Electrek Green Energy Brief Overview Updated December 15, 2017

Electrek Green Energy Brief

A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news

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267 'Electrek Green Energy Brief' stories

December 2016 - December 2017


Welcome to the Electrek Green Energy Brief. Put together by our Electrek authors, the Energy Brief is a daily technical, financial, and political review of important green energy news.

 

Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 15

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

US solar deployment hits lowest level in two years (w/ charts) – According to the latest figures from GTM Research and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) across the nation 2.03 GW of solar PV was installed, slightly below Q2 2016, which saw 2.05 GW. There are no simple answers to why the industry saw this slump, and instead a variety of factors can be seen. A 51% year-over-year decline from Q3 2016 has more to do with the volume of projects initially planned for completion before the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was extended to 2020, than it does with the weakness this past quarter. There’s a lot of complexity going on in US solar. Smaller utility-scale stuff is on hold because of the Suniva issues – larger utility-scale stuff won’t show up in report just yet. Commercial is actually up in volume, but it’s a smaller component. Residential is down overall – lease and cash dealing with separate complexities. Some of these things are temporary, some are permanent evolutions (less leasing as a percent of the total). Still though, expectations of 12GW of solar power is a lot of solar power. And it’ll grow again soon.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 14

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

SPP Sets New Records for Wind Generation – Wind resources peaked at 13,587 MW at 7:55 a.m. on Dec. 4 and then again at 14,150 MW at 9:55 p.m., bettering the old record of 13,342 MW, set on Feb. 9. And per the graph the peak was about 56.25% of total electricity. They suggest that this record means breaking 75% is within the technical possibilities. That’s a lot of wind power in the Midwest USA.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 13

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

Wind Turbines as Artistic Canvas – Senvion, a German wind turbine manufacturer supports local artists by allowing them to use its turbines as an artistic canvas. Artists in Portugal and Australia have also collaborated with their local wind industry to create original works of art. Imagine painting wind turbines so they create a sort of optical illusion and blend themselves into the local environment. Could we gain optical benefit from these giant structures?

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 12

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

Energy Storage Well Past the ‘Tipping Point,’ Panel Says – A mix of comments, So, 10 years from now, do I think we’ll have a commercially available storage technology that’s below $100/kWh? Sure.; “I think you could argue that the tipping point was several years ago when big PJM systems started to come online,”; and “We’re looking at much more ambitious efforts that would require the attributes of a flow battery, which is a minimum of six to 12 hours of energy.”. A lot to unpack in this article – including a reference to storage being too expensive relative to a large number of energy actions. Big, pretty words though – we’re past a tipping point, but not yet to wide market application yet – which means we believe the amount of projects that can get built-in smaller expensive, incentivized markets is enough to build the factories that will deliver the learning curve benefits. A machine is in motion that seems to now generate its own steam.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 11

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

Longi claims 82.15% bifaciality record for its PERC solar cell – Bifaciality is commonly defined as the ratio of the output measured from the rearside of a cell over the output measured from its front side. According to Longi, the bifaciality of standard bifacial PERC solar in the market is currently around 75%. The manufacturer announced it has achieved an 82.15% bifaciality world record for its bifacial PERC monocrystalline cell, dubbed Hi-MO2. Bifacial is real folks, and even if you only get 10% more electricity because your roof doesn’t reflect as nicely as others, you’re still getting 10% more energy. In perfect settings, I’ve read of efficiency going up 30% – though I’ve not seen it personally.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 8

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

China market: GCL SIT automates PV module production – Becoming a smart dark factory via full automation, the PV module factory has managed to reduce the number of its workers from 52 to eight and also lowered its defect rate by 0.1pp, said the report. On one side of the building they have pallets coming in, on the other side they have pallets leaving – drivers manage the product. They shut the lights off inside the building. The only people employed are engineers, robot technicians, and those needed to secure the site. This is the future of manufacturing as a whole, but it’s hitting the solar power industry hard as there is a need to scale quickly and economically.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 7

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

First Solar produces first S6 module, seals 800 MW of deals – The 1.2 x 2 meter modules are expected to become commercially available at 420-445 watts with efficiencies of over 17%. First Solar expects to have around 3 GW of annual capacity in 2018, 5 GW in 2019 and 5.7 GW in 2020. I’m excited to see that First Solar is at 17% with a thin film product. Also nice to see First Solar with plans to double capacity.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 6

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

Solar Power Plant O&M: Robots Offer Smarter Way to Protect and Enhance Your Investment – Two reasons I’m posting this, 1 – They’ve got a great chart that shows the value of having a robot cleaning from a financial sense perspective. In that chart they do use a great price of 1.78¢/kWh in a PPA as their base price. And 2 – They’re pulling the cleaning robots with pickup trucks. Robots cleaning large-scale solar panel installations will get smarter, and will see improved design – but being part automatic and part human is creative maximization of resources. Check out the short video at the end. The hardware requires two people to place it on a double row of solar panels. I wonder if there will be a residential solar panel cleaner that’s really smart at finding the edges of solar panels once you place it on the roof yourself…

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 5

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

The Trade Case Just Put $1 per Watt Solar Pricing Back Out of Reach – As I read something I hadn’t thought about, that Suniva will kill the $1/W utility market in the USA, I’m reminded of a short story I read as a kid. Harrison placed his big hands on the girls tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers. And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang! Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well. They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun. They leaped like deer on the moon. Solar power is being shackled. Tied and restrained. I am being a bit emotional, but that’s the type of guy I am. Fly, solar, fly.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories December 4

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

Elon Musk’s SA battery record will be short-lived as rivals go even bigger – South Korea’s Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems is building a 150-megawatt lithium-ion unit, 50 per cent larger than Musk’s, that the company says will go live in about three months in Ulsan near the southeast coast. And then this plant will be passed by a larger one. And then it will happen again. I remember sometime in 2016 when I used to only retweet solar projects that were 100MW or larger – and I was amazed at the project sizes. Now, 1GW gets my attention. Soon – that’ll be with batteries too. When will we see the first 1GW announcement? 2018 maybe, 2019 definitely.

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