In times of crisis, a population usually divides itself into two opinion groups. On the one hand, there are those who believe the storm will pass and things will return to business as usual. And on the other, there are those who took the time to embrace the new reality, accepted it, and now swear that the old world has disappeared and won’t ever come back. In general, writes Becquerel Institute’s Gaëtan Masson, reality splits between the two and makes everyone wrong. And this is what might be about to happen in the solar PV sector.
Some European countries and emerging markets are now showing signs of slow recovery, as the Covid-19 pandemic brought overseas markets to a shuddering halt in late March. However, demand is expected to remain weak through the beginning of the third quarter, writes PV InfoLink’s Amy Fang, as it will take time for overseas markets to snap back. Meanwhile, the Chinese market is again busy with the June 30 installation rush, as the government has left tariff timelines unchanged up to the middle of May.
Germany will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1 and will be responsible for progressing EU legislation over the next six months.
The PV inverter market achieved record shipments in 2019, writes IHS Markit’s Miguel de Jesus, driven by booming shipments in key markets such as the United States, Spain, Latin America, Ukraine and Vietnam. Revenue rose rapidly, surpassing the $9 billion mark in 2019 for the first time.
The European Commission has positioned the Green Deal at the center of its policy priorities. The goals have been set: climate-neutrality, zero greenhouse gas emissions, and the complete decarbonization of the energy sector by 2050. The stakes are high, writes SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, but thus far Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made good on her promises.
The European Commission has outlined a long-anticipated plan it says could unlock up to €340 billion for new solar and wind projects over the next decade. The 30-year strategy envisages up to €470 billion being spent on electrolyzer capacity.
The latest PV finance report released by Mercom Capital had solar investment falling almost entirely across the board with the number of new solar funds launched in the last three months offering a rare piece of good news.
Plus, there was plenty of hope in predictions made by Norwegian institute DNV GL but U.S. households are facing hefty energy bills just as data from Delhi showed the link between industrial shutdowns and cleaner skies.
The Korean company has committed to invest in solar innovation in Germany at a time when the EU and member states are desperately trying to kick-start the Covid-19 recovery.
Accreditation institute DNV GL has made some astonishing carbon-related predictions as it prepares the next edition of its Energy Transition Outlook report. The Norwegian body says transport-related emissions have peaked and those of the iron and steel industries may well have too.
Lebanon failed to make a bond payment of $1.2 billion due on March 9 – the first sovereign default in the country’s history. pv magazine looks at how Lebanon’s debt troubles are now starting to affect the development of renewable energy.
Also, a court in Beijing is now reviewing an application for bankruptcy filed by a unit of Hanergy. In other developments this week, a diverse range of solar industry players launched the 600W+ Photovoltaic Open Innovation Ecological Alliance.
Production of highly efficient solar cells and modules will start at two sites in Germany from the first half of 2021. The Swiss tech group plans to eventually expand annual production to 5 GW.
The record-setting quarter was driven by nearly 2 GW of utility-scale solar, supplemented by another 1.6 GW of residential capacity. And while the pandemic will slow the industry in 2020, five-year projections are strong, especially for Texas.
The company has bagged an order from state-run Chittaranjan Locomotive Works to supply transformers for locomotive engines.
Equatorial Power and SustainSolar are installing containerized, off-grid solar battery power systems to support farming projects on an island in Lake Kivu.
The fossil fuel company will become a partner in the fund, which invests in clean energy projects.
The operations and maintenance and the engineering, procurement and construction arms of PV company Enerray have been sold off by troubled industrial conglomerate Gruppo Industriale Maccaferri for cash, transferring 240 MWp of Italian generation capacity to the management of rival LT Renewables.
With Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Czechia having dragged their heels over climate legislation for years, BloombergNEF has estimated the most economic route out of the coal habit. It is a path which could see 40% less carbon emissions in 2030 than were recorded last year, with a 47% clean energy power mix.
Plus, equipment manufacturer Shangji Automation is set to enter the silicon ingot making game with plans for an 8 GW fab, while state-owned developer Panda Green says it plans to add 500 MW of annual project capacity over the next three years.
Scientists led by the University of Cambridge have developed a new method to print a protective layer of copper directly onto a perovskite solar cell, providing protection to the active layer from damage often caused in later production stages. Cells using this layer were tested in various tandem combinations with silicon cells and achieved a maximum efficiency of 24.4%.
SunCrafter is a small German startup with a global ambition: to alleviate energy poverty by upcycling used solar PV modules. Having established an innovative business model, which sees it subsidizing its goals by meeting the infrastructure needs of big events and festivals, it has now partnered with EU-funded project Circusol to demonstrate the viability of circular renewables. pv magazine interviewed SunCrafter CEO and co-founder Lisa Wendzich as part of the UP initiative’s circular manufacturing quarterly theme.
A cell interconnection method developed by a Swedish company promises lower-cost and higher-throughput production of PERC and more advanced silicon PV modules. The process is ready to move to pilot production, and its creators want to play a role in the anticipated European solar manufacturing renaissance.
The new president of Huawei’s Smart PV Business Unit, Chen Guoguang, talks to pv magazine about his new role in the company and the future of his division. Increased investment in smart PV R&D and technological innovation are at the top of the agenda. The intelligentization of energy products is also a priority, with much to be gained from the integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) and energy.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is putting US$1.66 million into a vehicle-to-grid trial to demonstrate how electric vehicles can provide grid ancillary services. The REVS research and industry consortium hopes to show how EVs can generate revenue for fleet owners.
The Brazilian power grid reaches approximately 99% of the country’s population. To connect the remaining 1% has been challenging – often located in isolated communities of regions that are difficult to reach. With increasing global adoption of solar+storage, and significant price drops across the two technologies over the past decade, the solution is showing promise for the remote Brazilian market. Solar+storage is becoming a more competitive solution than its most popular alternative – diesel – to supply the needed power for off-grid communities. And now, even grid-connected residential properties are opting for independence.
Hevel Group has announced it will source all the 65 GWh required annually to run its Novocheboksarsk factory from renewables sources via the wholesale market.
Risen Australia and distributor One Stop Warehouse signed an expanded 150 MW distribution deal last week, marking the Chinese manufacturer’s latest attempt to expand in the rooftop segment. With Risen’s new heterojunction module, the 415-435 W Sieger, now moving into mass production, One Stop Warehouse’s Leo Ye welcomed the “new, fresh” tech.
The Chinese state-owned manufacturer has started operations at its 1 GW mono PERC cell line after installing a 1 GW module fab last year.
The expected return would leave the nation woefully short of its ambitious 175 GW clean energy target, which was laid down with a 2022 deadline. Chief executives who criticized aggressive clean power auctions said they would like to see more fossil fuel facilities thrown into the mix.
Startup Natron Energy is building a battery using Prussian blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte. Investors include ABB Technology Ventures, NanoDimension Capital, Volta Energy Technologies, Chevron, Khosla Ventures, and Prelude Ventures.
Scientists led by MIT have suggested chitin, a carbon and nitrogen-rich material made from waste shrimp shells, could produce sustainable electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy storage technologies.
France’s Energy Transition Law has set forth aggressive renewable targets with plans to achieve energy independence by 2030 for its Non Interconnected Areas (NIA), or small isolated electricity networks. The renewable targets for its primarily overseas regions are more ambitious than the country’s mainland energy transition goals, with the national plan aiming to achieve 50% renewable energy penetration for NIA electricity by the end of this year. The rapid deployment of solar PV on the country’s islands across international waters creates challenges for grid operations, and battery storage is stepping in as a solution.
Funded by the bloc’s Emissions Trading System, the warchest will look to spend more than €10 billion on bringing clean energy innovations to market over the next decade. The scheme will work with other green recovery programs to secure jobs and lay a foundation on which to restart the European economy.
The Japanese brand has closed the initial $6.85 billion purchase price for 80% of the Power Grids business that was owned by ABB. The buyer will have the option of purchasing the outstanding shares in 2023.