About the Author

John Fitzgerald Weaver

@SolarInMASS

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar consultant – aka The Commercial Solar Guy. As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects worth more than $10 million, ranging from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain – as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier, climbs mountains, played football, enjoys an IPA or scotch, needs to get away, and really loves this strange connection between politics, energy, finance, environment, etc in the energy world, and likes run on sentences.

Current and occasional stock positions that I have written about are ASYS, TSLA, CAFD and TAN – plus Bitcoin and Etherium.

Yesterday

Researchers testing cutting-edge unmanned aerial vehicle technology went to the 24 hours a day sunlight of Greenland to power ‘perpetual’ solar drone flights.

The main goal of the project from the manufacturer’s perspective was to find a practical application of a solar-powered drone that could fly indefinitely, as there’d been few real-world uses. To partial success, the group tested the ‘First-ever solar-powered flight in the Arctic’ on June 20th.

expand full story

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

Hemlock Semiconductor to lay off 100 workers – This week Hemlock is reporting that it will lay off 100 workers in Michigan, with most losing their jobs in the first quarter of 2018, as part of a plan which involves “simplifying and streamlining its organization to meet the new market realities”. The US used to be the largest producer of polysilicon in the world. It was the one solar power related item that brought the net import/export above $0. A combination of events has hammered at this. For one – Chinese tariffs attached to polysilicon as a result of US tariffs on solar modules in 2013 helped. This led to an opening for China and South Korea to ramp up volume – and they’ve done so. As an aside, SolarWorld technically owes $800 million to Hemlock as part of contracts signed when polysilicon cost a lot more.

expand full story

October 19

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos inaugurates an impressive new wind farm

Jeff Bezos atop a wind farm breaking it in with a bottle of bubbly is pretty intense. Amazon’s founder made his way up one of more than 100 new wind turbines in Texas celebrating a major renewable energy project coming online.

The 253-megawatt “Amazon Wind Farm Texas” in Scurry County is part Amazon’s long-term goal to reach 100% renewable energy. As of the end of 2016, the company was beyond 40% – and expects to break 50% before the end of 2017.

China is leading the world in solar power installations by a long run. ASECEA is predicting that 50GW of solar power is well within reach of being installed this year. In June and July of 2017, China installed 25GW of solar power – and they’ll push the globe past 100GW total for the year.

At China’s ‘State of the Union address’ equivalent, just yesterday, president Xi Jinping said, “Any harm we inflict on nature will eventually return to haunt us… this is a reality we have to face.”

expand full story

SunPower announced that they won 291MW worth of bids as part of the most recent French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) energy bidding process. SunPower sells the most efficient panels available on the market.

Including prior bids this year as part of the French program, SunPower has now won 505MW worth of total projects. SunPower makes money both from selling solar panels and from owning solar farms, though this may change. They’re expected to sell 1.3-1.5GW of solar panels in 2017.

expand full story

A recent report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that universal energy access is possible by 2030 and solar technology will be at the forefront of the effort. In order to reach near 99% of the global population having electricity, solar power microgrids and off-grid installation will be needed.

Reaching 99% in the IEA’s ‘Energy for All Case’ will cost $28 billion per year through the end of 2030.

expand full story

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

The Potential Impact of Solar Tariffs in 12 Charts – Good charts. Potential is the keyword. These numbers are probably close to true. If so, residential costs aren’t really noticeable. Utility yes, however, those price increases aren’t enough to end investment – maybe slow it down a bit…but not a lot. Clarity would be best at this point so our pricing is hard.

expand full story

October 18

The world’s first floating wind farm is now feeding into Scotland’s electricity grid. The $260M pilot project, majority owned by Statoil, is the first commercial development in the floating wind field. All prior floating wind turbines were research focused.

Floating wind is being developed because 80% of the Europe’s wind resources are located in water too deep for traditional fixed bottom wind turbines to reach. Additionally, just west of Europe, in the North Atlantic, there is enough wind to power the entire world.

expand full story

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

Study finds Del. residents would rather live near wind turbine than coal plant – Residents living near a Delaware wind turbine would pay nearly $31 a year to keep it around and would pay about $121 annually to make sure a coal plant would not replace it, recent research has foundThe real world version of this data, outside of a survey, would be represented in where we build our power plants and the property value surrounding those plants. And there is plenty of research in the world on this topic showing property values much wider than ~$121/year.

expand full story

October 17

One of the world’s largest solar manufacturers in the world, GCL System Integrated Technology, has designed and sold their first out of the box ready solar farm – the ‘2.5MW Solar Block.’

GCL is a vertically integrated solar manufacturing company – they’re the largest polysilicon manufacturer globally, and along with making solar wafers and cells, they’re involved in solar panel final assembly. Their goal in designing the Solar Block is to lower the cost and speed the deployment of utility-scale solar power. The units can be daisy chained into larger plants.

expand full story

Stion Solar, an American manufacturer of thin-film solar panels with a factory located in Mississippi, confirmed that they’re going to ‘discontinue’ operations. The manufacturing facility has 75MW/year of manufacturing capacity active that’s currently sold out.

Other solar manufacturers have made recent announcements to expand production in the USA. ITEK announced 150MW/year of monoPERC product in Washington State. CSUN – who first announced their California plant in February of 2017 – said that their solar panels will be available in January 2018. And of course, Tesla – who started plans long ago – is racing toward 1-2GW of solar tiles/year.

All of these actions occur while the market awaits Trump’s ruling on the Suniva solar tariff case.

expand full story

Four Swiss universities came together to build the US Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon overall winner. Eleven teams competed over the course of two years to build a home taking into account modern global demands of “reliability, resilience, and security.”

The Swiss schools – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg – scored perfect 100’s in energy, architecture and engineering categories.

expand full story

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

Rooftop solar pv decreased the average price of wholesale electricity from $132/MWh to $88/MWh over the one year study period inNew South Wales, Australia (pop. 7.5M). Down pricing pressure was most strongly felt between 1-4 PM. During the whole of the one year, $2.2-3.3B was collectively saved. February – mid summer down south – saw the greatest savings – $740M. These numbers, the $2.2-3.3B, don’t include the money also saved by those who installed the solar power. This is the price of electricity – for everyone. Solar power – bringing the price of electricity down for everyone else by lessening electricity grid peak demand.

expand full story

October 16

Warren Buffett owned MidAmerican Energy is upgrading wind turbines in Iowa early in their lifetimes in order to take advantage of the newest innovations in gear boxes and blades. Since only small parts of the already developed wind farms need be upgraded – these moves will increase the profitability of the farms. Wind turbines are evolving at a fast enough pace that waiting for standard end of life (30 years) means leaving money on the table.

I estimate an additional $51M/year in revenue from MidAmerican’s repowering.

expand full story

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

Vikram Solar launches new monocrystalline product line SOMERA – PERC monocrystalline solar cells reaching module area efficiency up to 19.05% (for 60 cells) and up to 18.45% (for 72 cells). 2,400 Pascal Wind load, 5400 Pascal Snow load and Dynamic Wind load. Extremely low LID and lower temperature coefficients. Cool to see manufacturers launching these 19% monoPERC products. Cool to see it is an Indian manufacturer whose got a big brand name and a cutting edge product. Germany, China, US, South Korea, Japan have all been making big volumes of panels for a while. Adding India – soon to be the largest country on the planet – will mean a huge market expansion.

expand full story

October 13

The Netherlands is expanding a test of solar panel sound barriers (SONOB) as part of a project replacing currently installed sound barriers. The bifacial solar panel screens are rated to generate electricity equivalent to usage in 40 to 60 houses. The 2014 test project (see images below) met expectations – including how the panels would deal with public nuisances such as graffiti. In 2016, the solar sound barrier won the Golden Decibel award for great ideas in the public project category.

expand full story

What goes up, must come down…but what was going down – is now going up.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that the USA’s CO2 emissions from energy usage – burning oil, coal and gas – will increase in 2018. The main driver is a predicted increase in ‘heating degree days’ – number of days that Americans will need to warm their homes. Concurrently, an increase in ‘cold heating days’ – air conditioner needing days, the continued increase of oil burning in cars, and a decrease in hydroelectric generation will also affect the final balance of clean vs dirty energy production.

expand full story

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

The U.S. solar industry’s new growth region: Trump country – GTM Research shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. solar markets between the second quarters of 2016 and 2017 were Western, Midwestern or Southern states that voted for Trump, with Alabama and Mississippi topping the list. First it was the wind power – made easy by the fact that the USA’s strongest wind resources push across the central states of this country with a fury. And now solar power is placing itself firmly in all political regions of the country. This evolution could have a real effect on the Suniva trade case.

expand full story

October 12

The whole planet can run on wind power if we really needed to.

A new study postulates that 3 million km2 of open ocean area in the windy North Atlantic could produce enough energy to satisfy the needs of the entire human species during the winter months, while it could cover the electricity needs of North America and Europe during the summer.

expand full story

The newest solar panel technology was on display at Solar Power International in Las Vegas. The biggest attention getters were higher efficiencies and bifacial – but there are other technologies- cut cells, string ribbons, anti-soiling coatings, and solar tiles – that also deserve some time in the limelight.

expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP