Electrek Green Energy Brief Overview Updated August 21, 2017

Electrek Green Energy Brief

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

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187 Electrek Green Energy Brief stories

December 2016 - August 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 Today

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

Policy, Geospatial, and Market Factors in Solar Energy: a Gestalt Approach – In a research paper written by Dr. Wesley Herche, we’re shown that greater than 99% of all locations can have their energy – not just electricity, but energy- needs to be met by solar power within 50 miles of said locations. Dr. Herche (give him a pat on his twitter back for his recent dissertation defense) is a former senior intelligence officer and current executive leader at with experience in analyzing land and coming up with conclusions for professionals to act on. The values used to determine this conclusion are all very conservative – for instance, 10% solar panel efficiency was used when current standard efficiency panels are 60% greater and the premium product is 100-140% greater. This document proves that there are nearly zero places on the planet that cannot make solar power their primary source of energy.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 18

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

Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies – Berkeley environmental engineer Dev Millstein and his colleagues estimate that between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths have been averted because of air quality benefits over the last decade or so, creating a total economic benefit between $30 billion and $113 billion. The benefits from wind work out to be more than 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is more than unsubsidized wind energy generally costs. Thousands of people are alive and tens of billions in health costs weren’t spent because of cleaner air. That’s the goal.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 17

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

Solar Panels Could Soon Come in Every Color of the Rainbow – Instead of using dyes or coatings like commercially available — and horribly inefficient — colored panels, these new panels are overlaid with dense networks of silicon cylinders, each less than a millionth of a meter wide. These cylinders use electromagnetic resonance to change the wavelength of light they scatter, which is a fancy way of saying they change color to whatever you want. Tesla’s Solar Roof was specifically made because of the aesthetic qualities. People in the USA save large amounts of their $ in their homes – and they fear home value falling if ‘ugly’ solar panels are on them. Article says the solar panels would lose 2% of efficiency with this technique. Probably not a financial game killer for most home owners (adding a few months to ROI) like the look of ‘bulky’ panels. expand full story

Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 16

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

French island tenders push down solar-plus-storage prices by 40% – The 67 projects that include PV panels and batteries attained a guaranteed purchase price for their generated power of €113.6 (US$133.97) per MWh. In June 2016 a 52MW tender for island territory solar-plus-storage projects awarded feed-in tariffs (FiTs) at a weighted electricity price of €204/MWh (US$229.77/MWh). Power prices on the islands is set at around or over €200 per MWh, the ministry said. Small projects coming in at these prices will put the fossil fuel industry out of business in remote locations like this – and there are billions worth of revenue of remote locations. Customer pricing fell from $0.20/kWh to $0.13/kWh – solar plus storage just dropped their local retail pricing 33%. Win.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 15

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

First Solar to Profit If Trump Slaps Tariffs on Panel Imports – “If there is a determination of injury, a modest type of remedy will not be harmful at all to the industry and I think it’ll survive and more jobs will be created,” FirstSolar CEO Mark Widmar said on a conference call. “Hopefully what it will do is enable more manufacturing in the U.S.” Two things about FirstSolar – first off, they manufacture their solar panels mostly in Ohio. Secondly, their product – thin film – is different from, and competes directly with, the product being talked about in this case. As such – FirstSolar will benefit greatly on projects built in the USA if the tariff is put in place. They’ll have significantly less downward pricing pressure as there really isn’t any utility scale solar panel production in the USA.

USITC Hearing — Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules – Here is the official calendar event of the trade case that begins today at 9.30 AM. My prediction – case is ruled in favor of Suniva. Not sure how many days it runs.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 14

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

Iowa utility offers high ‘green’ pricing without adding renewables – Three Beyond Solar options are available: 100 percent solar, a 50/50 split of solar and wind, and 25 percent solar with 75 percent wind. In each scenario, generation capacity is sold in increments of 1 kilowatt and is added to a customer’s existing bill. The cost per kilowatt is $13.61 for 100 percent solar, $6.70 for 50 percent solar and $3.24 for 25 percent solar. The green energy comes from two existing contracts – nothing new will get built…and that isn’t necessarily an issue – someone did build these two clean plants (one wind, the other solar) – but the pricing seems a bit out of whack. Stay conscious of the pricing and structure of green programs. expand full story

Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 11

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

ITC report: 26 U.S. module makers closed in the past five years – 26 U.S. module manufacturers have closed their manufacturing facilities in the past five years, a period during which imports of modules and cells increased nearly five-fold. In addition, the majority of U.S. module companies reported operating losses over the same time period. U.S. demand for solar products increased for the four years between 2012 and 2016, Malaysian, Chinese and Korean modules captured a larger share of the U.S. market in contrast U.S. module manufacturers. In a few phone conversations I’ve had with people in the know, there isn’t really a question as to whether or not US module manufacturers have suffered at the hands of Chinese monetary policy supporting ‘below profit’ solar panel manufacturers. The question becomes, not ‘Are US panel manufacturers being hurt?’, but instead ‘What is in the best interests of the nation-state?’ And that question becomes absolutely the question to ask as we are looking at a blunt, national tool to defend industry. Would a few highly robotocized factories populated by engineers/machinists/specialists/etc benefit the energy security of the state? Absolutely…however, are there also other, more complex, paths that might benefit us more?

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 10

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

Energy storage saves Arizona utility from building 20 miles of transmission, distribution lines – One argument often overlooked for solar power when considering what the value of net metering ought be, is that solar power – adding consistent power generation far from the power source – lowers the need for hardware upgrades because it generally lower system stress. Energy storage is now doing the same thing. This was an economic choice – nothing to do with ‘green.’

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 9

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

Orlando City Council to vote on 100% clean energy goal – Orlando is a big city, if they start pushing toward clean energy it’ll offer great press in Mickey Mouse land – plus it could make a real change. Cities aiming for 100% clean energy is still early though, and not as perfect as it sounds (some go deeper). However, actions by cities and statesas the Federal government flops – are leading to changes.

US offshore pipeline ‘tops 24GW’ in more than 20 planned projects – Most projects are planned for the northeast Atlantic, but schemes are also in the pipeline in the southeast Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Offshore wind getting bigger in the USA – prices will fall. Lots of people on the coasts of the USA, close to the energy source.

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Electrek Green Energy Brief Stories August 8

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

From spectacular vistas to the pits: A decades-long public land battle continues in the California desert – They want to build a pumped-storage facility in the desert – ‘extra’ solar energy pumps water uphill in the daytime, when the electricity is needed later the water spins turbines on the way back down. The Joshua Tree National Park’s water supply is at risk – an environmentally challenging area. I’m going with the park over the business folks – even if they’re saving some CO2 with pumped storage. We’ve got so few healthy, relatively intact habitats left – build this somewhere else.

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