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Your Monday Briefings: All the Solar News (Week 29)

published: 2020-07-13 17:30

Welcome back to another busy week! This time, we are covering the inauguration of world’s biggest single-site solar park in India, DNV GL’s sobering article regarding the global CO2 emissions, and Hanwha Q Cell’s new R&D investment in Germany, and many more!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Your Monday Briefings is now divided into 2 sections:

  1. The 1st section has all the solar news related to COVID-19
  2. The 2nd section has the solar news which has little to do with the pandemic.

If you want to read news unrelated to the coronavirus, you can simply scroll down to the 2nd section of the article.


The Funding for Solar Energy Dropped in 2020H1

According to the latest report published by Mercom Capital, the $1.6 billion deal French electric utility Engie has secured from Bank of America and HSBC for its 2 GW green energy portfolio is the rare highlight of the gloomy landscape of clean energy industry.

In the first half of 2019, the investment in solar totaled $6 billion, while it dropped to $4.5 billion in the second half, down 25% year-on-year.

Out of the 4.5 billion invested in solar, the Engie deal accounted for more than 33% of the total investment in photovoltaics.

Source: pv magazine

Hanwha Q Cell

Despite the economic uncertainty due to COVID-19, Korean PV giant Hanwha Q Cells has announced its plans to invest US$141 million (€125 million) in Research and Development in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, over the next 3 years.

The company believes that this move showed its commitment to the PV development in Europe during the pandemic and its faith in the international patent system. However, it may also be seen as a way to intensify the company’s global patent wars with several competitors.

Source: pv magazine


Due to COVID-19 and the advancement of energy technology, global CO2 emissions may have peaked in 2019, according to the Norwegian accreditation registrar DNV GL.

More and more people are telecommuting. Face-to-face meetings are replaced by zoom meetings. This has reduced the demand for road and air transportation, which caused the emissions resulted from transport to drop.

Moreover, the digitalization of the workplace means a sinking demand for office space, hence, lower demand for iron and steel industries, which use a very large share of energy.

However, the institute pointed out that this is not the time to rejoice the dropping emissions: “Emissions have been declining in the first half of this year for the wrong reasons. […] The coronavirus pandemic is exacting a heavy and tragic toll on lives and livelihoods, increasing poverty and hunger and reducing growth prospects for those that need it most.”

The institute advised the governments to go further and include provisions that promote clean energy in the economic relief program.

Source: pv magazine


SECTION 2-1: NON-COVID-19 Regional Market News

And for those of you who are sick of COVID-19 news, here are the news that are not (entirely) related to COVID-19.

China (Guangdong Province)

On July 7, the Guangdong Provincial Energy Bureau issued a notice for subsidized auction projects to voluntarily transfer to parity projects in 2020. The notice stated that this voluntary transfer to parity projects was limited to the projects included in the "2020 Guangdong Province’s Application Form of Photovoltaic Power Generation Auction Projects with National Subsidy" submitted to the National Energy Administration on June 15. Given that none of the 276 photovoltaic projects listed by Guangdong Province have been qualified for national subsidies, the responsible companies are now encouraged to voluntarily transfer their PV projects for grid parity projects.


India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 750 MW Rewa PV project on July 9.

This particular project is historic in a number of ways.

  1. It is world’s largest PV power plants at a single location.
  2. It is India’s first solar farm that supplies power to a customer beyond the State: 24% of the power will go to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), while the rest will go to the State.
  3. It’s also India’s first PV project that achieves grid parity with a LCOE of Rs 3.30/kWh over the period of 25 years, while the usual solar tariffs hovered around Rs 4.50/kWh in early 2017.

Source: pv magazine


The Thai Ministry of Energy stated that it will modify the relevant PV policy provisions within two months. This move comes as a sign that Thailand is encouraging more households to install rooftop photovoltaic projects and sell electricity to the grid.

The U.S.

Biden-Sanders task force demands 500 million solar modules to be installed in next five years

The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force has issued a report, which includes the Democratic candidate’s goal of installing 500 million solar modules in the next 5 years.

Other goals of the task force are as follows:

  • Simplify and accelerate the permit applications for rooftop solar and energy retrofits.
  • Increase the investment in American made battery technology and transmission lines of renewable energy.
  • Better energy transmission planning with more transparency.
  • More tax incentives for clean energy projects which reached certain standards of labor working conditions.
  • Adopt scaled-up tax credits for renewable energy projects that meet certain labor standards.

As ambitious as the plans sound, there are lots of obstacles that need to be overcome. Take solar for example. Regardless of the sizes of the module sizes Biden had in mind, the target means hundreds of gigawatts of solar will need to be installed to reach the lofty goal. Plus, the U.S. market demand may not be as insatiable as the former vice president envisioned.

Source: pv magazine


SECTION 2-2: NON-COVID-19 Company News

CECEP Solar Energy Technology (ZhenJiang) Co., Ltd.

The solar division of China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (“CECEP Solar”) has completed the design and certification of the next-generation superior high power modules.

It is expected to achieve mass production in the third quarter of 2020.

This series of modules adopts M10 large-size wafers, using half-cut, multiple busbars and other technologies.

The mass produced 72-cell modules could reach 540W. The module efficiency exceeds 21%. And the power of 78-cell modules could reach 590W.


The Italian multinational energy company Enel Group has joined forces with Norwegian Investment Fund to set up more clean energy projects in India. Enel's latest statement of intent is yet another sign that India has become the hub of foreign PV investment.

The company, however, is no stranger to the renewable energy industry in India. It already owns and operates the wind farms in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

And it got awarded with a 300 MW PV projects from the last round of India's national tender program. The Italian utility company was one of the 5 foreign companies that managed to secure a bid in a 2 GW tender.

According to the statement intent, Enel Green Power India subsidiary will commission renewable energy projects. And Norfund can invest in the projects for an equity share.

Source: pv magazine


JinkoSolar has secured an order for supplying another bifacial solar modules of 126 MW to the existing 160 MW solar park in the Antofagasta Region, Chile.

The power plant has begun its commercial operation since 2016 and already has installed 668,160 JinkoSolar panels, which produce 400 GWh annually.

The latest additions of 126 MW PV modules, both monofacial and bifacial, will boost the power generation up to 789 GWh per year.

Maccaferri Group

Maccaferri Group sold its solar EPC division Enerray to Italian clean energy company LT Renewables. The sale price is not disclosed at the time of writing.

When the transaction is complete, LT Renewables will enlarge its asset portfolio from 220 MW to over 500 MW.

Source: TaiyangNews

Meyer Burger

Having recently announced plans to expand into PV cell and module production business, Meyer Burger has decided where to establish the production sites for the PV products.

For solar cells, the Swiss PV conglomerate is going to set up shop in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt. The company will rent the manufacturing plants of 27,000 square meters, which were formerly owned by solar cell producer Sovello.

For PV modules, Meyer Burger has chosen Freiburg, Saxony. The company expected that its manufacturing capacity could reach 400 MW annually in the first half of 2021. However, the Swiss tech giant plans to increase the manufacturing capacity to 5 GW.

Source: pv magazine


Sunrun has announced that definitive agreement to acquire Vivint Solar, a fellow residential solar solution provider.

The all-stock deal cost US$3.2 billion, which will make Sunrun's solar asset portfolio exceed 3 GW with approximately 500,000 customers. This will boost Sunrun's total enterprise value up to US$9.2 billion.

The acquisition benefited Sunrun in many ways. The addition of Vivint Solar brought a direct-to-home sales channel to Sunrun's existing services, which will increase the company's reach and abilities to grow.

Source: TaiyangNews

Wuxi Shangji Automation

On July 7, Wuxi Shangji Automation (“Shangji”) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Hongyuan Xin Cai (“Hongyuan) will invest US$399 million (RMB 2.8 billion) and commission an 8 GW mono-grade polysilicon production project.

The entire project is expected to be able to run at the maximum capacity in 2022.

It is planned that Shangji and Hongyuan will sign a project investment agreement with the Baotou Municipal Government and Qingshan District of the Baotou Municipal Government.


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