United States

The big read: Inertia, frequency regulation and the grid

The old system of regulating frequency on electricity grids with the help of the inertia provided by large spinning masses is under threat from wind, solar and batteries. But what will replace inertia-based control, and how will the transition work?

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Solar buying from India, China rises as US imposes steel tariffs

US companies have boosted sourcing of completed racks from abroad in order to avoid the tariff on raw material [steel] imports, says Bloomberg.

Big dip in import and export of solar modules and cells

A flying start to the year saw huge volumes of solar cells and modules imported to India but the scale and value of such products fell over the remainder of 2018 and export figures mirrored that trend.

Researchers upcycle plastic waste into battery anodes

A new approach could extract carbon from polyethylenes in a cost-competitive way, that could be scaled up. Researchers have also performed electric testing with the extracted carbon and found it suitable for use as anodes in Li-ion batteries, among multiple other uses.

Sterlite Power forays into grid-connected battery storage

The power transmission infrastructure developer has submitted bids for two battery energy storage projects, with a cumulative capacity of 400 MW, in the recently concluded auction of Salt River Project utility in Arizona, USA.

Understanding why cesium and rubidium salt improve the yield of perovskite solar cells

The addition of either salt enables more even distribution of halide atoms within the perovskite material – key to increasing cell conversion efficiency. The explanation should speed up the process of identifying the best perovskite mixes.

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The long read: Bifacial testing sites multiply in the US

Bifacial solar panel performance has become such a hot topic there are now at least four competing field test sites ramping up in the United States, each matching a different set of trackers and panels. DNV GL, Soltec, NREL and Sandia are all involved, and initial results are expected this year, once a year’s data has been collected.

Singlet fission may raise theoretical efficiency of solar cells to 44%

According to a U.S. research team, new nanomaterials relying on dyes based on diketopyrrolopyrrole and rylene can generate a singlet fission reaction that extends the life of harvestable electronic charges.

India leads region as volume of corporate clean energy smashes record

The nation saw 1.3 GW of renewable energy secured for business through private PPAs in 2018, almost twice as much as the volume recorded in Australia, but the picture could change next year if China follows through with its renewable portfolio standard commitment.

This year could see a reckoning for ultra-mega PV projects

The fate of the clutch of 500 MW-plus projects due to break ground this year could determine whether such ambitious schemes have a viable future, says Wood Mackenzie in its solar 2019 forecast. And the Indian market should brace for consolidation, add the analysts, because of aggressive reverse-auction tariff pricing.

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