Digitalization represents “an enormous alternative” for Europe’s photo voltaic business, new evaluation has discovered.
Trade group SolarEnergy Europe says its report, titled Digitalization & Solar and revealed this week, is the primary to look at the intersection of photo voltaic PV and digitalization and to have a look at how new digital know-how could be utilized to the photo voltaic sector.
Big knowledge analytics, the web of issues, robotics and blockchain are among the many digital applied sciences the report discovered can create new photo voltaic enterprise fashions and enhance current ones.
In the brand new enterprise fashions class, digital applied sciences might permit residential and business PV system installers to supply photo voltaic vitality as a service, with new merchandise equivalent to aggregation providers based mostly on distant controllability, sensor-based operation & upkeep providers for smaller-scale installations, vitality audits based mostly on consumption knowledge, and new sorts of financing equivalent to sensible meter-based ‘zero-down’ energy buy agreements. In addition, blockchain know-how can allow peer-to-peer photo voltaic buying and selling.
Digitalization might additionally scale back prices and enhance efficiency alongside the photo voltaic worth chain, the report discovered. Connected robotic manufacturing services and superior knowledge analytics can enhance workflows, whereas superior monitoring know-how might scale back the chance of publicity to the chemical substances utilized in PV manufacturing. The report additionally famous that 3D printing may very well be used to fabricate each spare components and complete modules, though it’s not at the moment in use within the photo voltaic sector.
In undertaking growth, digital applied sciences might scale back prices by utilizing satellite tv for pc imaging, 3D LiDAR and distant design software program to evaluate a web site’s photo voltaic potential slightly than sending an engineer. Non-engineers might additionally use software program to design and optimize PV installations, additional lowering prices.
For utility-scale photo voltaic tasks, satellite tv for pc forecasting, drone inspections and distant sensors linked to cloud computing techniques will proceed so as to add worth to operation and asset administration. For smaller-scale tasks, superior energy electronics can permit PV techniques to offer grid providers together with reactive energy, voltage help and frequency help.
Digitalization can also be anticipated to assist combine rising quantities of solar energy onto Europe’s grids, with massive knowledge and cloud analytics permitting for higher provide and demand matching. According to the International Energy Agency, sensible grids with digitally enabled demand response and extra vitality storage might probably scale back PV and wind curtailment throughout Europe from the present 7 per cent to 1.6 per cent by 2040.
In addition, knowledge change between PV suppliers and transmission system operators (TSOs) might create a brand new income stream for aggregators and will scale back prices for the TSOs.
Professor Bernd Engel, chief of the SolarEnergy Europe Digitalization Task Force and consultant of the SMA Solar Technology Board for grid integration, stated digitalization represnts “a serious alternative for photo voltaic, not least as a result of it’s a technique of integrating extra PV into the grid, gaining system-wide advantages and new revenues for photo voltaic installations."
The full report is offered right here.