Interview: How a German startup aims to alleviate energy poverty with circular solar solutions

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.

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Standing together for systemic change

Recent events have demonstrated the inadequacy of simply not being racist. We must actively speak out in support of non-white colleagues, peers, friends and fellow human beings. We must collectively work to effect systemic change against racism. At pv magazine, I want to use my voice as an editor, and leader of the UP initiative, to stand together with the Black Lives Matter movement and all people of color. I want to actively combat racism using our online and print platforms and global networks, to raise these issues, promote positive change and ensure we represent people of all colors and creeds in our business.

Does solar sustainability go far enough?

Solar PV is on track to become a terawatt-scale industry. With this opportunity comes challenges, particularly when future raw material and manufacturing volumes are considered. For progress to be made, sustainability becomes a crucial issue. Already the first global sustainability standard for solar modules and inverters has been introduced, and it is likely mandatory measures will be applied in Europe via the Ecodesign directive. Ahead of the upcoming pv magazine Roundtable on sustainability, SMA answers some key questions about certification.

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The sky’s the limit: How solar and storage can set a post-Covid-19 example

The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.

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EU Commission presents ‘historic’ European Green Deal plan

Described as “historic”, the draft outlines the future climate protection course of the European Union. Overall, the EU should become climate neutral by 2050, and trigger €1 trillion in investment. €100 billion is expected to be made available for the transition. This is to be formalized in a climate law in the coming months. Although solar was noticeably absent in the draft, plans have been detailed by SolarPower Europe as to how it could be included.

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The sustainability game changers

As part of the UP sustainability initiative, pv magazine has, for the first time, introduced an annual sustainability award. After much deliberation, our esteemed jurors reached their final decision. Read on to see who has been crowned 2019’s green champion.

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Webinar Q&A: Avoiding the ‘green halo’ effect

Earlier this month, pv magazine held its first webinar under the UP sustainability initiative, looking at greenwashing versus verifiable sustainability. Initiative partner SMA and Professor Dustin Mulvaney shared their insights in a lively discussion. Many questions were submitted by the webinar participants. What follows are those we did not have time to answer.

More claims of greenwashing at major US electric utilities

A survey reveals greenwashing among major U.S. investor-owned electric utilities, which have been accused of using disproportionately high ratios of renewable versus fossil fuel images and language, while at the same time helping to block renewable energy policies. pv magazine speaks to the lead researcher

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Climate strike!

As of 11.30 CEST, the global pv magazine team in Berlin will down tools to attend the global climate strike at Brandenburger Tor.

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SMA: ‘We can’t be credible if we’re not sustainable’

Credibility comes not just from offering products that generate clean electricity, but also from the way in which those products are manufactured, says SMA Solar Technology CEO Jürgen Reinert. Here, transparency and sustainability are key. That’s why one of the world’s largest PV inverter producers has partnered with pv magazine’s UP sustainability initiative. In the following Q&A, Reinert lays out what SMA is doing to step UP its green game.

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