The weekend read: Past the Arctic Circle, one degree at a time

Solar has a small but increasingly important role to play in the Nordic energy transition. And while there is still a gap in PV cost-competitiveness across some markets, interest in solar facades, BIPV solutions and C&I applications is growing.

Out with old inverters, in with the new

Global demand for replacement inverters will likely grow by almost 40% to reach 8.7 GW in 2020, as a large and expanding installed base of aging solar PV installations drives deployment, writes Miguel De Jesus of IHS Markit.

Energy communities as a business model for utilities

Energy Communities are one of the most talked about recent advancements in the world of energy, but what they are exactly and what kind of value proposition they provide is seen on a broad spectrum. There are many different definitions of communities – therefore, understanding energy communities requires us to first unpack the idea of community itself.

Reports of backsheet failures at 75 MW Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar farm in South Africa

The South African project is reportedly experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Claims of extensive backsheet failure have emerged and it is said widespread module replacement will be required. The modules used in the project were supplied by Chinese manufacturer BYD and South African producer Artsolar.

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Is fair lithium from Chile possible?

Batteries, and the raw materials that make them, are a frequent target of public criticism. The high water consumption required for lithium extraction is speeding up desertification around the salt lakes of Latin America’s “lithium triangle”, for example. The mining debate highlights general problems with the extraction of raw materials including copper, crude oil and lithium but international companies can still influence extraction methods – and there are plenty of different approaches.

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Power Ledger wins contract with Italian energy utility

Australian peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading pioneer Power Ledger has won a lucrative contract with Alperia SpA, one of Italy’s largest renewable electricity utilities.

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Is Russia’s tax policy hindering the solarization of its multinational Stablecoin Initiative?

Russia is taking the lead in issuing a multinational stablecoin backed by commodities – a cyber-initiative connecting some of the most promising hub of hydrocarbon rich economies stretching across Eurasia, Africa and South America.  However if such technology is fueled by hydrocarbon energy, temperatures are expected to rise 3.2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by the end of the century. A decisive role could be played by the BRICS in finding innovative solutions to the functioning of the current global framework, particularly in transitioning to green economies.

Broken promises: Legal recourse for retroactive FIT cuts

Generous feed-in tariffs, a short-lived boom and retroactive cuts – the early stages of large-scale solar deployment in Europe followed a regrettable pattern. Project developers have increasingly turned to the legal system for restitution, and many have been successful, writes Daniel R. Meagher, a partner in Winston & Strawn’s international arbitration practice.

Transitioning to larger wafers

Since 2017, 156.75 mm M2 wafers have been the standard. However, improvements in cell efficiency appear to have hit a bottleneck, making wafer size a hot topic among manufacturers once again. In the second half of 2018, 158.75 mm G1 mono wafers were introduced to the market. Corrine Lin of PVInfoLink argues that while G1 will likely become the mainstream format over the next two years, 166 mm M6 wafers and 210 mm M12 wafers are presenting new options for manufacturers.

The weekend read: Your guide to market growth in 2020

Some 15 countries are likely to be able to lay claim to the status of being members of solar’s “gigawatt club” in 2019, according to conservative projections from BloombergNEF. Nonetheless, PV suppliers, developers and service providers are always on the lookout for new pockets of growth. To kick off 2020, pv magazine’s global team of correspondents and editors have highlighted 10 “fast-growing” solar markets to evaluate where the opportunities, and potential risks, lie.

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