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EGEB: Perovskite cells may revolutionize solar power, India release a new energy draft policy, Solar Exchange to power Moldavia

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Today on EGEB, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE made a breakthrough that may turn photovoltaic production upside-down. India bets on solar-wind farm hybrids in their new energy draft policy. Solar Exchange and the United Nations Development Programme team up to bring solar power to one of Europe’s most impoverished country.

Scientists pioneer on-site or “in-situ” solar installations deployment. Silicon-based photovoltaic technology dominates the market now, but an important competitor is on the way that may bring down costs. Perovskite cells skip several steps as they

“reverse the manufacturing process so that first the solar module is produced and subsequently filled with the photovoltaic material then directly activated on site, or “in-situ”? “With perovskite, a photovoltaic material that is currently being intensely investigated, and a photoactive salt, we have now succeeded, for the first time, in realizing a printed solar cell with an efficiency of 12.6 %”

This low success rate warrants more work, but this technology is very promising and eco-friendly as it requires nearly the same process as glass production. Wastes from this production could then be recycled, transportation and infrastructure costs slashed, making solar power even more competitive than it is now.

India releases its new energy draft policy, suggests superimposition of solar and wind farms. As the greatest weakness of both energy sources is the inconsistent energy production, Indian authorities want to hybridize both so production can go on while one part is unproductive, like solar during the night.

“It is a great combination because then you have steady power coming from six in the morning to six in the evening from the solar, and then have wind which starts around 12 and goes on till about two or three in the morning,” said Ramesh Kymal, CEO of wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa’s India business.

Savings are to be expected also in the electricity transmission infrastructure.

Moldavian university to be the first European recipient of Solar Exchange’s leased photovoltaic cells. Readers might remember last week’s EGEB about Solar Exchange, a startup planning to bring solar power to capital-starved countries by leasing individual photovoltaic cells to investors through the power of blockchains and cryptocurrency. The United Nations Development Programme approves the concept and is moving to implement it to the Technical University of Moldavia.

“The idea is to find new sources of finance to “help buildings go green overnight” – in this instance with rooftop solar panels, said Dumitru Vasilescu, a program manager with UNDP in Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries.“ One of the biggest obstacles to countries investing in renewable energy is a lack of finance, as you often have to wait 10 to 15 years before you get a return on your investment,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. But the university will get a full 1 megawatt of energy installed in the summer, he said, as a result of the crowd-funding effort. Owners of the solar cells, in turn, will receive SolarCoins as soon as the university produces energy, earning interest of about 4 percent on their investment, Vasilescu added.”

Moldavia imports three-quarter of its energy, making it vulnerable to markets changes and natural gas giant Russia, something authorities hope to change through renewable energy.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot program. Heliostats and the rising sun at Solar Reserve’s Crescent Dunes facility in Tonopah, NV. Photo by Ivan Boden.

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