Read about SolarPower Europe’s activities in the past month and learn the latest news on the policy front. If you have comments or would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please contact Kristina Thoring, Communications Director at SolarPower Europe.
Editorial: Global Market Outlook 2020–2024
COVID-19 recovery measures can enable solar to reach full potential and achieve record-breaking growth
By Michael Schemla, Head of Market Intelligence and Executive Advisor, @sunnybloke
The return of the global solar market to two-digit growth rates and a new annual installation record in 2019 signaled a positive trajectory for the sector. But in 2020, the solar world looks very different: the COVID-19 pandemic has not spared the solar power sector. This year, new solar grid connections are expected to drop for the first time in many years. Now it is of utmost importance that governments do not disregard renewables and solar power when developing economic stimulus packages. If the world is serious about meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate targets, solar deployments not only need to get back on their recent growth track, but the installation rate of solar, the lowest-cost and most versatile power generation technology, must increase much faster, in the short- and mid-term.
Impact of COVID-19 on global solar sector
Our new Global Market Outlook 2020-2024 presents the first results of a worldwide survey conducted in April by the Global Solar Council on the impacts of COVID-19 on the solar sector: over 71% of polled solar businesses reported a decline in orders, of which 6 in 10 said that orders were down by up to 50%, and 3 in 10 experienced a decline of 50-90%. The effect of the pandemic on installation rates varies in different countries and segments, largely depending on how badly the countries suffered from COVID-19, and the response of governments.
We estimate in our Medium Scenario that new global installed capacities will decrease by 4% to 112 GW in 2020. Compared to our forecasting in last year’s Global Market Outlook, when we projected as much as 144 GW of new solar, this represents a loss of 32 GW.
Diversification of solar demand around the world
In comparison, 2019 was a successful year for solar. Demand grew by 13% to 116.9 GW, and it would have increased further if the world’s largest market, China, had not continued its restructuring efforts, resulting in an even stronger drop in demand than the year before, and India, the world’s third largest PV market, also declined for multiple reasons. One key takeaway from our report: global solar demand continues its diversification process. As the number of countries that strongly embrace solar increases, it reduces the risk that market contractions in major solar countries depresses the entire sector.
Notable growth regions in 2019 included Europe, which added 22.9 GW – more than twice the capacity of the previous year – and the Middle East and Africa, where primarily tenders helped several countries turn into viable on-grid solar markets. In the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, these tenders were frequently and successfully facilitated by developing finance institutions, which is why we included, with support from GET.invest, a chapter that provides a detailed background on grid-connected solar in that region. To provide better insights into the world’s most-promising markets, we have again invited leading national solar associations of GW-scale solar markets – 16 in 2019, up from 11 in 2018 – to contribute an analysis of solar in their country.
Solar entering a new frontier: the 1 US cent/kWh power generation range
Another important lesson learned: the cost competitiveness of solar continues to improve rapidly. While solar has been outcompeting most other power generation technologies for years, depending on the region, it is now entering a new frontier. Many awarded solar tariffs in tenders in 2019 were in the 2 US cent/kWh range, however, there were also auctions with winners in the 1 US cent/kWh range on three continents. As our technology overview shows, there are a broad variety of solar innovations to further improve solar power generation devices – from higher efficient solar cells and modules, more intelligent inverters to new applications that offer multiple benefits, such as floating solar and agri-PV.
The industry has been working hard to make solar PV the lowest-cost power generation technology. This has enabled solar to expand its annual share among all other power generation technologies to 48% – in other words, almost half of the global net power plant capacity installed in 2019 was based on solar PV technology. However, solar’s combined electricity output reached a mere 2.6% in 2019. While this highlights the immense growth potential that is increasingly within reach, COVID-19 has put unexpected obstacles in the way.
Strong recovery expected with appropriate policy framework
While we assume in our Medium Scenario a notable 34% growth rate to 150 GW in 2021, which does anticipate significant levels of government recovery support, this capacity would be still 6% short of last year’s 2021 forecast. It will take until 2022 to get back on track, reaching 169 GW. Only in 2024 are the virus impacts expected to be fully left behind. So now it is even more important that policymakers provide the appropriate frameworks so that all of society can benefit from cheap, flexible, and clean solar.
While the virus has taken its toll on solar’s development, the recovery packages are an opportunity to enable this sustainable technology to return even stronger. It is essential to accelerate the deployment of the lowest-cost clean power generation sources, solar and wind, and bolster the relevant infrastructure, such as power grids. But the groundwork must be laid now, enabling the large-scale production of renewable hydrogen, so as to turn the 2020s into a solar decade, fully unleashing the power of the sun.
The report is available to read for free at www.solarpowereurope.org
Highlight: Solar Manufacturing Accelerator - Accelerating the deployment of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe
By Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor @SolarPowerN
In May 2020, SolarPower Europe announced the launch of the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator, a platform aimed at accelerating the deployment of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe as a critical milestone to strengthen the EU’s leadership in Clean Energy Technologies and contribute to the re-industrialisation of Europe.
The “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” is an initiative coordinated by SolarPower Europe and is open to all companies and organisations interested in developing or partnering on solar manufacturing projects. The platform covers a broad portfolio of European solar manufacturing projects and supports their realisation by identifying partners and reaching out to financial investors, with an overall goal of increasing the number of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe, and contributing to the success of the European Green Deal.
This initiative takes place during an exciting moment for the European PV industry. Europe entered a solar boom in 2019, with a 100% increase in the EU-solar market compared to 2018. A double-digit growth of the annual solar market is anticipated in the next years. There is also a growing momentum for solar manufacturing in Europe – with the recent letter from Ministers from Austria, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, and Spain calling for solar to be considered as a strategic value chain and receive support under COVID-19 recovery packages. As the European Commission is set to launch its ‘Industrial Forum’ in September 2020, this can open new industrial opportunities for solar in Europe.
Since its creation, the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator has been joined by more than 70 stakeholders across the PV manufacturing industry as well as major partners including the French research institute IPVF (Institut Photovoltaïque d’Île-de-France), the European Solar Manufacturers Council (ESMC) and ETIP-PV (the European Technology and Innovation Platform).
On 8 July, SolarPower Europe will host the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator Launch event, presenting 10 major EU PV manufacturing projects to European policymakers as well as the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB). This conference and the exchanges with policymakers will demonstrate the dynamism of the PV industry and the need to accelerate investments in new PV manufacturing projects that can increase energy security and create new jobs and growth on the continent.
But this is only the first step for the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator. The platform will continue in the coming months supporting European industrial projects, by enabling the development of the industrial consortia, facilitating access to investors and by communicating on the innovative solar PV industrial opportunities that lies in front of us.
If you are interested in learning more about the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator, please contact: Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SolarPower Europe’s new Grids Workstream
By Omar Hatoum, Policy Advisor Intern
On 10th June, SolarPower Europe held its webinar “Decentralised, Smarter Greener: the 2030 European Grid”. The webinar discussed the current challenges for the grid integration of renewables, taking stock of the experience of the Coronavirus crisis, and discussed the pathway to a smarter, more decentralised and more flexible grid.
This high attended webinar was kick-started by Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe and Coordinator of the Grids Workstream, who recalled the high growth prospects for distributed solar capacities in Europe, as highlighted in SolarPower Europe’s 100% Renewable Europe study, which will change the face of the European energy mix.
Sanjeet Sanghera, Senior Associate at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, then explained the consecutive challenges created by higher shares of decentralised solar capacities for centralised energy systems, implying a higher reliance on distribution grids and on flexibility sources. Torsten Knop, the Chair of the Grids Workstream and Head of European Regulation/Projects at innogy, shared his views on the future of distribution grids, set to be based on a common vision with the solar industry, using prosumers and energy communities as building blocks of tomorrow’s energy system and using digital technologies to increase and optimise the energy system performance.
The presentations were followed by a discussion on the next steps for the modernisation of the grid with several panellists: Mathilde Lallemand, Team Lead at ENTSO-E, Tadgh Cullen, Energy Storage Manager at Solarcentury, and Andreas Wade, Global Sustainability Director at First Solar.
This webinar marked the launch of the new Grids workstream of SolarPower Europe, chaired by Innogy. The objective of the workstream is to facilitate the integration of more solar PV and decentralised energy systems into the grid, develop a climate-resilient electricity infrastructure and support the EU’s climate-neutrality target. In the Grids workstream, we will:
- Put forward SolarPower Europe’s vision and concrete proposals for Europe’s future electricity grids management by 2030, based on best practices and solutions to integrate and harvest local flexibility sources such as solar
- Formulate policy recommendations for a future-proof European electricity grid and solar-based energy system
- Create a dialogue with grid operators and EU policymakers within relevant institutions such as ENTSO-E and the EU DSO body
Following a successful launch, the workstream will soon organise its kick-off meeting to discuss the proposals and deliverables of the workstream. If you would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Grids Workstream coordinator Naomi Chevillard email@example.com.
Choose Renewable Hydrogen for EU’s Smart Sector Integration Strategy
On 8 July the European Commission will unveil the Smart Sector Integration Strategy which will also include the path for a hydrogen strategy. Hear in the video Aurelie Beauvais, Interim CEO at SolarPower Europe and Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope ask EU leaders to choose renewables for Europe’s upcoming Hydrogen Strategy to achieve climate neutrality, promote job creation and secure the EU’s technological leadership.
Eight industry leading companies, SolarPower Europe and WindEurope have launched “Choose Renewable Hydrogen”, a joint initiative highlighting the crucial role of renewables to ensure a sound economic recovery, aligned with the European Green Deal. Signatories called on the European Commission to make the right choices for Europe’s upcoming energy system integration and hydrogen strategy, harvesting the full potential of renewable electricity to fully decarbonise Europe.
The initiative urges that, amidst the COVID-19 health crisis and its economic implications, Europe prioritises the most efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective pathways to decarbonise its economy. Direct electrification will be the primary means for decarbonising heating and road transport, but there are other hard-to-abate sectors – such as some heavy industry, long-haul road transport, aviation, and shipping – where direct electrification is insufficient. Here renewable hydrogen will play a key role as the most cost-effective and sustainable solution for full decarbonisation.
Hydrogen produced in Europe via electrolysers powered by 100% renewable electricity, such as solar and wind, has zero greenhouse gas emissions or other pollution, increases the EU’s energy security, creates new green jobs and, when produced by grid-connected renewables, presents an optimised form of sector coupling.
Members of European Parliament have come out in strong support for a renewable hydrogen strategy. Watch a compilation on MEPs messages on choosing renewable hydrogen as the best hydrogen strategy, here.
New podcast series, “100% Renewable Europe”, gives the microphone to key policymakers and leaders of different sectors of the energy transition
After the success of our first podcast series, “Solar in the Time of COVID-19”, we are happy to announce a new series, “100% Renewable Europe”, which will dive further into the results from our study conducted with LUT University.
The principal finding from the study was that a 100% renewables-based energy system is the cleanest and most cost-effective scenario for reaching the twin goals of the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, and does so without any potentially environmentally-harmful tricks, such as carbon sinks and sequestration.
The podcast series will explore what is needed to reach a completely renewables-based system by 2050 with key policymakers and figures representing different sectors of the energy transition. The full announcement of guests will be revealed soon, so stay tuned and listen to all episodes here. You can also listen, download, and subscribe to the podcast via Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
SolarPower Europe participates in first-ever digital EU Sustainable Energy Week, to put spotlight on renewables’ contribution to green recovery
Due to the ongoing lockdown measures from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the EU Sustainable Energy Week went online, with a series of virtual events that focused on the steps needed to ensure a green recovery. Entitled “Beyond the crisis: clean energy for green recovery and growth,” the various panels and presentations centred on the European Green Deal.
SolarPower Europe participated in two sessions, the first on the upcoming Renovation Wave, and how flexible and renewable-based buildings should play a key role in any recovery plan while contributing to the 2050 goal of climate neutrality. Our CEO ad interim, Aurélie Beauvais, participated in a panel discussion with other Secretary Generals from European energy efficiency and renewables association. MEP Pernille Weiss and Inge Bernaerts, Deputy Director General of DG ENER, were present to discuss the policy around the Renovation Wave.
SolarPower Europe also coordinated with WindEurope an event titled, “A robust solar and wind industrial base, underpinning the European Green Deal,” that focused on the opportunity that the European Green Deal presents for the renewable energy sector – and in particular for its manufacturing segment – in the context of the future EU industrial strategy and the economic stimulus packages. Aurélie Beauvais moderated the session that featured input from Christian Weinberger, Senior Adviser at DG GROW; Rytis Kėvelaitis, Vice-minister, Ministry of Energy, Republic of Lithuania; Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger; Eva Larsen, Lead Policy Advisor at Vestas; and Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope. The discussion centred on the fact that according to scenarios from the European Commission, solar and wind will provide 80% of the EU’s power by 2050 – so the key question is then, what can be done now to facilitate this necessary growth in renewable deployment in Europe. Simplifying the permitting process for solar and wind projects was highlighted as an essential step towards increasing European renewable capacity, as well as strengthening renewable manufacturing potential in Europe and the role of the upcoming industrial strategy to support European leadership in renewable technologies.
Multinationals: Unlock corporate sourcing of renewables to deliver a cleaner, stronger EU
On 11th June, 50+ major companies called for corporate renewables to be built into the EU’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package, including 40+ of Europe’s biggest corporate buyers of renewable electricity, such as Mars, Ingka Group and VF Corporation.
Europe’s biggest clean energy buyers called for a policy framework that will boost corporate renewable electricity sourcing across the continent. This will not only generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, ensuring a just and sustainable energy transition, but will help the EU to deliver on its goal to reach climate-neutrality by 2050.
European leaders met on 19 June to discuss a €750 billion (US$824 billion) economic recovery plan unveiled by the Commission at the end of May. Funded by borrowing on financial markets, the plan notes the Green Deal’s 2050 climate targets, but lacks detail as to how these will be achieved.
In response, more than 40 major corporate energy buyers (e.g. AB inBev, Nestlé, Swisscom) and suppliers (e.g. Enel, Orsted) have signed a letter to the EU and national governments, calling for the following measures:
- Stimulating additional investment by providing public credit guarantees or risk sharing for at-risk renewable energy projects;
- Policies to support the faster roll-out of corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) – according to BloombergNEF, companies used PPAs to purchase six times as much renewable power in the Americas as in Europe last year;
- The prioritisation of funding for electricity infrastructure such as transmission and interconnectors, smartening and digitalisation of distribution networks and storage sites.
Of 24 national energy and climate plans submitted to date under the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, only two detail how they will deploy corporate renewable energy sourcing.
About RE-Source Platform:
SolarPower Europe, WindEurope, RE100 (led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP) and WBCSD established the RE-Source Platform to drive the uptake of PPAs, renewable energy investments and increase the number of corporates buying renewable power from 100 to 100,000. This is the first multi-stakeholder alliance in Europe bringing together the interests of clean energy investors, buyers and suppliers. This Platform pools resources and coordinates activities to promote a better framework for corporate renewable energy sourcing at EU and national level.
SolarPower Europe joins the Industry Advisory Panel
On 19 June 2020, SolarPower Europe became a member of the International Energy Charter Industry Advisory Panel (IAP).
The Industry Advisory Panel is the expert consultative body to the Energy Charter Conference, providing policy advice from energy companies, international business associations and financial institutions on energy investment and the functioning of energy markets. The Panel includes members from all sectors of the energy industry and from a wide range of Member and Observer countries to the Energy Charter Treaty.
RE-Source Calling: a webinar series bringing industry leaders together to chat about renewable power procurement and the current situation of the renewable energy market
By Ben Ray, Communications Officer, RE-Source Platform
The coronavirus crisis has changed the renewable energy landscape, impacting supply chains across Europe and influencing the future of our working environments. In these challenging times it is more important than ever for buyers and suppliers to work together closely and to be up to date on recent developments.
This is why RE-Source, the European platform for corporate renewable energy buyers and suppliers brought to you by SolarPower Europe and Wind Europe, has organised a series of interactive webinars between leaders in the renewable energy field and green energy buyers which will take place over the coming months. Join us as we discuss often overlooked or misunderstood issues around PPAs and what the current coronavirus crisis means for renewable energy corporate sourcing. The discussions get going this week with a look at the impact of the crisis on the renewable energy market, with more events to follow soon. See you there!
PPAs: The impact of the pandemic in the short to long-term and opportunities in the current renewable energy market
Thursday 2nd July, 11:00 – Register now
Photo of the Month
Photo: Floating on sunshine! Lightsource bp’s 6.3MWp floating solar array on Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, UK © Lightsource bp
Alight, a pure-play dedicated solar PPA expert
At Alight, our focus and passion is onsite and small offsite solar PPA projects across the EU.
With 7 years of experience and more than 40 projects with top organizations as offtakers, we know how to get things done. And how to help customers make money day 1 and do good, now and in the long term, through sustainable solar technology.
We invest in cutting-edge digital abilities and storage solutions to maximize our customer’s economic value of solar energy.
We love to partner with EPCs, consultants and everyone else across the solar ecosystem who wants to get things done, together.
Harald Overholm, founder and CEO
ASCA® organic photovoltaic film: the flagship of the European energy sector
Energy sovereignty and climate emergency: a dual European challenge
Between 1990 and 2016, Europe’s dependency on imported energy grew from 44.2% of its gross energy consumption to 53.6%. Furthermore, CO2 emissions increased by 55% in just 20 years. The battle against climate change with the rise in decarbonized energy in Europe is therefore key, as by promoting European independence with regard to imported fossil-fuel energy, it is the entire European economy that will gain competitiveness and can help to combat energy insecurity. So it is a matter of European sovereignty and climate emergency that affects us all in our daily lives.
The ARMOR solar power films solution
This dual challenge has been well understood by the French industrial company ARMOR. That is the reasons it has developed the ASCA® organic photovoltaic film through its subsidiary, ARMOR solar power films. Free of rare metals and toxic components and 100% recoverable, this technology combines lightness (450g/m2) and flexibility (bend radius of 2.5cm) and provides a true response to the dual issue of energy sovereignty and climate emergency.
ARMOR solar power films produces its organic photovoltaic film using a roll-to-roll coating process. An expert in ink formulation and the coating of fine layers onto thin films, the company is the global market leader in the manufacture of thermal transfer ribbons used in the printing of variable data onto labels and flexible packaging. In Europe, 6 barcodes out of 10 are printed using ARMOR consumables. Some 1.7 billion square meters of thermal transfer film are coated by ARMOR each year.
The company therefore possesses unequalled know-how and significant industrial firepower. Currently, ARMOR solar power films has production capacity for its solar technology of 1 million square meters per annum. And its strength lies in its ability to respond rapidly. “We are able to develop and adapt our production facilities very rapidly and achieve production of 50 million square meters per annum in order to meet the growing demand for photovoltaic solutions,” explains Moïra Asses, Marketing & Business Development Manager at ARMOR solar power films.
Providing access to energy where it does not yet exist
90% of roofs in Europe are not being exploited. If they were all to be solarized, an estimated 680 terawatts could be produced each year, the equivalent to one-quarter of Europe’s entire electricity consumption. However, most of the roofs can only support thin and lightweight structures. But over and above just roofs, it is by solarizing all viable areas yet to be exploited – buildings’ external surfaces (roof, windows, facades, handrails, etc.), the roofs of supermarkets and logistics warehouses, etc. – that we could massively increase energy capacity in Europe. Only a film as lightweight and as thin as ASCA® could make it possible to solarize all of these yet to be exploited areas.
Promoting the energy autonomy of buildings
The challenge of construction and energy renovation is of key importance in the European Union, which has some 10% of its population living in a situation of energy insecurity and 97% of European buildings are judged to be “non-sustainable”. More generally, buildings account for 40% of European energy consumption and emit 36% of European CO2. By developing decentralized energy sources and promoting self-consumption, the ASCA® film with its esthetic design has now been incorporated within multiple materials (glass, polycarbonate, etc.) or even “ready-to-stick”, and now enables the home’s external surface to become a source of low-carbon energy.
European energy sovereignty and climate emergency are now two closely-linked concerns requiring decarbonized solutions which can be incorporated with maximum utilization potential in order to provide clean and independent sources of energy to all Europeans, such as the ASCA® organic photovoltaic film….
 Source : Eurostat
 Source : SolarPower Europe
 5 Source: QuelleEnergie. https://www.quelleenergie.fr/magazine/actu-environnement/la-france-leurope-la-renovation-energetique/
Sustainability without Compromise with Mylar® UVHPET™
DuPont Teijin Films are the leading supplier of halogen free back sheet material with over 45GW of installed capacity worldwide relying on the unique set of properties delivered by the Mylar® UVHPET™ range of products. The Mylar® UVHPET™ range is the result of over 60 years’ experience of supplying Mylar® into highly demanding electrical insulation applications and 20 years of ongoing developments supporting the growth in the PV industry. With zero reported field failures, our product testing protocols exceed industry standards and are validated by the ongoing monitoring of our products in real life applications across the globe.
Too often in the PV industry generic PET films are referred to when talking about field failures which simply do not have the material properties needed to withstand the harsh conditions seen in demanding back sheet applications. All Mylar® UVHPET™ products offer enhanced UV stability and hydrolysis resistance, and are extensively tested to ensure durability and reliability with a series of test protocols aimed at replicating the impact of weathering for more than 25 years in a variety of different climatic conditions.
In addition to stringent internal tests, Mylar® UVHPET™ passes DuPont’s MAST test with minimal colour change and excellent retention of physical properties and is routinely tested against ISO and IEC standards. Mylar® UVHPET™ films also deliver enhanced levels of protection from surface damage compared to some alternative back sheet materials, protecting the module from abrasion in harsh climates such as deserts and from damage which can be caused during installation and cleaning.
Sustainability and the drive for circularity in the solar industry guide the development of our product range, and Mylar® UVHPET™ offers significant advantages over both fluorinated back sheet and double glass modules in terms of the overall carbon footprint of the product. However, it is at the end of the module’s life where the choice of back sheet material is most critical with fluorinated back sheet material presenting significant environmental and health issues in disposal processes such as incineration and pyrolysis. Mylar® UVHPET™ is halogen free and does not generate hazardous materials in high temperature disposal processes.
As the solar power industry grapples with the growing issue of the end of life disposal of redundant panels, the circularity of all component parts is becoming increasingly important rather than simply ensuring safe disposal after life. Mylar® UVHPET™ products are based on polyester which is the most widely recycled plastic in Europe, and DuPont Teijin Films are one of the leading experts in the recyclability of polyester with our unique LuxCR™ chemical recycling process at our plant in Luxembourg. Our aim is to combine our expertise in both recycling and the PV industry to boost the circularity of our back sheet products and ultimately to incorporate post-consumer recycled content back into our products.
The Mylar® UVHPET™ range continues to grow, underpinned by the focus on the environmental footprint during production, the value it brings in use and the impact of eventual end of life processes. The newest addition to our portfolio of products are a range of transparent films designed for the growing bi-facial modules market. Mylar® UVHPET™ clear films deliver exceptional light transmission, UV barrier and hydrolysis resistance. They enable lighter modules that are easier to handle, can be installed on simpler support structures, and offer significantly lower carbon footprint compared to double glass modules.
In conclusion, Mylar® UVHPET remains the only proven alternative to fluorinated back sheets offering a lower cost, more sustainable solution without compromising durability or performance of the module. For more information on the Mylar® UVHPET range please contact us with the following link:
Soltec's SF7 Bifacial trackers obtain an additional bifacial gain of up to 2.1% thanks to their single-axis configuration
Coinciding with the 2nd anniversary of Soltec’s bifacial research center (BiTEC), SF7 Bifacial trackers show outstanding results: 15.7% more power generation than others
Soltec is the third largest manufacturer and supplier of solar tracking equipment for PV panels worldwide. Founded in Murcia (Spain), it has a workforce of more than 1,600 people and a history of 16 years as a manufacturer of complete solar tracking equipment. The company is present in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, India, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Spain and the United States. Its main objective is developing and implementing its tracking technology to get the best service for their customer.
Bifacial technology, increasingly more used and valued by photovoltaic solar plants, has proven to significantly favor investment return for any project, regardless of its size. Soltec has actively developed bifacial technology since 2015, year when this leading solar tracker supplier manufactured its first solar tracker specifically designed for bifacial panels in a new power plant: The European Southern Observatory La Silla, in Chile. This 1.72-MWp experimental photovoltaic plant set the stage for the bifacial tracking technology, turning ‘La Silla’ into a unique project that allowed Soltec to further research bifacial tracking.
The company’s current track record exceeds 10 GW, of which over 3 GW were generated using bifacial trackers, a technology with an increasing market presence. “Last year, bifacial technology became increasingly popular in large-scale photovoltaic projects. Nowadays, eight out of ten quotation requests are bifacial-related, thus reassuring Soltec’s decision to further innovate and research in bifacial technology”, says Eduardo de San Nicolás, Strategy Manager at Soltec.
SECOND YEAR OF BIFACIAL RESEARCH AT BiTEC
With the aim to further develop bifacial trackers, Soltec inaugurated in 2018 the first bifacial solar tracking research center in the world: BiTEC. This center, commissioned in Livermore, California (USA) two years ago, focuses mainly on assessing how bifacial tracker performance is conditioned by installation parameters such as frame height, shading and albedo. Bifacial results are then compared to the parameters of fixed, monofacial structures.
Over the last two years, Soltec’s testing confirmed that bifacial modules installed on SF7 Bifacial trackers yield up to 15.7% more Bifacial Gain under high albedo conditions (55.6%). Under values of medium albedo (29.5%) and low or seasonal albedo (19.9%), there is also a gain of 9.6% and 7.3%, respectively.
BiTEC also strives to study Bifacial Gain in photovoltaic modules installed according to the two most common solar tracker market configurations nowadays:
- 1-in-vertical: 1P
- 2-in-vertical: 2P
All analyses carried out at BiTEC over the last two years confirm that SF7 Bifacial Trackers in 2-in-vertical configuration obtain 2.1% more bifacial gain than trackers in 1P configuration. This data, gathered through comprehensive analysis and monitoring of bifacial trackers installed at BiTEC under all seasonal conditions, allowed Soltec to determine solar tracker performance for multiple atmospheric and terrain characteristics.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE CONFIRMS BEST LCOE IN 1P
Researchers at Singapore’s Solar Energy Research Institute recently concluded that large-scale photovoltaic projects equipped with single-axis bifacial trackers have an improved Levelized Cost Of Energy (LCOE) anywhere in the world. Through extensive research carried out by a group of university doctors (Carlos D. Rodríguez-Gallegos, Haohui Liu, Oktoviano Gandhi, Li Li, Thomas Reindl and Ian Marius Peters), it was determined that the combination of bifacial products with double-axis bifacial trackers remains too expensive, despite their higher yield. That means plants equipped with single-axis solar trackers are still the best in terms of LCOE optimization.
One of the theories always advocated by Soltec is that single-axis solar trackers are more profitable for plants, regardless of their characteristics. SF7 trackers and SF7 Bifacial trackers are both single-axis, thus favoring quicker installation on uneven terrains and under adverse weather conditions.
“All combinations of bifacial tracking systems improve performance under a 1-in-vertical configuration, with improvements of over 50% in very high latitudes”, concludes the study by the University of Singapore. “For an identical mounting structure, bifacial configuration is better than monofacial configuration. Tracking configurations perform significantly better than fixed structures. As for double-axis tracking installations, their performance is marginally higher than that of single-axis tracking installations”, according to the study.
Soltec’s single-shaft SF7 and SF7 Bifacial trackers, models known for their high performance and terrain adaptability, have been sold all over the world. This Spanish company is currently developing bifacial projects accounting for 200 MW in the United States and 500 MW in Brazil.
Thanks to its state-of-the-art technology and qualified team of experts in key engineering areas, Soltec further consolidates its position in the photovoltaic solar energy market by seeking improved designs and enhanced product performance. The adaptability of SF7 Bifacial trackers to specific project needs is paramount to ensuring process excellence and customer satisfaction.
EU PVSEC goes online
The scientific PV community gathers again this year in September.
But for the first time ever, the EU PVSEC will be held online exclusively.
We are dedicated to ensure that this year’s digital experience reflects the identity of the EU PVSEC: to meet and discuss new ideas and concepts and share inspiration. We are currently working on an interactive experience that will focus on live presentations and interaction, including live networking and exhibition features.
Join us in a vibrant mix of plenary, oral and visual sessions with almost 1000 top-level international presentations (programme status as of June 3 June 2020).
Be among the first participants and take advantage of our reduced early bird tickets from 1 July until 17 July 2020.
Join in and help us to increase visibility and awareness of PV technology in this year’s truly global conference!
>> Learn more (https://www.photovoltaic-conference.com/)
Discover the upcoming Intersolar online events
Launching into a renewable, decentralized and digital energy world offers countless new prospects and potential for innovative formats. As a platform for the new energy world, The smarter E and Intersolar, one of its global energy exhibitons, concentrate on sharing information on energy industry topics and providing a networking opportunity for global industry players – now with a number of additional digital formats such as webinars, podcasts and online events including conferences, innovation days and more.
Virtual AWARD Ceremony: The smarter E, Intersolar & ees AWARD (June 30, 2020)
The awards give credit to the most pioneering solutions and projects in the renewable energy industry. Every year, the official AWARD Ceremony reveals the winners of The smarter E, Intersolar and ees AWARD. In order to guarantee the visibility promised and to honor the industry’s innovations on an international stage in spite of the current situation, this year’s AWARD Ceremony will be held online.
Intersolar Innovation Day (July 15–16, 2020)
The Intersolar Innovation Day is an online event for all innovation and solar enthusiasts. The two-day event will present the latest innovations of the global solar industry covering various topics in the fields of solar cells and modules, inverters, mounting and tracking systems as well as solar plants and solutions for the integration of renewable energy. More than 30 companies will present their innovations on stage and at their booths in the Expo Area to an international audience.
Floating Solar PV Conference – Global Momentum and Prospects (July 22, 2020)
The one-day online conference offers an ideal opportunity to obtain comprehensive and in-depth information about floating PV. Various aspects of floating PV will be presented and discussed in several sessions: From market developments and first-hand best practice examples on lakes and off the coast, to financing possibilities and technical challenges above and below the water surface.
Webinars & Podcasts
Our regular webinars with industry experts offer a deep understanding of the latest trends in the new energy world and provide an overview of important research results and practical market figures. The smarter E Podcast entertains and informs, giving a voice to the players of the new energy world. Listen to exciting conversations and panel discussions, and get background information – anytime and anywhere.
See all events and register now at:
KEY ENERGY 2020 – 3-6 November, Rimini Expo Centre
According to the National Energy and Climate plan, Italy will have to install 31 GW of new solar pv plants by 2030, when the renewable production is expected to satisfy 55% of the electric demand.
In order to reach these targets, an yearly increase of 3 GW is needed. Considering that during the 2020 Covid year the new installations have been limited, the expectations are for a big jump from 2021 on.
There are interesting opportunities. One is given by a special 110% Bonus for buildings renovations that include pv and storage (the installation are practically without costs for the owners).
The adoption of the Renewable energy Directive by June 2021 will accelerate the adoption of the Energy Communities. There will be an anticipation in the second part of 2021 and in 2022 with the possibility to install 200 kW pv on apartment buildings.
Moreover 7 renewable tenders will allocate 6,2 GW for plants larger than 1 MW by 2022.
The real problem in this case is connected with the inefficient authorisation processes and the Government is trying to intervene in order to simplify it.
Those above are only a few of the topics that will be discussed at KEY ENERGY from 3 to 6 November 2020.
KEY ENERGY is Europe’s comprehensive event comprising renewable energy, energy storage systems, energy efficiency, urban regeneration, sustainable mobility, lighting and smart grids
Key Energy, the renewable energy expo will take place in Rimini Expo Center, Italy, 3-6 November 2020.
- Renewable energy (PV, Wind Power)
- Storage and solutions for distributed power generation
- Energy efficiency applied to industry and building
- Cogeneration, trigeneration, micro-cogeneration
- Sustainable Cities: smart cities and sustainable mobility
Key Energy, the renewable energy expo will take place in Rimini Expo Center, Italy, 3-6 November 2020.
Scientific director of KeyEnergy
Newly released survey of PV market leaders estimates 180 GW of module capacity will be online by the end of year
Clean Energy Associates, a leading solar and storage supply chain consultant, released its first-quarter PV Supplier Market Intelligence Program Report for 2020.
The latest report tracks new developments in large wafer adoption by PV market leaders, emerging technologies and recaps supplier financial health relative to the pandemic. While production has returned to normal for Chinese and Southeast Asian manufacturers, COVID-19 is still affecting solar demand in international markets.
News from SolarPower Europe members
3E: IZEN signing up for SynaptiQ, 3E’s asset management and performance optimization software
Alectris: Alectris and Resco Partnership Brings Mobile Application Integration to ACTIS ERP Software resulting in Enhanced Fleet Management
Axpo Holding AG: The floating market premium is the more effective solution
Clean Energy Associates: CEA released its 2020 Supplier Market Intelligence Program report earlier this month
European Energy: The largest photovoltaic park in Italy is now connected to the grid
Fronius: 100% renewable energy Europe study – Sun as possible main source of power generation in 2030
Goldbeck Solar GmbH: New solar park with 101 MWp under construction in the Netherlands
Iberdrola Renovables: Iberdrola will develop a 400 MW PV project in Velilla as part of the green transformation of this traditional coal region
RatedPower: Bifacials, the future of solar PV
Senergy Technical Services: STS releases Addendums to STS-STD-PVM1:2018© to address recent PV cells and module technologies
Solnet Group: Solnet 59th on the Financial Times ‘Fastest Growers in Europe’ list
Unión Española Fotovoltaica: UNEF urges Spanish regional administrations to streamline the administrative process for self-consumption installations
EU PVSEC 2020
7 September 2020
The scientific PV community gathers again this year in September. But for the first time ever, the EU PVSEC will be held online exclusively.
We are dedicated to ensure that this year’s digital experience reflects the identity of the EU PVSEC: to meet and discuss new ideas and concepts and share inspiration. We are currently working on an interactive experience that will focus on live presentations and interaction, including live networking and exhibition features.
Learn more: www.photovoltaic-conference.com
6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum
23 – 24 September 2020
The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is excited to announce that the 6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) will take place in Lusaka, Zambia on 23-24 September 2020.
EAIF is a well-established political exchange and business event organised by ARE with local and regional partners – aimed at assisting the private and public sector to get up to speed on the latest developments in the off-grid sector and do business.
Learn more: https://eaif2020.b2match.io/
Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste
23 – 24 September 2020
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil, from September 24–25, 2020. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The high-level conference will welcome 300+ delegates and more than 25+ top-level speakers to discuss policies, legal challenges and regulatory frameworks as well as grid-integration solutions and financing.
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in parallel to the 11th Congresso RTI Provedores de Internet and the 13th Congresso RTI Data Centers. It is realized by the team of Intersolar South America – Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry.