A path to 10TW (but actually about solar cell consistency in manufacturing) – The article is about finding a solution to the 10% or so of solar cells that go bad in the first six months of sunlight exposure – good research. What I found more interesting was their analysis on how to get to 10 terrawatts of solar power by 2030: reduce the cost of modules by 50%, increase the conversion efficiency of modules (the fraction of solar energy they convert into electricity) by 50%, and decrease the cost of building new factories by 70% – we’re currently at a total installed base 300-330GW, we’d need increase that about 30-33 times. It’d take 128 years at 2016’s record install pace.
India’s operational solar module production capacity tops 8GW – The largest plant is 1.2GW, and another 3GW+ of capacity can come online. While 5-8GW of capacity is only a small piece of the globes ~117GW of capacity, last year India did announce more capacity expansions than China – 17GW vs 13GW. To meet goals of 40GW in solar parks – India needs to be conscious of the whole solar panel supply chain as NREL says that is what truly sets China apart in solar panels. If the globe has China and India both significantly investing in clean energy – my optimism increases greatly.
China joins top three with off-shore wind – See chart for list of countries on top of their off shore wind game. Off shore wind seems very exciting – huge expanses of space, high-capacity factors, collapsing pricing, economies of scale available, lots of experience, and huge volumes being installed globally. Wind and solar are doing great globally, and seeing China and India (just like is solar panel manufacturing above) take up positions in this area will drive much more growth that everyone else will benefit from.
Global energy storage growth via batteries expected to be 47% in 2017 – And, through 2020, the compounding annual average may reach 60%. If energy storage can expand at these rates for a decade – and with so many Gigafactories being built, it could happen.
Speaking of batteries – Harvard Flow Batteries that lose less than 1% total charge after 1,000 cycles – By modifying the structures of molecules used in the positive and negative electrolyte solutions, and making them water soluble, the Harvard team was able to engineer a battery that loses only one percent of its capacity per 1000 cycles – water soluble, non toxic, long lifetime – all great things to be headed toward.
High Chinese polysilicon imports might lead to lower pricing in later 2017 – China is bringing online more polysilicon processing capacity in 3rd quarter 2017, combined with a large import volume going on right now in anticipation of 2017’s building season and a smaller expected volume of solar installs in China in 2017, we might have excess volume. Another piece of the supply chain expanding – except this one starting at the base of the commodity – the actual silicon.
Montana solar power plant moving forward while politicians push back – PURPA, written in the late 1970s – but not used much, encourages renewable energy via pushing utilities toward low cost generators. Now that solar power and wind are becoming highly competitive price wise – PURPA is starting to get used. The Feds ruled Montana has violated PURPA, just as the state is getting going with solar power. These politics are going to play out over and over, in state markets one by one. The utilities are used to controlling politicians – and still have the campaign donations to do so. The politicians will attempt to wreak havok on market continuity by writing foolish laws – some of which will be illegal, but still cause issues due to investor sentiment. This means we scare them.
Band Gaps visualized – cool things to know about:
Great responses to this tweet regarding what a $40/ton carbon tax could do. One report says that $21/ton would meet Paris Agreements & Clean Power Plan – hear that Trump…