It was EPIA when he joined, and the European and global solar industry was a very different place. Outgoing CEO of what is now SolarPower Europe, James Watson has presided over a transformative period at the organisation, and departs to head up Eurogas right at the point the region’s solar sector is set for revival. Advancing a power-to-gas agenda, Watson says, will be a big part of his new challenge.
In its Q3 2018 report, VDMA finds that German PV equipment providers are continuing to enjoy much improved fortunes compared to the previous year. Solar cell and thin film equipment suppliers account for the vast majority of bookings.
The Clean Energy Council has tallied the numbers underlying Australia’s large scale renewables boom. And big PV is shattering all records, with almost AU$11.5 billion in projects currently being constructed.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten announced the party’s ‘all of the above’ plan for Australia’s energy sector. A ramped-up National Energy Guarantee, project auctions under a CfD structure, grid infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and a boost to battery storage all feature.
In late September, Heraeus launched its Selectively Coated Ribbons (SCR) technology. The product will be rolled out in partnership with ribbon supplier Ulbrich. Delivering a 1.9 W power output boost without any equipment investment and with few process changes, Heraeus’ Toralf Eggert and Ulbrich’s Peter Berghofer claim SCR will make conventional busbars competitive with unwieldy multi-busbars.
What problems are being encountered and how to avoid them by learning from past mistakes? With booming installation rates across all segments of the Australian solar market, quality issues have been pushed to the fore, and quality assurance has become instrumental in shaping further uptake.
The application of IoT, tapping, and analytics of big data, and much hyped applications like blockchain are making an impact on the solar PV sector and related devices, and also their interactions with the grid. But software has played an important role in the evolution of our industry dating back some 30 years.
“Profitable yet risky”: This was one of the findings of a recent study, released in July, conducted by PI Berlin on behalf of Germany’s National Metrology Institute (PTB) when examining six Indian PV projects from the viewpoint of project quality. The report’s author Asier Ukar spoke to pv magazine in advance of his presentation on the subject at the Quality Roundtable at the Renewable Energy India conference next week.
Chinese wind turbine supplier and project developer, Goldwind is looking to offload its Australian wind and large-scale solar development pipeline, according to reporting from the Australian Financial Review. The move would be one of the first international player looking to exit the Australian renewables marketplace in the face of policy chaos on a national level.
Australia’s new federal Energy Minister has revealed his thinking, although few details, as to the measures the government will take in pursuit of its new “laser like”, focus on electricity price reduction. While denying that he is a climate sceptic, emissions reduction clearly has no place in the proposed policy measures.