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PV storage and grid integration

Storage technology is an “industry challenge”, which is becoming progressively pertinent, particularly for the solar industry. Indeed, how many photovoltaic systems does a country or region need? Zero, 100 or 500 gigawatts worth? The answer depends, crucially, on the question of how the power can be distributed and stored. As many solar companies have already reported this year, and last, the issue is being given an increased amount of attention.

Similarly, the question of grid integration is a significant one. A number of problems still exist – both bureaucratic and technical – which are hindering the merger of traditional and renewable technologies into national grids.

To address these industry issues, a number of research initiatives, events and working groups are being set up. For instance, Solarpraxis held its first “Energy Storage – Summit for the Storage of Renewable Energies” conference between March 13 and 14 in Dusseldorf, and a new European project began in May, PV Grid, aimed at tackling these issues. Companies are also offering new products and solutions.

On this page, you will find relevant, and regularly updated, articles and information published by pv magazine.

Online news

Asia Pacific energy storage market worth $12 billion in 10 years

Lithium-ion storage battery

A Pike Research report released today predicts that the Asia Pacific energy storage market will be worth $12 billion by 2022, with a capacity of 25 GW.

£20 million incentive for UK energy storage solutions

Storage battery

The U.K. government has made £20 million available to encourage innovation in energy storage systems.

BYD: Plenty of expertise in solar and storage

BYD solar photovoltaic storage

Earlier this week, pv magazine visited BYD Company Limited in the outskirts of Shanghai to discuss the company’s solar and storage plans with Tom Zhao, general manager of BYD Solar Division.

Solar storage needs stable and sustainable market development

Battery solar storage

Solar storage solutions are integral to the further development of the photovoltaics industry. However, cowboys “looking to make a quick buck” need not apply, as stable and sustainable market development is required, according to…

Aster Capital leads financing round for SolarFuel

Venture capital firm Aster Capital, sponsored by Alstom, Solvay Rhodia and Schneider Electric, has announced a €4 million investment in SolarFuel GmbH. This is part of a €7.5 million financing round that Aster Capital is leading….

PG&E launches Green Button Connect

A PG&E substation in the Mission districit in San Francisco.

As a part of its plan to facilitate better demand-side management of electricity usage, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has launched its Green Button Connect system. The software aims at providing electricity usage…

EU PVSEC: Grid connection challenges can be overcome

Winifred Hoffman EPIA

Grid connection and stability issues can be overcome to encompass a more electricity-intensive energy mix in Europe, with photovoltaics supplying up to 25% of that demand by 2030. The findings have been released in a report by…

GE and Xtreme Power form storage partnership

Storage GE Energy Storage Durathon battery facility New York

GE Energy Storage and turnkey energy storage and power management system solutions provider, Xtreme Power have formed a partnership under which they will develop energy storage solutions for the grid.

Brazil: Report reveals 10 PV technologies for development

Brazil 1 MW solar photovoltaic plant

The 10 top technologies industry analysts expect to be developed in Brazil’s photovoltaic sector over the next 15 years have been unveiled in a new study commissioned by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI).

Global smart grid activity heating up

Smart grid solar photovoltaic

At the end of Q2 2012, China continued to dominate the worldwide renewable energy market, with Germany and the U.S. nose-to-nose in second place, and India and the U.K. just behind, according to Ernst & Young’s latest quarterly…

Solon: North American strategies, growth prospects and how Microsol stepped in at just the right time

US Solon 21MW solar photovoltaic plant

Solon Corporation’s new VP and GM of power plants, Jared Schoch discusses his plans for growing the company’s North American photovoltaic business, the financing landscape in the region, and the impact of Microsol’s recent…

Automated demand response key to intermittent renewables

California 20 MW Stroud solar photovoltaic station

Automated demand response, or AutoDR could cost-effectively help combat intermittent renewable energy supply, particularly in light of the current high costs of grid-connected storage batteries.

Australia: $40.7 million grant secured for PV research

Tyree Energy Technologies Building

Hailed as “historic”, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Queensland have been awarded a AU$40.7 million grant to establish two photovoltaic research programs.

US injects $43 million into energy storage research

Grid Image

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made US$43 million worth of funding available to 19 energy storage research projects.

Australia: Infigen to build PV integrated energy storage demonstration project

New South Wales flag

Infigen has begun work on a one MW photovoltaic and energy storage plant in Australia’s New South Wales. A first for both the company and the country, the demonstration project aims to pave the way for future utility-scale…

$2 million grant awarded to develop PV-integrated storage solutions

Satcon PowerGate Plus solar photovoltaic inverters

Satcon Technology Corporation, A123 Systems, Renewable Energy Services, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) have been awarded US$2 million by the California Energy Commission to work on the development of storage…

US: PV installers emerge as “favorable” investment area

US 1.25MW solar photovoltaic rooftop system

Solar M&A activity in the U.S. has tailed off this year compared to 2011, according to the latest figures. Despite this, photovoltaic project installers have reportedly emerged as a favorable investment area. Furthermore, energy…

Hanwha SolarOne unveils new storage partnership

Hanwha solar photovoltaic modules ready for shipping

Korea-based photovoltaic module manufacturer, Hanwha SolarOne Co. Ltd has announced a new partnership with U.S. storage system company, Silent Power.

Grid storage costs to decrease

Lux Research has released a forecast that expects lithium-ion and molten-salt battery costs to fall to US$500/kWh by 2022. This is predicted to bring down the high capital cost of emerging grid storage technologies. However, it…

Trina and E3/DC announce storage collaboration

E3/DC energy storage system

China’s Trina Solar Limited and Germany-based E3/DC have said they will collaborate on next generation energy storage solutions.

Panasonic ramps up Li-ion battery production

Panasonic smart energy system graphic

Panasonic Corporation will begin mass production of its lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system, which has been developed for European residential homes kitted out with solar.

UrbanTec China: Solar to be integral part of cities’ clean future


This week brought encouraging news from China regarding the development of smart grids to help enable the smart and sustainable cities of tomorrow. In addition to the key role solar can play, the need to focus on technology…

Bahrain unveils 5 MW smart solar project

Petra Solar solar smart grid solutions

U.S.-based Petra Solar has entered into an agreement with the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and Caspian Energy Holdings to undertake a five megawatt (MW) smart solar energy project.

Japan-US smart grid demonstration project announced

Albuquerque aerial Image

Nine Japanese companies have launched a smart grid demonstration project in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

China’s BYD targets 5 GW PV module capacity; mass energy storage production

BYD China solar photovoltaic facility Shanghai

Photovoltaic product, battery and vehicle manufacturer, BYD, has ambitious plans. In addition to reaching five GW of module capacity by 2016 and switching to full automation in a few weeks, it intends to start producing solar…

Will lack of funding stall US solar market takeoff?

The chart highlights US government spending for every major energy source over the past 60 years. Solar has received a modest amount of federal support, compared to other energy sources

Ever since the 1603 Treasury and Section 1705 loan guarantee programs expired last year, succumbing to what many characterized as premature deaths, renewable energy advocates have been inconsolable. And they haven’t suffered…

LG expects mass production of storage battery in 2013

LG Electronics Gumi South Korea solar photovoltaic factory

Solar is a small, but strong part of LG’s business states Yun Ju Hwan of LG Electronics, during a visit to the company’s cell and module factory in South Korea. While capacity ramp ups are on hold, the group is planning to launch…

Bosch acquires Conergy inverter subsidiary

Inverter manufacturing Conergy

Bosch has officially acquired Conergy’s photovoltaic inverter subsidiary, voltwerk electronics GmbH, following approval from the German anti-trust authorities. The purchase price was not disclosed.

US competition seeks new ways of “stockpiling” green energy

John McHugh

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through its sophisticated think tank, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), is funding a $30 million research competition that will engage America’s brightest scientists,…

US military sets its sights on solar to sideline fossil fuels

US flag

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) moved ahead this week with its plans to mete out “more fight for less fuel”. With support from the White House, the Pentagon intends to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by building…

Germany: Off to Ulm for battery development

Lab photo

Baden-Württemberg’s Environment Minister Franz Untersteller visited the ZSW labs for battery technology eLab in Ulm, Germany today. In the spotlight is the advancement of a ‘Made in Germany’ technology base for batteries.

Germany: Micro smart grid concluded in Berlin

Schneider Electric has collaborated with the Innovation Center for Mobility and Social Change (InnoZ) to complete a micro smart grid at the EUREF-Campus in Germany’s capital city.

A growing global smart grid market

Smart grids are set to grow as Pike Research’s report shows. Meanwhile Echelon Corporation has announced two micro grid deployments in India and South Africa that will integrate distributed generation to compensate disruptions in…

China: Big PV project possibilities, but grid and policy issues exisit

The consensus at Solarpraxis’ first “Project implementation conference – China 2012” in Shanghai is clear: the potential of photovoltaic project development in China is huge, particularly in light of falling system costs….

Bharti Airtel to enhance solar installations in Africa

Niger satellite image

India-based telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel, has chosen to increase the use of solar, and other renewable energies, to replace its diesel-powered generators. The aim is to reduce its carbon footprint in Africa and cut…

Norway’s green battery vs. hydrogen storage

According to the industry experts present at the first “Energy Storage” conference, held this week in Düsseldorf, Germany, either technology could win the race to enable Germany’s renewable energy future.

Large scale storage solutions critical to future dominance of solar

During the second day of Solarpraxis’ “Energy Storage” event in Germany’s Düsseldorf, it was claimed that the storage bottleneck needs to be broken, in order to develop large-scale storage solutions, which are critical to the…

Germany could become storage technology hotspot

The first day has drawn to a close at Solarpraxis’ Energy Storage conference in Germany’s Düsseldorf. Following calls from Germany’s Environment Minister to rapidly develop storage technology in the country, there is a belief…

Pay-as-you go PV picks up award

Eight19 staff in South Sudan.

Off-grid photovoltaic system provider, Eight19 has picked up an award, as Climate Week kicked off across the U.K. yesterday. The company, which has pioneered a pay-as-you go solar system in Africa, was named Best Initiative for…

Storage: Investment in CRES systems to hit $4.2 billion through 2022


Pike Research has announced that investments in community and residential energy storage (CRES) systems will increase to more than US$4 billion in the next decade.

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