The annual EU PVSEC conference got under way virtually this morning via an online platform since the planned event in Lisbon could not go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Opening presentations revealed an air of optimism in the PV industry, amid expectations of a rapidly rising share in the energy mix, growing conversion efficiencies, advancing technology pathways and innovative solutions to the problem of integrating high levels of PV into electricity grids.
Negative second-quarter updates from China and uber-low new-solar figures from India, however, show the world is far from out of the woods yet.
France’s EnerGaïa Forum will be held Dec. 9-10 in Montpellier, while Italy’s Key Energy event will be held in Rimini from Nov. 3-6. Australia’s top PV industry event will not take place in 2020.
Plus, solar funding is down and Australian rooftop installers are preparing for tough times ahead as one U.S. utility has warned customers to be alert to scammers hoping to benefit from the pandemic.
Touted as ‘the largest solar trade show in Europe’ just two weeks ago, this year’s event has been canned after exhibitors voiced concerns. Next year’s conference will take place in Haarlem, in the Netherlands, from March 16-18.
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.
The organizers of the Solar Solutions International event which was postponed in March have persuaded the Dutch government industry events should not be subject to the same Covid-19 restrictions as concerts.
The solar industry faces many challenges in its move to become truly sustainable and that goal is imperative, rather than being simply a luxury, if the sector is to achieve terawatt scale. pv magazine’s first Sustainability Roundtable took place on June 10 and included discussion as to why sustainability matters in PV and which business, regulatory and technological approaches can be applied to achieve truly “green” solar power. A video of the event can be streamed online.
The industry needs to cut a dependence on lithium-ion battery imports from China, according to Nitin Gadkari, who said the government is looking to support research into alternative technologies.
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