Solar Stories Yesterday

At 11.07 AM this morning, in Washington DC, the United States International Trade Commission ruled 4-0, in agreement with Suniva that the US Solar Panel industry has suffered harm from the global solar manufacturing industry.

The process now follows that on October 3rd, this group will have hearings on what the remedy to this injury should be. On October 13th, they will vote on a remedy to recommend to the President. The President has until January 12th to respond with the offices final ruling on what those remedies will be. See bottom of the article for full schedule.

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

U.S. Tariffs on Solar Imports May Hinge on Free-Trade Deals – Could a country like South Korea, with solar panel manufacturers like LG and Hanwha Q Cells, be in a stronger position if the International Trade Commission rules against the global solar panel market? South Korea, along with several others, are part of free trade deals with the USA – and their solar panel investments are NOT dependent on underpriced Chinese capital. South Korea, which entered into a free-trade deal with the U.S. in 2012, accounted for about 20 percent of solar panels imported into the U.S. over the last 12 months, according to data from the commission. Mexico and Canada, covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement, supplied about 8 percent. And Singapore, whose trade deal with the U.S. dates to 2004, accounted for 4 percent. If these groups are given any sort of benefit in considerations, it might be non-trivial as it represents 33% of solar panel imports into the USA. And both LG and Hanwha offer premium products.

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Solar Stories September 21

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

Solar sedan and sports coupe in race across Australia – and to commercial market – Clenergy TeamArrow Founder Cameron Tuesley said the car’s energy management system included a highly efficient solar array that generates 1.1 kilowatts total power, making it able to of self-charge from sunlight, as well to charge from the electricity grid. The Arrow STF (Sports Touring Framework) was officially launched in Queensland on Thursday, after being designed and built in Brisbane. The sports coupe has a top speed of 150km per hour and can travel 1000km before needing to recharge. Violet relies on around 7kW of horsepower at 110km/h, and two 1.5kW motors that run at 98 per cent efficiency, the UNSW team says. She also weighs in at only 380kg, thanks to a twill carbon-fibre monocoque chassis. I’ve never seriously considered that a solar powered day driver car could really get it done – but every year this contest comes along, I see my levels of doubt fall. If the reality of the majority of our travel are short trips, in city traffic, at slow speeds and there is only one person in the car – why can’t we have a main driver being solar and access to rental/uber for longer trips?

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Solar Stories September 20

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

Quiet energy revolution underway in Japan as dozens of towns go off the gridHigashi Matsushima has built its own independent transmission grid and solar generating panels as well as batteries to store power that can keep the city running for at least three days, according to Atsumi. The city of 40,000 chose to construct micro-grids and de-centralized renewable power generation to create a self-sustaining system capable of producing an average of 25 percent of its electricity without the need of the region’s local power utility. The headline seems a bit strong as of yet – there is no reference to dozens of towns off of the grid. However, this town can now run without the grid. And I bet, in times of stress the town would be able to figure out how to indefinitely stay off of the grid. Major grids composed of many smaller grids sounds pretty healthy.

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We have seen some pretty strange electric car charging solutions in the past, like solar panels deploying out of a car or chargers attached to a bear, but that’s something else.

A giraffe-looking electric car charging station powered by both solar and wind. expand full story

Solar Stories September 19

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

Want solar panels? You still have to pay Florida – This article is wrong regarding going off grid. It is NOT illegal to go off grid in Florida – and you don’t necessarily have to pay the utilities if you want solar power. First point – it isn’t illegal to go off grid. A while back there was a court case in which a person tried to go off grid completely – solar, water and sewage. The local jurisdiction condemned her home saying it wasn’t habitable. She took them to court. The judge ruled that going off grid solar and water were acceptable. However, since the lady was still connected to the local sewage system – but had disconnected the service, she was still liable for costs. Additionally – since this particular jurisdiction had water+sewage interconnected, she wouldn’t be able to go off grid for water unless she installed a septic tank and managed her own sewage. Second point of the article – that is partially true – the electric utilities have lobbied to make ‘anti-islanding’ a thing. Your solar power system will shut off when the grid goes down so you don’t backfeed local poles. This protects line workers. Be careful the conspiracy we bite onto.

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Solar Stories September 18

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

Decision makers are ‘compelled’ by value of solar-plus-storage – “They’re willing to trade the savings from the solar for the resiliency. So the school is still saving money on the solar-plus-storage system, they’re just not saving as much. Being able to trade dollars they didn’t have in the budget – the savings they created out of the solar – for this priceless public service, that’s a big deal.” Local power production, along with energy storage, is worth more than the monetary savings from solar electricity alone. After watching hurricanes debilitate local populations administrators are starting to wise up to the weaknesses of being dependent on distributed wiring systems. Energy storage – local batteries – are going to rule the world.

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Solar Stories September 15

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

CAISO Regionalization, 100% Clean Energy Bills Stall – California hasn’t been able to push its 100% renewables bill – #SB100 – through just yet, and that means it won’t happen until – at the earliest January. “(SB100) is not going to move — there is overwhelming opposition to it. And there is not time to work that out,” Assembly member Chris Holden (D) said. One batch of opposition comes from unions who say a push toward 100% renewables will harm their job prospects. Another interesting push – ‘regionalization’ of CAISO, California’s main power grid management body, would allow California and other states to more easily trade renewable energy among themselves. Now, California will often export additional solar power to Arizona – slowly cleaning their grid – but not in an official and organized manner. Regionalization would help push that along. Of course – that bill doesn’t look like it will pass either.

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Solar Stories September 14

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

The great nutrient collapse – In 2004, a landmark study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and vitamin C had declined significantly across most garden crops since 1950. In 2014, Myers and a team of other scientists published a large, data-rich study in the journal Nature that looked at key crops grown at several sites in Japan, Australia and the United States that also found rising CO2 led to a drop in protein, iron and zinc. Not only is CO2 increasing weather effects like hurricanes – it’s also lowering the nutritional density of your food. The mission to get clean energy and transportation is only that much more important.

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Solar Stories September 13

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

DOE Officially Marks SunShot’s $1 per Watt Goal for Utility-Scale Solar – And you know what: its years early and doesn’t include subsidies. The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released new research today that shows the average price of utility-scale solar is now under $1 per watt and below 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s higher than the record-breaking project bids we’ve seen in the U.S. and abroad in recent years. But that’s because DOE calculations for levelized cost of energy (LCOE) do not include subsidies — such as the federal Investment Tax Credit — and are based on the average climate in Kansas City, Missouri. Thank you SunShot, thank you China and thank you Obama.

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