The combination of pumped hydro with other storage technologies can increase renewables penetration, improve operational safety and reduce maintenance costs at large-scale hydropower plants, according to new research. The study also focuses on techniques to determine the optimal size of renewables-based pumped hydro storage systems. Costs for hybrid solar-pumped hydro projects currently range from $0.098/kWh to $1.36/kWh.
An Indian Institute of Technology research team analyzed around 300 studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.
A U.S. research group has developed a metal-carbon-nanotube composite – MetZilla – which can be embedded in commercial, screen-printable silver pastes and is said to reduce the formation of hotspots in solar modules and to prolong panel lifespan. The composite metal contacts are also ‘self-healing’ as they are able to regain electrical continuity after cycles of complete electrical failure caused by extreme strain.
Spanish researchers have discovered a material said to offer radiative cooling and self-cleaning of devices which undergo critical heating during operation, such as PV panels. The thermal emitter enabled the scientists to lower the daytime temperature of silicon wafers by 14 degrees Celsius.
A U.S. research team has used protein bacteriorhodopsin to improve the efficiency of what it called ‘bioperovskite’ solar cells. The scientists used Förster Resonance Energy Transfer to predict the strength of long-range excitonic transport between the perovskite and protein layers.
The facility will be developed under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar initiative on a public-private partnership basis in Herat province.
A British study has found co-location of solar and storage may accelerate the deployment of profitable merchant renewable energy projects in the United Kingdom. The report predicts installed solar capacity in the U.K. could increase from around 13 GW next year to 19 GW in 2030 and 32 GW in 2040.
Deploying commercial and industrial PV in China without subsidy is already profitable in some areas, according to a new study, but prohibitive soft costs and cheap electricity are the main barriers for such installations in areas where grid parity remains out of reach.
According to the Taiwanese market research company, PV panel demand will increase by 16% over 2018 shipments. TrendForce also believes this growth trend will continue in 2020.
The European solar trade body expects 128 GW of new PV capacity in 2019, with China likely to bring around 43 GW online and Europe experiencing enough demand to deploy about 20.4 GW. In 2020, global solar demand is expected to reach 144 GW, while in the following three years new PV additions are forecast to total 158 GW, 169 GW and 180 GW, respectively.
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