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The long read: When a solar spark becomes a fire

In 2021, China installed 21.6 GW of residential PV, which accounted for nearly 40% of the total annual installation figure of 54.9 GW. Spool back to 2018, and the residential segment clocked in at a mere 3 GW – less than 7% of the total for the year. Vincent Shaw in Shanghai reports on how changing market priorities caused a spark that quickly became a fire.
Highlights

Websol to build 1.8 GW solar cell, module factory

Websol’s board members have approved a proposal to set up a new solar cell and module factory to produce high-efficiency mono-PERC and TopCon products.  
Markets & Policy

Solar module price increases to affect returns on 4.4 GW of solar

Solar cell and module prices have increased by more than 40% over the last 18 months, driven by polysilicon prices. However, bid tariffs has remained lower than what is needed to mitigate the rise in module prices. The risk of lower returns is significan...
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Manufacturing

Recycling options for PV panels, batteries could drive circular economy, says NREL

Renewable hardware that lasts longer and uses fewer materials could bolster recycling efforts and help to build an effective circular economy for solar and battery technologies, says the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Highlights

Single-axis trackers on commercial rooftops increase generation by 37%

Alion Energy trackers thread the return-on-investment needle with productivity gains from white roofs and bifacial modules, while design aggressively maximizes module count.
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Installations

Letters of Award given for Omkareshwar floating solar project

Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) has issued letters of award to NHDC, AMP Energy, and SJVN to build 278 MW of the 600 MW Omkareshwar floating solar project. This first-phase capacity development is expected to complete by September next year.  
Markets & Policy

Women salt pan workers in Gujarat to be trained as solar technicians

ReNew Power, United Nations Environment Programme, and Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) have launched a program to train women salt pan workers in Gujarat as solar technicians. Under the initiative, 1,000 women salt pan workers will be...
Highlights

Prozeal Infra wins 131 MW solar EPC contract in Gujarat

Prozeal Infra has secured an engineering, procurement and construction contract for 131 MW (AC) of solar from Gujarat State Electricity Corp. Ltd. (GSECL).

Markets & Policy

Featured

India’s first fractionally owned, ground-mount solar plant

A 5 MW open-access solar project in Karnataka is India's first fractionally owned, ground-mount PV plant. Bengaluru-based Pyse is financing the INR 26 crore ($3.3 million) project through its investment platform, which allows retail investors to own a stake for as little as INR 10,000.

New pricing mechanism for pumped-hydro storage in India

A new report recommends a differential pricing mechanism for pumped-hydro energy storage (PHES) projects in pumping (off-peak operation) and generating mode (peak operation). The pricing mechanism for PHES should be based on specific use cases like peak load shaving and the smoothing of renewable energy generation.

Discom dues liquidation to help realize INR 9,000 crore receivables for renewables sector

The receivables period for leading renewable energy generators can reduce by 40-50 days from the current 180 days, by March 31, 2024.

India needs $223 billion to meet 2030 wind, solar goals

India requires $223 billion of investment over the next eight years to reach nearly 280 GW of solar and 140 GW of wind capacity by 2030.

Solar auctions in India to attract large developers

A new report shows that renewable energy companies will continue to compete in upcoming auctions in India, undeterred by challenges such as rising materials costs and surging interest rates.

DVC seeks EPC contractors for 30 MW of floating solar

State-owned Damodar Valley Corp. (DVC) is seeking contractors to install and commission 30 MW of grid-connected floating solar capacity at its thermal power stations in Jharkhand and West Bengal. Bidding closes on Aug. 1.

Installations

Featured

Skyfri secures asset operations for 31 MW floating solar project in Kerala

Norway's Skyfri, which oversees almost 2 GW of solar assets throughout the world, has secured comprehensive asset operations for a 31 MWdc floating solar plant in Kerala.

Apraava Energy completes solar electrification project in Madhya Pradesh

Diversified power company Apraava Energy has partnered with SELCO Foundation to deploy solar solutions in 14 villages. The systems will generate approximately 13.9 MWh of electricity per year.

Novel floating PV system design from Norway

Norwegian scientists have tested a new floating PV system concept at a water reservoir in Sri Lanka. The system is made of composite beams to support the solar panels and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes to provide buoyancy.

Tata Power switches on India’s largest floating solar project 

Tata Power’s solar manufacturing and EPC arm has commissioned a 101.6 MWp floating solar project on a waterbody in the backwaters of Kerala. The execution team completed the massive installation within the stipulated time.

NTPC’s 92 MW Kayamkulam floating solar project now fully operational

The 92 MW Kayamkulam floating solar project in Kerala is now fully operational, with its last-part capacity of 35 MW commissioned recently.

ISA opens global bids for solar cold storage in Africa

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is overseeing bids from prospective contractors to supply, install and commission solar cold storage capacity in Senegal, Sudan, and Seychelles. Bidding is also open for two 2 MT systems in Djibouti.

Technology

Green hydrogen pilot project targeting fuel dispensation at 700 bar

GH2 Solar is the project partner for a new green hydrogen pilot based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers. It will have the capacity to produce 10 normal cubic meters of green hydrogen per hour.

Lithium-ion fire fears spark recall of 433,000 solar LED umbrellas in US, Canada

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have issued a joint recall of patio umbrellas due to fires caused by the overheating of lithium-ion batteries.

CEA-INES develops 18.95%-efficient flexible perovskite solar panels

French researchers have developed PV modules with an area of 11.6 square centimeters for indoor applications. They said the achieved efficiency level marks a world record for a flexible perovskite device larger than 10 square centimeters.

Indian researchers find way to stop dendrites in solid-state lithium batteries 

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have found that nanoscopic refractory metal layers like tungsten could improve dendrite growth tolerance in electrolytes of solid-state Li-ion batteries. The team collaborated with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.

BatX Energies raises $1.6 million to expand battery recycling

Vikrant Singh, co-founder and CTO of BatX Energies, told pv magazine that the company would use the funds to scale up its capacity, with plans to launch material production from end-of-life lithium batteries on a commercial scale. It will also set up recycling units in different geographies to locally produce black mass – a mixture of battery anode and cathode materials – and ship it to its India facility for battery material extraction.

Solar window generates electricity, thermal energy

A research team in Hong Kong has built a solar window that can generate power on the external side via a luminescent solar concentrator and thermal energy on the internal side via transparent solar absorbers.

Manufacturing

Featured

Sanvaru plans new lithium battery plant as orders exceed capacity

Haryana-based Sanvaru is expanding its lithium battery production capacity to 400 MWh per year by setting up a new factory in Haridwar.

NTPC seeking 135 MW of PV modules for solar project in Rajasthan

State-run power producer NTPC has launched global bidding to supply 135 MWdc of 530 Wp crystalline solar modules for its Anta solar project in Baran district, Rajasthan. Bidding closes on July 28.

Indian manufacturer unveils lithium inverter batteries with solar storage

Rajasthan-headquartered Natural Battery Technologies has developed lithium-based inverter batteries that can be charged with solar power. The batteries are designed for residential and commercial use, with storage capacities typically ranging from 1.5 kWh to 20 kWh. The company can offer other sizes, too, according to customer requirements.

China’s solar cell capacity exceeds 361 GW

Tongwei has also secured another massive polysilicon order and Golden Glass has invested in more heterojunction solar cell capacity. Furthermore, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) said 23.7 GW of new solar was deployed in China in the first five months of the year.

US startup unveils non-flammable batteries for EVs, storage

Alsym will produce its new batteries – made of readily available materials, without lithium or cobalt – for electric vehicles, stationary storage, and marine applications.

EV battery can reach 98% charge in less than 10 minutes

Enovix has shown that its US-made silicon anode lithium-ion batteries can charge from 0% to 80% in just five minutes.

Energy Storage

Featured

Oil India completes beta demo for hydrogen-powered bus

Ohm Cleantech, a startup incubated by Oil India, has developed a 9-meter hydrogen fuel cell bus that can cover 450 km on a single refill. The bus will start appearing on roads in Assam's Kaziranga Nation Park in the months ahead.

Tata Power installs 150 clean energy-powered EV charging stations across Mumbai

The company has installed solar, wind, and hydro-powered electric vehicle charging stations at residential societies, malls, commercial complexes, and petrol pumps in the city.

Hinduja Group invests in UK second-life battery storage specialist

Hinduja Group, an Indian multinational, has invested GBP 15 million (($18.4 million) with four other investors in Connected Energy, a developer of energy storage systems based on second-life electric vehicle batteries. The investment will help Connected Energy to scale up its operations and move into utility-scale project development. 

Gujarat tenders 500 MW of renewables with storage

The selected developers shall set up grid-connected solar, wind or hybrid wind-solar projects on a ‘build-own-operate’ basis along with required energy storage systems for assured peak power supply. Bidding closes on July 30.

Battery metals: How quickly can supply ramp up?

A couple of weeks ago, Goldman Sachs sent shockwaves through battery metals markets, issuing a prediction that cobalt and lithium in particular were due for a sharp price decline in the next two years. But London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is loudly pushing back, outlining its reasons why it believes the call on lithium was wrong. Meanwhile, US analyst Wood Mackenzie says that the battery raw material chain will remain tight, but notes that recycling could help to ease the supply deficit.

Hydrogen combustion tech for residential water heaters

Japan’s Rinnai has unveiled what it claims is the world’s first 100% hydrogen combustion technology for residential water heaters. It is currently using the hydrogen water heater in demonstration projects in Australia, prior to commercialization.

Opinion & Analysis

Technologies revolutionizing solar energy

Advanced solar panels, inverters, batteries and plant monitoring technologies are revolutionizing the solar sector.

Higher solar module prices: rainy days ahead for developers?

CareEdge Ratings has analyzed the key drivers of rising PV module prices and the impact on projects in India. It has also assessed the tariffs expected in upcoming bids, to ensure that developers get the same returns they were previously getting. 

No end to solar supply/demand imbalance

The solar supply chain problems that began last year with high prices and polysilicon shortages are persisting into 2022. But we are already seeing a stark difference from earlier predictions that prices would decline gradually each quarter this year. PV Infolink’s Alan Tu probes the solar market situation and offers insights.

Transforming the energy storage market

Ensuring pragmatic energy storage transformation is proportional to tweaking the current battery storage chemistry. Zinc battery technology is gaining traction, changing the prevailing energy storage dynamics.

Solar module prices increased 38% in the last 20 months

Supply demand mismatch is the most crucial factor which is directly or indirectly leading to an increase in module prices. At present, demand (especially for poly-Si) far outstrips the supply. A balance between the supply and demand is essential for stabilization of solar module prices.

ALMM policy deferment, a much awaited but temporary relief to the solar market

While ALMM does support domestic manufacturers, this is not a sustained solution considering the wide demand-supply gap. Disincentivising imports could be a workable strategy when there is enough capacity back home.

Press Releases

Cabinet approves strategic partnership agreement between MNRE and IRENA

The aim of the Agreement is to drive ambition, leadership and knowledge on green energy transitions based on renewable energy in India. The Agreement will help India’s energy transition efforts and will also help the world in combating climate change.

Global micro grids market to reach $46.5 billion by 2026

Grid connected segment is projected to grow at a 10. 2% CAGR to reach US$35.

BIS formulates performance standards for electric vehicle batteries

The Bureau of Indian Standard is in the process of publishing two more standards related to batteries for various passenger and goods carrying vehicles.

Saatvik announces Accura Resources as its distributor for solar PV modules in Gujarat

Saatvik manufactures solar PV modules using M10 and G12 technology.

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