Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news

Trina Solar achieves 24.13% conversion efficiency for IBC solar cell – Cool to see the R&D happening not only in the labs of universities, but also the largest companies on the planet. A few notes though – this was a single cell. Trina Solar noted that the record-breaking IBC cell was fabricated at its State Key Laboratory (SKL) of PV Science and Technology (PVST), on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz Silicon substrate (156×156 mm) with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and screen-printed metallization. Also, the move to market will be long as doesn’t have a commercial line producing this type of product. 3-5 years? Not worth waiting for with tax breaks/incentives/net metering being hacked at.

Linking to this new website – Electrek.co – heard of it? Tesla battery researcher unveils new chemistry to increase lifecycle at high voltage – If made into a car battery pack, 1,200 cycles would translate to roughly 300,000 miles (480,000 km) – meaning that a battery pack could still retain about 95% of its original energy capacity after ~300,000 miles – or 25 years at the average 12,000 miles per year – If put in a house, the values would mean that you’d be above 80% of the batteries original capacity after 25 years. That’s a 25 year warranty on a battery pack coming! Game over.

CTC’s New Report Ranks the States on Carbon Tax Potential – The report was written by Yoram Bauman, who spearheaded the Washington state carbon tax effort, and Carbon Tax Center director Charles Komanoff. It classifies the 51 states into five categories of carbon tax readiness ranging from “promising” to “very challenging.” Key states to focus on – listed as ‘promising’ – Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Maryland, Washington DC, and Connecticut. California not promising – but that’s because they’re cap and trade these days.

Saudi Arabia: Fraft Resolution Small Photovoltaic Solar System Regulation – (direct link to english form pdf) – Under 1MW, No wheeling (no transferring energy from one site to another), 20 year net metering agreement on a 3 year rolling window – at which point you will be paid for excess energy. Thought it was interesting to see Saudi Arabia’s small-scale regulation coming to be after talking about their large-scale aspirations so much. Source came to me via this guy who works for Saudi Aramco doing solar related things. Maybe one of the cooler jobs on the planet right now in the solar industry.

Just like Australia, now German grid operator and Sonnen tests new method of integrating residential storage – In 2016 alone (wind curtailment), cost Germany approximately EUR 800 million, a large part of which was for wind farm regulation. When you have a nationwide network of batteries you’re going to be able to do something with those hundreds of millions of euros. Also, using the blockchain to publicly account for the buying and selling seems all the rage and I’m seeing it more and more.

Right now there is an argument about this chart in the New York Times. The Times has chosen to hire a climate denier who isn’t too strong on the facts to write opinion pieces. The climate denier points out that since 2009, a tough time for consumers, Germany’s carbon emissions haven’t fallen. Others say this chart is faulty because it includes one-off efficiency gains due to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The most important comment I saw in the thread – “10% emissions fall in a decade, not enough.” No way Germany meets their 2020 reduction numbers.

Considering residential solar?  will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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