Benban solar plant in Upper Egypt benefited from the new technology
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has led the way in providing finance to roll out innovative bifacial panels for new solar plants, delivering a product that is more efficient and which achieves greater productivity in the generation of solar power.
The Bank worked with the Norwegian developer Scatec Solar ASA on using bifacial technology for its investment in the Benban solar plant in Upper Egypt, where it financed 16 plants in what became the largest solar installation on the African continent.
Scatec proposed the use of bifacial panels for Benban on the basis that the path-breaking new product delivered better value in terms of improved yield and greater durability. By using bifacial technology, total generation increases because power can be produced from both sides of the solar panel.
“It’s a striking simple innovation that just involves using both sides of the solar panels and it is particularly suited for use in the desert where the sun rays are reflected back from the sand, ” said Nandita Parshad, the EBRD’s managing Director for Sustainable Infrastructure. “The use of bifacials at the Benban plant would be the first large-scale installation of such panels,” she added.
The market share of bifacial modules is expected to grow rapidly during the next few years from less than three per cent currently to 10 per cent by 2020, and 40 per cent % by 2025, driven by falling prices and the availability of advanced infrastructure.