United Kingdom

UK water utility launches solar tender

Southern Waters is considering buying electricity from generation facilities on its sites in southern England. After launching a request for information process last year, it is now seeking bids from independent power producers.

Thin-film amorphous silicon greenhouses begin to sprout

Researchers have matched the tinting of semi-transparent PV modules with the bandwidth of light that plants absorb for photosynthesis. A promising trial with basil and spinach has opened up economic opportunities for farmers.

Tesla may become power provider in Germany

The high-profile electric car maker is conducting a survey of German customers to gauge their interest in a Tesla electricity tariff.

BP’s latest green pledge includes fossil fuel assets sell-off

The British energy company has pledged to raise investment in low-carbon energy – including biomass and natural gas-fired hydrogen – tenfold by 2030 and said it would reduce its upstream oil and gas activity 40% over the same period.

English councils tender for solar car parks and storage

Two local authorities on the English south coast are tendering for up to 250 kW of solar generation capacity and at least 300 kWh of energy storage under an arrangement which should not cost the cash-strapped councils a penny.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Solar resilient in the US as Australia and Europe forge ahead through crisis

Plus, U.K. analyst Cornwall Insight reports the price of green energy certificates in the nation could stay in the doldrums for some time and industry executives consider the upsides of the new virtual PV business.

Planned law could unlock 4 GW of UK storage projects

The government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has drafted secondary legislation aimed at easing the construction of large scale energy storage projects for renewables. Around 100 such batteries could be deployed thanks to the proposed rules, according to the department.

How the cracks are forming

Scientists in the United Kingdom have investigated the formation of cracks in PV cells, confirming that the high temperatures cells are exposed to during soldering for interconnection are a leading cause of cracking. Their findings will aid future research into module reliability and predictions of how cracks are likely to form.

Covid-19 weekly round-up: Solar Solutions show off again but CEOs voice confidence and Spain is moving its green economic recovery up a gear

Plus, solar funding is down and Australian rooftop installers are preparing for tough times ahead as one U.S. utility has warned customers to be alert to scammers hoping to benefit from the pandemic.

Printed protection for perovskite cells

Scientists led by the University of Cambridge have developed a new method to print a protective layer of copper directly onto a perovskite solar cell, providing protection to the active layer from damage often caused in later production stages. Cells using this layer were tested in various tandem combinations with silicon cells and achieved a maximum efficiency of 24.4%.

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