The energy companies have signed a partnership agreement to expand their portfolios on the Iberian peninsula. Spain and Portugal have ambitious decarbonization plans requiring large capacities of renewable energy resources in the years to come. Spain’s PV market could reach 6 GW this year.
The construction of the Guillena-Salteras plant in Seville will begin shortly, with completion scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.
The country boasting the highest solar irradiance in Europe has now clearly resumed its race to become a superpower in renewable energy. Pushed by its large-scale segment, the Spanish PV market is expected to see strong growth for the entire next decade. Several factors are contributing to short-term success, including lower module costs and a hike in prices in the local spot electricity market. A series of challenges, however, may provide lower than expected growth, such as grid capacity and rules for access. Although the current Spanish government is seeking to improve the regulatory framework, caution must be advised on the policy side.
Europe’s new breed of grid parity projects is mushrooming on the southern fringes of the continent. With governments’ flexible attitude towards remuneration, to the detriment of reliable planning, the desire to make grid parity projects work is strong, and its progress will likely spread north.
Three days before the end of the year, Baywa re not only announced the completion of a 175 MW subsidy-free solar power plant – said to be the first of this size in Europe – but also that it had been sold. For Benedikt Ortmann, managing director of the project business at Baywa re, this is groundbreaking.
The brewery giant has joined the band of corporations cutting their carbon emissions with corporate PPAs. The deal now is the UK’s largest of this type. But elsewhere in Europe unsubsidized solar PPAs are also taking hold, indicating a striving industry despite a turn away from FIT schemes.
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.
More predictions from IHS Markit reveal that 123 GW of solar PV installations are expected in 2019 – up 18% on the capacity additions expected this year. It also sees a market shift away from China, with two thirds of capacity located elsewhere. The overcapacity situation is also expected to ease.
Researchers in Spain have proposed a new standard for solar cell testing, which they say could enable more accurate determinations of a cell’s annual energy yield. Using machine learning, the method processes data sets consisting of thousands of solar spectra, creating representative examples which can then be used to predict average annual efficiency.
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