Renewables generation cheaper than coal for many power companies – but not yet for Eskom

An investor tool examining the coal fleets of major global power companies has offered up analysis which flies in the face of arguments solar and wind generation could help turn around the debt-saddled South African utility.


Russian scientists send organic PV into orbit

Scientists at Russia’s Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a solar cell with record high radiation stability. The scientists say the cells, based on an organic polymer compound, could be a strong candidate to meet the requirements of powering satellites in lower earth orbit.

Five solar projects planned in Russian Far East

An Austro-Russian conglomerate says 75 MW of new solar capacity will be commissioned by the end of November.

Step back to catch up

We need to build solar parks only when there are no more square meters left on the rooftops, writes Mikhail Lifshitz, co-owner of Russia-based JSC Rotec.


Solar offers increasingly lower capex in Russia’s renewables auction

Three projects with generation capacities of 5.6-6 MW were pre qualified for a 5.6 MW capacity procurement and Finnish utility Fortum secured the only PV project selected. The capex figure offered by solar developers was lower than that for 71 MW of wind power allocated and lower than for previous PV projects.

Russian scientists aim to enhance cell efficiency with gadolinium oxide nanoparticles

A Russian research team believes that the addition of rare-earth ions into the structure of photonic nanoparticles could help to increase the efficiency of industrial solar cells to 25–30%. However, they also said that further research is necessary.

Looking past perovskites

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego – with the help of the university’s Comet supercomputer – modelled thousands of halide compounds to come up with a shortlist of 13 materials that could be candidates for the efficient solar cell materials of the future.


Russia’s largest PV plant comes online

The 75 MW project was built by Russian developer Solar Systems LLC in Novokuybyshevsk, in the Samara oblast. The facility was mostly financed by Russian state-owned lender PJSC Sberbank.

Interview: Is Russia’s embrace of renewable energy a reality or a myth?

The superpower has always been seen as a fortress for oil and gas but positive signs are emerging from its renewable energy sector.


Renewables & geopolitics: Russia

In the latest of our interviews about renewable energy and geopolitics, Indra Øverland – head of the Center for Energy Research – discusses the difficult relationship between Russia and renewable energy. Despite a belief the gas and oil superpower will have little interest in clean energy, Overland believes the world’s most extensive nation will use renewables to improve its domestic power supply, especially in remote regions. Russia has a highly continental climate, with lots of sunshine – more than most of Western Europe, Overland says. Whether it can take advantage of that potential, however, is unclear.


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