The time is now for the energy consumer, says Anna Bruce, as energy “prosumers” produce, consume, and provide electricity and grid services in previously unimagined ways. Bruce, a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales’ School of Solar Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE), leads work on the role of distributed energy resources in the energy transition, analysing firsthand the dizzying level of complexity it brings.
PV module making is a brutally competitive industry. And for Slovenian module maker Bisol, in business since 2004, one of the keys to success has been to remain focused on the value its products deliver to the customer. And as company founder and CEO Uroš Merc explains, in 2021 this means reimagining module degradation.
The devil is in the details, as they say, and when it comes to the next generation of mass-produced, high-efficiency PV cells, silver costs may be devilishly hard to reduce. Making things worse, prices for the precious metal are now heading in the wrong direction.
There has been a flurry of activity within the PV cell manufacturer landscape over the past 12 to 18 months, and it’s largely been in one direction: bigger. But as large-format modules arrive on the market, questions are being raised as to how long the trend can continue and when bigger becomes, quite simply, too big.
Not all rooftops can bear the weight of glass PV modules. Some others have curves and shapes ill-suited to uniform, bulky panels. Flexible modules have long been advanced as the solution here, however the keys to unlocking this potential have proven elusive.
With rooftop solar surging, smart power electronics will be required to secure system strength and ensure that new limitations on rooftop PV don’t put a break on growth. Italy-based power electronics supplier FIMER believes its new range of string inverters are well equipped to do just that, as explains Fimer Australia and New Zealand’s Jason Venning and Warren Merritt.
There’s more to read in the solar world than pv magazine alone, as much as we may hate to admit it. Looking back across some of the industry’s seminal works, leading analyst Jenny Chase’s 2019 book is too valuable, and entertaining, to be ignored.
2020 was the year for mega-solar projects to strike record low prices – US$0.0135/kWh in Abu Dhabi for the unimaginably vast 2 GW Al Dhafra project. Not to be left behind, some Australian project developers are pursuing equally grand plans with cleantech guru Michael Liebreich saying that their likelihood for success will lie in what the proponents plan to do with the vast amount of clean, cheap energy.
Having supplied more than 450 MW of residential solar systems in 2020, Chinese inverter giant Sungrow is confident that 2021 will be the year it cracks the utility scale segment. It is also set to introduce a new battery for the distributed market segment, says Sungrow Australia country manager Joe Zhou.