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Global solar supply chain under scrutiny

The discussion about the extent to which forced labor exists in the solar value chain continues. A video, a university report, a ministerial response and a parliamentary machinations formed notable developments of the debate last week.

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The weekend read: Should solar developers take notice of ESG criteria?

Something is brewing in the financial world. “Sustainable finance” and the growth of ESG funds have been taking the market by storm in recent years. Since most major PV projects end up needing investors from the capital market, it is only a matter of time before they will have to adapt. The beginning of March 2021 saw a milestone reached in this process.

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LG Chem unveils two residential battery series

LG Chem is spinning off its battery business into a new subsidiary, LG Energy Solution. It also launched two new battery series, Resu Prime and Resu Flex. These devices rely on new battery cells with a higher power density and with up to 16 kWh, they have a higher capacity than previous models. The first products are expected to be shipped from February or March 2021.

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The weekend read: Something truly new

You can try to succeed by making a better version of your competitors’ product, or you can try to do something completely new. NexWafe has chosen the second path. It is developing plans to manufacture wafers for high-efficiency solar cells in Bitterfeld, Germany, that are produced more sustainably and at lower cost than any other products available today.

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The weekend read: Hydrogen and the energy transition

Researchers are now simulating how the energy transition can be as successful and cost-effective as possible. As part of the simulation, they are also calculating how much hydrogen will be needed and where it could come from. In Germany, a recent study by Fraunhofer ISE showed that the cost is so low that the nation could gift itself the energy transition as a Christmas present.

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pv magazine video: New business models develop in surprising directions

Corporate power purchase agreements and the combination of PV plants with hydrogen production open up new medium-term financing opportunities for solar projects, as was demonstrated at the fourth session of the pv magazine Roundtable Europe event. The evolution of corporate deals may have been slowed by current price developments but hydrogen may come sooner than many had predicted.

pv magazine video: Higher yields are possible

The first session of the pv magazine Virtual Roundtables Europe on June 9 showed that the performance of PV arrays can be boosted with effective measures – proving it’s more than just theoretical. The evaluation of a portfolio of 70 plants prompted a performance boost of 8.4%. The video of the event is now online.

Discussion on performance ratio as a KPI for service providers

The performance ratio of an installation is stable, yet the yield and the revenues drop significantly. A U.K. case study shows that faults can compensate for performance ratio value, meaning this value is not always a good key performance indicator on its own. This issue will be discussed during the upcoming asset management session at the pv magazine virtual roundtable Europe 2020.

Green finance is more than a bubble

Felicia Jackson explains why green finance is changing the energy world and is not just a dream for solar fans. Hailing from London, she is a financial expert, a co-founder of New Energy Finance, now Bloomberg NEF, a member of the UN working group that discusses methods for environmental goals, and a professor at the University of London. Jackson will also author a pv magazine white paper on the topic, scheduled to publish this summer.

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Choosing representative strings for measuring power loss

Analyzing monitoring data does not always accurately identify under-performing assets; and when investigating supposed power loss with IV-curve measurements, a representative sample via thermography should be selected. These are two conclusions drawn from a case study, which will be discussed during the upcoming asset management session at the pv magazine virtual roundtable Europe 2020.

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