Western Europe

UK Power Network launches smart EV charging market trial

With EV sales continuing their climb, and overall carbon emissions targets getting more ambitious, stakeholders in the energy system will need to consider flexibility options from, among other points, EV charging. A large distribution system operator in the U.K. is now examining the options to remunerate customers for adapting their EV charging patterns to load profiles of the grid. If successful, the exercise may help mitigate grid infrastructure expansion costs.

Scatec Solar triples production over last year

The IPP released its latest financial figures and leadership says that with growth across all business units, Q2 2019 is its best quarter ever.

China’s air pollution reduces PV production potential by up to 13%

If China could travel back to the 1960s with its current PV generation capacity it could harvest an additional 14 TWh of solar power, according to a study by academics at universities in Switzerland and the Netherlands. With a mixed record for reducing pollution, the country’s solar fleet output appears to be drastically affected by dimmed solar radiation.

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PPA-linked solar park comes online in Sweden

The 5.8 MW Sparbanken Skåne Solar Park is in the Sjöbo Kommun, in the southern region of Skåne. The facility is selling more than half its output to the spot market and around a third to Swedish bank Sparbanken Skåne under a 10-year PPA. The rest is being traded on the Nord Pool electricity certificate market for renewable energy in Sweden and Norway.

Meyer Burger seals $100 million HJT order, expects to hit break-even in first half

Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger has signed a contract to supply heterojunction cell manufacturing equipment to an unnamed North American manufacturer. The company also posted its preliminary results for the first half, posting a $14 million EBITDA loss but stating it expects to break even for the period after selling its wafer business.

First off-shore PV project launched in the North Sea

A floating solar array will be located in the North Sea near an aquaculture and an offshore wind power facility. The €2 million pilot project is being developed by a consortium including Tractebel, Jan De Nul Group, Deme, Soltech and Ghent University.

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Renewable energy production beats fossil fuels in Europe for the first half 2019

UK based energy data service provider and consultancy EnAppSys released its quarterly review of the European energy market. While renewables have covered a large chunk of the continent’s demand, that trend will likely change in the second half of the year, as production from renewables falls. Meanwhile, coal generation is being pushed out of the U.K. market, although not fully to the benefit of renewables as gas-fired power plants are picking up momentum.

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Belgium needs PV to meet obligations

Part three of our series on solar’s less covered markets takes us to Belgium, where despite impressive instsllation numbers from the rooftop market, a lack of volume means the country is unlikely to hit its EU mandated 2020 targets for renewable energy.

Sunowe’s trial for solar panel smuggling in Germany: customs must bring evidence

In the fall of 2017, German customs had revealed a “fraud cartel” around the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer Sunowe, which is said to have circumvented the applicable minimum import prices. Among the arrested suspects was a local politician, which drew significant attention to the case. This year, the trial started in the spring, but suspension came at the beginning of July when the customs office did not provide evidence in time. A restart of the trial is expected this winter.

France exempts solar self-consumption from electricity tax

The Ministry of the Economy and Finance has eliminated an ambiguity in the tax code: the French are not subject to a tax on the self-consumption of solar energy – even in the case of rented or leased photovoltaic installations. This clarification provides valuable certainty for renewable energy developers who want to innovate their business models.

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