Storage has long been expected to be the handmaiden of a renewable energy world and its long awaited advances started to finally emerge in the third quarter as researchers posited R&D achievements ranging from potentially potent tungsten disulfide nanotubes to the business case for 10-year solar panels.
Intersolar Europe is always a key date in the solar calendar but this year’s show had it all, including three panel-smuggling arrests. Elsewhere, wafers were getting bigger, efficiency records were tumbling and new technologies were emerging. There was also more news on the solar car ports fad and Hanwha’s ongoing legal tussle.
The first part of pv magazine’s review of 2019 considers Q1, when solar early adopter Italy offered an optimistic start to the year by fleshing out its plans for PV but uncertainty still clouded the world’s biggest solar market. The potential for household solar installations to rocket the world over – helped by ever cheaper panels – prompted strategic decisions in the inverter market and analyst expectations were confounded as the cobalt and lithium price plummeted, bringing the EV revolution a big step nearer.
With its app already present in Belgium and the Netherlands, start-up Jedlix is introducing smart charging in France. The solution enables Tesla drivers to optimize their charging strategy.
At the ongoing COP25 summit in Madrid, the French energy group announced the closure of nearly 1 GW of coal assets in Chile and Peru between 2019 and 2024. It also secured a PPA for an 18 MW solar park that will come online in southern France in June 2021.
Trade body SolarPower Europe’s preliminary statistics suggest this could be the continent’s best year for PV since 2010, with capacity additions set to soar 104% year on year. Spain is leading the way with an expected 4.7 GW of new solar, followed by Germany, with 4 GW.
The French institute said the result has been certified by ISFH CalTeC, in Germany. The manufacturers claim they were able to increase cell performance by improving the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition of amorphous silicon nanolayers and the conductive and anti-reflective transparent oxide layers.
Liten, a research institute of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, is developing a method of assessing losses at every stage from the reception of solar rays to the injection of electricity into the grid, to ‘make it possible to optimize the maintenance of the power plants to guarantee their performance’.
Manufacturers and research institutes from across Europe have announced plans to collaborate on creating improved processes for CIGS module production. Optimistically named SUCCESS, the project targets production line efficiencies of better than 20% for 30x30cm modules.
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