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Opinion & Analysis

When will the world be fossil free?

Despite the ever-growing number of nations committing to attaining a net-zero economy, there appears little prospect yet of a future free of fossil fuels, as Roger Lewis, an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) expert at Downing LLP explains.

Optimizing off-grid PV systems for different design criteria

A new report by IEA PVPS Task 18 provides a blueprint guide on how to conduct feasibility studies for off-grid and edge-of-grid power systems. The optimal system size and specifications vary depending on the client’s priorities. The desired project outcomes can be identified using pure financial analysis (NPV, IRR) or additionally taking environmental performance into account.

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Still big in Japan?

A flat year for solar installation numbers in Japan could be seen as positive in a nation switching to new PV business models, writes Izumi Kaizuka, director of research for Japanese solar consultancy RTS Corp.

State of the (European) union

Gerard Reid, co-founder of corporate finance advisory Alexa Capital, considers whether the EU is up to the task of dealing with the twin threats of the energy crisis and the pull of a revitalized US clean power industry.

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North America’s bid to onshore rare earth supply

With electric vehicle (EV) adoption set to turbocharge demand for rare earth elements in Canada and the US this decade, attempts are being made to loosen the region’s dependence on China for the sourcing and processing of such critically important energy transition materials.

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Pumped hydro key to meeting storage demand

Pumped hydro energy storage can be readily scaled to any required storage capacity at a known and affordable cost.

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What PV installers expect in 2023

Solar module prices continued to fall in January, and there is no end in sight. The main drivers impacting prices are lower shipping rates from China and the further recovery of the euro-US dollar exchange rate. Martin Schachinger, of pvXchange, expects other effects, such as slowly falling energy costs or polysilicon and wafer prices – which are in freefall – to further strengthen the trend in the coming months.

Developers accelerating construction of large-scale solar across Africa

The Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) has identified the top five solar markets in Africa. Its latest report also looks at the most notable large-scale projects across the continent.

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UK must act now to embed solar in energy transition

Tony Danker, head of the Confederation of British Industry, in January warned the UK is at risk of squandering the vast economic opportunities available to nations investing in the energy transition. Christophe Williams, CEO of solar thermal company Naked Energy agrees, and here spells out some of the urgent actions Rishi Sunak’s government must take to place solar thermal – and PV – at the heart of a green revolution.

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Curtailment is not the enemy

A new report by IEA-PVPS Task 16 looks at the use of “implicit storage” to transform intermittent renewable sources such as solar and wind into firm power generation. It shows that the total cost of the electricity system transformation could be lowered with the optimal use of capacity overbuilding and dynamic curtailment.

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