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Magazine Archive 05-2019

Utility cards reshuffled

The game of energy poker, once predictable to the card counters of old, sees a number of new jokers added to the pack. Former trump cards of incumbent utilities, like coal and nuclear, are becoming less valuable. It would be foolish, however, to mistake legacy as weakness, as with every reshuffling, long-standing players are left with surprises up their sleeves – and much at stake.

Sky’s the limit

Operational assets are aging, with many having not more than five years left to operate within the original setup of 20 years. A wide variety of options are emerging for repowering, and some younger projects are underperforming so badly that they require a strategic rethink long before the original life ends. Everoze’s Ragna Schmidt-Haupt looks at just how realistic extended lifetime assumptions are, and what justifications are needed to underpin a repowering or retrofit business case.

Rating, risk mitigation, and yield improvements

There are various technical reasons why a PV power plant can underperform or completely fail. In such cases, the investors are first in line to suffer financially from underperforming assets. In some cases, writes Thomas Sauer, head of renewable energy consultancy Exxergy, technical performance deteriorations are so severe that even the debt funders are negatively affected, to the extent that significant parts of loan and interest payments can no longer be serviced.

Europe’s future lies in C&I

Advocates of solar’s strength in distributed generation applications have long pointed to the commercial & industrial (C&I) market as holding massive potential for growth. It appears that future is arriving, says solar analyst with Bloomberg NEF Cecilia L’Ecluse.

Saline solutions

By 2030, according to the United Nations nearly half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas if no preventive actions are taken. Water reuse technologies and measures to reduce water usage can only serve as temporary relief for the upcoming water crisis. Jiajun Cen, CTO at Desolenator, lays out the case for solar powered desalination as a solution.

Award window 1: Intersolar Europe

The first round of pv magazine’s revamped award schedule in 2019 has closed. As expected the first award window, which is timed to coincide with the Intersolar Europe edition, is heavy on BOS components, power electronics, and modules – representing the strength of Europe’s downstream segment.

The next steps forward

Discourse surrounding Europe’s solar industry has intensified in the last year, with several leading voices asking the European Union to implement policy to drive a revival the bloc’s PV manufacturing sector. pv magazine explores the requirements for such a development.

Pioneering PV in Saudi Arabia

Nabih Cherradi is Chief Technology Officer of Desert Technologies (DT), a Saudi Arabian solar PV developer, EPC, O&M supplier, and module manufacturer. This is quite a comprehensive portfolio and Cherradi seems most proud of the PV manufacturing facility he has set up in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Kingdom finally seems poised to deliver on its exceptional PV promise. Importantly, this applies not only to large-scale installations, but also to rooftop systems and PV manufacturing.

Lower temperature, higher performance

A combination of a heat sink effect, with radiation and passive convection dissipation, results in cooler modules, and higher power output. This is the technique applied by Coolback, which is introducing a new backsheet/frame concept to the market for the first time this month. Coolback Company CEO Simon Meijer sets out the technology, effects, and strategy to market.

Hacking PV production, an der Havel

The regional train line from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Brandenburg an der Havel is a far cry from the crowded CalTrain linking San Francisco with Silicon Valley. But as pv magazine discovered as it hopped on board last month, perovskite PV development is reviving hopes for solar manufacturing in the region – hacker style.

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