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Engie acquires Broad Reach Power

Engie has acquired 350 MW of operating storage assets and 880 MW of assets under construction from U.S. battery specialist Broad Reach Power, with commissioning of the latter assets expected by the end of 2024.

Multi-generation photovoltaic leaf to produce electricity, thermal energy, water

A UK research team has developed a photovoltaic leaf concept that can produce electricity, water and thermal energy in a single device. The system, inspired by a leaf, is based on a biomimetic transpiration (BT) layer that cools down the embedded PV unit and utilizes excess heat from the cell to produce water and heat energy.

New study claims PV industry is neglecting overirradiance issues

Overirradiance conditions may affect the operating performance of photovoltaic plants, the stability of the electrical grid, and the efficiency of inverters. A research team has warned these effects are currently not being given proper consideration by the solar industry.


Research shows bats stay away from ground mounted solar plants

New research from the United Kingdom claims that ground mounted PV facilities have a negative effect on bat activity. According to the scientists, the panels may be causing some bats to alter their flight paths, potentially resulting in further fragmentation of the ecological landscape.

Mitigating residential duck curve via solar pre-cooling

Solar pre-cooling consists of using residential PV systems to run air conditioners to pre-cool residential and commercial buildings. It offers benefits in terms of mitigating low minimum demand in electricity networks, flattening the grid’s net demand profile, and reducing electricity bills.

Sheffield Hallam University updates info on alleged forced labor in solar industry

The British university reports that the share of polysilicon manufactured in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and used in solar module production has dropped from 45% in 2020 to 35% in 2022. The research alsom found that polysilicon produced in interior China increased from 30% in 2020 to 50% in 2022, with the share of international markets dropping, somewhat surprisingly, from 25% to 11%.

WoodMac predicts 270 GW of new global PV capacity in 2023

Wood Mackenzie expects 270 GW of new global PV capacity in 2023, up 33% year on year. However, the annual growth rate is anticipated to fall to 1% in 2024 and to increase again by 5% in 2025.

New technique to recover lead in end-of-life solar panels

A research group at Arizona State has developed a process to recover lead in its metallic form so that it can be reused in the PV industry. The process relies on a leaching solution based on a combination of acetic acid (CH3COOH) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which the researchers said leaches the lead ‘in a matter of minutes.’

Renewed efforts to build solar cells from moondust

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has been awarded $35 million in funding from NASA to improve the company’s commercial solution that produces silicon from lunar regolith. The U.S. space agency’s first efforts to build solar cells based on lunar regolith date back to 2005.

To achieve net zero energy status, solar-powered buildings should not exceed 10 floors

Researchers in Canada have found that nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) with on-site solar energy generation should not exceed an energy use intensity (EUI) of 50 kWh/m2a, which they said corresponds to a maximum of 10 floors. They also ascertained that the maximum permitted EUI by net-zero energy status is 17 to 28 kWh/m2a.

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