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EGEB: Another solar advance, NY solar boost, Ireland’s renewable energy ‘shortfall,’ and more

In today’s EGEB:

  • Scientists remove silicon from solar cells and double perovskites in a new technique.
  • New York may get a solar boost from a new Public Service Commission order.
  • Ireland isn’t on track to hit its 2030 renewable energy goal.
  • Rhode Island high school offers offshore wind training program.

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

It was only a week ago when we heard of researchers pairing perovskites with silicon for a possible solar power breakthrough.  Now, another perovskite solar technique has some excited. And this one eschews silicon completely.

Science Magazine reports on a method that uses tandems from “two of the best yet perovskites, each tailored to absorb a different part of the solar spectrum.” Perovskite is easier to manufacture and could lead to reduced costs.

While researchers have been working on these pairing methods for years, there’s been an advancement from physicist Joseph Berry and others. They’ve prevented tin from reacting with oxygen in perovskites by adding an organic compound known as guanidinium thiocyanate — it provides a coating that stops oxygen from getting through to the tin.

Efficiency was boosted with this method, leading to optimism. While it doesn’t yet measure up to some silicon-and-perovskite tandems — and may not — researchers believe it can be improved, and the price is superior.

NY Solar

While scientists look to boost solar efficiency, New York looks to give more of its residents access to solar power with an order from the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC).

The Natural Resources Defense Council praised the order, which it describes as being helpful in three meaningful ways:

  • It creates new credits to increase compensation for community solar projects in much of the state, and allows those projects to have large “anchor tenants.”
  • It changes the method for calculating demand reduction value (DRV), which should make value more predictable.
  • It lets small commercial customers receive existing net metering compensations if they install renewables on-site before 2020; current rules prohibit this.

New York is aiming for 70% renewable electricity by 2030, and this is a strong step in that direction.

Irish ‘Shortfall’

Last week, the UK reported that it was expected to miss future renewable energy goals by a widening margin. Now it appears Ireland is facing the same renewable “shortfalls.”

Ireland will miss its 2030 goal of 70% renewables, according to Cornwall Insight Ireland. As reports, a shortfall of assets such as wind and solar give the country a gap of more than 20 terawatt hours.

Ireland currently has enough capacity to make up 30% of energy demand from renewable sources. Even with anticipated growth, the analysts foresee that 20 TWh shortfall.

It’s disappointing, but much like the UK, this report should show Ireland which actions it needs to take to hit its goals. Better to know now.

Rhode Island Wind

Tufts University announced it was pairing up with JDR Cable Systems last week to create an office for students interested in offshore wind, as the industry starts to grow in New England. But some students may have that interest before college, and those who attend North Kingstown High School in Rhode Island are in luck.

Yale Climate Connections reports on the school’s offshore wind training program, which expects to graduate its first students next year. Students will take engineering courses as well as specific offshore wind-related classes like marine safety. Assistant principal Barbara Morse said,

“Most times in education we’re hoping we’re preparing kids for the future. And this is one of the unique times where we’ve been able to sit down with the people who will be hiring that can tell us what exactly it is they want the kids to know and be able to do.”

The state-funded program was developed in conjunction with industry experts.

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