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

U.S. Tariffs on Solar Imports May Hinge on Free-Trade Deals – Could a country like South Korea, with solar panel manufacturers like LG and Hanwha Q Cells, be in a stronger position if the International Trade Commission rules against the global solar panel market? South Korea, along with several others, are part of free trade deals with the USA – and their solar panel investments are NOT dependent on underpriced Chinese capital. South Korea, which entered into a free-trade deal with the U.S. in 2012, accounted for about 20 percent of solar panels imported into the U.S. over the last 12 months, according to data from the commission. Mexico and Canada, covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement, supplied about 8 percent. And Singapore, whose trade deal with the U.S. dates to 2004, accounted for 4 percent. If these groups are given any sort of benefit in considerations, it might be non-trivial as it represents 33% of solar panel imports into the USA. And both LG and Hanwha offer premium products.

Fishermen Continue Fight Against New York Offshore Wind Farm – “The plaintiffs in this case believe sensible wind energy development and fishing can co-exist,” said David Frulla, who is representing FSF and the other plaintiffs in the case. “But any offshore energy project must first meaningfully consider the impact on the habitats, marine species, and economic interests that may be harmed before selecting a wind farm site and issuing a lease to a private developer.” Much research has been done on local animal life and how offshore wind farms affect them – for instance, Offshore Wind Farms Don’t Harm Marine Life. Other research shows that off shore wind farms INCREASE marine life. Interestingly, my local city – New Bedford, MA has joined in the lawsuit. New Bedford is close to the largest fishing port in the country in terms of total revenue (scallops make a lot of $) – but the city is also one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy (and has a large port in place to push off shore wind hardware). Maybe I’ll reach out to the Mayor and see his thoughts on this complexity.

Article title cool, but read more: Cambridge scientists say perovskite-based PV cells can achieve maximum 30% efficiency – more important than the title (though it is a huge goal) of the article is this analogy and then the datapoint behind it: “Imagine if you had a pool table and each ball was moving at the same speed,” said Johannes Richter, a PhD student and the paper’s lead author. “After a certain amount of time, they are going to hit each other, which causes them to slow down and change direction. We wanted to know how long we have to extract the electrons before this happens.” And then the data point – The authors of the study concluded that electron collision events started to happen between 10 and 100 femtoseconds after light was initially absorbed by the cell. “To maximize energy efficiency, the electrons would thus need to reach the electrode in as little as 10 quadrillionths of a second.” In essence, the beauty of perovskite is that it catches extra electrons that silicon doesn’t – and that’s where its big boost comes from. There are groups looking to add perovskite to standard silicon solar cells.

Duke to build its first utility-scale regulated battery storage projects – The electric utilities are building energy storage. Right now, the purpose of this energy storage are mostly for services other than actual storage of and later delivery of electricity. But instead offering grid services such as frequency control. Frequency control was once said to be a thing that only large, spinning turbine could do – and was a reason renewables like wind/solar could not take over the grid. This argument has been show to be false. There is no reason your grid cannot be controlled entirely with solar+wind+energy storage.

2nd N Type c-Si Cell and Bifacial Module Forum 2017 – I’ll be honest, when we get into some of the finer details of the different types of solar panels and their qualities, I’m a bit on the lesser educated side of the aisle. So, to see a forum focused so exquisitely on a single type of solar cell, I get a bit excited. The article goes into some high level details on the benefits of each N type solar cell.

San Francisco and Oakland joins lawsuit suing fossil fuel companies – We’re going to see the fossil fuel companies begin to BEG for a country level solution – a carbon tax whose revenue is applied to local infrastructure upgrades. Having lawsuits from individuals, cities, counties and states across the US will quickly destroy earnings. I do not want to see these oil/coal/gas companies destroyed yet – we still need the resource until we ramp up global production of our electric infrastructure hardware – but soon enough, we’ll see our folly from the beauty of 20/20 hindsight.

Everyone was wrong about the potential price collapse of energy storage – EVERYONE:

What a pretty solar power installation – and totally unique to me –

This solar array at @UCDavis' West Village apartment complex are just some of the 4.1 megawatts of photovoltaic panels that generate nearly 5.8 million kilowatt hours of solar power in a single year. The building’s construction makes energy efficient living possible, and residents take additional measures to reach zero net energy usage. – #CalEnergy, alongside @californiapuc, @energy, and others support construction of the project and endeavors to model a ZNE lifestyle. – #CalEnergy #EnergyEfficiency #RenewableEnergy #EnergyInnovation #Transportation #Energy #ClimateChange #Renewables #GreenEnergy #Solar #Wind #WindPower #Electricity #Environment #Sustainability #SolarPanel #LED #CleanEnergy #California #Science #Engineering #Innovation #GreenhouseGas #UCDavis #College #Students

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Header image from the ‘Hit me with your SunShot‘ photography contest. Since I’ve shown each of the winning photographs – I’ve now moved into showing off some of the images that didn’t ‘win’ – but are beautiful nonetheless. These images are located on the flickr account page of SunShot. Genesis Solar 250 MW CSP in Blythe, California; October tarantula migration. Photo by Evan Derouen.

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