Energy Stories June 25, 2021

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • BASF will buy 49.5% of Vattenfall’s 1.5 GW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.
  • Home energy efficiency upgrade company Sealed raises $16 million in Series B funding.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

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Energy Stories April 11, 2019

U.S. energy consumption set a record high in 2018, with wind, solar, and natural gas making the largest increases in energy supply, according to a new analysis.

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Energy Stories March 27, 2019

Global energy demand grew at its fastest pace in the last decade in 2018, increasing CO2 emissions to a record high, according to a new report.

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A recent Gallup poll shows most Americans support proposals that aim to “dramatically” reduce the use of fossil fuels. Solar and wind power also earned a strong show of support in the poll.

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Energy Stories March 26, 2019

A global transition to affordable and sustainable energy “has stagnated, with little or no progress achieved in the past five years,” according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.

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Energy Stories March 20, 2017

Low cost wind displacing coal – 56GW of coal at risk, that’s a big number – about 16% of the current stock around 339GW of coal. If wind runs at a 35% capacity factor and coal is around 60%, that’d mean about 96GW of wind to replace the at risk product – that would more than double the current US wind capacity. That’d be a lot of progress

East Coast off shore wind energy headlines coming daily it seems – Maryland weighing two wind proposals, 750MW vs 120MW – North Carolina, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts have all expressed interest in joining Rhode Island in the off-shore wind game. With the Department of Energy saying we’ve got greater than 2,000GW of off shore wind potential on US coasts – and that with HVDC lines that wind could meet 30% of US electricity needs, this might be a big game gearing up. Any advice on how to get off shore wind into a well balanced portfolio?

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Energy Stories December 13, 2016


After seven years of development and more than a year of construction, energy development group DeepwaterWind announced that the United States’ very first offshore wind farm, the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, is fully operational, and is now supplying electricity to the New England region’s power grid. The activation of the wind farm marks the first time that Block Island will be connected to New England’s power grid, and the first time the island will have access to clean, renewable energy.

The Block Island Wind Farm, which consists of five 6-megawatt wind turbines, is located 3.8 miles offshore and is expected to produce a total of 125,000 megawatt hours annually. Though small compared to European projects, the wind farm represents an important milestone both for DeepwaterWind and for the US in general.

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Energy Stories November 25, 2016


As of late, the idea of getting rid of coal in their own national electricity grid has become a popular one among several major nations across the world. At 6 least major countries, including Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and now Finland, have all recently announced the imminent phase-out of all coal-fired power plants. expand full story

Energy Stories September 26, 2016


On Aug. 11 a bid of US$0.46/W was put forward to build 500MW of solar power in China (a roughly calculated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) at $0.019/kWh). In the past week we saw a bid of $0.023/kWh to build 1.2GW of solar power in Abu Dhabi. This price of $0.023/kWh is nearly 25% lower than the $0.0299/kWh bid for a series of Abu Dhabi projects in late April. These extremely aggressive price falls are partially driven by unique situations – a Chinese solar panel production glut and historically low costs of money. But as Frank Wouters, the former director of Masdar Clean Energy puts it, “We’re still learning how to further reduce the cost of solar cells and other components, as well as operation and maintenance costs. There’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again.”

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Energy Stories May 2, 2016


Dubai received bid of $.0299/kWh for 800MW of solar power. This price represents the lowest yet recorded for solar power (and might not represent the end of the price drops…).

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received 5 bids from international organisations for the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, said HE Saeed Mohammed AlTayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. The lowest recorded bid at the opening of the envelopes was US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour. The next step in the bidding process will review the technical and commercial aspects of the bids to select the best one.

In the USA, in 2014 and with incentives, utility scale solar projects averaged $.05/kWh. On this bid alone, five companies bid below $.045/kW – without subsidies! expand full story

Energy Stories December 3, 2015

GvMTFpBLocal news reports in Chile are stating that “senior Tesla executives” met with government officials to evaluate a partnership with state-owned mining company Codelco in order to source lithium in the country.

The agreement would presumably be to supply Tesla’s Gigafactory under-construction in Nevada. expand full story

Energy Stories October 6, 2015

zsbeamSolarCity announced today a new project with the Temecula Valley Unified School District to install 6 MW of solar energy capacity and 2.6 MWh of energy storage at a total of 19 schools in the district. The solar installations will mainly consist of carports using the company’s ZS Beam system (see picture above). expand full story

Energy Stories September 25, 2015

SolarCity is introducing a new program to install solar in affordable housing communities

SolarCity, the biggest solar installer in the US, announced a new program to install solar for affordable housing communities. Under the new program, SolarCity will finance and install solar arrays for affordable housing developers, and then the company will distribute the energy produced by the solar panels to individual housing units.

Energy Stories September 10, 2015

f81d49ad9dcea625600f6a706700d751SolarCity announced today that the company signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Kaua’i electric utility (KIUC). SolarCity already built a 12-megawatt solar array for KUIC which  went into operation in September 2014 and now supplies 5% of the island’s electricity, but under the new deal, the California-based solar installer will develop a new solar array and a massive 52 MWh energy storage system to provide electricity when the sun is down. expand full story

Energy Stories August 8, 2015

New Zealand’s Vector to giveaway 130 solar installations with Tesla Powerwalls

In an effort to promote renewable energies, Vector launched a new campaign this week to offer 130 free 3 KW solar installations each equipped with Tesla’s new stationary energy storage battery pack, the Powerwall.

Soon after Tesla unveiled its series of energy storage products in April, Vector announced a partnership with the Silicon Valley car manufacturer to make the new products available in New Zealand.

Energy Stories August 5, 2015

SolarCity made its first international move today when it announced the acquisition of ILIOSS, one of the largest commercial and industrial solar developers in Mexico. Until today, SolarCity operated in 17 states in the US and they focused their efforts where electricity rates and government incentives are favorable to solar. Mexicans pay expensive rates for their electricity and they have plenty of sunshine, making Mexico an attractive market for the solar company. expand full story

Energy Stories July 31, 2015

6853228 Hickam Photo for BusinessWireSolarCity is the largest installer of residential solar so looking at their market performance is a useful indicator for the solar industry as a whole. This week, the company released their financial results for the second quarter of the year (April to June) and they achieved record bookings and installations.

Even though the company missed Wall Street’s expectations, they impressed the industry with 189 MW of solar power installed in just 3 months. I’m not overstating anything when I say this is impressive. For comparison, SolarCity installed more distributed solar power on rooftops than the capacity of a large solar power farm like the Centinela Solar Energy Project in California. expand full story

Energy Stories July 7, 2015

The Obama administration introduced today a new initiative to make it easier for all Americans, but in particular low- and moderate- income communities, to purchase solar energy and lower their energy bills. The initiative translates into executive actions from the administration and private sector commitments. expand full story

Energy Stories June 20, 2015

SolarCity, leader in residential solar installations, launched a new website called SolarCityNOW. The website displays realtime information on SolarCity’s energy output and new solar installations. The map illustrates how SolarCity acts like a decentralized electric utility. The company has over 200,000 installations, all connected to the internet in order to monitor the energy output of each system in realtime.  expand full story

Energy Stories June 11, 2015

If you are to set a goal for the production of renewable energy, why not make it 100% of total production? This is exactly what Hawaii did this week by enacting a law imposing requirements for electric utilities to supply the state with 100% renewable energy by 2045. Hawaii is already a leader in clean energy with 22% of their electricity production coming from wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy resources. The new policy, Act 97, would require electric utility to produce 30% of their energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade and 100% within 30 years.

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Energy Stories May 29, 2015

Gaelectric Group CEO, Brendan McGrath and Gaelectric Head of Energy Storage, Keith McGrane at the Tesla Energy event last month

Ireland’s Gaelectric Group entered into an agreement with Tesla Motors to build a 1 MW demonstration utility-scale project. The project is expected to be deployed in 2016. The company is among the firsts to sign a “utility-scale” deal with Tesla. Executives from Gaelectric were among the electric utility industry specialists invited to the event introducing Tesla Energy at Tesla’s design studio in Los Angeles. Here’s Brendan McGrath, Gaelectric Group CEO, on the deal:

We are delighted to be associated with Tesla in introducing its battery systems to Ireland. As a renewable energy group with a pipeline of 500 MW of wind power in Ireland and energy storage projects in Ireland and Europe, Gaelectric has an obvious incentive to drive the adoption of technologies that facilitate the economic dispatch of wind and other renewable sources.

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Energy Stories October 6, 2013


If you wonder about the Solar future of vehicle transportation, this is where you should start. The World Solar Challenge has a great deal of innovation in the solar field as well as pushing innovation in efficiency and recovering electricity for electric cars.

In friendly competition with others attempting the same goals, the teams depart Darwin aiming to be the first to arrive in Adelaide, some 3000km to the south.

It’s all about energy management! Based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.

These are arguably the most efficient electric vehicles.

Having made the journey to Darwin by successfully navigating quarantine, customs, scrutineering, safety inspections and undertaken event briefings, participants are ready to start their epic journey.

The elite Challenger class is conducted in a single stage from Darwin to Adelaide. Once the teams have left Darwin they must travel as far as they can until 5pm in the afternoon where they make camp in the desert where-ever they happen to be. Other classes have different requirements, but all teams must be fully self-sufficient and for all concerned it is a great adventure – many say the adventure of a lifetime.

During the journey there are 7 mandatory check points where observers are changed and team managers may update themselves with the latest information on the weather and their own position in the field. Here teams may perform the most basic of maintenance only – checking and maintenance of tyre pressure and cleaning of debris from the vehicle.

There are also undisclosed check points which may be imposed by the event officials to ensure regulatory compliance.

Will a future Leaf or Tesla be solar powered? Probablynot any time soon, but slapping solar panels on top of electric cars can only help improve their efficiency, extend their range and rely less on the grid. If it is any indication how far we need to go, the Prius had a short lived solar panel that only cooled the car.

Here’s a great gallery of the cars. More videos below: expand full story

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