SNEC 11th (2017) International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference & Exhibition (SNEC 2017) in Shanghai: The next big solar module trend on display – And the answer is bifacial solar panels. Including the ‘world’s first full-size IBC bifacial module to be displayed‘ which they believe is an effective 23% efficiency in the right conditions. One challenge of bifaciality, and this could be based on my in limited (none) experience, is understanding the production from the panels. Onsite conditions, reflectivity, drive the extra efficiency – and that might require an extra layer of work before a proposal with financial returns can be delivered. From a rough pricing perspective – if a standard, high efficiency PERC solar panel costs $0.50-60/W – then you add another layer of solar cells that cost $0.30/W – you should expect these panels to cost around $0.80-0.90/W as all other hardware should be the same. SunPower has historically cost over $1.20/W.

Walmart Aims to Wipe Out Supply Chain Emissions with Project GigatonWalmart has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, and product use and design as the goal areas in which to focus their Scope 3 climate efforts. The goal is to create a package of tools to work with suppliers so they can cut emissions. WalMart wants to cut it owns emissions 18% by 2025 – they call this Scope 1 and 2. Good to see the largest in the world working so hard.

Sungevity purchase at $50M approved by bankruptcy judge – High level is that employees of this solar company will get paychecks and customer will have consistent service with their home systems. A couple of interesting points from the article – this $50M deal is the backup of a $350M deal that failed. There must be some differences between these deals – either that or team #2 is real happy. Second interesting number – Sungevity has US$188.9 million in debts and US$800 million in assets. The sale order hands over Sungevity in exchange for its combined debt claims. Those assets are probably solar power systems that Sungevity owns with a third party (tax equity partners). I think seeing such high levels of assets versus the sales price means cash flow from those leases was too low to sustain day to day activity.

LG Chem Launches Residential Battery Systems In North America – LG Chem’s North American residential battery range offers AC- and DC-coupled solutions with capacities up to 9.8 kWh. Two voltage options are available, pre-matched with compatible inverters and suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation: low-voltage 48 V, with capacities of 3.3 kWh, 6.5 kWh and 9.8 kWh, and high-voltage 400 V, with capacities of 7 kWh and 9.8 kWh. Different capacities for the house – smaller models would be great for places with slight grid issues. Larger units plus solar power could support a proper household. Good to see such a large company (they signed the first GW battery contract I saw) getting into residential storage.

The Libertarian case for a Carbon Tax – The fundamental support is that the individual accepts the reality of science. This individual believes in a $45/ton nationwide tax increasing at 2% a year as seems to care less about the use of the revenue, ‘Among possibly attractive uses are offsets for corporate income tax rate cuts, providing lump-sum rebates to households to compensate them for rising energy prices, paying down the national debt, offsetting expenditures for national infrastructure, investing in low-carbon energy R&D, and investments in climate adaptation’

In 1991 35 meter blades and 0.45MW per unit – in 2020 are we thinking blades longer than two football fields and a single unit at 15MW?

Header image is solar glass designed by artist Sarah Hill

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