Solar Stories November 22

The US House of Representatives passed a tax-reform bill on Nov. 16 that would change the amount of tax credit each kWh of wind power created gets going forward. The US Senate, disagreeing, has returned a bill without this change.

While being argued, signed projects at various stages of development are on hold – and some estimate $50 billion worth of planned wind projects might not be developed.

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ZeroMassWater has developed a solar panel kit – “Source” – that uses its electricity to draw water from the atmosphere. The kit delivers up to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) of pure water per day in optimal locations. The unit can be installed and integrated into a regular house.

“Our vision is perfect water for every person, in every place” – Cody Friesen, the founder, CEO and MIT PhD.

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

Air pollution may cause infertility for a ‘significant number of couples’, warn scientists – The study showed that for every 5 ug/m3 increase in tiny particles called PM2.5s, there was a 26 per cent increased risk of being in the bottom 10 per cent of normal sperm size and shape. The effect was found when particle counts rose over 25 µg/m³. In London yesterday, particulates rose to 69 µg/m³ in some areas. This just adds to the list people. It kills us. It lowers our IQ. It deforms our children. It warms our planet. And it slows us down from having children.

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Solar Stories November 21

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

Scotland ‘on target’ for 100% renewable energy by 2020 – Scotland had been clever in dealing with objectors to wind farms with grants to local communities which allowed them to take an equity share in developments. “There is clear evidence in Scotland that supporting local communities to get involved in – and benefit from – the local energy system enables a range of related social and economic co-benefits.” – Two things here, 1. Scotland is going to have a completely emission free electricity system in less than two and a half years. How cool is that? 2. One of the base emotions of the distributed energy philosophy is that it also distributes the revenue. Germany’s programs – even though they increase the prices of electricity a non-trivial amount – are widely supported because, my gut says, that 50% of the renewable energy is owned by regular people directly. Money fixing a lot of issues.

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Solar Stories November 20

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

How Local Utilities Gamed the Natural-Gas Market – On 37 cold days, when demand was high, unused pipeline space resulting from the scheduling changes represented about 28% of the daily capacity typically used by gas-fired generators. Eversource and Avangrid, routinely booked large gas deliveries, then cut orders sharply at the last minute. Yet nine other gas utility companies taking gas from Algonquin didn’t cancel at the last minute. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is reviewing the findings, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to open an investigation on the matter, and both the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Massachusetts Public Utilities Department are launching inquiries of their own. Here’s the key – the utilities are now using these peak periods of demand, when the pipeline was 29% empty, to lobby for a new pipeline that will be paid for by consumers and guaranteed to be used. Research from around the country will probably show us the truth of the situation.

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Solar Stories November 17

Heliatek installed the ‘world’s largest building integrated organic photovoltaic’ (BIOPV) system on top of a school in La Rochelle, France. 22kW of their ‘HeliaSol’ product was installed in one day by six people.

The ultra-environmentalist solar installation is seemingly 7-8% efficient, weighs 1/10th the weight of a standard solar panel and is held to the roof via an adhesive sticker on the backside of the panel.

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

40% of U.S. Homeowners Interested in Bundling Solar Power With Electric Utility Bill – “Bundling solar with energy services received the most consumer interest—40% of U.S. homeowners in broadband households are interested in bundling solar power purchasing with their electricity bill.” Over 50% of U.S. broadband households would purchase a smart device to manage energy consumption during TOU peak hours. The first quote here – 40% of broadband households wanting solar is a huge opportunity for the electric utilities to make money off of a lot of people. A chance to stay relevant. That second item could be a home battery system – lots of people wouldn’t mind throttling house hardware to take advantage of pricing disparities. Maybe batteries at home and solar on the grid is a big subset of buyers.

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Solar Stories November 16

Per a press release from the Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (Cenace) of Mexico, the department received bids for 3TWh of solar electricity, with the lowest bids being 1.77¢/kWh coming from Italian multinational ENEL Green Power.

This record low price of electricity on earth, just beats out the 1.79¢/kWh from Saudi Arabia, and is part of a pattern marching toward 1¢/kWh bids that are coming in 2019 (or sooner).

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

Chinese Solar Maker LONGi Mulling U.S. Plant as Tariffs Loom – Longi began evaluating the move before a U.S. trade case was filed in April. The company is evaluating multiple sites for a cell and module plant, and potential state incentives would play an important role in any decision. “Our analysis has become more complex. We can’t make an investment decision without knowing the 201 tariff rate, and know how long it would be implemented for.” The tariffs have been suggested for last for four years. A solar panel manufacturing panel seems to be able to come online within a year once negotiations are complete (with an existing structure in place). Solar cell factories I’ve been told – but not seen direct analysis – take 2-4 years. The silicon would likely come from US manufacturers.

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Solar Stories November 15

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

Cheese and Bourbon Face Risk of Backlash From U.S. Solar TariffThe dispute hinges on an obscure trade law that bankrupt panel manufacturer Suniva Inc. has invoked to ask Trump for protection against imports. The measure gives the president broad authority to levy tariffs, but the U.S. has lost every time the law has been challenged at the WTO. “If we tell the WTO to shove it, China may target Kentucky bourbon and Wisconsin dairy, creating natural opponents to the tariffs in Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan,” Clark Packard, a trade policy analyst for the Washington free-market think tank R Street Institute. Ahhh, I love the smell of fresh politics with my coffee! The article notes it could take up to 18 months for the case to hit the courts after the tariff is imposed, and then the US could appeal.

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