Top News

The long read: Bigger yes, but better…?

It is now a well-established trend. After the switch to larger wafer sizes played out in 2019, this year has seen virtually all of the biggest PV manufacturers introduce new modules in dimensions above the 2-meter mark, and with power ratings in excess of 500 W – in some cases, as high as 800 W. As these modules begin to roll off production lines in larger quantities, it’s vital to take a look at the challenges and opportunities they bring to system design, installation, and long-term operation.
Highlights

IEX launches new contracts to enable renewable energy trade on the same day and up to 11 days ahead 

The two newly introduced green contracts, daily and weekly, are in addition to already operational intra-day and day-ahead contingency contracts in the green market. 
Highlights

Evaluating tandem cells, from the bottom up

Scientists in Germany evaluated multiple silicon cell concepts based on both cost and efficiency in serving as the bottom layer in a perovskite-silicon tandem cell. The study, based on both simulation and experimental work, outlines advantages to various...
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Highlights

Gujarat tenders for 159 MW of solar EPC work

EPC contractors have until December 24 to bid for development of a cumulative 140 MW (AC) solar capacity across Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited's substations, and 15 MW plus 4 MW (AC) at Charanka Solar Park.
Highlights

SJVN seeks installers for at least 100 MW of solar

The state-owned hydropower producer has issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) to select potential engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) service partners for building solar capacity of at least 100 MW (AC) anywhere in India on a turnkey basis.
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Installations

Hybrid power solutions using solar with grid take off in India

A recent GOGLA report indicates an increasing trend towards hybrid power solutions that integrate DC solar with AC grid power, and appliances that integrate both AC and DC power. In particular, the sales of hybrid solar inverter UPS in India is growing a...
Markets & Policy

Solar panel cleaning startup Solavio Labs selected into Canadian accelerator program

The Coimbatore-based startup has designed an autonomous solar panel cleaning bot with a modular design, making it compatible with almost any structure, mounting area, or climatic condition.
Highlights

CERC calls for proposals to study useful life and CUF of solar projects

The regulator has sought a detailed study after it received requests for reconsidering the useful life and capacity utilization factor (CUF) of solar projects as notified in draft regulations 2020.

Markets & Policy

INR 2.0/kWh tariff is a new milestone in Indian solar PV history 

The minimum solar tariffs discovered fell by 131.5% over the last five years, with an 18% drop achieved in the last five months alone.

ADB to provide $563-million loan to improve electricity supply in Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya

Uttar Pradesh will get $430 million to upgrade distribution lines in rural areas and construct a parallel network of 11-kilovolt feeders spanning 17,000 km to separate electricity distribution between residential and agriculture consumers. The $132.8-million loan approved for Meghalaya will be used for the installation and upgradation of substations, distribution lines, etc.

SECI tweaks 100 MW solar-plus-storage Chhattisgarh tender

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has issued amendments to the procurement and extended the bidding deadline a second time.

Another bidding extension for off-grid solar and storage project in Himalayas

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has extended the bidding for its off-grid solar and storage project in Himalayas. The revised deadline is now December 21.

India, Sweden to fund joint R&D in smart grids

India’s Department of Science & Technology and the Swedish Energy Agency have launched a collaborative funding program for Indian and Swedish companies that aim to jointly develop new technologies, services and processes in the area of smart grids. 

Singapore’s Blueleaf launches in India with the acquisition of commercial solar developer Vibrant Energy

The pan-Asian renewable energy development platform, owned by Australian investment bank Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), has acquired a majority stake in Hyderabad-based commercial solar developer Vibrant Energy.

Installations

Featured

The market for hybrid energy and storage

"Efficient and economically viable energy storage, and optimal hybridization, are crucial for ensuring the expansion of renewable power generation both at the grid and micro-grid scale," says Deepak Thakur, chief executive officer for the hybrid and energy storage business of Sterling and Wilson. He has spoken to pv magazine about the accelerated proliferation of renewables-plus-storage across markets.

The unstoppable trajectory of photovoltaic water pumps

Scientists in Russia have analyzed the most important technological advances achieved for solar water pumps over the past decades and have indicated the roadmap that future research should follow to expand their use and application.

Rooftop PV vs. rooftop farming

U.K. researchers have developed a way to optimize urban rooftop use with solar PV and agriculture.

Himachal Pradesh developing 880 MW solar park

Land has already been identified for the solar park in Kaza town of Lahaul and Spiti district. State-owned Satluz Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd is developing the solar park.

India ranked the world’s most attractive solar PV market by Ernst & Young

The nation has earned the highest score of 62.7 in terms of attractiveness for solar PV investment and deployment in the latest ranking of top 40 countries by Ernst & Young.

WoodMac says renewable electricity generation in India could be 56% cheaper than coal-fired by 2030

The analyst said currently, India and Australia are the only Asia Pacific countries where renewable power already costs lower than new-build coal. It predicted the trend would spread to the entire region by the end of the decade, while India and Australia would see renewables becoming further cheaper than coal.

Technology

Featured

Mounting structure for balcony solar modules

Sino-Australian manufacturer Clenergy has unveiled a new mounting solution for PV panels installed in balconies. The structure is adjustable to different types of commonly-sized balconies with metal railings.

The future of cars is electric – but how soon is this future?

According to a new report by BloombergNEF, 58% of global passenger vehicle sales in 2040 will come from electric vehicles, yet they will make up less than 33% of all cars on the road.

BHEL tenders for supply of 286,000 solar cells

Manufacturers have until December 4 to bid for the supply of 286,000 multicrystalline silicon solar cells using five bus bars. The cells are required in the peak power rating of 4.62W (10,000 quantities), 4.67Wp (60,000) and 4.72Wp (216,000).

India and Israel to work together on perovskite solar cells and lithium sulfur batteries

Low-cost batteries and novel perovskite materials are among the topics selected for joint research and development.

Even if organic PV is cheap enough, efficiency does matter

A British-German research team claims that organic PV technologies may become mature enough to compete with crystalline silicon and thin-film products not only in BIPV, but also in power generation in the electricity market. In order to get there, however, organic PV products will have to achieve higher efficiencies.

TERI partners Norway’s Greenstat for Centre of Excellence in hydrogen

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the India arm of Norwegian energy company Greenstat to set up a Centre of Excellence for hydrogen in India and accelerate deployment of hydrogen technologies in the country.

Manufacturing

The long read: The afterlife of solar panels

Use of the term “circular economy” is growing in virtually every industry worldwide – solar included. As noted throughout Q3, in the UP initiative’s focus on circular manufacturing, work is already underway to integrate circular principles into all areas of business, from internal operations and supply chain management to manufacturing and installations. In a recent analysis of PV recycling, BloombergNEF detailed six conclusions for the solar industry and those who are trying to make it more circular. Cecilia L’Ecluse, solar associate, and Julia Attwood, head of advanced materials at BloombergNEF share these conclusions as part of our quarterly theme on PV module recycling.

Exide Industries increases stake in lithium battery JV with Leclanché

With an additional investment of INR 33.17 crore, Exide Industries’ shareholding in the joint venture company has increased by 2.28% to 80.15% of the paid-up equity share capital.

Government planning electric vehicle charging kiosks at 69,000 petrol pumps

An underdeveloped charging ecosystem is one of the many factors restricting the uptake of electric four-wheelers in India. A limited number of products and higher costs than combustion-engine powered vehicles are the other deterrents.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils 45 MW monocrystalline solar panel plant at PDPU

The solar panel production line at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University’s campus in Gujarat will demonstrate the process of cell-to-panel integration, lamination and EL testing.

The long read: Capturing complexity through the power of the cloud

Bifacial modules have brought significant opportunities to PV project developers, but they have also increased complexity in system design and the modeling of plant output. Australian software developers PV Lighthouse believe they have created a fix, by allowing the complexity to be handled by the use of cloud computing. PV Lighthouse CEO Keith McIntosh and CCO Ben Sudbury argue that their software can be useful for module makers, tracker suppliers, and PV project developers alike.

Trends in solar modules – RenewSys interview

Avinash Hiranandani, global chief executive officer and managing director, RenewSys India, speaks to pv magazine about solar module technology trends and their company’s manufacturing focus.

Energy Storage

Featured

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate RE-Invest 2020 tomorrow

The three-day event will connect the global investment community with Indian renewable energy stakeholders. It is expected to be attended by over 75 international ministerial delegations, over 1000 global industry leaders, and 50,000 delegates.

SunSource Energy bags 4 MW floating solar+2 MW storage project in Andaman & Nicobar 

The latest win follows a 1.95 MW/2.15 MWh solar-plus-battery storage project bagged by the developer for the union territory of Lakshadweep in July this year.

IISc Bangalore installs solar microgrid in primary health center

The network consists of a 96 V, 5.2 kW solar power system and a 96 V, 7.5 kVA PV inverter plus 96 V, 150 Ah of lead-acid battery storage. The microgrid will provide backup power during emergencies.

Second-life energy storage winner in EDF’s startup contest

Bangalore-based Nunam—which enables second life for used lithium-ion battery cells—is the winner of Pulse India competition conducted by French energy giant EDF. The EDF contest aims at supporting Indian startups committed to developing low-carbon and sustainable energy solutions.  

Cabinet approves INR22600-crore budget for solar module and advanced battery manufacture

An ambitious, INR146,000 crore, five-year expansion of a previous domestic industry spending program includes money to attract investment into the sustainable energy and transport technologies.

Fortum gets Finnfund to accelerate EV charging infrastructure

The clean energy major has raised investment from Finnish impact investor Finnfund in its public charging point operator business Fortum Charge and Drive India.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Driving a just clean energy transition

Climate Policy Initiative and REConnect Energy have developed an innovative mechanism called Garuda to retire old, inefficient thermal plants with equivalent renewable capacity. The scheme proposes a blended tariff that would include the normal tariff for the new renewable energy plant plus the cost of decommissioning the old fossil fuel plant, while making the provision for green bonds to finance RE. 

Rooftop solar market in 2020 

It has been a rocky year for installers with issues like availability of modules from Chinese suppliers, restricted construction due to local lockdowns, and uncertainty over import duties. Going forward, the market could see a dramatic rebound if net-metering is allowed with a current cap of 1 MW and re-introduced in the states that have shifted to gross-metering.

Towards a distributed solar energy future

A study by Auroville Consulting assesses the techno-commercial impact of generating solar power close to the point of consumption. The study was undertaken on ten feeders of a substation in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu. The results indicated that 100% solar energy penetration, in energy terms, is not only possible but a winning proposition, especially for the distribution companies.

Conformity assessment of solar PV panels in India

Quality of testing is equally important even as new test labs come up for solar modules. Proper equipment selection and frequent calibration of equipment are prerequisites to ensure the credibility of the test results.

Manufacturing a green solar bounce in India

The nation must look at innovative PV technologies that are low-cost and can be applied in a vast range of new applications.

India still nowhere near energy sufficiency

The government is trying to harness renewables to increase domestic output but will need a more liberal energy market and to consider the structure of procurement auctions, cloying red tape and the financial travails of state utilities if it is to achieve its goals, says Rakshika Kaul of Amp Energy India.

Press Releases

Tata Power secures Letter Of Intent for Odisha’s WESCO and SOUTHCO discoms

Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power utility, today announced that it has received the Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) for the distribution and retail supply of electricity in Odisha’s five circles of WESCO and six circles of SOUTHCO.

PV-Invest chooses Solytic to monitor 52 MW

Klagenfurt based company PV-Invest acquires and operates photovoltaic plants throughout Europe. Now, PV-Invest brings the O&M service back in-house.

All-India energy demand to continue to recover in 2HFY21

Electricity generation from renewable sources in October 2020 increased yoy by 36. 6% to 10 billion units with a 27% yoy increase in solar and wind capacity.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids teams up with Ashok Leyland in e-bus pilot at IIT Madras campus

The tripartite MoU is for an e-mobility social innovation pilot and acclerates India’s journey toward a carbon-neutral energy future and sustainable society.