Benelux_Infrastructure_Forum_171
11 April 2017 2017 09:30 AM GMT

New Perovskite Efficiency Record Is A Breakthrough With Significant Potential

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have achieved a new record efficiency for low-cost semi-transparent perovskite solar cells in a breakthrough that could bring down the cost of generating solar electricity. The team led by The Duong from the ANU Research School of Engineering have achieved 26 percent efficiency in converting sunlight into energy, which could help make perovskite solar cells a viable alternative to existing silicon cells.

Perovskite is a material with a lattice-like structure that can help harvest light. Researchers have achieved 26 percent efficiency by mechanically combining perovskite with silicon solar cells. “Until now efficiencies of this kind have only been achieved using high-cost materials normally used on satellites,” said Mr Duong, a PhD student. “We are now a step closer to a low-cost alternative.” Silicon solar cell technology is about 90 percent of the solar market, but scientists around the world are working to find a way to make them more efficient, affordable, stable and reliable. The research is supported by $3.6 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Professor Kylie Catchpole from the ANU Research School of Engineering said the advances in solar technology were good news for consumers, although the perovskite cells were not yet ready for use on rooftops. “This breakthrough opens the way to increasing the efficiency of silicon solar cells further, and in a cheap way,” Professor Catchpole said. “The key challenge, for now, is achieving the same stability as we have with silicon solar cells that can be put out on a roof for 20 years using perovskite. “Over the next few years, we are planning to increase efficiencies to 30 per cent and beyond.”

The research has been published in Advanced Energy Materials. This work was part of the “High-efficiency silicon/perovskite solar cells” project led by University of New South Wales with research partners ANU, Monash University, Arizona State University, Suntech R&D Australia Pty Ltd and Trina Solar.

Courtesy Of The Australian National University (ANU). Photo: Professor Kylie Catchpole and The Duong, ANU Research School of Engineering.

August 5th 2017
Invenergy, GE Renewable Energy Announce 2GW Facility: Largest Wind Farm In US

Invenergy and GE Renewable Energy have announced a 2GW wind farm that will be the largest in the U.S. and second-largest in the world, once operational, in 2020. The Wind Catcher facility is under construction in the Oklahoma panhandle and will use 800 state-of-the-art GE 2.5 MW turbines. It will link more than 1.1 million customers with wind energy harvested domestically, saving them more than $7 billion, and will support 4,000 direct and 4,400 indirect jobs annually during construction and 80 permanent jobs once operational. “Wind Catcher shows American leadership in bringing low-cost clean energy to market at Giga scale,” said Invenergy’s Founder and CEO Michael Polsky.

August 9th 2017
IDFC Alternatives Fund Acquires Solar Projects Totaling 190MW From First Solar

India Infrastructure Fund II (IIF II), represented by its investment manager, IDFC Alternatives Limited, one of India’s largest alternatives fund managers, is to acquire seven operating solar projects owned and operated by the First Solar Group in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana aggregating to a capacity of 190 MW. All the projects utilise First Solar’s advanced CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) based thin film modules, one of the most environmentally friendly PV technologies, and sell the power generated to state utilities, under long term power purchase agreements. Aditya Aggarwal, Partner, IDFC Alternatives stated that “consistent with its stated strategy of aggregating operating renewable assets, IIF II is well on its way to achieving an installed base of 400-450 MW of operating renewable assets by the end of the current financial year.”

August 14th 2017
Offshore Wind Drives 6.1 GW Of European Wind Installations In First Half Of 2017

6.1 GW of extra wind energy capacity was installed in Europe in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope. The figure puts Europe on course for a bumper year for installations, although hides some worrying trends. WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu, said: “We are on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets. At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend”.