Safety and efficiency first in solar-plus-storage

Ensuring battery systems used in conjunction with solar perform safely and optimally is essential in ensuring the continued roll-out of storage technology. Robert Puto and Gerhard Klein of TÜV SÜD examine independent technical assessments that must be undertaken before a storage system is built.

A developers’ eye view on North America

Last year saw large-scale storage come of age in the USA and Canada, with some heavyweight storage portfolios starting to take shape. Speaking to four leading North American developers, Andy Colthorpe takes the pulse of a market poised for growth.

Creating a sustainable power system for the future

Paul Verrill, director of energy data analyst EnAppSys, explains how renewable energy generation and the integration of smart grid technologies and efficient energy storage systems can create a sustainable power system for the future.

Life after the ITC

On 1 January this year, the solar investment tax credit, responsible for fuelling the rapid growth of the US market, began its decline. Cecilia Keating assesses what impact it will have.

Utility-scale PV surges onward in the United States

As utility-scale PV projects continue to spread across the United States, Mark Bolinger, Joachim Seel, and Dana Robson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory cover key technology and market trends in this synopsis of their annual “Utility-Scale Solar” report series.

Smart neighbourhood, smart micro-grid

Micro-grids can offer a resilient and secure alternative for both rural and city communities. Molly Lempriere looks at some of the micro-grids around the world that are transforming the way neighbourhoods produce and consume electricity.

The outlook for mini-grids

Mini-grids offer a quick route to electrification in parts of the world where grid extensions are unfeasible. Baptiste Possémé looks at the some of the technological and regulatory trends influencing the deployment of mini-grids in Africa and Asia.

Building in quality

Solar engineering, procurement and construction contractors have a central role in ensuring the long-term performance and profitability of PV power plants. Ben Willis speaks to Adele Ara and Ralph Gottschalg of SolarPower Europe’s O&M and Asset Management Task Force, which is drawing up the industry’s first best practice guidelines for EPC companies.

Increase of PID susceptibility of PV modules under enhanced environmental stress

Potential-induced degradation (PID) is still one of the main reasons for unpredictable power losses in PV power plants. Volker Naumann, Otwin Breitenstein, Klemens Ilse, Matthias Pander, Kai Sporleder and Christian Hagendorf of Fraunhofer CSP examine how the PID susceptibility of PV modules is influenced by environmental stress. It is found that PID may develop in originally PID-resistant modules after a period of one to three years of unsuspicious operation, depending on climatic conditions.