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

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US – Here in the land of technology leadership and free-market enterprise, American regulation has more than doubled the cost of solar. The regulation comes in three un-American guises: permitting, code and tariffs — and together they are killing the U.S. residential market. Modernizing these regulations, primarily at the local and state level, is the greatest opportunity for U.S. solar policy in 2018. When looking at the Australian installation process – see chart in link – I don’t feel scared, I just feel like I’d have to up my skillset, and carry more equipment on my truck. The nationwide application covers the contractor license verification, hardware check out and grid application. Would you be ok with that? As an aside, this conversation harkens back to a 2013 study when we saw US costs 2X Germany’s…and for the same reason.

FERC terminates coal, nuke bailout proceeding – (No NOPR!) The extensive comments submitted by the RTOs/ISOs do not point to any past or planned generator retirements that may be a threat to grid resilience. We also disagree with assertions that an adequate record exists through the Commission’s price formation efforts to support the Proposed Rule’s action regarding bulk power system resilience.” A few weeks ago, I stated my opinion on certain political proceedings that were being pushed by the Department of Energy. Turns out the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission thought the changes being pushed by the coup leaders at the DOE were simply wrong (see above italics). If the DOE still had some Nobel winners and PhDs at the helm, my gut says this kind of thing wouldn’t occur.

Meet North America’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility – The 30-megawatt Escondido plant is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt-hours of energy from any source, such as wind or solar, or natural gas. The substation on the other side of the battery bank feeds enough energy to keep 20,000 homes powered for about four hours. Two things – 1. Most important thing: Remember how we used to talk about solar power in terms of “homes powered” – now we’re doing that for batteries. We’ve gotten to the point where we’re building systems large enough to respectfully chat about chunks of society that will be supported if the grid goes down. 2. I just thought you need to know where the largest North American battery was in case you thought it prudent to live nearby – probably some of the cleanest electricity in the country.

Energy networks prepare to blend hydrogen into the gas grid for the first time – Within weeks, a consortium of grid operators and experts will begin safety work in 130 homes and businesses before blending hydrogen into the methane-rich gas which has been used to heat British households and companies for over 50 years. A report from KPMG found that converting the UK to hydrogen gas could be £150bn to £200bn cheaper than rewiring British homes to use electric heating powered by lower-carbon sources. However, it could still mean a £170 hike in annual gas bills by 2050. Hydrogen seems so interesting, I hear it’s inefficient to produce, but it’s a liquid and tangible and people trust it more than the sun and the wind…and I get that having grown up on hydrocarbons myself. If we can make our current gas burning cleaner – maybe that’s the next stage of transitioning the grid to lower levels of CO2?

Perovskite is going to keep getting more headlines as OxfordPV moves toward production and the researchers at the Australian National University keep putting out record-breaking efficiencies. Cool looking pictures from FT.com article. I especially like the sheet of perovskite over top a standard panel, similar technique as quantum dot scientists are using – but different way of using that space. Pennies per watt for a solar panel? Right now, we’re closer to thirty pennies.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot programOverlooking downtown Des Moines, Iowa, the Market One commercial building’s photovoltaic solar canopy contains 787 solar panels. Photo by Jared Heidemann. Alex Jenson writes in:

The building, Market One, was Iowa’s first office building to be net-zero design (Completed 2014). The building utilizes PV’s (220 kW) and Geothermal to achieve LEED Platinum certification. We recently won the 2018 ASHRAE Technology Award for Existing Commercial Buildings!

I am a Mechanical Engineering for MODUS Engineering in Des Moines, IA where we focus on sustainable building design. The image was actually taken by Jared Heidemann from our Marketing Team.

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