EGEB: Rooftop solar saved 7 million people 4.4¢/kWh; wind beating(?) coal in Texas soon; more

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Rooftop solar pv decreased the average price of wholesale electricity from $132/MWh to $88/MWh over the one year study period inNew South Wales, Australia (pop. 7.5M). Down pricing pressure was most strongly felt between 1-4 PM. During the whole of the one year, $2.2-3.3B was collectively saved. February – mid summer down south – saw the greatest savings – $740M. These numbers, the $2.2-3.3B, don’t include the money also saved by those who installed the solar power. This is the price of electricity – for everyone. Solar power – bringing the price of electricity down for everyone else by lessening electricity grid peak demand.

Texas wind capacity could soon exceed coal after retirements, new analysis says – Yesterday, we saw that coal was closing in Texas. Today, further analysis of these coal closures gives us math that there will be more wind in Texas than coal very soon. Texas will have almost 24 GW of wind capacity next year, compared with 20.3 GW of coal capacity. In the USA as a whole, wind capacity factors are about 40-43% and coal is probably just below 55% – meaning in terms of actual electricity produced – 84,096GWhs for wind projected vs 97,805GWs of coal. Texas wind, I think, would have a higher capacity factor – and the fact that its coal is closing down probably means a low capacity factor there. If Texas wind were 45% and Texas coal 53%, both numbers that are within reason, wind would be producing more. Long game prognosis – wind will dominate, coal will whither.

Zhongli Group signs EPC agreements for 606MW of ‘Poverty Alleviation’ projects in China – In the first half of 2017, Zhongli had secured agreements on 49 small Poverty Alleviation projects that had started construction as well as the first village-level projects established in Linyi County, Shandong province, which included a 0.5MW PV farm in all of the 73 villages. China has a target of 8GW of Poverty Alleviation schemes in 2017. New topic for me – first, a list of China’s Poverty Alleviation projects as of January 2016. From my light reading on the topic the program is focused on farmers who are earning less than $1/day who own their homes and/or land. They get to keep any revenue from the program and electricity savings. China’s goal of 8GW of poverty alleviation solar is greater than all but a few countries.

Germany’s auction for large-scale solar concludes at €0.0429 per kWh – 20 projects with a combined capacity of 222 MW were awarded by the Federal Network Agency. A total of 110 bids with a total volume of 754 MW were submitted to the Federal Network Agency. The average bid size was 6.9 MW. Three of the successful bids had a volume of more than 20 MW. Interesting to watch how Germany moves forward with solar. They’re one of the more advanced global markets – have empowered coal politics – have collapsed daytime electricity pricing – have heavy wind – and they’re now pushing energy storage heavily. Watching their models might be a path to study in countries that move past level one of solar – easy installs that don’t really affect technical and economic fundamentals of the local grid/country – into level two where it just might happen that fossils die off.

Energy Storage End Uses and Value Streams – I really liked this document (download the original PDF – its short) because it gave simple graphics explaining some of the complexities of the energy storage. See below – where you’re locating the energy storage relative to the amount of time you need it. You as a homeowner, bottom of chart, are looking to maintain electricity whenever the power flickers – keeping computers, TVs and other sensitive electronics safe. And then over longer terms, you can optimize pricing by shifting energy usage or you can protect against longer term outages.

New Taiwan powerhouse to become leading non-Chinese producer of solar cells in 2018 – Neo Solar Power, Gintech Energy Corp., and Solartech Energy are planning to merge to a new company called United Renewable Energy Co., Ltd. (or UREC). UREC will be the fourth largest solar cell producer in the industry during 2018, placing it in an exclusive grouping of JA Solar, Hanwha Q-CELLS and JinkoSolar. 4th biggest solar cell producer globally – that’s a pretty significant player.

24 types of solar glass? I sent a tweet to Onyx Solar to ask for details (and they answered).

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. Mojave Desert solar. Photo by Reegan Moen.

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