Highlights

The weekend read: One step at a time … is not enough in Africa

The African continent often generates impressive solar news and offers new angles on renewable energy systems and integration. The 21st Africa Energy Forum, held between June 11 and 14 in Lisbon, explored the various ways in which solar is being rolled out across the continent. pv magazine offers a country-by-country review of some of the Sub-Saharan markets discussed at the event.

Eliminate hydrogen for better battery performance, scientists say

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara who are working with sodium-ion batteries have found that the unintended presence of hydrogen is to blame for many of the technology’s shortcomings in terms of degradation and performance loss. Keeping hydrogen out of the materials throughout production could allow sodium-ion batteries to achieve performance levels competing with their lithium-ion counterparts.

First off-shore PV project launched in the North Sea

A floating solar array will be located in the North Sea near an aquaculture and an offshore wind power facility. The €2 million pilot project is being developed by a consortium including Tractebel, Jan De Nul Group, Deme, Soltech and Ghent University.

Renewable energy production beats fossil fuels in Europe for the first half 2019

UK based energy data service provider and consultancy EnAppSys released its quarterly review of the European energy market. While renewables have covered a large chunk of the continent’s demand, that trend will likely change in the second half of the year, as production from renewables falls. Meanwhile, coal generation is being pushed out of the U.K. market, although not fully to the benefit of renewables as gas-fired power plants are picking up momentum.

Green hydrogen joins natural gas in Australian pipelines

Canadian gas giant ATCO has unveiled its Clean Energy Hub in Jandakot which will explore the potential of hydrogen for home use in gas appliances. On the same day, the Western Australian government has launched a renewable hydrogen strategy and announced the creation of a $10 green hydrogen fund.

CBEA lets loose first $5.5 million for 60 minigrids in Tanzania

Crossboundary Energy Access (CBEA) was established in January with large investment contributions from Rockefeller and Shell Foundations. The funding facility, which said it would work to unlock $11 billion in funding for the electrification of 100 million people in Africa, has penciled its first transaction with PowerGen Renewable Energy.

BlackRock goes behind the meter with GE

The startup formerly known as GE Solar has become a full fledged company, with GE and BlackRock announcing the creation of Distributed Solar Development, a behind-the-meter solar joint venture.

Solar industry counts seven human rights allegations

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has published a report looking at the human rights due diligence performance of the renewables industry and examined individual generation methods. The report finds that, while the solar sector is not top of the sad list, its vest also isn’t completely unstained.

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Sensing an opportunity for indoor PV

A new paper published by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the potential for integrating small solar cells into the wireless sensors needed to power the fast-growing internet of things (IoT) ecosystem, many of which are located indoors. This market could represent a unique opportunity for thin film PV technologies, and perovskites in particular, to reduce the risk inherent to ramping up commercial scale production.

Solar panel demand expected to reach 125.5 GW in 2019, TrendForce says

According to the Taiwanese market research company, PV panel demand will increase by 16% over 2018 shipments. TrendForce also believes this growth trend will continue in 2020.

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