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  • Kenya addresses rural energy access gap with over 130 solar microgrids
    Kenya addresses rural energy access gap with over 130 solar microgrids
    • March 20, 2023

    The Government of Kenya, in partnership with the Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), is developing 137 solar microgrids in 12 of the country's 14 counties. The project is being funded by the World Bank, which in 2017 approved a $150 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA ) to finance the project. The solar microgrid will power 567 public facilities, including secondary schools, health facilities and administrative offices. They will also power the 380 drilled water pumps. The project will provide electricity to approximately 277,000 homes or 1.5 million people. "Kenya has deployed microgrids to serve communities that are not connected to the main grid," said Davis Chichir, Kenya's cabinet secretary for energy. “Currently, we have approximately 62 microgrids fully operational and 28 more under construction. We hope to deploy many more to close the energy access gap and ensure universal access to electricity by 2030.” The locations of the 137 microgrids will be published in the Official Gazette in April 2022. According to reports, land acquisition is underway under the direction of the National Land Council.

  • Solar India's SECI tenders for 100 MW floating solar power plant
    Solar India's SECI tenders for 100 MW floating solar power plant
    • March 16, 2023

    The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has started accepting global bids for a 100 MW (AC) floating solar project in the Indian state of Jharkhand. SECI has launched a tender for the construction of a 100 MW (AC) floating solar project at the Getalsud Dam in the Ranchi district of Jharkhand state. The contract will cover the design, supply, construction and commissioning of the floating solar project, as well as plant operation and maintenance for 10 years. The project should be put into production within 18 months after the signing of the contract. SECI has secured financing from the World Bank. Potential bidders have until May 2 to submit their proposals.

  • India's installed solar capacity hits 64.38 GW
    India's installed solar capacity hits 64.38 GW
    • March 13, 2023

    According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India's installed solar capacity has reached 64,380.68 MW as of February 2023. The country's installed wind power capacity also crossed the 42,015.38 MW mark, indicating significant progress in the adoption of renewable energy. India has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022, 100 GW of which will come from solar. Despite challenges in meeting these targets, the MNRE report shows that significant progress has been made and the country is on track to meet its renewable energy targets. The Indian government has several initiatives to boost the adoption of renewable energy, including policies to encourage the development of solar parks and net metering of rooftop solar installations. The government has also rolled out various schemes to support the installation of solar panels on public buildings, farmland and other areas. India's progress in adopting renewable energy is critical to the country's sustainable development and efforts to combat climate change. The country's growing population and energy needs make the shift to renewable energy all the more important, and the MNRE report highlights that India is heading in the right direction to meet its renewable energy goals.

  • Snow damages 30 MW of photovoltaic systems in Japan between 2018 and 2021
    Snow damages 30 MW of photovoltaic systems in Japan between 2018 and 2021
    • February 22, 2023

    Snow accumulation has damaged 43 photovoltaic installations of various sizes over the past four years, Japan's National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) said in a new report. The institute urges PV system owners to conduct regular site inspections, use surveillance cameras, and remove snow at an early stage. In its latest study, NITE attributes an increase in reports of snow-related damage to residential PV systems in recent years to snowstorms in the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions of Japan. “Over four years, snowfall has caused damage to photovoltaic systems equivalent to the output of residential solar panels on approximately 75,000 homes,” NITE said, while noting that the total capacity of the affected systems was approximately 30 MW. NITE recorded 43 snow and ice-related incidents of residential PV systems between 2018 and 2021. Accidents often involve damage to the frame of the modules, the institute said. In some cases, these systems have an angle of inclination of less than 0.6 degrees, making it harder for snow to slide off the panels, NITE noted. The institute urges PV system owners to conduct regular site inspections, use surveillance cameras, and implement snow removal early on. They also recommend developing a snow removal plan. "Before project planning, it can be a good move to budget for snow removal," said NITE, which makes most of its data available in an open repository.

  • US to add 29.1 GW of large-scale solar in 2023
    US to add 29.1 GW of large-scale solar in 2023
    • February 20, 2023

    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), by 2023, the U.S. solar market will add 29.1 GW of utility-scale photovoltaics and 9.4 GW of energy storage projects. Most of the year. EIA researchers predict that U.S. project developers will deploy up to 29.1 GW of solar and up to 9.4 GW of energy storage, driven by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and statewide proposals for renewable energy, This accounts for 70% of the 54.5 GW of new generation capacity added to the US grid this year. The solar market is expected to rebound this year after utility-scale solar projects were delayed in 2022 due to trade concerns arising from the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), according to EIA’s latest monthly update to its annual Generator Report (EIA-860M), The new installed capacity reached 29.1 GW. If all the new capacity comes online as planned, 2023 will be the year with the most new utility-scale PV capacity additions — more than double the current record of 13.4 GW deployed in 2021, the EIA said. U.S. utility-scale solar capacity has been increasing rapidly since 2010. Despite the upward trend maintained over the past decade, the addition of utility-scale solar capacity in 2022 is down 23% compared to 2021. The decline in solar capacity additions was attributed to UFLPA trade issues, broader supply chain disruptions, and other challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, EIA forecasts that the largest clusters of new solar developments will come from Texas (7.7 GW) and California (4.2 GW), which together account for 41% of new planned capacity.

  • The most widely circulated fake news in the photovoltaic industry
    The most widely circulated fake news in the photovoltaic industry
    • February 13, 2023

    Photovoltaic energy has made dizzying developments in the past decade. 25% better panel performance, price divided by 10! This upends the role of photovoltaics in the energy transition. However, many policymakers did not see this development coming, and in the current debate one still hears many arguments that there is no longer any reason to care about this energy. So, it's time to tell the truth from the fake! PV modules will use rare earths: False Photovoltaic modules used today do not contain rare earth elements. The main ingredient is silicon: it is used to make photovoltaic cells sandwiched between two glass plates. Note that glass is also made of silicon! Silicon shortages coming soon: False Silicon, the second largest atom on Earth (after oxygen) and readily available (ubiquitous in the Earth's crust). There is no shortage of silicon, and there will be no shortage in the future. Raw materials are not in short supply. Sometimes, due to high demand growth, demand exceeds the capacity of the plants that purify the silicon. This is temporary and can be resolved by increasing the capacity of these factories. Therefore, material scarcity is not an obstacle to large-scale deployment of photovoltaics. In fact, if there is a point of caution, it is silver, used as a conductor between cells...if the PV market continues to overdrive, we may have to replace it with another conductor.

  • Swiss manufacturer launches tiny battery for balcony solar panels
    Swiss manufacturer launches tiny battery for balcony solar panels
    • February 06, 2023

    Soleis AG has developed two storage systems with capacities of 1 kWh and 2 kWh. The new Minitower1 battery system from Soleis AG stores solar energy from the photovoltaic modules of the balcony. Throughout the day, the solar panels power the apartment's base load and store excess energy in a storage system. At night, the battery discharges energy into the home network with an output adjustable between 30 W and 270 W. Two photovoltaic modules can be connected to the storage tank to charge the battery. Additional modules can be connected via another connection. However, they don't charge the battery -- instead, they bypass the battery and supply power directly to the home network. This ensures that the batteries in the power storage unit are charged and that the home's base loads are covered by solar energy even when there is little solar radiation. The connection between the tank and the home network is made through a socket or plug. These batteries are about the size of a home computer and come in 1 kWh and 2 kWh versions.

  • China Considers Limiting Polysilicon, Wafer Exports
    China Considers Limiting Polysilicon, Wafer Exports
    • February 01, 2023

    The Chinese government is considering export restrictions on solar wafers, black silicon and silicon foundry equipment. It has launched a public consultation process on the proposed measures. China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced that they plan to revise the national catalog of export-prohibited and restricted technologies. The two ministries said in a joint statement that three technologies related to the photovoltaic manufacturing industry could be included in the catalog - silicon wafers, black silicon and ingots. If these three types of products are added to the restricted list, manufacturers need to obtain technology export licenses from relevant provincial departments to export such products. According to a report by the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA), China will account for more than 98% of the solar industry's silicon wafer production in 2021. Although the plan is still in the public consultation phase, the attempt demonstrates China's efforts to protect its most advanced solar technology and keep its solar industry competitive.

  • Bangladesh to build solar power plant near hydropower project
    Bangladesh to build solar power plant near hydropower project
    • January 10, 2023

    The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has announced the construction of a second solar power plant at the Karnafuli Hydroelectric Power Station with funding from the Asian Development Bank. The BPDB has decided to build a 7.6 MW solar power plant on land near the 230 MW Karnafuli hydropower plant about 50 km from the port city of Chittagong. It has said it wants to build the new power plant near another 7.4 MW PY array that will come online in 2019. Bangladesh currently has a total renewable energy capacity of 950 MW, of which 716 MW comes from solar.

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