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

Trump opens the door for specific products, nations to be excluded from tariffs – Tariffs are expected to take effect February 7th. Multiple nations and technologies are going to request they be not have a tariff applied for various reasons. Some of these requests will be approved. Found a neat data point – one estimate suggests the solar tariff will net $1 billion.

URE to set up PV module plant in US – According to industry sources, apart from concerns about the safeguard tariffs, the three makers are building the plant to cater to a major US-based power generation developer who has decided to give URE massive PV module orders. The developer previously approached NSP for PV module supply, but NSP could not take all of its orders due to insufficient production capacity, the sources said. I can’t wait until I’m such a large developer that solar panel manufacturers will build factories to cater to ME! I wonder if this factory is being built for Cypress Creek Renewables.

The 50 States of Solar Report: 2017 Annual Review & Q4 Update Edition Now Available – If you’re considering buying solar power, you need know the rules. As you can see below – lots of rules have changed.

  • 84 utility requests in 35 states plus D.C. to increase monthly fixed charges or minimum bills on all residential customers by at least 10% were pending or decided.
  • 31 states plus D.C. considered or enacted changes to distributed generation compensation policies.
  • 21 states plus D.C. formally examined or resolved to examine some element of the value of distributed generation or the costs and benefits of net metering.
  • 21 states took policy action on community solar.
  • 19 utility requests in 10 states to add new or increase existing charges specific to rooftop solar customers were pending or decided.
  • 8 states had policy action on third-party solar ownership laws or regulations.
  • 6 states had action on utility-owned rooftop solar policies or programs.

LONGi reaches 20.41% efficiency for 60-cell PERC solar moduleAccording to a test conducted by TUV-SUD LONGi’s 60-cell PERC module achieved a photoelectric conversion efficiency of 20.41%, a new world record for a P-type monocrystalline PERC module. More recently, the company has introduced 22% efficiency PERC cell technology to its production base for the mass production of PV products that meet the technical standards defined by “top runner”. First off, that’s a great number for a solar panel, 20% is a wonderful limit to see crushed. Secondly though, and arguably more important than the headline number – LONGi is now supplying 22% solar cells in mass production. I wonder when we’ll see the 23%+ cells available.

France to shut all coal-fired power stations by 2021, Macron declares – On the one hand, awesome headline! On the other hand – France only produces around 1 per cent of its energy from coal-fired stations, but the commitment is a signal that the country is determined to lead on climate issues. I know 50% of us don’t like nuclear, but we need think smartly. How much time have France’s nukes bought us in the climate change fight? Not a trivial amount.

I really hope that this tariff gives domestic solar panel makers a chance to generate some revenue, and expand. If solar panels are really all about technology – not labor – then this window could be what is needed. Ontario-based Heliene Inc. is asking for $3.5 million in government-backed loans — $1.75 milion each from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board and the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. Up to $1 million of the loan would be forgiven if the company meets the terms of the agreement, namely that it employs 70 people in Mountain Iron within four years.

2018 is going to give us many countries with large chunks of solar power. It’s suggested that there will be 13 countries globally that break 1 GW of volume.

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