Western Europe

The weekend read: Your guide to market growth in 2020

Some 15 countries are likely to be able to lay claim to the status of being members of solar’s “gigawatt club” in 2019, according to conservative projections from BloombergNEF. Nonetheless, PV suppliers, developers and service providers are always on the lookout for new pockets of growth. To kick off 2020, pv magazine’s global team of correspondents and editors have highlighted 10 “fast-growing” solar markets to evaluate where the opportunities, and potential risks, lie.

Building Energy to lay off 28 employees in Italy

The Italian developer has announced most of its 37-strong Italian workforce will be laid off without spelling out why.

Germany’s special PV tender concludes with average price of €0.0568/kWh

Tariffs ranged from €0.0470 to €0.0620 as the solar power price rose from the last national procurement round, which settled at €0.0459-0.0520 in October for an average €0.0490/kWh. Some 501 MW of generation capacity was allocated in the latest exercise.

Portugal pushes back solar auction to March

The minister of environment and energy transition has told parliament two auctions for large scale solar will be held this year, with a new procurement round now planned. The minister revealed energy storage may play a part in the capacity tenders.

Greece to overhaul licensing regime which puts the brakes on solar

The energy ministry has published a plan to radically simplify the renewable energy permitting process. The new system is expected to come into force as early as next month and will be applied retroactively to address a 22-month backlog in generation license applications.

Singulus scores €50m CIGS production kit order from unit of China’s CNBM

The German PV equipment provider has agreed to supply manufacturing equipment for CIGS thin-film solar panels to the CNBM Bengbu Design and Research Institute for Glass Industry, a subsidiary of cement producer China National Building Material.

Mind the gap

Fire safety engineering researchers have demonstrated increasing the gap between the modules of commercial PV arrays and flat roof surfaces is a decisive factor in reducing fire risks. Experiments have identified a critical gap height below which flame spread rate increases significantly.

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Another corporate PPA signed in Italy

Italian steelmaker Acciaierie Venete will buy solar power procured by Swiss energy trader DXT Commodities from a third-party unsubsidized PV plant in Italy under a five-year power purchase agreement.

NEC Energy Solutions to build 100 MW of storage capacity in Northern Ireland

The company will provide two 50 MW systems for investor the Gore Street Energy Storage Fund and project developer Low Carbon. The projects will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

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Hard times for thin-film PV module makers as Crystalsol and Calyxo file for insolvency

Calyxo, a German cadmium telluride solar module manufacturer, has filed for insolvency for the second time, despite the recent emergence of new prospective investors. Meanwhile, Crystalsol – an Austrian flexible solar panel maker – has also initiated insolvency proceedings, due to losses of roughly €7 million.

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