The weekend read: A responsible compromise?

Toxicologists are struggling to follow the pace at which perovskite solar cells race from laboratory test benches to factory production lines. While researchers continue to assess the health and safety risks stemming from the lead used at the core of these new materials, the startups commercializing them argue that established encapsulation techniques and sound recycling schemes are enough to safety-proof their potentially disruptive technology and offset broader environmental threats.

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Voltalia acquires French solar installer Helexia

The French renewables group has taken over a specialist in C&I rooftop solar and launched a share purchase offer to enable its employees to benefit from the growth of the company.

French start-up launches solar engine

The invention converts the energy produced by PV cells directly into mechanical motion without the need for batteries or power electronics. Its developers claim the robustness of the solar motor can drive water pumps and ventilation turbines for more than 20 years without the need for maintenance.

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French scientists try to uncover the secrets of black perovskite

X-ray analysis is said to have solved the mystery of how to preserve optical absorption in perovskite layers. Researchers say the discovery could help stabilize the material and speed up the launch of a new ingredient for PV research.

Meyer Burger moves to calm shareholders

Meyer Burger’s new chairman has acknowledged that the outlook remains tense for Europe’s largest solar equipment supplier, but he is urging shareholders to support the company’s plan to reposition itself to focus on high-yield technologies and markets beyond China.

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France exempts solar self-consumption from electricity tax

The Ministry of the Economy and Finance has eliminated an ambiguity in the tax code: the French are not subject to a tax on the self-consumption of solar energy – even in the case of rented or leased photovoltaic installations. This clarification provides valuable certainty for renewable energy developers who want to innovate their business models.

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The weekend read: Atomic layer deposition storms market for PERC

Technology made in China competes with conventional plasma-based equipment to deposit the aluminum oxide layers at the heart of passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) cells.

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The weekend read: Preparing for take-off

A boom in self-consumption and gigawatt-auctions for solar parks are drawing developers to France’s historically underwhelming photovoltaics market. Europe’s dozy giant has long punched beneath its weight, but pro-renewable reforms are helping the country cut red tape and unlock its vast solar potential.

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