Electrek Green Energy Brief

California oversupply volumes grow, ISO curtails more renewables – Rothleder said the ISO curtailed about 60,000 MWh in February and about 80,000 MWh in March – 140,000MWh at about $0.029/kWh (rough average wholesale California electricity rate) equals about $4 million in lost revenue to these generators. If the electricity curtailing was equal daily – it’s not – that’d be 2,300MWh/day to buy, hold and resell at the peak of the duck curve. Anyone taking bets on the duck curve beginning to decline by 2020?

Merkel: Need to develop a certain passion and joy for the Energiewende – “I think we should look at the Energiewende in a rational way, and of course always take into account the basic economic possibilities. But we should also develop a certain passion and joy for it. It’s beautiful to be a part of it. – Energiewende is the name Germany gave to their energy transformation. Germany named it. And yes, being part of a great transition toward a thing generations following us will hopefully admire (since it might save a large chunk of our species) is beautiful to be a part of. It’s good to see Germany still talking highly of Energiewende so long into it.

How a Cold Day in Texas Exposed the Value of Grid Flexibility – Around 8 a.m. prices jumped to nearly $5,000 per megawatt-hour, more than 100 times the average price of electricity. In 2014, a handful of these bellwether events provided about 20 percent to 25 percent of net revenues for one typical Texas combined-cycle plant. Two things here that interest me – $5,000/MWh (equals $5/kWh just to scare you) and the second item – that these days equal 20-25% of revenue and all of profit. These are the systems that some major CEOs think won’t be built again in the USA after 2020 because of batteries.

Taxes Are No Longer Certain And That’s Disrupting Solar Deals – Actually, they ought to have made this article title click-spam, they had the right information. From the article – After Trump’s surprise victory in November, clean-energy proponents worried that the prospect of tax reform would slow wind and solar finance. Investors, they said last year, might opt to wait out the uncertainty. Instead, deals may be accelerating — at least in solar — as developers and investors rush to get deals done before the corporate rate falls. HAH! Deal making is accelerating. 🙂 However, as the next sentence states – it is pushing rates up and creating longer term worries about whether deals will be as financially viable further out. Longer term rate rises will be balanced by price drops.

Solar cell design with over 50% energy-conversion efficiency – This technology is similar to the hot electrons we talked about a week back. Posting it so we get to see that many groups are attacking this challenge because they see a real opportunity. I’m stoked.

Trump’s ‘credibility problem’ threatens to undermine DOE baseload power review – These credibility problems have to do with outspoken support for certain groups based upon a political logic, and not a scientific are market logic. Our energy infrastructure is about math – not whims.

The Great Green Gamble – Citing back-of-the-book calculations, a banker told BT that the average tariff across 24 solar power tenders gives projects an internal rate of return, or IRR, of 14.2 per cent; this is significantly less than the ideal figure of 18-20 per cent. This elongates the breakeven period from seven years (after financial closure) to 11 year. A solar power plant has an average life of 20-25 years. 11 year payback is a bit slow – efficiencies will have to increase.

More than half of utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems track the sun through the day – And speaking of ways to increase efficiency! The challenge here is that costs up front are high and long term O&M is higher. However, if utilities are moving toward tracking it’s because they’ve run the numbers and would prefer the higher efficiency and extra revenue.

Jobs in the renewable energy get a lot of attention because of the political aspects of them – this particular job is getting attention from me because I don’t think I’d have the guts to climb up a few hundred feet (that part I can handle I think), and then rappel down the wind turbine blade. Official job title – ‘Rope Access Technician’ – how many LinkedIN searches do those keywords get?

Header image is a screen grab from above Youtube video

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