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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 01, 2017, 02:21:44 pm »

Tesla Starts Production of Solar Cells in Buffalo  


August 31, 2017, 2:27 PM ADT August 31, 2017, 3:33 PM ADT

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 31, 2017, 12:19:34 pm »

The SmartFlower: The world's first all-in-one plug and play PV system harvests 40% MORE ENERGY than fixed PV panels.       
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2017, 12:28:20 pm »

Chinese Government Confirms 24.4 Gigawatts Worth Of New Solar In H1’17 

August 8th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill

China’s National Energy Administration last Friday confirmed previous reports that the country had installed a mammoth total of 24.4 GW worth of new solar across the first half of 2017, up from 22 GW in the first half of 2015 and only 7.7 GW in the first half of 2015.

Last month we reported that the China PV Industry Association (CPIA), the country’s solar PV association, had published figures that showed China had installed 24.4 GW (gigawatts) of new solar across the first half of 2017. That included as much as 16 or 17 GW in the second quarter, well up on the 7.21 GW that was installed in the first quarter of the year.

Now, figures released by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) confirm July’s preliminary figures, highlighting a 9% year-over-year growth for the country’s solar deployment. Amazingly, June ran away with phenomenal numbers, seeing 13.5 GW added — over half of the total for the first half of the year.

The total 24.4 GW was broken out as 17.29 GW worth of utility-scale solar and 7.11 GW worth of distributed solar.

Analysis from the Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory (AECEA) found that three provinces were responsible for over half of all rooftop solar deployment — the Anhui province with 1.38 GW, the Zhejiang province with 1.25 GW, and the Shandong province with 1.23 GW.

This bring’s China’s cumulative capacity up to 101.82 GW, while the country’s solar curtailment has fallen significantly, down 4.5% year-over-year to 37 billion kWh as of June 30. Specific regions are not fairing as well as the national average, however, with curtailment of up to 26% curtailment in the province of Xinjiang, and 22% in the province of Gansu.

Analysts further expect that China will surpass 2016’s record-breaking installation figure of 34.2 GW, due in part to national policies driving speedy completion of projects. Further, Mercom Capital Group explains that “demand in China going into second half is a lot stronger due to the 5.5 GW Top Runner Program, which carries a deadline of September 30, 2017, and the Poverty Alleviation program (all year).”

Looking beyond 2017, the NEA last month provided guidance through to 2020 for its solar installation expectations, expecting cumulative installations to reach between 190 GW and 200 GW at the end of the country’s 13th Five Year Plan. Analysts suggest that total cumulative installed solar might actually go higher than that, considering that the new guidance doesn’t include distributed solar PV totals and poverty alleviation project targets, which means it could go as high as 230 GW by 2020.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 24, 2017, 07:00:24 pm »

Here's Why There Are Twice as Many Solar Jobs as Coal Jobs

The solar energy revolution just keeps getting stronger. Last year, 130,000 people worked as solar installers, while only 51,000 people worked in coal mining. What caused such a drastic shift, and what does it mean for the future?

Check out this enlightening video from Vox to see the most important factors—the ones politicians don't talk about when they talk about bringing back coal jobs.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 22, 2017, 02:16:36 pm »

Elon Musk Tells Governors About Solar Power & US Gigafactories

July 19th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


Solar In The US

Elon Musk at NGA“If you wanted to power the entire U.S. with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah. You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States.”

Of course, some grid storage capability would need to be included. Musk has an answer for that, too. “The batteries you need to store the energy, to make sure you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square mile. That’s it.

Why is Musk so high on solar? Because it’s there, it’s free, and it reliable. “People talk about fusion and all that, but the sun is a giant fusion reactor in the sky. It’s really reliable.  

It comes up every day. If it doesn’t, we’ve got bigger problems,” he joked.    


Agelbert NOTE: Check out the comments at the link. The educated folks there take the fossil fueler troll naysayers apart piece by piece.

Also, some great stats on earth's land area and use, along with some excellent solar panel appliications for preventing evaporation of hydroelectric power dam surface water are mentioned. Enjoy!


At $200/sqmeter that is 4 trillion for the PV, at $500/KWHr of battery that is 8 trillion for the battery, at a billion dollars per 200km of transmission of 2GW and 2.5 trillion for transmission lines for a grand total of 12.5 trillion dollars. With an average net weighted life time of 30 years (shorter for battery and longer for transmission lines) and 3% interest rate we get 750 billion dollars per year not including local distribution. Or about $7000 per worker per year. This does not include transport fuels, home heating, industrial energy use. About a factor of three for all that give $21000 per worker per year for US energy from solar.


Have you entirely lost your mind? Listen, Einstein, before you start crunching your incredibly inaccurate numbers for Renewable Energy solar and battery backup powered US grid, I suggest you LOOK INTO the MTBF of EVERY internal combustion engine out there NOW that moves people, things and provides power for and power backup for the grid and hospitals.

After you find out the GARGATUAN amount of money that costs NOW to operate, maintain and replace those polluting PIGS (never mind the HORRENDOUS Social Costs of Carbon that SHORT TERM PROFIT STUPIDITY is DUMPING on we-the-people that INCREASES MASSIVELY our health care cost, LOWERS work attendance (i.e. PRODUCTIVITY) and generally makes it MORE COSTLY to grow crops), THEN we can talk about comparing numbers.

There is only one thing I can say about your ridiculous number mumbo jumbo, straw grasping attempt to deride the Renewable Energy solution (SEE BELOW):

Unlike Edpell  , who can only sound the Death knell,
objective people know better.  

Agelbert NOTE: Edpell, DO NOT comment unless, and until, you have completely read the following post (see below). I will delete your post if you do. I will delete your post if you try to pump more unsubstantiated disinformation bullshit on this thread. Have a nice day, Fossil Fuel defending TROLL.

100% Clean, Renewable Energy Is Possible    — Setting The Record Straight

July 22nd, 2017 by Karl Burkart


Since 2009, Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy, and more than 85 coauthors have written a series of peer-reviewed journal articles evaluating the scientific, engineering, and economic potential of transitioning the world’s energy infrastructures to 100% clean, renewable wind, water, and solar (WWS) power for all purposes by 2050, namely electricity, transportation, heating, cooling, and industrial energy uses.

These papers have helped to shift the global conversation around the possibility of completely decarbonizing the world’s energy sector through renewables. They have helped to motivate a wave of 100% renewable energy commitments by over 100 cities and subnational governments, including 35 cities in North America, 100 large international companies, and 48 countries. California, the world’s 6th largest economy, just announced its 100% by 2045 renewable target and proposed U.S. House Resolution HR540, U.S. Senate Resolution SR 632, and U.S. Senate Bill S.987 calling for the United States to go to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 22, 2017, 12:27:13 pm »

Elon Musk Tells Governors About Solar Power & US Gigafactories

July 19th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


Solar In The US

Elon Musk at NGA“If you wanted to power the entire U.S. with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah. You only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States.”

Of course, some grid storage capability would need to be included. Musk has an answer for that, too. “The batteries you need to store the energy, to make sure you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square mile. That’s it.

Why is Musk so high on solar? Because it’s there, it’s free, and it reliable. “People talk about fusion and all that, but the sun is a giant fusion reactor in the sky. It’s really reliable.  

It comes up every day. If it doesn’t, we’ve got bigger problems,” he joked.    


Agelbert NOTE: Check out the comments at the link. The educated folks there take the fossil fueler troll naysayers apart piece by piece.

Also, some great stats on earth's land area and use, along with some excellent solar panel appliications for preventing evaporation of hydroelectric power dam surface water are mentioned. Enjoy!


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 19, 2017, 02:16:34 pm »

Panda-Shaped Solar Power Farm Providing Clean Energy To China
July 18th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


China Merchants New Energy Group is one of the largest clean energy companies in China. It is deep into a solar power project that will eventually cover more than 1,500 acres with solar panels. The first phase of construction was completed on June 30 — a 248 acre solar farm that looks like a a giant panda from the air. When complete, several panda-shaped areas will populate the Chinese countryside.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 14, 2017, 09:49:56 pm »

Rooftop Solar is Growing Like a Weed, Despite Fossil Fuel Billionaires trying to Crush It

July 14, 2017

Thom talks about the growing interest and support for residential solar power applications, and all the way dirty fossil fuel companies   are trying to stop it that we have to stand up to for a clean, renewable future.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 14, 2017, 02:22:08 pm »

Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution

By Sam Hall  and Brian Eckhouse

July 13, 2017, 7:00 PM EDT

GREAT photos!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 03, 2017, 01:55:48 pm »

"You do not Drill for solar. You do not Mine for solar. You MANUFACTURE SOLAR; THAT CREATES JOBS!"   

Solar power is already saving lives in the US. Here's how 

Updated by David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Jul 2, 2017, 9:22am EDT


And finally, these are just benefits — no account of the costs of a large-scale shift to solar, which are real.

Okay, with all that said, on to the results! 

1) Benefits of existing solar

Here are the annual benefits of the solar installed in the US to date:

benefits of solar (DOE)

For the chart averse, that's:

Annual reduction of 17 million metric tons of CO2, which is, based on the central estimate of the social cost of carbon, "equivalent to an annual global benefit of $700 million."

Annual reductions of "10,000, 10,300, and 1,200 metric tons of SO2, NOx, and PM2.5, respectively ... which provide annual domestic air quality benefits of $890 million."

Annual water "withdrawal and consumption savings of 294 billion gallons (0.8% of power sector total) and 7.6 billion gallons (0.5% or power sector total), respectively, with much of those savings located in drought-impacted California."

It's worth keeping in mind that the somewhat clinical phrase "domestic air quality benefits" is another way of describing fewer kids having asthma attacks, fewer adults missing workdays, and fewer people dying of respiratory and circulatory ailments.

It's also worth keeping in mind that none of these social benefits are priced into the cost of solar; it is not compensated for its "positive externalities." If it were, it would knock almost 5 cents a kilowatt-hour off the price, which would mean the Sunshot cost target was already achieved.

Agelbert NOTE: Give the subsidies to Renewable energy Technologies, not polluters that are killing us! 

2) Benefits of solar at Sunshot target levels

Here are the benefits of hitting the Sunshot solar penetration targets (again, as compared with a scenario in which no new solar is built):

benefits of sunshot solar (DOE)

For the chart-averse, that's:

A cumulative savings of 10 percent of power sector emissions from 2015 to 2050, which represents a $259 billion global climate benefit.

Reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) sufficient to secure a cumulative $167 billion worth of avoided health and environmental damages.

Reduction of power sector water withdrawals by 46 trillion gallons (4 percent of total sector withdrawals) and water consumption by 5 trillion gallons (9 percent of total sector consumption). Importantly, water savings are concentrated in arid states.

The climate and pollution benefits together amount to $400 billion between 2015 and 2050, measured in present-value terms and using central estimates.

3) Where the benefits are concentrated

Finally, it's interesting to note that the local benefits of solar vary significantly based on what kind of power it displaces. In places where it pushes aside coal (as opposed to natural gas or even wind), benefits are highest.

I already mentioned that the water-saving benefits of solar are overwhelmingly concentrated in arid California. Here's where the local air quality benefits are concentrated:

solar air quality benefits (DOE)

On the left are the monetized air quality benefits. On the right are the equivalent changes in solar prices if the benefits were included in costs. Looks like the heavily populated Northeastern corridor could use more solar! 


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 16, 2017, 08:02:56 pm »

Nevada Reinstates Net Metering

Nevada has reinstated a key rooftop solar policy that advocates say will revive the solar industry in the state. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that reinstates net metering yesterday at the Tesla warehouse in Las Vegas. After Nevada did away with net metering in late 2015, the state saw a 32 percent decline in solar installation jobs. 

Solar giants Tesla, Sunrun and Vivint Solar have said they will return to Nevada and expand operations in light of the new policy 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 05, 2017, 04:32:27 pm »

Energy Dept. Pulls The Rug Out From Under Its Own Coal-Friendly Grid Study With Pitch For Wind, Solar   :o ;D

June 5th, 2017 by Tina Casey

full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 31, 2017, 09:23:28 pm »

Trina IBC Solar Cell Record 'Significant'

May 26, 2017

By Charles Thurston  Freelance Writer

 The 15-MW Sunshine Coast Solar Farm in Valdora powered by Trina Solar panels
The recent announcement by Trina Solar that it had reached a new solar conversion efficiency record of 24.13 percent in a Changzhou, China laboratory for an interdigitated back contact (IBC) mono-crystalline silicon cell, is a “significant achievement,” according to a U.S. laboratory analyst.

“The efficiency is significant given the size of the cell at six inches,” says Abasifreke Ebong, a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The 156 millimeter (mm) ×156 mm solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 24.13 percent as independently measured by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET).

Trina said that the n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz (cubic zirconia) Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization.

Ebong notes that “the process of fabricating the cell is not outlined, which I believe is still the expensive lithography technology. Also, it is a laboratory demonstration which may take another year or so to implement in production.” The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at the Charlotte Research Institute campus of UNC Charlotte, is a state-of-the-art research center that conducts applied research.
The technical description of the cell test includes the following: “The champion cell presents the following characteristics: an open-circuit voltage Voc (overclocking) of 702.7mV (millivolt), a short-circuit current density Jsc (short-circuit current density abbreviation) of 42.1 mA/cm2 (milliamps per square centimeter) and a fill factor (FF) of 81.47 percent,” Trina reported.

In April 2016, Trina Solar announced an improved industrial low-cost IBC solar cell with a total-area efficiency of 23.5 percent. Total-area efficiencies are always lower than aperture-efficiencies, due to efficiency losses related to the edges of the cells and electrical contact areas.   
In February 2014, Trina Solar and the Australian National University (ANU) jointly announced a world record aperture efficiency of 24.37 percent for a laboratory-scale 4.0 cm2 IBC solar cell, fabricated on a Float Zone (FZ) n-type substrate and using photolithography patterning. In December 2014, Trina Solar announced a 22.94 percent total-area efficiency for an industrial version, large size (156mm x 156mm, 6" substrate) IBC solar cell, the company noted.

"Over the last few years, our R&D team has managed to continuously improve the efficiency of our n-type IBC solar cells, pushing the limits and surpassing our previous records, and approaching very closely to the performance of our best small-area laboratory cell developed in collaboration with ANU three years ago,” said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar.

"IBC solar cells are one of the most efficient silicon solar cells available today and are particularly suitable for applications for which the requirement of a high power density is more important than LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity). We are very happy to announce today that our industrial large area IBC cell has reached almost the same level of performance as the small-area laboratory cell made three years ago with a photolithography process,” Verlinden added. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 28, 2017, 09:00:25 pm »

China Activates World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

May 26th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


The panels help to conserve precious freshwater supplies by lowering the amount of evaporation into the surrounding atmosphere  . In return, the water keeps ambient temperatures around the solar panels lower, which helps boost their efficiency and limit long-term heat-induced degradation.

The most interesting thing about the floating solar power plant in Huainan, however, is that the lake supporting it was created by rain after the surrounding land collapsed in a process known as subsidence following intensive coal mining operations over a period of years. Anhui province is rich in coal reserves and has been the source of much of the coal used to power the Chinese economy.

“Sungrow supplied the plant’s central inverter unit, which transforms direct current from the solar panels into an alternating current for delivery to the local power grid,” I Drop News reports. “The manufacturer also supplied a customized combiner box that aggregates power from multiple solar panel arrays and sends it to the central inverter. The combiner box has been specifically designed for floating PV plants and can operate in environments with high humidity and salt spray.


Agelbert Note: Well, will wonders never cease?  ;D Renewable Energy actually benefited from intensive coal mining caused subsidence.  :D
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 26, 2017, 02:57:06 pm »

Arizona Utility Buys Solar Power at ‘Historically Low Price’

May 25, 2017 By Renewable Energy World Editors
Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) said this week that it will buy solar energy at a historically low price from a new local system large enough to power 21,000 homes.

The 100-MW solar array and an accompanying 30-MW energy storage system are expected to be in service by the end of 2019. TEP said that, excluding the cost of storage, it will buy the system’s output for 20 years for less than $0.03/kWh — less than half as much as it agreed to pay under similar contracts in recent years.

“This new local system combines cost-effective energy production with cutting edge energy storage, helping us provide sustainable, reliable and affordable service to all of our customers for decades to come,” Carmine Tilghman, senior director of energy supply and renewable energy for TEP, said in a May 22 statement.

An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources will build, own and operate the system on a site owned by the City of Tucson located inside TEP’s service territory south of the metropolitan area.

NextEra also will build and operate a long-duration battery storage system on the site that will help integrate renewable energy resources into TEP’s local energy grid. The storage system will be capable of providing up to 120 MWh of power. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 10, 2017, 01:35:06 pm »

Seraphim Solar Increases Module Production Capacity to 360 MW To Meet Growing PV Demand  

May 10, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors
US-based solar PV module manufacturer, Seraphim Solar , announced last month that it is on target for its planned Phase 2 expansion, which would add 200 MW of manufacturing capacity to its existing 160-MW facility.

In addition, the company said that its high-efficiency, 60-cell solar modules, designed for the residential distributed generation market, are available for purchase in addition to its 72-cell module offering.

The company’s rapid growth rate significantly contributes to the local and national economy, and continues to provide more jobs for Americans, said Seraphim. The company is partnered with the city of Jackson, Mississippi to recruit employees and local companies.

Seraphim Solar’s “Made in the USA” solar modules are expected to meet the strong residential and commercial demand for solar energy. Seraphim said that it is consistently recognized within the highest rankings of the most trusted and most stringent testing organizations in the industry, and is the first module manufacturer to pass TÜV SÜD’s ‘Thresher' test, which was co-developed by the US Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to measure true long-term performance and safety.

The solar energy industry has a strong outlook for 2017. According to Mercom Capital’s most recent industry overview, Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing) into the solar sector in Q1 2017 doubled with $3.2 billion compared to $1.6 billion in Q4 2016. Year-over-year funding in Q1 2017 was about 15 percent higher compared to the $2.8 billion raised in Q1 2016.
In addition to large-scale solar, electric generating capacity from small-scale solar systems is increasing. In 2016, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the U.S. added 3.4 GW of small-scale solar generating capacity across all three end-use sectors, ending the year with more than 13.1 GW of installed capacity. According to EIA estimates, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts had the most small-scale solar capacity with 5.4 GW, 1.3 GW, and 1 GW, respectively.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 09, 2017, 02:20:51 pm »

New Virginia Law Expands Solar Energy Development Authority to Include Energy Storage
May 9, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors     solar
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe yesterday signed a bill authorizing the expansion of the state’s Solar Energy Development Authority to include energy storage.

The legislation is part of a series of bills signed by McAuliffe that promote wind, solar and energy storage technologies.

SB 1258, introduced by Sen. Adam Ebbin, expands the purpose of the new Solar Energy and Battery Storage Development Authority to include positioning the state as a leader in research, development, commercialization, manufacturing, and deployment of energy storage technology.

The powers of the authority are expanded to include

•Promoting collaborative efforts among Virginia's public and private institutions of higher education in research, development, and commercialization efforts related to energy storage,

•Monitoring relevant developments nationally and globally,

•Identifying and working with the state’s industries and nonprofit partners.

In addition, the measure expands the size of the authority 11 to 15 members.

“Today, I am honored to sign these bills into law, furthering the great work we’re doing to support and promote the clean energy sector across the Commonwealth,” McAuliffe said at the bill signing ceremony, according to the governor’s office. “It is clear that Virginia is moving in the right direction, especially with the recent announcement of record growth in our solar industry, but there is still work to do.  Together, with our partners in the General Assembly and the private sector, I will continue to implement policies that bolster the entire clean energy industry in the Commonwealth.”
The governor’s office said that other bills pertaining to renewables that were signed by McAuliffe yesterday include:

•SB 1393, which creates a path for the development of community solar programs in the service territories of Appalachian Power Company (ApCo), Dominion, and the Electric Cooperatives.  Each utility will develop its own territory-specific program that allows citizens and businesses the ability to “subscribe” to receive electricity generated by a small centrally-located solar generation system.

•SB 1394 and HB 2303, which are identical bills, create a Small Agricultural Generators Program — a new framework for the generation of renewable energy at agricultural facilities and how that energy can be sold to utilities.

•SB 1395 increases the allowable maximum size of renewable projects to be eligible to be permitted through the state’s Permit by Rule (PBR) process from 100 MW to 125 MW.  These projects are exempt from environmental review and permitting by the State Corporation Commission. SB 1395 also exempts projects that are being built for use by a single customer of a utility from having to apply for and receive a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the SCC.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 06, 2017, 01:11:28 pm »

The Solar PV Life Cycle Dilemma
May 5, 2017

By John R. Balfour 

John R. Balfour, MEP, PhD, is President and CTO of AstroPower Corp. Dr. Balfour has spent 32 of his 40 years of PV experience as an EPC and has been a PV energy consultant and author since 1977.

Historically and in essence, electric utilities simply do not buy 20- to 25-year energy generation technologies. In fact, utilities and public works organizations seldom if ever build on such a short time schedule. It is simply not practical or profitable to build a 25-year coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro project. Utility infrastructure development, engineering and construction do not lend themselves to short-term energy generation, financing or thinking.

There could be a message in this for the solar PV industry, where the present 20- to 25-year model is an anomaly that is slowing progress for the industry on our road to maturity. While price pressure has driven the industry thus far, is it possible that a number of important issues have been ignored?

Our logic flows in the following process.

A project is planned; land is identified, tied up either in purchase or lease; and entitlements and other agreements are secured that include long-term agreements for and with utilities, grid operators, government agencies and others. The project is then put up for EPC bidding, designed, graded and fenced; roads and substations are built, all taking a substantial amount of time, energy, effort and fiscal resources.

This does not include the base PV plant itself, which is also complex and expensive.

After all of this effort, the plant itself is often compromised in a rush to deliver an energy generator that’s primary focus is on being inexpensive. Slim specifications are generally assembled for EPC bidding that places the vast majority of decisions in the hands of the EPCs, not the owners. The challenge here is that if you have five EPCs bidding, the owner can or will end up with five different plant offerings. It may not necessarily be the best offering for the best plant life or levelized cost of energy.
Historically, the traditional values utilities require in projects include reliability, availability, maintainability, testability, and safety, which in the PV industry today tend to become secondary or tertiary issues. In essence, if it isn’t clearly detailed and required in the project specification prior to design, owners should not expect these traditionally valuable items. This is not negligence due to the EPC, it is simply because they were never required in initial bidding documentation.

Today, specifications for PV plants are minimal, whereas for all other energy generation technologies, they tend to be quite detailed and specific. This raises and supports a number of questions as to: “Is this the right model for a viable long-term and cost-effective approach to delivering energy?”

At the beginning of the existing approach, insufficient weight and discussion is given to what happens in years 10, 15 and 20, much less year 26 if any. This assumes that the plant actually lasts that long. In fact, if the plant has not been designed for a fuller more robust life: “What are the odds that plant will actually meet the initial design life?”

Issues of repowering are presently considered esoteric, something to be discussed over a drink, however not important enough, seemingly, to be a key element of the planning process. If this were not the case, then each PV project would include a repowering and a detailed site restoration plan.

Once all of the preliminary work has been completed and a plant has been built, how many issues were not given the full attention that they might have been if it was any other energy generation technology?

We propose that this issue becomes a greater part of the discussion in the PV industry and that the existing business model be challenged. That challenge should result in a new model that is more preemptive in nature. After all, once you’ve put that entire infrastructure in, “How much more does it cost to meet existing utility requirements versus tearing the plant out between years 12 and 25 or having to do a major rebuild?”

Logic and finance appears to favor the longer-term approach.  More importantly, it gives a far better opportunity for utility companies and/or other buyers of energy to buy consistently reliable, available, maintainable, safe and economically viably priced energy.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 28, 2017, 02:21:05 pm »

Notes from the Solar Underground:  ;) US Solar’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
April 28, 2017

By Paula Mints  Founder/Chief Market Research Analyst
There is nothing new about protectionism just as there is nothing new about aggressive pricing for market share, dumping of overproduction at low prices and the cascade of unintended consequences of government intervention on markets.

A free market is precisely what the word free implies that is, market prices and the choice of goods are set by the interactions of market participants. Under this definition, there are few, if any, free markets in the world.

Governments intervene to subsidize or incentivize production of goods and the acquisition of goods. In the U.S., farmers sometimes received subsidies not to produce under the assumption that over production would lead to a price collapse. Electricity rates in U.S. states must be approved by state PUCs. Subsidies provide affordable housing for poorer populations. Pick a market and you can find a government incentive, subsidy or a control of some sort.

So, seriously, there are few, if any, free markets .

The global solar industry relies on mandates, subsidies and incentives for its demand. Though it has enjoyed extraordinarily strong growth overtime this growth has come about because of, again, subsidies. Current low prices for PV modules are possible because of China’s support for its PV manufacturers. 

The 2012 U.S. tariff ruling on imports of cells and modules from China resulted in higher prices for small buyers   and, frankly, no price change for larger buyers  .  In sum, for larger buyers the sellers absorbed the tariff. The primary goal of sellers was sales, margin was secondary. Higher margins were gained from smaller sellers who also absorbed the tariff. Exporters were then not truly punished because the goals of the exporter (seller) were not properly understood.
The lesson is that market regulations, incentives, subsidies, mandates and tariffs come with unintended consequences. When tariffs are enacted the primary entity punished via higher prices is the buyer. The price pain felt by buyers is almost always the unintended consequence of the imposition of tariffs.

Just as markets are not entirely free, markets are also not entirely rational or controllable. Tastes change. Competing products rise. Drought and heavy rains affect agriculture. People go on strike. Recessions affect buying ability. Finally, sometimes people make irrational buying choices. Consider the cell phone which went from the size of a person’s arm to the size of a watch face to practically the size of a laptop computer screen and is now migrating back to not just watch face size, but to being an actual watch.

The point is that controlling buying patterns is close to impossible and punishing sellers for low prices typically punishes the buyers and worse … almost never brings back manufacturing jobs.

A good example of the unintended consequence of government intervention is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. In the 1920s an excess of agricultural production in Europe led to low price imports of produce into the U.S. Farmers suffered and Herbert Hoover promised that if he were elected president he would help U.S. farmers. (As an aside … if this seems familiar it should.     )

Enter Willis Hawley, Congressman, Oregon, and Reed Smoot, Senator, Utah. Smoot-Hawley began as a protection for farmers but after much debate fed by many special interests it was eventually attached to a wide variety of imports (~900). Other countries retaliated with their own tariffs. The U.S. trade deficit ballooned. Smoot-Hawley did not push the world into the Great Depression but it certainly was a card in the Depression playing deck.

In 1934, as part of the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt pushed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act through and the short reign of protectionism in the U.S. ended … just in time for the beginning of World War II in 1939.

The Solar Point

Immediately following Suniva’s bankruptcy on April 17, rumors of a new trade dispute began and late in April Suniva, a U.S.-based monocrystalline manufacturer over 60 percent owned by a Chinese company, filed its trade dispute asking for a 40-cent/Wp tariff on all solar cells made outside the U.S. From Suniva’s point of view, the request makes sense as it is one of two crystalline solar cell manufacturers in the U.S. — the other being SolarWorld.

Proponents say that it would protect U.S. solar manufacturing but as there is very little U.S. manufacturing and the reasons for its demise are complex, there is little to protect.

Tariff opponents argue that cheaper prices for cells would help module assemblers and cheaper prices for modules would increase solar deployment.

The fact is that larger entities continued to enjoy low prices and will always enjoy lower prices than smaller demand side participants.

The fact is that bringing back U.S. solar manufacturing is close to impossible at this juncture using tariffs. It would require a lot of time (a lot of time), favorable taxes for producers as well as other manufacturing subsidies and most importantly, a healthy incentive for buyers to purchase modules made in America with crystalline and thin film cells made in America and … even then … the aluminum, the glass, the backsheet — something in the module will come from some other country.

The fact is that the products bought in the U.S., including the foods we eat, are often produced using components from other countries.

Finally … well-meaning or crowd-pleasing government intervention in the not-so-free-not-so-rational-extremely-complex global market always brings a host of complications with it and always brings a host of unintended consequences. Just ask Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley.  ;D

Don't miss Paula Mints' latest report, available at a discounted price through Renewable Energy World: Photovoltaic Manufacturer Capacity, Shipments, Price & Revenues 2016/2017


Agelbert NOTE: The biggest, and totally unjustified subsidy that we need to GET RID OF to level the energy market playing field is the oil and gas subsidy THEFT:



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 27, 2017, 08:10:28 pm »

‘Look, Ma, No Fuel!’ … Fire-free Cooking with Solar  

April 27, 2017

By Mahesh Bhave 
Founder, CEO

Mahesh P. Bhave, visiting professor, strategy, IIM Kozhikode, India, is an engineer from IIT Delhi with a Ph.D. from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. He may be reached at mahesh@iimk.ac.in.

… And no smoke, and no pollution either; no match boxes, no fire-wood collecting, no charcoal burning, and no ash. No waiting for the deliveryman to take away the old LPG cylinder and bring in the new. A cooking revolution looms.

The cooking supply chain is being disrupted. Bounty from the sky, delivered free to the roof, drives the new cooking economy, and not the laboriously drilled, mined, transported, stored, and distributed fuel from the ground, say, kerosene or natural gas, let alone charcoal, firewood or biomass of any kind.

This is a reason to celebrate — for it creates choices for homemakers, frees up women’s time to undertake creative and productive work, and reduces health problems that today affect women and children disproportionately when they cook with smoky systems at home.

Precursors to the impending cooking revolution have been with us for a while — microwave ovens, induction cookers, resistive hotplates, electric water kettles. But they are not strictly fire-free, fuel free, or emissions free in that behind the elegant and useful appliances, in the hinterlands far from cities they are based on electricity produced from burning coal, overwhelmingly, and natural gas lately in the US. Hydro-power or nuclear plants contribute a small portion of today’s electricity, and not without hazards and environmentally high costs.

The revolution I am talking about is local electricity — rooftop solar based, complemented by batteries and related electronics — fed into the house;
no electricity grid with giant generation plants and massive transmission and distribution networks necessary.

Wireless “LPG” or “Pipeless” Natural Gas or “Cylinder free Gas”    

When I was a student, I remember how on wintry mornings in New Delhi, just outside the campus gate of our engineering institute, sitting in a huddle around a fire, we ordered and sipped tea straight off the boiling pan, holding a small glass with two fingers in a pincer grip. Accompanying the chatter of those around us was the background noise of a hissing kerosene stove. That sound was integral to the scene. Water was always boiling over the flame, tea made in batches, filtered through a cloth sieve, and poured into the glasses, nominally rinsed, I now shudder to think. I am sure paper cups now replace the glasses.

Walking along the streets of Pune, on certain corners one sees vendors of dosas, often outside the gates of colleges. Half the joy is in watching the master street chef prepare them in front of your eyes. Here too, alongside the bustle of the street, and the circle of observers waiting their turn with the food, is the hissing stove under the large flat iron pan, always kerosene-fired. The sound of the stove is again a part of the overall experience.

Consider backyard cooking in U.S. homes. The setup is elaborate, with coal or propane fires and grilles. The ritual of assembling the food to be grilled, and the lighting of the cooking range builds a festive, holiday atmosphere. ::) But can it be simpler, without loss of atmosphere, with solar panels and batteries? I think so. 

Indeed, on March 29, in Solana Beach, Calif., Dr. Barry Butler, Cindy Davenport, Roger Davenport, and I cooked toor lentils and stir-fried green and red peppers, onions, ginger and spices on a hotplate fired by solar panels, and ate it over rice in Dr. Butler's backyard.

Cooking Without Burn-ers

Fast-forward a year or two out, and the tea and the dosas will be the same, but cooked without fire, without kerosene, without the hissing noise. How? Solar-powered, battery enabled, over resistive hotplate or induction cookers. A portable solar canopy, a large umbrella over the fire-less stove collecting solar radiation and feeding it to the cookstove, mediated by a Li-ion battery. Personal, portable, ad hoc cooking in the open for the common man — no “burn”er necessary.

In the U.S., Sears, Home Depot, IKEA, Target, Walmart, and perhaps Best Buy, may include solar cooking systems in their stores and catalogs.

Solar Systems Design with Cooking at the Center

Solar Home Systems (SHS) have historically focused on lighting, phone charging, sometimes fans and TVs. And the focus on lighting for un-electrified villages in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, and elsewhere is as it should be — light after sundown must be among the most critical uses of electricity.

To me, lighting is now a done deal, a solved problem. With solar panels and batteries plus extraordinarily efficient LED bulbs, light is, if I may so describe it, easy. Solar systems may now be designed for the most energy intensive, yet critical, application for a home — cooking. If we do so, applications like lighting and charging for phones, laptops, TVs and home electronics will come with cooking at incremental cost, as a byproduct.

At What Cost? ???

The prices of this next generation cooking system will represent amortized capital costs, and not the costs for fuel and the logistics infrastructure as today. The capital first costs are high for rural villagers in emerging economies, but if those costs are translated into monthly payments, paid using phones, as the villagers do today, they are reasonable and affordable, and over time cheaper than for LPG.

For instance, the monthly costs of a solar cooking solution costing, say, $1,200, with an up to 20-year life for solar panels, less for batteries, and with ~ 9 percent cost of money, would be close to Rs. 740/month, the same as that for a LPG cylinder without subsidy in India. This is about $11/month, or $0.37/day, or Rs. 25/day for a family of four. The poorest rural households worldwide pay more than this for kerosene burning today. The only “solution” cheaper would be the “free” cooking by collecting firewood and burning it in a cookstove, however crude or well-designed.

This solar-based cooking solution is not merely for rural households without electricity, or street vendors, or backyard cooking in the U.S. Even in apartment homes in urban areas, the solution can be deployed to deliver an even lower cost solution with suitable optimization.

A broader question arises: What is the hub of a microgrid design of the future? Substation? Supermarket? Municipality? Neighborhood? Home Owners Association? At least one hub might be a solution with cooking as the core application in a cluster of apartment buildings.

Images courtesy of Mahesh Bhave (at article link).

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 27, 2017, 07:35:41 pm »

Researchers Outline Pathway to 10 Terawatts of Solar PV  :o  ;D by 2030
April 27, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors 

Current projections for solar PV deployment in the coming years have significantly underestimated the solar market’s potential, researchers say.

In a new Science paper, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with their counterparts from similar institutes in Japan and Germany, and researchers at universities and industry, discuss a realistic trajectory to install 5-10 terawatts of PV capacity by 2030.

The International Solar Alliance has set a target of having at least 3 terawatts of additional solar power capacity by 2030, up from the current installed capacity of 71 GW.

Reaching 5-10 terawatts should be achievable through continued technology improvements and cost decreases, as well as the continuation of incentive programs to defray upfront costs of PV systems, according to the paper, which was co-authored by Nancy Haegel, director of NREL's Materials Science Center, and David Feldman, Robert Margolis, William Tumas, Gregory Wilson, Michael Woodhouse, and Sarah Kurtz of NREL.

The researchers predicted that 5-10 terawatts of PV capacity could be in place by 2030 if these challenges can be overcome:

•A continued reduction in the cost of PV while also improving the performance of solar modules

•A drop in the cost of and time required to expand manufacturing and installation capacity

•A move to more flexible grids that can handle high levels of PV through increased load shifting, energy storage, or transmission

•An increase in demand for electricity by using more for transportation and heating or cooling

•Continued progress in storage for energy generated by solar power.


Agelbert NOTE: Overcoming THIS challenge would boost our path to 10 Terawatts and beyond BEFORE 2030 (see below):
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2017, 02:59:08 pm »

Tesla unveils sleek, barely noticeable solar panels 

Megan Treacy (@mtreacy)
Technology / Solar Technology
 April 10, 2017

Tesla unveiled its solar roof tiles last fall with major fanfare and for good reason. The energy-generating roof tiles could make an entire roof a power station while also looking beautiful at the same time.

The only downside was that the solar roof tiles were only attainable for people who were building a new home or installing a whole new roof. Homeowners wanting a way to add good-looking solar energy to just a section of their roof were out of luck unless they wanted to undertake some heavy renovations.

Until now.

Tesla quietly updated their website this past weekend to reveal an addition to their solar power portfolio: sleek, low-profile solar panels that can be added to any existing roof. The solar panels will be made by Panasonic at Tesla's Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York exclusively for Tesla. The solar panels are made to integrate with the company's Powerwall energy storage units for a round-the-clock clean energy supply.

The 325-watt solar panels have no visible mounting hardware and an integrated front skirt to make the panels as camouflaged and streamlined as possible. Tesla claims that these panels also exceed industry standards for durability and lifespan. Elecktrek reports that the non-exclusive 325-watt module that Panasonic has on the market has an efficiency rate of 21.67% and these new panels are likely similar.

Tesla will start producing the solar panels this summer and will begin using them exclusively for all residential solar installations going forward in replacement of any other third party solar panels. While production hasn't started yet, and there's no information yet on pricing, you can already request a custom quote for your home on the website.

Pictures at link:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:42:25 pm »

20,000 Pakistani Schools to Go Solar   

ByLorraine Chow

17 April

About 20,000 schools in the province of Punjab in Pakistan will convert to solar power, according to government officials.
The project will kick off in Southern Punjab schools and expand in phases across the province, according to a local report.

The Asian Development Bank and France's AFD Bank are backing the program, Cleantechnica reported. This is the first program of its kind in the country.

In Pakistan, nearly half of all residents are not connected to the national grid. Residents who are connected to the grid regularly experience rolling blackouts and power outages. And the problem is only expected to get worse in the coming years.

Renewable resources can help mitigate this growing energy crisis. Pakistan happens to be rich in solar, as the Express Tribune described:

"With eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, the climatic conditions in Pakistan are ideal for solar power generation. According to studies, Pakistan has 2.9 million megawatts of solar energy potential besides photovoltaic opportunities.

"According to figures provided by FAKT, Pakistan spends about $12 billion annually on the import of crude oil. Of this, 70 percent oil is used in generating power, which currently costs us Rs18 per unit. Shifting to solar energy can help reduce electricity costs down to Rs 6-8 per unit."

Solar energy has made great strides in Pakistan in recent years. In February 2016, its parliament became the first national assembly in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy. The legislative body, known as the Majlis-e-Shoora, is in the capital city of Islamabad.

One of the world's largest solar farms is currently under construction in Punjab. Developers of the 1,000-megawatt Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur have already added hundreds of megawatts of energy to the national grid.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 18, 2017, 06:53:42 pm »


Fractal-etched graphene electrode boosts solar energy supercapacitor storage by 3,000%

Tibi Puiu April 17, 2017

nspired by the fractal structure of the fern leaf, researchers used lasers to etch self-replicating structures on a graphene electrode, designing a novel supercapacitor. The resulting energy storage system has a 30-fold higher energy density than anything previously demonstrated and could dramatically improve solar energy applications, especially the thin solar film variety.

The breakthrough electrode prototype (right) can be combined with a solar cell (left) for on-chip energy harvesting and storage. Credit: RMIT.

There are a number of options for storing energy beyond the batteries everyone’s familiar with. For instance, a capacitor stores energy by means of a static charge, as opposed to an electrochemical reaction found in a lithium-ion battery. There are three main types of capacitors, among them the supercapacitor, which, as the name implies, has a much higher capacitance up to thousands of times higher than a classic capacitor. These are great for storing frequent charge and discharge cycles at high current and short duration. Sounds familiar? Well, solar energy is very much like that which is why there’s a great interest in the industry for supercapacitors. The reason why you don’t seem them beyond the lab included in solar energy systems is because supercapacitors were limited by energy storage densities in the order of 3 × 10−3 Whcm−3 or lower.

Australian researchers from the RMIT University in Melbourne may have set the stage for mainstream capacitors for solar energy storage. With a little help from nature, they managed to design a new electrode which when integrated with existing supercapacitors can improve the state of the art supercapacitor-based solar energy storage by an astonishing 3,000 percent.

Their inspiration was the western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) whose leaves are densely packed with veins which efficiently store energy and transport water. It’s one of the most abundant ferns in the world, known for its bright green, tapered, 2- to 3-foot-long (61- to 91-centimeter) fronds. What many gardeners might not realize about the sword fern is that at the nanolevel its leaves have a self-replicating structure akin to that of the snowflake or other fractal-like structures commonly found in nature.

A western swordfern leaf magnified 400 times. The veins of the leaf have a self-replicating structure similar to the snowflake. Credit: RMIT.

The electrode designed by the Australian researchers is based on the fern’s naturally-efficient fractal structure. To mimic the fractals, the researchers fired high precision laser pulses to manipulate sheets of graphene, the wonder material that among its many useful properties is also an excellent electrical conductor.

Tests suggest that when the novel electrode was combined with supercapacitors, the system stored charge for longer, with minimal leakage.

“The most exciting possibility is using this electrode with a solar cell, to provide a total on-chip energy harvesting and storage solution,” said PhD researcher Litty Thekkekara and lead author of the new study published in Scientific Reports.

Specifically, the greatest boost might lie in exploiting this new electrode in conjunction with thin film solar cells which are flexible enough to be used almost anywhere to capture energy from the sun, be it on windows, smartphones or watches. We might not need to charge phones via batteries using such a technology.

“With this flexible electrode prototype we’ve solved the storage part of the challenge, as well as shown how they can work with solar cells without affecting performance. Now the focus needs to be on flexible solar energy, so we can work towards achieving our vision of fully solar-reliant, self-powering electronics,”
the researchers wrote. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 16, 2017, 07:47:30 pm »

Albuquerque city buildings getting $25M in solar panels

Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2017 By The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's most populous city has plans to install more than $25 million in solar panels on city buildings over the next two years.

The installations in Albuquerque will mark the first phase in fulfilling a recently set goal of generating more of the city's energy from solar power.

Albuquerque City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton made the announcement Saturday.

They say the project's first phase of the project is expected to save taxpayers about $20 million over 30 years.

City councilors last September passed a resolution calling Albuquerque to generate one quarter of its energy from solar power by 2025.

The first phase of the project will begin later this year.

The project will be financed through the energy savings and federal bond credits.


Do they mean 25% of their electric energy or 25% of total energy?

Spend 25 mill to save 20 mill? Isn't that a net loss of 5 mill?


They are talking about ELECTRICAL ENERGY DEMAND from buildings, light poles, pumping stations, etc.. The city gets their JUICE from a lot of fossil fuel sources now. THAT is what they will reduce. City vehicles aren't in the equation.

AS to your math skills, I see economics isn't your thing. IF they DO NOT spend the $25 million bucks on PV, they HAVE TO SPEND X AMOUNT in electrical energy costs powered by fossil fuels.

THAT "X" amount is projected to be 20 million dollars MORE than they will spend in 30 years with the added PV. Assuming that the PV will (MTBF) crap out in 30 years, or sooner, is probably the reason you came up with the 5 million dollar "loss". There is a bit more too it than that.

The cost savings from NOT adding energy generation capacity from fossil fuels represents additional money (and health) savings not obvious to the casual observer that the city, since they are not a utility, isn't accounting for.

You may claim that building gas or coal fired power plants is cheaper than building solar panel infrastructure of equivalent capacity, but MAINTAINING fossil fuel power plants is FAR more costly than maintaining renewable energy infrastructure. SO, the more renewable energy infrastructure, the lower your operating costs.

In addition, there will be less pollution from the power supplied to the  grid, which will lower city costs in health related expenses THAT YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN POSITIVELY ACCOUNTNG FOR EITHER.

Finally, the cost of solar energy is a known quantity, whereas the cost of fossil fuels in the future is sure to go UP. As the city gets more and more renewable energy the savings will continue to grow for all those reasons. There will be NO price shocks, PERIOD. The more power the city can make on it's own, the less it is forced to pay higher rates to a power corporation. The only people this is a "bad deal" for are the stockholders of corporations owning fossil fuel powered power plants. 

Since you think it's a "bad deal" to lower the city carbon pollution with $25 million bucks, I guess you voted for Trump. IOW, long term cost benefit analysis is not your thing. They will save a lot more than the conservative $20 million dollars they are estimating. And even if they didn't, the improved air quality would be worth it.

 Edpell, you are a one trick, Renewable Energy attacking, pony.

You are also boring.  Go do something productive for a change.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 16, 2017, 05:03:12 pm »

Albuquerque city buildings getting $25M in solar panels

Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2017 By The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's most populous city has plans to install more than $25 million in solar panels on city buildings over the next two years.

The installations in Albuquerque will mark the first phase in fulfilling a recently set goal of generating more of the city's energy from solar power.

Albuquerque City Councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton made the announcement Saturday.

They say the project's first phase of the project is expected to save taxpayers about $20 million over 30 years.

City councilors last September passed a resolution calling Albuquerque to generate one quarter of its energy from solar power by 2025.

The first phase of the project will begin later this year.

The project will be financed through the energy savings and federal bond credits.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 11, 2017, 02:14:05 pm »

'In March, during the hours of 8am to 2pm, system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatt-hour'
Surfer Cole Clisby rides his surfboard off the top of a wave as the sun sets off the shores of Leucadia, California

"Yeah, they're out there havin' fun, In the warm California sun," sang The Rivieras in their 1964 hit.

And it could not be more apt today as the sun in the state was so strong – and the number of solar farms so large – that electricity prices in the state have begun turning negative on the main power exchange, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has revealed.

Solar made up a record figure of nearly 40 per cent of the electricity sent to the grid in the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO’s) territory for a few hours on 11 March, after utility-scale solar farms grew by almost 50 per cent in 2016, the EIA said on its website.

However, as the Quartz website pointed out, negative wholesale prices do not translate into an unexpected windfall for consumers.

This is because retail prices are based on the average cost, so people might get slightly cheaper electricity but not an actual cash payment as a result of prices becoming negative for a few hours.

The EIA said: “The large and growing amount of solar generation has occasionally driven power prices on the CAISO power exchange during late winter and early spring daylight hours to very low, and sometimes negative, prices.

“However, consumers in California continue to pay average retail electricity prices that are among the highest in the nation.”

Solar capacity in the state has grown rapidly in the last few years.

There was less than one gigawatt in 2007, but nearly 14GW by the end of last year.

At this time of year, the large amounts of sunlight and the relatively low demand can produce too much electricity around the middle of the day.

“Electricity demand in California tends to peak during the summer months,” the EIA said.

“However, in late winter and early spring, demand is at its annual minimum, but solar output, while not at its highest, is increasing as the days grow longer and the sun gets higher in the sky.

“Although the sun is at a similar angle in September and October, electricity demand is still relatively high, leading to lower solar generation shares than seen in March.

“Consequently, power prices … were substantially lower in March compared with other times of the year or even March of last year.

“In March, during the hours of 8am to 2pm, system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatthour.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 10, 2017, 05:24:22 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Take THAT, Mr. Trump! You will rue the day you fossil fuel fascists insulted Germany.

Germany's Merkel Encourages Spain, Portugal to Invest in Solar 

by Naomi Kresge

‎April‎ ‎8‎, ‎2017‎ ‎5‎:‎07‎ ‎AM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel encouraged Spain and Portugal to invest more in solar energy and said they need a better link to France amid a push for a unified European power grid.

“The connection between France and the Iberian peninsula is a huge problem,” Merkel said Saturday in her weekly podcast. “These are, for example, two countries in which solar power naturally could be expanded.”

Merkel’s government has promoted wind and solar energy as the country prepares for the closure of its last nuclear power stations in 2022, transforming the country’s power markets. Green output met 29 percent of Germany’s electricity demand last year, about the same as in 2015, but far exceeding the 11 percent level of a decade earlier.

The European Union is aiming to break down national barriers for power, which could make supplies more secure and lower costs thanks to more trade across national borders.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 02, 2017, 11:01:39 pm »

World's Biggest Solar + Battery Farm  Coming to Australia

By Lorraine Chow

30 March, 2017

A massive solar and battery farm is being built in South Australia's Riverland region.

If everything goes to plan, the plant will be running by the end of 2017 and will be the largest such system in the world, Brisbane-based renewable energy developer and investor Lyon Group announced.

The Riverland plant consists of 330MW of solar PV and a 100MW/400MWh battery storage system, or 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries.  :o  ;D

The new project couldn't come sooner. A major gas shortage is looming and the country's decades-old coal plants are shutting down, sparking potential price hikes and putting the nation's energy security at risk.

The $1 billion (US $767 million) project was announced amid South Australia's recent spate of blackouts.

Interestingly, the ball really seemed to roll after an intriguing tweet from none other than Elon Musk.

You may recall that earlier this month the Tesla CEO offered to build a 100MW battery storage farm for the Australian state. To up the ante, he said he would provide the system for free if it was not commissioned within 100 days. Musk's audacious bet led to an eventual conversation with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Days later, the South Australian government announced an open, competitive tender for a 100MW battery storage project.

"The battery will modernize South Australia's energy grid and begin the transformation to the next generation of renewable-energy storage technologies," the government office stated.

According to Australia's ABC News, Lyon Group partner David Green said the company will build its new plant, along with a similar plant near the town of Roxby Downs, regardless of the outcome of the government's tender: 

The Lyon Group has already signaled its intention to bid for a SA government tender to build a battery storage system with 100-megawatt output.

The tender arrangement would give the government the right to tap the battery storage at times of peak demand, but allow the project owner to sell energy and stability into the market at other times.

An expressions of interest process closes on Friday.

Other companies, including Carnegie, Zen Energy and Tesla, have all suggested they could be interested in bidding.

Green said the outcome of the tender would not determine whether or not Lyon's projects were built, but would influence the final storage configuration in terms of the balance between optimizing grid security and capturing trading revenue.

Green said the project was 100 percent equity financed and construction would begin within months, requiring 270 workers, ABC News reported.

"We see the inevitability of the need to have large-scale solar and integrated batteries as part of any move to decarbonize," Green added.


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