With more people working from home in their home offices, load shedding has become a real problem. Especially extended periods where even the batteries of phones and laptops go flat.
To stay productive in your home office, even during load shedding, one needs backup power. Generators are a good solution for short periods of time that do not happen too often. But if load shedding becomes a daily occurrence and happens for extended periods, generators become problematic. They make a lot of noise, and air pollution, that not you nor your neighbours will be too happy about. They become expensive in maintenance and fuel cost, and it also becomes a hassle to change over to generator power and start the generator.
A better alternative is to use UPS / Backup power systems. A UPS, backup system makes use of inverter/chargers and batteries. This has several advantages over generators:
It is completely silent
It is completely automatic
It is uninterrupted: Computers, TVs and internet do not go off at all
It is completely maintenance-free
It uses no fuel
Causes no pollution
With the UPS based load shedding solution, the following list of appliances can be backed up.
Additional benefits of UPS, Inverter and battery-based backup solutions are the following.
Protect sensitive electric and electronic equipment
Power going on and of frequently can cause damage to sensitive electric and electronic equipment. Several fridges, freezers, laptops, TV and computers were damaged during the last load shedding period in South Africa.
Adding solar power
An inverter/charger and battery-based system is basically half of what one needs for a complete off-grid solar system. It is very easy to just add a few solar panels to the system. This will then charge the batteries with solar power instead of grid power.
This has two advantages, firstly it saves you money as electricity from the solar panels is free. Secondly, it will extend the period of backup power, as one is no longer limited to the amount of energy stored in the batteries, but can also add all the energy produced by the solar panels to extend the available time of backup power. If there is enough solar power for energy being used, the equipment can even be permanently off-grid.
A grid-tied solar system is also referred to as a:
Grid-tied photovoltaic system;
Grid-tied PV system;
Grid-connected solar system;
Grid-connected photovoltaic system; or
Grid-connected PV system
Grid-tied systems are connected to, and dependent on, a utility grid to function. Electricity is generated from solar panels.
Grid-tied system components
Grid-tied systems consist of three main components:
one or more inverters; and
an energy meter.
Batteries are not connected to a grid-tied system.
How it works
Rooftop solar panels convert sunlight into DC (direct current) electricity. The solar panels are connected to a grid-tied inverter, which converts the DC electricity into AC (alternating current) electricity. The inverter is then connected to the main DB (distribution board).
AC electricity has a specific frequency (normally around 50 Hz Herz). The inverter synchronises with this grid frequency. Electricity produced by the solar panels supplements electricity supplied by the grid.
Grid-tied solar system diagram
Normally, electricity only flows from the grid to the building. But when a grid-tied solar system is installed, electricity can also flow back to the grid i.e. electricity can flow in both directions (as shown by the arrows in the diagram above).
The electricity produced by the solar panels will always follow the shortest route. This means electricity is first used within the building. If the solar system produces more electricity than the building requires, the excess is exported to the grid. From there it is used by your closest neighbour.
On the other hand, if the building is using more electricity than the solar system is producing, the grid supplies the shortfall.
Measuring the energy produced, used and exported
The inverter and energy meter measure all electricity produced, used, imported and exported. This data is uploaded to an internet server which can be accessed later, either on a website or via an app on your phone.
Advantages of grid-tied solar systems
Cost-effective system: there are no expensive batteries.
Quick return on investment: the typical payback period for a system is 4 to 6 years.
High reliability: as there are fewer components and system requirements compared to hybrid or off-grid systems.
Little to no maintenance required.
Disadvantages of grid-tied solar systems
No backup power: there are no batteries and the system is dependent on the grid to work. When there is a grid power failure, the system also shuts down.
Dependent on a stable grid: if the grid frequency or voltage is outside an acceptable range, the system shuts down.
Energy production does not match energy usage: solar energy is produced in a typical solar production bell curve, mainly between 9 am and 4 pm. If the energy is not used immediately it is exported. Typically, the tariff earned for exported electricity is lower than the tariff paid for imported / self-consumed electricity.
Using actual figures will explain this better. If the typical daily consumption of a building is 30 kWh and the solar system can produce 30 kWh during daylight, then a substantial amount of the electricity generated flows back into the grid. During the day, the meter turns backwards and builds up “credits”. At night, electricity is drawn from the grid and the meter turns forward again, using the “credits”. If the balance right, the meter will show zero usage over 24 hours!
If consumption increases to 40 kWh in 24 hours, the solar system still supplies 30 kWh for free. The remaining 10 kWh are purchased from the grid. If the building only consumes 20 kWh, the solar system “exports” 10 kWh. The solar system is now a power producer and the electricity can theoretically be sold to the grid.
The Tesla Powerwall two stores surplus energy produced by your solar system during the day to power your home with sustainable energy at night. Backup power even protects your home during grid outages—keeping your lights, appliances and Wi-Fi running.
Solar energy Made in Germany - The KYA-Energy Group was supplied with an off-grid 30 kWp solar system in Lomé, Togo.
Official inauguration 15 November 2019, Lomé
The electrification and provision of reliable and clean energy is one of the key development drivers in West Africa. The Togolese government aims to electrify all households by 2030 by means of grid expansion, the use of small off-grid solar systems and solar mini-grids.
A few mini-grids have already been installed for rural communities, with another 317 to follow. This tremendous task can only be accomplished by training local engineers and installers to install, operate and maintain solar mini-grids.
The German solar company maxx solar & energy GmbH & Co. KG, GREEN Solar Academy and the KYA-Energy Group have joined forces to advance with their combined expertise, the use of mini-networks in the country.
As part of the dena RES project, Togo, a 30 kWp Made in Germany pilot plant was installed at the headquarters of the KYA-Energy Group in Lomé. The system not only supplies power to the headquarters of the KYA-Energy Group, but is also used to train solar installers within the GREEN Solar Academy.
Representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Togolese Ministry of Energy will inaugurate the solar system and officially open the GREEN Solar Academy on 15 November 2019.
Electrification and the provision of reliable and clean energy are important development factors in West Africa. Access to electricity is the basis for better education and economic development. Solar energy plays an important role in this development process due to its many uses, affordability and independence from fossil fuels.
The sun does not send a bill, making it the ideal resource for the electrification of Africa. Mini-grids have become a standard solution for rural electrification. Nevertheless, the use of solar technology is still new and project implementation, operation and maintenance of the equipment can pose challenges.
Prof. Dr. med. Yao Azoumah and his team have been in the solar business in Togo, since 2015. His company KYA-Energy Group provides complete solutions for photovoltaics, and also operates a research and training department. Their main business areas are, the installation and sales of solar systems for residential and commercial customers. The company’s strength lies in the design and sales of off-grid systems for small to medium sized organizations.
The right partner
During a seminar trip to Germany in 2017, Prof. dr. Yao Azoumah met maxx | solar & energy GmbH & Co. KG. and found the right partner to expand their business in two ways: the wholesale of solar systems made in Germany, and a training academy for the West African market. "One year ago, Prof. Azoumah and I met for the first time and developed the idea to install a pilot PV system, Made in Germany, in Lomé. "Thanks to the support of the German Energy Agency GmbH (dena), we will be able to commission a 30 kWp solar system as an additional system at KYA-Energy this week, "says Dieter Ortmann, Managing Director of maxx | solar & energie GmbH & Co. KG.
Maxx-solar in Africa
Dieter Ortmann started his work in Africa in 2011. He built maxx | solar energy PTY Ltd. as a training and wholesale company for Southern Africa. "With Prof. dr. Yao Azoumah, we have found the right partner for expanding our business to West Africa and want to use this off-grid pilot project to demonstrate the quality, functionality and sustainability of German solar technology." said Dieter Ortmann.
About the system
The 30 kWp grid-independent solar system is the second solar system for the headquarters of the KYA-Energy Group in Lomé. "Our business is growing and we have recently built new workshops. The possibility of adding a 30 kWp solar system to our current 10 kWp solar system in cooperation with a German partner gives us the opportunity to generate the required electricity ourselves and to demonstrate various technologies on our site, "says Prof. Dr. med. Yao Azoumah.
The 30 kWp off-grid system combines German solar technology with an innovative monitoring concept from the KYA-Energy Group. 105 solar modules of the German company IBC with an output of 285 Wp was installed. The system will produce around 90 kWh of energy per day.
The electricity is consumed mainly during the day and stored in part in 48 BAE batteries with a total capacity of 1750 Ah at 48 V for use at night and in low sunlight conditions. In order to maximize the energy yield and to synchronize the energy production with the energy consumption, the modules are aligned in different directions.
With the German battery manufacturer BAE Batterien GmbH from Berlin, maxx and KYA have not only found a supplier, but also a partner. Jan IJspeert, Managing Director of BAE Batterien GmbH, supports the pilot project as he sees West Africa as an important market for his high-quality batteries. "We want to support KYA and the Togolese government in the sustainable development of a reliable energy supply," said Jan IJspeert.
GREEN Solar Academy
The 30 kWp off-grid system will be at the heart of the GREEN Solar Academy's training focused on solar mini grids. The GREEN Solar Academy is the successor to the maxx | solar academy. Together with 10 local partners, GREEN currently offers independent training in 11 academies in 9 countries in Africa. GREEN stands for the Global Renewable Energy & Efficiency Network, because the aim of the Academy is not only to provide training, but also to build a network of PV installers across Africa. Since 2011, more than 2000 solar installers have been trained and become part of the network.
GREEN and KYA have joined forces to bring the Academy to West Africa and provide GREEN Academy training in the region. The first KYA-operated GREEN Solar Academy is the Academy in Togo. The KYA team successfully participated in several GREEN Solar Academy training programs and this month will offer the first solar installation training program.
One year after finding our ideas, we welcome the representative of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Minister of Energy to the official inauguration of the 30 kWp off-grid solar system and the start of the GREEN Solar Academy Togo on 15 November 2019.
The Dena-RES-Project Togo is being launched by the German Energy Agency and the German Ministry for Industry and Energy and implemented with funding from the "Exportinitiative Energie" of the dena-Renewable-Energy-Solutions-Program.
Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena)
Dena is the competence centre for energy efficiency, renewable energies and intelligent energy systems. As an agency for "applied energy transition", we contribute to achieving the energy and climate policy goals by developing and putting into practice solutions, both nationally and internationally. For that, bring together partners from politics and business across all industry sectors. The shareholders of dena are the Federal Republic of Germany and the KfW Bank group. https://www.dena.de
With the "Exportinitiative Energie" Initiative, the "Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)" (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) supports small and medium-sized German companies in the energy sector in the development of foreign markets. Addressed are companies that offer energy solutions in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grids or storage.
The aim of the "Exportinitiative Energie" initiative is to position and disseminate German energy technologies more internationally, in order to increase the market potential for German technologies and German know-how.
In line with the respective export phases, the export initiative focuses on information transfer, business development and networking.
With its dena-RES-program, the German Energy Agency (dena) supports companies in the renewable energy sector in opening up markets. In attractive target markets, energy technology will be installed at representative institutions in publicity and advertising, and comprehensively supported by PR, marketing and training activities.
These flagship projects funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi) " as part of the "Export Initiative Energy" aims to demonstrate the quality of German products in the field of renewable energies and to facilitate the sustainable entry into new markets for participating companies.
We are proud to announce to our customers and partners that we are entering into a close and strategic partnership (joining forces) with one of the world's leading energy systems houses - the German PV pioneer IBC-SOLAR - from 2017 onwards. Your contacts remain intact - but the possibilities are unlimited with this future partnership!
Greater safety and quality of life thanks to maximum energy independence.
With our new energy solutions from IBC-SOLAR you will be turning your own energy provider. Power failures, rising energy costs and poor service are now a thing of the past.
• More quality through premium products "made in germany"
• More safety through guarantee services and all-round care offers including maintenance
• More independence through innovative storage and smart consumption management
• And much more ...
More planning security and cost advantages through self-supply.
Ensure decisive competitive and cost advantages and make your company with IBC SOLAR solutions more independent from the power grid.
• More profitability, among others. By an amortization period of less than 7 years
• More quality through premium products "made in germany"
• Increased security through warranty services and maintenance services
• And much more ...
For our Partners and PV Installers:
More business and growth opportunities with holistic energy solutions and services.
Use IBC-SOLAR's innovative premium solutions to create a completely new customer base. This extensive partner service helps you focus on your own growth.
• Increased sales through strong support for new customer acquisition and faster processing
• Increased security through premium quality, simple processes, and a single point of contact
• More perspectives by opening up new business areas and innovative energy solutions
• And much more ...
About IBC SOLAR:
IBC-SOLAR - the leading system provider for PV and energy solutions.
Since being formed in 1982, IBC-SOLAR has developed into the leading system provider for PV and energy solutions – with over 3 gigawatts installed capacity, seven international subsidiaries and projects throughout the world.
• Over 30 years company history since 1982
• Solar power supply for 1.8 million people
• More than 1.000 Premium Partners worldwide
• And Much more ...
One year after Dieter Ortmann, CEO and founder of the German maxx-solar & energie, started planning the project, the first pilot system was commissioned.Another half a year later, students now benefit from the system and maxx-solar energy and GreenFin have launched a financing tool to make PV renting available to the masses.
PV renting is a great concept to purchase photovoltaic systems without a big initial investment. Practical implementation has been extremely successful in South Africa. Here is a summary of the achievements of the last one and a half years and a review of the positive impacts of the project.
The first milestone was achieved in March this year, when the first 20kWp pilot project was installed and commissioned at the Dominican Grimley School in Hout Bay. During the inauguration ceremony in April, the PV renting approach was presented to a wide audience. On 10 November 2016, the greenfin-maxx PV renting financing tool was launched. The greenfin-maxx PV renting tool enables home owners and enterprises to benefit from cheap solar electricity without any investment costs and to save money every month, as PV electricity is cheaper than the electricity from the grid.
Thanks to the dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme, maxx-solar energy PTY Ltd. was able to install a PV renting pilot project at the Grimley School in Hout Bay. The maxx I solar energy PTY Ltd. is convinced that education is the only way to promote a sustainable use of solar power in our country. Thus, we run the training academy maxx I solar academy for installers and engineers, but we also target the public. “Installing our first PV renting project at a school is especially interesting for us, as this gives us the chance to show the children what solar energy is and how they can benefit from it”, says Antje Klauss-Vorreiter, head of the maxx I solar academy. To increase awareness among the students, Vivian Bluemel from the maxx I solar academy organized an energy day in cooperation with the science teachers at the school on 13 October. Twenty students with hearing impairments from grade seven to nine used mini-solar cells from the maxx I solar academy experimental kits to find out how photovoltaic energy production works. In three groups, the children connected the small cells just like real PV systems are connected and had a lot of fun testing out different lighting conditions and their influence on power production. All students showed great interest in the technology and were very excited to learn more about the solar power system of the schools.
Vivian explained students the components and functionality of the 20 kWp solar power system of the school. The students asked many questions and even wanted to know how their school could finance such a big investment. Vivian explained them that the school leases the system just as their parents lease a car. The whole group understood that using the PV renting concept saves the school money.
The energy day was a great success and the school now plans to organize energy days frequently in order to familiarize all students with renewable energy technology. Sister Francis Krige, head of the school, said “The school could have never afforded to buy a PV system. We are grateful that Patrick Baldamus from SolarpowerPB introduced us to maxx and that both made it possible for us to use clean solar electricity now and to include this theme now in our education.”
Photo 01: Grimley School students proudly running a small motor with solar energy.
Photo 02: The students and Vivian from maxx-solar academy in front of the school’s PV renting system.
The dena RES Project South Africa is part of the worldwide dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme coordinated by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the German Energy Solutions Initiative.
Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena)
The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is Germany's centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. dena's aim is to ensure that energy is used in both a national and international context as efficiently, safely and economically as possible with the least possible impact on climate. dena is working with stakeholders from the worlds of politics and business and from society at large to achieve this aim. Shareholders in dena are the Federal Republic of Germany, KfW Bankengruppe, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG. www.dena.de/en.
German Energy Solutions Initiative
The transfer of energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative, which is coordinated and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The initiative offers networking and business opportunities in Germany and abroad, it showcases reference projects and facilitates capacity building. www.german-energy-solutions.de/en
dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme(dena RES Programme)
The dena RES Programme was developed by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency. This programme, co-financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the German Energy Solutions Initiative, supports renewable energy companies entering new markets. Within the framework of the programme reference and demonstration projects are installed nearby designated institutions in different countries around the world. The installation is accompanied by comprehensive marketing and training programmes. These projects impressively present high-quality renewable energy technology. www.german-energy-solutions.de/en/res
Contact: Antje Klauss-Vorreiter and Vivian Bluemel
maxx-solar & energy PTY Ltd., 100 New Church Street, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town 8001
After three weeks of intense voting, pv magazine and Hanwha Q CELLS declared Maxx-Solar Energy, a South African company with German roots, as the winner of the Installation Innovation Award for its project delivering innovative financing solutions for solar photovoltaic in Africa.
A total of 20 companies submitted their entries for the Installation Innovation Award, from which the four finalists were handpicked by pv magazine. Their project concepts were presented at the recent Intersolar Europe exhibition in Munich, after which online viewers could vote for their favorite pitch. With more than 800 votes cast, the winner became apparent on Monday, July 8, with Maxx-Solar Energy claiming top spot.
About the project
In 2011, Dieter Ortmann, built a bridge from Germany to South Africa and founded a branch office of the German company maxx-solar & energie in South Africa there. "With the goal of bringing training through the newly-founded Solar Academy and becoming a supplier to the installers we train there and to provide our customers with all services related to photovoltaics," says Ortmann, the founder and Managing Director of the maxx I solar Energy Group, which also enlisted the help of the German Solar Energy Society (DGS) for the trainings.
Now Ortmann is involved in a project he is so proud of that he threw his hat into the ring for the Innovation Installation Award sponsored by Hanwha Q Cells and pv magazine. Ortmann arranged financing for a PV plant for the Dominican Grimley School in Hout Bay, a school for the deaf attended by around 100 children. Ortmann thinks of the undertaking as an exemplary project that can act as a model for further PV installations. Indeed, although many people are convinced of the benefits of solar energy, the upfront invest often proves difficult to stem. The lack of financing options is one of the main obstacles to the implementation of small-scale photovoltaic systems in South Africa. PV renting is an innovative financing option which allows everybody to benefit from cheap, green solar power. Thanks to the maxx I installers RED Engineering PTY Ltd. and SOLARpowerPB PTY Ltd, the two pilot projects, Dominican Grimley School and the Atlantic Gold Guest House in Camps Bay could be identified.
RED Engineering and SOLARPowerPB are two of the 40 maxx I team installer companies based in the Western Cape. Patrick Baldamus, CEO of SOLARPowerPB PTY Ltd., had already installed a heat pump in the Dominican Grimley School for deaf children in Hout Bay. The school had been looking for alternative energy sources for a long time but could not afford to invest in installations. “I always tried to find an opportunity to support the Grimley School in getting a PV system; once I heard about the maxx PV renting approach, I knew that this would be a great solution for them” said Patrick Baldamus. He put maxx solar and the school in contact and installed the system at the beginning of the year.
The Grimley School is managed by nuns. Most of them more than 70 years old. "I found it fascinating that people of an advanced age have an appreciation for the role of renewables and energy independence," says Ortmann. "Be More Independent" is his motto for the project. At the Grimley School, the motto applies both to energy security and with regard to his helping people help themselves. "Sure, there's plenty of sunshine; it is definitely worthwhile to go there," says Ortmann. "But the financing is often a problem.”
Ortmann and his team link up potential operators with investors and develop a good solution for both. The Grimley School is now renting a PV system. The conditions are right. The location gets approximately twice as much solar radiation as Germany, for example, which makes the power half as expensive. Amortization for off-grid systems therefore follows a similar track. Added to that is the aspect of self-sufficiency, he says, as power supply is not as reliable as in Europe.
The rental model works much like similar schemes in Germany. The owners are a tax adviser and a South African owner, both locally based. The first thing to be done is to show how this can work. After the agreed rental period (twelve years in this case), the school will be able to purchase the system at a low price of around €100/kW.
This price point, however, is often a sticking point. The rental fee cannot be too high, and the purchase price at the end of the rental phase has to be reasonable so that the tenant benefits from of the system. This is the case in the Dominican Grimley School project. The monthly rent is approximately €2,700. At a 70% self-consumption rate, this is already below the cost the school would have paid for the electricity. But the system design is likely to generate a self-consumption rate closer to 100%. That means that, even in the rental phase, the school will see significant savings month after month – using 90% of the power it produces should save the school some €800 a year according to the figures provided by Maxx-Solar. It is a 20 kW system producing 33,000 kWh; the school needs 144,000 kWh. "In ten years the system will have paid for itself," says Ortmann. The only thing lacking is an emergency power supply which financing options are currently being explored.
Maxx I solar energy together with the maxx I team installer companies already could identify financing partners for more PV renting projects. PV renting financing left the pilot stage and is thus now accessible to the general public. More information about the project, the PV renting approach and maxx-solar energy on www.maxx-energy.co.za.
WE WON! We have never been more proud: The 2016 Installation Innovation Award went to South Africa!
After three weeks of intense voting, pv magazine and Hanwha Q CELLS declared us to the winner of this internationally recognized award. At the recent Intersolar Europe exhibition in Munich the 4 final projects out of 20 were presented and with your help we managed to get over 800 votes!
You can read the complete article by PV magazine on www.pv-magazine.com. Do you know what project we actually won with? It is our PV renting project at Grimley School in Hout Bay. We installed a PV system but the school doesn't have to pay the whole system price at once but in monthly instalments -just as if they were renting a car! We prepared a data sheet that sums up all important information (see on the left) and also a brochure that explains the PV renting concept in general.
But why are we insisting on sharing our success with you (beside the obvious reasons)? Actually three maxx-team installers helped us A LOT with this project: Patrick from SolarpowerPB, Clemens from RED Engineering and Peter from HH Roofing. Thank you guys for shooting us to the top!
If you want to be the next one to win awards with us;) contact us to share ideas for a great collaboration.
Let's share the fame
We are a strong believer that strength is built in numbers and with you on our side this is easily possible. Many of you already have the maxx-alumni on their websites, why don't you add the award logo as well to obtain extra interest and leads?
Click on the pictures to download and add to your website
Bulawayo – South Africa is the only African country ranked by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as providing cheap solar energy to consumers as an alternative to other forms of energy and is currently sitting on number five globally.
South Africa is home to the largest solar farm in the Southern Hemisphere, Africa and the Middle-East region constructed in 28 months.
The 175 megawatt facility with the capacity to power 75 000 households, is located in the mostly arid land of De Aar in Northern Cape and spans across 473 hectares.
Statistics released by IRENA show that the rainbow nation is selling solar energy to consumers at US$0.075 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
The United Arab Emirates is the cheapest in the world (US$0.030) followed by Mexico (US$0.045), Peru (US$0.048), Chile(US$0.065), Jordan (US$0.067), Germany (US$0.080), France (US$0.089) and the United Kingdom (US$0.093) is rated the most expensive in terms of solar energy.
The Zimbabwe Power Company, in partnership with Intratrek Zimbabwe, is working to establish the country’s inaugural 100 megawatt solar power station in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, as government intensifies efforts to harness one of the cheapest sources of energy in line with efforts to provide power to all households in country.
Apart from these efforts, a sizeable number of the local population has turned to solar energy for lighting using solar lamps or torches and solar photovoltaic (Solar PV), solar phone charging and water heating.
According to IRENA solar PV is the most widely owned electricity source in the world in terms of number of installations, and its uptake is accelerating. It accounted for 20 percent of all new power generation capacity in 2015. In the last five years, global installed capacity has grown from 40 (gigawatts) GW to 227 GW. By comparison, the entire generation capacity of Africa is 175 GW.
The share of global electricity generated by solar PV could increase from the current 2 percent to as much as 13 percent.
IRENA director general Adnan Amin said solar PV capacity could reach between 1 760 and 2 500 GW by 2030, up from 227 GW in 2016.
“This comprehensive overview of the solar industry finds that these cost reductions, in combination with other enabling factors, can create a dramatic expansion of solar power globally. The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a central role,” he said.
Solar PV often costs between US$0.5 and US$0.10 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in South Africa, India, Europe, China, and the United States. Last year, record low prices were set in the United Arab Emirates (5.84 cents/kWh), Peru (4.8 cents/kWh) and Mexico (4.8 cents/kWh).
Amin said world electricity demand is expected to grow by more than 50 percent by 2030, mostly in developing and emerging economies “To meet this demand while also realising global development and sustainability goals, governments must implement policies that enable solar to achieve its full potential,” he said.
To cope with the expected increase in the use of solar energy, IRENA suggests that government come up with updated policies based on the latest innovations; government support for continued research and development activities; creation of a global standards framework; market structure changes; and the adoption of enabling technologies like smart grids and storage.
IRENA is mandated to be the global hub for renewable energy co-operation and information exchange by 148 members (147 states and the European Union).
Roughly 28 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged.
IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.
Not all PV plants have similar good conditions for electricity generation. Often it is unavoidable that buildings, antennas or roof dormers cast their shadows onto the module surface. The newly developed OptiTrac Global Peak operation management system by SMA ensures that the SMA inverter - even in partially shaded plants - can almost completely use the energy offered by the PV modules.
Every PV inverter has a so-called MPP tracker. It ensures that the PV modules are constantly operated at the point of maximum power (Maximum Power Point, MPP). Simply said, it is about "teasing" the available power completely out of the modules at a certain solar irradiation. In SMA inverters, this job is done by the operation management system OptiTrac - thereby ensuring maximum yields.
But if individual modules of a string are shaded, its power curve changes significantly: It now shows several operating points of different quality, which cannot all be found and used by a conventional MPP tracker. In this case, the current output of the PV plant might be considerably lower than it actually should be in terms of shadowing.
The SMA solution is called OptiTrac Global Peak: To find and use the optimal operating point of partially shaded PV plants, the proven operation management system OptiTrac has been complemented by an additional feature. It allows the inverter to use the energy offered by the PV modules almost completely - in any circumstance.
The SMA inverters Sunny Boy 3000TL, 4000TL and 5000TL will be equipped as standard with OptiTrac Global Peak as of the second quarter in 2010. For older devices there will be a software update available.
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