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The Trade Case Just Put $1 per Watt Solar Pricing Back Out of Reach – As I read something I hadn’t thought about, that Suniva will kill the $1/W utility market in the USA, I’m reminded of a short story I read as a kid. Harrison placed his big hands on the girls tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers. And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang! Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well. They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun. They leaped like deer on the moon. Solar power is being shackled. Tied and restrained. I am being a bit emotional, but that’s the type of guy I am. Fly, solar, fly.
Low solar ppa prices in India spreading spending doubt in Trina’s building plans – Solar auctions across Asia are impacting PV prices, delivering ever-cheaper solar energy for consumers but spreading nervousness and doubt among developers, BNEF said. Trina’s Gao added that he expects the price of solar panels to fall a further 40% by 2025. Trina Solar’s CEO Jifan Gao revealed that the Tier-1 Chinese solar company is reconsidering its plans to build a PV manufacturing fab in India because prices there are now “too low”. Solar and energy prices are falling so fast the market is having a hard time adjusting to the new reality. This has led to a wide range of consequences with the US and India proposing tariffs against solar imports, and now Chinese solar manufacturers reconsidering building new production facilities, even when they have secured a site for the proposed factory.
Coal’s Share of U.S. Electricity-Generation Market Dips to 29.4% – According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest “Electric Power Monthly” released Dec. 1, over the same period, gas-fired generation declined 7.1% to 116.7 million MWh, accounting for 34.9% of the net total. Meanwhile, coal-fired generation declined 13.9% versus the prior-year period to 98.4 million MWh, to account for 29.4% of the nation’s electricity. Renewable output climbed 11.2% year over year to 47.8 million MWh as output from hydroelectric; solar; and other renewable resources, including wind, all increased. I’m told 2018 won’t see such jumps from hydro because there won’t be the winter flooding that happened last year (remember the dam that collapsed?).
2018 Could Be Another Record Year For Solar Energy – In 2018, they expect between 94 GW and 111 GW to be installed, and further growth to 107 GW to 121 GW in 2019. BNEF is a touch conservative in their numbers, I think. And so, with a group that is a touch conservative now projecting the next three years of solar to break – potentially – 120GW, I am happy. Maybe its time for me to move to another country as they build their first 1GW. Some are suggesting we clear 100GW this year – if we have another 15% growth year in 2018, that’s 115GW. 15% in 2019 and we’re at 132GW. If we were to do 15% growth a year for a decade we’d get real close to 50% of the world’s energy from solar.
‘Virtual big battery’ in Canberra turns 250 rooftop PV systems into lucrative grid resource – A 250-home ‘virtual big battery’ was switched on in Canberra, Australia last week, allowing residents to sell solar-generated power at a significantly higher price than available to them through feed-in tariff (FiT) policies. I couldn’t tell exactly which revenue was being given to the home owners for them to get up to $1/kWh. The electricity itself, even at peak, isn’t anywhere that value. But maybe there are other ‘ancillary services’ that are driving that revenue. If home owners are allowed to make the same money off of their home batteries that power plants can – wow, game on, game over.
Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot program. Photo by William Zhang
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