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Japan

Europe had just 650 MW of solar cell manufacturing capacity at the end of 2020

The latest update to the Photovoltaics Report produced by research organization the Fraunhofer ISE has offered up the usual slew of interesting stats on the state of solar across the continent.

Japan revises 2030 targets, plans to double renewables

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has released a draft energy plan with ambitious revisions to the nation’s previous energy and emissions targets. The proposed plan will sees a doubling of renewables compared to the previous target, and significant cuts to coal and gas, much of which it buys from Australia.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

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Huge Vietnamese solar park could hit 2.8 GW within a year

An energy transition investment report published this week has also revealed the former world record low price for solar power announced by the Al Dhafra project in Abu Dhabi last year, has fallen even lower since.

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Hold your breath for a better battery

Recent research has revealed a previously underestimated role for oxygen in limiting the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Newly published research from both Japan and the United States has sought to look deeper into the chemical reactions at the heart of lithium-ion storage; and to better characterize the cumulative effects that minuscule amounts of oxygen released during these reactions can have on battery performance and safety.

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China to add 619 GW of solar this decade

Indonesia will catch the eye too over the next nine years, according to analyst WoodMac, as its market grows from 300 MW to 8.5 GW.

The Hydrogen Stream: Italy’s Eni lays out plans in Algeria and Egypt, UAE joins race with help from Japan

Italian energy company Eni is partnering with local companies in Algeria and Egypt to explore the possibility of producing green and blue hydrogen in the North African countries. The United Arab Emirates is also collaborating with Japanese partners to develop the country’s hydrogen sector, while in New York, hydrogen has arrived in Long Island.

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New renewables cheaper than legacy coal or gas for almost half the world’s population

Electricity bill payers in nations as diverse as Germany, Greece, India and China should be aware new solar projects can now generate electricity cheaper for them than legacy coal and gas-fired plants.

‘Low-cost renewable hydrogen may already be in reach’

If the three record-busting low solar price tariffs recorded in the Middle East in the past 18 months are to be believed, renewables-powered hydrogen in prime sites in the region could already compete with gas-plus-CCS production, according to IRENA. Has the Gulf discovered the new petrol?

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New perovskite material for 23.5%-efficient solar cell

Researchers in Japan have found a new way to fabricate one of the most promising perovskite materials for PV application — the α-formamidinium lead iodide known as α-FAPbI3. With a pre-synthesized version of this material, they were able to produce a cell with a power conversion efficiency of 23.5% and a lifespan of more than 2,000 hours.