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 world’s energy sector is concentrated in solar, wind, electricity transmission/distribution and hydroelectric power. For example, investment in solar power plants alone is higher than investment in natural gas, coal-fired and nuclear power plants combined. This is encouraging, but another fact is worrying: China’s exports of solar modules to Europe in the first four months of 2022 were 2.5 times higher compared to 2021. In April alone, nearly 8 GW of solar modules worth more than €2 billion were imported from China into Europe.
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.
India’s Adani Solar will expand its PV cell and module manufacturing capacity to 10 GW per year by 2025, with backward integration up to the polysilicon stage.
European Union energy ministers will meet in a special session in Brussels on Friday to discuss deep cuts to the gas and electricity markets. A non-public paper obtained by pv magazine shows the Commission’s proposal, which includes a triad of reduced prices, consumption reduction, and solidarity-based distribution of energy within the EU.
Brookfield Renewable is set to invest up to $2 billion in Standard Solar and Scout Clean Energy, bringing its development portfolio to 60 GW.
Energy Dome has entered into a partnership with Ørsted to run a feasibility study on the deployment of at least one 20 MW/200 MWh energy storage facility featuring its carbon dioxide (CO2) battery technology. The first facility will have a 10-hour storage capacity and construction could begin in the second half of 2024.
Italy’s energy agency has awarded 293.7 MW of solar capacity at four locations and 119.5 MW of wind in its latest auction. All of the developers offered a maximum discount ranging from 2% to 2.5% off the auction ceiling price of €0.065 ($0.063)/kWh.
Multiple factors affect the productive lifespan of a residential solar panel. In the first part of this series, we look at the solar panels themselves.
India-based Emmvee has unveiled its Sapphire line of glass-to-glass bifacial modules, with power outputs ranging from 530 W to 545 W. The modules are built with 144 mono PERC half cells and 10 busbars.
The European Commission’s merger and acquisitions body is running the rule over a plan by New York-based Blackstone Capital to take joint ownership of expansionary Esdec Solar, alongside private equity group Rivean.
Lagos-based Daystar Power is targeting 400 MW of installed generation capacity by 2025, after being acquired by Shell mere days after the Starsight-SolarAfrica merger announcement.
Rob Jetten, the Dutch energy minister, said the nation’s energy suppliers should implement billing practices for net-metered solar on a yearly basis, and not on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Saft, a unit of TotalEnergies, has launched a new LFP battery storage system that is optimized for time-shifting applications.
Toshiba has revealed that it has improved the power conversion efficiency of a transparent cuprous oxide solar cell to 9.5%, from the 8.4% mark it reached in December 2021. It enlarged the cell and suppressed carrier recombination at the edge of the cuprous oxide (Cu2O) generation layer, which usually causes generation efficiency degradation.
US researchers have discovered an appropriate solvent design for the application of a 2D top layer on a perovskite solar cell. The cells incorporate the stability of 2D perovskite cells and the efficiency of 3D cells without destroying the 3D bottom layer, which brings them closer to commercialization.
Verdagy has reported a levelized cost of green hydrogen (LCOH) below $3.00/kg for its anion exchange membrane (AEM). The California-based company said it can now launch commercial operations.
Polar Developments revealed its new scalable PV array at the recent AUTOPIA event in Spain.
India’s Jakson Green will expand its solar module and cell manufacturing capacity to 2 GW by the end of 2024, CEO Bikesh Ogra told pv magazine this week at the Renewable Energy India Expo 2022. He said the company also has aggressive plans for green hydrogen and ammonia, with a specific focus on distributed generation.
Scientists from Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE – together with a consortium of plant manufacturers, metrology companies, and research institutions – have developed a new production line concept for high-efficiency silicon cells, with a throughput of 15,000 to 20,000 wafers per hour – roughly double the usual amount.
The US Inflation Reduction Act includes more than $60 billion for domestic manufacturing across the clean energy supply chain, incentivizing companies like Endurans Solar to expand domestic production.
Enertis Applus+ and the GdS Optronlab Group have developed a system to enable daytime electroluminescence in the inspection of PV modules.
India’s Credence Solar has unveiled the Quasar-Bi line of bifacial PV modules, with power outputs ranging between 650 W and 670 W. The panels are built with 132 mono PERC half cells and 12 busbars.
Dalian Rongke Power has connected a 100 MW redox flow battery storage system to the grid in Dalian, China. It will start operating in mid-October and will eventually be scaled up to 200 MW. The vanadium redox flow battery technology was developed by a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, the premier of the Australian state of Queensland, has launched a new plan to develop what could be the world’s biggest pumped hydro scheme.
Hithium’s new battery has an energy efficiency of 95% and an energy density of 170 Wh/kg. It can purportedly operate for more than 12,000 cycles.
Germany made efforts this week to expand hydrogen ties with the Gulf states, and Japan announced plans to team up with several nations to ramp up hydrogen production. ICIS, meanwhile, has started offering Europe’s first market-linked renewable hydrogen assessments.
US researchers say they have developed a way to make cobalt-free lithium-ion battery cathodes, while Ford says it has broken ground on a new $5.6 billion production complex for electric vehicles and batteries.
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