In 2016, Huaneng Hainan Power and Huawei jointly digitalized the Dongfang solar power plant in Hainan, China. As the first solar PV project to be digitalized, it is worth taking a look back to see how the new technology has actually bolstered performance.
The falling cost of PV has increasingly driven the adoption of solar technology in recent years. But for a long time, the solar industry was fully dependent on subsidies. German PV project developer BayWa r.e. made headlines in 2018 with its 175 MW Don Rodrigo plant just outside of Seville, in southern Spain. The company backed the array with a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA), marking the first time a project of that size had been refinanced in Europe without the help of subsidies. It later charted new territory again with the completion of Germany’s first subsidy-free PV project in 2019.
Solar is booming globally and as costs come down and the technology approaches grid-parity, historically based government incentive models and subsidies are changing –particularly for the distributed generation (DG) rooftop market. But new technologies and capabilities of other distributed energy resources (DERs), such as battery energy storage systems, electric vehicles (EVs), and other smart energy technologies, are stepping into position for a net-zero energy future – providing opportunity to advance beyond the power structures of the past.
Solar PV generation is one of the world’s most promising technologies for a sustainable energy future. However, as solar and other intermittent renewable energy sources increasingly enter the grid, the establishment of grid connections has become a challenge that could threaten future expansion. Now, solar PV technology is rapidly moving from a passive role to an active one, as it takes on a starring role to support electric utility power grids.
Through its key regional partner Omnisun Srl, Growatt has offered its products to the Italian market since 2012 – making it one of the first Chinese inverter brands operating in the country. pv magazine caught up with Omnisun’s chief technology officer, Giovanni Marino, to discuss Covid-19, reliable partners, new energy technologies, and his expectations for the Italian PV market.
Europe is widely considered a renewable energy powerhouse, at least with regards to technology establishment and kick-starting the green economy. Installation trends and markets are expanding – and Covid-19 could provide new opportunities for the continent.
Imagine an energy system where power generation is achieved through a diverse and decentralized network of energy units, such as your rooftop solar panels, that are monitored intelligently and the grid is able to manage supply and demand in real-time fashion. In this next energy era, the electric utilities do not generate their primarily revenues from moving electrons – but instead, by gathering and managing data – offering services rather than power. The vision of this futuristic energy system is not far from reality – and definitely provides a direction of travel for the energy industry.
The Brazilian power grid reaches approximately 99% of the country’s population. To connect the remaining 1% has been challenging – often located in isolated communities of regions that are difficult to reach. With increasing global adoption of solar+storage, and significant price drops across the two technologies over the past decade, the solution is showing promise for the remote Brazilian market. Solar+storage is becoming a more competitive solution than its most popular alternative – diesel – to supply the needed power for off-grid communities. And now, even grid-connected residential properties are opting for independence.
The new president of Huawei’s Smart PV Business Unit, Chen Guoguang, talks to pv magazine about his new role in the company and the future of his division. Increased investment in smart PV R&D and technological innovation are at the top of the agenda. The intelligentization of energy products is also a priority, with much to be gained from the integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) and energy.
France’s Energy Transition Law has set forth aggressive renewable targets with plans to achieve energy independence by 2030 for its Non Interconnected Areas (NIA), or small isolated electricity networks. The renewable targets for its primarily overseas regions are more ambitious than the country’s mainland energy transition goals, with the national plan aiming to achieve 50% renewable energy penetration for NIA electricity by the end of this year. The rapid deployment of solar PV on the country’s islands across international waters creates challenges for grid operations, and battery storage is stepping in as a solution.