Top News

First Solar posts strong Q4 results, announces 445 W module

Strong net sales, 1.6 GW of bookings, plans for a 445 W panel, and environmental recognition for the Series 6 line point to another successful quarter.
Markets & Policy

Hungary’s second renewables auction attracts lowest bid of $0.0523/kWh

According to the Hungarian authorities, 253 of the procurement exercise's 255 pre-selected projects are for photovoltaic plants. Around 390 GWh will be contracted in an auction that has been significantly oversubscribed.
Installations

Cape Town mayor Plato anything but philosophical about Eskom power

The city's executive mayor has said his officials are working with staff at the national Treasury to draw up a program for municipalities across the nation to turn to independent generators for electricity.
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Manufacturing

Canadian Solar launches 640-665 W panel series

The HiKu7 CS 7N-MS series is available with power output ranging from 640-665 W and efficiency ranging from 20.6-21.4%. The panel, which is the most powerful product the company brought to the market to date, is considered ideal for utility-scale and com...
Markets & Policy

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Stable wafer and cell prices and another 2.2 GW solar-plus-storage project

Solar manufacturers Longi and Tongwei have frozen next month's prices.
Hydrogen

Engie EPS deploys ‘power-to-power’ hydrogen-based storage solution

Engie's storage subsidiary has unveiled its hydrogen-based energy storage system, built with its proprietary technology, in Agkistro, Greece.
Technology

UK utility trials ‘world first’ renewables-friendly energy market

UK Power Networks' 'Power Potential' project offers small scale generators the chance to be rewarded for voltage-balancing reactive-power services alongside traditional power stations.
Markets & Policy

Fraunhofer to develop battery inverter for whole-area UPS and renewables integration

Industrial and academic partners are developing a battery inverter which can be grid connected under normal operation but can also use nearby renewables generators to form an island grid, for whole-area uninterrupted power supply.
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Press Releases

DHYBRID implements fail-safe grid concept for Sri Lanka’s leading utility company

The off-grid experts at DHYBRID have taken a pioneering approach to the power grid in Sri Lanka. Their pilot project connects stand-alone grids to ensure a fail-safe supply of renewable power that can be utilized throughout the distribution area and expanded at any time.

ML System strengthens its position in Benelux and enters a new market – Canada

ML System strengthens its position in Benelux countries. The company will deliver several hundred glass-glass modules to its business partner from Amsterdam, who is constructing 73-meter building in the neighborhood of the Amstel river.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids Wins Major Order to Support Sub-Saharan Africa’s Largest Solar Venture in Angola

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been contracted by MCA to contribute to the development of Sub-Saharan Africa's largest photovoltaic project, increasing access to reliable and clean energy for Angola's 30 million people

Mibet to Expand Business via Virtual Exhibition under Pandemic

As the spreading of the novel coronavirus world widely, face to face business is greatly affected. Especially, the strict international travel bans stopped most important business activities including personnel sales and marketing which hit many companies badly.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

N-type market growth

Several manufacturers recently brought average mono PERC cell efficiency to 22.5%, and efficiencies will likely go beyond 22.6% in the second half of this year. This suggests that p-PERC cell efficiency could be brought closer to that of n-type, making it more difficult for n-type cells to compete in the increasingly challenging market. Taking costs and market conditions into account, most manufacturers have slowed their capacity expansion plans, leading to a gap between actual output and production capacity. PV InfoLink’s Wells Wang sheds some light on n-type trends in 2020.

Hydrogen and lithium-ion: Europe’s key to a green recovery

The promise of hydrogen as the energy source of the future has long been deliberated by manufacturers, climate professionals, and political figures. These discussions have intensified following the European Commission’s economic recovery package, which features a focus on kick-starting a clean hydrogen economy in Europe. Nikolaos Tsiouvaras, R&D director at Systems Sunlight S.A., a Greek manufacturer of industrial and advanced technology batteries for the energy storage industry, explores storage in Europe.

Reshuffle at the top, as new markets arise

A new wave of consolidation and some reshuffling is underway among market leaders in the solar EPC space, writes IHS Markit’s Josefin Berg. In 2019, the 30 largest EPC providers globally installed 28 GW of non-residential PV, representing 26% of the total market. This increase from 21% in 2018 stems mainly from a growing concentration in the Chinese PV market, as well as integrator concentration in rapidly growing markets like Spain and Vietnam.

Mitigating supply chain risks

Rajendra Khandalkar, group head of supply chain management at India-based infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction services company Sterling and Wilson, has spoken to pv magazine India about learning from the Covid-19 crisis and the importance of smart supplier management to bolster company resilience.

Safely meeting demand for renewable energy with innovative material design for health and sustainability

Clean energy is critical to solving our climate crisis. But we need to consider the full environmental and human health impacts of solar energy generation across its entire lifecycle, including mining, manufacturing, use, decommissioning and recycling. This requires us to identify critical stages in the production process, and how choices in materials and chemicals at different stages of production influence each other.

The future of solar PPAs in Turkey

Both the current status, and the future of, solar PPAs in the Turkish market as a key tool for increasing PV capacity has become a widely discussed topic. This is particularly due to the fact that after mid-2021, the future of YEKDEM (Turkey’s local FIT regime) is uncertain. The incentives could be lower than expected, or even unavailable for some technologies. This has raised the question of alternative financing mechanisms with respect to new investments.

Covid-19

Featured

India added 883 MW of rooftop solar in nine months despite Covid-19

With 380 MW of generation capacity, the state of Gujarat accounted for 43% of new rooftop solar installations during the January-to-September period.

African governments doing too little to drive clean energy

Covid-19 rescue measures such as delaying electricity bill payments pile added pressure onto energy companies already hit by pandemic-related falls in demand in a continent which a new study suggests is too dependent on donor aid for the development of renewables.

Corporate funding for battery storage up 75%

Analysts at Mercom Capital Group have tallied up corporate funding, venture capital and debt and public market investment for battery storage, smart grids and energy efficiency companies. From a financial perspective, the industry appears resilient to the Covid-19 crisis and ready to grow further.

Solar generation retreats as hydro and wind lead Euro renewables dominance

Clean energy electricity generation surpassed that from nuclear and fossil fuels for the sixth successive quarter in the July-to-September window, according to data analyst Enappsys, but Europe saw a fall in solar output and demand patterns at the end of the window may presage a second wave of Covid-19.

Fall in off-grid solar sales deprives 5m people of access to clean power

The latest edition of the Global Off-grid Solar Market Report by the World Bank and GOGLA has called for regulatory and financial support to help off-grid distributors create jobs lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state of European energy

The proportion of clean energy consumed in the EU continues to rise but the European Commission’s State of the Energy Union report is critical of failings in energy efficiency, low-carbon-R&D spending, and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Starting a new industry

As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.

China could annually deploy 65 GW of PV in 2021-25 period

Liu Yiyang, deputy general secretary of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, believes that PV development will accelerate under the nation’s 2060 carbon-neutrality target.

Enel leads charge of non-solar-specialists climbing PV developer ranking

The Italian energy company has developed four big solar plants in the last 21 months to add 794 MW of generation capacity to its 3.67 GW solar portfolio and is emblematic of companies from the wider energy sector focusing on the renewable technology.

World Bank offers $4.6m credit for off-grid solar panels and cook stoves in Kenya

Part of the development lender’s $150 million Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Program, the money will enable distributors to stock up and establish sales networks as well as offering affordable repayment terms to customers across 14 off-grid counties in the East African nation.

Fiji plans ‘Pacific’s largest solar project’

The island nation has agreed a deal with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to develop at least 15 MW of generation capacity in a US$15 million project.

Israeli government greenlights plan to add 15 GW of solar by 2030

The plan envisages to reach a 30% share of renewable energies in the country’s electricity mix by 2030. An intermediate target of 20% has been set for 2025.

Installations

Featured

Investing in PowerBanks for high returns

Western Australia is soaked in sunshine, and PV uptake is challenging the grid. But small numbers of medium-sized community batteries are taking the heat off the system, while helping more people to reap the dividends of rooftop solar PV.

Australia’s largest solar farm goes ahead as Neoen wraps up financing

Construction will soon start on the massive 460 MW Western Downs Green Power Hub in Queensland, as Neoen has achieved financial close.

Australia’s 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub plan gains momentum

The proposed 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub in Western Australia gained federal government support last week. Construction is expected to start in 2026.

Huge solar carport for Disneyland Paris

A new 17 MW solar array is expected to cover around 17% of the theme park’s electricity needs. Completion is scheduled for 2023.

The weekend read: The ground beneath

A number of drivers are highlighting the importance of vegetation management in utility-scale solar projects, from coupling with agriculture to the significance of pollinators, as well as the related permitting and O&M benefits. Tom Karas of Minnesota Native Landscapes sets out why awareness of comprehensive vegetation management is of growing importance in the solar sector.

Satellite data guides module technology choice for different climates and regions

A team of researchers analyzed irradiance spectra using satellite data. The research aimed at determining how different module technologies like silicon, hetero-junction, perovskite and CdTe cope in different geographies and weather conditions.

Technology

Featured

The state of solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries hold the potential to overcome many of the limitations of today’s lithium-ion storage technologies. Though they have been a research topic for more than 30 years, and more recently have seen billions of dollars poured into their development by leading carmakers and electronics giants, commercial development is still extremely limited. Major roadblocks remain in the way of both device performance and industrial-scale processing. pv magazine recently caught up with solid-state’s research community for a look at where the technology stands.

Can CIGS thin-film PV manufacturing return in the US?

A scientist familiar with First Solar’s earlier efforts in CIGS makes the case for the CdTe pioneer to return to the technology.

Meyer Burger, CSEM to develop new PV cells, modules

Meyer Burger has extended its seven-year tie-up with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology by three years. They aim to achieve module-level production efficiencies of more than 24%, while also cutting costs.

The best PV module cooling technique

An international research team has analyzed all existing cooling technologies for PV panels and has indicated the current best options and future trends of research. According to its findings, active water cooling, although expensive and not particularly practical, is the most effective cooling technique while passive cooling systems, despite being easy to apply, have still limited possibilities.

Canadian Solar preps to launch 600+ W module

Bigger PV module designs are now hitting the market, but the production of larger, more powerful solar panels is challenging. Canadian Solar is launching its new Series 7 modules with pv magazine in a webinar on Oct. 29. Our editorial team recently caught up with Canadian Solar’s chairman and CEO, Shawn Qu, and director of module R&D, Alan Xu, to discuss the company’s latest efforts to shake up the market.

A chemical tune up for better perovskites

Scientists in the United States took a closer look at the way charges move through a perovskite material, and found that replacing hydrogen in the material with a heavier isotope can both reduce thermal conductivity and increase carrier lifetime, potentially leading to more efficient solar cells. And the group expects continuing study of charge states and molecule dynamics to yield further important discoveries.

Manufacturing

Featured

Coming around

Given the number of batteries (primarily lithium-ion) that are required to decarbonize the power and mobility sectors, the industry is now preparing for a mountain of battery waste. Recycling is technically feasible, but is also subject to sensitive economics. The framework in which recycling companies can achieve the best life-cycle costs for batteries needs to be carefully enabled through policy – and it will likely include a mixture of technologies and business models, in order to allow life-cycle emissions of batteries to be brought down.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Beijing reluctant to ease restrictions on PV glass sector

China will not ease restrictions on new investments in additional PV glass production capacity, according to a newly published draft document from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Bayesian algorithm to reduce LCOE of bifacial projects

German researchers have proposed a new model, based on a range of parameters, to influence the LCOE of bifacial PV plants, with a focus on components, land costs, inclination angles, albedo, and weather conditions.

France to support BIPV solar tiles with additional incentives

Barbara Pompili, the French minister of ecological transition, recently announced new bonus incentives for BIPV projects during a visit to a Sunstyle factory that aims to produce 1 GW of “Made in France” solar tiles by 2025.

A stress test for all seasons

Scientists led by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new stress testing protocol for PV modules, one designed to simultaneously expose modules to multiple stresses, as they likely would be in the field. Putting modules through this test, the researchers have already been able to reveal new information regarding backsheet degradation, and they promise new insights into other degradation mechanisms both known and unknown as well.

Update of the ITRPV roadmap shows three wafer formats will prevail

In an update to its International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics, the German engineering association the VDMA said that solar module sizes of up to 4.0m² may be brought to mass production in the future.

Energy Storage

Featured

Long-duration storage advances, but regulators need more time

Lithium-ion batteries can do a great job of load shifting to balance solar’s midday peak, while also providing other stability services to the grid. But when it comes to really balancing an energy system that’s led by intermittent renewables, energy storage for longer durations can give system operators a lot more to work with. pv magazine takes a look at some of the technologies promising to fill this gap.

Australian green hydrogen project secures first commercial offtaker

BOC will compress green hydrogen produced at HyP SA, which taps South Australian solar generation.

Italian utility Snam invests in hydrogen

The energy company has invested €33 million in UK-based electrolyzer maker ITM and has started a cooperation with the Italian railway operator to test joint hydrogen solutions for transport.

France launches tenders for hydrogen projects

The French authorities have launched two tenders for projects, in line with a new national plan to develop carbon-free hydrogen, announced Sept. 8.

Organic redox flow battery with PEDOT electrodes

Swedish scientists have developed a redox flow battery with polymer electrodes, based on a special conductive polymer known as PEDOT. The battery features a water-based electrolyte based on a solution of redox quinone molecules, which can be extracted from forest-based materials.

BayWa r.e and Alliander develop solar-plus-hydrogen in northern Netherlands

The pilot project, consisting of a 50 MW solar plant and a utility scale electrolyzer, is planned to test how this combination may help reduce grid constraints in the country.