Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.
French island tenders push down solar-plus-storage prices by 40% – The 67 projects that include PV panels and batteries attained a guaranteed purchase price for their generated power of €113.6 (US$133.97) per MWh. In June 2016 a 52MW tender for island territory solar-plus-storage projects awarded feed-in tariffs (FiTs) at a weighted electricity price of €204/MWh (US$229.77/MWh). Power prices on the islands is set at around or over €200 per MWh, the ministry said. Small projects coming in at these prices will put the fossil fuel industry out of business in remote locations like this – and there are billions worth of revenue of remote locations. Customer pricing fell from $0.20/kWh to $0.13/kWh – solar plus storage just dropped their local retail pricing 33%. Win.
USN seeks multi-day flight with Hybrid Tiger – The UAV will use a hydrogen fuel cell, solar panels on the wings, and energy-aware guidance algorithms to achieve an endurance of more than 3.5 days, even in December and up to 50° latitude, while carrying a small intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance payload. This article fits perfectly right after a solar+storage auction because it’s a great example of a combination of technologies – solar+fuel cells+algorithms – getting us to an end game. If anyone says we can’t go green because the sun doesn’t shine at night, they’re forgetting that we all know this already and we’re working on it.
Analysis: Why US carbon emissions have fallen 14% since 2005 – Reasons why US carbon emissions have fallen – Coal-to-gas 33%; Wind generation 19%; Solar power 3%; Reduced electricity use – mostly in the industrial sector – 18%; Reduced fuel consumption 12%; Changes in transport emissions the final 15%. The solar number is small still – but because so much of the growth of the industry has occurred in the past few years, we know 33% of that 3% came last year alone. And every year, now that we’re at high volume levels, will show considerable volumes of growth.
Tesla Skipping Green Bond Label Keeps Fledgling Market Limited – U.S. companies are expected to issue $5.2 billion in green bonds this year, meaning a green label for Tesla’s offering last week would have grown U.S. corporate issuance in 2017 by more than a third. Issuers globally are expected to sell a record $131 billion green bonds this year, up from just $5 billion in 2012. Tesla’s $1.8B bond issuance to help further build out the Model3 would have grown global bonds 1% – US bonds 33%, but – really – do we need Tesla to label their bonds green? It would have been nice to include it in the official numbers, however the purpose of the bonds is not to have a nice label, but to help direct money toward places clean tech investors want to move money…and we all know exactly what Tesla is doing. No need.
Earth anchors—more than helical piles and ground screws—help make ground-mount solar more profitable – The anchor and cable are driven into the ground using a special drive rod—a process that is made all the easier with its narrow profile and aggressive teeth. When the drive rod is removed and uplift force is applied to the cable or rod, the underground anchor rotates into its final, horizontal and locked position. You might be a solar nerd, if new ground mount techniques excite you. I’ve been part of a lot of projects that move a lot of soil, pour a lot of concrete, and turn a lot of ground screws…and the equipment and labor expertise are expensive. I actually decided to write about this hardware – which I read about a few days ago – after having a conversation with a friend of mine who is an inverter manufacturer yesterday. And that friend of mine told me some amazing pricing on inverters – numbers that I’ve not heard yet. Reminded me that price falls are occurring not only in solar panels, but racking, those inverters, and techniques for ground mounts.
For $35M battery, public agency turned to former official — after rejecting 3 cheaper offers – Abatti, a prominent farmer, and former member on the board of the publicly owned water and energy utility Imperial Irrigation District. Now Abatti was president of Coachella Energy Storage Partners, or CESP, which had officially formed as a limited liability company in 2013. In early 2014, CESP received a $35-million contract from IID to build a battery. Abatti began his remarks: “The Lord has blessed us with another beautiful day.” From farmer, to board member, to new company in late 2013, to $35M in early 2014. This is a long complex story, but it shows that the green industry can have just as much fraud – if the allegations are true – as any other industry. And in a certain way, it shows that the industry is making enough money, has enough competition and enough broad demand to drive some corruption…that’s the dirtiest of silver linings.
If you’d like to read over a first hand account of the speakers at the Suniva case yesterday, please go through Krysti Shallenberger. She spent the whole day – 12+ hours – live tweeting the event. A couple of key tweets, Essentially the investigation is divided into two stages: injury & remedy. This hearing is over injury. If ITC determines foreign-made solar tariffs inflicted damage on domestic manufacturers, case proceeds to remedy hearing set for Oct. 3. After that, ITC will send recommendations to President Trump.
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