World

Fossil fuel financing on upward trajectory with trillions invested since 2015

While some lenders and financiers have signaled plans to stop funding polluting power stations, a new report shows that 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing the fossil fuel industry as a whole since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Big U.S. banks led by JPMorgan have invested most heavily.

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Rise of bifacial lifts profits for the world’s tracker companies

Things are hotting up in the tracker world as the desire to squeeze down the price per Watt of solar power intensifies. And the rise of the trackers is attracting some well-known businesses to buy their way into the field.

Lithium and cobalt prices down 30%; EV’s watershed moment looming?

Against the backdrop of soaring demand, commodity prices for lithium and cobalt have come down 30% since the beginning of the year. This could have a profound effect on the EV industry, bringing price parity in comparison with conventional vehicles much earlier than previously thought.

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Poly maker Daqo presents a blockbusting set of figures

Profits and revenues were down in a year which saw average selling prices slump – especially after the turbulence in the Chinese market – but the company’s hell-for-leather dash for production capacity expansion and aggressive cost cutting mitigated the ill effects. And there is more to come in the year ahead.

ITRPV tenth edition: Module prices fell almost a third in 2018

German engineering association the VDMA expects PV system prices to continue to fall, as set out in the latest International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics report. Falling production costs and rising cell and module performance levels will secure long term competitiveness for PV in the energy mix, says the report. VDMA estimates global production capacity for PV modules reached 150 GW last year.

The blockchain club

Open-source blockchain platform Energy Web Foundation has revealed the number of its affiliates has risen from 37 to 100 in recent months. New members include EnBW, Total and a unit of the State Grid Corporation of China. The platform was conceived to create an energy-blockchain ecosystem and to accelerate the energy transition.

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Solar becomes a must-have for utilities

Motivated by steeply declining cost curves, leading utilities are building solar portfolios around the globe. The latest statistics show the cumulative capacity of the biggest utility-scale solar plant owners topped 18 GW at the end of last year, with power companies in China, the U.S. and India to the fore.

Munich Re’s new policy could help lever solar investment

Insurance is seldom sexy but climate change campaigners will raise a glass to Munich Re if the industry emulates its policy to cap the financial risk related to battery warranties and helps lift global investment in energy storage as a result.

Global solar demand reached 104 GW in 2018

According to new figures released by SolarPower Europe, last year saw 1.4 GW more new solar generation capacity than trade body had expected. Lower demand in China was compensated for by stronger developments in emerging markets.

Off-grid solar could bring electricity to 740 million people by 2022

As RP Global starts work on 11 solar hybrid mini-grids on Lake Victoria that will supply electricity to 160,000 people, analyst Wood Mackenzie has released a report stating how increased capital flows in the sector may still fall short of securing universal electricity access by 2030. Nonetheless, off-grid solar is the cheapest and most viable solution for remote areas and attracts investment from fossil fuel majors and venture capital funds.

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