Researchers have developed a high-resolution geospatial method of assessing the solar potential of all buildings in the EU and concluded rooftop PV could provide a quarter of the bloc’s electricity needs. The scientists say grid parity for rooftop solar has been reached outside eastern member states with cheap fossil fuel electricity.
Japanese materials company Toray has announced plans to open a facility for manufacturing battery separator films for use in lithium-ion batteries. The factory is expected to begin operations in July 2021 and will increase Toray’s production material for the component by around 20%.
The fossil fuel company will partner with Slovakia’s InoBat to develop hydrogen-related projects in central and eastern Europe. Sourcing and supply of hydrogen will be the main focus of the cooperation.
The nation had a record year for solar energy development. Most of last year’s new additions – 320 MW – came through a FIT scheme but a further 90 MW was represented by net metered installations. Hungary’s cumulative installed PV capacity reached around 700 MW in 2018.
According to the Brussels authorities, the transaction could affect competition in the electricity and gas sectors. EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager wants to ensure there are no price increases as a result of the proposed takeover.
More than a dozen European ministers of economic affairs have released a statement setting out the next steps to turn Europe into an industrial hub for large-scale cell production. The role of SMEs and competition was highlighted as ministers said European cells should provide innovation in terms of raw material use and sustainability, hinting at a pivot away from lithium-ion.
The Eastern European country is expected to see between 300 and 400 MW of PV capacity deployed this year. This growth will be primarily driven by the FIT program, which closed in mid-2016. Net metered PV installations up to 50 kW represent another key market driver, while C&I projects between 50 kW to 500 kW have ground to a halt.
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