China stirs the PV world – by preparing to shift to auction mechanism

Projects not encompassed by the new, central-subsidy-free, ‘grid-parity’ regime will be eligible to bid for a government subsidy. But, at a reported $446 million, the pot is not big.

Blockchain marketplace for PV power trading launched in Switzerland

Some 377 households and a retirement home are participating in a pilot project. In the first two weeks of this month, solar power generators sold 82% of their electricity within the neighborhood. The goal of the one-year test run is to develop a viable concept for the trading of solar power.

World’s first solar-powered passenger car on roads next year

A Dutch start-up has designed an electric vehicle that runs solely on solar energy, and aims to deliver its first models next year. The car will also be available to lease.

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India eyes South America’s lithium reserves for battery manufacturing

As India plans to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium.

Long read: Towering utility bills drive C&I tracker market

The growing market for tracker-mounted solar within the U.S. commercial and industrial market is being driven squarely by mammoth utility bills that often include time-of-use charges and total demand charges. Single-axis and double-axis systems are being deployed on warehouses, at agricultural facilities, factories, mines, landfills, carports, and other sites, often with a payback of only a few years, equipment sellers say.

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Tesla acquires storage specialist Maxwell Technologies

Maxwell, which specializes in supercapacitors, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elon Musk’s business.

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Long read: Bifacial testing sites multiply

Bifacial solar panel performance has become such a hot pursuit this year that 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. The four test projects include DNV GL, Soltec, NREL and Sandia, and initial data is expected by late 2019, once a year’s data has been collected.

MagniX powers forward with electric light commercial aircraft plans

Solar PV is boosting regional economies by providing cheaper electricity to off-grid or edge-of-grid communities and industries; soon it could power cheaper electric aviation services. In three years, Gold Coast company MagniX expects to be selling a commercially available certified electric aircraft engine that will reduce the cost of flying light commercial aircraft by between 50% and 80% per operating hour.

Follow the sun: Deeper data from OpenNEM

Melbourne University’s Energy Transition Hub has released an update on its popular OpenNEM data tool, adding historical data to the searchable stream of information on where Australia’s energy is coming from, how we use it and what it costs.

Victoria: Renewable energy policy brief

Climate change means more storms, bushfires and extreme weather events. Our energy system must adapt to this changing climate. Victoria is well on the way to meeting its renewable energy targets thanks to a range of policy measures.

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