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EGEB: Solar & Wind for ‘frequency response’, 22¢/kWh for solar in AU, Silfab/Morgan making new panels, more

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

National Grid to trial solar, wind in frequency response markets next year – Within the document National Grid said it wanted to trial a market which could enable providers of frequency response that are incapable of forecasting or controlling their availability, paying specific mention to solar and wind generators. In the case of solar power, you know when you’ll be producing electricity. If you’ve got a large area, you can deliver a percentage of your potential production – as a safety margin – and offer a fairly consistent daytime service. After getting excited with Tesla’s battery offering super fast grid services, this offering makes me think there’s a growing movement for renewables to up their revenue generation ability.

Victoria regulator proposes 29c/kWh (US22c/kWh) solar export tariff in peak period – Wow. It will come into effect for the hours of 3pm to 9pm each weak day. The “shoulder” tariff – from 7am to 3pm, and from 9pm to 10pm, – will be 10.3c/kWh, while the off-peak tariff- from 8pm to 7am – will be 7.2c/kWh. That’s going to get a decent amount of solar installed, it’ll make people tilt their solar panels we west and its going to get a WHOLE LOT of batteries installed and running.

Silfab, Morgan Solar JV plans large-scale production in Canada – In the new modules, which are currently being manufactured for test projects expected to be rolled out next year, 62% less silicon is being used, John Paul Morgan, CTO of Morgan Solar tells pv magazine in an interview. This could go up to 80%, he says. Performance will be slightly reduced, he adds, but will pale in comparison to the cost savings. “Reduced cells and silicon use per-module can reduce overall module costs by as much as 30 percent,” said the two companies in a statement released earlier. I like seeing concentrating solar power being tested. Up to 80% silicon savings in a panel with slightly lower efficiency – it might make sense in large-scale installations. What’s the thinnest we can cut a solar cell and make it produce? What’s the thinnest we can make optics that redirect photons?

Rick Perry’s fake grid crisis just got undermined by more grid experts – The basics: at the start of the new presidential term, Rick Perry was tasked with running the Department of Energy. Very early on, he pushed a power grid study suggesting that renewables and their incentives were forcing stable power sources off of the grid, and increasing instability. The report was leaked to the media. In the report we learned that grid stability was higher than ever, that natural gas was actually pushing hard on nuclear and coal, and that renewables were doing a great job. Perry then pivoted – it was more of a security concern that demanded ‘on site’ fuel storage to protect us. And only coal and nuclear offer that. Now, we’re at a point where FERC is considering its own grid stability analysis…after a failed attempt to impose billions in fees to pay coal operators. This report suggests its time to pay attention to the grid, as it’s evolving, but it’s not a place for welfare queens.

Yingli hit with new US$897.5 million polysilicon charge – According to Yingli: “On December 15, 2017, one of our subsidiaries received a notice of termination from one of such suppliers notifying the Company of its decision to terminate its long-term polysilicon supply contract with the Company with immediate effect and claiming US$897.5 million of payments due and payable by the Company under the contract.” Yingli acknowledges these challenges. Big money moving around. I’ve heard of big silicon deals going bad before – and the article notes a few examples – due to swings in commodity prices causing contracts to go way negative in value.

Jus’ saying…

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