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

Lagerwey tests its (wind turbine tower) Climbing Crane – brought to my attention by Paul – And the key benefits also pitched by Paul in a later tweet90% less truck movements; req 90% less construction site area; req usable in stronger winds usable on difficult terrain (e.g. swamp, mountain) – Today, this machine offers another innovation to lower pricing and broaden the market for a product. These incrementals constantly add up. So, how long until this machine is able to build a tower on its own? We build it a home on the back of an 18 wheeler bed – back it up to a field and drop some programming in it. Supplies are parked in loading areas and the robot worm (looks like a caterpillar climbing a stem but obvious marketing issues exist there) starts building wind stalks. Anyone got links for a robots building solar fields? Youtube at the end of article.

Speaking of wind doing things – Wind turbine catches fire in shadow of Saga nuclear plant – The blaze was confirmed extinguished at around 6:50 a.m. of Aug. 22. No injuries were reported. A fire department spokesperson said firefighters were unable to shoot water at the flames due to the fear of falling debris. – As these towers get taller we need get smarter. There have been a few instances where solar power rooftops have been left to burn due to indecision about technology (electricity on the roof, large volumes of water, firefighters), this has led to ‘Section 690.12 – Rapid Shutdown of PV Systems on Buildings‘ new hardware that shuts down circuits. Maybe we make a robot firefighting unit that knows how to climb a wind turbine also? If we have an issue on an Empire State Building height wind turbine, a firehouse won’t cut it.

Science-Driven Innovation Can Reduce Wind Energy Costs by 50% by 2030 – SMART wind power plants will be designed and operated to achieve enhanced power production, more efficient material use, lower operation and maintenance and servicing costs, lower risks for investors, extended plant life, and an array of grid control and reliability features. The realization of the SMART wind power plant is projected to result in an unsubsidized cost of energy of $23 per megawatt-hour and below I wonder if they included robot assembly techniques? One extra line to grab: Under this scenario, wind energy deployments in the United States could increase to more than 200 gigawatts by 2030 and 500 gigawatts by 2050, supplying respectively 20% and 47% of U.S. electricity with wind. Combine that high end number with the high end number from this research: We propose that with coordinated advances in multiple components of the energy system, PV could supply 30–50% of electricity in competitive markets. 47% wind and 50% solar in maxxed out models…

Insect eyes inspire new solar cell design – From the abstract linked to in this article: We report a new concept in solar cell design, the compound solar cell (CSC), which addresses the intrinsic fragility of these materials with mechanically reinforcing internal scaffolds. The internal scaffold effectively partitions a conventional monolithic planar solar cell into an array of dimensionally scalable and mechanically shielded individual perovskite cells that are laterally encapsulated by the surrounding scaffold and connected in parallel via the front and back electrodes. The CSCs exhibited a significantly increased fracture energy of ∼13 J m−2—a 30-fold increase over previously reported planar perovskite (∼0.4 J m−2)—while maintaining efficiencies comparable to planar devices. Perovskite won’t stop being in the news. This is more cool to me because of the structuring of the cell – this honeycomb shape. I wonder if there is value for a product like this in the standard solar panel silicon world.

Can mushrooms and solar power fill Japan’s vacant farmland? – The output will be sold to Tohoku Electric Power and could fetch an annual 140 million yen ($1.27 million). The land underneath the panels, meanwhile, is expected to yield an annual 40 tons of cloud-ear mushrooms — a crop that requires little sunlight.  The electricity output of the solar plants will be worth $1.27m/year – adding 40 tons of mushrooms could generate another $430,000/year (if they can sell these mushrooms for $5/lb). That’d increase the revenue from the same land by 33%. Can’t do ROI numbers as I don’t know mushroom tech costs – but its a positive ROI, and a business people get into. Dual use is smart.

Just some data on where our US emissions are headed –

Header image from the lead article.

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