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EGEB: Pollution killing fertility, everyone wants more solar, China strikes Korean polysilicon, more

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

Air pollution may cause infertility for a ‘significant number of couples’, warn scientists – The study showed that for every 5 ug/m3 increase in tiny particles called PM2.5s, there was a 26 per cent increased risk of being in the bottom 10 per cent of normal sperm size and shape. The effect was found when particle counts rose over 25 µg/m³. In London yesterday, particulates rose to 69 µg/m³ in some areas. This just adds to the list people. It kills us. It lowers our IQ. It deforms our children. It warms our planet. And it slows us down from having children.

America’s Wind Energy Future Looks Seaward – This article was linked to for two reasons, 1. The great header image at the top of this article showing different types of floating wind power. Never seen a chart like this. Very cool. And 2. Its NREL. If someone who worked for NREL asked me carry their bags and get them coffee – I’d be right there. The article focuses on the development of offshore wind in the USA.

Artificial Intelligence boosts efficiency for solar and wind – Supply chain optimizations by autonomous driving robots, which can in future build entire onshore wind or solar farms: parts of a wind turbine or a solar array are transported from the factory by self-driving lorries, unloaded by another set of robots, attached to the foundations that yet other robots have dug and filled, and pieced together by a final set of robots and drones. Is there going to be a day soon where a solar panel won’t see a human hand – ever?

Origins of the Solar Learning Curve – Learning curves happen in all industries as they scale. Expect it to happen a lot more in the battery and EV world as well. ‘Swanson’s Law’ is the solar power world’s version of ‘Moore’s Law.’ Same concept. The link here though shows us that Swanson’s Law should be named a little differently. Main thing I wanted to point out – For every cumulative doubling of production volume, the price of PV modules has decreased at an average of around 20%. This year, we’re going to install 100GW of solar – in 2015 we installed about 50-55GW. Solar panels though, have fallen far more than 20% in the time period. Maybe that means growth of installation volume is behind the curve – and that’s why 2017’s 100GW+ has surprised so many people.

China Imposes 4.4%-113.8% Antidumping Duty on Korean-Made Polysilicon – Note that this is ‘polysilicon’, not ‘mono.’ This could be part of a broader pattern of limiting the total polysilicon that gets built-in the Chinese market. Over the last month, as a result of China closing some polysilicon facilities, we’ve seen profit margins of Chinese solar panel manufacturers drop a bit.

Ok, not *everyone* wants more solar power – in fact, 4% of people want less. I’d be interested in learning their opinions deeper. No other form of electricity comes close to solar’s 80% who think we ought to have more.

Interesting that multi vs mono wafer – a full 7.6% more efficiency from the mono wafer – only $6 more for a solar panel (10¢/wafer and 60 wafers in a residential solar panel). It’s understandable why US buyers have shifted their average solar panel efficiency upward. Wonder how these pricing dynamics are being affected by the Chinese (mono vs poly) silicon moves noted above.

Considering residential solar? Understand Solar will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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