Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news. Featured Image Source
PV module imports soar in US – Imports of PV modules to the US market have soared since the beginning of third-quarter 2017 due to concerns about price hikes, and as of the end of October, 5GWp of PV modules had arrived in the US waiting for customs clearance, according to industry sources in China. I was under the impression that any panels imported after the ITC accepted the Suniva back in May would be retroactively tariffed by default. Actions like this by people in the know, at a minimum, suggest that the judgment isn’t determined yet. Maybe this retroactive tax, much like the overall structure of the tariff, is part of Trump’s leeway.
Tax dispute stalls solar panel cargoes in Indian state, delaying projects – Officials clearing import shipments at the Port of Chennai in South India are classifying solar panels as motors, which attract 7.5 percent import duty as opposed to zero on solar modules. India’s individual states are partially independent of the whole of India when it comes to economic policy. I’ve only got a smidgen of this knowledge by watching recently as India is attempting to harmonize national tax laws. Other recent news says that solar hardware ought be taxed at the 5% (there was a moment when it was to be taxed similarly to coal at 15%).
Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries – World Resources Institute (WRI), a US-based global environmental research group, now suggests that 49 countries have already seen their emissions peak, representing around 36% of current global emissions. That’s solid – we’re peaking in a 3rd of the planet. That’s a great headline. Now though is the harder part of the game – bringing that 36% of global emissions down in terms of total volume. We’re just under 10GtC of CO2 annually – these folks represent 3.6GtC. Of course, if 36% of emissions sources have peaked…that’s 64% this group expects to grow. China is expected to peak before 2030…India isn’t projected.
Xi’an LONGi lowers solar mono-Si wafer price – Solar mono-Si wafer maker Xi’an LONGi Silicon Materials has lowered prices for its wafers by 6.7% from CNY6.00 (US$0.91) to CNY5.60 in the China market, according to media reports. I’ve read reports elsewhere that mono and poly prices are occasionally equal (though this article suggests a difference still). What this means to you – as an average American homeowner looking at solar power – is that you’ll probably never see poly or multi silicon panels trying to be sold to you, unless you are looking for the lower price hardware possible. Mono has historically cost more because it cost more to manufacture using the technique – now maybe the scale is catching up. It looks like mono might be taking over – For global solar wafer production, the ratio between mono-Si and poly-Si ones was 5:95 in 2014, 15:85 in 2015, 27:73 in 2016, 36:64 in first-half 2017 and is expected to be 40:60 in the entire 2017.
GeoSea to Install 90 MHI Vestas 9.5MW Turbines at Triton Knoll – This wind farm was awarded back in September. This headline is one of the contracts being awarded to build out the farm. The reason I’m bringing it up is that it’s the first farm that has the current world’s largest 9.5MW Turbines made by Vestas. Just ONE of these units will generate an amount of electricity equal to more than 3,000 US households worth.
Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) approved SunPower as first company to use drones over airports to monitor solar farms – The new access category, called Low Altitude Authorization Capability (LAANC), was released this month in a beta test at four airports including San Jose (SJC), Cincinnati International Airport (CVG), Reno (RNO) and Lincoln (LNK). Monitoring solar farms via drone has cut the cost of O&M services significantly. Robot managed solar farms – we’re in the future man.
Europe`s largest unsubsidised PV plant in Southern Portugal – WElink Energy is to lead in the renewable generation revolution as it begins to construct its flagship 221MW Portuguese solar PV project located in Vaqueiros, Southern Portugal. Once constructed, Solara4 will be the largest unsubsidised solar PV plant in Europe. Portugal has some of the better sunlight on the continent, so there’s that – however – we do still get to say that yet another solar plant without subsidies has been built, and its a big one – 221MW. While no subsidy solar is great – and important – in the long run we still need to tax carbon and other pollutants, now it’s just cheaper to do so.
Old article from 2014 – U.S. Charges Five Chinese Military Hackers for Cyber Espionage Against U.S. – Offenses directed at six American victims in the U.S. nuclear power, metals and solar products industries. Victims : Westinghouse Electric Co. (Westinghouse), U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG (SolarWorld), United States Steel Corp. (U.S. Steel), etc. I thought it important to reference this event as I learned about it yesterday. We know nationa-states steal data from each other. The USA got a bump economically when it stole the plans for the first water powered mill from England. A few years back, as part of a broad Chinese effort to up their technology, they stole data from solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld. On a human level, I’m glad China was able to accelerate their research as it has driven the world. On an individual level – I get the pain these investors feel.
And to entertain you a bit – just a video of the world’s largest ever wind turbine blade being moved across the land –
Featured image is in honor of the upcoming winter. Solar thermal panels to heat water in your house can be designed to make water boil in sub-zero temperatures using vacuum tubes. Solar panels installed on top of residence for thermal heating. Photo by Terry Thompson