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Electrek green energy brief: SunPower CEO doubtful on Musk’s ability to deliver, Pay as you Go Solar for Africa, more

SunPower thinks it’ll be a challenge for Musk to deliver PV at the prices suggested – Two things – 1. SunPower sells the most expensive – and maybe best quality – solar panel a regular person can buy. 2. SunPower has been selling solar panels for a long time. My default reaction with Musk is to expect that maybe it’ll take a little longer (month? six?) to arrive and roll out a bit slower (80,000 vehicles in 2016 versus almost 100,000 as guidance) – but, it will arrive and it will be priced right and it will change the game. I can accept that – I would celebrate that.

California looking to specify renewables for peak moments – The gist – California legislators are attempting to restructure the power market so it makes more sense economically for renewable energy to be applied to the very expensive peak demand areas. The reason we ought watch these types of legislation is that places like California are at the cutting edge of power markets and how we’re going to monetize clean energy. Funny that we’ve so quickly progressed from renewables can’t scale and are expensive, to there are too many renewables and they’re so cheap we need to change everything.

Von Ardenne’s ‘SCALA’ platform closes gap from R&D to production of heterojunction solar cells – Cool pictures and interesting data points on cell manufacturing. Article gets into some challenges on putting this type of machinery into place into an already existing, complex ecosystem of machines. The hetero-junction word caught my attention because of an article yesterday regarding a 26.3% heterojuction cell currently holding the record. Many companies – like Canadian Solar – are investing in these new technologies. My default reaction is something like this – its going to take years for the panels from this equipment to roll out to the masses – first off, the machine makers have to propagate the technology, then the panel manufacturers have to build it up, and then it’ll roll to us. But, with so much growth in the industry, and so many equipment upgrades – maybe these technologies will roll toward consumers faster.

Spray on Solar Cells – It seems logical that a product like this would exist. I’m not yet sure how much it can cost and what the real efficiencies will be – but it sounds cool.

Renewable Energy super projects – The Europeans were first to max out their grid with so much wind/solar that they needed to slow down and start building energy storage and infrastructure to move the energy. Now those ideas are starting to come to fruition – and just like is going to happen in China and India – and already happened in Texas, when these electric grids are built out the whole of the region will benefit from intermittent energy being able to flow to a larger region. These types of project are coming to many places (the US included).

Two coal plants shutting down – This got headlines for a couple of reasons, 1. It represents the challenges coal is having in the marketplace. 2. Its being used as a barb to stick it to Trump. #2 doesn’t really make sense since the coal pullback has been going on for years – and Presidential actions generally take a while to propagate. #1 does make sense though.

d.light’s solar home system sells 120,000 units within six months – When you have no electricity, a single solar panel can create value. The model this group used first started by selling a simple solar powered light, fan or other household item. The consumer then moved up to the Pay as you Go solar system – a unit tied to the customer’s account standing. Pay your bill – the electricity flows via a remote connection (everyone in the developing world has cell phones + solar charging). This is a pathway to hundreds of millions gaining electricity in their homes at a reasonable price, and these systems can increase in size easily.

Gonna have to tell Onyx to start paying for their advertising here….cool glass.


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