Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.
Energy Department Announces $46.2 Million for 48 Projects to Advance Solar Power Technologies – Happy to see the Department of Energy not cut these programs. Three goals, 1. Small exploratory projects to determine the potential of an innovative idea in PV hardware research, 2. Significant improvements in the performance, energy yield, manufacturability, and reliability of completed PV modules, 3. Hardware and software solutions to facilitate the rapid, safe, and cost-effective deployment and commissioning of PV systems. The money went to all universities – and in this link you get to see each individual project. Lots of solar cell research. Exciting stuff for a group who has shown much talent in advancing solar technology.
EDF Energy Renewables new Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm project off the coast of Blyth, Northumberland, is the first wind project to use the “float and submerge” method – If we couple this technique with the video we saw last week of building turbines on land and moving them out via ship, we suddenly have a much cheaper and less dangerous manner of construction for offshore wind construction. Everything can be done in a factory or a port. These techniques will spread.
Brown’s cap-and-trade bill exposes fault lines of state politics – Even in California, there are real politics. The bill, AB398, would prevent local air regulators from placing their own limits on greenhouse gas emissions from refineries and other industrial facilities…The bill would limit the future price of cap-and-trade allowances – and on the other side – He announced AB398 Monday night along with a companion bill, AB617, that would increase air pollution monitoring around industrial facilities, toughen penalties for polluters and force many factories and refineries to upgrade old equipment. In addition, AB398 specifies that money the state raises from selling cap-and-trade allowances goes first to projects fighting conventional air pollutants such as lead and soot particles. Its tough, its dynamic. And until we have the resources to build enough electric cars, a grid smart enough to deal with 100% renewables – responsible politicians aren’t going to completely cut out these needed energy sources…but we are going to continue with cap and trade, and the money will go toward pollution mitigation.
Multiple Indian ‘Gigafactories’ expected by 2019 – China, Europe, USA and India building ‘Gigafactories.’ We’re spreading the energy revolution around the world. This is so very valuable and powerful.
California Utility Constructs Peak-Shaving Storage Facility – This is a 500kW/2,000kWh Tesla PowerPack system whose purpose is to complement the local substation during times of heavy stress. Much smaller than other systems, but unique in a certain way: In addition to being PG&E’s first lithium-ion storage facility, Browns Valley also represents the first time a Tesla energy storage system has been fully integrated into a utility SCADA system. While the facility performs peak-shaving autonomously on a typical day, PG&E can also manually schedule or directly dispatch the energy storage system at any time. This system is completely integrated into the broader grid – it will act on its own as is needed. Really interesting article looking at some higher level management aspects of integrating energy storage into the grid.
GCL New signs 3 year $5.2 million deal to manage 353 MW – The new three-year arrangement covers capital management services and technology training, but not plant maintenance, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange – Its interesting to me because the cost structures are in the article. Plant maintenance isn’t included – I’d like to learn about those costs on large projects also. Any insider knowledge from our readers?
SEIA forecasts loss of 7,000 jobs in state – 88,000 nationally – if Suniva petition granted – Do any of you happen to live in one of these states? Know anyone in the solar industry? First, the methodology – Suniva’s proposed remedies would set solar costs back to about 2015 levels. To that end, we looked at the difference between previously forecast solar deployment for 2018 (baseline) compared to what installations were in 2015. That showed median decreases in deployment in each state market of greater than 50% in residential, greater than 60% in commercial and 90% in utility. In some cases, 2015 was higher than expected 2018 levels; in those cases, we reduced anticipated 2018 baseline figures by 50%. This methodology might be viewed as conservative given that, since 2015, incentives and remuneration for solar have declined (from revisions to NEM, PURPA rates, etc.). We projected employment by state and market segment using labor intensities derived from the Jobs and Economic Development Impact model (a derivative of the IMPLAN input-output model). To the right – losses by state:
Header image is a mirror reflecting sunlight at the Sandia Labs Solar Thermal Test Facility