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Tesla Energy results up, but mixed, for 2021; solar makes nary a sound on quarterly call

On the company’s Q4 earnings call, the world-leading EV manufacturer again prioritized delivering cars over growing low-margin energy storage products, while solar products were barely noted. Both verticals grew though, solar by 68% and storage by 32%.
Markets & Policy

Industry heavyweights look to solid-state battery cells, resources, and recycling

Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with ProLogium to integrate solid-state battery technology into a range of passenger vehicles; Panasonic and Toyota have launched an industrial-academic collaborative research program concerned with battery resources and recyc...
Markets & Policy

European utilities, developers ask the EU to support creation of PV supply chain

A group of companies comprising Akuo Energy, Amarenco, BayWa re, EDF Renouvelables, Enel Green Power, Engie, Iberdrola and Vattenfall has sent a letter to the European Commission to ask for a strategy to build up a continental PV supply chain.
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Markets & Policy

Singapore sovereign wealth fund backs Australian green hydrogen developer

The InterContinental Energy company behind two proposed green hydrogen megaprojects in Western Australia – the 26GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub and the 50GW Western Green Energy Hub – has received the backing of Singapore's US$744 billion sovereign we...
Energy Storage

Long-distance hydrogen interconnectors from an LCOE/LCOS perspective

New research from the U.K. shows the increasing competitiveness of long-distance hydrogen interconnectors over the next three decades. Compared to high-voltage electricity cables, hydrogen interconnectors may soon achieve a much lower levelized cost of s...
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Installations

Coupling photovoltaics with thermoelectric cooling

An international research team has investigated how solar could be combined with thermoelectric coolers (TECs), which are small solid-state heat pumps used either for heating or for cooling. A system was built with six solar panels, an air duct system, f...
Energy Storage

Philippines’ first utility scale battery for grid stabilization

The first 20MW/20MWh battery energy storage system in the 470MW/470MWh portfolio Fluence is deploying for Filipino conglomerate San Miguel Corp has started serving the island nation’s electricity network.
Manufacturing

Perovskite solar cell with 1,400-hour stability at high temperatures

German scientists have developed a perovskite PV cell with remarkable stability by adding a bilayer of polymers that protects the perovskite from corrosion. This design helps to shield the extremely sensitive perovskite interface and provides the cell wi...

Press Releases

LONGi provides full-scenario protection, safeguarding lifecycle reliability

With the technical expertise it has accumulated over the past two decades, LONGi is able to fully commit to providing full scenario product protection, ensuring reliability under all application scenarios.

SENS Italia builds 17 MWp for KGAL

The site is a 23-hectare former quarry in Montecchio Emilia, Italy. Over the coming months, SENS Italia will build a 17 MWp solar park on this extensive site, which will supply the region with approximately 25,000 MWh of regenerative energy per year.

Sungrow Ranks First in 2021 China Top 500 ESG Companies

Sungrow announced that the Company ranked first in the 2021 China Top 500 ESG Companies list released jointly by the well-known organization Sina Finance ESG Rating Center and CCTV-1 "Brand of Great Power" program.

State-of-the-Art Solar Training Centre in Ghana handed over

Vice president Rev. Prof.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Economic and technical feasibility of a storage-as-a-service model using second-life batteries for a commercial end-user

As part of the EU Horizon 2020 CIRCUSOL project, Belgian PV installer and investor Futech investigated the technical and economic feasibility of integrating a second-life battery storage system at an existing 2MW solar plant in Belgium. The system originates from the automotive industry and was successfully commissioned in August 2021.

How artificial intelligence can be used to identify solar panel defects

One of the biggest challenges for non-AI experts is the terminology. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and computer vision (CV) are frequently discussed, but people outside of data science fields often do not know what they mean. Fortunately, it is not that complex: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Computer Vision all generally refer to the same thing, just with more specificity.

2021 was a record-breaking year for European solar, now we must increase ambition

Right before the holiday season, the European Commission unveiled the latest installment of its “Fit for 55” legislative package – plans that aim to put the continent on track to reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. These additional proposals include the Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Package, as well as a revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBDII).

EU to gut the principle of sustainable taxonomy with inclusion of nuclear and gas

The EU’s Sustainable Taxonomy was intended to complement the Green Deal, provide investors with certainty about the sustainability of their investments, and help channel billions into sustainable, low-carbon processes and technologies. Despite input from experts and NGOs, the inclusion of gas and nuclear power just proposed by the Commission suggests that, once again, politics is trumping science.

Brazil heads for a solar installation rush

Brazil’s deployment of distributed generation PV (below 5 MWp) has exploded from a total capacity of 500 MW in 2018 to 7 GW by September of this year. The trigger for this increase, alongside rocketing electricity prices, was the 2019 proposal of law 5829, writes IHS Markit analyst Angel Antonio Cancino. The proposal is expected to pass into law at the end of this year and will gradually introduce grid-access charges for residential and commercial system owners.

A 200 GW solar year in 2022

Structural imbalances in the supply chain and the energy intensity and consumption controls that China imposed in late September have caused prices for most PV module materials and components to continue to rise. Shipping fees and PV plant construction costs also remain high. PV plants in many regions will therefore be postponed until next year, but it remains unclear when module prices will start to fall. Despite these challenges, the global race to cut carbon emissions continues, and InfoLink’s Corrine Lin forecasts a bright future for PV deployments in 2022.

Covid-19

Featured

Solar supply chain trouble to ease this year, according to analyst

Wood Mackenzie has predicted solar equipment cost increases will ease back after last year saw the average cost of solar electricity rise for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region.

Latvian plan to exempt big energy consumers from renewables surcharge approved by EU

The Baltic state has offered energy-intensive, international-facing industries up to an 85% discount on a surcharge levied on electricity consumers since May 2017 and made the scheme wider ranging this year, in a move approved by the European Commission.

China and India to drive record world coal demand next year

Advances in solar power and other clean energy technologies have failed to keep up with demand for electricity as economies rebound from the Covid crisis and China and India’s fossil fuel appetite will ensure the world stays well short of what is needed for a net zero 2050 for at least the next three years.

Solar company’s Christmas party blamed for Omicron-variant Covid outbreak in Oslo

A news article published on Friday stated 13 cases had been confirmed and a senior physician said the working hypothesis was that at least half of the 120 people who attended the event had been infected. pv magazine has contacted Scatec for an update.

‘World’s biggest TOPCon solar plant’ begins generating

Solar manufacturer Jolywood, which supplied almost 500 MW of its bifacial tunnel oxide passivated contact panels for Oman’s Ibri II facility, has claimed the power plant is the biggest to date to deploy the high-efficiency technology.

Solar job numbers kept on rising in 2020

The latest edition of a clean power jobs survey produced by IRENA and the International Labour Organization has stressed the important role which will need to be played by the public sector if the energy transition’s employment benefits are to be shared equally.

Markets & Policy

Featured

What COP26 means for solar

COP26 was either a great success or an abject failure, depending on who you talk to. What matters for the solar industry is the extent to which decisions agreed in the Glasgow Climate Pact are going to change the direction of the energy and financial sectors.

South Korea’s largest PV plant goes online

South Korean energy producer South-East Power has started operating a 150 MW solar plant in South Jeolla province. The project was partly backed by crowdfunding among local residents.

GCL wants note holders to back switch to gas-fired hydrogen

The Chinese solar developer, which has sold off four-fifths of its PV project capacity to state-owned entities, wants the permission of the holders of $420 million of 2024 senior notes to change the terms of their investment so it can buy Ethiopian natural gas from a connected business.

European Court of Justice: Solar manufacturers not liable for waste costs for panels shipped to EU before Aug. 2012

A preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice states panel makers should not be responsible for electrical waste management costs in a seven-year period as the rules in place before the EU’s WEEE directive entered force, in 2012, permitted member states to place the obligation on panel users instead. The resulting change in law, in some states, cannot be applied retroactively, under EU legal rules.

Frans Timmermans: ‘In some places in Africa gas will be part of the energy mix and that is also part of the transition’

A speech delivered by the European Commission’s executive VP for the European Green Deal reiterated the EU executive’s belief natural gas will play a part in the energy transition, 24 hours before a member of an advisory panel hit out at plans to deem gas and nuclear sustainable energy sources.

Solar the fastest growing European clean power source

The latest numbers released by EU data body Eurostat indicate renewables, including hydropower, contributed 37% of Europe’s gross electricity consumption in 2020, up from 34% a year earlier.

Installations

Featured

BIPV no refuge

Deployment in the building integrated PV segment is accelerating, and so too are the number of solar products available to architects and developers. And while BIPV had long been the segment in which an array of thin-film technologies could shine, they are now in increasingly stiff competition with crystalline silicon rivals.

Western Australian solar farm leads way in performance stakes

SUN Energy’s 100 MW Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia has emerged as the country’s best performing utility-scale PV project in 2021. International consultancy Rystad Energy says it has delivered an average capacity factor of 29.6% for the calendar year.

Solar noise barrier along highway in Massachusetts

A massive solar noise barrier in the US state of Massachusetts is expected to generate 802,000kWh of electricity per year, or the equivalent of annually supplying 120 homes with power.

Italy’s steeplechase towards battery deployment

In the next ten years, according to Milanese consultant REF-E’s simulations, storage in Italy will mostly be driven by opportunities in the ancillary services market. After 2030, when renewables will provide most electricity, REF-E believes the price spread between different hours of the day should be high enough to cover the cost-per-cycle of energy-intensive storage. REF-E chief executive Virginia Canazza discussed the topic with pv magazine.

Arctech: 2022 will be a year of solar opportunities and challenges

Allen Cao, General Manager of International Business at Arctech speaks to pv magazine about the solar supply chain challenges experienced in 2021 and how he believes the market will evolve this year. Overall, he says the industry could see a sharp rise in year-on-year PV installation capacity as prices start to come down. BIPV is also discussed as being a hot topic for the Chinese highly power-consuming industries.

Solar park on Chinese fish pond achieves LCOE of $0.022/kWh

The 120MW facility is selling power to State Grid Corporation of China at a price of RMB0.453/kWh ($0.0762). It relies on 21.2%-efficient JT SSh(B) 450W/455W high-efficiency dual-glass panels provided by Chinese manufacturer Jetion.

Technology

Featured

Finding faults faster

PV cell and module manufacturers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to monitor production lines and the products coming off them in minute detail. As inline monitoring and testing equipment become more sophisticated, cell and module makers must be prepared to manage the enormous amounts of data and pull out the points that will save them time and money. pv magazine examines the software solutions backing state-of-the-art PV production.

Europe’s largest battery storage project leverages grid-forming inverter tech

Toronto-based developer Amp Energy has had the green light to install two 400MW batteries in central Scotland which have been touted as the largest grid-connected battery storage facilities in Europe. The projects will deploy grid-forming inverters and be coupled with two synchronous condensers.

The fine art of gettering

Scientists in Australia have analyzed the state-of-the-art of all gettering technologies used in the solar industry. This technique, which is aimed at reducing defects in wafer manufacturing, may become more important in the future, as cell efficiencies increase and become increasingly sensitive to traces of metallic impurities.

PV module cooling techniques at a glance

Egyptian researchers have analyzed all cooling techniques for solar module cooling. Their review includes passive and active cooling methods, cooling with phase change materials (PCMs), and cooling with PCM and other additives, such as nanoparticles or porous metal.

Enel mulls building heterojunction solar module factory in the US

In a recent media brief, new Enel Green Power CEO Salvatore Bernabei said the company’s heterojunction solar module factory in southern Italy will be scaled up from 200MW to 3GW by mid-2024. He also revealed that another factory may be built abroad, with the United States being a possible location.

Nickel-zinc batteries for large scale backup power

Nickel-zinc batteries will be coupled with geothermal power to support 30MW of critical IT load at a data center in Wyoming, in the US. The batteries’ lifespan can be up to 15 years, while its roundtrip efficiency stands at 85%.

Manufacturing

Featured

All eyes upstream

The United States faces a number of compelling issues in its push to expand solar. Clean Energy Associates CEO Andy Klump recently spoke to pv magazine about supply chains, domestic manufacturing, climate change, and COP.

Most popular PV panel, inverter brands for Australia in 2021

SunWiz has identified the most popular solar panel and inverter brands in the Australian market. In total, 5.2 GW of solar was installed in Australia in 2021, putting the country’s cumulative tally at 26.9 GW.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Longi was the world’s largest module manufacturer in 2021

According to PVInfolink, the top 10 solar manufacturers accounted for over 160GW of shipments or a global market share of 90% in 2021.

Huge aluminum demand expected in solar industry, concerns arise on emissions

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) predict that growth to 60TW of photovoltaics needed to rapidly reduce emissions to ‘net zero’ and limit global warming to <2 °C could require up to 486 Mt of aluminium by 2050. A key concern for this large aluminium demand is its large global warming potential.

Sharp introduces 410 W half-cut panel with 21% efficiency

The panel features 108 half-cells based on M10 wafers and a 10-busbar design. Its operating temperature coefficient is -0.341% per degree Celsius and its power tolerance reaches up to 5%.

Low-cost deposition tech for perovskite solar cells

Italian and Iranian researchers have developed the new “deposition via an antisolvent-soaked applicator” technique, which they describe as an easily scalable process to produce uniform, pinhole-free perovskite films. They tested the process on a 6.7%-efficient solar cell based on a polyethylene terephthalate substrate, raising its power conversion efficiency by 82%.

Energy Storage

Featured

Making cheaper H2

The hype surrounding green hydrogen is real, but does the cost-reduction outlook for its production technologies live up to it? Christian Roselund looks at the technology, transportation, application and enabling policies behind the promising green energy carrier.

The Hydrogen Stream: Electrolyzer sales expected to quadruple this year

According to BloombergNEF, electrolyzer shipments may reach up to 2.5GW in 2022, up significantly from 458MW last year. China and the United States will become the world’s first and second markets, respectively.

Atess unveils battery with active balancing technology

The Chinese manufacturer has upgraded its commercial application battery with a dissipative balancing technology that, it is claimed, will make the storage system suitable for different load conditions. Each battery module is sold with a capacity ranging from 100 to 200Ah and a storage capacity of 7.68kWh.

Africa’s winners and losers in the bid to go solar

While East Africa – and Kenya is particular – has made great strides in the provision of off-grid solar systems, Central Africa is a long way behind, according to a new report from IRENA and the African Development Bank. In terms of investment, the study’s authors wrote, much, much more will be required to achieve universal electricity access this decade.

Spanish start-up unveils 1kWh portable battery for multiple uses

The portable storage system contains lithium batteries, a charger, and an inverter, all fully integrated into a sealed and protective case.

Zinc-air battery, CHP and PV to power apartment complex in New York

A 100kW/1.5MWh zinc-air battery will be installed in Queens, New York, in combination with a combined heat and power system and a PV array. The pilot project is intended to demonstrate the long-duration energy storage capability of the zinc-air battery.

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