A new handbook published by the World Bank and Solar Research Institute of Singapore contains advice on how to plan and build floating PV. The guide is intended to help developers with site identification; feasibility studies; finance; environmental and social issues; procurement and construction; and operations and maintenance.
Grid operator Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne has published figures demonstrating the country had 1,007.2 MW of solar at the end of September, with 600 MW of new PV coming online in the first nine months of the year. The Polish government expects total capacity to reach 1.3 GW this year.
A project on Isabela Island in Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago has given its 3,500 inhabitants energy generated by local resources, including plant oil produced on the continent. Preferable to a logistically challenging and hyper expensive extension of the mainland grid, if the $13 million island system were installed today, it would be cheaper than when it was contracted four years ago.
Amid high hopes for the European Commission presidency that is about to start, attendees at a recent event in Berlin tempered optimism by renewing calls for an industrial policy for the bloc.
Market intelligence company Navigant Research has developed a country forecast of the global market. Incentives and pricing will be the main driver of installations, though the market will continue to be concentrated in certain key regions for now.
Scientists at Princeton have found solar and wind energy offer the added environmental benefit of reducing water usage, by comparison with hydroelectric dams. Their findings, say the researchers, could have a positive impact on groundwater sustainability in drought-prone regions such as California, where they conducted a case study.
The European Solar Manufacturing Council says a decision by policymakers to disregard the carbon footprint of imported solar products ‘makes absolutely no sense’. Talk of ‘jobs which require a rather low qualification’, meanwhile, is unlikely to heal the widening rift with solar project developers and panel installers.
Firming up the payment system for solar energy exported back into the grid from PV-powered pumps will offer owners a new revenue stream, eat into a $1 billion annual diesel fuel bill and reduce strain on the grid by up to 1.5 GW daily during the agricultural season.
Electricity regulator ANEEL has proposed applying a fee for solar systems with up to 5 MW of generation capacity and reducing energy payments for participants in the nation’s net metering program.
Floating PV installations in Asia may be much larger but the trend is catching on in the EU and, pending a supportive regulatory environment and incentives, the technology could offer several dozen gigawatts of generation capacity in Europe.
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