China’s massive hydro energy storage goals may be getting bigger

China has been eyeing a major pumped hydro build-out since at least last year. Image: Pixabay

From Bloomberg

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – China’s biggest dam builder says the country is launching an even-larger-than-expected campaign to build hydro energy storage to complement renewable power.

The nation will start construction on more than 200 pumped hydro stations with a combined capacity of 270GW by 2025, Mr Ding Yanzhang, chairman of Power Construction Corp of China, the country’s largest builder of such projects, said in a Monday (June 13) commentary in the Communist Party-run People’s Daily.

That’s more than the capacity of all the power plants in Japan, and would be enough to meet about 23 per cent of China’s peak demand.

It would also be a massive increase from what China proposed just three months ago in its 14th five-year plan for energy development, when officials said the country wanted to have 62GW of pumped hydro in operation and another 60GW under construction by 2025.

PowerChina did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment, and the National Energy Administration (NEA) did not answer calls to its Beijing office.

Hydro storage technology dates back more than a century.

Water is pumped into an uphill reservoir using electricity when demand is low, and then generates power when needed by letting gravity carry the water downhill through turbines.

It can be paired with China’s rapidly growing fleet of solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity when the sun isn’t shining and breezes aren’t blowing.

China has been eyeing a major pumped hydro build-out since at least last year. In August, a draft NEA document identified the potential for 680GW of pumped hydro in the country, and mooted a possible goal of starting construction of 180 gigawatts by 2025.

The final version of the plan released in September toned down the scale, but still called for 120GW of capacity operating by 2030.

The entire world had 158GW of hydro storage at the end of 2019. China is also ramping up plans to deploy newer forms of energy storage such as batteries, with the country’s largest grid saying it hopes to have 100GW of such capacity available by 2030.

Singapore, China ink MOUs to deepen cooperation in green and digital economies

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong (left) and China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao at the signing ceremony on June 13, 2022. Image: Ministry of Trade and Industry

From The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – China and Singapore have strengthened bilateral relations after the two countries announced collaborations to promote the green economy and enhance cooperation and exchanges in the digital economy.

On Monday (June 13), Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong and China Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao signed two memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on the sidelines of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

An MOU on green development will promote bilateral cooperation in the green economy through policy sharing and business cooperation.

It will focus on areas such as renewable energy, green building, green finance, as well as water and waste management.

Both countries will also encourage businesses to carry out joint research and development activities and jointly promote low carbon technological innovations, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a release.

Meanwhile, an MOU on the digital economy will strengthen bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the digital economy.

This will be done through the exploration of joint opportunities for growth in areas such as investment cooperation, digital trade and digitally enabled services, among others.

Singapore’s MTI and China’s Ministry of Commerce will establish working groups to oversee the implementation of both MOUs.

In a post on LinkedIn, Mr Gan spoke of his meeting with Mr Wang, saying that they discussed the deepening of the countries bilateral relations as well as collaboration in international fora such as the WTO.

The digital economy is an important driver of global economic growth, while the green economy is increasingly critical to help countries address challenges arising from global climate change, said Mr Gan, in a separate statement issued by MTI.

He added: “The signing of the two MOUs not only signify Singapore and China’s commitment to broaden and deepen our bilateral cooperation, but also provide new impetus for our countries to explore new areas of cooperation in digital economy and green economy that can address shared policy priorities and business interests.”

Author: Anjali Raguraman, Consumer Correspondent

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 1 GW TOPCon module supply order for JinkoSolar

Image: JinkoSolar

JinkoSolar has scored a 1 GW PV panel order in China and Risen suspended a $758 million private placement of shares.

From pv magazine

Module maker JinkoSolar announced this week it secured a solar module supply agreement from Chinese property development company Datang Group. The order relates to the supply of 1 GW of n-type TOPCon bifacial modules with a power output of up to 560 W for use in large scale projects.

Module manufacturer Risen said on Thursday that its CNY 5 billion ($758 million) private placement of shares has been suspended for a month. The net proceeds from the transaction should be devoted to the construction of a new solar module factory that still needs to get final approval from the China National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC).

China’s Shandong Province announced this week that its fourteenth five-year plan spanning 2021 to 2025 envisages deploying at least 65 GW of PV capacity by the end of 2025, including at least 12 GW of offshore PV for which a specific tender was issued last month. The provincial authorities have already identified 10 offshore sites along Shandong’s coast where the projects could be constructed. Binzhou, Dongying, Weifang, Yantai, Weihai and Qingdao are some of the preferred areas.

Shunfeng International’s proposed sale of four solar projects has collapsed. The heavily-indebted developer announced in January plans to sell 132 MW of solar generation capacity to state-owned entity State Power Investment Group Xinjiang Energy and Chemical Co Ltd to raise CNY 890 million ($134 million). After postponing four times publication of details of the shareholder vote required to approve the sale, Shunfeng this week said the deal had fallen through. The transaction was complicated by the Changzhou Intermediate People’s Court of Jiangsu Province in April, which granted a freezing order on the 95% stake in one of the solar project companies held by a Shunfeng subsidiary. The order was granted at the request of two investors in a 2015 Shunfeng bond who claim money is owed them by the developer. “The board will explore other opportunities to dispose of … some or all of the target companies in order to improve the financial position of the company,” Shunfeng told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this week.

Author: Vincent Shaw & Max Hall

China pilots low carbon bonds to help companies become greener

A worker wearing a face mask works on a production line manufacturing bicycle steel rim at a factory, as the country is hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China March 2, 2020. Image: China Daily via REUTERS

From Reuters

SHANGHAI : China is rolling out so-called low carbon transition bonds to help companies become greener, the country’s interbank bond market regulator said on Monday, as Beijing strives toward carbon neutrality.

Under the pilot scheme, companies in eight sectors including electric power, steelmaking, petrochemicals and civil aviation will issue bonds to fund decarbonisation efforts, the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII) said in a statement.

Such debt instruments supplement green bonds, and are part of China’s sustainable financing, said NAFMII, which is supervised by China’s central bank.

China, the world’s biggest producer of climate warming greenhouse gas, has pledged to bring its emissions to a peak before 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2060.

Proceeds from the transition bonds will be used to fund green efforts including cleaner coal production, the application of green technologies and the use of natural gas and clean energy, NAFMII said.

Companies including China Huaneng Group Co, Hualu Holdings and Baosteel have already issued China’s first low carbon transition bonds, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: LDK to invest in 600 MW HJT solar cell factory as price of polysilicon soars

A production line run by LDK. Image: LDK

A Chinese metals industry group said the price of polysilicon is rising, just as Comtec Solar revealed that it is gearing up to sell off its shuttered wafer factories in Shanghai. Flat Glass, meanwhile, has announced plans to expand solar glass production capacity.

From pv magazine

The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association says the price of polysilicon has risen to CNY 226 ($39.90) per kg and may continue to rise due to strong demand. Last week, prices of M10 and G12 wafers remained stable at CNY 6.79 and CNY 9.12, respectively. But given the current polysilicon supply glut, they could also increase. In addition, earthquakes in Sichuan province on Wednesday affected three ingot casting factories, with a total capacity of 36.2 GW. In turn, lower production rates could have a negative impact on wafer production and wafer prices.

LDK, a unit of Haiyuan Material, plans to invest CNY 355 million in a 600 MW factory for of n-type heterojunction (HJT) solar cells. It said it chose HJT rather than TOPCon because it doesn’t have any PERC capacity that could be directly upgraded to TOPCon. The factory will be built in Xinyu, Jiangxi province.

Flat Glass has announced plans to raise up to CNY 6 billion via a private share issuance on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The company wants to use CNY 4.2 billion of the proceeds for two solar panel glass production projects, together valued at CNY 8.1 billion.

Comtec Solar says it wants to sell off its shuttered wafer factories in Shanghai for CNY 180 million. Shanghai Pudong Zili Color Printing Factory, a pharmaceuticals packaging producer, has reportedly agreed to buy seven factories from the developer.

Authors: Vincent Shaw & Max Hall

China vows new financial tools to support drive to carbon neutrality

A woman walks across a bridge in front of a chimney billowing smoke from a coal-burning power station in central Beijing February 25, 2011. Image: REUTERS/David Gray

From Reuters

SHANGHAI : China’s government said it will expand its range of financial tools and make greater use of fiscal and taxation policies to support the shift towards carbon neutrality.

China aims to create a basic financial policy framework by 2030 to support green and low-carbon development, and will also aim to give more play to market mechanisms like carbon and pollution discharge trading, according to policy recommendations from the Ministry of Finance published late on Monday.

The world’s biggest producer of climate warming greenhouse gas has pledged to bring its emissions to a peak before 2030 and to become fully carbon neutral by around 2060.

It has already vowed to start cutting coal consumption from 2026 and bring wind and nearly double solar power capacity to 1,200 gigawatts by the end of the decade.

The new guidelines are aimed at creating “a fiscal and taxation policy system that promotes the efficient use of resources and green, low-carbon development,” the ministry quoted an unnamed official as saying.

The ministry also aims to build an “incentive and restraint mechanism” to encourage green and low-carbon practices among local governments, the official said.

According to the recommendations, the tax system will be adjusted to include more preferential policies encouraging energy and water conservation as well as carbon emission cuts. Import tariffs should also be adjusted to meet low-carbon development requirements, it said.

As well as focusing on key sectors such as energy storage and the shift to renewables, new financial tools will also be developed to help transform the transportation sector and promote new energy vehicles, and encourage recycling and the comprehensive use of resources.

The ministry also said more financial policy support would be given to the construction of carbon sinks, the protection of forests and grasslands, as well as climate change adaptation.

JinkoSolar showcases 13.08%-efficient transparent TOPCon solar module for BIPV, agrivoltaics

The solar panel measures 1,1759 mm × 1158 mm × 11.5 mm, has a weight of 54 kg. Image: JinkoSolar

The new solar module can be purchased with different levels of transparency, depending on the project, with light transmittance ranging between 30% and 40%. It has a power output of 245 W to 300 W and a temperature coefficient of -0.30% per C.

From pv magazine

Chinese module manufacturer JinkoSolar launched a new transparent solar module for applications in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and agrivoltaics at the recent Smarter E event held in Munich, Germany.

“The Jinko Transparent Curtain Wall Series is based on our n-type TOPCon HOT2 cell technology,” a company spokesperson told pv magazine. “It can be purchased with different levels of transparency, depending on the project. Light transmittance ranges between 30% and 40%.”

The panel has a power output ranging from 245 W to 300 W with the power conversion efficiency spanning from 12.09% to 13.08%. The open-circuit voltage is between 25.6 V and 28.5 V and the short-circuit current is of 12.09 A to 12.93 A.

It measures 1,1759 mm × 1158 mm × 11.5 mm, has a weight of 54 kg and its temperature coefficient is -0.30% per C.

The operating ambient temperature ranges from -40 C to 85 C, said the manufacturer, and the maximum system voltage is 1,500 V. The panel has 6 mm of toughened glass on both sides and its junction box has an IP 67 rating.

Jinko offers a five-year product warranty and a 25-year power output guarantee. The panels are said to be able to operate at 90% of their original performance after 10 years and at 80% in the remaining 15 years.

“The product is also available in different colors and can be adapted to modern architectural concepts,” the spokesperson said. “The dual glass configuration ensures lower crack diffusivity and corrosion resistance.”

Author: Emiliano Bellini

Heterojunction solar cell with 25.18% efficiency, 85.42% fill factor

Image: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Researchers in China have fabricated a heterojunction solar cell with a 244.63 cm2 Czochralski n-c-Si wafer. They used light soaking to improve the dark conductance of the hydrogenated amorphous silicon films.

From pv magazine

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have built a heterojunction solar cell with highly conductive boron-doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin films. They claim it reduces fill factor losses to a minimum.

“Our cells were conceived for applications in large-scale solar modules,” researcher Wenzhu Liu told pv magazine.

The scientists fabricated the cell with a 244.63 cm2 Czochralski n-c-Si wafer provided by China-based Sichuan Yongxiang Silicon Material Company. They used light soaking to improve the dark conductance of the a-Si:H films, in order to help the diffusion and hopping of weakly bound hydrogen atoms, resulting in efficient boron tetrasilicide (B−Si4) doping.

“The light-soaking devices are made of LED arrays and were developed by Chinese companies at our request,” Liu said.

The scientists have found that boron doping, which stems from weakly bound hydrogen atoms, plays a crucial part in the formation of metastable hydrogen configurations in the a-Si:H films. Under standard illumination conditions, the solar cell achieved a power conversion efficiency of 25.18%, an open-circuit voltage of 749 mV, and a fill factor of 85.42%, which the scientists described as the highest values among two-side contacted silicon solar cells.

An encapsulated device was also able to retain 98.70% and 97.59% of the fill factor and efficiency, respectively, after 1,000 hours. The scientists claimed that this demonstrates high stability against extreme climate degradation factors.

The scientists described the process in “Light-induced activation of boron doping in hydrogenated amorphous silicon for over 25% efficiency silicon solar cells,” which was recently published in Nature Energy. “We participated in their design and now both the cells and the light-soaking devices will be available in the market,” said Liu.

Author: Emiliano Bellini

Chinese PV Industry Brief: China’s cumulative PV capacity tops 322 GW

Image: u_2ui6kzp77g, pixabay

In other news, Zhonghuan Semiconductor announced it will begin selling 210 mm n-type wafers and the local government in Zhejiang Province said it wants to deploy another 12.4 GW of new PV by 2024.

From pv magazine

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has revealed that newly installed PV capacity for April in the country amounts to 3.66 GW – representing a 23% increase compared to April 2021. It also revealed that year to date in 2022, new PV systems installed in China total 16.88 GW. Overall, the country’s cumulative PV capacity reached 322.57 GW at the end of April.

Zhonghuan Semiconductor announced today that it will begin selling n-type wafers in the 210mm x 210mm format that it first introduced to the p-type market back in 2019. The company will sell the wafer at 150 micron thickness at CNY 9.49 ($1.42) per piece, and an even thinner product at 130 microns at CNY 9.06 ($1.35) per piece.

The government of Zhejiang Province released its energy development plan for the fourteenth five-year (2021-2025) period. The province is planning to build 12.45 GW more solar PV from now to the end of 2025. This would push the region’s cumulative PV installations to 27.62 GW.

Author: Vincent Shaw

Smarter E Products: Solis unveils off-grid PV inverter

The new PV inverter from Solis is designed for areas without power grids or areas with frequent power outages. Image: Solis

The S5-EO1P(4-5)K-48 series off-grid PV inverter has an efficiency of 96.7% and supports parallel operation of up to 10 units, which allows for a system capacity of up to 50 kW. According to the manufacturer, the device is compatible with all top-tier brands of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.

From pv magazine

In one of the highlights of this week’s Smarter E in Munich, Chinese PV inverter manufacturer Solis has taken the wraps off its new off-grid inverter. Designed for areas without power grids or areas with frequent power outages, the S5-EO1P(4-5)K-48 series boasts a peak efficiency of 96.7% and features an AC charger and a built-in MPPT solar charge controller.

“S5-EO1P(4-5)K-48 was first launched in some markets with no power grid or unstable power grid, such as Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa, and Spain,” the company told pv magazine.  “However, the product will be released and available for any market where there is significant demand.”

The system supports the parallel operation of up to 10 units, to expand capacity up to 50 kW. Depending on the system configuration, the PV inverter comes with a rated output power of 4 kW or 5 kW, and a surge capacity of 8 kVA or 10 kVA.

Based on the application, the system is also configurable in terms of AC and solar input. It has a maximum PV input voltage of up to 500 V, maximum solar charge current of 100 A, and maximum AC charge current of up to 80 A.

With one MPPT channel and maximum two string inputs, the MPPT voltage ranges from 90 V to 480 V.

The device, which also features IP21 enclosures, measures 335 x 450 x 160 mm and weighs in at 14 kg. Its operating ambient temperature ranges from -10 to 60 degrees Celsius.

According to Solis, the inverter can work with or without batteries and it is compatible with all top-tier brands of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. Also, S5-EO1P(4-5)K-48 is compatible both with the grid or generators as a backup power source.

The manufacturer provides a standard two-year warranty for its off-grid PV inverter series, as well as online technical support and services of local technical teams in key countries and regions around the world.

Author: Marija Maisch