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Magazine Archive 09-2020

The visible hand heralds a new dawn

The “invisible hand” is a widely understood metaphor for free-market economics. In China’s economy a “visible hand” is more evident, as government interventions are relatively commonplace. And in PV the visible hand is moving again, raising efficiency baselines and potentially changing the solar production game.

Ever cheaper PV brings pitfalls, new prospects

Large-scale solar has proven resilient in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the associated economic downturn, with the U.S. marketplace exhibiting an acceleration in deployment, reports Shoals Technologies Group. And while solar’s competitiveness is driving market growth, there remain risks to “going cheap,” according to Shoals Technologies CEO Dean Solon and President Jason Whitaker.

System operators are getting more flexible

Distribution system operators have their work cut out for them, as they are tasked with the ever-increasing challenge of managing their networks at times of increasing EV penetration, the electrification of heat, and distributed behind-the-meter generation and storage. As transmission system operator markets have opened to demand-side flexibility across Europe and beyond, we now see a trend of DSOs at the very early stages of a similar transition, writes Philippa Hardy, principal analyst at Delta-EE. DSOs are now starting to call on behind-the-meter assets to support local network management and balancing. This provides cost savings for DSOs, while offering opportunities for DSF providers and asset owners.

Poland’s wind of change

It may have one of the oldest energy mixes in Europe right now, but Poland nonetheless has ambitions to address this by bringing more renewables online. Łukasz Zaziąbł, regional sales manager for global energy developer BayWa r.e., talks about the Polish market and the opportunity for cleaner energy.

One million solar charged batteries

What catapulted solar to massive growth 14 years ago was a move beyond the “techie” and “greenie” niche markets of the 1980s and 1990s and into the mainstream, driven by consumer demand for energy bill savings and reliability (think the Enron debacle in the United States). Storage now needs its own transformational program if it hopes to move beyond the “prepper” and “shaver” niche markets it occupies today.

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