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

Michigan Tech study suggests outfitting military infrastructure with solar PV microgrid systems – study found that the military requires 17 gigawatts (GW) of PV to fortify domestic bases and that the systems are technically feasible and economically favorable – also interesting directly from the research paper – the DOD operates over 400 military bases within continental USA. 27 of these bases already have or are planning solar power installations. Now, instead of talking about the geopolitical risks of protecting oil or arguing about pollution/climate change – solar is now defined as a strategically important distributed energy resource for the military.

1000 km range thanks to a new battery concept – Individual battery cells are not strung separately side-by-side in small sections; instead, they are stacked directly one above the other across a large area – the idea is to put the batteries together in a way eliminate much of the housing and contacting that can take up more than 50 percent of the space. One thing I’ve learned in the past year being a part of electrek.co is that battery density has many ways to improve that don’t need recreating of fundamental physics, but instead – packaging.

Researchers have uncovered the exact mechanism that causes new solar cells to break down in air, paving the way for a solution – Perovskite news. I remember reading about the research of the 1970s in solar power and how one of the challenges when choosing a chemistry for solar cells, was to figure out how to get them to not breakdown in sunlight. A team discovered that this breakdown is due to the formation of ‘superoxides’ that attack the perovskite material. These superoxides are formed when light hitting the cells releases electrons, which react with the oxygen in the air. Now, in a study published in Nature Communications, the team have determined how the superoxides form and how they attack the perovskite material, and have proposed possible solutions.

Ten K Solar blames closure on cut-throat market conditions – Ten K’s product was a tough thing to sell for me, mostly because I knew the internal engineering team had a certain amount of momentum using our standard racking. Their unique layout and higher up front cost also added complexity to the conversation with inquisitive customers.

Sunlight Financial Secures $500M Commitment for Residential Solar Loans – $500M means 20,000 $25k solar power systems. And $25k is a decently sized system these days. I am seeing multiple residential groups land large sums of cash to give out loans. And I think investors like this – Technology Credit Union today – are only going to grow. Your residential solar loan is a great investment for banks.

Maryland approves 380MW of offshore wind power – And they required almost 30 requirements of the developer to get the project (including a jobs program). Two separate farms were approved – 120MW and 260MW, with the first coming online in 2022, and the second in 2020. The projects cost are just over $2B – $5.20/W – and the electricity is being purchased at $131.93/MWh for a 20-year term. This price is a little expensive – however – its clean, and will be there for a long time.

 

For anyone wondering exactly what happened at the nuclear facility in Washington – I don’t believe any radiation was released, so no risks. But its real interesting to see how we’ve chosen to store nuclear waste.

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