A good year for solar: Agrivoltaics in vineyards

French agricultural PV specialist Sun’Agri has revealed the results of tests run on a solar plant integrated with viticulture. During heat waves, the company said, vines shaded by solar panels continued to grow and needed less water.

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French-German alliance for vertical PV

French energy giant Total and German start-up Next2Sun have joined forces to develop vertical PV solutions in the French market. The oil group’s unit Total Quadran plans to use the solution in agrivoltaic projects.

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How Covid-19 is affecting the French solar sector

Franc Raffalli, president of the Photovoltaic Professions Group of the French Building Federation spoke to pv magazine about the impact of the coronavirus on the French PV industry.

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An organic solar cell with 25% efficiency

The ‘best conversion performance in the world in a dark room’ is how the developers of a new organic PV device have described it. Such cells could be used as a wireless source of energy for internet of things applications or in gadgets such as temperature-humidity and motion sensors.

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Energy communities are now allowed in France

A footnote in France’s energy legislation had been holding back the development of collective self-consumption in the country, limiting such projects to ‘experimental’ status with terms of no more than five years. The removal of this footnote at the beginning of March means that energy communities for self-consumption are now permitted across the country.

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European agrivoltaics

According to SolarPower Europe, local agriculture and solar energy could become the engines of a sustainable European economy. The trade body has created a task force, led by French independent power producer Amarenco, that aims to place agrivoltaics at the top of the European agricultural policy agenda, while also establishing global standards for the segment.

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France’s largest storage project

Total is building a 25 MW/25 MWh lithium-ion storage system in Mardyck, northern France. The oil giant plans to commission the facility by the end of the year.

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Research institute claims 20.3% efficiency for mini perovskite module

France’s Liten organization said it raised efficiency more than 20% with improved thickness homogeneity of the perovskite and optimized composition of the n-type interfacial layer. The previous record of 16.9% was attained by the same research group early last year.

Electricity access aims prompt fresh $120m in loans and grants for African off-grid solar

Benin has obtained a $21.1 million loan from the investment and development bank of the Economic Community of West African States and Burundi will benefit from a $160 million World Bank donation, $100 million of which will be dedicated to solar energy.

The fossil fuel giant and agrivoltaics

French oil and gas company Total is planning to install nearly 500 MW of solar generation capacity on farmland by 2025. The power company will work with French seed and agricultural supply company inVivo group to install agrivoltaic systems.

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