The EU appears poised to roll out battery storage capacity to provide flexibility to systems with more variable renewables. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy has also noted policies that must be addressed to establish a level playing field for storage.
Chinese manufacturer JA Solar has announced a new 525 W+ panel and said the product will be available from the second half. Domestic rival Risen has shipped the first batch of its high-powered modules and intends to stick to pre-Covid-19 plans to ramp up production.
The International Seabed Authority will change regulations for deep-sea mining this year. The ocean floor is covered with potato-sized pebbles containing high levels of cobalt, manganese, nickel and copper – materials that could soon be in short supply as the energy transition progresses.
A team tasked by the European Commission with estimating the raw material requirements of the European energy transition found if global PV roll-out is high, and the component requirements of certain solar technologies don’t improve by a greater margin, some elements could end up in short supply.
The losers in a world which no longer runs on fossil fuels are obvious but the dividend from shrugging off hydrocarbon dependency will be spread around most of the world so it is the nations which are winning the cleantech manufacturing and intellectual property race which appear best positioned for the future.
Political support for the idea of linking Covid-19 exit strategies to green policy appears to be mounting in EU institutions. Easter, appropriately enough, may have injected new life into the idea.
Industry body SolarPower Europe hosted a webinar to consider how the global public health crisis will affect solar. While workers and materials are still available, industry experts are concerned about the state of the financial sector. Banks could become more conservative and raise the cost of capital for renewables projects.
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