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21 June 2019

The world of renewables this week

The energy businesses of Italian conglomerate Gruppo Maccaferri have been placed into bankruptcy – Seci Holding, Seci Energia, Enerray, and Exergy, according to Italian newspapers. These he companies employ around 200 people, and over the next few months will now put together a restructuring plan.

European Energy has closed a new green bond at €140 million with 5.35% in interest. The bond was oversubscribed up to €296 million. Proceeds will fund new green projects, and redemption of other earlier bonds. European Energy currently has about 500 MW of renewable energy parks either under construction or ready to be built.

The market for solar panel inverters market will fall at around 13% a year to $3 billion by 2023. This is mostly due to falls in inverter prices, and also a slowdown in solar installations, according to GlobalData. Funny that, in an issue that contains a story about US solar installations growing faster than one forecaster previously thought – but China has certainly had a slowdown in Q1 and Q2 and APAC accounted for 71% of inverters in 2018. Inverters are not so tough to make, and competition has driven down pricing – that’s the main issue here.

A new Indian solar park in the state of Jammu & Kashmir has 20 companies linked up to bid for it – divided into two projects – a 5 GW project in Ladakh and a 2.5 GW project in the district of Kargil. However Ladakh is sparsely populated, has dramatic terrain issues and is rather desolate. Apparently ABB, Siemens, Power Grid, Adani Transmission, BHEL, and L&T Construction are all keen. Will this be another auction that fails to happen in India?

India’s NTPC generator meanwhile is preparing another 1 GW solar project under the CPSU scheme phase II which means that only Indian-made solar cells and modules can be used. This is a set of rules that get around a 2016 WTO ruling by ensuring all the capacity is used by Indian government departments.

Energy Storage News says Highview Power plans a 250 MWh cryogenic energy storage system in the UK, ready for work to start this Summer.

Germany’s federal network agency has approved 14 bids for a solar power capacity of 205 MW in this year’s third solar auction for 150 MW

The Asian Development Bank said this week it has plans to provide $7 billion in assistance for financing projects in the energy sector. It will not provide loans but instead try to get companies to work together to mobilize resources to finance energy projects in various countries in the region. It hopes to boost clean energy systems by 6 GW and increase regional energy trade by 10% over the next five years.

A report on the dual axis solar tracker market by Technavio Research says the market will grow to $432.75 million, at a CAGR of 14% from 2019 to 2023 much of which is down to Concentrated Solar Power and Concentrated Photo Voltaic technologies. CSP uses mirrors to reflect sunlight on a central receiver and CPV uses concentrating optics a smaller cell area that traditional panels. Trackers given them continuous sunlight. EMEA led the dual-axis solar tracker market in 2018, followed by APAC.

Eos Energy Storage (Eos) has announced two projects using its Aurora 2.0 battery system in the US, which use its aqueous, zinc Znyth battery technology a safe and scalable alternative to Lithium Ion, the company says. The first is at a Duke Energy solar system in North Carolina (30kW/120kWh), and Eos has a behind the meter solution at the University of California, San Diego in a project funded by the California Energy Commission. These projects are supposed to prepare Eos for delivery of 10MW/40MWh utility-scale project contracted by Convergent Energy + Power for Pacific Gas & Electric. Eos recently had an investment and manufacturing partnership from Holtec International

Soltec said this week it is supplying its Soltec SF7 bifacial trackers at a 475 MW project for Enel Green Power in Sao Gonçalo, Brasil. The power plant occupies 892.5 hectares and includes 13,728 Soltec SF7 bifacial solar trackers and 1,235,520 bifacial modules of 385 Wp each.

JinkoSolar said it has supplied Power Construction in China with 351MW of solar modules, installed at the Hồng Phong solar PV plant in Vietnam.

Duke Energy Renewables, said it has begun operations for its 150 MW North Rosamond solar project in Kern County, California. It is the largest solar project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet.

National Grid in the US East Coast said it will roll out a new program allowing Tesla Powerall owners to leverage their batteries to sell their stored power during peak grid utilization periods. The program is called ConnectedSolutions and leverages the combined storage capacity of residentially installed Tesla Powerwalls as a centrally managed virtual power plant to offset the need to install more inefficient peaker plants.