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Open-access solar faces regulatory headwinds amid favorable PPA demand

The overall open access charges in case of third-party sale of solar power have increased over a period of time. These vary widely across the key states ranging between INR 2-5 per unit. 
Manufacturing

‘World’s cheapest wafer’ maker 1366 Technologies plans 2 GW cell and wafer fab

The American business is looking for module manufacturing partners as it plans to bring its 'direct wafer' production technique to India. The company uses molten silicon to form wafers rather than sawing ingots, thus eliminating dust waste and speeding u...
Installations

New microinverter from the US

Yotta Energy’s new micro-inverter is claimed to be an ideal solution for commercial rooftop PV systems linked to between 500 kWh and 1 MWh of storage. The device has a peak efficiency of 96.5% and a nominal maximum power point tracking (MPPT) efficienc...
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The right tracker for you: Comparing 1P and 2P solutions

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Long-term protection for energy storage assets through data-enabled insurance solutions

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Roundtables Europe 2021

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Markets & Policy

NTPC seeks offtakers for 735 MW Nokh solar project 

Applications are invited for procurement of power generated from NTPC’s 735 MW solar power project in Nokh, Rajasthan. To qualify, the applicant must have a sanctioned load greater than 2 MW.
Installations

India added 1.2 GW of renewables during Covid-hit April and May

The nation installed 1 GW of solar power capacity and 0.2 GW wind during the pandemic-hit first two months of the current fiscal. The cumulative addition was double that of the same period during the previous year. 
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Installations

NHPC tenders 50 MW floating solar EPC in Kerala

Bidders have until August 5 to lodge their interest in engineering, procurement, and construction of the 50 MW grid-interactive floating solar capacity in the Kollam district. The successful bidder shall also provide comprehensive operation and maintenan...
Markets & Policy

Concrete flywheel storage system for residential PV

A French start-up has developed a concrete flywheel to store solar energy in an innovative way. Currently being tested in France, the storage solution will be initially offered in France’s overseas territories and Africa.
Markets & Policy

Now Acme gets Brookfield for a 450 MWp solar project in Rajasthan

After raising equity investment for a 250 MW project, the Indian developer has signed a deal with Brookfield Renewable to develop a 450 MW solar project in Rajasthan. 

Markets & Policy

PLI Scheme will help India emerge as clean-tech factory of the world

The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in batteries and solar will help India graduate from a passive recipient to an active driver in the global clean-tech story.

Fortum to sell off 500 MW of India solar assets to Actis

The Finnish clean energy company, which works primarily on a build-operate-transfer model in India, has signed the agreement to divest its 250 MW solar plant in Karnataka and 250 MW in Rajasthan to UK investor Actis. The transaction is valued at approximately EUR 280 million and will enable Fortum to invest in building new projects.

China’s Jinchen holds 10 GW of solar production line orders from India

Jinchen Machinery has landed module production equipment orders from leading Indian solar manufacturers. It has already installed 2 GW of production lines and plans to supply the balance within three months. The company will open an India office in Surat, Gujarat. 

JSW Steel, CSIR-NCL, Scotland join India hydrogen alliance

JSW Steel will bring industry majors and the government together for hydrogen commercialization in the steel and cement sectors. CSIR-National Chemical Lab would work closely with the private sector on hydrogen development projects. Scottish Development International (SDI) brings the expertise from the implementation of large-scale hydrogen projects in Scotland.

Flagging off the energy transition decade 

With the draft National Electricity Policy (NEP) 2021, India is providing the right policy direction for this decade of the energy transition. Yet, there is room for further improvement. 

Module price increases to moderate solar project returns 

Solar module prices have increased by about 15-20% over the last 4-5 months to around 22-23 cents/watt as of date. As PV modules comprise about 50-55% of the overall project cost, such an increase in the module price level, if sustained, may moderate the debt service coverage metrics for developers by about 12-14 basis points. 

Installations

JinkoSolar, Longi, JA Solar claim 182mm modules offer lowest LCOE for utility scale solar

In a white paper, the three Chinese module manufacturers have reiterated the well-known refrain “bigger is not always better.” Experts from the three companies compared the BoS costs of 182mm-wafer-based modules and 210mm products, and found that the former have a slight advantage in racking, foundation, and land costs.

Transmission charges waiver for renewables extended till June 30, 2025  

The power ministry has announced that the exemption on grid charges is now available to solar and wind projects to be commissioned up to June 30, 2025. The waiver is also allowed for pumped-hydro storage and battery energy storage system projects.

The case for microinverters in rooftop solar

Sunil Thamaran, India head for USA-headquartered Enphase Energy, explains why microinverters are a good investment for rooftop solar. He also talks about the trends in microinverter design and their company’s India plans.

The long read: Floating solar up to standard

Floating PV is a growing market, especially in Asian countries with land pressures. However, like many promising niches, it is growing faster than the standards surrounding it. With installed floating PV capacity set to double in 2021, a raft of various and sometimes competing standards are being floated, but the question remains – what is truly the best way forward?

Tata Power commissions India’s largest solar carport for Tata Motors

The 6.2MWp solar carport at Tata Motors’ plant in Maharashtra spans over 30,000 square meters. It will generate 86.4 lakh kWh of electricity per year, helping to offset about 7,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.

Gravity-based storage for distributed solar

An international research team has designed a residential solar-plus-storage system based on gravity. The system was built with a solar power generator, a bulk booster charge controller, an inverter, a solenoid device, a deep cycle battery, a pulley block, a geared motor, a microcontroller, and wire ropes. Its creators said the system is ideal for regions with high solar radiation. They found that, due to its high electrical requirements, the system needs to rely on high-power solar modules with an output of over 500 W.

Technology

Featured

Stand-alone brackish water desalination system powered by photovoltaic-thermal unit

The BWRO unit, which has a treated water production capacity of around 11.80 ​L/h, was built with a pre-filtration module, a high-pressure DC pump, an RO module, and a post-treatment module. The PVT system was designed to meet the energy requirement of a high-pressure DC pump and a diaphragm-type circulation pump utilized to circulate soft water beneath the PV module for the active cooling of the panel itself.

Demand, policies, investment key to green hydrogen development

Ruchi Gupta is a research fellow at the University of Geneva’s Institute for Environmental Sciences. She focuses on how flexibility options, such as sector coupling with hydrogen production, can support renewable energy integration and decarbonize a wide range of sectors.

Flexible perovskite solar cell with 21.0% efficiency, high durability

International researchers have placed a low-dimensional metal-halide perovskite capping layer on top of a metal-halide perovskite film to provide hermetically sealed encapsulation and enhanced photocarrier properties. The cell has a short-circuit current density of 23.5 mA.cm2, an open-circuit voltage of 1.15 V, and a fill factor of 0.779.

New process to recycle silicon, silver and glass from end-of-life PV panels

A €4.8 million EU-funded research project is aiming to develop a process that allows recovering all components of a photovoltaic module.

The long read: Dial manganese for battery stability

Often sidelined by nickel and cobalt when it comes to batteries, the metal manganese is finding proponents in science and industry – in particular, by those attempting to avoid supply and cost issues. Ian Morse reports on the role of manganese in battery cell production.

Simplifying solar cell deposition

Scientists in Germany have developed a new process for deposition of silicon dioxide layers during cell production. Without the need for high pressure, flammable gases, or vacuum conditions, the process could lead to cost reductions for cell manufacturers, provided it can be developed and applied in a large-scale production setting.

Manufacturing

Featured

Premier Energies starts production at solar factory

The Indian solar manufacturer has started trial production of high-efficiency solar cells at its new Telangana site. The fab can produce 19.2%-efficient multi-crystalline cells using MCCE textured black silicon, as well as making 22.5%-efficient mono PERC products.

Waaree solar modules to power Austrian PV encapsulant firm’s operations

Austria-headquartered Borealis has deployed Indian manufacturer Waaree Energies’ modules for the rooftop solar installation at its plant in Italy. The modules use Borealis’ encapsulation film.

Goldi Solar to expand manufacturing capacity to 2.5 GW with new facility

The Indian solar panel manufacturer is setting up a 2 GW facility in Surat, increasing its total manufacturing capacity from 500 MW at present to 2.5 GW. The new facility will implement micro-gap module technology (MGMT), and produce high-efficiency mono-facial and bifacial modules with peak power output exceeding 500W and 600W, respectively.  

Amara Raja Batteries to reposition itself as an energy and mobility player

The Indian lead-acid battery major would form a new strategic business unit for lithium cells and battery packs, electric vehicle (EV) chargers, energy storage systems, and other related products and services as it looks to reposition itself as an energy and mobility player.

Surge in solar panel and polysilicon prices may impact projects in India

Modules represent 45 to 55% of the project capex. In a very competitive market like India, independent power producers have lower margins, and even a modest increase in module prices will put more pressure on them.

Smart sticker for smart solar modules

The sticker is based on a blockchain technology developed by German start-up Authentic Network. Meyer Burger uses the application for the photovoltaic modules it produces in its new factory that opened in Freiberg at the end of May.

Energy Storage

Featured

NTPC seeks expressions of interest for hydrogen fuel cell-electrolyzers

The state-run power company wants to explore the feasibility of using hydrogen instead of diesel for back-up power and micro-grid application.

Electricity derivatives will offer power offtake certainty for renewable investors

An Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) report says the sale of power in the futures market will benefit renewable energy developers and distribution companies alike.

ReNew Power joins Stanford initiative on battery storage

Stanford University’s StorageX Initiative brings together academia and industry to tackle the dominant challenges in energy storage. ReNew’s collaboration with StorageX will initially focus on large-scale battery performance in India. 

Visaka forays into solar-powered EV charging business

Telangana-based Visaka Industries will set up electric vehicle (EV) charging stations powered by its ATUM integrated solar roof. According to the company, the ATUM solar roof, with PV panels integrated on cement boards, can generate 40% more clean power in the same given space than any other solar solution.

Pairing a battery with solar could cut its overall value, Berkeley Lab report says

Separating generation from storage usually delivers higher value, but it may also deliver higher costs, the report said.

Concrete battery for applications in buildings, rooftop PV

A prototype of a cement-based battery has been developed in Sweden for potential applications in buildings. Its creators claim it could become a solution to store electricity from rooftop PV and they do not exclude that it could also be used for the storage of large-scale renewables.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Turning Nepal’s solar game around

Until 2016, Nepal suffered from chronic power shortages. At that time, just 65% of the country’s population had access to electricity. Assessing the situation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated that the country has the potential for 2.1 GW of installed PV capacity. Although the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has officially been able to buy solar power under long-term PPAs since July 2014, the majority of projects granted these contracts have been large-scale hydropower plants. Following slow activity, plans are finally afoot, however, to boost the country’s solar footprint.

IHSM clean energy insights: High module prices and shipping costs jeopardize 2021 installation outlook

In the first installment of a new monthly blog by IHS Markit, Edurne Zoco, executive director for clean energy technology, writes that high prices and increased freight costs are putting solar PV procurement teams under extreme pressure, particularly those teams with connection deadlines this year that were anticipating a more favorable pricing and logistic environment in the second half of 2021.

Green taxonomy first step towards building a resilient society

The second wave of Covid-19 reminds us to build a resilient society. Climate Change, not unlike Covid-19, will deliver devastating effects to our planet and disrupt our way of life. So, in this climate decade, India must channel investments into sustainable activities. The first step is to construct a robust “green taxonomy” – a green list of sustainable activities. 

Gujarat is progressing towards its solar PV rooftop target 2021-22

Gujarat tops the list of Indian states with respect to installed solar rooftop capacity, as it has already achieved around 40 percent of its allotted target. The persisting pandemic has slowed down the pace of capacity addition but policy incentives like SURYA- Gujarat are paving way towards Gujarat’s clean energy transition.

Could India establish itself as the global leader in energy storage?

In India, the lack of suitable fiscal incentives and relevant experience, combined with high upfront capital costs, has hindered the adoption of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in comparison to other developed countries. However, there is potential for the country to take the lead.

Drones playing a critical role in India’s solar boom

Drones, in combination with artificial intelligence, are helping to drive powerful insights, allowing teams to make better-informed decisions throughout the solar project development lifecycle.

Press Releases

Renewable energy will take almost 40% of the global power mix by 2030, says GlobalData

Europe will continue to make an accelerated shift into clean technologies, with renewables reaching 50% by 2030. Progress is slower in North America, where renewables appear set to contribute just under 40% of generation by 2030.

Amplus Solar helps rural India combat second Covid wave

Amplus Solar recently donated 30 medical-grade 10L capacity oxygen concentrators to government hospitals and nursing homes located near Amplus’ project sites across India.

Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College signs pact with Hygge Energy

Hygge's peer-to-peer energy trading platform will give Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College access and exposure to cutting-edge technologies that reduce electricity consumption and costs while increasing its resiliency during grid outages.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Argentina on cooperation in mineral resources

The MoU will provide an institutional mechanism for cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources like lithium.

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