A solar manufacturing investment cycle appears to be underway in Europe, with equipment suppliers reporting surging levels of inquiries for new production lines. Larger PV wafer formats are driving the change, along with renewed confidence in the outlook for the solar PV market on the continent. To meet the demand, European equipment suppliers are now embracing flexibility.
Enhanced module appearance and power output can be achieved by a smart cell interconnection technique Longi is employing in its Hi-MO5 module series. But as with all new technologies, there are potential pitfalls.
Long-term observers of solar deployment in Saudi Arabia can point to almost a decade of disappointment. But that is not to say that no progress has been made, and regional renewables champion ACWA Power has built a solid track record. Indeed, recent reforms to the national utility may give rise to new hopes.
Last year was the time for mega-solar projects to strike record low prices – $0.0135/kWh in Abu Dhabi for the unimaginably vast 2 GW Al Dhafra project. Not to be left behind, some Australian project developers are pursuing equally grand plans, with clean-tech guru Michael Liebreich saying that their likelihood for success will lie in what the proponents plan to do with the vast amount of clean, cheap energy.
Dean Solon of Shoals Technologies Group: “The short version is that it’s been a damned good year.” An interview with Shoals covers the growth of large solar projects in the U.S., high AC/DC ratios and the real costs of using cheap components.
France’s EnerGaïa Forum will be held Dec. 9-10 in Montpellier, while Italy’s Key Energy event will be held in Rimini from Nov. 3-6. Australia’s top PV industry event will not take place in 2020.
The ability to feed electricity from rooftop PV arrays into Australia’s distribution network may be severely limited in the future, as installations appear likely to exceed expectations. A Cornwall Insight forecast sees some 24.45 GW of rooftop solar to be added through 2030 – a rate that accelerates the need for a distribution-level market and may see connections curtailed in the future.
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.
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 solar industry faces many challenges in its move to become truly sustainable and that goal is imperative, rather than being simply a luxury, if the sector is to achieve terawatt scale. pv magazine’s first Sustainability Roundtable took place on June 10 and included discussion as to why sustainability matters in PV and which business, regulatory and technological approaches can be applied to achieve truly “green” solar power. A video of the event can be streamed online.