Forecasts for the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of solar PV were hotly contested over the past decade, with one trend predominating: All but the most optimistic outlooks were wrong. pv magazine has gathered data to showcase the recent evolution of solar PV energy costs, and the results are stark. Within just a few years, initial projections become outdated, which means that forecasts of solar PV prices are more art than science.
New analysis released by Lazard compares the levelized cost of energy for various generation technologies on a $/MWh basis and shows that renewables, specifically utility-scale solar and wind, are the economic frontrunners.
Bifacial modules are one of the older developments in solar panel technology, dating back to the 1960s. It is also one of the latest advances to take hold. According to many experts, however, it is now on track as the latest trend to sweep the solar industry and will soon become the standard.
pv magazine’s Amjad Khashman has spoken to Chinese solar developer Jinko Power about negotiating the world record low price tariff agreed for electricity generated at the Al Dhafra solar project in Abu Dhabi.
Researchers have created a device to produce electricity and steam at the same time. The system is said to offer 85.1% efficiency and deliver steam at up to 248 degrees Celsius. The converter combines III–V, triple-junction solar cells and a high-efficiency solar thermal system based on parabolic trough collectors.
Amid a growing appetite for sustainability from customers, Lithuanian solar panel maker Solitek is applying circular principles to its production operations. Measures include embracing digitalization and new approaches to design. Project manager Tadas Radavičius has spoken to pv magazine about the company’s work and how Solitek is supporting European projects which are considering circular solar.
The Chinese manufacturer will supply 126 MW of modules to a project in Antofagasta which was originally installed using its products in 2016.
SolarPower Europe has predicted the volume of new PV capacity added this year will be 4% less than last year’s figure because of the Covid-19 crisis. At the end of 2019, the world had topped 630 GW of solar. For 2020, around 112 GW of new PV capacity is expected, and in 2021, newly installed capacity could be 149.9 GW if governments support renewables in their coronavirus economic recovery plans.
Researchers from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore have concluded that utility-scale PV projects relying on bifacial panels and single-axis trackers deliver the lowest levelized cost of energy in most of the world. They found that the combination of bifacial products with dual-axis trackers is still too expensive, despite the higher yield. The second-lowest LCOE is offered by monofacial single-axis tracker plants.
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