Category: Talking Point

Keeping The Industrys Environmental Promise

Free-riders in waste management and legal compliance may have become the new threat to sustainable PV business in Europe. PV CYCLE’s Head of Public Affairs talks us through the current situation and offers advice for a legally-sound – not to mention environmentally conscious – future. 2013 was a boom year, not for everyone, but certainly… Read more »

Solar energy: expansion in high gear

Solar energy in 2015 is in an enviable position throughout much of the world. Companies in the business of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy employ more people than any other renewable energy market segment, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). While the industry as a whole is still growing, it is also seeing new… Read more »

Optimising megawatt-scale energy storage for large plants

Michael Lippert, Saft’s marketing manager for energy storage, describes how experience of managing megawatt-scale Li-ion energy storage systems (ESSs) in the field has led to the development of best practice in managing ESSs for large solar (and wind) plants. Photovoltaic (PV) solar and wind power plants are characterised by high variability and limited predictability caused… Read more »

PERC is hot. So think smart

It will not have escaped your attention that PERC is indeed setting the agenda right now. But to stay one step head, it’s worth ‘thinking smart, and choosing Spatial ALD’ argues SoLayTec’s Roger Görtzen in a typically passionate and well-considered piece. In recent years, the p-type standard Al-BSF cells have improved significantly, especially with new… Read more »

Taking solar asset management seriously

The solar market has been growing at breakneck speed and the predictions for the future are getting growing bolder by the day. However, today it is not just the project developers, hardware manufacturers, EPCs and banks and who are keeping busy supporting the solar industry’s growth… As the global installed base for solar is expected… Read more »

Serious games and augmented reality: showing the future of offshore renewable energy

A recent event showcased the outputs from a Franco- British collaboration designed to reduce the cost of maintaining offshore renewable energy assets: theMer-Innovate project. We take a look at the state of play. On 18 March almost 50 delegates arrived at a venue fittingly situated by the coast at Portsmouth Harbour. As they crossed the… Read more »

Training Tomorrows Turbine Inspectors

As turbine inspection becomes an ever-more worthwhile and sought-after skill, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a mini-industry has been set-up to train the inspectors of tomorrow. We take a look at some of the options on offer… Certainly, DWPA promotes customised training courses tailored to the wind turbine industry, and when it comes to wind turbine… Read more »

The End Of Invest And Forget

Welcome to a brave new world for European renewables investors, says Phil Hare, Director at Pöyry Management Consulting. If the predictions are to be trusted, exposure to market prices and imbalance risks may result in very different values for current and future asset portfolios… For many investors, renewables have been seen as an ‘invest and… Read more »

Scotland under the spotlight: blowing a gale through renewables policy

Nick Green is head of energy in Scotland at real estate specialist, Savills. He specialises in advising landowners and developers involved with wind farms and other renewable energy infrastructure. Here, Nick gives us the lowdown on one of wind’s key battlegrounds. Fresh from a UK General Election which has seen businesses, land owners and property… Read more »

Technology Transformation Reinforces Chinas Wind Of Change

Alfredo Parres, head of ABB’s wind industry sector initiative, reports on China’s fast-evolving wind industry and how it is adopting new technologies to reduce losses and increase penetration of wind energy on the grid. As part of its drive to reduce carbon emissions and protect its environment and future economy, the Chinese government is pushing… Read more »

Eroding the challenge of wind turbines

Two renowned industry experts discuss how improved knowledge will be used to drive standardisation, as well as the development of new coatings and better structural solutions for a new generation of high-efficiency wind turbines. Energy has long been a ‘hot topic’ of political debate, but has recently gathered even more momentum, following the publication of… Read more »

Bank Financing Options For Sustainable Energy From Solar Power To Energy Efficiency

Installed solar photovoltaic capacity in the UK nearly doubled in 2014, from 2.8GW 
to over 5GW. In DECC’s April figures it was reported that overall UK solar PV capacity stood at 5,709MW at the end of March 2015 across over 680 thousand installations. 
This milestone achievement is testament to the hard work of Britain’s several… Read more »

High quality film requested for encapsulation

BREYER’s extrusion system, CellProtect, allows the production of low shrinkage EVA encapsulation film at high production speed. Joachim Bormann talks us through the state of the market and the company’s innovative response. According to the latest quarterly update from Mercom Capital Group, llc (as well as other sources), the solar industry is forecasted to continue… Read more »

Future trends within the solar market

Simon Phipps, CEO of Dragon Infrastructure Solutions, draws on his expertise and experience at the helm of the UK’s leading independent connections provider for large scale solar connections, to explore what we can expect from the solar market for the rest of 2015 and beyond. There is no question that the era of substantial large… Read more »

Core Material Trends In A Blade

We take a look forward to the ‘core’ of wind blade manufacturing technology and how it can contribute to reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE). In late 2013, PES published an article that discussed the ‘Core’ material in a blade. It examined the challenges for wind energy; composites as a technology; the rise (and… Read more »

Optimising turbines for peak performance

IT report: using advanced control and communications to decrease downtime. “The world faces a once-off transition to sustainability,” says Dr Eddie O’Connor, CEO at Mainstream Renewable Power. “By reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels and shifting to low carbon sources of power generation, we can grow the economy and lower the price the consumer… Read more »

Europe: a new energy arena

Europe’s strategy on climate change and energy policy is at a critical juncture. The political crisis in Ukraine and the continent’s dependence on imported fossil fuels has caused energy security to rise to the top of the agenda. This provides a renewed opportunity to develop a energy policy based on alternatives to fossil fuel imports…. Read more »

Green growth: fuelling an employment revolution

Just a few years ago, the economic situation was such that employment prospects were bleak across the board – let alone within the renewables sector. Today, however, our industry is driving record growth, as the latest figures from America’s most recent economic quarter prove… From commercial-scale solar developments to energy-efficient recycling projects, clean energy and… Read more »

Navigating solar irradiance measurement issues

Words: Dr.-Ing. Joachim Jaus, Black Photon Instruments GmbH Solar irradiance measurements provide valuable information to select a site for the construction of a solar power plant, to calculate the efficiency of the plant operation, or to determine possibilities for improvements of the power plant setup. But only precise measurements can do the job well. Dr… Read more »

Addressing the energy trilemma

Europe’s energy trilemma – achieving energy security, sustainability, and economic prosperity – is a hot topic right now, and is receiving attention from everyone from politicians to policymakers. But what exactly is it? Allow the IEA’s Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven, to explain all. We all know that coal dominated global energy production for… Read more »

Take to the skies!

Always an exciting and interesting contributor to PES magazine, FLIR is behind a scheme to monitor photovoltaic systems’ thermography from the air using drones. We find out more… The company Paul Kitawa ( is located in Calau, Germany and specialises in film productions. In addition to advertising, training, corporate image and product films, it provides… Read more »

Smarter solar radiation monitoring

Words: Ruud Ringoir, Product Manager at Kipp & Zonen Instruments for monitoring solar radiation have been used in meteorology and climatology for almost a hundred years, but today they are also a common sight in solar energy. The data required differs for PV (Photovoltaic), CPV (Concentrated PV) and CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) applications, but they… Read more »

PV module output: the case for on-site optimisation

Words: Erik Lohse, Michael Fufl  The quality of solar modules is not always as expected. However, a cost-efficient way to prove the quality on-site is by using mobile test centres – under the condition that measurements are performed and test results are implemented by well-trained and knowledgeable solar experts. Testing modules on-site can establish a… Read more »

Addressing the impact of partial state of charge on batteries with Smart Carbon

Words: Dean Middleton, Senior Sales Director – Renewable Energy, Trojan Battery Co., LLC Batteries are crucial to the success of PV systems, and yet capitalising on their true efficiency and longevity is often an afterthought. Dean Middleton offers his expert view… The single most important factor to consider when purchasing a deep-cycle battery for renewable… Read more »

Taking wafer coating to a new level

VON ARDENNE develops and manufactures advanced vacuum coating equipment for the deposition of ultra-thin functional layers on materials such as glass, metal strip, wafers and polymer films. In this article, we take an exclusive look at the company and its latest product, XEA|nova.  The German family-owned company VON ARDENNE’s key technologies are magnetron sputtering and… Read more »

Denmark sets an example

While Germany and Scotland grab most of the headlines for wind energy production, it is Denmark that sets the standard in policy terms. Copenhagen is preparing a push for stronger EU-wide 2030 climate and energy goals despite tough opposition from states such as the UK and Poland… The Danish climate and energy minister, Martin Lidegaard,… Read more »

Technical due diligence – an examination of risks should precede purchase

When wind farms change owners, detailed expertise is in high demand; the projects may involve specific risks that – although not immediately apparent – may result in higher costs, lower energy production than predicted, or liability issues that affect Returns On Investment and cash flow. It is therefore vital to identify potential risks in advance… Read more »

Setting the story straight

It seems that 2014 has been the year to knock wind energy, with detractors trying to take a swipe at the technology, the health issues, planning, or any one of a number of perceived ills. We take a look at the reality behind the scare stories. This year has seen yet more negativity on wind… Read more »

A new wafer coating system is born

VON ARDENNE develops and manufactures advanced vacuum coating equipment for the deposition of ultra-thin functional layers on materials such as glass, metal strip, wafers and polymer films. In this article, we take an exclusive look at the company and its latest product, XEA|nova – set to be introduced at this year’s Intersolar Europe. The German… Read more »

PV measurement matters

In this exclusive technical feature, Klaus M. Schulte of PV-Engineering GmbH outlines how monitoring and measuring can make a vital difference to the effectiveness of a PV system – and how conventional methods may not provide the best feedback. Photovoltaic systems generally do not contain serviceable elements, which is one of the main advances of… Read more »

No blackouts with mobile storage solution

A new idea for how to compensate quickly and flexibly for fluctuations in the low-voltage network has emerged from Germany and Switzerland. Two years ago, German magazine bild der wissenschaft named the energy thriller Blackout – Morgen ist es zu spät (Blackout – Tomorrow Is Too Late) the most exciting science book of the year…. Read more »

Functions and capabilities of PV inverters to be part of a Smart Grid

PES presents an illuminating despatch from Fronius International GmbH that explores the challenges presented by Smart Grids and how these challenges can be met with integrated inverters. As the number of decentralised energy generators grows, also the need for an intelligent power grid rises. In the Smart Grid of the future, the parties of the… Read more »