Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.
Solar is now the most popular form of new electricity generation worldwide – Worldwide, some 73 gigawatts of net new solar PV capacity was installed in 2016. Wind energy came in second place (55GW), with coal relegated to third (52GW), followed by gas (37GW) and hydro (28GW). – “Popular” is used different than I’d use it for this first article – but this second article that focuses on the opinion of Americans and ‘solar farms’ uses the term properly without a doubt – Fully 89% of Americans favor more solar panel farms, just 9% oppose. Is popular the reason we should be building certain technology? No – of course not! What if the most popular is the cheapest form of electricity on the planet? And it can scale? And it is one of the cleanest? Yeah, those are good reasons.
New Startups Fuel Growth in the Energy Blockchain Ecosystem – Posting this today solely because I want to introduce “SolarCoin” – “SolarCoin comes on top of peer-to-peer energy platforms such as Power Ledger, Grid Singularity or LO3 Energy, and provides a solution to the whole solar value chain, utilities and governments,” he said. “It is distributed on top of government-backed subsidies.” It’s something I don’t fully get just yet, and since I don’t have a solar system of my own (apartment dweller that gets community solar via credit), I can’t sign up for SolarCoin. But if you folks do have a system – it seems like something prudent to do. If any of you have deep insight – or experience with it, please give us some feedback in the comments. Also – if you do sign up, give some feedback on process. Solarcoin main website.
To solve ‘duck curve,’ Missouri utility to pay bonus for west-facing solar panels – Under the new regimen, panels facing between 180 and 200 degrees – that is between south to slightly southwest of that – will continue to receive $500 per kilowatt. Panels facing between 200 and 320 degrees – southwest to west – will qualify for a 25 percent bonus, or an additional $125 per kilowatt. Panels facing between 110 and 180 will receive 25 percent less, or a total of $375 per kilowatt. Creative solutions to a challenging problem.
Energy storage systems being installed at seven Hawaii sites – The install of energy storage doesn’t matter so much at a few small locations. These happens thousands of times a month (a day?) now – but what did matter were a couple of items: Powin Energy uses its Stack140 storage system — a 140 kilowatt-hour battery array — coupled with solar photovoltaic panels, which are controlled by Powin’s bp-OS that was patented in both the United States and China in 2016. The batteries will be charged with excess energy from the solar panels during the day when loads are lightest and utility rates the lowest, according to the company. The batteries will then be fully discharged each evening to provide additional power during periods of increased grid load, thus allowing the facilities to avoid high rates. Solar+PV designed to charge in daytime and spend during high cost periods. Note that the daytime energy prices seem to be noted as the cheapest. How fast did that change happen?
Tesla starts solar roof installations at home of CEO Elon Musk and other employees – So that guy Fred who writes all those stories for us, posted this about 15.5 hours ago, but I thought it important enough to remind you of it. The header image is of the roof…and what’s strange about it? Well, for one – it looks like a normal, clean roof. You might even think it looks like a premium product that is really nice for a roof…but you definitely wouldn’t fret over it being an ‘ugly’ solar roof. I’d like to see the efficiency numbers on it – I’d like to get hard pricing – I’d like to see a carbon use vs offset (is it possible that it uses less co2 for production??) – but for now, we got a new solar roofing product that is beautiful.
Gigawatts of subsidy-free solar farms being planned for UK market rebound – The most interesting segment of the pie-chart above however relates to the post-subsidy part. These are new sites that have emerged in 2016 and so far in 2017. Approximately 95 sites fall into this category, adding up to more than 1.3GW. Incredibly, more than 25% of these (on 560MW worth of new solar farms) are being planned to include energy storage units. I agree, definitely the most interesting part of the pie chart.
Sharing because we all like drone flights over the top of solar projects –