Sweden based CIGS equipment supplier Midsummer has received an order worth more than $7 million for its production equipment. The order was placed by U.S. based manufacturer Sunflare, for a new factory under construction in China.
The tension between the cost cutting and performance boosting opportunities presented by new technologies and the tendency for risk aversion is never more evident than in PV module materials. This applies nowhere more than in backsheets, where new innovations are big on promise, but must convince manufacturers and the market of their long-term performance.
Whether caused by improper production processes, poor treatment in transport and installation, climate conditions or any other issue, performance reducing microcracks are a major source of stress for PV developers and project owners. Now, an EU funded research project has found that a different type of stress could provide a solution, and even “heal” some existing cracks.
A team of scientists at University of California, Riverside investigating the ‘unusual’ electronic behavior of pristine graphene has found that, in certain configurations, the material can generate a current without the need for a p-n junction, leading to the possibility of extremely thin, lightweight solar devices.
Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger has received a CHF 74 million (US$74.4 million) order for a 600 MW production line combining heterojunction and smart wire technologies. The order was placed by an unnamed manufacturer, with the line expected to begin cell and module production in the second half of 2019.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development yesterday unveiled its new energy sector strategy, which aims to ramp up renewables investment, while moving away from coal and oil. Gas will still remain a focus, however. It has also announced this week, plans for a €250 million green bond framework, through which it hopes to double the issuance of green/sustainability bonds in its active regions; and mobilize €1 billion in private sector investment over the next three years.
Mercedes Benz has announced plans for all of its German factories to be supplied with CO2 free energy by 2022. Meanwhile, Renewables investment firm Octopus Energy has signed a five-year PPA with Shell Energy Europe to provide the global energy giant with power from several unsubsidized PV projects it is constructing in Italy.
The U.K. Solar Trade Association has published a new assessment, finding that the cost of generating solar electricity in the British Isles has already fallen far below its earlier predictions, and could reach GBP 40 (US$50)/MWh by 2030.
Scientists at Harvard University have developed a type of material that can be programmed to move in response to various stimuli, including light. One possible application, says the group, could be in solar panels with integrated microstructures that track the sun without any energy input.
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