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The long read: Slow progress toward a big rooftop PV goal

A vibrant industry across the Middle East – including manufacturers, wholesalers, and a large number of EPCs and installers – supplies decarbonized electricity to meet growing air-conditioning demand, tapping the region’s abundant sunshine. However, progress toward this vision of a distributed-generation solar market segment and industry in the Gulf region has been slow, according to the president of the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), Ahmed Nada.
Installations

Apollo Tyres Ltd raises 27.2% stake in captive solar plant

The captive solar plant, being developed by Cleantech Solar arm CSE Deccan Solar, will supply 40 million units of electricity per annum to the tyre manufacturer’s Chennai facility. 
Markets & Policy

India’s solar module manufacturing capacity set to soar 400% 

CRISIL Ratings analysts estimate India will have 38-43 GW of annual solar module manufacturing capacity by the end of fiscal 2024-25. The capacity addition is driven by strong domestic demand, favorable government policy, efficiency, and price competitiv...
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Suitable solar+storage: New residential solutions from Jinko Solar

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Installations

Best fire safety practices for rooftop PV systems

Compiled by an international research group, the best practices were collected from all available guidelines published by national agencies, regulatory bodies, and trade associations.
Highlights

TOPCon vs PERC

TOPCon solar cells are on their way to fully compete with PERC solar products, according to recent research from Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE. Efficiency gains for the TOPCon concept, however, are necessary to help it capture more market share, as producti...
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Energy Storage

Fluence, ReNew to set up energy storage joint venture

The Fluence and ReNew Power joint venture will serve a diversified customer base in India by localizing and integrating Fluence’s energy storage products and packages for the local market. ReNew will become its first customer by procuring a 150 MWh bat...
Manufacturing

REIL seeks 200,000 silicon solar cells

Bids are invited from Indian manufacturers to supply five-busbar mono-/multi-crystalline silicon solar cells rated for minimum of 4.62 watts. Bidding closes on January 27.
Markets & Policy

Jakson appoints Vikram Solar’s Muvvala as EPC chief

Venkataramana Muvvala, who worked with Vikram Solar as business head-EPC, has joined Jakson Group as chief operating officer for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) business.

Markets & Policy

Solar water pumps redefining farmers’ lives 

With solar water pumps, farmers have access to high-quality power available for irrigation. These systems are portable and can be assembled at any preferred location. With the growing utilization of these systems, the costs have decreased substantially, making them an efficient, convenient, and cost-effective solution for grid-isolated rural areas. 

Floating PV could reach 4.8 GW globally by 2026

Global Industry Analysts has predicted the rapid rise of floatovoltaics, a market that is expected to serve areas with land-use concerns.

NTPC invites bids to build 900MW of solar parks in Cuba

The state-owned power company, a partner of the International Solar Alliance, will help the Cuban government with developer selection and the signing of project agreements and will oversee solar plant implementation up to commissioning.

Rays Power signs MoU for INR 500-crore solar investment in Rajasthan

Director Nidhi Gupta told pv magazine that the company had signed the agreement to invest INR 500 crore (US$67.2 million) in building a 120 MW solar park in the Bikaner district of the State. The solar park will provide plug-and-play infrastructure for captive solar projects.

Green hydrogen could disrupt global trade, bilateral energy relations

While there are still many uncertainties as to the way in which hydrogen trade might evolve and change economic ties and political dynamics between countries, experts agree that green hydrogen can bring winds of change to the global energy arena. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, significant geoeconomic and geopolitical shifts are just around the corner.

PLI Scheme for battery cell manufacturing receives bids for 130 GWh of capacity

The production-linked incentives scheme for advance-chemistry battery cell manufacturing received an encouraging response with bids received for 2.6 times the 50 GWh manufacturing capacity to be awarded.

Installations

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Discover Battery unveils lithium ferro-phosphate battery for off-grid solar, tiny homes

At Intersolar North America in California, Canada-based Discover Battery has launched the Helios energy storage system, an LFP battery designed to operate in remote conditions.

NTPC arm tenders 3.5 MW (AC) solar at four airports 

The solar plants are to be set upon the land available at four airport sites in the States of Delhi (2 MW), Madhya Pradesh (0.5 MW+0.5 MW), and Rajasthan (0.5 MW) under net metering.

Tata Power arm commissions 100 MW solar capacity in Uttar Pradesh

Tata Power’s renewable energy capacity in operation has swelled to 3,055 MW (2,123 MW of solar and 932 MW wind) with the latest addition of 50 MW PV plants each at Prayagraj and Banda. 

Gujarat launches EPC tender for 220 MW solar

Bidders have until February 1 to apply for the engineering, procurement, and construction of 220 MW of grid-connected solar projects anywhere in Gujarat.

MNRE expands ALMM requirement to open-access and net-metering solar projects

Only the solar products and manufacturers making to the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) will now be eligible for open access and net-metering projects—in addition to government-backed projects—installed in the country. These include projects set up for sale of electricity to the Government under Section 63 of Electricity Act, 2003. The amendment shall apply to renewable energy projects which apply for open access or net-metering facility from April 1, 2022.

The long read: Dealing with dust

Sand and dust are a PV plant operator’s worst nightmare. Performance losses due to soiling, or “the dust effect,” are a cause for innovation among O&M providers, particularly in dry and dusty regions that are otherwise ideal locations for large-scale solar installations. Yazeed Al-Mousa examines the latest robotic cleaning solutions, as well as the software and sensors that help plant operators with the tricky economic decision of when to actually start cleaning.

Technology

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Ohmium partners IIT Madras on PEM electrolyzer R&D

The USA-headquartered green hydrogen generator developer has entered into an R&D partnership with IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) to improve the performance and lower the cost of its polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers.

Spraying water system for solar module cooling

A British-Indian research group has developed an active cooling technique that is claimed to improve a PV system’s yield by around 0.5%. The system could be used in residential solar arrays and the water heated by the PV modules may be fed into a solar water heating system.

Vikram Solar launches M10 modules

The Indian manufacturer has unveiled Series 10 monocrystalline PERC solar modules featuring 144 half-cells based on M10 wafer. The modules are available in monofacial and bifacial versions with a maximum efficiency of 21.33% and 21.13%, respectively.

Japanese consortium builds lithium-air battery with energy density of 500 Wh/kg

A Japanese group has developed a storage system with potential applications in residential storage, electric vehicles, drones and Internet-of-Things devices.

Panasonic unveils 410 W solar panel with 22.2% efficiency

The new heterojunction module series is compatible with Panasonic’s Evervolt battery and has a power output ranging from 400 to 410 W. It also features a temperature coefficient of -0.26% per degree Celsius.

Residential building fully reliant on hydrogen for space heating, hot water

The campus of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands is currently hosting a retrofitted existing building provided with heating by an H2 heating boiler in the attic. The boiler is linked to an underground hydrogen system.

Manufacturing

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Reliance Industries commits over US$75 billion for green energy projects in Gujarat

The Mukesh Ambani-led diversified business conglomerate has agreed to invest INR 5 lakh crore (US$67.6 billion) in building 100 GW of renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen eco-system in the State. It will also invest INR 60,000 crore (US$8.1 billion) in setting up manufacturing facilities for new and renewable energy equipment including solar modules, electrolyzers, energy-storage batteries, and fuel cells.

Asia Pacific solar supply chain trouble to ease this year, according to analyst

Wood Mackenzie has predicted solar equipment cost increases will ease back after last year saw the average cost of solar electricity rise for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region.

Daily news roundup: Mecwin and KVG Bank partner on solar pump finance, Adani’s new energy arm

Bengaluru-based Mecwin Technologies Ltd and Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) have partnered to finance solar pump-sets for farmers. Adani has formed a new energy arm called Adani New Industries Limited (ANIL).

The long read: Finding PV faults faster

PV cell and module manufacturers are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to monitor production lines and the products coming off them in minute detail. As inline monitoring and testing equipment become more sophisticated, cell and module makers must be prepared to manage the enormous amounts of data and pull out the points that will save them time and money. pv magazine examines the software solutions backing state-of-the-art PV production.

Airtouch Solar appoints Nimish Jain as India CEO

Nimish Jain brings to Air Touch India, the India arm of the Israeli robotic cleaning specialist for the solar industry, around 13 years of work experience in renewable energy in new market development, operations, strategy and business development functions. He has worked with companies like Solarig Global, Vikram Solar, and Jinko Solar.

Bringing dead lithium back to life to boost battery lifespans

Researchers at Stanford University and the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have explored the potential recovery of lost capacity in lithium batteries by using an extremely fast discharging step to reconnect an island of inactive lithium with the anode. Adding this extra step slowed the degradation of their test battery and increased its lifespan by nearly 30%.

Energy Storage

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Green mobility: IREDA launches scheme to finance battery storage, green hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

The State-controlled renewable energy and energy efficiency lender has launched a scheme to finance new and emerging technologies that promote and increase the usage of renewable energy in the transport sector. 

LG Energy Solution IPO attracts $80bn in bids

LG Chem’s energy storage and battery division’s $10.7 billion initial public offering received a staggering response from institutional investors, Reuters has reported.

Philippines’ SMC to start operation of 690MW of batteries

Filipino conglomerate San Miguel Corp aims to complete 1GW of battery storage projects this year to make way for the integration of some 3GW of intermittent renewable energy generation.

Solar-powered hydrogen for domestic applications via building-integrated transparent platform

An international research group has created a closed-loop, transparent energy platform based on PV power generation and hydrogen production from photo-electrochemical cells. The system is claimed to supply power without interruption and to be transparent enough to be integrated into buildings.

Electrolyzer tech to produce hydrogen from seawater

With a new start-up and a consortium in the Netherlands, German automotive supplier Schaeffler wants to significantly reduce the costs of green hydrogen.

Hero Future Energies, Ohmium to install 1 GW of green hydrogen capacity

Indian renewable energy developer Hero Future Energies has partnered with US-based Ohmium International on the development of green hydrogen plants in India, the UK, and Europe with a cumulative electrolyzer capacity of 1 GW.

Opinion & Analysis

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India’s energy transition: Opportunities in power transmission, monitoring and storage  

As India ramps up renewable capacity, there will be a higher requirement for substations, transmission corridors as well as battery energy storage. There is tremendous potential in technology localization in areas such as remote power monitoring, predictive maintenance, EV charging, green hydrogen, and energy storage.

Green Energy push for future sustainability in India

The core objective of renewable energy deployment in India is to promote economic growth, enhance energy security, increase energy access, and reduce climate change. Sustainable development is possible by the use of clean energy and by ensuring access to affordable and reliable energy for every citizen.

How round-the-clock renewables point to optimum use of energy generation and infrastructure

Amid the troubles of the coal-dominated grid, variable renewable energy has a place in ensuring reliable supply

Microgrids make sense for Indian cities

Microgrids that use on-site renewables such as rooftop solar can help relieve peak demand on the grid during afternoons, and later in the evenings through battery storage. This can help power distribution companies (discoms) avoid buying expensive power to meet peak demand.

India’s clean power target will double electricity supply economically if low-cost storage is deployed

Berkeley Lab report finds historic lows in clean energy prices position India to transform electric system

Looking past PERC solar cells

While the adoption of large-format wafers has driven a wave of capacity expansion for PERC, existing manufacturers and new entrants continue to evaluate TOPCon and HJT. An increasing number of HJT pilot lines and gigawatt-scale capacity expansion projects are appearing, as manufacturers see the advantages of fewer process steps, higher efficiency ratings, and better yield rates. The localization of equipment is also a driving factor. PV InfoLink’s Derek Zhao offers an update on the latest developments and process routes for HJT.

Press Releases

Power minister reviews progress of Solar Roof Top Scheme; directs to simplify scheme

The minister has directed that henceforth, it will not be necessary for any household to get the roof top solar installed by any of the listed vendors.   The households may also install the roof top by themselves or get the roof top installed by any vendor of their choice, and inform the distribution company about the installation alongwith a photograph of the system which has been installed.

Torrent Power Limited wins prestigious “Sword of Honour” and “Globe of Honour” awards from British Safety Council

Torrent Power is one of just 5 organizations (of which 2 including Torrent Power are electric utilities) worldwide to receive both these prestigious recognitions in 2021.

Amp Energy secures $350 million cross-jurisdictional portfolio financing

Amp Energy (“Amp”), a global Energy Transition Platform and renewable energy developer, announced today the closing of an innovative $350 million cross-jurisdictional credit facility with a consortium of leading institutional investors including Brookfield Asset Management, a leading sovereign wealth fund, and Nomura Securities.

PFC-REC make further reduction in lending rates

State-owned Non-Banking Financial Companies, Power Finance Corporation and REC Limited have further reduced their lending rates across all types of loans by 40 Bps.