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Opinion & Analysis

Solar and silver price hikes

The PV industry has experienced several rounds of price increases since the second half of 2020, from polysilicon to materials such as PV glass and films. Between July 2020 and February 2021, prices quoted for 3.2 mm and 2 mm glass surged by more than 60% per square meter. Prices for EVA and POE encapsulant films skyrocketed by more than 40% and 10%, respectively. Prices for silver paste also rose 7%, and have since remained stubbornly high. PV InfoLink Chief Analyst Corrine Lin examines the impact of silver’s recent price turbulence on PV cell manufacturing.

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Strong growth ahead for battery storage

Annual battery storage installations will exceed 10 GW/28 GWh in 2021, following a particularly strong year in 2020, despite the challenges created by the global pandemic, writes IHS Markit analyst Mike Longson. Combined solar and storage will be a core focus for new deployment in 2021, as the front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter energy storage markets are both expected to grow significantly in the months ahead.

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Africa’s solarized digitalization agenda

The seventh session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development convened on the theme of “Building forward better towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 & 2063 Agenda” and promote the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

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Innovations in battery storage key to a solar-powered future

A few years ago, fluctuations and complex storage solutions were the main factors hampering solar growth. Today, the sector is poised to leverage technologies to make a decisive leap. With a sustainable future around the corner, it will be innovative battery storage that will drive solar PV to become more powerful and efficient than ever before. But what are the latest developments in PV and energy storage, and which innovations are poised to transform the industry?

We need an energy access revolution: A new approach to innovation can help

840 million people still don’t have access to electricity today, according to the World Bank. But the radical decrease in the cost of the green technologies of solar and battery storage provides an unparalleled opportunity to close this gap and achieve universal electricity access by 2030.

Covid-19 and distressed solar PPAs in Spain

Spanish law firm Rödl & Partner provides an update on distressed solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Spain, focusing on the impact, and economic and legal consequences, of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A banner year for US solar

Despite the supply and demand challenges that PV faced in 2020, the U.S. solar market had its largest installation year to date, writes IHS Markit’s Maria Chea. More than 22 GW of PV installations were completed last year, with utility-scale projects representing 77% of that volume. A renewables-friendly administration, an extended ITC schedule, increasingly competitive pricing, and a massive late-stage project pipeline will drive strong growth for the United States in 2021.

The promising future of decentralized solar PV in the MENA region

Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar PV users consume a significant amount of energy in the MENA region. In these markets, the residential sector accounts for 41% of the total power demand, followed by the industrial and commercial sectors at 21% and 20%, respectively. The remaining 18% represents other sectors, such as agriculture and transport, as well as network losses.

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Timing is everything

For investment portfolios and for the entire renewables sector, diversity matters. A new independent study shows that by complementing Ireland’s onshore wind sector with greater volumes of large-scale solar, emissions are lower, curtailment decreases, and society potentially gains economically, to the tune of €21 per citizen. Conall Bolger, CEO of the Irish Solar Energy Association, reports on the power of daytime production.

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From minnow to colossus

When looking at European Union renewable energy statistics, the Netherlands was, and still is in many ways, the laughingstock of Europe. But in recent years the country has come to rank near the top in solar deployments. In 2021 this small nation may even surpass neighboring Germany with new installed capacity. Rolf Heynen, the CEO of Dutch New Energy Research, takes a look at what is going on.

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