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The weekend read: Crypto’s energy conundrum

In a financial world of stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and credit cards, trillions of dollars are traded daily, with money flows handled by a bevy of databanks. In the world of cryptocurrency, billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin are traded through as many as 400,000 transactions per day, consuming the energy supply of a modernized country. The quirk is a “proof of work” feature that provides decentralized security. Is Bitcoin’s energy usage all for nothing, or is it a game-changer for renewable assets and generators? Tristan Rayner explores.

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The changing landscape of the modular marketplace 

The modular solar marketplace is growing, especially in Australia where remote mining and agricultural sites appreciate the benefits of compact, movable solar. One new entrant is Western Australia’s CDI Energy with its “Rapid Solar Module”, which CDI founder and CEO Darryl Bower told pv magazine is up to 30% cheaper than fixed axis alternatives.

Sungrow launches SG350HX, its most powerful string inverter in Europe

Sungrow’s new utility-scale string inverter can supply a maximum of 352 kW, just a year after it launched a 250 kW string inverter that was billed as the world’s most powerful. The new inverter arrives mid-2022.

Boom times for the UK’s residential solar market?

The U.K.’s sudden energy resource squeeze is seeing price increases on gas and electricity and is creating a solar panel boom, too.

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Canadian asset management co. agrees to acquire Brazil’s largest PV product distributor

The transaction should be finalized by the end of the month, with the deal amounting to a $320 million equity investment.

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Tesla sells Maxwell Technologies but dry cell tech for lithium-ion batteries retained

Tesla acquired the Californian supercapacitor maker in 2019, leading some to speculate its EVs would use ‘supercaps’ for top acceleration. Two years on, it appears Elon Musk has moved on and sold Maxwell to UCAP Power, but Tesla has retained the company’s dry electrode tech.

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UK power generation in 2020: Renewables up to 43%

Solar contributed 28% of the U.K.’s total renewable energy generation, which was dominated by wind power. The proportion of fossil fuels in the energy mix fell to a record low last year, at 37.7%.

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The trillions spent by G20 nations on fossil fuels between 2015 and 2019 could have paid for more than 4 TW of solar at today’s prices

Polluting energy sources received more than $3 trillion from the EU and 19 of the world’s largest national economies over that four-year period, despite G20 members having pledged to phase-out fossil fuel subsidy and address climate change back in 2009.

Canadian Solar raises $100m to fund projects in Brazil

Canadian Solar has banked the cash for its growing portfolio of solar projects in a nation which had module demand of 5 GW last year.

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UK government launches competition to spur longer duration energy storage innovation

New tech which can store power for longer than four hours can secure up to €14 million each towards their demonstrator project costs.

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