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Lightweight solar for agricultural water reservoirs

The Genap Energy Cover uses HyET Solar Powerfoil thin-film solar modules, rated at 12.0% efficiency, for agricultural water storage and reservoirs, with an initial focus on the greenhouse and horticulture markets in the Netherlands. Genap said a 12kWp test setup had a generation density of 60W/m2, rising to 120W/m2 within a year, with an eventual target of 165W/m2.

Weekend read: Silicon carbide’s second coming

Silicon carbide (SiC) has promised inverter makers higher power density, higher efficiency, and a total bill of materials that comes in closer to its more established rival in silicon. Has SiC finally arrived? Tristan Rayner spoke to the people at the forefront of the wider-bandgap material to find out the back story and what’s next.

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Sunday read: Crypto’s energy conundrum

In a financial world of stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and credit cards, trillions of dollars are traded daily, with money flows handled by a bevy of databanks. In the world of cryptocurrency, billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin are traded through as many as 400,000 transactions per day, consuming the energy supply of a modernised country. The quirk is a “proof of work” feature that provides decentralised security. Is Bitcoin’s energy usage all for nothing, or is it a game-changer for renewable assets and generators? Tristan Rayner explores.

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The changing landscape of the modular marketplace 

The modular solar marketplace is growing, especially in Australia where remote mining and agricultural sites appreciate the benefits of compact, moveable solar. One new entrant is Western Australia’s CDI Energy with its “Rapid Solar Module”, which CDI founder and CEO Darryl Bower told pv magazine is up to 30% cheaper than fixed axis alternatives.

Sunday read: Bringing costs down to earth

Rising efficiencies and the plummeting cost of solar modules over the past few years, recent months notwithstanding, are leading innovators toward ideas that may look unusual in the current tracker-dominated world of large-scale solar parks. Advocates of the new approaches argue that they leave traditional models looking decidedly flat by comparison.

The trillions spent by G20 nations on fossil fuels from 2015 to 2019 could have paid for more than 4 TW of solar

Polluting energy sources received more than $3 trillion from the EU and 19 of the world’s largest national economies over that four-year period, despite G20 members having pledged to phase-out fossil fuel subsidy and address climate change back in 2009.

Saturday read: Return of the sun tax

Australia’s success with widespread residential take-up of solar PV installations may be facing a stumbling block, a new proposal by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the rule maker of the nation’s grid. And for solar veterans, the development summons the ghoul of Spain’s infamous “sun tax.”

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