France

Solar pioneer Pierre Verlinden: The big problem is apathy

On the first day of this year’s EU PVSEC conference, Adelaide-based veteran solar researcher Pierre J Verlinden won the Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics. The award recognized more than 40 years as a leading PV researcher in academia and at leading companies including Sunpower and Trina Solar. Its recipient, now a board member of Australian solar technology provider BT Imaging, spoke to pv magazine about what is needed from solar to stave off catastrophic climate change.

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French start-up launches solar engine

The invention converts the energy produced by PV cells directly into mechanical motion without the need for batteries or power electronics. Its developers claim the robustness of the solar motor can drive water pumps and ventilation turbines for more than 20 years without the need for maintenance.

Hydrogen-powered bicycles offer new electromobility concept

With the 200 hydrogen bikes offered to journalists and world leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France proving popular, manufacturer Pragma Industries has received an order for 1,000 of them from Chilean president Sebastian Pinera. The company’s founder, Pierre Forté, wants the bike to have a societal impact in developing countries.

Take a break on the solar bench – but not for too long

Engie has raised eyebrows with the installation of several solar benches in Biarritz, southwestern France, as a local official has asked citizens to avoid sitting on them for long periods of time in order to keep their energy yield up. But the authorities over in Cannes are clearly impressed, as the municipal government in the French Riviera resort town has also revealed plans to buy more of the PV benches, which are designed by Croatian startup Include.

French solar-powered drone startup takes flight in Australia

Toulouse-based startup Sunbirds has set up an office, assembly workshop and maintenance centre in Brisbane. The company is providing solar-powered drones and drone-as-a-service solutions to surveyors, cattle stations and environmental monitoring companies.

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Virtual power plant maximizes performance of renewables assets during periods of energy oversupply

Using a VPP to regulate thousands of data points according to price signals can enable generation asset owners to take care of their systems within seconds and with very high granularity.

France’s decision to delay nuclear phaseout by a decade jeopardizes PV plans

The French government has devised three possible scenarios for the planned phasing out of part of its nuclear power generation assets. Even under the most optimistic scenario, the target to reduce the share of nuclear power from around 75% to 50% by 2025, which had been set by the previous government, will only be reached in 2035. The most pessimistic scenario envisages the construction of four new nuclear reactors by 2040.

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Solar panels replaced tarmac on a motorway – here are the results

Four years ago a viral campaign wooed the world with a promise of fighting climate change and jump-starting the economy by replacing tarmac on the world’s roads with solar panels. The bold idea has undergone some road testing since then. The first results from preliminary studies have recently come out, and they’re a bit underwhelming.

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Neoen prepares for €450 million IPO

Through the listing on the French stock market, the independent power producer hopes to raise enough capital to increase its renewable energy assets from 2 GW to 5 GW. Impala intends to subscribe to the offering and remain majority shareholder.

EDF launches 30 GW solar plan

French energy giant, EDF has announced a plan to develop 30 GW of solar projects in France between 2020 and 2035.

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