have presented a new way to develop effective electrode materials for superpower redox flow battery (RFB) systems. Their flow cell with heat-treated nickel-rich platinum-nickel coating on the graphite felt delivered an impressive ever-best power density of around 1,550 mW cm−2.

Silver-alloyed CGIS solar cell with 18.7% efficiency

Swiss scientists have used a minimal amount of silver to alloy the absorber in a thin-film CIGS solar cell. They say this process could help to improve efficiency, open-circuit voltage, and fill factor, while compensating for the low bandgap of the CIGS layer.

Borosil expands solar glass capacity in India

India’s Borosil Renewables has started domestic trial production with its third solar glass furnace, raising its capacity in India to 1,000 tons per day.

Retired coal sites to host multi-day iron-air batteries

Form Energy will install two 10 MW / 1,000 MWh batteries on the sites of Xcel Energy’s former coal-fired plants.

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.

New ‘cushion’ solution to take stress off perovskite solar cells

Scientists in Germany have discovered a polymer compound that, when added to perovskite thin-film precursor materials, wraps itself around the perovskite crystals, acting as a cushion to protect the perovskite structure from thermomechanical stress. They used the additive to fabricate cells with up to 24.6% efficiency, retaining 96% of their initial performance after accelerated testing equivalent to one year in the field.

Former VW boss aims to set up 20 GW vertically integrated PV plant in Europe

In a podcast, former Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess noted the importance of reducing reliance on China in the solar industry. But he said plans to set up production in Europe require state support and the right conditions.

China mulling restrictions on polysilicon, wafer exports

The Chinese government is considering the introduction of export restrictions on solar wafers, black silicon, and silicon casting equipment. It has launched a public consultation process on the proposed measures.

New photovoltaic-thermal solar panel from Spain

Spanish PVT specialist Abora Solar has developed aH72SK modules, which combine solar panels with power conversion efficiencies of 17.8% and a thermal efficiency rating of around 70%. Its total area is 1.96 square meters.

Turkey sets minimum price for solar cell imports

The Turkish government has set a minimum import price of $60/kg, so solar cell imports exceeding this threshold will be subject to import duties. The measure is designed to protect domestic cell manufacturers.

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.

Australian scientists unveil method to produce hydrogen straight from ocean

University of Adelaide researchers and their international partners have successfully used seawater with no pre-treatment to produce green hydrogen. They did this by introducing an acid layer over the catalysts in situ.

US developer moves toward licensing for 900 MW pumped storage project

Developer rPlus Hydro has submitted an application for a final license to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Seminoe project– a milestone reached by only a few pumped storage projects over the last 20 years.

US renewable PPA price increases cool off as material costs fall

Edison Energy says in a new report that prices increased more moderately in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the steep price hikes seen since 2021.

Second-life batteries might beat new ones on solar LCOE in remote locations

UK scientists have discovered that second-life batteries could provide a lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) than conventional batteries in school buildings equipped with PV in East African schools. They said the cheapest system configuration uses either 7.5 kW or 10 kW of solar with 20 kWh of storage.

Puerto Rico could approach 40% renewables by 2025

Rapidly deploying 5.2 GW of planned solar and storage in Puerto Rico, a possibility raised in a report by six national laboratories, would require an improvement in the Puerto Rico utility’s practices. A mandated procurement process has suffered delays at many steps.

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