Renewable Revolution

Energy => Renewables => Topic started by: AGelbert on October 11, 2013, 07:03:47 pm

Title: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 11, 2013, 07:03:47 pm

Solar Growth Outpaces Wind for First Time 

 Tildy Bayar, Associate Editor, Renewable Energy World 

LONDON -- A strong showing from global solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, coupled with a sharp fall in new wind capacity, has led to solar growth outpacing wind this year – for the first time ever.

Analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 36.7 GW in new solar PV capacity will be added worldwide in 2013, compared with 35.5 GW in new wind installations (33.8 GW onshore and 1.7 GW offshore).

Both wind and solar PV broke records last year, with onshore and offshore wind adding 46.6 GW and solar PV adding 30.5 GW. But 2013’s slowdown in the two largest wind markets, China and the U.S., is opening the way for the rapidly growing PV market to overtake wind, BNEF said.

Justin Wu, BNEF’s head of wind analysis, said, "We forecast that wind installations will shrink by nearly 25 percent in 2013, to their lowest level since 2008, reflecting slowdowns in the U.S. and China caused by policy uncertainty.”

In the U.S., the repeated last-minute extension of the Production Tax Credit has created what analysts have called a perpetual boom-and-bust cycle. This year’s uncertainty led to a drop in investment, causing significant layoffs and facility closures across the wind supply chain.

In China, where the industry has suffered from curtailment due to insufficient infrastructure and tightened standards for wind turbines have slowed development, the sector has been expecting further policy announcements after the government raised this year's new-capacity target to 18 GW in January.

In particular, developers say China’s feed-in tariff (FiT) for offshore wind is too low given the higher costs of offshore development, leading to predictions that the nation will fail to meet its offshore goal of 5 GW by 2015. The government has said it will re-think the FiT, but has offered no timetable.

Globally, demand for wind turbines is predicted to shrink by 5 percent this year, for the first time since 2004.

But wind is still far from dire straits, BNEF reassured. “Falling technology costs, new markets and the growth of the offshore industry will ensure wind remains a leading renewable energy technology,” Wu said. 

In the solar sector, "the dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in volumes," said Jenny Chase, BNEF’s head of solar analysis.

In Japan, the fourth country to reach the 10 GW mark in cumulative solar capacity, the attractive FiT has led to rapid growth over the past year, with demand surging in the commercial and utility segments. China, which will be the largest solar market this year according to BNEF, has raised its renewable energy surcharge and revamped its subsidy regime, expanding performance-based incentives for distributed solar power in a bid to grow the domestic market after solar trade spats with Europe and the U.S.  The nation aims to more than quadruple its solar power generating capacity to 35 GW by 2015.

Growth in Asia will offset PV’s decline in traditional leading regions. "Europe is a declining market,” Chase said, “because many countries there are rapidly moving away from incentives, but it will continue to see new PV capacity added."

While the immediate future looks brighter for solar than wind, BNEF predicted that, despite 2013’s rankings upset, the maturing onshore wind and solar PV sectors will contribute almost equally to the world’s new electricity capacity additions between now and 2030. On- and offshore wind will grow from 5 percent of total installed power generation capacity in 2012 to 17 percent in 2030, while solar PV will increase from a lower base of 2 percent in 2012 to 16 percent by 2030, BNEF said.

 The analysis also predicted that technology suppliers in both wind and solar may see a move back to profit as soon as this year, after a prolonged period of oversupply and consolidation.

Michael Liebreich, BNEF’s chief executive, commented: “Cost cuts and a refocusing on profitable markets and business segments have bolstered the financial performance of wind turbine makers and the surviving solar manufacturers. Stock market investors have been noticing this change, and clean energy shares have rebounded by 66 percent since their lows of July 2012."
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 11, 2013, 09:25:29 pm
Solar VC Funding: "The Fear Is Gone" For Investors

Funding for solar energy projects and M&A soars, as investors and developers continue to confidently ride the demand wave.

 James Montgomery, Associate Editor, 
 October 09, 2013

New Hampshire, USA -- Project funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the solar energy sector reached record levels from July-September of this year, reflecting an improved outlook for solar demand, according to a new report from Mercom Capital Group.

Global funding for solar energy spiked to $2.18 billion, more than twice the funding seen in 2Q13 ($915 million), Mercom says. Top VC recipients in the quarter included Solexel ($40 million, high-efficiency silicon solar cells), eSolar ($22 million, concentrated solar power developer), Clean Power Finance ($20 million, third-party solar PV financing), HelioVolt ($19 million, thin-film), and Dyesol ($16 million, dye-sensitized/organic solar cells). On the M&A side, the Applied Materials-Tokyo Electron deal was a major shakeup in the semiconductor sector but less so for silicon solar manufacturing.

The new normal is now. It's time to stop comparing today's levels of solar energy investment to the heady days of two or three years ago, when $400-$500 million quarters were routine and money flowed freely to solar technology developers jostled for positioning. "We're not seeing anything over $200 million in the last 3-6 quarters," noted Mercom CEO Raj Prabhu. "This is where we are: the new normal."

Strategic investors are stepping up. SK Group put more money into Heliovolt. Saudi conglomerate Tasnee invested in Dyesol. Over the past year Hanergy and Hanwha have been extending their reach into solar. Big strategic partners with a ton of money continue to hedge some bets on technology, possibly where they can leverage manufacturing experience.

Solar leasing's hot. Third-party solar finance companies raised approximately $584 million in the past quarter, with SolarCity, Sungevity, SunRun, etc. raising funds with help from banks. So far with three months to go, third-party solar leasing firms have raised roughly $2.5 billion this year, compared to just $2 billion in both 2012 and 2011. "This shows that it's still pretty healthy out there," Prabhu said. "Everything we're seeing is going up." Of course the ability to pull down lots of funding is especially important to third-party firms; it's not just enough to raise a few million of VC or private equity funding, but they need to raise tens and hundreds of millions of dollars and put that right into rooftop installations, Prabhu pointed out. "If they're not doing that they have a problem."

Also noteworthy during 3Q12 was SolarCity's acquisition of sales channel partner Paramount Solar, underscoring the importance of customer acquisition in the solar leasing model. "At the end of the day, anyone can go install" solar, Prabhu pointed out, but "the ability to go out and land the residential customers makes you unique."

Projects are popular

Full article here:

Title: One Step Closer to Opening US "Vanilla Cell Architecture" PV Wafer Facility
Post by: AGelbert on October 16, 2013, 02:30:08 pm
With more funding in hand and a DOE loan in its pocket, 1366 Technologies is launching a search for a 250-MW factory here in the US. (

James Montgomery, Associate Editor, 
 October 16, 2013 

New Hampshire, USA -- Solar silicon wafer innovator 1366 Technologies has landed new funding led by newest partner Tokayama, and is ready to scale up to a 250-MW production line ahead of an anticipated upswing in demand.

Ten months ago 1366 moved into a new 25-MW pilot facility in Bedford, Massachusetts, to nail down process and tweak equipment for its solar silicon wafering technology to take the next step toward commercialization.

Five months ago 1366 inked a R&D deal with Japanese silicon producer Tokuyama with hints that it could expand to an equity investment.

Since then, the company has ramped its output from about 50 wafers per furnace per day to more than 1200 now thanks to what CEO Frank van Mierlo referred to as some "important engineering decisions" and unspecified process modifications, though he acknowledged partner Tokayama has "good insights with respect to silicon" such as unparalleled measurement of silicon impurities.

Over the next year they aim to get that up to 3,500 wafers/machine/day, roughly equivalent to 5 MW worth of wafers, but the core process rate allows for more than 4,000 wafers/machine/day with some further improvements to some automation and materials handling, he said.

Typical silicon solar wafers are made by melting silicon chunks in a large quartz crucible, then cooling and forming the mass into a rectangular block and sawing out individual wafers. 1366's Direct Wafer process uses a much shallower container, forming thin layers on the surface which are skimmed off as wafers -- CEO Frank van Mierlo likened it to the icy surface formed on a wintry pond. Lasers instead of saws are then used to more precisely trim the wafers down to a standard 156 × 156 size.

The end result is several process steps condensed into one, less consumables, less materials waste (kerf loss from sawing), and labor to make a silicon solar wafer at a third of the costs of traditional solar wafer manufacturing.

Once the process is scaled up onto full production lines, fully-loaded wafer costs will be just $0.10/Watt, vs. legacy wafers at $0.29/W, according to Mierlo.

( process also uses a lot less energy:  Mierlo cited an energy payback of a typical silicon solar panel is 20 months, but just 11 months made with the company's silicon.

The company claims its silicon wafers are translating into cell efficiencies of 17.2 percent in customer trials, based on what Mierlo called "vanilla cell architecture" (screen-printed silver on the front, aluminum paste on the back); earlier this year the company showed a 17.5 percent efficient cell made with more a complicated highly passivated backside. (That 17.2 percent also is around the range of other recent industry marks for standard-sized multicrystalline solar cells.) The company has had successful customer trials with four customers so far, he added.

The next steps are to achieve a "copy exact" transition to a second furnace and then move forward with the bigger plan: start building out a 250-MW production factory (~60 million wafers/year) sometime in 2014. For that the company will pool this latest round of funding, plus about $50 million of the $150 million DOE loan guarantee in its back pocket matched dollar-for-dollar with private investment (the company has accumulated roughly $62 million in equity and VC backing), and some of its own cash ("we are cash-flow-positive this year," Mierlo said). The company is exploring sites across the U.S. including vacated buildings that might be a more cost-effective route, but it's still searching for one that meets all its criteria of low costs and electricity prices and strong local government support and worker quality. Most silicon solar cells are made in Asia now, but Mierlo reiterated he wants to see this silicon wafer factory here in the U.S. both to protect the company's IP and because "I personally believe that the U.S. can compete in manufacturing."

With the gap starting to narrow between solar manufacturing capacity and end demand -- general industry consensus is that global solar demand will surge to 40-45 GW next year, and maybe 50-60 GW a year or two beyond that  ;D -- silicon prices are showing signs of recovery again, and that makes 1366's low-cost position even stronger, according to Mierlo. "Even at today's low silicon prices we have a competitive offering." And inserting a drop-in higher-quality silicon wafer will help lay the foundation for higher-efficiency cells, he noted. And higher conversion efficiency is one of the first and best ways to lower total system costs.

Title: Multicrystalline Silicon Modules To Dominate Solar PV Industry In 2014
Post by: AGelbert on October 29, 2013, 11:38:54 pm

Multicrystalline Silicon Modules To Dominate Solar PV Industry In 2014

A new report from NPD Solarbuzz states that the production of multicrystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar photovoltaic (PV) modules is set to dominate the PV manufacturing industry for 2014, “with p-type multi c-Si technology accounting for 62% of all modules produced.”
This, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report, and underlines solar industry expectations for a strong 2014.
According to the report, solar PV manufacturers are gearing up to increase module production by 25% in 2014, up to 49.7 GW of modules compared to 39.7 GW produced in 2013. The production increase matches NPD Solarbuzz’s own end-market solar PV demand predictions of 45-55 GW by next year.

“PV manufacturers continue to prioritize cost-reduction across the entire c-Si value-chain, with improvements in efficiency coming mainly from higher-quality multi c-Si wafers,” said Finlay Colville, vice president at NPD Solarbuzz. ”While there will inevitably be short-term supply issues throughout the year, polysilicon and wafer supply is considered adequate for 45-50 GW of c-Si module shipments in 2014.

Chinese cell and module suppliers will continue to operate a flexible manufacturing strategy, with new capacity expected to come online during 2H’14.”

Source: NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly

In a blog post to their website on Friday, NPD’s Michael Barker noted that “companies across the industry chain are preparing new strategies to seize on the opportunities stemming from renewed optimism about the prospects for the PV industry in 2014 and beyond.” Reporting on the Solar Power International conference in Chicago, Barker noted the tough past 18 months and pointed to “record shipments in 2013 and increased demand and production in 2014″ as confirmation that there is an upward trend currently suffusing the solar industry.
Title: Solar Industry Rebounds!
Post by: AGelbert on October 31, 2013, 02:29:42 pm
The Worst Is Over? Solar Industry ( Rebounds  (

 Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg 
 October 31, 2013 

NEW YORK CITY -- Solar industry manufacturers are rebounding from a two-year slump faster than technology companies recovered from the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.

The benchmark BI Global Large Solar Energy Index of 15 manufacturers, which slumped 87 percent from a February 2011 peak through November 2012, has regained 55 percent of its value in the past year. The technology-dominated Nasdaq Composite index reached its post-bubble low in October 2002 and regained 37 percent of its March 2000 peak value in the next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Suppliers including California’s SunPower Corp., which has gained more than fivefold this year, and China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. are driving the rally as panel prices stabilize. Installations at power plants and on roofs will swell 40 percent this year from a 6.1 percent pace last year.

“The worst is probably behind us,” Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview. “We’ve just gone through a big trough in solar supply.”

Investors poured $205 billion into clean-energy projects in the past year, soaking up some of the global oversupply of panels. The recovery will continue in 2014 with prices remaining stable, Chase said. Manufacturers are “a lot less depressed.”

Optimistic Analysts

Analysts have become more optimistic about solar shares in recent months. The average rating for SunPower, the biggest U.S. supplier of polysilicon-based solar panels, is 3.5, up from 2.4 in December and the highest in more than two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A 5 rating indicates investors should purchase the shares, and 1 means they should sell.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., the only Chinese solar manufacturer to report a profit in the second quarter, has an average rating of 3.7, up from 2.3 in May, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Its shares have more than tripled this year.

Investors have rushed back into shares of the biggest panel makers even before they’ve returned to profit. Yingli, which has more than doubled, is forecast to report narrowed losses compared with 2012. Canadian Solar Inc., which has risen almost sevenfold, is forecast to return to profit of $27 million from a $195 million loss in 2012.

‘Improved Significantly’

“It’s pretty clear over the last nine months that things have improved significantly,” Robert Petrina, Yingli’s managing director for the Americas, said in an interview.

Yingli, based in Baoding, China, was the biggest panel maker last year based on 2.3 gigawatts of shipments, and the company expects that figure to increase as much as 43 percent this year. The global photovoltaic industry may install as much as 42.7 gigawatts of panels this year, 40 percent more than in 2012, according to New Energy Finance.

The strongest companies are now selling panels above cost, according to Chase. A year ago, more than half the Chinese panel-makers in the Large Solar Energy index reported negative gross margins. That’s a strong sign that the industry is starting to turn the corner from the last two years, when factories were overbuilt.

The top 10 manufacturers boosted their total panel- production capacity 19 percent to 20.6 gigawatts in 2012 from two years earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those factories came online as demand waned. Panel installations more than doubled from 2009 to 2010. The pace slowed to 58 percent in 2011, and then slumped to 6.1 percent last year.

Some of the “illogical elements of the market” have disappeared, Chase said.

Demand is climbing in Japan, where the country is promoting wider use of renewable energy instead of nuclear power,  (
 and China, where the government expects its installed capacity to double  :o this year. The two countries will be the top solar markets this year, according to New Energy Finance.

Solar Bankruptcies

The solar slump had casualties, driving more than two dozen manufacturers into bankruptcy, and some companies are still struggling, said Chase.

“I don’t think we’re out of the woods. There may still be some bankruptcies,” she said.

Those failures may benefit the industry as weaker companies are forced out and larger ones absorb their customers and assets, said Mark Mendenhall, president for the Americas at Trina Solar Ltd. The Changzhou, China-based company expects to ship as much as 2.4 gigawatts of panels this year, up 50 percent from 2012, and its shares have more than tripled this year.

Other Threats

“You’re going to see a greater separation between the well-run companies from those that are trying to operate purely on a low-price basis,” he said. “This is an industry that’s gotten out of its childhood, emerged from adolescence and is poised to enter adulthood. That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Other potential threats to the solar rebound are increased costs for raw materials, including aluminum and polysilicon, he said.

Most of the companies in the Large Solar Index are still unprofitable. Only Jinko, SunPower and First Solar Inc. reported net income in the second quarter.

The oversupply drove down panel prices 52 percent in 2011 and 20 percent last year. That was bad for suppliers and better for customers, helping boost sales, according to Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower. So far this year, prices have rebounded 9 percent.

The company, based in San Jose, California, expects to recognize sales of as much as 1.03 gigawatts of panels this year. The company said yesterday it will boost capacity by 25 percent.

“Cost of solar is more competitive with conventional energy,”  (  Werner said in an interview. “Things are substantially different from a year ago. For us, sunnier skies started earlier this year.” (

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg (

Added to the above, now that the 5th largest economic block in the world by GDP has decided make polluters PAY the REAL price of carbon, ALL Renewable energy competitive financial power has been given ROCKET FUEL! (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 07, 2013, 06:07:03 pm
Largest Solar Power Station In Japan Opened By Kyocera  (

The president of Kyocera Corporation, Goro Yamaguchi, has announced the launch of a 700 MW solar power plant in the Kagoshima Prefecture of Southern Japan. According to the Kyocera press release, it is the largest in Japan.

It is called the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, and it can generate enough electricity to power approximately 22,000 average households. The plant went online on November 1, 2013.

The electricity from this plant will be sold to a local utility company under the terms of Japan’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program.

70 MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant.
Image Credit: Kyocera Press Release (E-mail).

The plant is to be operated by Kyocera Solar Corporation and Kyudenko Corporation. It was constructed by Kyocera Solar Corporation, Kyudenko Corporation, and Takenaka Corporation.
This helps Japan’s nuclear phaseout effort in light of the Fukushima incident. Believe it or not, Japan is still struggling to contain the Fukushima nuclear reactors after all these years, as scientists don’t really have a suitable backup plan in the event of nuclear reactor malfunctions such as these. As the Kyocera press release put it:

Expectations and interest in solar energy have heightened to a new level in Japan with the need to resolve power supply issues resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. To further promote the use of renewable energy, the Japanese government launched a restructured FIT program in July 2012, which stipulates that local utilities are required to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts (kW) for a period of 20 years. (

Source: Kyocera Press Release (E-Mail).

First Solar Reports Largest Quarterly Decline In CdTe Module Cost Per-Watt Since 2007
Originally published on Solar Love.
Thin-film solar market leader First Solar recently reported its largest quarterly decline in CdTe module costs per-watt since 2007, as part of its third quarter 2013 financial results report.
The notable decline represents a significant milestone in the company’s goal of becoming the lowest-cost PV manufacturer in the industry. First Solar attributes the achievement to the implementation of its manufacturing cost reduction program — a program which was detailed earlier in the year at the company’s “Analyst Day” event.
“We have reduced our module manufacturing cost per watt to US $0.59 from US $0.67 last quarter, an US $0.08 per watt or 12% reduction quarter-on-quarter,” stated Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, in the conference call. “This is the best quarter-over-quarter cost improvement in six years on a per watt basis and highest percentage reduction since our IPO (in 2007).”
PV Tech provides more:
Hughes went on to highlight even lower manufacturing costs, noting that First Solar’s conversion efficiency roadmap targets and manufacturing improvement program as well as cost saving initiatives, revealed a US $0.57/W, excluding plant underutilization. Importantly, the company demonstrated that it had met its conversion efficiency roadmap targets this year.
First Solar also said that in October, 2013 it’s lead production line averaged module efficiencies of 13.9% and expected all lines to reach 13.9%, over the next few quarters. Taking the 14.1% module efficiency achieved on its best line at its Perrysburg facility, First Solar said that this pointed to a cost per watt of US $0.49. (

“If we take the additional impact of excluding freight warranty and recycling cost, we would be in the low 40s, so I think that’s kind of the competitive benchmark that we should all keep in front of us,” Hughes continued. “We have the capability today, (14.1%) which we equate to an apples to apples comparison (with conventional c-Si cell/modules in real-world temperature conditions) across our profile (of) the low US $0.42/W to US $0.43/W.”(
By comparison, Solar Frontier recently reported that its latest record-holding CIS thin-film module had achieved a conversion efficiency of 14.6% — with volume production modules currently somewhere above about 13%. Mainstream multi-crystalline modules currently possess an average conversion efficiency of about 15%.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 07, 2013, 06:24:23 pm



(  First Solar Reports Largest Quarterly Decline In CdTe Module Cost Per-Watt Since 2007

Originally published on Solar Love.

Thin-film solar market leader First Solar recently reported its largest quarterly decline in CdTe module costs per-watt since 2007, as part of its third quarter 2013 financial results report.

The notable decline represents a significant milestone in the company’s goal of becoming the lowest-cost PV manufacturer in the industry. First Solar attributes the achievement to the implementation of its manufacturing cost reduction program — a program which was detailed earlier in the year at the company’s “Analyst Day” event.

“We have reduced our module manufacturing cost per watt to US $0.59 from US $0.67 last quarter, an US $0.08 per watt or 12% reduction quarter-on-quarter,” stated Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, in the conference call. “This is the best quarter-over-quarter cost improvement in six years on a per watt basis and highest percentage reduction since our IPO (in 2007).”
PV Tech provides more:

Hughes went on to highlight even lower manufacturing costs, noting that First Solar’s conversion efficiency roadmap targets and manufacturing improvement program as well as cost saving initiatives, revealed a US $0.57/W, excluding plant underutilization. Importantly, the company demonstrated that it had met its conversion efficiency roadmap targets this year.

First Solar also said that in October, 2013 it’s lead production line averaged module efficiencies of 13.9% and expected all lines to reach 13.9%, over the next few quarters. Taking the 14.1% module efficiency achieved on its best line at its Perrysburg facility, First Solar said that this pointed to a cost per watt of US $0.49. (

“If we take the additional impact of excluding freight warranty and recycling cost, we would be in the low 40s, so I think that’s kind of the competitive benchmark that we should all keep in front of us,” Hughes continued. “We have the capability today, (14.1%) which we equate to an apples to apples comparison (with conventional c-Si cell/modules in real-world temperature conditions) across our profile (of) the low US $0.42/W to US $0.43/W.”(

By comparison, Solar Frontier recently reported that its latest record-holding CIS thin-film module had achieved a conversion efficiency of 14.6% — with volume production modules currently somewhere above about 13%. Mainstream multi-crystalline modules currently possess an average conversion efficiency of about 15%.
Title: Your solar panels are probably facing the wrong way
Post by: AGelbert on November 21, 2013, 12:00:49 am
Your solar panels are probably facing the wrong way  (

By Sarah Laskow

The conventional wisdom about solar panels — the ones that don’t move as the sun does, at least — is that they should face south, catching rays from the east in the morning and the west in the afternoon.

But a new study says that’s wrong: Solar panels should simply face west.  Gizmodo writes:

Researchers at the Pecan Street Research Institute did a study of homes with solar panels in Austin, Texas and found that when homeowners faced solar panels west they were able to generate 2% more electricity in a day. And they also generated more electricity in the afternoon, when power grids experience peak demand.

And there’s another benefit to west-facing solar panels, too: They help save more money on electricity. Quartz:

[Q]uantifying the way that favoring late-day sunlight helps homeowners save money and utilities flatten out demand could lead to a simple but effective hack for the world’s solar installers: Simply re-orienting solar panels could shorten the amount of time it takes for them to pay for themselves.

This is less than helpful advice for people who’ve got their panels locked down in some specific configuration on a slanted roof. But it’s good advice for anyone who’s still looking to install one — or can get up on their roof and re-orient the ones they’ve already got.


Most of the world’s solar panels are facing the wrong direction, Quartz

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things. Follow her on Twitter.
Title: NYC's Largest Solar Array Tops Closed Landfill
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2013, 07:10:16 pm
11/26/2013 02:15 PM            

NYC's Largest Solar Array Tops Closed Landfill News

Years ago, Mayor Bloomberg announced that New York City's closed landfills would be the future locations of solar parks, and now that's coming to fruition.

The largest solar installation in NYC will be built on its largest closed landfill, Freshkills, which is being converted into a 2200-acre park.

SunEdison won the bid to build and operate a 10 megawatt (MW) solar park on 47 acres on Staten Island. It will sell the electricity to NYC. There's room for another 10 MW of renewable energy there, which probably will come from wind.

"Freshkills was once the site of the largest landfill in the world.   :P" Soon it will be one of the City's largest parks, and the site of the largest solar power installation in the five boroughs," says Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the last 12 years we've restored wetlands and vegetation and opened new parks and soccer fields at the edges of the site. Thanks to the agreement today we will increase the amount of solar energy produced in New York City by 50% and it is only fitting that Freshkills, once a daily dumping ground, will become a showcase urban renewal and sustainability."  (


Although this solar park will electrify only 2000 homes, the longer term plan is to use NYC Solar Maps to find 250 acres appropriate for solar, generating electricity for 50,000 homes.

The Freshkills project "will help us understand how renewables can integrate into our energy networks at a much greater scale, and sends a signal to the market place that renewable energy is both achievable within the city, and that it will continue to grow and become a major component of New York City's energy supply," says Sergej Mahnovski, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. "This project will also push existing regulations to their boundaries.

Interconnection with the utility system will have to be clarified, State programs aimed at increasing renewable energy will have to be expanded, and landfill post-closure care will have to be rewritten; and these are only a few of the challenges ahead. But this is a necessary undertaking in order to shift our power sector to a cleaner, more reliable energy future."  

NYC has about 700 kilowatts of solar on the roofs of police precincts, park buildings and firehouses. Recently, it signed an agreement to install 2 MW of solar on four city-owned buildings - a wastewater treatment plant, two high schools in the Bronx, and on the Staten Island Ferry Maintenance Building.
Mayor Bloomberg's ambitious PlaNYC sustainability plan targets a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases in NYC by 2030.The updated PlaNYC includes initiatives and targets for: Land, Water, Air, Energy and Transportation, including the very creative Zone Green, which fosters green buildings.
Title: Japan Attains 3.9 GW Of PV Installations Since FiT Introduction
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2013, 08:26:54 pm
Japan Attains 3.9 GW Of PV Installations Since FiT Introduction

Since Japan’s feed-in tariff (FiT) was introduced (July 2012), its solar photovoltaic generation capacity installed has amounted to 3.9 GW. In all, approximately 4.086 GW of renewable power generation capacity was added since July 2012, including solar, wind, small and medium-sized hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal.

Solar accounted for 90% of the renewable energy capacity added in that time period,( according to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which sees this is an indication that its adoption of solar power is proceeding smoothly. 3.9 GW of growth over 16 months is at the top of the league. (This is an average of about a quarter of a GW per month).
According to PV-Tech:

The 3.9GW figure for installed solar energy capacity includes the figure for residential installations as one category and utility-scale or commercial use as a separate category. According to METI in the year between July 2012 and the same period of this year, around 1.521GW of residential solar was installed along with just under 2.4GW of commercial and utility scale.

As has been widely reported, the figure for completed utility-scale ‘mega solar’ projects in particular has not been matched by the amount of capacity put in the ground. The ministry’s figures reveal that the 2.4GW of installed commercial scale solar capacity is still dwarfed by the corresponding figure for approved utility scale projects – around 20.3GW. In contrast, for around 1.521GW of installed residential capacity, the approved figure was 1.751GW.

This is good news for the country, which has been deterred from nuclear power by the Fukushima Daiichi incident, which prompted a nuclear phase-out and, after years, is still not quite under control.  :P
Title: FERC Hands Down Key Decision; Solar Growth Explodes in October
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2013, 08:40:30 pm
FERC Hands Down Key Decision; Solar Growth Explodes in October

Rhone Resch

November 25, 2013

Even though they were overshadowed by the Senate’s historic decision to eliminate the use of the filibuster when it comes to most Presidential nominees — the so-called “nuclear option” — there were some major developments this week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that are critically important to solar and renewable energy.

First, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who proclaimed earlier this year that, “solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything,”   ( announced that he’s officially leaving his position at the end of the week. Chairman Wellinghoff has been a true champion to solar, and we wish him well in all of his new endeavors.

But before leaving, Wellinghoff presided over one last Commission meeting on Thursday as a new rule was approved by FERC that will expedite and reduce the cost of solar project interconnections, while maintaining the reliability and safety of the electric grid. In a nutshell, this action — which SEIA has championed for nearly two years — will help to spur new solar deployment nationwide. The rule was approved by a 4-0 vote with Chairman Wellinghoff abstaining because of a possible conflict of interest.

Here’s the back story. In 2005, FERC issued Order No. 2006, which — for the first time — established national interconnection procedures applicable to generation projects that are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in size and subject to FERC’s wholesale jurisdiction.

Order No. 2006 was groundbreaking at the time, and the procedures were voluntarily adopted by many states to also apply to the retail interconnection process. However, demand for solar energy has grown dramatically since the original order was issued more than seven years ago, and certain aspects of the order have resulted in needless barriers to cost-effective and timely interconnections >:(.

The rule approved today will allow solar projects that meet certain technical requirements to qualify for a “fast track” interconnection process, thus eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming studies. Most importantly, today’s decision will help to reduce interconnection bottlenecks.

As an association, we applaud FERC for recognizing the challenges facing wholesale distributed generation development, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of America’s solar energy industry. But it’s important to point out that the new rule also maintains electric system safety and reliability, making it a win all the way around.

This is the way government should work. ( We deeply appreciate FERC’s open-minded approach and willingness to revisit this issue based on unforeseen developments. We look forward to working with FERC and all other interested stakeholders in the future to help further the deployment of clean, reliable and affordable solar energy nationwide. SEIA is also urging state regulators to consider using FERC’s new rule as a model and starting point for updating their own interconnection rules.

And, finally, this brings me to the other really good news coming out of FERC this week. According to the agency’s “Energy Infrastructure Update” report, 99.3 percent of all new electric generation placed in service during the month of October came from renewables — with solar leading the way by a country mile!

Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new capacity last month. This is truly astonishing, not to mention historic,  and should serve as a reminder to everyone in Washington and in state capitals that smart public policies — such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) — are paying huge dividends for America. ;D

Today, solar is one of the fastest-growing sources of new energy in the United States. More than 30 utility-scale, clean energy solar projects are still under construction, putting thousands of electricians, steelworkers and laborers to work and helping to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. These facilities, along with rooftop solar on homes, businesses and schools, will generate electricity for generations to come.

There are now more than 9,400 megawatts (MW) of cumulative solar electric capacity installed in the U.S. — enough to power more than 1.5 million American homes — and that number is expected to hit nearly 13,000 MW by the end of this year.

In addition, SEIA recently released a comprehensive new report outlining ways to create 50,250 new American jobs and save more than $61 billion in future energy costs by expanding the use of innovative and cost-effective solar heating and cooling (SHC) systems across the nation.

Today, solar employs nearly 120,000 Americans at more than 6,100 companies, most of which are small businesses spread across the United States, making solar one of the fastest-growing industries in America. Part of this amazing growth is attributed to the fact that the cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years, making solar more affordable — and more popular — than ever. And as solar continues to scale up, costs will continue to come down.

So in a week filled with high drama on Capitol Hill, you could say that solar — in its own way — has become the new “nuclear option”   ( it comes to helping America meet its future energy needs.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 11, 2013, 06:14:42 pm
US Solar Industry Records Explosive Growth in Third Quarter  ;D

Rhone Resch 
December 11, 2013

When it comes to renewable energy, you could call it the “shot heard round the world.”

According to a new report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. installed 930 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2013, up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and 35 percent over Q3 2012. This represents the second largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations.

Even more importantly, 2013 is likely to be the first time in more than a decade that the U.S. installs more solar capacity than world leader Germany.  Since 2005 – just before the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was enacted – cumulative PV installations in the U.S. have grown from 171 MW to a “no-one-expected this” 10,200 MW through Q3 of this year. As the Germans would say:  Wunderbar!

FIGURE: Cumulative PV Installations by Quarter, U.S. vs. Germany

Source: U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2013

When all of the numbers are finally in, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry.  We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity.

This unprecedented growth is helping to create thousands of American jobs, save money for U.S. consumers and reduce pollution nationwide.  When it comes to preparing for America’s future, clean, dependable and affordable solar energy has become the “Little Engine That Could,” defying expectations and powering economic growth – and, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our industry’s enormous potential.

But let’s take some time to soak up what’s happened this year.  Most impressively, the residential market continues its rapid growth. Through Q3, residential PV installations were up 45 percent year-over-year, driven largely by increasingly attractive economics and fair net metering policies.

The utility market continues its steady ascent, as well, and is forecasted to exceed 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity in the fourth quarter, including Abengoa’s Solana, the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. This will be the first time any individual market segment has hit that mark.

The non-residential (commercial) market, on the other hand, remains pretty much flat over last year – although blue chip companies like Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Apple and IKEA continue to invest heavily in solar.

But here’s the real takeaway:  When you add all segments of the industry together, solar is the second-largest source of new electricity capacity in the U.S. this year, trailing only natural gas.(

The U.S. Solar Market Insight: 3rd Quarter 2013 predicts that 5.1 GW of PV and CSP will be installed this year.  Cumulative capacity has already surpassed the 10 GW threshold, which means solar is now generating enough electricity to effectively power more than 1.7 million homes across the United States.

Here are some other key findings of the report:

•Strong growth is forecast for the non-commercial market in 2014.

•Blended average PV system prices fell 4.2 percent in Q3 2013 compared to the previous quarter, reaching a new low of $3.00/W.

•The U.S. is expected to install a total of 4.3 GW of new PV in 2013 – up 27 percent over 2012.

•The 392 MW Ivanpah CSP project, one of the largest solar projects in the world, is scheduled to begin delivering electricity to the grid before the end of 2013.

According to yet another new report, FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Update, a whopping 99.3 percent of all new electric generation placed in service during the month of October came from renewables – with solar leading the way by a country mile!

Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new capacity in October.  This is really remarkable, not to mention historic, and should serve as a reminder to everyone in Washington and our state capitals that smart public policies – such as the solar ITC, Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) – are paying huge dividends for America.

And if that news doesn’t make you smile during the holidays, then here’s one other thing to remember – 2014 looks even better for solar!


Title: Do Many Companies Have Solar Panels on Their Roofs?
Post by: AGelbert on December 16, 2013, 11:24:13 pm
Do Many Companies Have Solar Panels on Their Roofs? (

An estimated 32,800 companies in the US had solar panels — or modules that convert sunlight into electricity — installed on their roofs, as of 2013. This was a 40% increase from 2012.

Walmart is the company that used the most solar power in terms of wattage, and it also had the most installations in 2013, at more than 200.

Furniture retailer Ikea had solar roof panels on stores in the most US states, at 20. Ikea also was the company with the highest percentage of facilities being solar powered, at 89%. The increase in companies installing solar panels on their roofs is thought to be the result of a desire to cut electricity costs, which is often one of the top operating expenses for a business.

More about solar energy:

One out of every three Americans are estimated to live within 20 miles of at least one company that has solar panels on its roof.

Solar energy has been used by the space industry to provide energy on board spacecrafts since the 1960s.

The cost of installing solar energy systems in the US dropped by about 50% from 2002 to 2012. (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 26, 2013, 03:46:57 pm
Solar Energy Payback Time (Charts) ;D

Title: Solar May Reach 49 Gigawatts in 2014
Post by: AGelbert on December 27, 2013, 02:14:56 pm

Solar May Reach 49 Gigawatts in 2014  ;D

 Chris Meehan 
 December 27, 2013
Title: Solar Dropping Wholesale Electricity Prices Like A Bad Habit
Post by: AGelbert on January 12, 2014, 04:31:09 pm
Solar Dropping Wholesale Electricity Prices Like A Bad Habit (Charts)  (

Agelbert NOTE:The article is great but I got a kick out of the comments. It seems quite a few of us were on to the fossil fuel utility "energy expert" BULLSHIT game from the start.  ;D


Jouni Valkonen 
• 8 hours ago
And soon batteries will eliminate that evening spike and little bit later also morning spike will be eliminated.

Adam Devereaux 
• 7 hours ago
Isn't it incredible how solar went from a technology that could never generate an appreciable amount of power to a technology that is bad because it steals profits away from utilities and disrupts the standard revenue pattern? ;)

Zachary Shahan Top Commenter > Adam Devereaux 
• 6 hours ago
Ha ha, so incredible and cool. (And also from a power source that "couldn't be integrated into the grid at more than ~5% of the power supply" :P Funny how that claim turned out. :D)

Matt > Zachary Shahan 
• 3 hours ago
People still try to use the "can't be integrated" line. Its like living in Oz. But instead of "Ignore the man be hid the curtain" it is "Ignore those countries in Europe" ;D

Zachary Shahan Top Commenter > Matt 
• 2 hours ago

• 3 hours ago
The utility company alarmism about "integrating solar into the grid" was always a bit of a red herring. That may be a relevant issue if you are talking about integrating utility-scale solar power plants into the grid. But it is mostly irrelevant with regard to distributed end-user solar power, which doesn't really have to be "integrated" into the grid. As far as the grid is concerned, it just looks like demand reduction. Which, as is becoming apparent, is what the utilities were really worried about all along. (

Zachary Shahan Top Commenter > SecularAnimist 
• 2 hours ago
Well summarized.

Dave R 
• 2 hours ago
Got any data on California wholesale prices? There's enough solar on the California grid (~3GW utility scale, ~2GW distributed) that we should be seeing a similar effect there as well.
agelbert > Dave R 
• 7 minutes ago
I would be interested in that too. California has double whammy going on in favor of solar and wind because the new surcharge on dirty energy is raising the cost of fossil fuels as the renewable energy cost goes down. Good!

Do NOT expect Charles Hall, Gail Tverberg, Nicole Foss, Tyler Durden or any of the other "energy" pundits out there to own up to the FACT that they pushed the fossil fuel mendacious propaganda for years! Now they are getting SO quiet about what they previously loudly claimed (up about one year ago when the Renewable Energy tsunami began to eat into their cred).   (

INFAMOUS Fossil Fuel Propaganda about Renewable Energy:

It is too expensive - It is not competitive with fossil fuels - It's over subsidized with feed in tariffs while fossil fuels are cheap (no mention of fossil fuel gigantic subsidies LOL!) - It's a fad - it's pie in the sky - it's hopium and fartum - it's magical thinking - it's EROI is too low! - it's polluting! - it's unhealthy! - it's a niche -  we need to better use our resources! - it lowers our GDP! - it makes us less powerful as a country! ( - it's a drop in the bucket - it takes food off the table  ( it will destabilize the grid! - it hurts the poor ( it's a bad investment - the upfront costs are too high -  it isn't cost effective -  it isn't reliable - it won't last because we will always have to use fossil fuels to make the machinery for it  -  it's ugly and lowers real estate values - it can't respond to demand spikes and people will freeze to death in winter or roast in summer from lack of RELIABLE fossil fuel power!  ( - it cuts into health insurance profits because less people get SICK from fossil and nuclear fuel poisons ( (Actually they didn't say this because it is the only statement of all the above that is actually  true!).  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 13, 2014, 02:58:44 pm

When I set out to build the Bug-Out PV Kit, I did so for a number of reasons. There were a number of questions I had in my own mind...

What is a reasonably sized portable PV Set-up? Is it even practical to design a mobile PV kit? How much would such a kit cost at current prices?

How many and exactly what kind of batteries would be required for such a system?

How much power could such a set-up yield, and what could you do with it?

How often would you need to resort to a grid-based battery charger or a portable generator to keep the batteries charged?

How easy would it be to monitor the system and keep the batteries properly topped off. Would I need to check them daily? Weekly? Hourly?

Some questions I forgot to ask, but would eventually answer:

How much storage space would it take to accommodate all the parts of this system?

How much would the system weigh?

All the handy calculators on the internet designed to help you estimate PV system size work the same way. They begin by getting you to estimate your daily power needs, and then help you figure out how many amp-hours of battery storage it might take to provide that amount of power. After that, you calculate how many panels you need to keep those batteries charged, based on how many sunny hours per day you expect to experience, and how many days of no sun you might need to plan for, based on your geographic location.

For a kit like the one I envisioned, I needed to work from the other direction. How many panels were practical to carry around? What kind of panels were available that met the criteria of being easily portable? Were they 12 Volt? 24 Volt?

I decided to buy 12 Volt 120 W folding panels, with light weight integral folding legs, made sort of like a card table. I first bought two of those, and then eventually decided I could add a third one, after I bought my charge controller, which I figured out would work well for up to about 400W in panels. (The folding panels I got from Solar Blvd were equipped with primitive charge controllers, but I chose to bypass those leaving them in place for back-up)

The cost for the panels was $190 each, or $570 for the 360W total.


I also learned, by reading about other people's adventures, that it takes about 400W in panels to keep a 12 Volt 225 Amp hr battery bank (made of two heavy duty 6V Golf Cart batteries from Sam's Club) charged, in an average sun environment. I bought the batteries from my local Sam's and paid $220. It would have been slightly less had I shlepped a couple of dead 12V batteries to the store to offset the "core charge", but I didn't.


Why 6V g-cart batteries? Simply, they are the best bang for the buck. 12V deep cycle batteries are generally rated at about 50-60 amp hrs, cost about the same as the g-cart batteries. It would take four of them to give the same storage as 2 of the ones I got, and they would need to be wired in parallel, which is something to be avoided with batteries if you can. (Although many people do it anyway.) Gel batteries are nice, but cost much more than wet cell lead acid batteries. The only advantages are that they don't have the potential for leakage, and they don't have to be ventilated. For me, I didn't need to pay double to get those features.

I also learned that such a 400W system is not an uncommon size for RV's, and that I could buy the basic wiring harness, with various junction boxes, switches, circuit breakers, and the correct wiring, along with the Blue Sky charge controller I liked, and a matching battery monitor, from a  small Mom and Pop RV solar outfit called AM Solar.

I had already sourced the controller from Solar Blvd, but I bought the rest of the kit from AM. If I'd bought the complete the kit from AM Solar (They call these kits "system cores ". The appropriate one for my system was their Sunrunner(tm) Signature Series 25/6 PRO Core.) it would have cost $815, including the combiner box.

That price includes a lot of gear. An MPPT charge controller and matching battery monitor (expandable to grow the system if desired), a custom metal box for the charge controller designed to overcome some problems with wiring heavy wire to the CC., Two 30 ft lengths of #6AWG, a bridge shunt for wiring the battery monitor, a temp cable for the batteries and wiring for the battery monitor, and a combiner box with bus bars for paralleling the three panels into one circuit. Also included are all the tiny bits you'd have had to buy yourself after you figured out you needed them. AM kits are well thought out.






That kit basically got me wired from panels to charge controller to batteries. To get AC current, I needed additional battery cables, another fuse, and an inverter. I chose the Morningstar 300W Sure-sine for its durability, simplicity, low cost and small size. I paid about $200. The #2 AWG battery cables I needed (six short ones with lugs and heat shrink installed) cost me $108 from Don Rowe, a company that sells inverters and cables.


I had a big plastic mil-surp box in the garage that once held dental equipment of the Gulf War era. The batteries and the electronics, fuses, switches and other paraphernalia will mount inside the box, once I make some plywood bread boards to fit the lid and bottom of the box.


Total cost for the completed kit, which I hope to finish this week, will be less than $2000.

The biggest surprise? Weight. The panels weigh 30 pounds each, the batteries 64 pounds each. Inverter weighs 11 pounds. the entire kit should tip the scales at roughly 250 pounds! Yeah, a lot more than I would have thought.

From the beginning, the one major requirement I had for the system was that it should power refrigeration. I researched a variety of refrigerators, both 12V units and 120V AC. Nice 12V chest style units could be had that would be compatible, but they were about $750 minimum. EcoCool makes a nice midsize 12V fridge for about $1100 that is efficient enough to run off my little system....but I kept looking.

Just before Christmas I watched one of Lamar Alexander's videos in which he evaluated the 3.1 cubic ft. Edgestar. These are little 120V AC units the size of a large dorm fridge, with separate freezer and fridge. They can be had for under $250 bucks, and their Energy Star rating is 338kWh/yr. They draw maybe 75W for a few seconds when the compressor kicks on, and then only use about 30W continuous while the compressor runs, which is about 50% of the time, based on ambient temperature and how often you open the fridge.

I ordered an "open box special" for $129.95 from an online seller,, and waited...and waited. Finally I checked back and saw my order had been cancelled. My guess is that they sold the unit before I clicked on it, or some such...maybe they never had it. They get some bad reviews for customer service. So before I ordered another one for the regular price of $232, I checked around some more.

I found two other brands of 3.1 size refrigerators that are even more efficient than the Edgestar. Avanti makes one. And Sears sells one under their Kenmore brand. Energy Star rating of 270kWh per year. That's the energy used by the interior light of most refrigerators...unbelievable. And I bought one at my local Sears on sale for $159.95. Score!


I have some 12V LED lights I picked up at Home Depot. I'm continuing to research lights.

When the kit is functional, sometime this week, I intend to experiment with running fridge, lights, laptop, phone charger, AA battery charger, etc., just to see how it all works out. I've answered a lot of the questions that came to me in the beginning, but I expect that I'll be learning a lot more very soon, and answering the rest of the questions on my list, and maybe some more I forgot to ask.

Oh yeah. How big is it? The whole shooting match will fit easily in the trunk of my car (not including the fridge), with room to spare.

 And this system would be perfect to integrate into a bug-out van or small camping trailer.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 15, 2014, 03:35:52 pm
15 Jan 2014 6:59 AM 

Native sun: In the Deep South, a solar farm rises on a former cotton plantation (

By Brentin Mock

Green tech entrepreneur Reginald Parker will be celebrating Martin Luther King Day this year by breaking ground on a six-acre, 1.4-megawatt solar farm in North Carolina, ( which he’s billing as the largest solar project owned and operated by an African American. From talking to other black business owners in the solar industry, I gather that he’s correct.

African Americans don’t have a lot of skin in the energy game, as I wrote a few weeks back. But Parker is looking to change the face of the green industry, and this is only the beginning. He plans to expand the farm to more than 25 acres for a 20 megawatt project by the end of next year. After that, he’s plotting a 100-acre project 30 miles south of the current one. Not bad for the son of sharecroppers.

parker Q. So what drew you to North Carolina for your solar project?

A. North Carolina is the No. 1 state in the Southeast for solar. It offers state tax credits that can make a solar project fairly lucrative, and it also has a renewable energy portfolio standard — a law that says the state must meet a certain number of solar kilowatt-hours per year — so it’s very solar-friendly. Plus, I have some roots here. It was just a good mix.

Q. Some North Carolina policymakers have been hostile to renewable energy. How’d you bypass that?

A. Well, the good news is they didn’t touch any of the solar laws so then that left almost everything up to the counties, and the county we’ve been working with has been very friendly to us. They are supporting what we are doing because we’re going to bring them economic development.

Q. Was the economic landscape pretty ruined over where you bought land for the solar farm?

A. This land was originally used for cotton farming, so with our groundbreaking we are announcing the change from cotton farming to solar farming in North Carolina, and cotton farming is something I truly will not miss.

Q. What do you mean by that?

A. My mom grew up picking cotton as a sharecropper, and her family were sharecroppers, 13 in total, and they worked hard. She’s not here now, but I’m able to say, one generation later, “Mom, you picked cotton, Dad picked tobacco, but now we’re solar farming.” So there’s a tradition of farming there, but it’s a change from cotton to tobacco to solar. It was something like servitude to be a sharecropper, but now we’re owners, and that’s a source of pride in my family.

Q. What first drew your interest to solar energy?

A. My tutor back at MIT, Mawuli Tse, asked me to write an article for African Technology Forum, so I wrote one on the need for renewable energy in Zimbabwe. At the time, I didn’t know anything about renewable energy, and I didn’t know anything about Zimbabwe. But I found out that Zimbabwe would have run out of wood fuel, they would’ve consumed all of their trees, if they didn’t start using other renewable energy sources. So they’re into hydro, solar, and wind. So through that, I learned about all three and became interested in solar.

Q. Media outlets like 60 Minutes are already writing obituaries for the cleantech industry. How do you plan to last in the current environment?

A. Over the past 20 years, the costs of solar energy has increasingly gone down while the cost of natural gas and coal has increasingly gone up. Solar is by definition cheaper than any form of energy except for hydro. People beat up on solar because of the initial startup costs to install solar energy, but it’s still significantly less than the costs for coal. Coal is trying to stay in there, but coal and natural gas have two things working against them: Both are in limited supply. Meanwhile, solar produces enough energy in 47 minutes for the whole globe to use in one year.

Q. Is solar the only renewable energy tool in your portfolio, or are you looking to branch out?

A. I’m a renewable energy guy, and solar is my first play. Some people don’t believe you should walk with two guns at the same time so I’m keeping it simple for now to show that we can walk with one gun and do it well. First, we’re gonna walk, then we’re gonna moonwalk, and then we’re gonna spacewalk.   (


Brentin Mock is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist who writes regularly for Grist about environmental justice issues and the connections between environmental policy, race, and politics. Follow him on Twitter at @brentinmock.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: RE on January 18, 2014, 06:36:00 am
You know AB, instead of posting all this stuff just here on RR, much of it would work well as Blogs on the SUN Website.  You should do more Cross Posting there.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 19, 2014, 09:17:43 pm
Okay, I'll set up a schedule to post the constructive and peppy stuff at SUN as well.  (  (

Title: Solar Water Pumps Wean India Farmers From Grid
Post by: AGelbert on February 11, 2014, 07:53:35 pm
Solar Water Pumps Wean India Farmers From Grid

 Natalie Obiko Pearson and Ganesh Nagarajan, Bloomberg

A risk in converting to solar pumps is that farmers may use excessive amounts of water because the devices have almost no operating costs.  ;D
Title: 5 World Famous Solar Sites
Post by: AGelbert on February 23, 2014, 01:45:20 am
5 World Famous Solar Sites

Nice pictures. The Vatican is the first totally solar powered nation state with 660 million dollars worth of PV.  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: guest17 on April 29, 2014, 03:14:14 pm
SNIPPETS: go to the links for full text:

Solar's Insane Cost Drop


 the cost of solar PV has come from - quite
literally - off the charts less than a decade ago to a point
where [investment bank Sanford] Bernstein says solar PV is now
cheaper than oil and Asian LNG (liquefied natural gas).
 "For these (developing Asian economies) solar is just cheap,
clean, convenient, reliable energy. And since it is a
technology, it will get even cheaper over time [while]
fossil fuel extraction costs will keep rising. There is a
massive global market for cheap energy and that market is
oblivious to policy changes" in China, Japan, the EU or the
US, it writes.
 And then Bernstein drops this bombshell - while solar has a
fractional share of the market now,  within one decade, solar
PV (plus battery storage) may have such a share of the market
that it becomes a trigger for energy price deflation, with
huge consequences for the massive fossil fuel industry that
relies on continued growth.
 Sitting on oil and gas reserves for the benefit of
generations yet to come ceases to be a rational strategy if
that reserve represents a depreciating rather than an
appreciating asset."
 This, Bernstein says, is the hidden flaw with the idea that
solar is "too small to matter". Ultimately, it says, what may
kill the  energy market for equity investors is not the fact
that renewable technology and battery storage will turn into
behemoths, but the realisation of that future as inevitable.



 Bernstein: Utilities Have 4 Choices In Solar Revolution (None
Are Easy To Swallow)

 Can electricity generation companies live off two hours of
demand a day? And what if utilities actually tried to slow
down the rollout of rooftop solar? If these are questions
energy utilities are asking themselves in the current market
environment, they may not like investment bank Bernstein's
 "Instead of high-cost (and high-priced) gas-fired peaking
power plants being engaged in the middle of the afternoon when
all of the air-conditioners are operating and all of the
factories are running, solar addresses that load. California -
like Germany and Australia - is already seeing this effect,"
Bernstein writes.
 Bernstein points out that by 2020, the installed capacity of
solar will be so great that the demand profile will resemble
the green line and daytime power demand will have effectively
collapsed... "For companies selling electricity into merchant
or competitive markets like California, this is a disaster,"
the Bernstein analysts write.
 "Demand during what was one of the most profitable times of
the day disappears. With it, the need for part of the merchant
fleet disappears too for all but the dinner hour. And that is
the issue competitive generators face globally in this
2020-scenario: how to live off demand of two hours a day."
 "The response of simply raising prices per kWh is therefore
unsustainable," the analysts note. And they are faced with
increasingly unattractive choices.
 "The behavior from here seems clear: the solar industry will
expand. Retaliatory steps from distribution utilities will
increase the market for cost-effective battery storage. This
becomes - initially - a secondary market for battery
technologies being developed for the auto sector. A failed
battery technology in the auto sector (too hot, too heavy, too
rigid a form factor) might well be perfect for the home energy
storage market... with an addressable end market of 2 billion

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 29, 2014, 11:49:46 pm
That's the way I see it too!
( (

Title: China Fuels Highest Solar Silicon Demand Since 2011
Post by: AGelbert on April 30, 2014, 01:44:37 pm
China Fuels Highest Solar Silicon Demand Since 2011 (

 Stefan Nicola and Marc Roca, Bloomberg 
 April 30, 2014 

BERLIN -- The polysilicon industry is headed for its biggest boom since a price war started three years ago. It can thank a burst of solar-panel orders in China and Japan.

Demand for the commodity used to make photovoltaic cells will jump 15 percent this year, the most since 2011, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts. The price of the material, made from super-heated silicon particles and sliced into wafers, has reached its highest since the middle of 2012. Global sales may top $6 billion at that price.

Manufacturers led by GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. of China and Wacker Chemie AG in Germany are expanding production, anticipating higher revenue will restore their margins. They’re benefiting from a renaissance in the renewable energy industry, which last year rivaled fossil fuels for new power generation capacity added worldwide.

“We are seeing a massive recovery in the entire solar industry, also in polysilicon,” said Stefan De Haan, a solar analyst at IHS Inc. “2013 was the year of the turnaround, and the situation will further improve in 2014.”

Factories producing the material will be at their busiest in at least two years, according to IHS. All that is an about- face for manufacturers who for the last two years had to idle capacity or post losses as poly prices plunged.

Asian Demand(
China and Japan are driving the rebound with subsidies for solar panel installations. About 44.5 gigawatts of solar capacity will be added around the world this year, a 21 percent increase over 2013, according to the average estimate of nine analysts and companies. The two Asian countries may account for half of all new projects. A gigawatt of electricity is about as much as a new nuclear reactor produces.

Renewable energy accounted for 44 percent of the new generation capacity added worldwide last year, according to data from New Energy Finance, which is owned by Bloomberg LP. ( (

“Japan has a fantastic subsidy that’s fueling a domestic boom, and there’s significant demand and government support for new projects in China,” said Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst at New Energy Finance in Zurich. “The entire polysilicon industry will benefit from this.”

Polysilicon prices, which tumbled 42 percent during 2012, and were little changed for most of 2013, have been rising since November. They may jump to as high as $25 a kilogram this year, from $21.75 on April 21, Chase said.

Prices Rising

IHS expects the average polysilicon price to rise as much as 10 percent this year. Revenues for suppliers will jump 33 percent to $5 billion, De Haan said on April 24.

China became the biggest solar market last year. Surging demand will benefit European and local makers the most, since the government in Beijing introduced import tariffs for U.S. and South Korean-made polysilicon in January. Chinese companies, which make most PV panels, import more than half the polysilicon they need from abroad.

China imposed anti-dumping charges up to 57 percent for U.S. makers including Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., REC Silicon and SunEdison Inc. OCI Co., South Korea’s largest polysilicon producer, got a tariff of just 2.4 percent. That contributed to a 30 percent drop in U.S. polysilicon imports into China last year. South Korea and Germany raised shipments.

Today, China imposed duties of 14.3 percent to 42 percent for polysilicon it imports from Europe, though it exempted Wacker Chemie from the decision citing a price commitment the German company already has made.

Shares Surge

Shares of solar companies already have responded. GCL-Poly is up about 48 percent in Hong Kong in the past year and Wacker by 43 percent. OCI has risen about 28 percent. Hemlock is a owned by Dow Corning Corp. and Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd.

“Hemlock Semiconductor has also seen increased business activity in the polysilicon industry,” Jarrod Erpelding, a spokesman at Dow Corning, said by e-mail. “While spot prices are an indicator of increased demand, the large majority of our sales are through long-term contracts.”

Wacker and SunEdison declined to comment, citing quiet periods ahead of their earnings reports. GCL didn’t answer phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

The demand surge is trickling down the value chain. The number of Chinese companies producing polysilicon more than doubled to 15 last year. Just four years ago, before prices collapsed, at least 100 companies were manufacturing it.

Tokuyama Corp., a materials maker based in Shunan, Japan, plans to start production this year at a new polysilicon factory in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Industry Rebounds  ( ;D

Polysilicon producers reduced output as prices crashed in 2012, with many small companies halting altogether. LDK Solar Co. dropped out of the top 10 makers as it defaulted on bond payments. OCI reduced output last year. This year, the South Korean company is investing in streamlining its production plants to fill an increase in demand it expects in the second half of the year, a spokesman said.

“The price will mostly depend on whether there would be a major demand increase or what would be expected after competitors restructuring in the market,” Park Sangbae, senior manager for public relations at OCI, said by e-mail. “We are expecting the price to increase.”

Rising production in China may cause poly prices to sag again, said Shiro Okada, a spokesman for the Tokuyama. Factory utilization, which De Haan says is good health indicator for the polysilicon industry, will increase by 14 percentage points to 78 percent this year.


“The industry remains oversupplied,” Okada said by phone from Tokyo. “The market is expected to grow globally, but companies already have enough production capacity.”

The market is dominated by five companies -- GCL-Poly, OCI, Wacker, Hemlock and REC. They alone can almost cover all the demand for high-grade polysilicon. Their capacities are on the edge of becoming short of what the market needs this year.

“Supply and demand has reached a really tight point,” said Jade Jones, an industry analyst at GTM Research in Boston. “Polysilicon makers have been able to raise prices because they know that there’s growing demand. If you listen to their recent earnings calls, there’s hope in their voices.” (

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 30, 2014, 03:54:21 pm
World’s Largest Solar Plant Could Power 230,000 Homes

Brandon Baker | April 30, 2014 9:32 am  (

NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar unveiled the new king in solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities this week.  (

Located on 2,400 acres of land between Yuma and Phoenix, AZ, Agua Caliente is now operational as the world’s largest PV solar facility in the world.  ( The 290-megawatt (MW) project uses solar energy to avoid the annual emission of about 324,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—equivalent to taking nearly 70,000 cars off the road.

Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, NRG and MidAmerican sell solar power to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. At peak capacity, the plant will generate enough energy to power 230,000 homes.

NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar announced the completion of Agua Caliente, the world's largest photovoltaic solar facility at 290 megawatts. The Arizona plant sells clean power to Pacific Gas & Electric Company under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Photo credit: Business Wire/NRG Energy

NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar announced the completion of Agua Caliente, the world’s largest photovoltaic solar facility at 290 megawatts. The Arizona plant sells clean power to Pacific Gas & Electric Company under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Photo credit: Business Wire/NRG Energy

NRG was also involved in another record-setting solar project this year—the launch of Ivanpah, the world’s largest concentrating solar thermal power plant.

“Proving that we can build both the world’s largest solar thermal and now one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities advance NRG’s mission to reshape the energy landscape that is incredibly beneficial to both the economy and in how we produce and consume energy,” Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar, said in a statement.

FirstSolar designed and constructed the project using advanced thin-film PV modules and will operate and maintain the facility for NRG and MidAmerican Solar. Peter W. Davidson, executive director of the Loan Programs Office (LPO) said the energy companies received a $967 million loan guarantee for Agua Caliente. In a blog post for the U.S. Department of Energy, Davidson displayed pride in aiding clean energy.

“Despite the strong and consistent public demand for greater development of solar energy, these achievements seemed more aspirational than attainable in 2009, given the state of financial markets at the time,” Davidson wrote. “However, with the help of loan guarantees, these projects were able to move forward.

“We aren’t done yet.  (  By the end of next year, we expect all five solar PV plants in our portfolio to be completed with a combined capacity of 1,510 MW—enough to power more than a quarter million average American homes.”

Agua Caliente, located in Yuma County, AZ, is now the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the world. Photo credit: (at link) NRG Energy

Agua Caliente is the largest of 10 operational utility-scale solar PV facilities in three states that NRG has an ownership interest in. By this time next year, it may no longer be the largest PV plant, as work continues on another MidAmerican project, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, CA.

“In 2012, our company made a commitment to invest in its first utility-scale solar project to foster economic development while demonstrating our commitment to the environment,” said Richard Weech, chief financial officer of MidAmerican Renewables.

“It is exciting to see this project become fully operational and begin to realize the full benefit of emissions savings with the clean energy generated at Agua Caliente.”
Title: The First Working Solar Energy Device
Post by: AGelbert on May 03, 2014, 01:07:11 am
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 06, 2014, 01:31:25 am

Even while deaths from Fossil Fuel caused severe weather increase, the exponential curve of the Renewable Energy Revolution replacement of all dirty energy has manifested itself. Fossil Fuels are a DEAD PIG WALKING!
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 06, 2014, 03:29:59 pm
Missouri’s Solar Problem:  ( 
Too Many People Like It
( (

By  May 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Missouri has been heavily dependent on coal for decades (
, but the state is on the cusp of a solar revolution.   (  ( The state had just 39 megawatts of solar installed at the end of 2013, putting it in 17th place nationally. But by mid-2014, as much as 110 megawatts of solar is expected to be online, potentially making Missouri a solar leader in the Midwest.  (

Unfortunately that could be the end of the solar story in Missouri. Just as the state is picking up serious momentum, the solar rebates that have helped propel the growth are abruptly ending, six years before the gradual phase-out that had been planned.  >:(

“We want off the solar coaster,” Heidi Schoen, executive director of the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association told Midwest Energy News. “We don’t want to be in this boom-and-bust situation.”

Despite its enormous impact, Missouri’s solar rebate program is still relatively new. It came into being in 2008, with the passage of Proposition C, a ballot initiative that required investor-owned utilities to derive 15 percent of their electric generation from renewable resources by 2021 — including 2 percent from solar energy. To help jumpstart solar development in a state where 4 out of 5 homes are powered by coal, the successful ballot initiative required utilities to offer a $2-a-watt rebate for solar installations, with a maximum rebate of $50,000 per installation.

For the average homeowner, the rebates meant that the price of a typical, residential 5-kilowatt array was about $10,000 instead of $20,000.

The legislation, however, had one huge key caveat — it stated that if meeting the renewable standard led to rate hikes for customers of more than 1 percent, utilities would no longer be required to comply.

And last year, Missouri’s two largest utilities announced that they had met that 1 percent cap on rates and asked that the rebate program be suspended indefinitely.

After much negotiation, the utilities and solar installers agreed on something approaching a compromise — a finite pool of rebate funds that was intended to soften the otherwise brutal blow to the solar industry. The $175 million set aside for rebates was, however, devoured by Missourians still eager to get solar, and the money was gone within weeks of being announced, with $25 million in applications on a waiting list, in case a project doesn’t move forward.

There are several bills in the Missouri Legislature to restart the solar rebate program in the state, but with the current legislative session drawing to a close with the bills still in committee, their prospects look dim.

One of the bills would revive solar rebates on a more limited scale — just for schools and nonprofits. The other option under consideration is to restart the rebates under Missouri’s 2009 energy efficiency law.

“We’re going to lose half our employees, at least,” Rick Hunter, chief executive of Microgrid Solar, one of the largest installers in the area told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “And we’re gonna be better off than most companies. … We were up to 75 employees and we’re expecting to be less than 40 before the end of the summer.”

The Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that if the rebate had stayed in place, the solar industry would have added a total of $415 million to the state’s economy and more than 3,700 jobs by the end of the year. Missouri even ranked in the Top Ten States for Clean Energy Job Announcements in 2013 by the national group Environmental Entrepreneurs.

© 2005-2014 Center for American Progress Action Fund
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 07, 2014, 11:17:02 pm
UK Partnership Helps 50 Schools Raise Nearly $600,000 to Go Solar( (
Title: Watch the White House Finally Go Solar
Post by: AGelbert on May 09, 2014, 06:32:33 pm
Watch the White House Finally Go Solar
Title: Re: Watch the White House Finally Go Solar
Post by: guest2 on May 10, 2014, 08:57:38 pm
Watch the White House FinallyAgain Go Solar
Fixed that for you... in case you had didn't know or had forgotten, Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House, Ronald Reagan took them down.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 11, 2014, 01:11:00 am
You are definitely on a pedantic streak. SIGH...  ::)

I simply posted the headline of the article.
Watch the White House Finally Go Solar Brandon Baker | May 9, 2014 11:42 am
The panels Carter put on the White House were token. The ones going up now are much more powerful and very permanent. But of course you are right. The White house had some PV panels before Reagan took them down. 

Here's a nice link from this forum posted some time ago you might be interested in looking over.

"And Jimmy Carter, after his famous fireside cardigan-sweater chat urging Americans to conserve energy, put solar panels on the White House."

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: guest2 on May 11, 2014, 09:18:26 pm
You are definitely on a pedantic streak. SIGH...  ::)
More impish than pedantic <(-:<
I simply posted the headline of the article. The panels Carter put on the White House were token. The ones going up now are much more powerful and very permanent.
I am glad to hear that these are much more powerful.  I'm afraid though that after hearing Bill Clinton talking about his wife's plan to make all government buildings as energy efficient as possible, even making the White House 100% solar seems a bit token.

And I am very leery of history repeating itself if a Republican gets elected in 2016.
Here's a nice link from this forum posted some time ago you might be interested in looking over.
Thanks, that does look interesting.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 11, 2014, 11:29:56 pm
I hear ya about Clinton. On the subject of efficient heating and cooling of buildings, notice in the White House video the office building behind it. Amory Lovins discovered that they had put in about 240 window air conditioners in the 1950s and screwed up the design the architect had put into the building about 100 years ago or so that eliminated the need for most cooling because of a clever window vent design (that the wall air conditioners totally screwed up!  >:().

The architects of old knew all about renewable energy in building design before fossil fuels. Amory Lovins goes all over the world teaching people how to cut 80 to 90 percent energy use without ANY loss in comfort or manufacturing capacity AND most of the time an actual increase in air quality because of superior circulation prevents disease germs (from someone who came to work sick) from being spread. Our industrial engineers and fossil fuel happy architects ( have truly forked a lot of things up. ( The key, known by architects of old and forgotten today but rediscovered by Amory Lovins and his team of engineers, is that you extract hot air from the TOP of a floor, not the middle or bottom and you MUST avoid mixing the old air with the new by introducing the new air at the lowest point on the floor area. The way most systems are designed now, the fans and ducting push germs (yep, hospitals too! Amory has done a lot of refits on hospitals that have saved them a bundle on energy -> MUCH SMALLER FANS, Pumps  and less curves in ducting and pipes carrying fluids AND made the air circulation better able to prevent the spread of germs) around and use multiples as much energy because the fans are working against the natural gradient. In Amory Lovins building refits, the hot, old air or hot ANYTHING from industrial processes is run through a heat exchanger (not just ANY heat exchanger - these are new designs massively more efficient at sucking heat out of air or liquid flows with low or NO FOSSIL FUELS, thank you very much) BEFORE IT IS EXHAUSTED so there is little or no waste heat and you get energy to heat water or increase air pressure in an evaporative cycle for air conditioning OR heating WITHOUT the use of a fossil fuel powered compressor. It's all in those five videos I posted on Energy Efficiency by Amory Lovins.

This is not Cornucopian stuff. The WASTE is MASSIVE. We ARE talking about 80 to 90% of civilization unnecessarily using power, PERIOD. We ACTUALLY need to spend only 10 or 20% of the energy we NOW SPEND to do exactly the same things IF we become efficient as we were before fossil fuels but with better technology. Amory points out that MOST of the energy spent in civilization is NOT in transportation, mining or industrial processes manufacturing stuff like is commonly believed( ; MOST of the energy, and most is WASTED because of poor design and understanding of laminar versus turbulent flow of liquids, is to power PUMPS. That's right; PUMPS! (Second video - energy efficiency in buildings).

Don't believe me? Watch the videos. They are long. They are boring but they are fastidiously accurate. ( Amory Lovins has done refits all over the world from the Empire State Building to the White House to Computer Chip Factories to whatever. The guy KNOWS what he is talking about and has been DOING it, not just talking about it, since the 1980s.  (

Check him out. The guy is extremely down to earth, is not prone to hyperbole or wishful/magical  thinking and PROVES, with data, ALL HIS CLAIMS.  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 12, 2014, 01:07:46 am
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: guest2 on May 12, 2014, 11:52:21 am
Don't believe me? Watch the videos. They are long. They are boring but they are fastidiously accurate. Amory Lovins has done refits all over the world from the Empire State Building to the White House to Computer Chip Factories to whatever. The guy KNOWS what he is talking about and has been DOING it, not just talking about it, since the 1980s.

Check him out. The guy is extremely down to earth, is not prone to hyperbole or wishful/magical  thinking and PROVES, with data, ALL HIS CLAIMS.

Oh no, I definitely do believe you, I've been a big fan of Amory Lovins for a long time.  If I had to do my life over, I might have tried to get an apprenticeship at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Only one problem: where are the videos you are talking about?  I can't find any links.
Title: Re: Photovoltaics (PV)
Post by: Surly1 on May 12, 2014, 01:12:31 pm
Yeah, AG, where are the links you referenced?
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 12, 2014, 03:34:26 pm
Surly and JD,
Here are the video links:

Energy efficiency 1 Amory Lovins

Jump to the RIGHT steps in the RIGHT order for space cooling:  ;D

Energy efficiency 2

Check this part out if you are in a hurry: "Eating the WHOLE LOBSTER is mostly CFS, not rocket science" (

Energy efficiency 3

Energy efficiency 4

Energy efficiency 5

The next industrial revolution

PS: Also in Energy efficiency 2 Amory points to a world shaking discovery that industrial engineers DO NOT WANT TO ADMIT. ALL the Industrial and Mechanical Engineering textbooks are WRONG on evaporative heat exchange coil design (massively, as far as energy efficiency is concerned  :o) BECAUSE the scientist that discovered how a gas OR liquid moves through a pipe or tube (how much FRICTION energy losses occur) in 1921 stated that the flow is TURBULENT, not LAMINAR. THAT is exactly backwards, as discovered by Amory Lovins! Do you know what that means? IT means EVERY pipe and pressure gradient friction factor in EVERY engine, pump, duct or pipe is DESIGNED for turbulent flow when it should be designed for laminar flow. This is a GIGANTIC (and very convenient for fossil fuelers!) WASTE of ENERGY! We are talking well over 60 to 70% REDUCTION in energy use just by redesigning ALL the above for laminar flow. This is because the HIGH friction losses will no longer occur and, WITHOUT REDUCING ANY OUTPUT OF WORK ENERGY, you reduce USE ENERGY by 60 to 70%.

Get Roamer to go through this stuff detail by detail. Maybe he will finally see what I've been trying to tell him for over a year, which he refuses to admit, about fossil fuels being UNNECESSARY to run our civilization. Since I'm NOT an engineer, maybe I can't get through to him. But Amory puts it all on the table. Amory MEASURES, putting instrumentation all over the place to get EXACTLY the accurate energy use picture without old, out of date, or just plain WRONG, engineering text book mantras about how much energy is used to do this, that or the other. This is REAL, Surly. Our imminent demise is nothing but a doomer's misplaced pessimism.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: guest2 on May 12, 2014, 05:06:50 pm
Thanks, AGelbert.  Do you mind if I repost this at the Doomstead Diner?  Roamer hasn't posted anything in a while, but he was on today, so hopefully he will see it.  (And, I was able to get that information AFTER logging off, so I'm not abusing my mod privileges by telling you that.)

I halfway agree with you about our imminent demise.  I basically am a techno-cornucopian but a political doomer.  It is not the doomer's nightmares that concern me, it is the sociopath's dreams -- particularly the "better dead than Red" crowd.  I believe we can solve these problems if we work together, but I fear there are those in power who would rather see us go extinct than lose their control.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 12, 2014, 10:33:13 pm
Repost anything and everything you wish that I have posted here at the DD or anywhere else. And I thank you heartily in advance for doing so.

Just Remember that at the DD you will be immediately assaulted with a dressed up version of this:

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. 
( ( (  ( 

If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. ( The origin of myths is explained in this way.

Bertrand Russell

If the DOOMERS want to scoff and call me a cornucopian dreamer, they'll have to DO IT HERE! ( (
Title: Solar Shingles or Solar Panels: Which is Best for Your Home?
Post by: AGelbert on May 17, 2014, 01:49:16 am
Solar Shingles or Solar Panels: Which is Best for Your Home?

Harnessing the sun’s rays produces a renewable, clean power source that can be converted to electricity by means of solar panels or roof shingles. Here’s a fact sheet on these two methods to help you choose the best one for your home.

Solar Panels  (

Solar panels are the older of the two, first developed in the 1950s. There are some 40-year-old panels in existence today that are still working at an impressive 80 percent of their original capacity.  :o  ;D

The average solar panel measures 18 square feet and produces 185 to 240 watts.

Solar panels are typically installed above the shingles or other roof surface, leaving a 6 inch gap. Occasionally this gap becomes home to pests such as squirrels, raccoons, birds and even bats.  :( Special screens are now marketed to protect against animal infestation.  8)

You can easily position and angle solar panels to catch the sun, no matter which direction your roof faces. Some will even track the sun at various times of day for optimal energy collection.

It is a simple matter to move and relocate the panels, which may be installed in locations other than the roof – for example, atop a pole or in your garden or yard.

Solar panels are more suitable for retrofitting if your existing roof is in adequate shape to last as long as the panels themselves, which are typically guaranteed for 25 to 30 years. Minimal – or no – structural change to the roof is required.

You can save money by installing solar panels yourself; there are kits on the market for this purpose. Be aware, though, that this may disqualify you for subsidies and rebates from the government or utility companies on your solar energy system. Check out the rules for these incentives, as well as your local building code.

Solar Shingles (AKA Solar Roof Tiles)

Solar shingles were first marketed in 2005. Because they are so new, there is not yet any real life data on how long they last.

Similar in size and shape to an asphalt shingle, a single solar shingle produces 13 to 63 watts. This type of solar device originally had low conversion efficiency, about half the rate of solar panels. However, with technological advances over the last few years, they have been catching up.

Solar shingles take the place of their conventional counterparts as the roofing material itself; therefore the ideal time to install them is when you are building a new home or replacing your current roof.
Lightweight and attractive with a deep indigo blue color, solar shingles have weather resistance, strength and flexibility much the same as asphalt shingles.

A solar shingle roof is relatively quick to install; the installation time has decreased approximately 60 percent in the past decade to about 10 hours. Nevertheless, considerable technical expertise is still required. As with solar panels, a solar shingle roof must conform to the building code of your state, for example Rhode Island. It is recommended to hire a qualified roofer with experience in this type of installation.

Solar shingles are difficult to position to take optimum advantage of the sun’s rays, particularly if your roof is not facing south.

A solar shingle roof will generate heat, which the roof substrate must be capable of withstanding. This heat also needs to be directed out of your attic in warmer months.


Both solar panels and solar shingles should result in substantial savings on electric bills, especially during sunny weather.
Financial incentives are offered for the installation of either type of system, generally in the form of utility discounts as well as federal tax credits.

Read more:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: Surly1 on May 17, 2014, 09:09:43 pm
Repost anything and everything you wish that I have posted here at the DD or anywhere else. And I thank you heartily in advance for doing so. 

Just Remember that at the DD you will be immediately assaulted with a dressed up version of this:

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. 

If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.  The origin of myths is explained in this way.

Bertrand Russell

If the DOOMERS want to scoff and call me a cornucopian dreamer, they'll have to DO IT HERE! 

AG, thanks for the Lovins links. Now I'll have to go to school a bit.

BTW, I still post up your stuff on the DDFB page. If you object, I would stop, but it does't sound like you do.

I think you got a pretty good hearing from a great number of us on the DD. I always found, and find, that you are a wealth of useful information, and are about 80 years ahead of your time. The cornucopians and apostles of the status quo won't get it, because Upton Sinclair. So fork them (adopting your epithet of choice here in your house.)

Keep up the terrific work.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 18, 2014, 02:25:24 am
Thank you Surly.  ;D

Everything I post here is community property. Post it wherever and whenever you wish, with or without attribution.

I just had a tough week with a motion full of ridiculous jabberwokee from the bank. I slammed an urgent motion in reply ( which even quotes the PR state Constitution and case law from the state Supreme Court on how the bank is perniciously injuring the property rights of the citizenry. After hammering all my legal points, points she doesn't want to touch with a ten foot pole but is SUPPOSED to, I POLITELY read the judge the riot act with, not one, but three reasons (without actually quoting the regulation number for judge RECUSAL  ;D ) why, if the judge does not rule for my solution to the bank's complaint, Anyone observing the ruling could "reasonably" suspect the possibility  ;D that the court is showing partiality, prejudgement of the case, undermining the belief of the citizenry in the judicial system and negatively affecting commerce in the buying and selling of properties because the ruling is for the bank which becomes "unjustly enriched" (a point of law) AND the equity of the debtor is not preserved even though the property has been paid for 19.5 years on a 20 year mortgage! I.E. the debtor is "CONSEQUENTLY "Unjustly impoverished" (another point of law that can cause a sale at auction to be annulled).

I can, if she rules against me, appeal put that is a huge hassle and very expensive. I can't do it from here. BUT, I DO have legal grounds to overturn a sentence in favor of the bank foreclosure auction and have it annulled. But being right under the LAW doesn't mean much these days... :(  I expect, she will rule for the bank anyway.   :P

Oh well, I have shot my full quiver of legal arguments. I did what I could. There just seems to be too much corruption and too much bank power.  :P   I've pounded the law screaming (very politely with florid and loquacious legalisms, OF COURSE ( ) that the minimum bid of $150,000 is illegal because of case law (Stare Decicis) from 2012 but the judge is silent as a tomb!  >:( She won't even address my request to have the property assessed now if she rules for foreclosure auction. The only good thing is that, since I have officially appeared in court via motions, the bank MUST send me, via registered mail, notice of the day, hour and place  of where the foreclosure auction is to take place. My wife has an idea of sending some relatives of hers who are fairly well off to bid up the price. LOL! We'll see.  (

Hey, I found a cool web site with latin expressions you might like. Check it out. Here's a couple of  good ones  (   I'd like to toss at the judge (but won't cause she would NOT find them amusing. LOL!).

Agelbert approaches the bench:
Your Honorable Magnificence of the Excellence of the pinnacleness of erudition, justice and unending and eternal integrity, obtaining an equitable ruling from this court against a bank worth 42 billion dollars is as likely as ab asino lanam !

Furthermore, after observing your tireless labor in which you wisely and with great discernment wade through all the claims and counter claims ( (  to ensure all is done with proper decorum, is thoroughly within the holy and always just and saintly law, I have come to the conclusion that parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: Surly1 on May 18, 2014, 07:34:14 am
parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus .

Excellent, AG.

Sorry about the mouse, though.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 18, 2014, 04:08:49 pm


Title: Moms Going Solar — The Ripple Effect (VIDEO)
Post by: AGelbert on May 24, 2014, 02:18:39 pm
Moms Going Solar — The Ripple Effect (VIDEO)  ( ( ( ( (

Title: Solar "Advocacy" and the US greedball proclivity to the CEO cult of Personallty
Post by: AGelbert on May 24, 2014, 04:00:15 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Below please find an "entertaining" discussion I had at Cleantechnica in regard to an article on an overpaid CEO of a Solar Power Advocacy Group ( trying to play the "corporate CEO cult of personality" BS game that got us to the biosphere destroying state we are in.

I think you mis-interpreted his salary. His actual paycheck was closer to $566,000. The remainder is mostly deferred pay, and the way IRS rules are set up, he may get or he may not. See rules on 457(f) SERPs.

While i realize near $600k is still lot, it’s not for trade group advocates and association CEOs, it’s pretty much inline. Perhaps you should look salaries of the people Resch is going up against at Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association or American Petroleum Institute.

I want solar to succeed and I think we need strong, talented advocate at the head of SEIA. You may disagree that person should be Resch, but I have no problem with his salary.

agelbert Denver
Talent = Salary is what got the USA into the Greed is Good situation destroying the biosphere. You are so wrong to equate talent with salary. Talent goes with Vocation, not salary. Every spare nickel available needs to be put into the product or lobbying efforts, the way Elon Musk did and does. That's how it is done; not with the me first crap! Nobody needs that much money to live when they are supposedly fighting big oil and a polluted world future. If you claim he is "indispensable", I'll tell you what first year business administration texts say: "Find the indispensable man; and fire him!" I would fire that pig in a microsecond if I could. We do not need more "personality cult" greedball, ego trip, narcissistic, arrogant type CEO people in the Vocation of Renewable Energy, period.

Peter Quill agelbert
@agelbert: Seems like that online business degree  ( has prepared you well. Something they teach in actual business schools or economic courses is what's called "network effect." Resch and his staff's relationship with policy makers increases the probability of positive spillovers to the solar industry in the form of advantageous public policy. Advocacy is not like a business. Lobbyists don't go to work, turn on machines, and churn out public policy at the lowest marginal cost possible. It's about relationships with policy makers and their staff. In that regard, Resch is very valuable  ( to the solar industry. You can't simply substitute him out with a lower paid widget CEO and expect those countless hours of relationship nurturing  ( to transfer over.

agelbert Peter Quill
Yes, of course. You just gave me chapter and verse on "how the world really works". You brainiacs have done so well with that attitude straight from "Manufacturing consent ideology" haven't you?  ( (

Damnant quodnon intelligent.

Civilitas successit barbarum.

"We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think – in fact they do so."
Bertrand Russell

Peter Quill agelbert
Throwing out incorrect applications of Chomsky, a few lines of Googled Latin, and a quote from a British philosopher is not a substitute for making a cognizant point. What's next, calling me a Nazi? Let's prove Godwin's Law correct.

agelbert Peter Quill
My, but you are good at attacking the messenger in hopes of undermining the message, aren't you?
Okay Peter, here's what I humbly believe you don't get. I will dispense with all sarcasm. This is serious and the pro-profit culture of the USA is destructive to the future of Homo sapiens, period.

That doesn't mean we can't make money off of Renewable Energy. Anyone with half a brain and some knowledge of cost accounting, that includes environmental bioremediation costs, understands that fossil fuels were never cheap and renewable energy is the default setting of everything that lives in the biosphere.

IOW, the issue is not which technology is more "competitive", "cost effective" or "convincing to the consumer and the government" through an intelligent and planned advocacy of Solar or whatever.

The Goal of Renewable Energy advocacy is Demand Destruction of Fossil Fuels. Why? because the profits from the sale of fossil fuels have been (and continue to be used for this heinous purpose to this day) used to buy the government and make laws that corner, stifle and strangle any technology that competes with fossil fuels for the last century or so.

People want Renewable Energy. All the polls confirm that. An advocacy has to go out there and get renewable energy in more and more hands, not try to influence the bought and paid for big wigs with bragged about "connections" like your hero. You need to shave $500,000 from his salary and write a check for $500 to a thousand people to be used on a small solar panel setup in their homes. They will then start scrimping to try to "get more our of the panel" and want to add more panels!  ( is how you destroy demand for fossil fuels and beat them out of existence, period.(

Here's a post I just made to illustrate what I hope china is doing and what I know we should be, but aren't, doing.

The rapid growth of the Chinese offshore wind power sector requires a rational and clear tariff structure, something the Chinese are serious and methodical about because they are clear eyed about what the future holds if they do not make sure ALL renewable energy technologies achieve the goal, and achieve it SOON, of total demand destruction for fossil fuels. That's what the USA can't seem to understand.

This is NOT about replacing an inferior technology for harvesting energy with a superior and cheaper technology; this is about Homo sapiens survival. The Chinese understand this. If only the USA did. We have, in the USA, the stupidest, most suicidal energy policy on the planet.

I hope the Chinese pull the plug on the building of coal power plants, decommission built ones and embrace Amory Lovins' accurate assessment of industrial civilization that with efficiency increases in the energy production technology from power source to consumer, over 90% of the wasted energy can be eliminated and we can power ALL the needs of present industrial civilization with only 10% of what we now use.

It's called negawatts and it is real. Why? Because a 5 to 10% efficiency increase (easily achievable with modern technology) in the transmission and/or generation of power has a multiplicative effect when it reaches the consumer. A 5% efficiency increase at the generation source equals over 70% energy saving at the consumer.

That is why the consumer savings, so far, have had such a small effect on fossil fuel demand. That has to change. Amory Lovins knows how to do that and has been doing it for several years.
I think China gets it. Our US (s)elected (by the fossil fuel oligarchy) "representatives" don't.

Give $500,000 to Amory Lovins and you will see real fossil fuel demand destruction.

Peter Quill agelbert
Making the point that we have a compromised political system that allows corporations to exert undue pressure on our policy making apparatus is a different point and one in which I agree. However, until that system is radically changed, it would be foolish for the solar industry not to play ball by those rules, however skewed they may be to incumbent industries.

You keep throwing out terms like "demand-destruction." There isn't "demand" for oil, coal or gas. There is demand for "power" and "energy"( - i.e. what you can do with those resources. People largely don't think about or care how it is harnessed.   (  Oh sure, they might answer that they support renewables when called up by a pollster, but there is strong social incentive to do that. ( (

What you are really saying, I think, is that the FULL marginal cost - the private cost plus social cost - needs to be included in the price of a unit of power. To that I totally agree.

I believe that a stiff carbon tax is the most efficient way to do this. It eliminates the economic inefficiencies that arise when you subsidize and regulate products and markets, and allows marginal users (i.e. a peak gas plant that runs 10 days a year) to continue running because economic surplus is created in that case, even after accounting for the social cost of carbon. So yea, let's tax carbon. Until we can get to that point, let's not sit on our hands and refuse to play ball in the current system just because we find it morally repugnant or because its not the most economically efficient way to achieve results.  (

agelbert Peter Quill
I hear you and I understand you are trying to make the best of the hand you have been dealt, so to speak. I hope you are right and I am wrong.

I still believe the application of the negawatts course of action (to increase fossil fuel demand destruction in order to de-empower the fossil fuel industry from driving solar into a box canyon and proceeding to stifle it) is not optional because, after stifling solar through restrictive laws and such low down and dirty tactics, the fossil fuelers scream that solar is not cost effective and a "waste" to "subsidize".  (

Then they crow about how "great" and "competitive" fossil fuels are.  (

They did it to ethanol in the 1930s with Prohibition (and are trying to do it again now by backing the wrong crop - corn - as a biofuel source).

They game all these renewable energy technologies. Check out how Reagan turned the lights on Solar.

How Ronald Reagan turned the lights out on solar power (

These people do not believe in a level energy sources playing field. Their version of a level energy playing field is an alpine slope with them looking down at you [/i]with lots of big rocks ready to toss at you if you get good at climbing that slope. If you play their game, you will lose.

If it weren't for the severe climate we are beginning to experience due to fossil fuel burning folly, solar would have been crushed just like wind, CSP and geothermal were in the 1980s.

We need the demand for fossil fuels rug pulled out from under the fossil fuel polluting, mendacious propaganda pushing pigs so they can no longer buy our politicians.

Peter, I see you are practical fellow. Well, the only practical approach to the fossil fuel pushing criminals is a paradigm shift. That's not about idealism; it's about survival.

Perhaps you do not believe the issue is that serious. I think it is. Taxing carbon is, of course, part of the solution to the overall equation.

But bear in mind that, historically, punitive measures have never worked on Big Oil and Coal because they buy the politicians. You must destroy their profits or they will destroy you (and, in the time tested path of the criminally insane, suicidally destroy our hope for a viable biosphere).  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 25, 2014, 07:07:28 pm
Mount Signal Solar Is Online: World's Largest Single Axis Solar PV Project  ( News

Yet another enormous solar plant is producing energy in California, Mount Signal Solar.      (

 Built by Abengoa (MCE: ABG; Nasdaq: ABGB), it is the world's largest single-axis solar PV  plant, which means the solar panels track the sun.

 At 206 megawatts, it will bring clean electricity to about 72,000 homes in the San Diego area.  More than three million modules are spread over almost 2000 acres - each rotates on a north-south axis to track the daily path of the sun.


Solar Mount Signal

Abengoa doesn't own the plant - they designed and built the project for Silver Ridge Power under a $365 million contract. Google invested $103 million in the project. At peak construction it employed over 700 people from the surrounding area, building it in a record 16 months.

 In the US, Abengoa also built Solana - the world's largest parabolic trough solar plant and the first to store energy - that came online last year in Arizona. It will soon complete the 250 MW Mojave Solar Project, another parabolic trough plant, in California.

 Based in Spain, Abengoa recently began trading on Nasdaq (ABGB), in addition to its home market exchange, and will soon spin off Abengoa Yield, one of many "yieldcos
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 29, 2014, 10:59:50 pm
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 31, 2014, 02:31:33 pm
Rapid Solar Growth Offers Hope In Fight Against Climate Change (

 Rhone Resch 
 May 30, 2014
Title: All the forces in the world are not as powerful as an idea whose time has come
Post by: AGelbert on June 01, 2014, 02:53:51 pm
Middle-Class Americans Leading The Solar Rooftop Revolution
( ( (

According to recent Center for American Progress (CAP) studies, middle-class America is buying into the solar market. This is great news — rooftop solar isn’t just for mansions and millionaires anymore; it is accessible to suburban households across the country. How will the power industry and legislators react to this power being in the hands of the people?

Last year, CAP found that in Arizona, California, and New Jersey – the three largest solar markets in the United States – the majority of solar panels being installed are in areas with median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000. And this year, CAP found that emerging solar markets in Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York are following similar patterns. More than 80% of installations in New York and nearly 70% of installations in Massachusetts occur in areas with incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000. Interestingly, just 45% of Maryland’s rooftop solar installations occurred in middle-class neighborhoods — a lower percentage than New York and Massachusetts, but still a significant percentage.

While the studies didn’t look at the reason behind the trend, it can be assumed that it has to do with the cost benefits of going solar.   ( metering and other solar policies allow households to save money while doing something good for the environment. And saving $600 or even thousands of dollars in electricity costs a year means a lot to middle-class families. (

But utilities and fossil fuel companies don’t want to give up their power, so to speak, to the people. They argue that net metering unfairly advantages people who produce their own electricity through solar. ( They don’t pay to maintain transmission lines, substations, and computer systems that make up the grid, although they rely on them for backup.  (

This “unfairness”  ( has prompted the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)  ( — a conservative organization funded by big oil — to draft model legislation targeted to undercut net metering benefits, as well as states’ renewable energy standards. ALEC hasn’t had much success yet, but many are looking at Ohio right now and the possible decision by the state House to gut Ohio’s renewable energy standards in response to ALEC’s lobbying.

The power industry’s actions only serve to highlight how powerful solar is becoming in the United States. An energy revolution has begun that threatens the wealthy, old establishments. And with more and more families installing rooftop systems, legislators may hopefully become less interested in turning their back on the voting public and gutting renewable energy benefits.

As Victor Hugo said, “All the forces in the world are not as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 10, 2014, 09:08:33 pm
Pakistan Breaks Ground On One of the World’s Largest Solar Parks   (

06/09/2014 03:07 PM News

Last month, Pakistan began construction on its first major solar park, starting out with one of the largest solar PV projects in the world.

Until now, this land of sun hasn't produced even a kilowatt of solar energy.  :(

Being built in phases, the first 100 megawatts starts generating this year and by 2016, the 400,000-panel project will produce 1 gigawatt (GW) of electricity. Then it will become even larger, eventually covering 15,000 acres and pumping out 1.5 GW.   ;D

Smaller solar projects are also being built around Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, with a road and transmission structure that make it convenient.

Islamabad-based Safe Solar Power, for example, is building a 10 MW project, and about 20 companies are planning projects from 10-50 MW, reports The Express Tribune. 

To support solar development, Pakistan is also inaugurating a  feed-in tariff for solar PV. Rates vary based on geography, but they are around $0.20 per kilowatt hour, reduced to  $0.083 after 10 years. It is limited to PV plants between 1-100 MW.

Solar Pakistan

What is now a barren, parched desert will gleam with solar panels, spurring the economy with it. "You will see a river of panels, residential buildings and offices - it will be a new world," site engineer Muhammad Sajid told The Express Tribune.

No longer will people have to "sweat and curse" their way through the summer, says The Express Tribune, beleaguered by chronic energy shortages (half the people don't have electricity) and regular outages. Says Prime Minister Sharif, scarcity of reliable electric power "has pushed the country backwards and its entire industry and agriculture sector have suffered immensely."

( are already migrating away, finds a study in Nature Climate Change. Pakistan's climate is increasingly inhospitable between heat stress and atypical torrential floods - and is considered one of the most vulnerable to climate change impacts because its environment has been so degraded.  :P  :(

Just 2-5% of forest cover remains and with 166 square miles cleared each year, it has the highest deforestation rate in Asia, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Incredibly, the country has only a one month supply of water in reserve, which makes growing food increasingly challenging.

Then there's the other side of the equation. In another part of the desert, a $1.6 billion coal plant is being built and two others have been approved, 660 MW and 600 MW. (

 (                                                    (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 17, 2014, 01:44:22 am
Texas, Land of Wind, Could Soon Also Be Land of Solar (
06/16/2014 01:19 PM News

Texas, land of wind, could soon also be the land of solar, as the state embarks on its first utility-scale solar farms - at prices that compete with conventional energy.

 Recurrent Energy, the solar developer arm of Sharp Corp., won the contract to build a 150 megawatt (MW) solar farm from the state's leading utility on renewable energy, Austin Energy. It comes online in 2016, and the utility is buying all its energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement.   

 "Solar power has reached a price that is competitive in the ERCOT market, allowing us to further diversify our energy portfolio with renewable resources," says Larry Weis, General Manager of Austin Energy.     

"The Texas market represents one of the most exciting opportunities for the solar industry," says Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. "The industry's growing scale and decreasing costs are enabling us to successfully compete against conventional energy in deregulated markets like ERCOT.

Earlier this year, Austin Energy signed a contract for what could be the lowest price for solar electricity ever, just under $0.05 per kilowatt hour (kWh), locked in for 25 years - without any local or state subsidies. The electricity comes from two solar farms also going up in West Texas, a 150 MW and 50 MW plant built by Sun Edison.   

The price is less than a third of what Austin Energy paid in 2009 for solar, and beats natural gas ($0.07), coal ($0.10) and nuclear ($0.13)!  ;D

The utility's goal is the highest in the US - 35% of electricity from renewables by 2020- and it's almost there, six years early, demonstrating that it's not that hard to meet aggressive renewable energy targets. It's also been getting incredibly cheap deals for wind energy.

Recurrent says it has over 500 MW of operating solar projects in North America and 2 gigawatts under development.

400 MW Project Moves Ahead

Meanwhile, the first phase of a 400 MW project is online in San Antonio. Rather than being built as one, massive project, South Korea's OCI Solar Power consists of four separate solar plants - the first phase is the 41 MW Alamo I solar farm.   

When the entire project is finished, Texas will be one of the top solar producing states.

 Alamo 1: (picture at link)
Solar OCI Alamo 1

"By 2020, 65% of our community's electricity will come from resources that are low- or no-carbon emitting   ;D - reducing emissions in an amount that's equal to removing more than a million cars from local roads," says CEO Doyle Beneby of San Antonio's municipal utility, CPS Energy.

 The project represents one of the most creative agreements for bringing solar to a state. Negotiated by San Antonio's Mayor Julian Castro, he convinced the utility to tie clean power purchase agreements to economic investments in the city. As a result, OCI Solar Power moved its headquarters there and opened a $100 million manufacturing facility that makes the components for all its North American projects, creating 800 permanent jobs and $700 million in an annual economic impact for Texas. 

Castro led an impressive turnaround at CPS Energy, turning it away from "bullheaded reliance on a fleet of enormous nuclear and coal-fired power plants built decades ago," to instead following a "New Energy Economy" plan. Now it's aiming to get 20% of its power from renewables by 2020, and is on track to beat that goal.   

Also in Texas

San Antonio's leadership on renewable energy is bringing other rewards - the city is attracting talented individuals that work in the space and companies like Microsoft that want renewables to run their data centers.

 Microsoft announced a 3-year partnership with the University of Texas to "transform how data centers consume energy." Noting that CPS Energy "is the largest publicly owned purchaser of wind power in the country," the team will evaluate using micro-turbines instead of diesel generators during times of peak demand and grid outages.

The company is also donating $1 million to the university's Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute. 

Last year, Microsoft made its biggest purchase of renewable energy, 100% of the energy from the 110 MW Keechi Wind Farm in Texas, to power its data center there. The money came from Microsoft's internal carbon fee.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2014, 02:02:54 pm
Texas Utility Doubles Large-Scale Solar, Says It Will Be Coal-Free By 2016  (

By Kiley Kroh on June 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

"Texas Utility Doubles Large-Scale Solar, Says It Will Be Coal-Free By 2016"
Thanks to new investments in natural gas and utility-scale solar energy, El Paso Electric, a Texas utility with nearly 400,000 customers, announced on Monday that its electricity mix will be free from coal by 2016.

Thanks to successive investments in large solar projects, EPE has doubled its utility-scale solar portfolio in less than one year. “Our west Texas and southern New Mexico region has the right kind of sun for optimal solar energy production, making this region the ‘goldilocks’ in terms of climate, humidity and heat characteristics that allow us to expand our renewable portfolio with cost-effective technologies and reliable energy resources,” said Tom Shockley, Chief Executive Officer at El Paso Electric, said in a statement.
The utility signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with the massive Macho Springs solar plant in New Mexico, a 50 megawatt (MW) facility with the capacity to power more than 18,000 homes. According to the agreement, signed last year, EPE would buy solar power from Macho Springs for 5.79 cents a kilowatt-hour — less than half the 12.8 cents per kilowatt-hour average price for electricity from new coal plants, according to Bloomberg.

In February, EPE signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with Newman Solar to build a 10 MW solar facility in El Paso that is expected to come online by the end of 2014 and power an additional 3,800 homes.

Deciding “it is in the best interest of its 395,000 customers,” EPE plans to sell off its seven percent stake in the Four Corners coal plant, located on Navajo Nation land near Farmington, New Mexico. The plant came in at number 15 on Environment America’s list of the nation’s top 100 dirtiest power plants, emitting 13.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Of course, a significant portion of EPE’s electricity is derived from natural gas and the utility came under fire last year for its proposal to build a new natural gas power plant in a low-income neighborhood. The company agreed not to expand beyond the four planned units and will establish a fund for residents to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

“While we wish the plant was not in our neighborhood, we are very pleased with the settlement agreement, particularly EPE’s agreement not to build additional turbines and possibly install solar panels at the plant,” Ralph Carrasco, the citizens group’s executive director, said in a statement.

El Paso Energy’s announcement that it is “well-positioned” for the Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations aimed at cutting the carbon pollution from the nation’s existing fossil fuel-fired power plants came on the same day Texas governor Rick Perry ( joined eight other Republican governors  ( saying the rule will cost millions of jobs and slow economic growth.   (  ( claims, trumpeted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, have been widely debunked. (

Texas is the top carbon emitter in the country and, as the Texas Tribune points out, “Texas officials and politicians have long refused to regulate greenhouse gases.” However, the regulations will have a less dramatic effect on Texas than on other states that rely more heavily on coal, particularly considering the state already has a diverse electricity mix. “In 2013, natural gas (41 percent) outpaced coal (37 percent) in powering the electric grid covering most of the state,” the Tribune reported, citing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. “Meanwhile, the state’s wind sector (10 percent) is booming, thanks in large part to multibillion-dollar investments in infrastructure under Perry, while shifting economics has increased interest in Texas’ long-untapped solar power potential.”

Agelbert NOTE: See George  Orwell 1984 to understand the statements by the Republican Governor WHINER FOSSIL FUELERS. (  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 29, 2014, 03:38:21 pm
Legislation to End Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks Introduced by Sen. Sanders, Rep. Ellison
Friday, November 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – As House and Senate budget negotiators look for ways to lower deficits,

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) today introduced legislation to eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries.

The End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 would remove tax breaks, close loopholes, end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs. Under current law, these subsidies are expected to cost taxpayers more than $100 billion in the coming decade.

The White House budget proposal for next year calls for eliminating several of the same provisions that the legislation by Sanders and Ellison would end.

“At a time when fossil fuel companies are racking up record profits, it is time to end the absurdity of American taxpayers providing massive subsidies to these hugely profitable fossil fuel corporations,” Sanders said.

“The five biggest oil companies made $23 billion in the third quarter of 2013 alone. They don’t need any more tax giveaways,” Ellison said. “We should invest in the American people by creating good jobs and ending cuts to food assistance instead of throwing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars at one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world.”

The five most profitable oil companies (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhilips) together made more than $1 trillion in profits over the past decade.

The Sanders and Ellison legislation is supported by environmental groups including Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International and

The fiscal watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, which has worked for nearly two decades to eliminate wasteful energy subsidies, also supports the bills.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 01, 2014, 10:58:12 pm
SunPower Planning New 700-MW Factory as Demand Swells
Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg

NEW YORK -- SunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. solar manufacturer, is planning a new factory that will expand production capacity by more than 50 percent from current levels, in an effort to increase market share.

SunPower’s Fab 5 may start production in 2017 and will eventually be able to make at least 700 megawatts of solar panels a year, more than double the size of a plant due to start up next year, Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner said yesterday.

SunPower is seeking to increase its capacity as global demand surges. Total industry shipments may increase as much as 29 percent to about 52 gigawatts this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. SunPower expects to recognize sales of 1.2 gigawatts to 1.3 gigawatts of panels this year, and its factories are running at full speed, Werner said.

“Our share has been in single digits for a while and demand for the last 24 months suggests that we can expand share,” Werner said in an interview. “Our five-year plan is to at least double market share.”

Werner spends a “significant” amount of time talking to manufacturing executives about how to coax more output from factories that have reached capacity. “This is really the market telling us they want more of the product.”

The company’s Fab 4 in the Philippines will begin production in the first half of 2015, and will eventually have 350 megawatts of capacity. SunPower hasn’t determined where to build Fab 5, which Werner said will be at least twice that size. He wouldn’t say how much the new facility may cost.

SunPower reported net income of $14.1 million for the second quarter, or nine cents a share, compared with $19.6 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier, San Jose, California-based SunPower said in a statement after the close of regular trading yesterday. Revenue fell 12 percent to $507.9 million.

Including revenue recognized for some utility-scale power plants and other one-time items, earnings of 28 cents beat the 26-cent average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
First Solar Inc. is the largest U.S. solar manufacturer.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 03, 2014, 01:09:29 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Don't get Cognitve Dissonance Whiplash from the next two stories: There's A WAR going on! You are getting the Blow by Blow!   (

Arizona Utility's Sneak Attack On Solar Leasing News

Now they are asking regulators for permission to add a new form of solar leasing to their services. They want to own and install solar systems on customer rooftops - at no cost to the customer. In exchange for the electricity, customers would get a monthly $30 credit on their electric bill for 20 years.  (

APS wants to install 20 megawatts of residential solar on about 3,000 homes next year. They would choose locations where peak power is needed most and control power flows remotely.

Arizona Public Service Performs 180, Decides to Install Rooftop Solar Dillon Holmes
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 08, 2014, 01:18:48 am
China Installs Equivalent of Australia's Total Solar Capacity — In Six Months ;D

In a big push to cut carbon and support industry, China added more than 3 GW of solar in the first half of 2014.

 Feifei Shen, Bloomberg 
 August 07, 2014
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 08, 2014, 06:09:16 pm
A First: Net-Zero Manufacturing  ;D News

This is the first time we've heard of a manufacturer running completely on solar - 2.77 megawatts provides more than they need. (

OPEX Corp., which makes automated mail handling and package-picking equipment, occupies a 30-acre campus five miles east of Philadelphia, in New Jersey. Their PV system is the largest for a privately held company in the state.


by Jim McMahon

 In New Jersey, a leading manufacturer of automated material-handling equipment recently slashed its utility bills 84% thanks to a huge solar PV array - 2.77 megawatts (MW).

 OPEX Corp. now produces more than 100% of the electricity needed to operate its 250,000-square-foot manufacturing, distribution and administrative complex in Moorestown, NJ. That makes the facility net-zero for electricity.

It's the largest solar installation in New Jersey by a privately held company.

Efficiency Measures

Before going solar, OPEX reduced internal loads. "We were spending a lot of money on electricity, and were constantly battling to reduce those costs," says Dave Andrews, OPEX Facilities Manager.

 "We had installed efficiency fluorescent lighting throughout the manufacturing/ distribution areas and in our administrative offices, and added motion-sensitive lighting in other areas. We also installed a computer-based programmable system for our rooftop HVAC units to run on a more efficient user-occupied basis. These changes produced significant savings."

Late in 2009, CEO Dave Stevens began exploring solar as a next cost-saving step. OPEX conducted a systematic cost-benefit analysis, taking into account the company's long-term business and sustainability goals.

 "This was a logical next step for us," says Andrews. "As we started learning about it, the potential began making good financial sense. The incentives looked really attractive, including a 30% rebate from the federal government." OPEX also expected to benefit from solar renewable energy credits, then worth $660 per megawatt-hour.

Optimizing Solar Energy Use

OPEX selected H2 Contracting of Marlton, NJ as a general contractor. The traditional grid energy consumption for the Moorestown complex was 2.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.

 To cover all that, H2 designed a 2.77 MW solar installation consisting of 8372, 250-watt Canadian Solar modules covering the roofs of two buildings and two parking pavilions, along with a three-acre solar field array, for a total projected annual output of 2.77 kWh.

This was previously a softball field:
(solar panel farm picture at link)

Solar OPEX manufacturing

"The solar system installed at OPEX is not a typical design," says Mark Heenan, president and LEED-Accredited Professional with H2. "Because we mounted the panels on multiple rooftops, canopies and a field array, the 82,000 square feet of PV panels are oriented in six different directions, and with various tilts to better capitalize on available sunlight and space. We used Satcon's Smart Combiner to optimize production." The array, on RBI racking, sends power at 590 volts to four Satcon Solstice 500 inverters.

The grid-tied system, completed in April 2012, directly supports the company's manufacturing and distribution operations and administrative offices.

Embracing Sustainability

The company's parking pavilions now provide two EV charging stations for employee use. All scrap materials and oils used in manufacturing, and paper products from administrative offices, are recycled. OPEX sank its own 175-foot well to irrigate eight acres of open land on campus, replanted with native fescue grass that requires little water. Rainwater runoff from the 22 acres of roofing and parking areas is funneled to open ground to percolate into the aquifer.

OPEX products - automated mail sorting and material-handling products - are designed to be energy efficient and sustainable. Its Mail Matrix sorter and perfect Pick warehouse picking system rely on robot delivery vehicles, equipped with ultra-capacitors to recapture energy during operation.


Jim McMahon writes on renewable energy and sustainability, with feature stories appearing in hundreds of industrial and technology publications throughout the world.

This article first appeared in Solar Today (March/April 2014), the magazine of the American Solar Energy Society.
Title: Micro inverters improving ang getting easier to install
Post by: AGelbert on August 19, 2014, 08:35:53 pm
TRC Solar Power International
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 02, 2014, 08:59:53 pm
Nepalese Teen Invents Cheap Solar Panel Using Human Hair (
  (                                                   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 08, 2014, 01:07:16 am

John Birk   
September 7, 2014 

Regarding the energy of sunshine there are some irrefutable facts.

Namely that all of the coal, oil and gas known to humans, has the same energy that the sun shines on us in 20 days!

Furthermore scientist at RMI calculated that if all the roof of building in cities worldwide were covered with solar cell, it would meet our energy ten times over!

Remember the above are facts ........ unlike what the energy business spreads;-)

Soon low cost energy storage will come to market and if you are still in the fossil fuel business be afraid ......... be very afraid!   ;D
Scientia Non Domus,
(Knowledge has No Home)


The Inevitability of Solar    ;D

 Paula Mints, SPV Market Research (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 08, 2014, 11:55:37 pm

Solar for All: Making Solar PV Accessible to Low-Income Families in the U.S.

Aug  27, 2014

Laurie Guevara-Stone
Writer / Editor

Here at RMI we love seeing electricity generated by the sun. And while it’s great to see large homes owned by the likes of Woody Harrelson and Will Ferrell being solar-powered, rooftop solar should be accessible to people across the socio-economic spectrum of the U.S., not just the one percent. But putting solar on all of these different roofs is currently a serious challenge.

Even with lowered PV costs and the prevalence of third-party financing programs, solar is largely out of reach for many low-income families. Many are renters who do not own their homes, putting them at the mercy of their landlord. For those that do own their homes, few have enough tax liability to take full advantage of federal and state tax incentives for rooftop solar. That’s largely a moot point anyway, since even with incentives the steep upfront cost of rooftop solar in the U.S. still puts a PV system financially out of reach for low-income families. That’s where third-party leasing can come in, but many low-income families have low credit scores and most solar leasing companies require a credit score of at least 700. It’s one potential financial barrier after another.

Fortunately, there are groups around the country working to overcome these barriers to market participation and ultimately bring solar to low-income households. Giving low-income families access to solar PV systems can help lower their utility bills, provide employment opportunities, and bring about an element of environmental justice.

Saving Money

Low-income families spend over twice the proportion of their total income on energy bills than the average person in the United States. When low-income families have high energy bills one of the first thing they often skimp on is food. Researchers from the Boston Medical Center have found that children in energy-insecure households don’t get enough food, have poorer health, and are more prone to developmental problems. One way to lower energy bills and keep food on the table is to power homes with solar photovoltaics.

“Low-income families pay into the rebate pool like everyone else. Yet often, even with rebates, they can’t afford a solar home system,” Shirley Moore, program manager at Grid Alternatives, told RMI. Grid Alternatives, or simply Grid, as it is fondly called, is a nonprofit organization providing low- to no-cost PV systems to low-income families throughout California, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Homeowners who earn 80 percent or less of the median income and have a solar-appropriate roof qualify for a Grid Alternatives PV system. “We see people save an average of 50 to 75 percent off their electric bill. Money that can go towards paying their mortgage, putting food on the table, or saving for college,” said Moore.

Grid works with local partners to find qualifying families. The families do not have to put any money down, but do have to contribute 16 hours of sweat equity. They can work in the Grid office, help on the installation, or even cook lunch for the installation volunteers. They then pay $0.02 per kilowatt-hour for what their system produces. It’s a small price to pay for leasing the system, often adding up to only about $100 per year, but according to Chuck Watkins, executive director of Grid Alternatives–Colorado, “we want the homeowners highly engaged with their system and aware of their energy usage.”

A similar organization, Citizens Energy, provides free solar PV systems that reduce homeowners’ electricity costs by 40 to 50 percent in the Imperial Valley of California, an area with the highest unemployment rate in the country. With temperatures in the area climbing to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, homeowners can have a difficult time paying for the electricity to run their air conditioners. Citizens Energy uses 50 percent of its profits from its share of the Sunrise Powerlink high-voltage transmission line that brings renewable energy to the San Diego region to purchase, install, and maintain the systems. The homeowner signs a 20-year lease only after they receive a free energy audit and weatherization services. One of the 200 homeowners to receive the free PV system saw her monthly summer electricity bill go from $350 to $85.

A statewide program in California is also helping low-income families. SASH (Single-family Affordable Solar Homes) provides fully subsidized 1 kW systems to very-low-income households (50 percent or below the area median income), and highly subsidized systems to other low-income households. The incentives for the subsidized systems range from $4.75 to $7.00 per watt, depending on the customer’s utility rate schedule and tax liability. Incentives are higher for customers who cannot take advantage of the ITC. Over 3,600 systems have been installed, and participating families’ electricity bills have been reduced by approximately 80 percent.

Green Jobs

Another benefit to bringing solar access to low-income families is increasing employment opportunities. Low-income communities often have high rates of unemployment. Yet more than 140,000 people are employed in the solar industry, more than half of them in installation jobs that can’t ever be outsourced. That’s a drop in the bucket of the 46.5 million Americans currently living in poverty, but with solar installations growing at a rate of 40 percent, those jobs are going to keep growing as well. Grid Alternatives, for its part, installs its systems with local volunteers and partners with job training organizations to provide hands-on field experience students need to get certified as solar installers and to get jobs. Partners include community colleges and vocational schools, the Center for Employment Training, YouthBuild, Veterans Green Jobs, and Green City Force.

At a recent installation in Carbondale, Colorado, twelve local volunteers along with the homeowner helped install a 3.6 kW system for Dan and Pam Rosenthal. “Once a volunteer comes out to at least four to six of our installs, they can become a team leader,” Moore told RMI. “They then get valuable hands-on experience as well as experience in leading crews, and a lot of our team leaders end up getting employed in the industry.”

Environmental Justice

“Clean energy access for low-income Americans,” writes clean energy development and policy professional Bryan Lewis for ThinkProgress, “is not just an issue of economics, but an issue of justice, as well.” Lower-income people in the United States are more susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change, may be more affected by urban pollution, and face health issues from living closer to coal plants. “Often times low-income families are the ones most affected by pollution,” Chuck Watkins told RMI. “So it’s nice for them to be able to be part of the climate change solution.”

The Rosenthals had been trying to figure out a way to get a solar PV system for years. Even with the rebates it was still out of reach. So they were ecstatic when they learned about Grid Alternatives. “It’s great that we will be saving money,” said Pam Rosenthal, “but even more important to us than that is we want to reduce our ecological footprint and do our part for the environment.” The Rosenthal’s system is estimated to save them 75 percent off their $90 electric bill each month. But more exciting for Pam is the amount of CO2 that they will be offsetting in the lifetime of their system, helping Carbondale reach its carbon goals.

The town of Carbondale has a goal of generating 35 percent of its electricity by renewable energy by 2020. “It’s a big goal,” said Carbondale Town Trustee Pam Zentmeyer, “and we need participation from everyone if we’re going to do it. It’s great these organizations have erased the financial barriers.” (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 25, 2014, 03:50:22 pm
Energy Department Announces $53 Million to Drive Innovation, Cut Cost of Solar Power  ;D

October 22, 2014           

WASHINGTON – Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and continue U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today announced more than $53 million for 40 innovative research and development (R&D) projects that aim to drive down the cost of solar energy, tackling key aspects of technology development in order to bring innovative ideas to the market more quickly. Supporting the development of next generation photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies and advanced manufacturing processes, and addressing both hardware and non-hardware “soft” costs of solar installation, these awards support advancements that will help reduce the cost of solar energy and make solar electricity more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

“As U.S. solar installation increases and the cost of solar electricity continues to decline, solar energy is becoming an increasingly affordable clean energy option for more American families and businesses,” said Secretary Moniz. “Today, the U.S. has 15.9 gigawatts of installed solar power – enough to power more than 3.2 million average American homes. The projects announced today will help the U.S. solar energy industry continue to grow, ensuring America can capitalize on its vast renewable energy sources, cut carbon pollution, and continue to lead in the world in clean energy innovation.”

Driving the Next Generation of Solar Energy Technology

Due in part to the Energy Department’s long-term investments and partnerships with private industry, academia, and DOE National Laboratories, solar PV panels now cost 50 percent of what they did three years ago. To accelerate the development of next generation PV technologies that will further drive down costs, the Energy Department is awarding more than $14 million to 10 research institutions to improve the performance, efficiency, and durability of solar PV devices. The R&D projects will explore a variety of leading-edge solutions, from new high-performance materials to novel techniques for creating more efficient solar cells that cost less to manufacture.                                                                               

Cutting Solar Power Costs with Breakthrough Innovation

By nearly all measures, the solar energy industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States over the last five years, with cumulative installed solar power increasing more than tenfold since 2008.  :o  ;D Significant decreases in both the hardware costs and non-hardware “soft” costs of a solar energy system, such as permitting, interconnection, and financing, supported this increase in deployment, and further cost reductions will create an environment for even more solar deployment.

Through its SunShot Incubator program, the Energy Department is investing more than $14 million in 20 small businesses that will develop innovative technologies and services to further drive down hardware and non-hardware costs for solar electric systems. The projects take a number of approaches to decreasing costs, creating a software-based solution to quantify risk for solar investors, developing advanced materials and components that maximize efficiency for concentrating solar power (CSP) and identifying ways to eliminate the need for expensive silver in solar cell manufacturing.

Supporting American Solar Manufacturing

As a part of the Administration’s effort to support advanced manufacturing in the U.S., the Energy Department is committed to fostering innovation in solar energy manufacturing in order to further drive down the cost of solar technology and increase domestic manufacturing. In support of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, the Energy Department is awarding more than $24 million to 10 U.S.-based solar manufacturers working to develop and implement innovative technologies that will reduce costs and increase efficiency in manufacturing processes used to make PV and CSP technologies.  These investments focus on tackling key cost-contributors such as raw materials, labor-intensive processes, and capital expenses.

Broadly, these Energy Department investments support state-of-the-art products, solutions, and technology advancements that will increase solar energy system performance and efficiency and drive down costs. The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 05, 2014, 08:37:53 pm
Solar latecomer France builds Europe's largest plant (

Wednesday, November 5, 2014  Michel Rose for Reuters   

PARIS (Reuters) – France has made up some lost ground against its neighbors with the start to construction of what will be Europe’s biggest photovoltaic solar power plant.

Solar power capacity has grown slowly in France compared to Germany, Spain or Italy. It had 5,095 MW of photovoltaic capacity in June, which accounted for only 1 percent of its energy consumption in the first half of the year, and compares with nearly 37,000 MW in Germany.

The new plant at Cestas is a 360 million euro ($450 million) project capable of supplying electricity to a city the size of nearby Bordeaux for a year.  (  ;D

The project is managed by Neoen, a Paris-based company created by Jacques Veyrat, the former head of commodities trading giant Louis Dreyfus.

The 300-megawatt, ground-mounted installation will be connected to the grid in October 2015 and provide electricity for 105 euros per megawatt-hour over 20 years, a price showing solar is becoming increasingly competitive, its developers say.

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s chief executive, compared it to state-owned utility EDF’s Hinkley Point C project in Britain, which will receive a guaranteed power price of 92.5 pounds, or 117 euros per MWh for 35 years.

“We’re below the price of new nuclear electricity in Britain. So the parity between nuclear energy which is costing more and solar which continues to drop is happening now, in 2014   (,” Barbaro told Reuters.

“Four or five years ago, nobody thought that would be possible before 2020,” he said.


France’s slower start has allowed it to avoid the bursting of the solar bubble in Spain, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, which have all implemented retroactive taxes on existing operators of renewable energy installations, provoking a backlash with investors.

This helped convince banks such as Societe Generale to fund Neoen’s project and attract investment funds such as KKB, Acofi, and Omnes Capital.

“We had to do a lot of explaining, to investors and the banks to show that these projects were secured,” Barbaro said. “But what’s appreciable in France is that projects already on track are not called into question.”

The solar panels, made by China’s Yingli and Trina Solar and Canadian Solar, will be built and operated by a consortium including French groups Eiffage and Schneider Electric.

“Out of a 360 million euro investment, the share going to French companies will be at least 50 percent,” Barbaro said.

Over the long term, Neoen aims to install 1,000 MW of capacity by 2017, about half in France and the rest in areas where solar is reaching “grid parity”, the price when an energy source does not require subsidies anymore, such as Latin America, Africa and Australia.

Barbaro said an initial public offering (IPO) could be possible around 2018.

“It’s something we can envisage, yes. It’s not an obligation, we already have solid shareholders capable of supporting us over the long term. But we organize ourselves internally as if we were going for an IPO,” he said.

Impala SAS, the holding of former Louis Dreyfus chairman Jacques Veyrat, owns almost 60 percent of Neoen, while French public investment bank Bpifrance owns 15.4 percent and French investment fund Omnes Capital the remaining 25 percent.

(Editing by William Hardy)
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 05, 2014, 09:18:33 pm
The Netherlands becomes first country to install solar-collecting pathway   (

 By Shawn Knight on November 5, 2014, 7:30 PM

The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research is putting the finishing touches on a section of bike path connecting two Amsterdam suburbs. Once complete, the 230-foot stretch of path will be the first in the world to double as a solar panel collection grid.

The path, utilized by an average of 2,000 cyclists each day, was built using square concrete blocks with solar cells laid across the top. A 1cm thick piece of tempered glass covers the cells to protect them from pedestrians and the elements. While not very thick, the glass can reportedly withstand the weight of a truck without breaking.  (

It’s the first phase in a project that’ll eventually span 328 feet when complete in 2016. All said and done, the project – dubbed SolaRoad – will cost a whopping $3.74 million and produce enough electricity to light three homes. That’s not exactly the best use of funds, but I digress.

The panels aren’t optimized for maximum energy collection due to the fact that they are installed in a fixed position. They are, however, installed at a slight angle in hopes that rain water will help wash away dirt.

Scientists plan to monitor the path over the next three years to see exactly how much energy it can create and observe how it stands up over time. If successful, the potential exists to solarize up to 20 percent of the country’s roadways.

Pictures at link:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 17, 2014, 02:58:08 pm
SunPower Adds AC Inverters To Lineup To Save One-Third Labor Cost (

The company found significant BOS labor cost savings with the AC inverters compared to microinverters and power optimizers.

 Charles W. Thurston, Contributing Editor 
 November 17, 2014  |  1 Comments 

San Francisco --  The vertical extension of SunPower’s towering corporate structure with the November 10 addition of SolarBridge’s AC inverters signifies one defining feature for the half dozen solar companies that will survive in the future.

SolarBrige AC Inverters fitted on Solar Panels

“For an average 5 kW residential system, TRUEAC module use reduced total labor costs by 33 percent compared to a string inverter, as well as by 35 percent compared to an Enphase detached microinverter, and by 48 percent compared to a SolarEdge power optimizers.” -- Bryan Thomas, SolarBridge

The move has been acclaimed for its expected help in building SunPower’s residential business, since statistics for first quarter 2014 indicate more MWs of PV were installed in residential systems than in commercial systems since 2010. The acquisition was also praised for being an investment aimed at bringing more downstream electronics into the panel, and for being a panel development improvement outside of traditional research directions.

But of perhaps of greater significance to the residential solar industry as a whole is the soft cost savings advantage of the SolarBridge TRUEAC system, which the manufacturer announced in a study, on October 15, with a cost savings of 33 percent over string inverters, according to Bryan Thomas, SolarBridge’s director of product management, and the author of the study.

The SolarBridge study goal was to build on recent balance of system soft cost analysis by Rocky Mountain Institute and Georgia Tech Research Institute, which compared soft costs in the United States to those in Germany. That analysis revealed that German costs are 73 percent lower than those in the United States.

But since the RMI and similar U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focused only on string inverters for the basis of their comparison, SolarBridge did its own survey, also comparing the cost when SolarBridge TRUEAC modules were used, when detached microinverters were used, and when a combination of string inverters and DC optimizers were used.

SolarBridge surveyed “32 installers in 16 key solar states across the country” and found that “for an average 5 kW residential system, TRUEAC module use reduced total labor costs by 33 percent compared to a string inverter, as well as by 35 percent compared to an Enphase detached microinverter, and by 48 percent compared to a SolarEdge power optimizers,” according to Bryan Thomas, SolarBridge’s director of product management.

Employing a team of four — including two non-electricians and two electricians — the average installation time for a string inverter based residential system is 2.4 days, the study indicates. Survey respondents with relevant experience said using SolarBridge TRUEAC modules reduced their installation time by an average of 24 percent compared to using string inverters in the same installation, it concludes.

SunPower had already utilized SolarBridge’s AC inverters for several years prior to the acquisition, and now the AC inverters are expected to be tailored to the former’s top-of-the-line X-Series residential panels.


 A. G. Gelbert   
 November 17, 2014 

This is welcome good news. We all need to be energy independent from centralized power facilities. This gives us the ability to help a neighbor from storm damage and provides redundancy that centralized power will never provide. Stronger community means a stronger middle class and a more humane society.

One of the most important reasons the English Colonies in 18th century America were able to shake off English tyranny is because they could grow and/or manufacture everything they needed, as well as provide their own energy.

We have forgotten that lesson. It's time we relearned it. The more dependent we are, the more price control tyranny will be exerted to fleece us. The more energy independent we are, the more competitive the pricing for our infrastructure will be.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 05, 2014, 10:44:16 pm
 ( ( ( ( ( ( (

Sat Nov 29, 2014 at 08:28 PM EST.

9 Million Solar Panels Spanning 9.5 Sq Miles: World's Largest Solar Farm Becomes Fully Operational!  ;D


The first 500+ megawatt solar plant in the US, and the largest solar plant in the world came online recently.  Called the Topaz Solar Farm, it was built on the Carrizo Plain, located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, due east of San Luis Obispo. The farm is now producing 550 megawatts, enough to keep the lights on in 160,000 homes and displace 370,000 tons of carbon emissions.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 08, 2014, 06:38:33 pm
Australian scientists announce solar energy breakthrough  :o  ;D


December 7, 2014 1:47 PM

In Australia, researchers were able to convert more than 40 percent of sunlight hitting solar panels …

Australian scientists said Monday they had made a breakthrough in increasing the efficiency of solar panels, which they hope could eventually lead to cheaper sources of renewable energy.

In what the University of New South Wales described as a world first, the researchers were able to convert more than 40 percent of sunlight hitting the panels into electricity.

"This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity," UNSW Professor Martin Green said in a statement.

"We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry."

While traditional methods use one solar cell, which limits the conversion of sunlight to electricity to about 33 percent, the newer technology splits the sunlight into four different cells, which boosts the conversion levels, Green told AFP.

The record efficiency level was achieved in tests in Sydney and replicated at the United States government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the university said.

The prototype technology is set to be harnessed by Australian company RayGen Resources for solar power towers, which use sun-tracking mirrors to focus sunlight on a tall building.

Green is hopeful the technology can also eventually be used for solar panels mounted on people's roofs, which he said currently had a 15 to 18 percent efficiency rate.

"The panels that you have on the roof of your home, at the moment they just have a single cell but eventually they'll have several different cells... and they'll be able to improve their efficiency to this kind of level," he told AFP.

Green said strides in technology made in the solar industry such as the higher conversion levels were helping to drive down the cost of renewable energy.

He was confident that in a decade solar-generated electricity would be cheaper than that produced by coal.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 17, 2014, 03:44:49 pm
Example of Concentrated PV (CPV) technology

Let's see the thermodynamics challenged fossil fuelers claim manufacturing the above uses "too much energy" and it will "never harvest more energy than that used to manufacture it". (

12/17/2014 12:31 PM     
Solar Prices Keep Dropping, NREL Achieves 46% Efficiency for Concentrating Solar Cells News

Over the past few months, we've seen announcements of solar cells that are reaching new heights for converting the sun's energy into electricity, showing how quickly the technology is advancing.

 The latest is from the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), which has demonstrated 45.7% conversion efficiency for concentrating solar cells - more than double the typical 20% efficiency today.

 It greatly improves on earlier designs by incorporating an additional high quality absorber layer to achieve an ultra-high efficiency, says NREL. 

Multijunction solar cells harvest sunlight by dividing the solar spectrum into portions that are absorbed by a material with a bandgap tuned to a specific wavelength range. Combining materials with optimal bandgaps is critical for high efficiency. The challenge is to maintain the high quality of the materials while integrating them into a complex cell capable of efficient photoconversion.

"The distinction of this multijunction device is the very high quality of the lattice-mismatched subcells," says Ryan France, who designed the solar cell. "Lattice-mismatched materials require the introduction of defects, called dislocations, into the device, which can drastically hinder device performance. NREL has learned to control and confine these dislocations to inactive regions of the device, allowing even highly mismatched material to be used in a multijunction cell."

This graph shows research achievements for all kinds of solar cells, with NREL's new one reaching the highest level yet:   (


Prices Keep Dropping

 In 2013, system prices for utility-scale solar PV fell below $2 per watt, and have continued declining this year to $1.80 per watt - 59% lower than in 2010, according to NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Prices for distributed solar PV systems dropped 12-19% in the US during 2013, and will decline another 3-12% this year  ;D,  depending on where the system is located and market segment. 

"There are significant variations in reported pricing both geographically and across market segments due to a variety of factors, including value-based pricing based on local competition within the marketplace and prevailing electric retail rates. Other factors include differences in specific system configurations such as panel efficiency, mounting structure, and geographic location; and the time lags between commitments and commercial operation for utility-scale systems."

 Industry analysts expect this trend to continue over the next couple of years, keeping the US on track to meet DOE's  SunShot target - reducing the cost of solar PV below $1 per watt by 2020.

In another report, The Effect of State Policy Suites on the Development of Solar Markets, NREL finds that falling solar prices are benefiting some states more than others. Those with strong policies for interconnection and net metering benefit the most, and the length of time these policies have been in place are also important indicators of market success.

Read our article, US Solar Rises 41% in 2013, Greatest Year on Record. 

Learn more about NREL's new solar cell:

More Agelbert Googled images of CPV technology examples:  (

Moore's law at WORK in SOLAR technology! (

Nice dish! ;D  It's cheaper to make this CPV dish with lots of angled FLAT (as in cheap to make) small mirrors than making a large concave mirror dish. I admit wind damage and mean looks from the neighbors as well as fossil fueler inspired municipal code violations :P can make things "difficult" for the brave person that puts this dish on their garage.( 

Nicer dishes!  ;D

The Fresnel lens approach has its advantages because it is flat for aesthetic quality, weather resistance and code compliance with nasty, negative negariod fossil fuelers in town councils.

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 24, 2014, 12:52:17 am
12/23/2014 05:29 PM   
Solar Floats On Water Around the World News

Last year, Japan's largest solar plant came online, a 70 MW Kyocera project with 290,000 solar panels that juts way out into Kagoshima Bay.

 Now, Kyocera will build one that's completely detached from the land, on a reservoir in Japan (Yamakura Dam). At 13.4 MW, it will have 50,000 modules covering 180,000 square meters of water - the largest floating solar project in the world so far. The company is also building two smaller ones totaling 2.9 MW.

South Korea Sunflower floating PV power plant

 In fact, floating solar projects are becoming popular with small installations in Britain (200 kW), Italy, and soon, in Singapore, India - which is installing them on canals and on reservoirs - and South Korea - which wants to install 4 GW of solar on 5% of its water surfaces.

There are lots of interesting benefits to floating solar over water:

•Water offers a stable surface, full exposure to the sun, and installation is cheaper;

•The entire PV plant can easily be moved, tracking and rotating with the sun;

•Water cools the modules, increasing energy production by 10%; during warm months, the ground heats up on land, reducing output;

•They reduce algae growth in the water, keeping it healthier for wildlife;

•They reduce evaporation, helping preserve water levels during warm months, which provides security for farmers;

•They are important for countries like Japan, where there's little available land

Because of all these advantages, South Korea's Sunflower Solar Power Plant is expected to produce 22% more energy than a comparable ground-mounted PV project.

One thing we haven't heard about is the potential negative affect on marine life from large projects that darken the surface water.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 30, 2014, 04:15:13 pm


Utility-scale Solar Has Another Record Year in 2014 (

Lead by North America, utility-scale solar installations will pass the 10 GW mark.

 Renewable Energy World Editors 
 December 30, 2014

 New Hampshire --  Utility-scale solar installations will surge for a fifth consecutive year in 2014, according to provisional figures released this week by, which defined utility-scale as projects greater than 4 MW in capacity. New global total installed capacity for the year already exceeds 10 GW, and is expected to climb further, when the official figures are available in March.

For the first time, Africa and South America show significant new capacity to join the traditional lead continents of North America, Asia and Europe. Only Oceania is refusing to join the solar era, dogged in particular by policy reversals in Australia.

Africa’s contribution is led by South Africa, whose largest project — the 74 MW plant at Sishen — was commissioned in December. Meanwhile Chile is leading the charge in South America, with 13 new plants connected so far this year.

A good year for Japan, combined with continuing growth in China and India, should enable Asia to rival and possibly beat North America as top continent. However the leading country is again expected to be the U.S., where the world’s largest project — the 550 MW Topaz plant in California — was completed in November. Europe reversed a 2-year decline thanks largely to another bumper year in the UK, supported by steady growth in France.

Looking Ahead

Wiki-Solar’s Philip Wolfe anticipates another record year in 2015, with “continuing progress in the powerhouses of U.S., China and India; and support in particular from Chile, Japan and South Africa”.

“There will be pressure in the States to complete projects in the pipeline, because the future for tax incentives becomes uncertain from 2016,” he said. “Europe’s best market in the short term will remain the UK, which has now topped 2 GW and is likely to leapfrog India to the world’s #4 market by the end of March. This position may prove temporary, because large-scale solar becomes ineligible for the UK’s Renewables Obligation from 1st April. Perhaps France, which has recently started Europe’s largest plant at Cestas will then take up the running.”

“I’m expecting South America to overtake Africa over the next year or two”, says Wolfe, “especially as Brazil starts to build the projects which were successful in its recent auction, to add to a huge project pipeline in Chile.”


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 08, 2015, 12:43:40 am
01/07/2015 02:21 PM     
Almost 4000 US Schools Are Running On Solar  ( News

Few places benefit more from solar than our public schools, where the energy savings can literally make the difference in being able to pay teacher salaries and buy textbooks.

 The first study of solar at US schools finds installations at 3,752 K-12 schools, reaching nearly 2.7 million students. The schools are saving a combined $77.8 million a year on utility bills - an average of almost $21,000 a year per school.

Over the past 10 years, solar has grown from just 303 kilowatts to 490 megawatts (mostly in the last few years). Still, this is the tip of the "iceberg" of solar potential - there are 125,000 schools in the US, and 72,000 of them could also cost-effectively add solar, according to The Solar Foundation, the research arm of the Solar Energy Industries Association. 

This map ( shows all the schools with solar and the green/yellow dots show schools that would benefit depending on the price:

 The more solar prices drop, the more schools can afford it. If all the schools signed on, they would add 5.4 gigawatts of solar

In a time of tight budgets and rising costs, energy is the biggest bill for schools after peoples' salaries. Solar arrays at schools are also a great teaching tool on engineering, science and, of course, clean energy. 

As of September, K-Solar is being rolled out in NY State, a program that streamlines the process of adding solar for school districts. The goal is to guide schools through the entire process - from awareness to installation - in as little as six months, and 40 school districts (200 schools) have already signed on.   

Read, Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 20, 2015, 06:37:48 pm
Luperon, Dominican Republic

There has also been a lot of research, development and discussion in the energy, international development and politics-economics communities regarding the potential for lesser-developed and developing nations to “leapfrog” fossil fuel energy and build healthier, more sustainable economies and societies by aggressively deploying integrated renewable energy-energy storage microgrids.

As the experience of expats in the Caribbean and other locations where grid power is unavailable, unreliable or prohibitively expensive attests, home solar-battery storage solutions are already attractive investments, providing cheaper, higher quality and more reliable electrical power than fossil-fuel generation assets, as well as other benefits that extend well beyond homeowners' financial bottom lines.

Full excellent article at link:

Solar Energy and Storage Help Caribbean Expats Live the Good Life (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 21, 2015, 04:17:16 pm
Solar as an Energy Equity Solution (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 02, 2015, 02:58:27 pm
SolarCity Corp Completes The Largest Solar Project At Any US Brewery

Posted By: Vikas ShuklaPosted date: February 02, 2015 08:30:38 AM
The project will prevent more than 144 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.  (

SolarCity announced over the weekend that it has completed the largest solar project at any brewery in the United States. In collaboration with MillerCoors, the San Mateo-based company has installed 10,000 solar panels across ten acres of MillerCoors’ grounds in Irwindale in Los Angeles County. The 3.2MW array will produce enough energy to brew over 7 million cases of beer every year.

Full article at link:  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 15, 2015, 02:54:06 pm

Look Out Utility Companies: Tesla is Disrupting More Than Just the Auto Industry

Cole Mellino | February 10, 2015 9:21 am

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, has been leading the way in innovation in the auto industry for more than a decade. The Model S made waves at this year’s International Auto Show. Last September, Tesla announced it will build the world’s largest battery factory just outside of Reno, Nevada. The company is calling it a “gigafactory,” which will produce batteries for cars making their all-electric cars more affordable. But the company also has plans for new products in solar and in-home energy storage.

In a partnership with SolarCity, Tesla plans to use rooftop solar panels fitted with Tesla’s batteries to allow customers to use that stored energy to, say, charge their electric car overnight.

Tesla will be the most significant competition utility companies have seen in 100 years, according to Adam Allington of Marketplace. Allington spoke with J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, who says, “In a single factory we’re doubling the worldwide capacity to manufacture lithium-ion batteries.” That will be huge for Tesla’s all-electric fleet, but the company also plans to develop batteries for use with solar power generation.

In places such as California where solar is becoming commonplace, there is a huge demand for these batteries.   ( “We sign up approximately one new customer every minute of the workday,” Will Craven, director of public affairs at California-based SolarCity, told Allington. Much of the excess energy harnessed by solar panels is returned to the power grid, Cravens says. Homeowners have no control over where that excess energy goes.  :(

But now, in a partnership with SolarCity, Tesla plans to use rooftop solar panels fitted with Tesla’s batteries to allow customers to keep that energy in-house. That way, homeowners can use that energy when they want and how they want. It’s what investors call a disruptive technology and it puts Tesla in direct competition with utility companies.

“Stationary storage, or backup storage, is really being considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of renewable electricity generation,”
Ben Kallo, an analyst with the Robert W. Baird financial services firm, told Marketplace. With the ability to store energy, renewable energy sources can compete head-to-head with utility companies for customers, according to Kallo.

Musk has never been afraid of the competition. Tesla released its patents in an unprecedented move to advance electric vehicles. When asked at the International Auto Show if he was worried that so many other car companies were going electric, he said no. The future is in electric vehicles. “Forward-minded utilities might look at Tesla’s business model as an opportunity,” says Kallo. “Energy-storage technology could be used to build capacity in their existing grids and also to build new infrastructure for battery-powered cars and homes.”  ;D

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 04, 2015, 02:59:10 pm
Can a State's Solar Market Start Without It?
John Farrell
March 04, 2015
In about half of U.S. states, an individual or business can have solar installed on their roof owned by someone else, and either buy the power or lease the array from that third party. These power purchase or lease models drastically simplify the process of going solar (at a price), avoiding the work of managing tax credits, utility or state rebates, and system maintenance.

It also appears that a state’s solar market doesn’t really start growing until solar gets simple.
Let’s look at the top 10 states in solar per capita. Guess which states allow third party ownership of solar arrays?
State                       Capacity (MW)   Population (Millions)   Per Capita PV (MW/Millions of People)      
Arizona               776                   6.7                           115      
New Jersey       845                   8.9                            95      
Nevada               214                   2.8                            76      
New Mexico       152                   2.1                            73      
Delaware                 61                   0.9                            65      
Vermont                 39                   0.6                            62  ;D      
California              1893                 38.8                            49      
Massachusetts       267                   6.8                            39      
Connecticut       106                   3.6                            29      
Colorado               134                   5.4                            25   

Every single one.

But it’s not just the top 10. If you look at the 26 states with more solar installed per capita than the national median — 2.3 megawatts per million persons — 21 of the 26 solar market leaders allow third party ownership. In the map below, you can see the clear overlap of third party ownership rules with solar capacity.
Note: the “Top 25″ is actually the 26 states at or above the median capacity per million persons.


These “Top 25″ states account for 99 percent of all solar capacity in the country.

In other words, people will go solar if it’s simple and — with the possible exception of Indiana — not before.
Third party ownership — via a solar lease or power purchase agreement — makes solar simple, and this simplicity is necessary because financing solar remains so complex. In contrast, 75 percent of Americans choose ownership over leasing when acquiring a new car, because there’s financing available at the dealer and few, if any, federal, state, and utility-based incentives to manage. If solar ownership can be made as simple as owning a car (or even a home), expect solar ownership to swell.

So why doesn’t every state jump into third party owned solar arrays?

Because there are substantial advantages to states in simplifying solar ownership. Ownership means more of the economic value of of a solar array stays local, whereas the third party market for solar is dominated by a few national firms. These firms are less likely to tap the in-state supply chain for everything from legal services to panel manufacturing. In other words, the cost of third party provided simplicity is economic returns.

Unfortunately, few states (if any) have figured out how to make solar ownership as simple as leasing, and the data shows that states that want solar have to make it simple. It’s no easy choice.
This article originally posted at For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Democratic Energy weekly update.
Photo credit: Matthias Friel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license)

Agelbert NOTE (and rant): PV needs sun. The more sun, the more RENEWABLE ENERGY is available to reduce fossil fuel and nuclear pig profits. And, of course, Global Warming caused by greenhouse gasses spurs more people to transition to RENEWABLE ENERGY. This is disturbing to fossil fuelers  (

SO, they DO what they ALWAYS have DONE to make their horrendously polluting and outrageously expensive energy product appear "more competitive". They dream up a Geo-Engineered "heat shied" to be PAID for by we-the-people, OF COURSE. They don't tell us about it, OF COURSE. The fact that it might do more harm than good (which has now been PROVEN to be the case) is irrelevant to these biosphere math challenged, game theory worshipping idiots. It's the old "break a few eggs to make an omelete" fallacy. 


The DOE (department of Energy) and the DOD (Department of Defense) received their marching orders around the year 2000. (

If YOU were the USAF, tasked by our Fossil Fuel Government to Geo-Engineer a "heat Shield" to save fossil fueler profits and assses, do you think it is F UCKING OBVIOUS, from the chart below, where you would order your jet tankers to fly the MAIN AEROSOL DISPERSAL FLIGHT PATTERN?
Study the above chart, please. Now study the below chart, please.  (

The law of unintended consequences strikes again.  >:( DROUGHT is only one of SEVERAL deleterious effects ( of this incredibly stupid "aerosol heat shield" attempt to save fossil fueldom's ass.


So how come YOU haven't heard about this correlation that really IS deleterious causation?

The M.I.C. mens rea modus operandi evidenced below is standard operating procedure when a giant expense is being foisted on the unwitting public.

Why are these policy makers so reticent to recognize the folly of Geo-Engineering? Why are they willing to risk irreparable harm to the biosphere for the sake of DIRTY ENERGY PROFITS?   ??? ( ( (

Because they are fascists.
The above is a 1975 patent for a contrail MODIFIER. I'm sure some "enhancements" have been made since then. (

Have a nice day.  8)
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 05, 2015, 05:23:32 pm
Large-scale Solar Reaches Nearly 36 Gigawatts in 2014 (
Renewable Energy World Editors
March 05, 2015

Massachusetts, USA -- Global utility-scale PV added 14.2 GW in 2014 doubling 2013 totals and bringing total global generating capacity to 35.9 GW in 2014, according to figured released by Wiki-Solar. The 2014 additions equate to the entire installed capacity at the end of 2012, demonstrating recent massive growth.

The lion's share of the total capacity is split between North America, Asia and Europe, while 2014 saw Africa and South America finally enter the mix with some sizable additions. Europe also saw new growth this year, after the stagnancy it saw years prior. Much of this growth has been centralized in the U.K. market, which may leapfrog India and Germany to become one of the top three global markets, according to Philip Wolfe, founder of Wiki-Solar. Much of this growth is due to favorable policy that is set to expire  >:(, which means that the region may soon see stagnation again soon.  (

China, India and the U.S. will see more stable long-term growth, as well as Chile, Japan and Canada.

New utility-scale solar installations and cumulative year-end capacity by continent. Credit: Wiki-Solar

These results are based on data published by the end of February 2015. Wiki-Solar emphasizes that the figures tend to creep further upwards as information is published over the course of the year.

The installed capacity of utility-scale power plants in the leading countries at the end of 2014 was:

These top fourteen markets account for 94 percent of the world’s utility-scale solar.
Credit: Wiki-Solar

All top 14 countries shown above, apart from Ukraine, will likely be in the “gigawatt plus club” by the end of 2015, according to Wolfe, and we’ll also see some new entrants in the years to come.   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 21, 2015, 02:49:22 pm
Developer Pursues Floating Solar Projects in US

 Justin Doom, Bloomberg 
 March 20, 2015  |  4 Comments 

NEW YORK -- Solar Power Inc., a renewable-energy developer backed by China’s LDK Solar Co., is joining with Aqua Clean Energy to develop floating solar projects in the U.S. and Mexico.

The joint venture would put solar panels on platforms in reservoirs, quarry lakes, irrigation canals and tailing ponds, Shanghai-based Solar Power said in a statement Thursday. The joint venture is considering projects in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

In addition to the environmental benefits of clean power, the platforms will reduce water evaporation and slow algae growth, Solar Power said. The two companies have identified more than 50 megawatts of potential projects.

“This technology not only generates clean solar power energy, but also serves to conserve water in critically dry regions like the southwestern U.S. and California in particular, which is now experiencing its fourth consecutive year of drought,” Peng Xiaofeng, chairman of SPI, said in the statement.

Jacqueline Lilinshtein, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, said the concept may have a limited market appeal and only a small impact on water conservation.

“Unless the technology offers significant savings in capital expenditures or increases output, it will likely remain a niche product,” Lilinshtein said Thursday in an e-mail. “Any water savings will be a drop in a bucket, especially in places such as California, which is enduring one of the worst droughts in its recent history.”

California’s reservoirs are less than half full after record-low rain and snowfall. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to unveil emergency legislation Thursday that’s intended to help manage the water shortage.

Solar installations in the U.S. this year may reach almost 9 gigawatts, while global demand is expected to rise 23 percent to more than 58 gigawatts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Last year, about 6.3 gigawatts were added in the U.S. (    (

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg

A. G. Gelbert 

March 21, 2015 

The only upside I can see to this is its application to drought stricken areas that have a reservoir severely depleted. Less evaporation on the water surface will save the fish and the boating tourist dollars as well as making up for the lower hydropower energy output.

I wrote about it some time ago (July 10, 2014):


I've been thinking about that problem at Lake Mead...  ::) Yeah, I KNOW this sounds like a (heaven forbid!) Technofix, but what do you think of this AID to somewhat reduce the gravity of the water-ain't-there problem.  ;D

You see, I just read that about 1/12 of the water along that stretch of dams from Vegas to Phoenix EVAPORATES. Well, the MKings of this world don't want us to do the math there,  :icon_mrgreen: but it takes and ENORMEOUS amount of ENERGY to evaporate that much water. And yeah, the reservoirs are where MOST of that evaporation takes place!   (

So, I posted this at Ecowatch on the article about the Colorado River problems with low water levels:

One twelfth evaporating is a LOT of water. Do you realize how much solar energy is going to waste in that process?  ( ( Our society has gotten really blind at obvious solutions. (

What I mean is that IF you put SHADE over the reservoirs in the form of FLOATING SOLAR PANEL structures (the Japanese are putting them on the ocean surface, a far more corrosive environment, so a lake is not a problem!), you RADICALLY reduce the evaporation AND get a bunch of energy at the same time! More WATER and more ENERGY! What's not to like?

Yeah, I know. that's WAY too obvious! LOL! We used to do "obvious" in the USA. What happened?  (
Sure some boater will complain that he doesn't want to navigate around solar panels. So what!? 

People, we need to come together and win the Climate Victory or we will be very miserable or very dead!
( ( (,785.msg51058.html#msg51058

Agelbert NOTE: Tell me, WHAT other energy industry in the USA has a 43% INCREASE in energy output PER YEAR? What other industry increases that output percentage EVERY YEAR, as solar does?

WHY do Energy "Experts" like Gail Tverberg  (  and Nicole Foss  ( CONSISTENTLY DENY this OBVIOUS writing on the wall (see DEATH SENTENCE) for DIRTY ENERGY from fossil fuels and nuclear power?

Because they are BOUGHT AND PAID FOR LIARS!  (

Nevertheless, when then renewable energy numbers are so overwhelming that these craven water carriers for dirty energy doubletalk can no longer push their pap without looking like world class math challenged morons, expect a "road to Damascus" style conversion and an effort to rewrite their own history claiming they were "supporting Renewable Energy all along".  (  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 28, 2015, 02:16:43 pm
Six Flags to Build New Jersey’s Largest Solar Farm and Become First Theme Park to Be Entirely Self-Powered   (

Anastasia Pantsios | March 28, 2015 8:57 am

New Jersey theme park Six Flags Great Adventure announced that it is partnering with New Jersey-based KDC Solar to construct a solar farm that will provide virtually all its energy needs. It will be the largest solar farm in New Jersey and will make the sprawling, 2,200-acre Six Flags Great Adventure the first theme park in the country to be entirely self-powered. The park is located in Jackson Township in central New Jersey, 26 miles from Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore.

By the 2017 season, these roller coasters will be running on solar power. Image credit: Six Flags Great Adventure

“We are continually searching for new ways to operate more efficiently and enhance our role as good stewards of the environment,” said the park’s president John Fitzgerald. “Solar power will significantly reduce our reliance on harmful fossil fuels.”

Six Flags said that the 90-acre, 21.9 megawatt (MW) facility will take about 16-18 months to construct and should be up and running in late 2016. It’s expected to produce about 98 percent of the park’s electricity, accounting for some cloudy days.

Jackson township councilman Kenneth Bressi told the Asbury Park Press that the township, whose planning board gave the project the green light earlier this month, is enthusiastic about it because the undeveloped property east of the park that the solar farm will be located on will be taxed at a higher rate and the new facility helps assure the park will stay open for the long term.

“God knows what their electric bill is and what they’re going to be saving annually,” said Bressi. “They wouldn’t be doing projects like this if they weren’t going to be around for a long while, so this is great for Great Adventure and for Jackson.”

David Beavers, solar campaign organizer at Environment New Jersey, also expressed enthusiasm for the project, telling the Asbury Park Press, “This is going to be the biggest installation in New Jersey, which is going to be a huge step in the right direction.”

It was also revealed the 18,000 trees would be removed to make way for the facility. Six Flags spokesperson Kristin Siebeneicher told the Asbury Park Press the trees were mostly in poor condition and that the Six Flags and KDC Solar would be replanting 25,000 trees over a seven-year period.   (

“Hearing that they are going to be replanting those trees, it definitely sounds like it’s going to be a worthwhile initiative,” said Beavers.

While Six Flags Great Adventure is boasting it will be the largest U.S. theme park to rely entirely on clean energy, it doesn’t have much competition yet. Last April, Tampa’s much smaller, 150-acre Legoland Florida announced that it was the first U.S. theme park to run entirely on renewables for one day when it did so to celebrate Earth Day. The park’s Imagination Zone area features permanent solar panels that continue to feed energy to that section of the park.

Currently, the Tinton Fall Solar Farm and Pilesgrove Solar Farms are the largest solar facilities in New Jersey, each generating about 20 MW of power. New Jersey ranks sixth among states in the amount of solar installed in 2014 with 239.8 MW and currently has the third highest amount of installed capacity after California and Arizona, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Agelbert NOTE: For those who will be offended by this obviously unnecessary use of human technology to further trash the biosphere by killing a bunch of trees with the, possibly mendacious, promise that they will plant enough to replace them.

SO? It's better for the "circus" part of the bread and circus fascist MO to be Renewable Energy powered than fossil fuel powered.

WHY is that so, if this entertainment stuff will make the rubes happier and thereby apparently provide more staying power to the fascists ( that run the show?  ???

Because distributed RENEWABLE Energy will weaken the coercive power of centralized utilities. This undermines fossil fuel fascism while encouraging democracy.  ;D

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 07, 2015, 02:44:31 pm
Brazil to Build World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm Amidst Devastating Drought
Lorraine Chow | April 7, 2015 9:40 am

With Brazil’s historic drought drying up its hydroelectric plants, the South American country is turning to solar power to help relieve its foreboding energy crisis.

Brazil’s devastating drought has depleted its reservoirs causing the nation to consider alternative energy options besides hydropower, which supplies more than 75 percent country’s power. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The nation announced that within four months, it will commence pilot tests of a gigantic floating solar farm located atop the Balbina hydroelectric plant in the Amazon. It’s currently unclear how physically large the floating farm will be, but the enormous reservoir it will sit on covers 2,360 square kilometers.

At 350 megawatts, Brazil’s ambitious project would easily trump Japan’s currently largest 13.4 megawatt floating solar power plant in terms of power output. To put that in another perspective, the largest solar farm in the world is the 550 megawatt Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in California.

Diversifying energy sources is clearly a necessity for the notoriously parched country. Brazil is experiencing its worst drought in four decades, causing electricity blackouts in many regions. Below-average rainfall in the last few years have depleted its reservoirs, thus gutting its formerly plentiful supply of hydropower, which supplies more than three-quarters of the country’s electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

As Climate News Network reported, “the reservoirs in the drought-affected region could fall to as little as 10 percent of their capacity, which … Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo Braga admits would be ‘catastrophic’ for energy security.”
While the sunny country has tremendous potential for solar power, Brazil has been slow to embrace this form of renewable energy. It was only in October 2014, when Brazil made its first foray into this sector with the construction of 31 solar parks, its first large-scale solar project with a combined capacity of 1,048 megawatts.

A shift to solar energy might be fitting, as the Balbina Dam (where the proposed solar farm will eventually sit) has been criticized for emitting more greenhouse gases than a coal-fired power plant.
“We are adding technological innovation, more transmission lines, diversifying our energy generation source, introducing solar energy in a more vigorous manner and combining solar energy with hydroelectric energy,” Braga told reporters about the solar farm project.

“We are preparing ourselves to win the challenge in 2015 and be able to deliver a model and an electric system starting in 2016 which will be cheaper, more secure and with greater technological innovation,” Braga said. Electricity produced at the farm is expected to cost between $69 and $77 per megawatt hour, reports say.

Agelbert comment: This is a GREAT idea. Massive a mounts of water loss is due to evaporation. This will cut up to 12% of the evaporation while adding Renewable Energy. (

I hope the large reservoirs in the USA which are  losing water from drought conditions take up this OBVIOUS solution to added energy while reducing water evaporation.

Drought Drains Lake Mead to Lowest Level (

Developer Pursues Floating Solar Projects in US (


Don't hold your breath waiting for Governor Brown of California to listen; the fossil fueler industry OWNS (  him. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 15, 2015, 11:25:49 pm
How to build a Solar Panel from scratch. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 25, 2015, 12:55:08 am
Janet Dixon is director of facilities at the Temecula Valley Unified School District in southern California, which plans to install solar panels at 20 of its 28 schools this summer. Dixon said that SolarCity is the solar provider, and five of the facilities will have Tesla batteries.

“We spend roughly $3 million a year on electricity, and most of that is lighting and air conditioning,” said Dixon. “We are going solar to reduce our overall costs and the battery storage should help us manage our peak demand.”
Copyright 2015 Bloomberg

Full article:  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 07, 2015, 08:27:27 pm

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 14, 2015, 09:58:38 pm
Old article but still applicable.  ;D


V. Dallakyan, R.Vardanyan
State Engineering University of Armenia
105 Teryan Str.,375009, Yerevan, Armenia Fax: 3741 545843; E-Mail:


To reduce the high cost of photovoltaic (PV) systems the new cost effective mirror reflecting linear focus type solar energy concentrating system is developed. The concentrator system consists of flat glass mirrors, placed under the different angles, and focusing the sun light on to
the solar sells mounted along the line.

The developed PV concentrator system has several advantages in comparison with widely used other concentrating systems. It is mostly protected from environmental influences (wind, dust, rain, hail). Due to the simplified structure of concentrating optics, the standard off-the-shelf technologies enable low-cost manufacturing.

The cost optimization method and the computer program for new concentrating systems design is
developed as well. The program allows to design a PV system with the given output power, having the minimal price. The program can be used for cost effective PV solar energy concentrating systems design
. (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 16, 2015, 08:03:14 pm
 ( can increase energy harvest by up to 40%!  (

To Track or Not to Track?
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 17, 2015, 02:11:22 pm
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.  ;D

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

Listen Up: How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?  ???
May 14, 2015

By The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World

For a homeowner, it’s a simple question. But in order to answer the question accurately, solar installers need to make a number of assumptions — as well as gather some pretty detailed information from a homeowner. Often, by the time these data gathering questions are answered, the homeowner is even more confused.

 The ideal system size that a homeowner really needs is bounded by two parameters. First, the number of panels that will physically fit on the roof — taking into account applicable setbacks, wiring issues, shading, structural requirements and aesthetics.  And second, the size of the current (or projected) electric bill (only the utility will benefit if the resulting electric bill is negative). Naturally, a third parameter — the homeowner’s budget — is almost always a factor.

 Of course, a lot of number crunching goes on behind the scenes as a good installer determines the energy output, annual savings, and financing options for the customer. And tradeoffs are usually offered between higher efficiency/more expensive panels and inverters, and lower efficiency more affordable equipment. Please Listen Up to this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as we go through a simple three step process to determine how many solar panels a homeowner needs: first, determine how many panels fit on the roof; second, determine how many panels it will take to zero out the electric bill; and third, find a trustworthy solar contractor with fair pricing.

Listen to this informative podcast at the link:  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 20, 2015, 08:52:39 pm
This Company Is Leading the Charge to Expedite Renewable Energy (  ;D

Stefanie Spear | May 19, 2015 2:16 pm
I’m fascinated by companies that are leading the charge in transitioning our energy use from fossil fuels to clean energy. One company that wasn’t yet on radar, until I met them at the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day festivities in DC, is Building Energy.

I had the pleasure of meeting several top players in the company and had the chance to interview Building Energy’s CEO Fabrizio Zago and Managing Director of North America Andrea Braccialarghe.

Building Energy’s Managing Director of North America Andrea Braccialarghe (left) and CEO Fabrizio Zago in front of the 18 kilowatt solar system that powered the Alcantara Magic Garden-Connect4Climate pavilion during the Global Citizen Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Stefanie Spear

In just a few years Building Energy has achieved an impressive track record:
230 MW (megawatts) total plants completed worldwide;
110 MW of plants in operations;
212 GWh (gigawatt hour) annual global production;
150 MW photovoltaic systems produced directly or indirectly in Italy;
81 MW largest single photovoltaic project completed (Kathu, South Africa);

Development pipeline for a total of approximately 2,000 MW from photovoltaic, mini- hydroelectric, wind and biomass technology in 24 countries worldwide.  (

When I first arrived at the Alcantara Magic Garden-Connect4Climate pavilion, the Building Energy crew was busy installing the first-ever solar array on the National Mall to power the pavilion using energy entirely from the sun. The 3,000-square-foot solar field—about the size of a basketball court—was just hundreds of feet from the Washington Monument.

While visiting the pavilion, I sat down with Zago and Braccialarghe to learn more about their company.

How long ago did you start your company?

We started Building Energy in 2010 in Italy. It was a very interesting time because Italy was seeing huge investments in renewable energy. More than 20 percent of electricity used was made by renewable energy at that time. Today we are an international company with our world headquarters in Milan, Italy and other offices in Cape Town, South Africa, Washington DC for North and Central America, Tokyo for the Asian market, Dubai for the Middle East and Belgrade for Eastern Europe.

Are the majority of your projects large-scale solar farms?

Zago: In South Africa we have several projects we’ve recently been rewarded for solar, wind, biomass and hydro. Seventy percent of our business is in Africa. We have several projects we’ve done in the U.S., including a solar job at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, completed last year, and projects in Eygpt and Jordan. We started as a solar company. Eighty percent of our business is in solar, but the other big part is in wind. And, now we have two projects in biomass, one in South Africa, which is the first biomass plant in South Africa, and one in Serbia. The biomass plant in South Africa burns the by-product of producing sugar cane—the parts of the sugar cane plant that are considered waste. The biomass plant produces electricity for the electrical system of South Africa.

Building Energy installed this 2 megawatt solar array at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Photo credit: Building Energy

Spear: What’s your role with the company, Andrea?

I’m leading the U.S. efforts based in Washington, DC. In America we also do projects in solar, wind, biomass and hydro. But, different from our work in South Africa where we have large utility scale projects, in the U.S. we are more focused on distributed generation. One of our flagship projects is a wind project in Iowa. The project is based on different wind turbines located in a radius of 50 miles providing energy to different communities. We are a very flexible company. We can install a 18 kilowatt system like we did here on the Washington Mall, but we can also build multi-scale, multi-megawatt solar plants in South Africa.

Building Energy’s Managing Director of North America Andrea Braccialarghe talks to a group of students about the 18 kilowatt solar system that powered the Alcantara Magic Garden-Connect4Climate pavilion during the Global Citizen Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Stefanie Spear

How do you see the mission and vision of your company helping to mitigate climate change?

Building Energy’s expertise is its ability to develop new solutions for the production of energy from renewable sources. This is crucial in countering the harmful effects of climate change because it contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the decrease in the dependency on fossil fuels. Moreover, the company’s commitment in the fight against climate change has been recently shown also by its participation in the most famous world event about environmental protection, and by the partnership with Connect4Climate, the global community launched by the World Bank Group and the Italian Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea to raise global awareness and expand the debate around climate change issues.

What countries have the most appealing policies to implement renewables?

The U.S. is taking some steps to fight climate change. In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the Clean Power Plan, aiming to decrease carbon pollution by 30 percent from the power sector by 2030, also through an expansion in the production of energy from renewable sources.

However, one of the most promising markets for renewable energy is South Africa, thanks to its decision to invest in this field to make its economic growth more sustainable. In order to move away from a market historically focused on coal, in 2011, the government launched a National Energy Plan with the objective of changing the energy balance within the country by 2030. The National Energy Plan, which aims to increase available power while diversifying the country’s energy sources, also includes the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program.

Building Energy’s 81 megawatt solar project in Kathu, South Africa. Photo credit: Building Energy

Another view of Building Energy’s 81 megawatt solar project in Kathu, South Africa. Photo credit: Building Energy

What are you hoping to see at the climate talks in Paris?

We hope that, through the United Nations conference in Paris, world leaders will manage to reach an agreement, accepted by all nations, to stop the harmful effects of climate change. Governments need to set some fair rules, but also ambitious targets, so that every country, within their grasp, might give their contribution to the climate change fight. And we’re sure that renewable energy could play a decisive role in helping countries reach their goals.

Watch this video Building Energy created in celebration of Earth Day 2015 (at link):
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 21, 2015, 09:10:10 pm
5 Solar Innovations That Are Revolutionizing the World (
Lorraine Chow | May 20, 2015 11:02 am

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops. Forward-thinking minds are discovering ways to harness the sun’s energy in many exciting ways, from the ground beneath our feet to the shirt off our back. The following innovations are shining beacons in a renewable energy future.
These mirrored dishes, located in the Kalahari desert, could be the most efficient solar system in the world  :o  ;D. Photo Credit: Ripasso Energy

1. Strides in solar efficiency

Most solar generators can convert up to 23 percent of sunlight into electricity. However, Swedish company Ripasso Energy claims they can covert 34 percent of the sun’s energy into power with their contraption (see photo above), making it the world’s most efficient solar electricity system. According to The Guardian, independent tests found that a single Ripasso dish can generate 75 to 85 zero-emission megawatt hours of electricity a year, or enough to power 24 typical homes in the UK. To compare, to create the same amount of electricity by burning coal would release roughly 81 metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, the newspaper reported.

2. Battery technology and shared solar untether us from Big Power
Elon Musk really is Tony Stark. The billionaire entrepreneur recently unveiled a revolutionary suite of Tesla batteries that he says could “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy” and get us off dirty fossil fuels. Musk’s sister company SolarCity is now offering Tesla batteries at a price point that’s more than 60 percent less than previous solar power storage products, paving the way for more people to peel themselves off the grid.

For people who don’t have the funds or the right roof for photovoltaic panels, peer-to-peer solar startup Yeloha is offering a genius solution: solar sharing. The company allows customers to “go solar” without owning a single panel by essentially feeding off their neighbors who do (and at a price that’s less than what they’d normally pay to their utility).

3. Portable solar brings light to developing world
For places recovering from disaster or communities lacking access to electricity, solar systems provide an alternative or a complement to traditional power sources such as fossil fuel generators (diesel or gasoline is not only expensive, it emits noxious fumes and can cause fires). For example, after the first of two devastating earthquakes struck Nepal, solar company Gham Power deployed solar power systems to help power lights and mobile charging stations for relief workers and the displaced. And in Haiti, the nonprofit organization Field Ready is trying to use a solar powered 3D-printer to make a whole range of simple, life-saving medical supplies at a fraction of the cost.

4. Solar desalination: solution to drought?

Scientists are solving the planet’s fresh water worries with a little help from the sun. Recently, a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jain Irrigation Systems have come up with a method of turning brackish water into drinking water with a solar-powered machine that can pull salt out of water. It then further disinfects the water with ultraviolet rays. With parts of the planet running perilously low on fresh water, realization of this technology can’t come soon enough.

5. Solar transportation

In the air and on the road, solar technology is going the distance. Currently, the Solar Impulse 2, the first solar airplane able to sustain flight at night with a pilot on board, is making its historic round-the-world trip powered only by the sun.

Over in the Netherlands, SolaRoad, the world’s first “solar road,” has defied expectations and has generated about 3,000 kWh of power, enough to provide a single-person household with electricity for a year. Considering it’s only a 230-feet bike path, the potential for this technology could be big, kind of like photovoltaic technology itself.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 06, 2015, 09:30:58 pm
Shumlin, Agency of Agriculture dedicate largest solar array in Vermont

Erin Mansfield Jun. 5 2015, 3:56 pm

The largest solar farm in the state sits on a farm in Essex Junction, has 12,000 photovoltaic panels, and produces enough energy to power about 600 homes.

Gov. Peter Shumlin joined Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross and solar developers from four companies Friday to formally dedicate the project. Shumlin also declared June 20, one of the longest days of the year, as Solar Day in Vermont.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that we adopt cleaner, cheaper and more secure local electrical generation that increases our competitiveness, reduces air pollution, improves public health and creates jobs,” Shumlin said in a statement.

The array in Essex Junction produces 3.6 megawatts of direct-current electricity and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 600 cars off the roads, according to the solar array owner, the Public Service Enterprise Group, or PSEG.

The company is a private solar developer that works largely in New Jersey and on Long Island, New York. The company rents the underlying land from the owners of the Whitcomb Farm just north of Burlington. Juwi Solar, Inc. built the array, according to a statement.

Kate Vosser, spokesperson for PSEG, said the Whitcomb family had been working for about six years to put a solar array on their farmland. Juwi Solar was then able to build the array in 2014 over the course of a few months, Vosser said.

Vosser said the company chose to invest in a solar array in Vermont because the political climate encourages renewable energy. “Vermont made it a possibility for us to come in and do this,” Vosser said.

The company built the project through the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development, or SPEED, program. The Legislature passed a law this year to update that program starting in 2017.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2015, 03:04:04 pm

The First Energy Revolution: Tesla Energy Changes Everything

Posted June 17, 2015

Keywords: Energy Security, Smart Grid, Solar Power, Storage, Utilities, Efficiency, Green Business, Renewables, Energy and Economy, Fuels, News, powerwall, tesla

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently introduced Tesla Energy, a suite of stationary battery products designed to help wean the world off fossil fuels. While a battery introduction may not seem like a world-changing event to many, it actually heralds the beginning of the First Energy Revolution and will begin to remake the world as we know it.

The Story So Far:

We all know the world runs on energy, but we’ve been conditioned over the last couple of generations to see energy as something that requires careful conservation and conscious usage.

We’re told saving energy is easy. We replace cheap incandescent bulbs with subsidized compact fluorescent bulbs or vastly more expensive LED bulbs. We spend more on high efficiency appliances (that often work less effectively). We turn down our thermostats in the winter and turn up our thermostats in the summer to uncomfortable levels. We even have continual water shortages because we don’t want to build power-hungry desalination plants. We pay more to use less, just so that we can reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible.

We’re always told to save power wherever we can, but what exactly are we saving it for? Is there a limited amount available? Is our power scarcity based on fundamental limits of power generation or are these limits artificial and self-imposed simply due to our current fossil-focused power paradigm?

Power conservation has only been necessary because the vast majority of our energy needs have been, up until now, either provided by non-renewable resources (like coal or other fossil fuels), or by resources with considerable negative environmental risks (like nuclear power). Remove the downside of energy production, build out a decentralized green power generation network with more capacity than is required, and you remove the necessity to conserve power at all.

The Promise of Solar: (

According to our best objective energy research, the sheer volume of solar energy already reaching the earth's surface is so vast, that in a single year the sun delivers about twice as much energy as we have ever gotten (or will ever get) out of non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, natural gas and even mined uranium combined.

(“ a single year the sun delivers about twice as much energy as we have ever gotten (or will ever get) out of non-renewable energy sources…” 

Let that sink in for a second.  ;D

Even with today's relatively inefficient solar cells, we will only need to capture a fraction of a single percent of that energy in order to provide all the power human beings use on a daily basis, everywhere on the earth. This invaluable resource is provided by the sun for free and will last for hundreds of millions of years into the future.


Full article at link:    (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2015, 06:38:31 pm
I object to the term Tesla energy. Elon Musk is a billionaire government subsidy wh ore whose company has never made a profit in a single quarter since its inception. Not only that, but Musk's new toy doesn't even make energy, and it probably doesn't even have a positive EROEI if you include environmental costs.

I disagree. I am an expert in EROEI math. I have studied Musk and he really has done the proper biosphere math.  :emthup: Also, he is NOT a subsidy "****" because he IS paying it back, UNLIKE the fossil fuel industry WHO RES that rob us 24/7 and pretend they don't. Musk offers real solutions.  ( The dirty energy status quo does not.   (

From the article:

The most recent example that comes to mind is Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery technology. The developer of large scale NiMH batteries, Ovonics, was purchased by Texaco and became part of Chevron. These companies used their position and their resources to keep this technology from making significant inroads into electric transportation and infrastructure through the control of licensing and through various political machinations.

This old dynamic is finally beginning to change. When Tesla Motors announced the creation of the Gigafactory, the world’s largest battery production facility, many saw this as a very positive indicator that the dam holding back innovative battery technologies might finally be breaking.

Texaco/Chevron/Exxon et al are the REAL subsidy WH ORES, Eddie.

Now for some Renewable Energy truth mixed with humor.  ( I own a Scotts 20 inch Classic push mower. It's still going strong after 15 years. The only money I have spent since buying it is for a sharpening kit that cost $15 (including shipping  ;D).

Yesterday we ordered replacement parts for the first time    ( We ordered 4 ratchet pawls (you only need two but they are only 60 cents a piece so we bought spares ;D) and right and left nylon pinion gears ($1.80 each  ;D). The total cost is $12.00 including shipping. The parts being replaced are still functional but showing a bit of wear. Not bad for a machine that is fifteen years old and has used ZERO fossil fuels throughout that time.   (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2015, 07:07:17 pm
June 18, 2015

Bob Meinetz  :  ( says:

Ken, though the goal of Tesla Energy's suite of stationary battery products may be to wean the world off fossil fuels, their efforts are leading to a situation where economics could instead guarantee a role for fossil fuels extending indefinitely into the future.  (

71 million homes in the U.S. have access to natural gas. For $6,000 at today's prices, homeowners can purchase a Tesla Powerwall and a natural gas electricity generator, then generate their own steady supply of electricity at a per-kilowatthour price lower than utility electricity in some areas of the country (New York State).  (

Just as your goofy  ( map showing "SURFACE AREA REQUIRED TO POWER THE WORLD" might lead intellectually-challenged readers to believe plastering those tiny squares with solar panels will solve our climate problems, gullible buyers of home storage (and legislators) will be told methane will only be used as "backup" for an ineffectual solar array  ( included in the scam. A substantial shift of the country to independently-generated fossil fuel electricity    ( set efforts to decarbonize U.S. energy back by half a century.   (

June 18, 2015

Ken Trough says:

I'd respond with two points. First, the goal of technology like this is to wean the world off of fossil fuels which are subject to inconsistent, diminishing supply issues. Whatever a cost valuation happens to be today, that valuation is almost certain to go south tomorrow. Those numbers on solar are correct, and solar has a consistent, free supply source that is good for hundreds of millions of years, ideal for a basis of power generation. for more details.

Secondly, your analysis doesn't take into account the incredible corporate welfare subsidies that the oil and gas industry takes advantage of in order to deliver anything approaching an affordable product. While it's true that most energy production gets some kind of subsidy, oil and gas subsidies are several orders of magnitude larger than anything else. On a purely competitive basis, solar is unbeatable.  (

The First Energy Revolution: Tesla Energy Changes Everything by Ken Trough


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 18, 2015, 08:34:00 pm
I'm not saying that battery storage in your house is a bad idea. But to make such a big deal about Tesla, who is mostly demonstrating his marketing genius at inventing a huge new market for a product he already knows how to make and is putting in cars, is missing the boat.

Thing is, cars and houses are different, and have different energy storage needs. Cars need those dense energy batteries. I would argue that houses would be better served with less energy-dense, but more permanent batteries with fewer disposal problems, like nickel-iron.

Tesla is promising he will recycle every one of the millions of batteries he wants to sell us. What if he goes broke in five years? Five years after that we have a pollution problem he isn't around to address.

We are ALL going broke and getting sick from the pollution problems the fossil fuelers and nukers REFUSE TO ADDRESS. Have you forgotten what THEY promised? Have THEY delivered anything but sickness, pollution and pollution clean up tabs for we-the-people to pick up while THEY continue to dance the subsidy wh ore polka 24/7!!!?  WTF?

The risks of the Tesla battery product and the Gigafactory potential pollution, in the light of Musk's HUGE solar energy contribution, are peanuts compared with the giant risk of perpetuating the present dirty energy status quo. Roamer, someone you don't blame for polluting the sh it out of the land he fracks on because it provides him a job, is doing far more to pollute our country than the alleged "subsidy wh ore" Musk is doing by pushing his battery gigafactory.

I cannot stop you from bad mouthing Musk. He certainly is not perfect. I think his foray into space is brain dead. But his full frontal attack on the energy status quo with his flashy advertising is exactly what was needed to destroy the bastards supporting fossil fuel love in this country. If you want to split hairs and wring your hands about Musk's factory and potential pollution downsides, I think you should do so ONLY by comparing what the dirty energy corporations are doing at the same time.

You aren't doing that. And every time you bad mouth what Musk is doing while simultaneously leaving out what the dirty energy welfare queen subsidy whores are doing, I will call you out on it.  (

Sorry Eddie, I think you have a perspective problem.

I know, you are going to tell me it wouldn't be the first time...
AND, right after that, you'll claim I'm the one that isn't being objective. 

I beg to differ.   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 12, 2015, 04:45:04 pm
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 15, 2015, 02:59:37 pm

And the Cheapest Electricity in America Is … Solar     (

John Rogers, Union of Concerned Scientists | July 15, 2015 9:08 am

A Nevada utility and a solar developer have just struck a deal for solar electricity at a price that stands out compared not just to other solar deals, but also to just about any other option for new electricity. Here’s what it and other recent deals say about the future of solar.

Costs for large-scale solar projects dropped by 7 percent last year, and are down by way more than half since 2009. Photo credit: John Rogers

Bloomberg’s story on the Nevada deal opens with this (emphasis added):

Warren Buffet’s Nevada utility has lined up what may be the cheapest electricity in the U.S., and it’s from a solar farm.

“Cheapest” and “solar” aren’t words some folks might expect to see together in something coming out of a financial outfit like Bloomberg. But folks who have been paying attention to solar’s incredible recent price drops in recent years know that the times they are a-changin’.

Best deal in town NV Energy, part of Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway company, is buying output from a project being developed by solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer First Solar at a price of 3.87 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That’s probably a lower price than you’d get from just about any other source out there, except for wind or energy efficiency.

Utility leaders need to keep signing the contracts that keep getting us to ever-greater scales and ever-lower prices on solar. Photo credit: Sarah Swenty/USFWS

No doubt about it: this power purchase agreement (PPA) is a deal. A utility analyst at Bloomberg says it’s “probably the cheapest PPA I’ve ever seen in the U.S.” Note the lack of qualifiers: no “solar,” no “renewable energy.” Just “cheapest.”

( (

Second half of article:

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 16, 2015, 12:55:02 am

SolarCity Corp To Build 1,460-Strong Workforce In Buffalo
Posted By: Vikas Shukla Posted date: July 14, 2015 02:32:22 PM

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) is gearing up for a massive hiring spree in Buffalo, New York. The residential solar installer is setting up the world's largest solar panel factory in Buffalo.  :o  ;D Daniel Harvey, who is heading SolarCity's hiring efforts in the city, told Buffalo News that the company would start hiring this fall.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 16, 2015, 02:38:06 pm
US Solar Production Underestimated - By Half!

07/14/2015 03:19 PM News

In the first quarter of 2015, renewable energy provided 14.6% of electricity in the US, a level the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) forecast for 2040!

 And in California, EIA announced utility-scale solar now provides 5% of the state's electricity - a first for a state - but it left out the other half - rooftop solar.

That's because EIA doesn't count distributed solar, of which there is now 9.2 gigawatts on 700,000 rooftops - about 45% of US solar capacity, according to U.S. Solar Market Insight Q1 2015. 

It doesn't have the information on this mass of small systems, so the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has teamed with kWh Analytics to calculate that. Based on the data, actual solar production is 50% higher than EIA estimates, says Greentech Media.

Solar is supplying more than 5% of electricity in California, Arizona and Hawaii, and total US solar electricity generation exceeds the consumption of 16 states and the District of Columbia, they say.

Solar 2015 (graph at link)

Besides being vital for tracking the growth of solar in the US, accurate information is also used to evaluate how the solar tax credit (ITC) is performing and to set policies on the state and federal levels.

EIA has been taken to task over the past year or so for underestimating the amount of renewable energy generally in the US, and it underestimated the amount of natural gas recoverable in California by a whopping 96%!

Cheapest Solar Ever  ;D

Utilities are getting solar cheaper than ever when they issue RFPs, as we are seeing in Texas and Nevada.

 In Texas, Austin Energy issued a RFP for 600 megawatts of solar, and besides received offers for 8 gigawatts, 1.3 GW of that came in below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That's lower than last year's landmark price at just under 5 cents. 

In Nevada, NV Energy (now owned by Warren Buffet) got an even better deal at $0.0387 per kWh for buying energy from First Solar's Playa Solar 2 project. That's compared to $0.14 last year!

 In fact, each time a RFP goes out, the prices are lower. The downside is that utilities may start holding back because prices could drop more if they wait.

Read our article, Which States Have the Cheapest Electricity? Those With the Most Renewable Energy.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 17, 2015, 08:17:06 pm
No Empathy Deficit Disordered snobbish golfers, no pesticide use poisoning the soil and biota that live in it, no fossil fuel run lawn mowers, no huge water waste and a Renewable Energy POWER PLANT where only waste and pollution was before. I LIKE IT!  ;D 


Friday, July 17, 2015

Why is a Japanese tech company turning golf courses into solar energy farms? The Kyocera Corporation recently announced it would be turning a Kyoto golf course into a solar power plant.
Meredith Hamilton, July 15, 2015 (Christian Science Monitor)

“…Japan is known for its expensive, upper-crust golf clubs…[But] golf participation is down more than 40 percent from its high in the early 1990s. Now, the country is facing a severe over-development of golf courses. One solution: turning them into solar power plants…Kyocera has already begun construction of a 23-megawatt solar power plant on an abandoned golf course in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, [which is expected to begin operating in September 2017, and it] plans to develop a 92-megawatt plant at an abandoned golf course in Kagoshima Prefecture…[T]he large size and relative lack of shade common to most golf courses make them ideal sites for solar farms…Morphing these surplus golf courses into hubs of green energy will provide the crowded island nation with much-needed clean power, advocates say…”  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 18, 2015, 06:15:06 pm

Cole Michael Crook > agelbert  • 13 hours ago 

agelbert , I am a Energy Advisor at SolarCity in Sacramento CA. I qualify and give proposals/sell solar all throughout the East Coast. You don't have to wait until the office opens in Buffalo.

In fact, I would give SolarCity a call ASAP to get your proposal to see if you even qualify as the tax incentives (provide free install), are going to be absent come the first quarter of 2016.

I can give you a proposal over the phone in 20 minuets with my Energy Consultant. We use up-to-date satellite imagery to view your home and qualify your roof, design the panel layout, and provide you with a solar payment that is guaranteed to be lower than your current utility.

Whether you want to admit it or not, you are in a forced contract with your utility provider. Worst part is, you have no say when, or how much your rate can increase year by year. I have locked people in @$71.00/Month (No Fluctuation- Summer/Winter) for the next 20 years which saved them $245/month.   (   (

That's almost $60,000 of savings over 20 years. If you want to own the system you can buy the designed system outright - our goal is to get you 110% coverage so you do not have to pay a electric bill ever again! If you have a Fico score above a 650 it becomes as simple as just swapping utility except you now you are using and harvesting clean energy, at a lower cost, that maintains a FIXED RATE for the life of the term.

Feel free to give me a call. I can qualify you with 5 questions before speaking with my Energy Consultant.

Cole Crook | SolarCity | Legacy Energy Advisor | 916.247.1489 |

More Information Below:

There is NO COMMITMENT on your behalf to receive a proposal.

We require a minimum 4 months of prior Electrical Utility Usage in order to provide you with the most accurate proposal and savings.

Your name must be on the Deed.

Your residence must not run a Commercial Meter.

Your roof must in good condition with minimal shading.

We require a Soft Credit Check that does not harm your credit score - (this is too qualify you for $0 money down).

After you receive your SolarBid and approve of the proposal, the next step is to visit the house for inspection.

Cancellations of contracts can be withdrawn/cancelled up until the of install.

SolarCity Provides Solar Customers a $200,000,000 insurance policy for the panels and associated equipment (inverters, etc.), your roof, and any personal items of yours that could be damaged.

We are also exclusive to the Tesla "PowerWall" - 10 GW personal backup battery that will allow you to operate off the grid if a black out occurs.

agelbert > Cole Michael Crook  • 8 minutes ago 

Thank you, Cole Michael Crook. I will seriously consider the information you have given me.

My problems are twofold.

1) My home is on rented land.

2) Even though I do have 500 square feet of south facing roof (only about 18 degrees of roof angle which means the panels would not be flat against it), I have 60 to 80 feet tall trees continuously shading most of the south facing roof during the summer.

I hope others that read this make use of the information you provide. That info is precisely the kind of nuts and bolts info that needs to populate comment threads so the Renewable Energy Revolution will get us off of fossil fuel and nuclear power poisons.

Thanks again for your efforts to make a better world.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 28, 2015, 09:44:18 pm

SkyPower Inks $2.2 Billion Deal for Massive Solar Power Plant in Kenya

July 24, 2015

By Eric Ombok, Bloomberg

Kenya’s Energy Ministry and SkyPower Global Ltd. will sign a $2.2 billion agreement on Sunday that paves the way for the Canadian company to develop a 1-gigawatt solar project in East Africa’s biggest economy.

The solar project will be developed over five years, SkyPower said Friday in a statement. Kenya currently gets about two-thirds of its electricity from renewable sources, chiefly hydropower stations and geothermal wells. It has no solar developments of that scale.

Kenya in 2013 set out plans for an additional 5,500 megawatts of power, mostly from coal, geothermal sources and liquefied natural gas, to help boost the country’s economic growth to about 10 percent annually from a projected 5.5 percent to 6 percent.

Geothermal accounts for about 25 percent of its 2-gigawatt supply and hydro another 38 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Oil feeds about a third of national generation capacity, the London-based researcher estimates. Kenya also has a small biomass and wind farms.

According to SkyPower’s website, the Toronto-based company “is the largest and one of the most successful developers and owners of utility-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects in the world.”

SkyPower “has built, assembled and acquired a pipeline of over 25 gigawatts” worldwide — 6 gigawatts of which was recently announced in bilateral agreements to be built over the next five years in Egypt and Nigeria, it said.

©2015 Bloomberg News
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 29, 2015, 09:17:19 pm
07/29/2015 02:08 PM       

Construction Begins On China's Biggest Solar Project News

Construction has begun on China's biggest solar project, which will eventually provide electricity for 1 million households.

 Spread over 6300 acres in the Gobi desert in the northwest part of the country (Qinghai province), the concentrating solar towers will store energy for 15 hours, "guaranteeing stable, continual power generation," says Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group.

Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project is a joint venture between BrightSource Energy (developer of Ivanpah in the US) and Shanghai Electric Group. The first phase, which comes online in 2017, consists of two, 135 MW solar towers, and eventually there will be six.

 Because of this project, coal use will drop by 4.3 million tons a year, according to Xinhua news agency.   (

Ivanpah, in California's Mohave Desert, is the world's largest solar tower project at 395 MW. Spread across 3,500 acres, it can be seen from the International Space Station. 

It's surprising that China is using solar tower technology. Most large projects now use solar PV because prices are so low, and because Ivanpah has proven to be a magnet for killing birds.

This is the first commercially-owned project in China. First Solar dropped its plan to build a much, much bigger 2 gigawatt project in Inner Mongolia last year, because of the "market environment."

China Minsheng Investment Corp - the country's largest private investment fund - is planning a $2.4 billion, 2 GW solar plant in the Ningxia region. And that's just the beginning. It plans to invest $32 billion in 20 GW of projects over the next five years.

 It's a boon for JinkoSolar, which is delivering 1 GW of solar panels over the next year.

 China has 33 GW of solar installed (compared to 20 GW in the US) and is shooting for another 18 GW this year. The goal is for renewables and nuclear to provide 20% of energy by 2030.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 30, 2015, 05:58:43 pm
Jul 29, 2015 5 Comments

Authors David Labrador

What is Solar Power Really Worth to Maine?

A look inside the state PUC’s value-of-solar study
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 01, 2015, 02:20:32 pm
07/31/2015 02:35 PM     

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them: Utilities Getting Into Solar Installation Business   ;D News

Utilities may be starting to see the light - if you can't beat them, join them - when it comes to solar.

 While some continue to charge extra fees to make solar less attractive, several utilities are starting to offer their own solar leasing programs.

NRG Energy is leading; Arizona's Tucson Power has installed 2000 systems and wants to double that, and Georgia Power's program just began.   

 Now, NY State's major utility, ConEdison will install SunPower's solar systems on homes across the state. It's a typical leasing model: ConEdison will take full responsibility for installing and maintaining the systems, and homeowners will pay fixed,  lower monthly fees under 20-year contracts. The program begins in August. 

SunPower is the first solar company to be earn cradle-to-cradle certification:

NY's historic Reforming the Energy Vision is surely providing a strong incentive for ConEd, changing the way utilities operate in the state. The state is moving deliberately away from the centralized utility model toward distributed energy.

As of 2014, NY has 397 MW of solar - almost half added last year - and another 250 MW expected this year. 89 MW are residential, 49 MW commercial and  9 MW  utility scale, according to Solar Energies Industry Association. There are 538  companies in the value chain in the state, employing over 7,300 people.

Solar leasing is by far the program of choice for residential solar, accounting for 72% of the 1.2 GW installed in the US last year, according to GTM Research. But with solar costs plummeting, that's not expected to last. By 2020, over 50% of systems will be owned by homeowners.

Read our articles, It's a First: California Rules Bring Rooftop Solar to Electricity Markets and Utilities Get Paid to Build Out Washington State's Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

 In related news, SunPower just bought 1.6 GW of solar projects in 11 states from Infigen Energy, an Australian developer. SunPower is the second largest solar installer in the US.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 01, 2015, 03:41:28 pm

Agelbert NOTE: Senator Sanders recently introduced the following bill. If YOUR HOUSEHOLD makes less than 80% of the median wage in your state, your household would be eligible for a GRANT, not simply a loan, that included ALL the upfront costs of purchasing and installing PV Renewable Energy on your house. Please read this bill and urge your friends to do so as well.

For those of you that don't qualify, this is a good deal as well! WHY? Because all the added distributed Renewable Energy will FORCE the price of fossil fuels DOWN along with the electricity rates! That means LESS pollution and MORE money in your pocket!  (   (

We-the-People NEED this bill!    (  (

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.  This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Low-Income Solar Act’’.


Sanders Introduces Solar Initiative
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Pass it on! ( (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 05, 2015, 03:28:16 pm
A logic challenged defender of dirty energy gets taken to task, so to speak.  ;D


James Rust ( ( says   

March 29, 2015 at 23:52   

Present solar PV systems have a practical operating lifetime of 25 years. Systems in place today will be obsolete by 2040. We need more data before anyone can say solar energy is competitive. All the projections given for 2 cents per kilowatt-hour ignore the costs of backup power that may run inefficiently due to the intermittent operation of solar.

An interesting way of look at solar is to consider the energy return of investment (EROI). This is the amount of energy produced by an energy source divided by the energy needed to produce the source. Usually the energy needed to produce a source is fossil fuels. EROI for petroleum is typically 10. A recent study of solar energy in Spain showed an EORI of 2.45.

Promoters of solar energy are too optimistic. They leave taxpayers and ratepayers the problems of cleaning up their messes.  (

James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering  (


Louise Stoningtonl says   

May 5, 2015 at 05:59   

There used to be oil in the US that just gushed out of the ground. For that oil, you could get 50, maybe even 100 times as much fuel as you had to use to get it. That is gone. Now they pump down chemicals to push it out of the ground, more energy intensive – maybe then you get 10 times more fuel than you have to use. Or they have to dig out the sticky tar and boil it and dilute it before it can be refined. That takes almost as much fuel as you get! Have you seen pictures of the tar sands tailings ponds? That is a mess. A solar spill is a nice day.
 There are solar panels made 40 years ago that are still functioning. Studies show a slight (5 to 10%) loss in power production after 25 years.



William Sharpe

June 1, 2015 at 19:51   

The expected lifespan of an energy source is part of its LCOE calculation. How can you not know this?

The necessity for backup power is also a non-issue. Battery storage has many additional benefits to the grid which make it sensible to install even at prices far above current (rapidly dropping) costs. Basically, gas peaking plants were an expensive mistake and many existing plants should not have been built.



gg says   

June 23, 2015 at 14:03   

It is interesting that “James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering” is blissfully unaware that the 1970s/1980s era solar panels with “a practical operating lifetime of 10 years” are still functioning in many places. Indeed, their “practical operating lifetime” seems to have been severely underestimated! So what about the new panels, which are supposed to last twice as long as the inferior, old ones?

And don’t get me even started on EROI. German companies now manufacture panels with less than half a ton of CO2 emissions per kWp. Even with a modest capacity factor of 15%, the amount of electricity generated within 30 years can’t possibly be so low as to only double or triple the energy investment. That Spanish estimate of EROI of less than three is utter BS. Why not compare it with nuclear plants using the same criteria? :-p (

But maybe that’s what nuclear energy REALLY does to you: it won’t give you cancer, but it overwhelms your coolness perception centers, wipes out your critical thinking skills, and makes you casually dismiss actual historical data.



stuart says   

July 20, 2015 at 18:35   

Lithium batteries with efficiency of 90% emerging as the key to back up… Battery cost and robustness is nearly there… I think Elon Musk is right…

Fraunhofer: Solar power will cost 2 cts/kWh in 2050 (

Agelbert NOTE: James Rust is a dissembling, double talking, EROI, LCOE challenged (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 08, 2015, 06:09:12 pm

Solar-Powered Noise Barriers Quiet Traffic While Generating Electricity


Cole Mellino | August 3, 2015 2:20 pm

From the country that brought you the solar road comes solar noise barriers. Highway noise barriers are usually not very aesthetically pleasing and only serve one purpose—to quiet traffic for the surrounding community. But a researcher in the Netherlands, Michael Debije at the Eindhoven University of Technology, is trying to change all that.

Since April, Debije has launched two pilot projects along the A2 highway in the Netherlands to test a new kind of solar panel he has developed. Using an innovative technology known as luminescent solar concentrators (LSC), the translucent sheets “bounce light internally to the edges of the panels, where it is beamed onto regular solar panels in concentrated form,” says Fast Coexist. The year-long pilot project will help determine how well the barriers hold up in terms of power generation capabilities and with vandal-resistance and maintenance requirements.


Because the barriers are so aesthetically pleasing and translucent, they could be used in urban areas to reduce noise pollution. Photo credit: Eindhoven University of Technology

The panels are ideal for the gray skies of Northern Europe because they work even on cloudy days. A single half-mile stretch can provide enough electricity to power 50 homes.

“The LSC panels can be made in different colors, so the result is something like an oversized stained-glass window,” says Fast Coexist. “Because light can shine through them, they could be used in urban areas, shielding noise without making either pedestrians or motorists feel cut off.”

Debije says thanks to recent breakthroughs with LSC panels, they are now a commercially viable product. Photo credit: Eindhoven University of Technology

Debije and his team published a paper in Nature this spring that shows how they have overcome previous problems with LSC panels, and the team now claims they are commercially viable, according to Tech Times. “Further benefits are that the principle used is low cost, they can be produced in any desired, regular color, is robust, and the LSCs will even work when the sky is cloudy,” Debije told Tech Times. “That means it offers tremendous potential.”
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 10, 2015, 07:26:39 pm
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 14, 2015, 05:39:28 pm
( Grade B, C and used Modules and laminates are the best buy in the industry if price is $.48 B, .36 C for modules; $.34 used (5 yrs. or less) and .25/W for laminates, FOB warehouse or less.

Posted on August 8, 2015 by John Kimball

That’s my general opinion. So is my belief that all of these modules are practically identical to brand new Grade A modules in terms of producing their rated power and having an expected lifetime of 30 to 40 years. That’s because I have sold hundreds of MW’s of every almost every brand of PV module over the last 40 years and the return rate of Grade A modules has actually been the highest of them all!

Other factors to consider are: importability, shipping cost, inventory availability, certification, warranty, brand, specifications, time to arrival, payment terms, and acceptable methods of payment.

Keep in mind inventory availability can go up and down in the industry based on supply and demand just like the $/watt cost. So beware of getting stuck with too much inventory and watching in horror as the price plunges! Or just the opposite, not having enough inventory when the price sky rockets because of a shortage.

The forth quarter is when you should expect shortages and $/W price increases. Also just prior to the termination of any major federal, state, or utility solar incentives.
Right now you have both these things happening at the same time. Plus the US has a new law preventing us from buying any modules from China or Taiwan and US production is at an all time low.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 14, 2015, 06:10:25 pm




Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 15, 2015, 03:40:54 pm
( Grade B, C and used Modules and laminates are the best buy in the industry if price is $.48 B, .36 C for modules; $.34 used (5 yrs. or less) and .25/W for laminates, FOB warehouse or less.

Posted on August 8, 2015 by John Kimball

That’s my general opinion. So is my belief that all of these modules are practically identical to brand new Grade A modules in terms of producing their rated power and having an expected lifetime of 30 to 40 years. That’s because I have sold hundreds of MW’s of every almost every brand of PV module over the last 40 years and the return rate of Grade A modules has actually been the highest of them all!

Other factors to consider are: importability, shipping cost, inventory availability, certification, warranty, brand, specifications, time to arrival, payment terms, and acceptable methods of payment.

Keep in mind inventory availability can go up and down in the industry based on supply and demand just like the $/watt cost. So beware of getting stuck with too much inventory and watching in horror as the price plunges! Or just the opposite, not having enough inventory when the price sky rockets because of a shortage.

The forth quarter is when you should expect shortages and $/W price increases. Also just prior to the termination of any major federal, state, or utility solar incentives.
Right now you have both these things happening at the same time. Plus the US has a new law preventing us from buying any modules from China or Taiwan and US production is at an all time low.


Went to his blog and read this, which I totally agree with:

What we are seeing now, are very high quality modules from every manufacturer. It’s because of minor problems that they are coming down, mostly because of fine print included in contracts for the investors of these systems. These modules still have UL and other safety certifications, however, its my opinion that the best way to re-use them is on low voltage battery based systems of 12, 24 or 48 volts. My advice is not to use them on high voltage grid-tie 300 Volt or higher systems. Keep it simple, use battery based, central inverter systems. Enjoy the feeling of being totally independent no matter what happens. And remember, “When the Power Goes Down the SUN Comes Up”, tm.



That's the kind of nuts and bolts know-how knowledge that people need to (profitably   ;D) get on board the Renewable Revolution. Great catch, Eddie!  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 20, 2015, 09:30:09 pm
Solar Cell Efficiency Could Double with Novel “Green” Antenna    (
With the goal of producing solar energy conversion devices that are environmentally friendly, green and sustainable, scientists at UConn are designing and evaluating artificial light antenna systems using biological soft materials

August 18, 2015

By Renewable Energy World Editors
The use of solar energy in the U.S. is growing, but panels on rooftops are still a rare sight. They cost thousands of dollars, and homeowners don’t recoup costs for years even in the sunniest or best-subsidized locales for at least a few years. But scientists may have a solution. They report today the development of a unique, “green” antenna that could potentially double the efficiencies of certain kinds of solar cells and make them more affordable.

The researchers are presenting their work at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting in Boston through Thursday. It features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

“Most of the light from the sun is emitted over a very broad window of wavelengths,” says Challa V. Kumar, Ph.D. “If you want to use solar energy to produce electric current, you want to harvest as much of that spectrum as possible.”

But the silicon solar cells people buy today are not very efficient in the blue part of the light spectrum. So Kumar’s team at the University of Connecticut built an antenna that collects those unused blue photons and then converts them to lower energy photons that the silicon can then turn into current.

“Many groups around the world are working hard to make this kind of antenna, and ours is the first of its kind in the whole world,” he says.

Commercial solar cells do a good job of converting light from about 600 to 1,000 nanometers (nm) into electric current but not from the 350 to 600 nm range. That’s part of the reason solar cells on the market today are only about 11 to 15 percent efficient. High-end panels can reach 25 percent efficiency but are unaffordable for most customers. Lab prototypes can reach even higher efficiencies but are difficult to scale up.

Converting the mostly unused portion of the light spectrum to wavelengths solar cells can use in an affordable way is far from a simple task. To tackle this problem, Kumar turned to organic dyes. Photons in light excite dye molecules, which can then, under the right circumstances, relax and emit less energetic but more silicon-friendly photons.

But to get dye molecules to work together, they need to be wrapped individually and densely, while satisfying certain quantum mechanical requirements. To address this issue, they embed the dyes inside a protein-lipid hydrogel by mixing them together, warming them up and then cooling them to room temperature. With this simple process, the material wraps around individual dye molecules, keeping them separated while packing them densely. Rather than creating a radio-like antenna, however, the procedure results in a thin, pinkish film that can be coated on top of a solar cell.

“It’s very simple chemistry,” Kumar says. “It can be done in the kitchen or in a remote village. That makes it inexpensive to produce.”   (

These antennas are made with biological and non-toxic materials that are edible in theory, Kumar says. “Not that you would want to eat your solar cells, but they should be compostable so they won’t accumulate in the environment,” he says.

Now his team is working with a Connecticut company to figure out how to apply the artificial antenna to commercial solar cells. In other projects, they also are figuring out ways to use the versatile hydrogel for drug delivery and white light-emitting diodes.

Kumar acknowledges funding from the University of Connecticut and the National Science Foundation.

Strategy to Make Artificial Light Harvesting Complexes (

Agelbert NOTE: Excellent comment by Gerry Wootton

Photon conversion seems an obvious means of improving the efficiency of a junction device; however, no folding of the short wavelength portion of the solar spectrum against the QE characteristic of a silicon solar cell results in a doubling of the overall efficiency.

Photon down-conversion would counteract the problem of short absorption depth of short wave photons and poor short wave performance of typical AR coatings for cells; however, in an assembly, those photons must first penetrate glazing and encapsulant/laminati­on film which would at least require more expensive materials and likely a change of laminating process.

As practitioners know, it has taken a lot of time and effort to arrive at laminating materials which exhibit low degradation when exposed to sunlight even when UV is substantially attenuated by glazing.

One issue with photon converters is the extent to which they diffuse incident light - how that interacts with light trapping properties and how much it increases back-scatter.

Intro­ducing an additional layer to the laminated stack presents issues as to how the RI sequence is changed / how optical efficiency is affected and how the strength of lamination is affected. Also, new interior layers must tolerate the temperature/pressure of a lamination process.

One possible approach is to integrate a photon converter into the first surface of the glazing; for example, using a diffusion process (patent applied for) or epitaxial process but must entail a process which does not degrade or ideally assists the glass toughening process; most organic materials can not tolerated required process temperatures.

Another possibility is to add layers to the first surface of the glazing  ideally with a low RI protective coat, possibly teflon or acrylic.

Assuming at least some attendant inefficiency and increased cost, an ideal converter should have some gain, e.g. 1->2 photon conversion, or some complex conversion, e.g. 2->3, although these are statistically inefficient and may or may not produce net gain.

As always two important factors are degradation over 25+ years, ideally less than that of the photabsorber itself, and the incremental cost in proportion to the incremental efficiency gain (it can be shown that the value of solar modules in $/Wp in array applications is softly exponential with module efficiency; note: module efficiency is only partly a function of cell efficiency).
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 25, 2015, 02:38:24 pm
Broomfield firm to build Colorado's largest solar farm near Pueblo
156-megawatt solar farm plant will generate enough electricity to power to 31,000 homes   (  (

By Aldo Svaldi
The Denver Post

Colorado officials and SunEdison break ground on the Comanche Solar plant in Pueblo on Thursday, August 20, 2015. (Handout)

Renewable Energy Systems Americas will construct Colorado's largest solar farm, one that backers say will produce electricity more cheaply than natural gas-powered sources.
Broomfield-based RES expects to employ 300 to 400 workers to build the Comanche Solar project, which broke ground Thursday 7 miles south of Pueblo.

"Our current expectations are that the majority of these workers are local or would be sourced locally," said RES spokesman Scott Dunaway.

SunEdison, the world's largest developer of renewable energy projects, raised $253 million for the project and will run the solar farm with four employees once it is operating.

The farm's 500,000 panels will stretch across about 1,000 acres, with a capacity of 156 megawatts that will generate enough power to supply 31,000 homes, said Paul Gaynor, an executive vice president with SunEdison, which is based in Belmont, Calif.

Several factors contribute to lowering the project's price tag and making it cost competitive(  with natural gas generation ( , Gaynor said. Those include economies of scale, existing roads in the area, and "plug-and-play" access to transmission lines serving a nearby power plant.   (

Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, has signed a 25-year purchase agreement with SunEdison.

Under a Colorado law passed in 2010, the state's largest utilities must obtain at least 30 percent of their power supply from renewable sources by 2020.

The project, while helping meet that goal, was won in a competitive bid not limited to renewable sources and won't carry the "solar" label.

Gaynor said SunEdison has additional wind and solar projects that it can bring forward when utilities in the state want to purchase more power generation.

RES employs more than 500 people and has developed or built more than 10 gigawatts of renewable energy projects worldwide, including the 250-megawatt Cedar Point wind facility near Limon, completed in 2011.  (

RES expects to complete the Comanche Solar project by the second quarter of 2016, although winter weather could complicate that timetable, Dunaway said.

Aldo Svaldi: 303-954-1410, or

Jeff Ackermann, Colorado Energy Office director signs a solar panel at the 156 MW Comanche Solar ground breaking event in Pueblo on Thursday, August 20, 2015. (Handout)
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 26, 2015, 06:43:03 pm
08/26/2015 12:40 PM     

US Navy Buys Solar For 14 California Bases  ;D News

In the largest renewable energy purchase by the US government to date, the Navy is buying solar energy to partially power 14 training centers and bases in California. 

The Navy contracted for the entire output of the 210 MW, Mesquite 3 solar project - under construction about 60 miles from Phoenix, Arizona. It will supply a third of the electricity for 14 Navy and Marine installations over the 25-year power purchase agreement.

Developer Sempra US Gas & Power is installing over 650,000 solar PV panels that track the sun. The Navy expects to save at least $90 million on energy costs over the life of the contract. It comes online by the end of 2016.

The Navy's goal is to buy 1 gigawatt of renewable energy by the end of this year.

All this stems from a 2009 mandate from Congress, directing the Department of Defense to achieve 25% renewable energy by 2025. DoD even raised that goal, requiring the Army, Air Force and Navy to each procure 1 GW of renewables by the end of 2015. 

The Navy's on track to exceed that with 1.2 GW in the pipeline, and has its own goal to "produce 50% of all energy from renewables by 2020.   

It's also moving aggressively on biofuels, announcing last year that they are the "new normal." Besides being included in all  solicitations for jet engine and marine diesel fuels, the Navy is contracting for on-site bio-refineries at bases across the world.

Read our articles, Department of Defense Integrates Climate Change Into All Operations and Almost 10% of Solar Industry Are Veterans.

Learn more about the Navy & Renewable Energy:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV) - MPPT charge controllers are better than PWM
Post by: AGelbert on August 29, 2015, 03:48:47 pm
Photvoltaics (PV) - MPPT charge controllers are better than PWM  (

A good MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) charger might give you 10-30% more power than a good PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) controller. This is because solar panels rarely give optimum output at the correct charging voltage for your batteries.

With a PWM controller when the panel voltage is less than the battery voltage you get no charge at all (cloudy situations) and in sunny times everything above say 14.4v is thrown away.

An MPPT charge controller can solve both these issues while maintaining the panels at their optimum voltage.

 All About Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Solar Charge Controllers (


How a Maximum Power Point Tracker Works:

The Power point tracker is a high frequency DC to DC converter. They take the DC input from the solar panels, change it to high frequency AC, and convert it back down to a different DC voltage and current to exactly match the panels to the batteries. MPPT's operate at very high audio frequencies, usually in the 20-80 kHz range. The advantage of high frequency circuits is that they can be designed with very high efficiency transformers and small components. The design of high frequency circuits can be very tricky because the problems with portions of the circuit "broadcasting" just like a radio transmitter and causing radio and TV interference. Noise isolation and suppression becomes very important.

There are a few non-digital (that is, linear) MPPT's charge controls around. These are much easier and cheaper to build and design than the digital ones.

They do improve efficiency somewhat, but overall the efficiency can vary a lot - and we have seen a few lose their "tracking point" and actually get worse.

That can happen occasionally if a cloud passed over the panel - the linear circuit searches for the next best point, but then gets too far out on the deep end to find it again when the sun comes out. Thankfully, not many of these around any more.

The power point tracker (and all DC to DC converters) operates by taking the DC input current, changing it to AC, running through a transformer (usually a toroid, a doughnut looking transformer), and then rectifying it back to DC, followed by the output regulator. In most DC to DC converters, this is strictly an electronic process - no real smarts are involved except for some regulation of the output voltage.

Charge controllers for solar panels need a lot more smarts as light and temperature conditions vary continuously all day long, and battery voltage changes.

Smart power trackers

All recent models of digital MPPT controllers available are microprocessor controlled.

They know when to adjust the output that it is being sent to the battery, and they actually shut down for a few microseconds and "look" at the solar panel and battery and make any needed adjustments.

Although not really new (the Australian company AERL had some as early as 1985), it has been only recently that electronic microprocessors have become cheap enough to be cost effective in smaller systems (less than 1 KW of panel).

MPPT charge controls are now manufactured by several companies, such as Outback Power, Xantrex XW-SCC, Blue Sky Energy, Apollo Solar, Midnite Solar, Morningstar and a few others.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 31, 2015, 12:02:09 am
 Pilot Program will Provide Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes in DE     (
June 20th, 2015 Matthew Silver

(Photo credit: wdel107fm-solar panels on roof of manufactured home)

Tweetsolar_panels_on_manufactured_homes__wdel107_fm__creditThe Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility says thousands of Delawareans are living in energy inefficient manufactured homes whose residents are spending twice as much per square foot on energy costs, according to wdel107fm.

Tony DePrima, executive director of the state-created organization, said his staff is working on a pilot program that would bring zero net energy manufactured homes to residents in need. He envisions energy efficient appliances and HVAC systems with solar panels that could generate enough energy for the entire year.

“In the high use summer months, it would be producing more energy than needed and selling it back to the utility and that will make up the difference in those months when you’re not generating a lot of solar but there’s still an electric load,” said DePrima. MHProNews understands the solar panels would be installed on the roofs of the homes.

The organization is trying to determine sources of financing and grants for those who want to participate in the pilot program, and hopes to have a few of the homes set up by next summer.

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronws-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.
WE Trailer Treasure folks can dream too, ya know!  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 31, 2015, 03:56:25 pm

The latest improvement in PV panel output efficiency improvement AFTER the DC (direct current) leaves the PV panel is known as the micro inverter. It bothers me how expensive these babies are.  >:( They raise the price of a solar system quite a bit! The price of the PV panels (per watt of output) has been steadily going down. But inverter costs have not fallen much.  :( 

An inverter is an electronic device that converts DC to AC (alternating current) electricity. That AC is virtually identical to the AC that comes into your home from the electric utility. You want this because the appliances you have that use a LOT of electricity require AC. In addition, you can run AC power through relatively cheap wires very efficiently. That is not the case with DC. DC require thick (i.e. EXPENSIVE) wires that are stiff and hard to work with. All the electronics doo dads in your home that use DC (like your computer) have their own AC to DC hardware that steps down the 120 Volts of AC ( isolation transformer) to roughly 15% more than the 12, 5 or 3 Volts AC(according to the doo dad requirement) and immediately "rectifies" (changes a sine wave to nice flat 0.01% or less current voltage variation DC  (known as full wave rectifiers).

Computers, like most DC loving doo dads, do not like varying voltage at all. It ruins them. But that's another subject. Suffice to say that converting the DC from your solar panels to AC to mix with your grid AC is the most cost effective approach to getting the most out of Solar Renewable energy.

The DC that comes out of your solar panel varies constantly in voltage. So, the inverter has to be designed to smooth out that DC before it converts it to AC at a steady 120 Volts and about 12 to 15 Amps.

The most important part of a DC to AC inverter is an electronic semiconductor called a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Field Effect Transistor). It uses at least four MOSFETS to get the job done. An additional MOSFET is used to "power" those four MOSFETS because they won't just get going all by themselves.
MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconducter Feld Effect Transistor)

A solar panel array used to have DC go into a big expensive inverter in your house (before your main panel sees the juice). This was inefficient. WHY? Because the DC coming from the panels, as a group, was always the lowest common denominator of DC. So, if one panel was in the shade while six (or whatever number of panels you have up there) were not, the DC energy was, for each panel, what the one in the shade was putting out.

Enter the micro inverter. This tiny inverter is plugged into one or two panels at a time. NOW, if those two panels get less sun, the output from all the other panels is not lessened.


So you end up harvesting more Renewable Energy. The downside is the cost of the micro inverters.

Can you build one yourself and save money? Yes. Will the power company let you get away with that? Probably not.  :( Unless you are an off grid guy or gal, and you don't care about rebates, RECs (Renewable Energy Credits), net metering bennies (GMP charges 14 cents a Kwh but must pay you 6 cents a Kwh for the net metered excess juice you generate) and so on, you will need to have "approved" Micro inverters. And, of course, you must pay for a "professional" (each time I hear that word, I grab my wallet for dear life!  :P) inspection by a licensed electrician (that ALSO must be "certified" to inspect/approve/disapprove solar systems for your local utility).

But, just so you can rant knowledgably at anyone wanting you to pay lots of money for a multiple micro inverter setup, here's a primer on inverter insides. If you can breadboard basic electronics, you can, in theory, build your very own inverter(s).  ;D

The MOSFETS in the diagram below are abbreviated thus: MOS.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 03, 2015, 12:17:42 am

JA Solar, Essel Set to Begin Building Solar Cell, Module Plants
September 1, 2015

By Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg

JA Solar Holdings Co., a Chinese solar manufacturer, and Essel Infraprojects Ltd. plan to begin construction of a 500 MW solar-cell factory in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in December, followed later by a module plant of a similar size.

Construction follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Essel Infraprojects, the infrastructure arm of Essel Group, and Shanghai-based JA Solar during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China in May.

Applications for a parcel of land have been made, Essel Infraprojects Chief Executive Officer Ashok Agarwal said in an email.

The company plans to set up the manufacturing plant at the Sri City Industrial Park in Andhra Pradesh. Construction of the $150 million cell-making facility is expected to take a year.

A 500 MW module-manufacturing plant will follow, with completion expected by the first half of 2017, Agarwal said. Additional investment will be made, the executive added, without providing details.

India’s prime minister aims to install 100 GW of solar capacity in India by 2022. The country has 4 GW at the moment.

India has total installed capacity to make 1,328 MW of solar cells and 2,523 MW of modules annually, according to an Aug. 13 presentation to parliament.

©2015 Bloomberg News
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 15, 2015, 09:00:34 pm
Special Report: Tax breaks fuel Vermont’s solar gold rush  (

by Erin Mansfield

The combination of state incentives and an impending deadline for federal tax credits are making the Green Mountain State a preferred destination for solar energy developers.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 16, 2015, 11:39:19 pm
California Climate Law Boosts Solar Power and Building Retrofits  (

September 14, 2015

By James Nash, Bloomberg
Solar and wind power entrepreneurs will get a bigger share of California’s energy market. Construction contractors will get more work tightening the energy efficiency of buildings. And environmentalists will tiptoe closer to their goal of weaning the most-populous U.S. state from fossil fuels.

California lawmakers on Friday passed a watered-down version of what state Senate President Kevin de Leon had billed as part of the “most far-reaching effort to fight climate change in the history of our nation.” Before lawmakers stripped out provisions including a 50 percent rollback in gasoline use, de Leon’s bill had drawn opposition from building owners, the oil industry, retailers and even fruit and vegetable growers.

The changes neutralized nearly all of the organized opposition, while maintaining the support, albeit more muted, of environmentalists.

“I can’t even say that utility customers will be disadvantaged,”  Steve Chadima, director of California Initiatives at Advanced Energy Economy, said. “If the whole thing had passed, I might say employees of fossil-fuel companies would be disadvantaged, but that didn’t happen here.”

The bill, which passed the state Assembly 51-26 and Senate 26-14 Friday night, requires that half of all the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2030 and that building owners double energy efficiency by that year. It goes to Governor Jerry Brown, a supporter, for his signature.

The clean energy mandate provides a potential $8.6 billion investment opportunity for utility-scale solar projects, according to GTM Research. That figure could vary depending on how much large-scale solar is used to meet the goal and other factors, including projected declines in panel prices and other renewable energy sources. The market could be as much as $10 billion based on an estimate provided by the California Solar Energy Industries Association.

The mandate for renewable power is a “huge win” for Californians and the state’s $11 billion solar industry, Sean Gallagher, the Solar Energy Industries Association’s vice president of state affairs, said in a statement. He said the future of small-scale rooftop solar will depend on a regulatory ruling on the ability of homeowners to sell power back to the grid.

Business groups including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association and the California Business Properties Association withdrew their opposition in the days before the vote after de Leon and other lawmakers deleted the fuel-reduction mandate and tweaked the efficiency rules for buildings.

The former version of the bill called for doubling the efficiency of all buildings, while the bill approved Friday seeks to “double the energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas end uses,” according to a legislative analysis.

The California Business Properties Association, representing commercial landlords, had opposed the previous version of the bill, warning that it could drive up rents and create complexity for building owners. The association dropped its objection after the language was changed.

Matthew Hargrove, the association’s senior vice president of governmental affairs, said the final bill took a broader approach to energy efficiency rather than placing all the burden on building owners.

“It is still a very aggressive goal, and it is still something that we are concerned about assuring that our members can meet as the program moves forward, but we look forward to working with the governor and regulatory agencies to do our part,” Hargrove said by e-mail Friday.

For every building owner who has to spend a dollar on new windows or ventilation systems, there’s a contractor who stands to make a buck doing the work.

“By calling for a doubling in energy efficiency, that means more jobs and more opportunities for consumers to participate in energy savings,” Steven Schiller, a Berkeley-based consultant who founded the California Energy Efficiency Industry Council, said.

The big losers with the passage of de Leon’s bill are Californians, especially in hotter inland areas, who will have to pay higher electricity rates because of the mandate for renewable sources, such as solar and wind, according to Republican lawmakers who voted against the legislation.

“This bill will increase the cost of living for residents who are already struggling to make ends meet,”  Assemblyman Matthew Harper, a Republican from Huntington Beach, said, as the body debated the bill late Friday. “Let’s not put more Californians into energy poverty by forcing them to pay more just to keep the lights on.”

California’s three investor-owned utilities publicly supported the bill. Gary Stern, senior director of energy policy for Edison International’s Southern California Edison, said the bill would assure “safe, reliable and affordable” power for the utility’s 5 million ratepayers. Eugene Mitchell, vice president of state governmental affairs for Sempra Energy, noted that electrical utilities could see a larger role in building facilities for electric cars. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. also backed the bill.

Even with the fuel mandate out of the bill, environmental groups cheered its passage. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune called it a “moment for hope and celebration” in an e-mailed statement. Sarah Rose, chief executive of the California League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement that while she’s “deeply disappointed” that the gasoline reduction was taken out of the bill, she nonetheless supported the bill.

Mark Chediak in San Francisco contributed to this report.

©2015 Bloomberg News
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 18, 2015, 11:46:16 pm
High space demands for Vermont’s future solar farms if energy stays local

Mike Polhamus Sep. 17 2015, 9:05 pm

South Burlington’s new twenty-five acre solar farm promises to generate a reported 2.2 megawatts of electricity for the state, enough to power roughly 450 homes. VTD/Eric Blokland

Vermont would need an additional 200 to 350 acres of photovoltaic cells each year to meet anticipated power demands in Vermont by 2050, according to future scenarios presented to state leaders Thursday.

The proposed scenarios could meet the legal requirements for power generation by the year 2050, but they are meant to be considered as possible developments, rather than understood as plans or goals, state experts told members of the Solar Siting Task Force.

At the second meeting of the task force, a legislative study committee charged with helping write a law to guide where solar farms can be built, Asa Hopkins, Director of the Planning and Energy Resources Division of the state’s Public Service Department, presented the challenges in meeting the state’s long-term energy goals.

Renewable energy sources account for about 16 percent of Vermonters’ total energy consumption. The 2050 goal is to raise that to 90 percent. All of the energy-production scenarios Hopkins presented were based on the assumption that Vermonters want most of their energy produced in state.

“This 90 percent goal reflects a strong desire among Vermonters to be energy secure and energy independent, to ensure stable prices, and as much as possible to rely on sources indigenous to Vermont,” Hopkins said.

“We don’t have local fossil fuel resources, or nuclear fuel resources, and so the resources indigenous to Vermont are renewables  ( ,” he said.

“We’re trying to do our part to try to mitigate climate change, and meet the state’s greenhouse reduction goals … moving to a more efficient and renewable energy mix helps keep more money local, resulting in a state economic benefit,” he said.

The figures make up an important piece of the state’s new Comprehensive Energy Plan, which officials anticipate releasing to the public within weeks.

The plan raises the state’s 16 percent renewable energy use to 25 percent by 2025, Hopkins said.

The state is using current technology to develop models for energy-production projections decades into the future, Hopkins said. Current projections show that 150 kilowatts of power is generated for every acre of solar panels, Hopkins said.

If the state used solar cells to deliver the majority of future power needs, an additional 8,000 to 13,000 acres of panels would need to be built over the next 35 years.

Policymakers intend to put their “thumb on the scale” and encourage solar developers to install panels on structures, several task force members said. There are at present roughly 3,650 acres of commercial building area in the state, Hopkins said.

Demand for power in Vermont is expected to be 9 terawatt-hours per year in 2050, Hopkins said. That projection assumes dramatic reductions in power requirements as the result of improved efficiency and conservation measures, Hopkins said.

The state of Vermont currently uses between 5 and 6 terawatt-hours per year.

Members of the Solar Siting Task Force say they’re in an “exploratory phase” now, prior to developing and delivering recommendations to the Legislature by mid-January.

The nascent task force had some detractors during a half-hour public comment period following Hopkins’ presentation and another by landscape architect and planner David Raphael.

Kathleen Nelson disputed the group’s credibility. The task force, she said, does not include a single public advocate and is stacked with industry representatives.

“This task force is devoted to promoting the industry,” she said.

Montpelier resident Ben Eastwood said communities might benefit from community solar arrays as an alternative to large installations put in place by out-of-state corporations.

Vermonters in general support the state’s renewable energy goals,
Gabrielle Stebbins, the executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont and a task force member.

“The majority of Vermonters, when you poll them, they still poll very much in support of conservation, and renewables, and having local energy, just like they support local foods,” she said.

Noelle MacKay, commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said task force members are still trying to pin down what issues confront the group.

“I think we’re still in the exploratory phase,” she said.

The group’s goals still need to be precisely articulated, she said. They must also determine how to arrive at those goals, how to meet the concerns of members of the public, and how to meet the needs of developers.

“I think this issue is really complex,” MacKay said. “There are a lot of different pieces.

“The Legislature put this committee together, and assigned who’s on it,” she said. “The people who are there will do their best to find the facts, to understand the issues, and make some thoughtful recommendations to the Legislature this year.”

Mike Polhamus is a freelance reporter who lives in Huntington. He has reported for the Jackson Hole News & Guide and The Teton Valley News.  Email:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 22, 2015, 08:39:11 pm
Too bad NASA’s plan for space-based solar never happened

By Suzanne Jacobs  on 21 Sep 2015


Here’s the scoop from Motherboard:

At the height of the oil crisis in the 1970s, the US government considered building a network of 60 orbiting solar power stations that would beam energy down to Earth. Each geosynchronous satellite, according to this 1981 NASA memo, was to weigh around 35,000 to 50,000 metric tons. The Satellite Power System (SPS) project envisaged building two satellites a year for 30 years.

To get said power stations into orbit, the once-powerful aerospace manufacturing company Rockwell International designed something called a Star-Raker, which, in addition to sounding like something from a sci-fi movie, also would have acted like one:

The proposed Star-Raker would load its cargo at a regular airport, fly to a spaceport near the equator, fuel up on liquid oxygen and hydrogen, and take off horizontally using its ten supersonic ramjet engines. A 1979 technical paper lays out its potential flight plan: At a cruising altitude of 45,000 feet, the craft would then dive to 37,000 feet to break the sound barrier. At speeds of up to Mach 6, the Star-Raker would jet to an altitude of 29km before the rockets kicked in, propelling it into orbit.

Just to recap: The Star-Raker would have broken the speed of sound by diving seven miles. And the spacecraft would have been making so many regular trips to orbit that it would have essentially been a 747 for space, Motherboard reports.

In terms of feasibility, here’s how one scientist put it at the time:

“The SPS is an attractive, challenging, worthy project, which the aerospace community is well prepared and able to address,” physicist Robert G. Jahn wrote in the foreword to a 1980 SPS feasibility report. “The mature confidence and authority of [the working groups] left the clear impression that if some persuasive constellation of purposes … should assign this particular energy strategy a high priority, it could be accomplished.”

Putting solar plants in space would’ve been hard, sure, but this proposal came just 10 years after NASA landed Apollo 11 on the moon, so doing seemingly impossible things was kind of their thing. Even if SPS hadn’t happened as planned (and for more details on what exactly that plan was, check out this in-depth look from Wired), there’s no doubt that with the right amount of support and funding, NASA could’ve done something incredible in the cleantech arena.

Today, NASA remains an indispensable source of climate change research.

If only the one organization proven capable of doing moonshots wasn’t beholden to a bunch of science-hating idiots.

Agelbert reply to a comment by Coolplanet:

Enter Reagan. who put the kibosh on everything green.

agelbert reply to coolplanet

Yep. and before him, the fossil fuel industry put the kibosh on solar panel research and technology advocated by a Congressional report published at the same time the space based solar panel energy was shelved.
The Hidden History of the Solar Industry
AUTHOR(S) Laird, Frank N.
PUB. DATE January 2004
SOURCE Solar Today;Jan/Feb2004, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p42
SOURCE TYPE Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE Article
Discusses the history of U.S. energy policy. Low funding for renewable energy sources; Policy of procurement in which the federal government bought photovoltaic energy from companies during the 1950's and 1960's; Dramatic increases in funding for all energy sources during the energy crisis of the 1970's; Increasing pressure on the federal government to take renewable energy more seriously.

Whatever progress was made in the 1970's by President Carter was, as you have said, destroyed by Reagan. The Fossil Fuel Industry has FAR more power over the government of the USA than the voters do.

The book "Let it Shine" by John Perlin brings to light newly discovered documents suppressed by the Nixon, Carter and Reagan Administrations, that if known at the time by the public and the Congress, solar energy would have definitely played a larger role in the American energy scene during the last forty years.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 02, 2015, 08:43:29 pm

When SolarCity, the fast-growing provider of rooftop solar electricity systems, announced last year that it would begin making its own equipment, executives said they would focus on creating high-efficiency panels in an effort to reduce the cost of the electricity they sell. They announced on Friday that they have done just that, with a panel that converts more of the sun’s energy into electricity than competing products.

The company plans to start making the panel — whose output has been measured at more than 22 percent — this month at a small plant in Silicon Valley, said Peter Rive, a founder, but will eventually produce it at the enormous factory it is building in Buffalo.

The move into manufacturing, a business that has proved deadly for many other upstart American solar companies, came with the acquisition of a start-up, Silevo, and is intended to help the company compete with conventional energy sources once generous federal subsidies begin to phase out at the end of next year.

Although 22 percent may not seem like a tremendous level of efficiency, the breakthrough for SolarCity is that it can produce the panels at a lower cost than it pays to buy standard models but get more electricity out of the same square footage, Mr. Rive said.

“You’re talking about a 40 percent increase in efficiency at a lower cost,” he said. “We have to get solar energy to be cheaper than natural gas or coal, and these breakthroughs get us there.”

Solar panels convert only a fraction of the sun’s energy into electricity — the process is limited by a number of factors, including heat and shading. This year, three companies, including the Chinese giant Trina Solar, announced records in efficiency, all in the high teens. SunPower panels, which have achieved efficiencies of more than 21 percent, have generally been considered the most efficient, but SolarCity’s new modules will exceed that level, Mr. Rive said.

The company plans to begin using the panels primarily for rooftop installations for homes, schools and other buildings, but eventually plans to make them available for large-scale, ground-mounted installations. The panel’s design, which involves layers of different forms of silicon, could allow for the production of electricity on both sides, Mr. Rive said. (   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 07, 2015, 09:44:43 pm
EoleWater NERIOS S3

Eole Water: Making water from air with Victron Energy

An atmospheric water generator (AWG), is a device that extracts water from humid ambient air. Victron Energy are delighted that Eole Water of France have chosen our products to assist in this process of making water from air, particularly in locations where other sources of water are scarce.

How does it work?

The NERIOS.S3 – A self consumption machine

The NERIOS.S3 EVO version primarily uses standalone PV to power it. The minimum installed solar power required for self-sufficiency is 5.1kWp. Other models can also use wind power.

The potable drinking water produced (which is multi stage micro, carbon filtered, UV treated and mineralised) can range from 0.5l/h to 13.2l/h subject to the power used and the temperature and humidity of the air. The water tank capacity is 1,000 litres.

The EVO has three operating modes:

1. Primary operating mode: smart standalone machine

The machine only works with solar energy from photovoltaic panels.
Following the curve of the sun (MPPT) during the day, solar photovoltaic energy feeds a variable speed cooling system that converts and stores this energy in an ice accumulator. During the night, a period which is cooler and damper, cold stored in the accumulator cools the outside air, which has been sucked in, down to its dew point, causing condensation and the formation of water.

2. Secondary operating mode: smart switchable machine

If a regular connection to the grid is possible, the electrical grid is used to stabilise the energy coming from the solar panels during the day (stored in the ice accumulator) and supply the energy needed at night to regulate the system. It is also possible to switch and run with only solar energy during the day and the grid during the night. In the event of an extended period without sun, the machine can be powered directly from the grid.

3. Emergency Mode: ever ready machine

In the event of a lack of water during a period without sun and without the grid, the machine can be powered by a backup generator.

NERIOS S3Victron inside and out

Depending on the model, Eole Water use a range of Victron Energy products inside and out in their automatic water generators:

•Multiplus inverter/chargers
•Lithium batteries (with cell balancing and Battery Management Systems[BMS])
•BMV-700 Series battery monitors
•Color Control GX (for both on & off site control and monitoring)
•Solar Charge Controllers
•BlueSolar Panels
•VRM (Victron Remote Management) Portal – Try the demo

Victron inside Conclusion & Credits

Apparently today there are 150 million people worldwide who live in remote areas without any access to safe drinking water. Eole Water’s mission, using Victron Energy’s products to facilitate this, is to provide these isolated communities with potable drinking water. A laudable ambition indeed and one which we are delighted to be associated with.

Many thanks to Eole Water of France and Jacques Noël of Victron Energy for making us aware of such an interesting project, and supplying us with the images.

For further information on projects such as that shown above and below, please contact Eole Water SAS:

John Rushworth

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 12, 2015, 02:16:27 pm

Solar Manufacturer 1366 Technologies Selects New York for New Plant

New York draws another solar manufacturer as it continues to reform the energy vision.

October 8, 2015

By Chris Martin, Bloomberg

New York is about to become a hub for U.S. solar manufacturing as the state lured a start-up called 1366 Technologies Inc. to build its first factory in Genesee County.

With a package of state grants and tax incentives worth about $97 million, 1366 plans to start construction on a polysilicon wafer factory that will eventually produce 3 gigawatts (GW) a year and employ 1,000 people, Chief Executive Officer Frank van Mierlo said in an interview Wednesday. The wafers are used to make solar cells.

The new factory is in addition to the 1-GW panel factory that SolarCity Corp. is building nearby in Buffalo, which will make New York home to the largest solar manufacturing plant in the western hemisphere when its completed in the first quarter of 2017. Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed to contribute about $750 million for that project.

“We’re going to have a very competitive factory in New York,” 1366’s van Mierlo said. Power costs in that part of the state are low compared with other regions and are supplied mostly by hydroelectric dams, so the solar factories will run on renewable energy, he said.

Different Technologies

That echoes the comments of SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive when his company broke ground on their factory in September 2014. The two manufacturers use different technologies, and van Mierlo doesn’t expect to sell his wafers to SolarCity.

Within an initial $100 million investment, the 1366 factory will be capable of producing about 60 million wafers annually, which corresponds to 250-MW of power-generation capacity. The company’s Direct Wafer Technology produces them in a single step that reduces waste, improves efficiency and cuts costs, he said.

The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company plans to gain market share quickly with its lower-cost wafers and van Mierlo said he’ll know by the time the factory opens how fast to expand to the planned three gigawatts.

“We’ll sell at a discount to market prices to grow rapidly,” van Mierlo said.

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) reacted positively to the news. In a statement he said that the announcement “shows how Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy spurs economic development, creates jobs and protects the environment. This project will build out the state’s growing clean energy economy, improve solar manufacturing, lower the cost of solar panels, and boost the solar market.”

©2015 Bloomberg News
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 13, 2015, 07:23:14 pm
Barefoot Grandmothers Install Solar Power

Barefoot College trains illiterate and semi-literate women to be solar technicians capable of installing, maintaining, repairing and teaching others those solar system skills in rural villages. This eliminates the polluting use of thousands of liters of kerosene and provides distributed, rather than centralized, renewable energy. (

One fascinating aspect of this college's efforts (founded in 1972) is that they learned that middle aged women are FAR BETTER candidates to learn these skills than young women.  :o The youth worshipping culture of Western "civilization" is, once again, being shown up for it's incorrect assumptions about human learning abilities and age.    (

It isn't just increased wisdom that comes with age; it's the increased ability to LEARN too! ( (

Share The Knowledge - Spread The Light 

Mahatma Gandhi's central belief was that the knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for development before getting skills from outside. He also believed that sophisticated technology should be used in rural India, but it should be in the hands and in control of the poor communities so that they are not dependent or exploited while maintaining or replacing this technology. (

Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India has implemented this message of Gandhi since it's inception. The only fully solar electrified college in India started training rural people to be solar engineers in the 1990's.

They found that the best candidates were middle aged women. Reading skills are not necessary - nor is understanding any Indian language. Here they train women from other parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia using color codes and sign language!

These women learn to install and maintain solar powered home lighting systems in their villages. They have electrified 350 villages in India alone.

Worldwide, they have brought solar expertise to over 750 villages -- to over 19,000 households that lacked electricity in 19 countries!

They offer a 6 month training period, and when they go home they establish workshops in their villages to install, maintain and repair the systems - and the most powerful aspect: they teach each other.

The new: "Teach a man to fish" is "Teach a barefoot Grandma to install solar power."

--Bibi Farber

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 21, 2015, 09:13:03 pm

Solar Frontier Eyes Lower Panel Costs  ( With Production Overhaul
October 19, 2015

By Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg

Solar Frontier K.K., a unit of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. says the switch to a more efficient production process will help cut costs at a new factory intended to serve as a model plant for overseas expansion.

The company aims to shave more than a fifth off its production costs for thin-film solar panels within two years at the plant in Miyagi prefecture, President Atsuhiko Hirano said in an interview.

The Tokyo-based company expects to cut manufacturing cost to 40 cents per watt   ;D from about 50 cents at the moment, Hirano said. Excluding depreciation, costs could fall to as low as 30 cents   ( , he said.

“To reach that level would allow us to stay competitive, even though there is further reduction in average selling prices in the market,” the president said.

Large Chinese panel makers reached in-house production costs of 42 cents per watt to 49 cents per watt in the first quarter this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Average selling prices for those companies were 58 cents per watt to 60 cents per watt.

Production Capacity

The Miyagi plant has production capacity of 150 MW a year, the minimum size necessary for efficient production, according to Hirano. That compares with Solar Frontier’s main factory in Miyazaki prefecture in southwestern Japan that can produce nearly 1,000 MW annually. The company is planning to build production capacity of 1,000 MW outside Japan.

The new plant’s compact production line will reduce capital expenditure, while a change in module structure will push down material costs, Hirano said. Further reduction is also expected by cutting the manufacturing process to 8 hours from 24 hours, he said.

Japan’s solar market is expanding rapidly after the government introduced an incentive program for renewables in July 2012. The Japanese solar market shifted focus to utility-scale projects while installations before the incentives were mostly residential.

The domestic residential solar can still be highly sustainable as the market is getting close to achieve grid parity, where residential solar is equal in cost to power from a utility, amid falling prices of systems, Hirano said.

“Given that grid parity is just around the corner, the residential solar market can still expand,” he said. “Our company is closer than anyone to grid parity and we can use our position to tap into demand.”

Thin-Film Panels

Solar Frontier makes panels using copper, indium, gallium and selenium, known as CIGS. The company competes with Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc. in the thin-film market.

Solar Frontier is wholly owned by Showa Shell, which is pursuing a merger with Idemitsu Kosan Co. following an announcement in July that Royal Dutch Shell Plc. agreed to sell a stake in Showa Shell to Idemitsu.

©2015 Bloomberg News (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 21, 2015, 09:35:26 pm
China Tycoons to Invest $5 Billion in Indian Renewable Power (

October 16, 2015

By  Vrishti Beniwal Bibhudatta Pradhan, Bloomberg

Chinese tycoons Liang Wengen and Nan Cunhui plan to pour $5 billion into India’s renewable power sector as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a major expansion of clean energy in one of the world’s biggest polluters.

Liang’s Sany Group will install 2,000 MW of capacity and generate 1,000 jobs from 2016 to 2020 at a cost of $3 billion, a statement released at a briefing in New Delhi on Thursday showed. Chint Group Chairman Nan said at the same event that his company will invest $2 billion in solar power and equipment.

Modi’s goal is 175 GW of green energy capacity by 2022, up from about 37 GW, at an estimated cost of $200 billion – more than the size of Vietnam’s economy. Other billionaires, such as SoftBank Group Corp.’s Masayoshi Son and Foxconn Technology Group’s Terry Gou, have also outlined plans for substantial investment in clean power in India.

The nation remains reliant on coal, which fires about 60 percent of its power generation capacity. Asia’s third-largest economy also needs to find the funds to pay for its green ambitions.

Dollar Contracts

While Modi is trying initiatives, such as dollar-linked solar contracts, to cut costs and woo investment, India has yet to allow higher distribution charges so electricity utilities can afford more renewable supplies.

“There have been billions in commitments made to invest in the Indian renewable sector over the last few years, which the government uses to tout as interest from the private sector,” Raj Prabhu, chief executive officer of Mercom Capital Group, a cleantech communications and research company, said in an e-mailed statement. “However, very little of these commitments turn into a real investment.”

Sany is China’s biggest maker of construction machinery. Liang has a net worth of $3.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Chint has total assets of more than $5 billion and 29,000 employees, according to its website.

©2015 Bloomberg
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 27, 2015, 08:14:48 pm
10/26/2015 01:05 PM       

Africa Takes Leap to Solar Lighting   ( News

For many years, small solar companies have been bringing light to off-grid communities in Africa, and now the effort is taking leap forward.

4 African countries announced they are joining Energy Africa  to bring solar to the 620 million people who still lack access to electricity.

Until now, progress has been too slow - at the current rate, 300 million people will still be without light by 2040, former UN Chief Kofi Annan, told The Guardian.

"We must now come together to break the deadly interaction between poverty and unsustainable energy systems," he says, noting that Africa doesn't have to follow the carbon-intensive pathway. 

Last year, around 7.5 million tiny solar systems were sold in Africa, an incredible increase from the 40,000 sold in 2009, according to the White House.

A combination of low-cost solar and LED lights, and increasing access to mobile phones makes this possible. Now, even in remote areas, people can pay for solar electricity via cell phone.

"As a businessman, I view this transition not as a burden but as a historic opportunity, and I feel strongly that universal access to clean, renewable sources of energy can be achieved in our lifetime - even in this generation," says Sir Richard Branson, who plans to invest.   

The UK and US made fresh commitments to help through financing. The US announced commitments that will provide solar to 500 million people by 2020, through $125 million in  funding. 

African Development Bank (AFD) has much bigger plans, aiming to mobilize $55 billion to eliminate Africa's energy deficit by 2025. Under the "New Deal for Energy in Africa" AFD will prioritize energy finance as is calling on countries to do the same. "We are working with governments to create frameworks to encourage private investment in clean energy," Alex Rugamba of AFD told Bloomberg. 

In South Africa alone, 4.3 gigawatts of renewable energy projects have come online in just the past four years, providing about 10% of the country's electricity. Large solar and wind projects are also in the pipeline across the continent.

This year, Environment Ministers across Africa released the Cairo Declaration, with all 54 countries demanding that global warming be limited to 1.5C by 2100.   ( In it, they also pledge to an "inclusive green economy" and to improve protection of the continent's abundant natural resources and wildlife. 

On that front, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique signed the Zanzibar Declaration, agreeing to work together to stop trade in illegal timber. National forest agencies will share intelligence, implement log export bans and develop monitoring and reporting systems. It also urges countries that receive illegal lumber to prioritize the issue.

 Over the past 10 years, primary forest cover is down by 6.3 million hectares, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This is an alarming rate, says World Wildlife Fund.

Read our article, Africa Gets Its First Solar Academy.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 27, 2015, 08:32:28 pm

Energy Department Assistant Secretary Danielson Honors Stevens Institute of Technology as Winner of U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon (

October 17, 2015 - 4:08pm

On behalf of the Engineering Contest Jurors, Tami Bui of Edison International, said, “The teams we selected as winners of this contest exhibit a dazzling display of innovative and integrated engineering solutions. The top three places the jury chose were a step above the rest of the competition.”

Team Orange County (University of California, Irvine; Chapman University; Irvine Valley College; and Saddleback College) claimed second place in the Engineering Contest with 92 points, and The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen took third place with 91 points. Full details of the contest results are available at For final overall standings visit:

Student teams in the 2015 competition spanned five countries across two continents, including teams from universities in the United States, Germany, Honduras, Italy and Panama. Applications are available online for the eighth U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, to be held in the fall of 2017. Collegiate teams can apply here.

The highly efficient solar-powered houses will be open to the public for free tours today and for one final day on Sunday, October 18, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There is a $10 fee per vehicle for public parking at the Orange County Great Park during the event (directions and a map). For full event information, standings, high-resolution photos and videos, visit, Facebook at and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon. Photos are also available on Flickr at

More about the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy-efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The competition shows consumers how to save money, water and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today.

The two-year projects culminate in an unprecedented display of affordable green living and design at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce.

Together, the energy innovations demonstrated during the event support the Energy Department's efforts to advance President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and help reduce climate-changing carbon emissions to meet the targets of the Clean Power Plan, while transitioning America to a clean energy economy and saving money for families and businesses.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 28, 2015, 06:44:07 pm
Boardman Hill Solar Farm in Rutland has ribbon cutting

Press Release Aegis Renewable Energy
 October 26, 2015

 Sonia Behn
 Telephone 802-560-0055
 Cell 802-279-1617

West Rutland Solar Farm is “Vermont Grown, Vermont Green”

West Rutland, Vermont –On Sunday, October 25, the member-owners of the 150 kW Boardman Hill Solar Farm held a ribbon cutting and Renewable Energy Credit (“REC”) retirement party, officially naming the solar farm a “Vermont Grown, Vermont Green” project. Designed, installed, and commissioned by Aegis Renewable Energy in late 2014, the Boardman Hill Solar Farm was the first community solar array in Vermont that fulfills the “Vermont Grown, Vermont Green” mission: complete member-ownership, democratic management of ongoing operations, and retirement of the RECs generated by the solar farm.

The Boardman Hill Solar Farm stands out from other projects that are marketed as community solar farms, as the entire Boardman Hill Solar Farm is owned by the 30 Vermont families and small businesses who purchased shares in the project. As a result of this direct ownership structure, each Boardman Hill member-owner receives all of the economic benefits of his or her share of the project. These benefits, which are often retained by third-party owners and community solar financiers, include a 30% investment tax credit and net metering credits valued at approximately 125% of retail electrical rates. Because the Boardman Hill Solar Farm is fully owned and operated by its members, it stands out as being “Vermont Grown.”

Furthermore, the Boardman Hill Solar Farm member-owners also keep the REC’s generated by the project. Retiring the RECS is necessary for solar farms to produce truly green renewable energy, and many community solar farmers may not realize that the solar panels that they are buying or leasing from developers are not true sources of renewable energy because the solar farm is selling its RECs to utilities or investors outside of Vermont. What this amounts to is a number of solar farms that are located in Vermont, subsidized by Vermont ratepayers, and sold to customers in Vermont, but that are not helping the state make its renewable energy goals. While many community solar developers claim that selling the RECs is necessary for the project to be cost-effective, the “Vermont Green” Boardman Hill Solar Farm member-owners have shown the rest of the solar community that this is not the case.

Overall, the Boardman Hill Community Solar Farm stands out from the crowd of solar developments popping up throughout the state. The Boardman Hill Solar Farm member-owners have created a community solar project in Vermont that returns all of the value that it generates to the local community and environment, making their solar farm truly “Vermont Grown, Vermont Green.”
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 30, 2015, 08:28:38 pm
  ( The Solar Energy Revolution: Past the Point of No Return

Solar energy is now so cheap that it's beating fossil fuels, putting it on a path for growth that can't be stopped.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 05, 2016, 08:37:50 pm
Sunny Nevada is killing the solar industry in the state with new net-metering rules

Agelbert NOTE: The Fossil Fuel Industry Crooks and Liars cannot compete on a level energy playing field so they resort to their USUAL SKULLDUGGERY AND CORRUPTION to game the laws AGAINST renewable energy.

This is EXACTLY the same ethics challenged playbook they used in the 1980's to strangle solar and wind. I am hopeful that we-the-people will not let them get away with that criminal behavior again. But for now, the fossil fuelers are celebrating another crime against the people and the biosphere.   >:(

 ( (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 07, 2016, 08:03:38 pm
Agelbert Note: Before reading the following, you should read this comment. It states the case clearly. Somebody (e.g. SunCommon) is trying to squeeze some extra profits out of people who invest in community solar. You might assume that's just capitalism at work. But the problem with THAT is that it is giving polluters an excuse to KEEP POLLUTING!  (   

Read on:

Comment by Moshe Braner,  (

“I’ve heard the utility world say, when you add renewables in Vermont, even when you sell the RECs in Connecticut, you still keep fossil-fuel-fired plants in Connecticut from firing up; and then I’ve heard other people say, when you sell the RECs in Connecticut, you allow that fossil-fuel-fired plant to keep running. Only one of these things can be true. To me it seems like an engineering question, and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

– no, this is not an engineering question, and both statements are true. When renewable power is generated and injected into the grid, then somewhere fossil fuel use is prevented. That is good.

But, when VT RECs are sold to utilities out of state, those utilities can then use fossil fuel generation that is otherwise not allowed by the laws of those states. Thus, those states can legitimately say that they reduced fossil fuel use, while VT cannot, since we did not require our utilities to do the same. Had those renewables not existed in VT, those out of state utilities would have had to set up (or buy RECs from) renewables elsewhere.

Thus the VT actions have no net effect.   (

If the VT legislature were to disallow selling those RECs out of state, or require VT utilities to buy renewable power and keep the RECs here, THEN we’ll be contributing to the global effort.

Yes that will cost us money. No pain no gain.  (

Law professor prepares solar suit

Jan. 7, 2016, 1:44 pm by Mike Polhamus 7 Comments

A Vermont Law School professor is seeking community solar array customers who believe they’ve purchased renewable energy for a possible class-action lawsuit.

Certain solar providers can’t claim to sell solar or renewable energy when it comes from community solar projects. The state Attorney General’s office last month said some companies have been doing so and deceiving their customers.

Under federal consumer protection laws, solar companies commit fraud when they sell a community solar array’s renewable energy credits (REC) while also telling customers they are purchasing renewable energy. The Attorney General’s office has already stated an intention to seek civil penalties against solar companies that continue to violate this law. A similar state law forbids the practice as well.

“Our view is that if you are in any way implying to customers that they’re ‘going solar,’ but you’re selling those RECs to sophisticated out-of-state utilities … then you’re potentially involving the Vermont consumer protection act, which prohibits deceptive and unfair practices,” Vermont Law Professor Jared Carter said.

In upcoming weeks, Carter will hold meetings across the state to determine whether solar customers have been deceived on a large scale, and to give them the opportunity to join a potential class-action lawsuit against companies that have engaged in illicit practices, he said.

Carter said he hopes to resolve the issue legislatively, or through voluntary action on the part of solar companies, but said he’s prepared to take up a class-action lawsuit if no other solution arises.

He is doing so as a member of the Vermont Community Law Center, a non-profit that takes on lawsuits and other legal efforts in the interest of the public. The organization two years ago sued Log Cabin and Birdseye for marketing as “all natural” foods that contained synthetic ingredients.

In the wake of the Attorney General’s letter last month, companies including SunCommon were forced to reword some of their advertising language. Carter said that wasn’t enough to satisfy state law.

“If they’re implying in a way that a reasonable consumer would think they’re getting solar energy, I think that’s putting them on precarious ground according to the consumer protection act in Vermont,” Carter said.

Out-of-state utilities must buy certain amounts of renewable energy, and they often purchase it in the form of renewable energy credits. Doing so is typically cheaper than building their own solar facilities.

When in-state solar providers build solar arrays whose renewable energy credits are sold out of the state, Vermonters are subsidizing another state’s renewable energy costs, Carter said. When those same companies lead in-state customers to believe they, too, are purchasing renewable energy, the companies deceive their customers, Carter said.

“This funding scheme allows out-of-state utilities to externalize the actual costs of building renewable energy… because Vermonters in good faith are subsidizing the true cost of going solar, and that’s what these RECs are allowing us to do,” he said.

It’s cheap for utilities to purchase renewable energy in the form of RECs from Vermont community solar arrays because solar companies pass the cost of building the projects onto their customers, Carter said.

“In our view, they’re essentially getting hardworking Vermonters to subsidize out-of-state utilities,” Carter said. “We support renewable energy in Vermont, but we think this sort of practice hinders Vermont’s ability to be a leader, and quite frankly compromises the renewable energy industry.”

Carter said he’s more interested in “restoring integrity” to the renewable energy industry than he is pursuing litigation. He said he’s asking solar companies to cease marketing their product as renewable when they shouldn’t. He’s also calling on solar companies that sell RECs to allow customers to break their service contracts in order to buy energy instead from solar companies that do not sell their RECs.

Carter said he’s also pursuing a legislative solution.

The Senate Energy Committee has already commissioned a study on the matter of RECs, which is to be presented this session, Senate Natural Resources and Energy Chair Chris Bray, D-Addison, said. Should that study find that current practices harm the development of renewable energy, he might attempt legislation to correct that, Bray said.

“What needs to be clear for people is how RECs work, and what they really mean, financially, and environmentally, and even from an engineering standpoint,” Bray said.

“I’ve heard incompatible assessments of what renewables in Vermont do,” he said. “I’ve heard the utility world say, when you add renewables in Vermont, even when you sell the RECs in Connecticut, you still keep fossil-fuel-fired plants in Connecticut from firing up; and then I’ve heard other people say, when you sell the RECs in Connecticut, you allow that fossil-fuel-fired plant to keep running. Only one of these things can be true. To me it seems like an engineering question, and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

Bray said that he wants to address the problem of climate change more than he wants to dictate the terms of funding mechanisms used to accomplish that end.

Bray also said he fears that “some people are spoiling for a fight,” and that attempts to resolve the question of REC sales doesn’t “poison the well” with Vermonters who want their power supplied from renewable sources.

The ability to sell RECs is a sound piece of public policy that allows solar companies to offer affordable energy to customers while still putting new solar facilities on the ground, SunCommon co-owner Duane Peterson said in an email.

“RECs have helped SunCommon bring community solar to 500 Vermonters, providing CSA members the opportunity to help generate renewable energy while saving money on their power bills,” he wrote. “ We’ll continue to make this innovative solution to climate change available to Vermonters.”
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 12, 2016, 12:00:31 am
Adam Cohen: Ranger Solar projects are right for Vermont (

Jan. 10, 2016, 7:05 pm by Commentary

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Adam Cohen, who is the president of Ranger Solar, a New England based solar energy company.

The sun provides a predictable energy supply without the price volatility, or emissions, of fossil fuels. The New England region has sufficient solar energy available to power more than 4 million homes. Technological innovations have helped reduce the cost of solar energy by about 76 percent since 2006. And Vermonters believe in both clean energy and nurturing a stronger, more diverse economy. What’s more, Vermont needs more power, at an affordable price, for homes and businesses.

These are the reasons Ranger Solar has proposed to develop five 20-megawatt solar projects in Vermont.

The potential projects in Sheldon, Highgate, Randolph, Brandon and Ludlow are a real, meaningful and measurable investment in Vermont’s economy. Each would generate 20-megawatts of power at prices far cheaper than existing renewable energy facilities, which helps people save money on their power bills.

Over the next 20 years, Ranger’s Vermont solar investments will collectively generate about 1,225 job years, $75 million in labor income, approximately $15 million in tax revenue for the state and local communities and add more than $125 million to Vermont’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We have been working closely with each local community to make our projects among the best-sited solar projects in the state and we are grateful for the local support we have already received.

Ranger’s solar projects are tightly contained and sited in an unobtrusive way, delivering the benefits of solar in the most efficient manner.

Perhaps most importantly to Vermonters who champion local solutions to climate change, our projects would each make a very substantial, and economically efficient, contribution to meeting Vermont’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. This is a cause our team of veteran renewable energy and environmental specialists believes deeply in. All told these projects could displace over 190,000 tons of carbon, the equivalent of 2,021 cars operating over 20 years, and avoid about $162 million in carbon dioxide emissions costs.

With the closure of aging power plants in New England, the region faces a challenging time ahead as it seeks to provide clean, reliable, and reasonably-priced electricity to consumers. According to the 2015 Regional Energy Outlook issued by the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE), the majority of electric generation resources on the New England power system today are traditional, grid-connected generators fueled by imported fossil fuels.

Vermont’s policymakers have established emission reduction goals and renewable energy targets that are consistent with residents’ commitment to combatting climate change while securing the state’s energy future. Yet, Vermont currently ranks 50th in net electrical energy generation by state, and as of the end of 2014, hosted less than 10 percent of New England installed solar capacity. The vast majority is in Massachusetts and Connecticut. We will need to do better if our goals are to be more than merely symbolic. (

Ranger’s solar projects are tightly contained and sited in an unobtrusive way, delivering the benefits of solar in the most efficient manner. Relying solely on behind the meter and distributed solar projects will make Vermont’s targets extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach. And small-scale projects come at a higher cost. On the whole, to produce an equivalent amount of energy to Ranger’s projects, would require hundreds or even thousands of smaller developments on the landscape, eating up in aggregate more land while producing more expensive energy.

Meeting Vermont’s energy and economic objectives also requires that Vermont’s utilities stand by their commitment to the triple bottom line of “cost, carbon and reliability” by welcoming the energy diversity and lower costs that Ranger’s solar projects deliver, even if our lower cost power means marginally lower returns for their shareholders. (

Ultimately, our goal is to bring new investment and more affordable clean energy to Vermont with projects that make sense for communities, ratepayers and regulators. We understand and value community dialogue, rigorous oversight and siting standards as illustrated by the letters of support we have received from communities like Sheldon. We’re an organization composed of renewable energy and environmental professionals. We’re committed to doing this right. And we look forward to producing affordable, long-term, stably priced power at lower, more economically competitive rates.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 13, 2016, 02:04:00 pm
Why do whales breach?  ???

Melissa Breyer (@MelissaBreyer)
Science / Reader's Photos

Self-taught photographer E Flen has certainly learned a thing or two about taking photos ... just look at this beauty! Shot during a whale-watching trip in San Francisco, this photo catches a majestic humpback whale mid-breach. Which begs the questions, why do whales do that in the first place?

As it turns out, scientists aren't exactly sure  (  ( but they have some ideas. Probably the most popular theory is that they do it to help remove parasites like barnacles from their bodies – life in the sea is hard when you don't have hands to brush things off of your skin. Other theories suggest it's a way to scratch an itch or a way to communicate. And if none of those resonate with you, there's always the last one: They're just having fun. (  ( (

It looks like a exercise in sheer joy to me.

( Speaking of JOY, here's some peppy news:  (

( Solar energy jobs double in 5 years  (

by Patrick Gillespie   @CNNMoney
January 12, 2016: 11:28 AM ET 


The number of solar jobs in the U.S. has more than doubled in five years. In fact, there are more people working in solar now than at oil rigs and in gas fields.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 15, 2016, 11:32:10 pm


Posted on January 15, 2016  by sunadmin   
◾These Grade specifications for modules have changed over time and by manufacturing companies in  different parts of  the world.

At the Photowatt PV Factory, in the 70’s, where I used to work, module grades were based on output only.  It had nothing to do with how a module looked. An A grade module was 10% above the rated output, a B grade module was right on, and a C grade was 10% below. In other words, if it was a 100 watt module, the A’s were about 110 watts, the B’s were about 100 watts and the C grade modules were about 90 watts. Orders will filled pretty much by the luck of the draw.

The smartest customer we had at the time, Gene Hitney, one of the pioneers of the PV industry, would always come in by the back loading dock and he’d scope out the modules before getting to the sales center, up front where I worked. So he already knew more about the stock then I did. Usually, he’d manage to cherry pick us to death for our best inventory.

At Photowatt small minute cosmetic imperfections were allowed.  Modules with larger cosmetic imperfections were thrown in the garbage at the end of the assembly line, that is, until I or the technicians, started asking for them. Those and the low power modules were sold to a guy who was friends of the General Manager and he resold them to the sailors. Nowadays, factories, with much larger production volume, just create new modules with new model numbers and data sheets for these larger quantities, of lower output but perfectly good modules.

In the 70’s and early 80’s every manufacturer had a + or – 10% power output allowance, and 10 year warranties were standard. Then came the warranty war, from 15 years to 20, 25 and then one company even offered a 30 year warranty a few years ago but no mfrs. followed them. No one cared, 25 years was long enough, I think.

In the 90’s and 2,000’s, Suntech, the world’s largest manufacturer, used different wording for grades, Perfect grade, then A, then B Grades. Their Perfect grade was actually just an A grade, A grade equaled a B, and B grade was a grade C, if you compared their module grades to all the other manufacturers.

For a long time, in some places, like China, many manufacturers didn’t know what the difference was between a grade B or C. For them any module that was not an A grade was simply a Grade B and it ends right there.

The basic difference between a B and an A, is that B grade modules have slight minute cosmetic imperfections that are almost imperceptible to the eye. 12 years ago we got a call one day Alan King from Evergreen. He said, I’ve got a lot of B Grade modules here would you be interested in them. The price was about 35% less than their A Grade. They had the same warranty, 25 years and UL so I said sure. There was a huge demand at the time from Europe (especially the German’s) but they wanted nothing to do with B Grade, so we had them all to ourselves. Then they changed their minds after we sold many tens of thousands of them into Europe and they bought them all at a higher price and installed them on solar farms, and commercial and residential applications.

We got another call from Alan and he said he had C Grade at 45% less than A Grade. We ordered a pallet to look at them and they were 95% identical to B Grade. They did not have UL or a Warranty . Christy my daughter and our Phoenix sales team took an A, B and a C Grade module of 250 watts ea. to a PV show and displayed them side by side at our booth and asked people to identify which was which and basically, no one could do it. The prices were substantially different and the lifetimes were identical. Only the warranty and the certification on the C Grade was substantially different.

The basic difference between a grade B and a grade C is that C grade modules  have the same type of cosmetic imperfections but just more of them and they’re larger. But even most C grade modules’ imperfections are difficult to spot unless someone shows them to you from 7 feet away.

B grade cosmetic imperfections include a tiny chip on the edge or corner of a couple cells, a scratch on a frame, a scratch on the glass, a bubble under the tedlar backskin, a few missing gridlines on a cell, a small piece of foreign matter under the glass, a slightly discolored cell and micro-cracks. C grade cosmetic imperfections are exactly the same B Grade but there are more of them. They are still usually very difficult to see from 8 away.

Micro-cracks are small invisible cracks you can usually only see in an electro-luminescence testing machine on the assembly line. Basically the mfrs. put the panel in front of a special bright light, if there are any major micro-cracks they take these modules and separate them. The substantial majority of micro-cracks occur mainly after the modules have been manufactured and passed this inspection. The handling: packing, transportation and the installation cause the most.

Kyocera Solar, where I worked for 6 years, allows A grade modules to have small chips on the cell edges but they will only tolerate a certain size chip about 1 mm by 1 mm, I believe, and on just a couple cells like that. They have no B modules, per say, but rather, if there is a small cosmetic imperfection they actually repair them in the factory. I have toured the Kyocera plant and actually saw the tolerance allowances and the location where they “operated” on these modules and turned them into “perfect” looking modules again. Or, they catch the grade B cells before the module assembly and manufacturing and sell them to other manufacturers in China, India, etc. to be cut and made into garden, pathway, decorative lights.

Dozens of the world’s top name brands have sold us tens of thousands of  B and C grade modules over the years, including Kyocera, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sharp, Astronergy, Topoint, AUO, LG, Suntech, Suniva, Solar World, Solarex, BP Solar, Sungen, Dupont, Photowatt, Sovello, GE Solar, Apollo Solar, Schott, Evergreen, Sovello, and many others. If they weren’t safe, you can be sure they would not be selling them to us.

They like to sell them to us, because we can sell them outside of the country where they will not disrupt their distribution networks. And, because of the size of our international distribution network, They also know that we can be trusted to respect and protect the safety of our customers and those that use these modules. We make sure that everyone we sell to, knows that the only use of these modules is for battery based, low voltage (12, 24, or 48 volt) off-grid or hybrid systems.

Grade D modules are generally considered unusable and thrown out. They include modules with broken glass, short circuits, or modules with cracks that are horizontal, across a cell, and that intersect all the bus bars (usually two or three per cell) on the surface of the cells. Modules with cells like this are destroyed or in rare cases, (Kyocera is the only company I have ever seen that does this), are repaired.

I was told once by an employee at GE Solar that If you had shaded a large array, and you shaded just one cell (say with a leaf) and that cell had a major micro crack, and it was a grid tied system (they use high voltage (approximately 300 volts),  you could have serious hot spotting. A hot spot short and can go to 300 degrees F. in about 1 min. Luckily modules made with glass have an extremely difficult time burning. According to the Insurance Industry research we had done by our Hartford  Insurance Agent, there has never been a case of any house burning because of solar modules.

We regularly sell Perfect Suntech, and A, B, and C modules from some of the largest manufacturers in the world who gladly sell them to us without fear of anyone’s house burning down. We are talking about some of the largest module manufacturers in the world here. Almost all of these modules come with flash test reports attached to the top of each pallet and in every case it shows B and C Grade modules put out exactly the same power as their Grade A modules and the same lifetime.

I have worked in the solar industry for 37 years, for 3 U.S. Congressmen, the Governor of Arizona’s Arizona Solar Energy Commission, Photocomm, Photowatt Int., and Kyocera Solar Int. and have owned my own solar electric company for 20 years. Grade B, C, and in some cases even D modules are the best thing that ever happened to the PV Industry. The drop in prices for these readily available modules is astonishing.

In the last 20 years we have sold about 40,000 Grade B, C, and a few carefully selected D modules. Most of the B and C have been Evergreen Solar Modules.The Evergreen Ribbon Technology is one of the only different crystalline modules because it uses only a fraction of the silicon of any other crystalline module made in the industry today. When the cost of silicon shoots up the competitive value of this efficient manufacturing technology keeps Evergreen Modules in high demand. This Ribbon technology was developed by MIT and Mobile Oil Int. then purchased by Evergreen Solar in Mass., it’s an American Company.

To this day we have never had one Evergreen B module come back. There has never been a module short reported either. We make it a point to tell people that our own brand of C grade modules should only be used for low voltage applications like off grid independent homes or systems with 12, 24 and 48 volt battery banks.

The result of not just destroying less than Perfect modules has been a blessing to thousands of people as it has enabled them to have a better life or to get a PV system at a significantly lower price.

The most popular solar company on the internet is not always the best company to buy your modules from. Home Depot, Wholesale Solar and most others on the first page of Goggle under the search term Solar Panels, sell their PV modules at a set price rather than an easy to compare $/watt price. For single modules, Wholesale Solar’s site does offer $/watt pricing on about a dozen modules. Those dozen modules average a $/watt price of approximately $1.07/watt.

Home Depot has never had $/watt pricing. Their most popular brand, Grape Solar, sells for $$370 or $1.39/watt for a 265 watt module. For over 25 years, Sun Electronics has always shown their modules in $/watt prices, this is very important. Our current best prices are $.48 to $.58/watt for grade A with major brand names,

Our current advertised price on Grade B modules is  $.19/watt to $.26/watt from Sharp Solar.  They come with a 20 year warranty and are in stock in our warehouse not someone else’s.


Thank you and have a great day.  (

John Kimball


Cell 305-498-1863

Call me anytime.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 24, 2016, 09:13:31 pm
Study assesses solar photovoltaic technologies

Nancy W. Stauffer | MIT Energy Initiative
December 16, 2015

Joel Jean  and Vladimir Bulović  of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Patrick Brown of the Department of Physics have (picture at link below), together with their collaborators, performed a rigorous assessment of today’s many commercial and emerging solar photovoltaic tech­nologies. They conclude that none should be ruled out, given the urgent need to move to a low-carbon energy future. 



Since no single technology — established or emerging — offers benefits on all fronts, the researchers recommend rapidly scaling up current silicon-based systems   ( while continuing to work on other technologies to increase efficiency, decrease materials use, and reduce manufacturing complexity and cost.

Agelbert NOTE:
ANYONE who claims that PV "cannot be scaled up"  is either woefully uninformed and inaccurate   ( or a disingenuous, double talking, propaganda pushing LIAR! (

I will not tolerate propagandists on this forum.   (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 27, 2016, 06:22:58 pm
Your Ideal Energy Partner

For 30 years, SunPower has led the way with record-setting technologies and innovative solar solutions, and our cutting-edge approach to sustainability is renowned for its positive impact on the environment and our communities. No other solar company offers such a complete package.
Solid copper. Stellar results.  (
Our Maxeon® solar cell is fundamentally different. And dramatically better. With its unique copper foundation, our cell delivers unmatched reliability and allows us to build panels with the world record for highest efficiency.* Talk about illuminating.

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Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 29, 2016, 08:41:47 pm
MUST SEE VIDEO! Guaranteed to give fossil fuelers heartburn!   ( (

Quitte a nicely produced spot. Great concept.

Agreed. And Musk is a guy that walks the talk. SEE BELOW:

Elon Musk: ‘You Can Easily Power All of China With Solar’  :o   (

Lorraine Chow | January 29, 2016 12:45 pm

“China has actually an enormous land area much of which is hardly occupied at all. Given that the Chinese population is so concentrated along the coast, once you go inland the population in some cases it is remarkably tiny. So you can easily power all of China with solar. Easily,”   ( he said about the world’s most populous country. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 29, 2016, 09:39:19 pm
France to pave 1000km of roads with solar panels (

Derek Markham (@derekmarkham)
Technology / Solar Technology
 January 29, 2016

Wattways solar road tile © Wattways

Over the next five years, France will install some 621 miles (1,000km) of solar roadway using Colas' Wattway solar pavement.

Solar freakin' roadways! No, this is not the crowdfunded solar road project that blew up the internet a few years ago, but is a collaboration between Colas, a transport infrastructure company, and INES (France's National Institute for Solar Energy), and sanctioned by France's Agency of Environment and Energy Management, which promises to bring solar power to hundreds of miles of roads in the country over the next five years.

One major difference between this solar freakin' roadway and that other solar freakin' roadway is that the new Wattway system doesn't replace the road itself or require removal of road surfaces, but instead is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement.

The Wattway system is also built in layers of materials "that ensure resistance and tire grip," and is just 7 mm thick, which is radically different from that other design that uses thick glass panels (and which is also claimed to include LED lights and 'smart' technology, which increases the complexity and cost of the moose-friendly solar tiles).
Wattway : Bouygues officialise une route qui produit de l’électricité

According to Colas, the material is strong enough to stand up to regular traffic, even heavy trucks, and 20 m² of Wattway panels is said to provide enough electricity to power a single average home in France, with a 1-kilometer stretch of Wattway road able to "provide the electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants   ("

According to Global Construction Review, tenders for France's “Positive Energy” initiative have already been issued, and tests on the solar roadway panels will begin this spring, although the exact locations (and costs) for the project have not been specified. No word yet on whether these roads will be moose-friendly.  ;)

More information about the solar roadway project can be found at the Wattway website (

"All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed, only to emerge all the more triumphantly from the struggle.

Our duty is to lay the foundation for those that are to come, and to point the way
Yes, humanity will advance with giant strides
We are whirling through endless space at an inconceivable speed
All around everything is spinning; everything is moving;

Everywhere, there is energy! (
"  Nikola Tesla

Fossil fuel industry reaction to the above:  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 04, 2016, 09:38:38 pm
Next-Generation Utility Programs: How M&V 2.0 is Enabling a “Negawatt” Market


M&V 2.0 and supporting technical platforms underpin the data-rich approach that can be adopted by next-generation utility programs and private sector financing of efficiency. While challenges exist for testing and standardizing these data-intensive methods, existing M&V protocols with long-time industry acceptance are still applicable. And the efficiency market has much to gain from using interval data to base savings on measured performance. The approach being taken in California, through SB 350 and AB 802, and by others promoting similar programs, has the potential to support growing utility revenue and unit sales while meeting IDSM objectives. The ultimate win though will be when such efforts result in building efficiency being properly valued as a commodity that can be measured and competitively delivered against traditional supply-side resources.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 13, 2016, 03:58:54 pm
(   (

Vermont has third highest per capita number of solar jobs in the nation

Feb. 12, 2016, 10:58 am by Mike Polhamus 6 Comments

Suncommon  (at link)
Electricians install the last solar panels at the home of SunCommon’s 1,000th customer in Barre Town on Tuesday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
Vermont has the third-most solar industry jobs per resident of any state in the Union, according to a report published Monday by Washington, D.C.-based group The Solar Foundation.

Next year’s solar job market is expected to continue expanding, the report states, with an anticipated 13 percent growth in 2016. Forecasts show the state’s workforce as a whole growing only 0.4 percent, according to thereport.

Industry representatives say the state has done a good job of exploiting a profitable business sector, that is likely to grow even more lucrative in coming years.

“It’s exciting to see Vermont taking its share of this new, clean type of economy,” said Andrew Savage, spokesman for solar parts manufacturer All Earth Renewables. “These jobs are happening; either Vermont’s going to get them, or they’ll go elsewhere.”

The relatively high percentage of solar jobs in Vermont are from the manufacturing sector, Savage said. This industry sells products out of state and isn’t dependent on sales associated with Vermont’s local solar needs.

Two hundred seventy solar businesses in the state employed 1,367 workers in 2015. Of Vermont’s solar jobs, around 800 are in installation, and about 250 are in manufacturing. Installers make an average of $23 per hour; figures for manufacturing wages are not available.

Installation and manufacturing represent about 60 and 18 percent of the solar job force, respectively. Sales and distribution jobs employ another 7 percent of Vermont’s solar workers, and project development another 5 percent; 11 percent are classified as “other.”

Savage said the actual number of Vermonters working in the solar energy may be much higher.

“I think there are a lot of professionals starting to work in the solar industry, but it’s only 30 or 40 percent of the work they do,” he said.

Suncommon  (at link)
Electricians install the last solar panels at the home of SunCommon’s 1,000th customer in Barre Town on Tuesday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Most of the state’s solar jobs — just over 60 percent — are residential installations, the Solar Foundation report found.

The share of jobs devoted to large, “utility-scale” installations is less than half the share of these jobs in all solar employment nationwide, with 8.4 percent in Vermont and 21.5 percent across the country.

In 2015 alone, the state put 34.4 megawatts of solar energy into use, bringing total installed solar capacity in Vermont to 104.4 megawatts.

Andrew Perchlik, director of Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund, said solar companies will continue to employ more people in the near future because of an extension of a large federal tax break for new solar installations, and new net metering rules soon to be promulgated by the Vermont Public Service Board could also have an impact, Perchlik said.

“We thought 2016 was going to be a mad rush to get everything installed that you could before the tax credit was going to expire in December this year,” Perchlik said. “But the issue in Vermont became the net metering cap.”

Vermont’s Public Service Board previously capped the amount of energy the state’s utilities may purchase through net metered installations at 15 percent. That number could easily increase when the Board releases new net metering rules, which are due to take effect in the beginning of 2017.

The rules’ first drafts are likely to released by the end of the month, Perchlik said.

The Public Service Department, of which Perchlik is a functionary, is seeking to eliminate the net metering cap altogether, he said.

The cap was intended to protect ratepayers from the relatively high rates utilities pay to purchase net metered energy; those rates are intended to incent solar development within the state, Perchlik said. Some ideal price would presumably accomplish both aims, he said.

The state is scheduled to release another report on the clean energy industry in April, Perchlik said, and that’s likely to give additional details on some of the information the Solar Foundation report contains. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 25, 2016, 10:53:18 pm
02/25/2016 02:45 PM     

Solar Breaks Records in US, Reaches 25 GW   ( News

Solar installations in the US have been breaking records for years and this wonderful trend continued in 2015.

The US now has a total 25 gigawatts of solar installed, an amazing increase from just 2 GW in 2010, according to GTM Research and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in a preview of their annual report.

Perhaps the best news is that solar has reached grid parity in 20 states, and by 2020 - just four years! - that will spread to 42 states, says GTM Research.

Last year, a record 7.3 gigawatts (GW) connected to the grid, a rise of 17%, and for the first time, more solar was added than natural gas - almost 30% of all new electric capacity in the US.

Full article with eye opening graphs;  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 28, 2016, 01:13:32 am

Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft breaks solar power distance record

Posted on January 21, 2016 by Stephen Clark

Technicians work on one of the Juno spacecraft’s three solar panels before launch. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/KSC

NASA’s Juno spacecraft bound for a rendezvous with Jupiter in July has set a record as the most distant solar-powered space probe ever flown.

Juno broke the record previously held by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft Jan. 13 as it flew about 493 million miles (793 million kilometers) from the sun, NASA said in a press release announcing the milestone.

When it enters orbit around Jupiter on July 4, the Juno spacecraft will become the first solar-powered mission to reach the gas giant, beginning 20 months of commissioning and science observations aimed at studying the structure of the planet’s interior and atmosphere.

Juno carries three large solar panels, each one 9 feet wide and 29 feet long, to generate electricity.

Shortly after the mission’s launch in 2011, the solar power system could convert sunlight into 14 kilowatts of energy. When Juno reaches Jupiter, which orbits five times farther from the sun than Earth, the spacecraft must operate on 500 watts.

Half of Juno’s electricity budget goes to its thermal system to keep the spacecraft at a comfortable temperature. The balance goes toward communications, computers, propulsion and operating the probe’s seven scientific instruments and color camera.

All eight probes that previously explored the realm of the solar system now occupied by Juno relied on nuclear power sources, but the U.S. government’s stockpile of space-grade plutonium was diminishing when engineers designed Juno, prompting a decision to build three huge solar panels for the spacecraft.

Juno’s solar panels are arranged in a triangular shape in space. All together, the panels have an area of about 635 square feet, larger than most studio apartments.


Juno’s solar panels consist of 18,698 individual cells, each measuring approximately 3.7 inches by 2.25 inches. The rectangular cells are made of silicon and gallium arsenide.

A rocket firing will steer the Juno spacecraft into a polar orbit around Jupiter, kicking off about 20 months of science observations comprising more than 30 laps around the huge gas giant.

Juno will initially be captured in a long, egg-shaped orbit that takes 53.5 days to complete one trip around Jupiter. A follow-up maneuver in October will reduce the high point of Juno’s orbit, moving it closer to the planet to allow the craft to complete one lap every 14 days.

That is a change from Juno’s original flight plan, which called for the probe to first go into a 107-day orbit, then switch to an 11-day orbit.

Scientists say the new plan allows Juno to complete a first look at meeting the mission’s science goals, which are centered on Jupiter’s interior, atmosphere and magnetic field, in shorter time than previously anticipated. But it means Juno will need 20 months, five months longer than originally planned, to collect the mission’s full data set.

Besides the challenges imposed by the distance from the sun to Jupiter, engineers had to account for the harsh radiation environment around the giant planet.

Engineers conducted extra testing before Juno’s launch to ensure the solar cells, computers and wiring in the spacecraft’s power and control system can endure Jupiter’s doughnut-shaped radiation belts as it passes as close as 3,100 miles over the planet’s cloud tops, closer than any mission before.

Juno will encounter radiation equivalent to receiving 100 million dental X-rays during its mission at Jupiter.

Juno’s flight computers, avionics and commanding system are wrapped inside a solid titanium box on top of the spacecraft. Known as the vault, the radiation-shielding container is about the size of a microwave oven and weighs nearly 500 pounds fully loaded.

But the solar panels could not be put in the vault, so engineers doubled the thickness of the cover glass over each cell to protect them from radiation. Otherwise, Juno’s solar cells are off the shelf, meeting the same qualification levels required for other space missions.

Engineers expect the solar cells to degrade over time as they are zapped by radiation, but not within Juno’s 20-month primary mission.

Future robotic missions to Jupiter will also employ solar panels, building on technologies demonstrated by Juno. (

ESA’s first spacecraft to visit the outer solar system, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, set for launch in 2022 will rely on solar power for its mission to study three of the planet’s largest moons. JUICE will eventually swing into orbit around Ganymede, becoming the first mission to enter orbit around one of Jupiter’s moons.

NASA’s Europa mission, an uncrewed probe in development to repeatedly fly past Jupiter’s most famous moon, will also use solar power generators. Managers chose solar power over nuclear power for the mission in 2014.    (

Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft breaks solar power distance record   (

Launched from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only 5,000 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the cloud tops at closest approach. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter has broken the record to become humanity's most distant solar-powered emissary. The milestone occurred at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST, 19:00 UTC) on Wednesday, Jan. 13, when Juno was about 493 million miles (793 million kilometers) from the sun.

The previous record-holder was the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, whose orbit peaked out at the 492-million-mile (792-million-kilometer) mark in October 2012, during its approach to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

"Juno is all about pushing the edge of technology to help us learn about our origins," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "We use every known technique to see through Jupiter's clouds and reveal the secrets Jupiter holds of our solar system’s early history.  It just seems right that the sun is helping us learn about the origin of Jupiter and the other planets that orbit it."

Launched in 2011, Juno is the first solar-powered spacecraft designed to operate at such a great distance from the sun. That's why the surface area of solar panels required to generate adequate power is quite large. The four-ton Juno spacecraft carries three 30-foot-long (9-meter) solar arrays festooned with 18,698 individual solar cells. At Earth distance from the sun, the cells have the potential to generate approximately 14 kilowatts of electricity. But transport those same rectangles of silicon and gallium arsenide to a fifth rock from the sun distance, and it’s a powerfully different story.

"Jupiter is five times farther from the sun than Earth, and the sunlight that reaches that far out packs 25 times less punch," said Rick Nybakken, Juno's project manager from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "While our massive solar arrays will be generating only 500 watts when we are at Jupiter, Juno is very efficiently designed, and it will be more than enough to get the job done."

Prior to Juno, eight spacecraft have navigated the cold, harsh underlit realities of deep space as far out as Jupiter. All have used nuclear power sources to get their job done. Solar power is possible on Juno due to improved solar-cell performance, energy-efficient instruments and spacecraft, a mission design that can avoid Jupiter’s shadow, and a polar orbit that minimizes the total radiation. Juno’s maximum distance from the sun during its 16-month science mission will be about 517 million miles (832 million kilometers), an almost five percent increase in the record for solar-powered space vehicles.

"It is cool we got the record and that our dedicated team of engineers and scientists can chalk up another first in space exploration," said Bolton. "But the best is yet to come. We are achieving these records and venturing so far out for a reason -- to better understand the biggest world in our solar system and thereby better understand where we came from."

Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4 of this year.
Over the next year the spacecraft will orbit the Jovian world 33 times, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops every 14 days.  During the flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study Jupiter’s aurorae to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about Juno visit: and

DC Agle
 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California


Last Updated: Jan. 13, 2016

Editor: Martin Perez

Agelbert NOTE: If you finished college more than five years ago, and studied the solar system while you were there,  as the following video will patiently explain to you, everything you were taught about how the solar system was formed is wrong.

Of course this sort of new knowledge never makes the papers.

It's embarrassing to the scientist PhD poobahs who don't like their theories being shredded in public by reality. (

So they filter it out to us little by little. But it does make for some nice profits from the rewriting of Planetary science textbooks.
(    (
Journey To Jupiter |NASA documentary  :o

God did it. Scientists have difficulties with that even though all the evolutionary models make no scientific sense whatsoever.  ;D

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 08, 2016, 06:50:07 pm
( ( (

Solar Energy Will Lead the Way for New Power in 2016

Climate Nexus | March 3, 2016 10:20 am

In 2016, for the first time ever, solar is projected to add more new capacity in the U.S. than any other type of energy. New data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar will be added to the grid, more than three times last year’s figure. And this doesn’t take into account additional rooftop solar, which was the fastest growing segment of the solar industry last year.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 09, 2016, 08:40:24 pm
( (

Top 10 Reasons Why Solar PV Has Reached Escape Velocity
And why SolarCity and net metering subsidies are distracting outliers

Feb 29, 2016 Authors Laurie Guevara-​Stone Writer / Editor
Joseph Goodman, Ph.D. Manager

With Nevada rolling back net metering and solar company stock prices falling, one might think the solar industry is in big trouble. In fact, a recent New York Times article stated that SolarCity and other residential solar companies face a cloudy future. The article implies that the solar business model is based largely on subsidies (federal, state, and local), and therefore highly exposed to regulatory changes. Yet we believe the opposite is true: the solar industry will continue to have sustained and significant growth despite SolarCity stock woes and net metering policy changes. And here are ten reasons why:

1. PV companies are diversifying

The PV industry is increasingly diversifying, making it more resilient to incidents of bad policy. “While the New York Times article focused on residential solar, that segment is less than 25 percent of the market,” according to RMI Associate Kevin Brehm. In fact, SolarCity, a company commonly associated with rooftop solar, is now building and owning utility-scale solar projects. As companies diversify they are less exposed to policy risk that may affect one segment, such as the Nevada policy change.

2. The PV industry is global

On a global scale, new markets will enable the U.S. PV industry to grow despite short-term recessions in local markets. In October of 2015, global information and analysis company IHS predicted 2015 global PV demand would reach 59 GW, 33 percent higher than 2014, and 2016 would reach 65 GW. This growth is largely due to increased demand in China, India, and other emerging economies. “It’s a growing global market and U.S. developers are really well positioned to capture that market,” says Brehm. For example, SunPower has been diversifying into markets including the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa, and 50 percent of SunEdison’s project pipeline is outside the U.S. First Solar is also going global with over 60 percent of its 2015 Q2 potential booking opportunities (16.7 GW) coming from international markets. “This global diversification mitigates local, state, and federal electricity policy changes to a great extent and helps to insulate the solar PV industry from microeconomic vagaries,” according to Anthony Coker, VP of Market Development for Hannah Solar.

3. Solar PV is a proven and robust technology

Standard solar PV module warranties currently range from 25–30 years and product lifetimes are far exceeding manufacturers’ warranties. Many early off-grid adopters are still harvesting solar energy from modules installed in the ‘70’s. Even inverters are getting out of the reliability hot seat with over 20 year warranty extensions based on the belief that if products fail at 15 years they will delight customers with higher-efficiency longer-lifetime replacements.

4. Solar PV cost is beating fossil fuels

According to Lazard’s latest Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 9.0), the levelized cost of electricity for utility-scale solar PV without subsidies is beating conventional alternatives in many parts of the U.S.—even with current low fossil fuel prices. First Solar recently agreed to sell power from its 100 MW solar plant in Nevada for 3.87 cents per kilowatt-hour (escalating at 3 percent per year), thought to be the lowest electricity price ever. And last June, Austin Energy received bids for over 1.2 MW of PV projects under 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

5. Cost of solar PV will continue to fall

PV costs in all segments are expected to continue down. According to LCOE 9.0, “The levelized cost of rooftop solar PV is expected to decline in coming years, primarily as a result of more efficient installation techniques, lower costs of capital, and improved supply chains.” Canadian Solar estimates that the cost of the modules will fall 25 percent in the next three years, and GTM Research predicts that through balance of systems cost reductions, PV system prices will fall an average of 40 percent by 2020. Economies of scale along with improved business processes in a newly emerging industry will continue to drive down costs.

6. The industry is attracting top talent

Forbes “Top 30 under 30” list of the brightest entrepreneurs and change agents under the age of 30 has a disproportionate share of PV talent compared to market cap. The new generation of leaders is bringing a pragmatic outlook honed in the 2007–2009 financial crisis. Yet, where previous generations largely fled green agendas this pragmatic generation has analyzed the long-term trends that will play out in our lifetime and see renewable energy and energy efficiency as sure bets for both job security and satisfaction.

7. Decommissioned coal plants will drive surge in PV demand  (

Even with the unknown outcome of the challenge to the Clean Power Plan, a total of 46,000 MW of coal generation is on track to close in the ten years spanning 2012–2022. Just last July the 200th coal plant shut down in the U.S. As coal assets are decommissioned, solar PV is likely to step in and cover a large share of the capacity need. Solar PV is affordable, and with falling storage prices, it can be a great alternative to coal. According to Brehm, “The war on coal is over. Now it’s just a question of rebuilding and solar will be a large portion of that generation capacity.” Duke Energy, which installed over 200 MW of solar in 2015, has stated that despite what happens with the Clean Power Plan, any new generation it installs will be in natural gas and renewables. Coker adds, “No one is arguing for a single silver bullet—one generation source for the global economy’s electricity. Rather, we are seeing a displacement of coal by lower-priced gas, solar, and wind in many regions. Economics are dictating the change.”

8. Completely untapped markets still exist

New solar business models will create access for more customers. There is currently a huge market for low-to-moderate income households in the U.S. Less than 0.04 percent of these families have solar PV systems, which we estimate at a $250 billion dollar market in the U.S. alone. And worldwide, over a billion people have no access to electricity at all. As PV costs continue to decline and more developing countries enact policies supporting renewable energy expansion and continue to push for electrification to drive economic development, the solar PV market is poised to grow at an incredible rate in those countries. Solar PV can reach these populations providing them with clean, reliable, and affordable electricity.

9. New solar markets segments are emerging in mature markets such as the U.S.

Even if some currently active solar market segments stagnate, there are significant new markets opening up. Community solar is a large currently untapped market. There are currently 65 MW of community solar installed in the U.S. with an estimated 250 GW market potential. “Community-scale solar is an exciting segment of the market. Increasing demand from rural electric coops, community-based organizations, and local municipalities is driving developers and service providers to innovate new technology and business solutions,” according to RMI Associate Kieran Coleman. “Clearly this is a very early stage nascent sector that has huge potential to meet broader need.”

10. Business models are being continuously innovated

While the New York Times article makes it sound as though SolarCity and other companies’ business models have inherent flaws and risks, we believe that business models are continuously changing. Whether it is a non-profit organization like Clean Energy for Us, a for-profit solar company such as PosiGen, or a utility such as Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, there is continuous innovation to make solar more affordable, accessible, and profitable. Even large, conservative investor-owned utilities are adding more solar (e.g., Southern Company with its three military bases of over 90 MW under construction and several large utility scale solar farms publicly announced by Mississippi Power) forging new solar business models in highly regulated markets. “And regulators like the New York Public Utilities Commission play an equally important role in opening the field in business model innovation in current and emerging sectors,” adds Coleman.

A Bright Future  (

So while states like Hawaii and Nevada end net metering, and solar companies’ stock values fall with the market like oil and gas or banking stocks, we feel the solar industry does not face a cloudy future. Far from it.

Policies, regulations, and the stock market can’t stop the continued growth of this clean, affordable, reliable technology; the future of solar PV is bright. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:06:42 pm
Solar power is on a roll, literally and figuratively  (


The Guardian has a series on innovators, and has picked up the story of John Hingley and Renovagen that Derek covered a few years ago on TreeHugger. Now it is a reality: John Hingley of Renovagen has designed a solar panel that is flexible enough to roll up. It's described in the Guardian:

The system uses copper indium gallium selenide solar cells (CIGS) that are bonded with a tensile fabric. The strength of the combined material can cope with being rolled in and out, said Hingley, and it can be in full operation a few minutes after it is deployed  :o  (
. “It is like a microgrid in a box. It has all of the components integrated into it that you need to run a 24 hour microgrid.”
Title: World’s First Solar Airport No Longer Pays Electricity Bills
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:10:38 pm

World’s First Solar Airport No Longer Pays Electricity Bills  (

Lorraine Chow | March 16, 2016 8:32 am
Cochin International Airport, the world’s first 100 percent solar airport, is generating so much power from its massive solar array that the airport no longer pays for electricity.

“We wanted to be independent of the electricity utility grid,” Jose Thomas, the airport’s general manager, told the CNNMoney.

Cochin started its solar journey three years ago when it installed solar panels on the roof of its arrivals terminal.


It eventually blossomed into a 12 megawatt solar project after the airport commissioned German multinational engineering and electronics company Bosch to build the impressive $9.5 million plant that features 46,000 panels laid out across 45 acres of unused land near the airport’s international cargo terminal.

Cochin International Airport is the world’s first fully solar powered airport in the world. Located in the state of Kerala, the Cochin is the fourth largest airport in India in terms of international passenger movement and seventh largest in terms of domestic passenger movement. Photo credit: Cochin Airport

The plant switched on Aug. 18, cementing Cochin’s status as the world’s first fully solar powered airport and the only power-neutral airport on the planet.

Not only does the airport expect to have its return on investment in less than six years  :o  ;D, the solar plant will avoid more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from coal power over the next 25 years, CNNMoney reported.   (

Building upon its success as a “green-port,” Cochin is planning to double its solar power generation capacity. Photovoltaic panels will be laid over 3-kilometer long irrigation canal, new car park area and the unused land which houses the existing 12 megawatt array. The new project will meet the power needs of a new international terminal the airport is adding.


In another green initiative, the airport is making a foray into organic farming.

Cochin is setting up the farm on same plot of land where the solar plant sits, the Deccan Chronicle reported, noting that the water used to clean the solar panels will also be used to water the plants. (

Crops such as ash gourd, okra, cucumber, ridge gourd and snake gourd will be cultivated in the garden and will be sold commercially. (

“The products will be initially sold through outlets set at the airports, however, we plan to make available the branded products in markets too at a later stage. The vegetable products reaped today were sold to the airport staff itself,” a senior official said.

Thomas told CNNMoney that the panels generate on average slightly more than the roughly 48,000-50,000 kilowatts of power that the airport uses per day. The excess energy is sent to the state’s electricity grid.    ( (


Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI) is an international airport situated in the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. Located at Nedumbassery, about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Kochi, it is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala. For the financial year 2014-15, Cochin airport is the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic. (

Renewable energy= (                                ( Fuelers
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:11:38 pm



Vivint Solar closed a $200m term facility on 14 March to fund US residential solar projects.

The company said the finance is accessible in two parts, an initial shorter-term tranche of $75m priced at Libor plus 5.5%, and a second tranche of $125m that can be drawn over time to fund future growth.

The pricing for the second tranche, if taken, will increase to Libor plus 8.0% and the term will extend to four years on the entire $200m facility.

Vivint said the finance structure was “designed to provide immediate liquidity with the option to upsize and fund anticipated future growth beyond 2016”.   (

It added that the money is the first in a series of anticipated financing activities that were put on hold as a result of the now terminated SunEdison merger.

Vivint Solar executive vice president, head of capital markets Thomas Plagemann said: “This financing demonstrates Vivint Solar's continued ability to access capital markets for flexible capital.

“Now that we are free from the constraints of the terminated SunEdison merger agreement, we have demonstrated our ability to rapidly access the capital markets for flexible, term-debt financing to support our continued growth.”
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:17:49 pm

SolarCity Closes Deal on $150 Million Non-Recourse Financing Facility with Credit Suisse for Commercial Solar and Battery Storage    (

SAN MATEO, Calif., April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SolarCity Corporation (NASDAQ: SCTY) today announced it has closed a new $150 million non-recourse financing facility with Credit Suisse to support deployment of commercial solar energy systems—including battery storage systems—for businesses, schools and government organizations across the U.S. The facility will be secured by a portfolio of high quality, long-term commercial systems and contracts.

SolarCity commercial systems include ZS Peak, proprietary mounting hardware which can reduce project build time from multiple weeks to just a few days.

Battery storage projects are supported by DemandLogic, an intelligent battery storage system that enables businesses to further reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand and associated utility demand charges.

"Our asset portfolio enables us to continually bring in new capital from top tier institutional and corporate investors," said Jeff Munson, Director, Structured Finance, of SolarCity. "Additionally, our proprietary, in-house technology provides us competitive advantages that have led us to become one of the top commercial solar providers in the U.S."

Credit Suisse acted as sole structuring agent for the transaction. It is the latest in a series of partnerships between SolarCity and Credit Suisse -- the financial services leader that has previously acted as structuring agent and bookrunner for SolarCity's industry-first securitization transactions.

About SolarCity

SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills.  ;D

SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates.

The company makes solar energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. Visit the company online at and follow the company on Facebook & Twitter.

This release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding the success of our financing strategy, future savings and fund size and timing. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved, if at all. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking statements. You should read the section entitled "Risk Factors" in SolarCity's annual report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and identifies certain of these and additional risks and uncertainties. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:18:39 pm

Rooftop Solar Booms in Japan as Market Moves Beyond Rich Nations

Chisaki Watanabe March 22, 2016
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:22:57 pm

Agelbert NOTE:
To be filed under: "Does a wild bear go poop in the woods?". 

Is Rooftop Solar Cheaper Than Buying Electricity From the Grid?

Joshua D. Rhodes, The Conversation | March 31, 2016 12:33 pm

Excellent article with revealing graphics:  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:26:48 pm
First PV module manufacturing plant opened in Ghana 

05. April 2016 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By: Sam Pothecary

Strategic Power Solutions (SPS) developed the plant, which will be capable of producing 30MW of modules a year that will be aimed at the emerging West African market.

  (  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 07:28:12 pm
First PV module manufacturing plant opened in Ghana

How much of the PV is manufactured in Ghana? My guess it zero. Imported PV cells, imported glass, imported aluminum frame material. My guess this is solely an assembly job.

MY guess is that you do not know what you are talking about. MY guess is that you ASS-U-ME that Africans are too "backward" to manufacture solar panels.  (

And actually, after having other hair splitting discussions with you which highlight your typical descent into irrelevant baloney  (, I am kidding about GUESSING about where you are at.

IOW, your BIGOTRY and PREJUDICES outweigh any objectivity you may claim to have on this issue.  (  (  (

Now if you wish to redeem yourself in the eyes of the readers (and possibly whip my ass in this argument  (, you merely need to go the Government of Ghana and ask for details on the level of manufacturing done in the PV factory as opposed to assembly of pre-shipped components from "technologically advanced" countries. 

I'm sure the government of Ghana will be happy to explain to you the difference between a PV manufacturing plant and a site dedicated to the assembly of pre-shipped components. Of course, you may not wish to "lower yourself" to talk to those "backward" folks in Ghana.

But that is not my problem; that's your problem.    (  I will wait with bated breath for your full report on those "backward" Ghanans and their PV manufacturing "pre-shipped components" assembly plant.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 10, 2016, 04:47:22 pm
Africa Leap Frogs to Solar  (

( News 
04/06/2016 03:34 PM    

For years, small solar companies have been bringing tiny solar systems to Africa, India and other areas where people still have no electricity, and some see 2016 as the year when this really takes off.  (

Solar panels in the Karoo semi-desert near Hanover, Northern Cape, South Africa

"The big story in 2016 is( a solar leapfrog.   What you have seen for the past 2-3 years is a lot of innovative companies proving that there is a big market.

They have received funding and product offerings are getting better.   

In 2016 you'll see solar taking off on a mass-market scale," vier Helgesen, CEO of Off Grid Electric, told Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).   

Everyone in Africa has an energy problem, he says. Even where there is a grid, it doesn't work well or electricity is very expensive.  :(

Small solar could be as much of a game-changer as mobile phones, Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of oil company  :o  Total, told BNEF. Total is one of Off Grid's investors.   ;D


Last year, around 7.5 million tiny solar systems were sold in Africa, an incredible increase from the 40,000 sold in 2009. With fresh investment pledges from the US and other countries, 14 African countries joined Energy Africa to bring solar to the 620 million people who still lack access to electricity.


Besides Off-Grid Electric, many small solar companies are active such as SolarAid, BBOXX, and GravityLight.

Rural microgrids are becoming more viable (no long transmission line infrastructure necessary).

Africa's Development Bank aims to mobilize $55 billion to eliminate Africa's energy deficit by 2025.

Only 1% of homesteads in Sub-Sahara region were using solar for lighting in 2009. Those statistics now stand at 5%, thanks to improved solar power technologies that made it cheaper. (

Aerial view of the 50MW Droogfontein solar power farm in South Africa

Turning Off-Grid Solar Into an Asset Class  (

No power lines, no problem. For a rental charge of as little as $1.40 per week, villagers on the periphery of a dozen countries in East and Southern Africa have begun powering their homes and businesses with solar panels provided by Azuri Technologies. (

The funding mechanism that's worked so well in the US to mainstream solar is being used to accelerate growth in Africa.
PV Installation in Rwanda

In the US, SolarCity ( was the first to raise funds by securitizing its portfolio of solar leases. In just a few years, it raised $450 million by selling bonds backed by monthly payments customers make for rooftop solar systems.

"We think it's an interesting model that can be replicated in Africa,"  ( David ten Kroode at Oikocredit, told Bloomberg.

Working with merchant bank Persistent Energy and BBOXX, they are offering bonds in Kenya and Rwanda, with plans to expand to Pakistan and Nigeria next.

The first bond raised $500,000 from institutional investors by bundling 2500 solar contracts in rural Kenya. It pays 21%  :o  ( interest and matures in 2.5 years.

They plan to issue bonds every three months, raising $16 million this year, and up to $2 billion within five years.

Last year, Africa launched a "Solar Academy," where people across the continent can develop professional skills to enter the industry.




Agelbert NOTE: By that metric, one I totally agree with, EVERY human with a lot of money that embraces profit over planet IS A FAILURE in life (never mind what happens after they die (


Read our article, Really Small Solar Gaining Traction Around the World.


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 12, 2016, 08:10:58 pm
Navy plans 227-acre solar facility at Earle  (

04/11/2016 03:25 PM       
The U.S. Navy intends to build a 32.8-megawatt solar facility at Naval Weapons Station Earle spanning 227 mostly wooded acres in Colts Neck and Tinton Falls, an ambitious energy plan that has caught environmentalists and some local officials off guard.

The size and output of the facility, which are only estimates at this point, dwarf the 21-megawatt solar array recently approved for a 90-acre site at the Six Flags theme park in Jackson. That project ran into a buzz saw of protests from environmental groups opposed to the clear-cutting of nearly 15,000 trees on the property.    (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 22, 2016, 11:59:16 pm
Solar Crosses Threshold, Installed on One Million Homes in US    ( News

In February, the US passed a wonderful threshold as the millionth home was outfitted with a solar system.

"It took us 40 years to get to 1 million installations, and it will take us only two years to get to 2 million   ( . This is a time to mark when the solar industry started to accelerate at warp speed," Dan Whitten at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), told Greentech Media.
Over 300,000 Americans will decide to install solar this year, predicts EnergySage.

Consider that in 2006, only about 30,000 homes had solar, and because of much lower prices, today's systems tend to be much larger, producing more electricity.

The US has 27 gigawatts (GW) of solar installed, an amazing increase from just 2 GW in 2010, and best of all, it has reached grid parity in 20 states. This year, solar is expected to grow an astounding 119%.

"When we look at what defines the next 1 million installs, it will be a much more geographically diverse landscape and a growing number of states seeing solar come on-line purely based on how cost-competitive it is," says Cory Honeyman of GTM Research.

Because so much large solar comes online this year, it will take a breath in 2017:

All this activity (plus large-scale solar) has resulted in expansion of the US solar manufacturing base. The US ranks #5 in the world for attracting solar manufacturers, according to a GTM Research report, Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index 2015. As of November 2015, 209,000 people are employed by the US solar industry.

Farmers Benefit From Solar

Besides using solar for their own energy, which about 40,000 farms do, farmers are benefiting from leasing some of their land for solar arrays as an additional revenue source. The reliable revenue helps shield them from volatile prices and weather events. For many, it's the difference between being able to keep the farm in the family or having to sell it.

In North Carolina, for example, farmers can earn $300-$700 an acre, according to the NC Sustainable Energy Association, more than triple the average lease for crop and pasture land ($27-$102 an acre), according to the USDA.

Almost 1 GW of solar has been installed on North Carolina farms since 2013, on 7,000 acres, says NC Sustainable Energy Association.

For solar developers, farms offer flat, treeless land that has easy access to transmission lines.

In New York, solar companies have been blanketing farms with mailings offering leases for as much as $2000 an acre per year for 20 years, reports Associated Press. Farmers are banding together to make sure leases protect their interests. Indeed, the boom took people by surprise, and some towns have passed moratoriums to give them some time to consider the impacts.

Agelbert Note: Solar 20 year leases beat polluting fracking leases ANY DAY!
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 27, 2016, 03:10:32 pm
10 States  (  Blocking the Power of the Sun

Center for Biological Diversity | April 27, 2016 11:56 am

Some of the sunniest states in the country are actively blocking rooftop-solar development through overtly lacking and destructive policy landscapes, according to a Center for Biological Diversity report released Tuesday.
“There’s room for improvement in solar policies across all 50 states, but it’s especially shameful to see the sunniest states fail to lead the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.” Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy

The 10 states highlighted in Throwing Shade: 10 Sunny States Blocking Distributed Solar Development—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin—account for more than 35 percent of the total rooftop-solar technical potential in the contiguous U.S., but less than 3 percent of total installed capacity.

“Thanks to weak and nonexistent policies, the distributed-solar markets in these states have never been given a chance to shine,” Greer Ryan, sustainability research associate with the Center for Biological Diversity and author of the report, said. “There’s room for improvement in solar policies across all 50 states, but it’s especially shameful to see the sunniest states fail to lead the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”


The report assigned a policy grade to all 50 states based on the presence and strength of key policies that have aided solar expansion in the country’s leading solar markets, as well as policy and regulatory barriers that are used to hinder the distributed-solar industries. These grades, along with the technical potential for distributed-solar expansion in each state (based on the latest findings from National Renewable Energy Laboratory), determined which states were the country’s worst offenders.

This analysis follows recent high-profile net-metering policy fights in Nevada and California, two leading solar states. More than half of all states with net-metering programs in place saw efforts to weaken or eliminate these programs in 2015, despite the fact that it was the hottest year on record.

“These solar-policy fights are becoming more common at a time when we should be expanding rooftop solar as quickly as possible,” said Ryan. “By blocking solar expansion, states threaten the swift transition to a just and fully renewable energy system that’s needed to stave off the worst impacts of climate change and protect the health of communities, wildlife and the planet.”

The Center for Biological Diversity advocates for a swift transition to a fully renewable, just and wildlife-friendly energy system through ending all new fossil fuel development on public lands and waters and maximizing distributed-solar potential.

Agelbert NOTE:
The profit over planet welfare queen habits of the fossil fuel industry bought and paid fors in government die hard.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 29, 2016, 06:41:03 pm
04/28/2016 01:47 PM     

International Solar Alliance to Mobilize $1 Trillion  :o  ;D  (  ( News

During last week's historic signing of the Paris Climate Agreement at the United Nations, the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance also took place.
120 countries signed onto the Alliance when it launched at the Paris Climate Summit. Led by India and France, the goal is to mobilize $1 trillion to deploy 1 terawatt of solar by 2030.

 The declaration they signed says, "United by our objective to significantly augment solar power generation in our countries, we intend making joint efforts through innovative policies, projects, programmes, capacity building measures and financial instruments to mobilize more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments that are needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy." 

25 countries attended the first meeting last week, including the US, France, India, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Namibia, Uganda, Seychelles Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Mali, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

They are starting with two programs: Affordable finance at scale; and Scaling solar applications for agricultural use. 

Attendees agreed on the goals of "accelerating massive deployment of solar energy at various scales"; aggregating demand for solar projects to scale them up and lower costs; cooperating on reducing financing costs and on R&D;  and improving integration of solar into national energy systems.

As an initial step, countries will begin analyzing and sharing the needs and obstacles to deployment at scale. 

A parallel effort by the private sector, The Terrawatt Initiative, will help the International Solar Alliance Alliance mobilize financial and corporate support, and to establish "proper regulatory conditions for massive deployment of competitive solar."

"Solar technology is evolving, costs are coming down and grid connectivity is improving. The dream of universal access to clean energy is becoming more real. This will be the foundation of the new economy of the new century,"
says India Prime Minister Modi.  ( (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on April 29, 2016, 07:04:51 pm
04/28/2016 12:41 PM     

SolSmart Recognizes Solar Cities  (, While Utilities Spend $400 million Against Solar Policies   ( News

The Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative has been a boon for US solar, and a new program will take it further.

will recognize cities and counties that lead on solar, and offer free technical assistance to help more come on board. SolSmart Advisors' technical staff will help 40 communities.

Over three years, SolSmart will recognize more than 300 communities that make it easy to add solar to homes and businesses by cutting red tape and other "soft costs." Among the many benefits will be the ability to attract solar companies and the many jobs they create.


With costs down significantly  ( for solar manufacturing, soft costs like marketing, permits, inspections and zoning at the local level are the most expensive part of solar installation - as high as 57% of the total price for a solar system.  :(

Communities that apply for SolSmart but don't qualify for designation will be referred to SolSmart Advisors for technical assistance.

Best and Worst States for Solar

10 states account for 87% of the solar installed in the US because of progressive policies like Renewable Portfolio Standards, net-metering, creative financing options and making it easy to connect solar systems to the grid. 

They are, in this order: California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Texas and New Jersey.  Arizona and Nevada utilities, however, won monthly fees and cuts to net metering that will likely severely reduce this growth. 

Then there are the laggards: 10 states with the least amount of solar installed even though they have lots of sun. They get an "F" for the lack of any facilitating policies and for putting barriers in the way: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


These states have 35% of US rooftop solar potential, but have just 6% of US rooftop capacity, says the Center for Biological Diversity in the report, Throwing Shade: 10 Sunny States Blocking Distributed Solar Development.

Texas, which ranks #2 for rooftop solar potential is the worst, followed by Florida, which ranks #3. Combined, they could host 16% of US rooftop solar, but only have 2.7%.

Georgia and Texas are on both lists because they have some large-scale solar, but fail on small, rooftop solar.

Read our article,  Significant State Policies for Distributed Solar Energy.  (

Why?  ???

As we have written about all too frequently, utilities and corporate interests [Koch Bros, ALEC] have been - and are - fighting to repeal or weaken policies, waging a war on rooftop solar. Because of this, 27 states are considering adding fees and eliminating net metering.

Over the past five years, the 25 largest utilities  ( have spent over $400 million on federal lobbying (blocking the Clean Power Plan, for example) and on national and state elections  (, according to Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRC).

Southern Company has spent the most at $65 million, followed by Duke Energy ($36 million), American Electric Power, Exelon and NextEra Energy.

In 2014, Barclays
  downgraded the entire electric utility sector because of its stance  toward solar.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 03, 2016, 03:10:45 pm
The New York Times :o  ;D

Solar Energy Will Thrive

David Sandalow, the inaugural fellow at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy, is a former under secretary of energy and assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Updated May 3, 2016, 11:57 AM

Solar power is booming. Globally and in the United States, installations grew at least 28 percent last year.
The U.S. solar industry now employs more than 200,000 workers – roughly three times as many as the coal mining industry.

Does the bankruptcy of SunEdison signal trouble for the solar industry?  ???  In almost all respects, the answer is no. SunEdison’s troubles were mainly the result of rapid growth and excessive debt. Many solar companies with better managed growth and modest leverage will prosper in the years ahead.


Solar module costs have plummeted. Integrating it into the grid is easier. And governments recognize its social benefits.

The growth of solar energy will be driven by three factors. First and most important, costs are falling sharply. Solar module costs have fallen roughly 80 percent since 2007 and are projected to keep falling. Already, solar power is cheaper than the competition in many sunny places. Solar power’s competitive strength will continue to grow in the years ahead.

Second, governments around the world strongly support solar power due its many social benefits. Solar power produces neither local air pollutants nor heat-trapping gases. In many places it is ideally suited for extending electricity to those who now lack it. The Chinese and Indian governments, along with many others, have ambitious targets for solar deployment. The U.S. government just extended an important tax credit for solar power for five years.

Third, integrating solar and wind power into electric grids is proving easier than many thought. Variable renewable power presents real challenges for grid operators, but those are being managed even as solar and wind power exceeds 50 percent of the energy fed into electric grids in Texas, Colorado and elsewhere. The solutions include technologies that help grid operators forecast solar and wind input, reduce electricity demand when needed and store excess energy.

In one respect, however, the SunEdison bankruptcy is a harbinger of challenges ahead. The solar industry, still young, is struggling to access low-cost capital in large volume. That was one reason for SunEdison’s relentless growth.

Because the solar industry has high capital expenses and low operating expenses, low-cost capital will be especially important to its long-term success. Progress has been made in recent years, thanks to the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program (which helped pave the way for low cost debt capital for utility-scale solar projects in the United States), the early use of securitization and other tools.

But the SunEdison bankruptcy in part reflects the challenges the solar industry is facing as it grows to the scale of other, older energy industries and seeks access to the low cost capital essential to its success. Fortunes will be made (and lost) working on that problem in the years ahead.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 06, 2016, 11:33:14 pm
Energy Department Announces $25 Million to Accelerate Integration of Solar Energy into Nation’s Electrical Grid

May 2, 2016 - 5:19pm

News Media Contact •202-586-4940 •

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the Energy Department’s ongoing efforts to modernize the nation’s grid through the Grid Modernization Initiative, the Energy Department today announced $25 million in available funding through an effort called Enabling Extreme Real-Time Grid Integration of Solar Energy (ENERGISE) to help software developers, solar companies, and utilities accelerate the integration of solar energy into the grid.

Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased 23-fold—from 1.2 gigawatts in 2008 to an estimated 27.4 gigawatts in 2015, with one million systems now in operation. One of the key challenges to further solar deployment is the ability to integrate distributed generation sources like rooftop solar panels into the grid while balancing that generation with traditional utility generation to keep reliable and cost-effective power flowing to homes and businesses. Today’s funding opportunity announcement will help support companies working to meet that challenge. 

ENERGISE specifically seeks to develop software and hardware platforms for utility distribution system planning and operations that integrate sensing, communication, and data analytics. These hardware and software solutions will help utilities manage solar and other distributed energy resources on the grid and will be data-driven, easily scaled-up from prototypes, and capable of real-time monitoring and control.

“Our ongoing grid modernization work will help accelerate the widespread adoption of the clean energy resources that will define our low-carbon future. This funding will help that mission by supporting industry partners working to integrate, store, and deploy solar energy throughout our electric grid,” said Lynn Orr, Energy Department Under Secretary for Science and Energy. “In doing so, we hope to drive down costs and encourage even more American homeowners and businesses to install solar systems.”

Through industry and utility partnerships, the expected 10-15 solutions developed with this new funding will be field-tested by utilities to demonstrate their performance and value in real-world operating environments. These live demonstrations and research findings will provide valuable new tools for utilities and grid operators across the nation.

This funding program builds upon current and past research in systems integration technologies that support the widespread deployment of solar energy while maintaining the reliability of the electricity grid. The full funding opportunity announcement, including application requirements, can be found on

The SunShot Initiative, which is managed by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), will oversee the projects associated with this funding opportunity. SunShot is a collaborative national effort launched in 2011 that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy cost competitive – without subsidies – with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. The Grid Modernization Initiative is a comprehensive effort involving DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and EERE to help shape the future of our nation’s grid and solve the challenges of integrating conventional and renewable sources with energy storage while ensuring that the grid is resilient and secure to withstand growing cybersecurity and climate challenges.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 18, 2016, 09:38:51 pm
I Was Wrong About the Limits of Solar. PV Is Becoming Dirt Cheap  ;D

Harvard’s David Keith revisits his assumptions about solar costs: “Facts have changed.”

by David Keith
 April 28, 2016

Over the last few years, solar PV has gotten cheap. Cheap enough to start impacting some commodity energy markets today. Cheap enough that with continued progress, but no breakthroughs, it might alter the global outlook for energy supply within a decade.

I have long been skeptical of solar hype. In 2008 we did an expert judgment exercise suggesting only even odds of getting to module prices of $0.30 per watt in 2030. In 2011 we did some analysis showing how the power-law learning curve for modules appeared to be flattening. That analysis was done at the end of a decade that saw big increases in installed capacity, with little corresponding change in module prices.

I worried that deployment incentives (the global total amounting to many hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade) would simply lock in the current technologies and do little to drive the breakthroughs that were needed to get solar cheap enough to compete for commodity power.

I was wrong.

Current costs

Facts have changed. Just a few years ago, the cost for industrial systems was twice what it is today. A host of little innovations have driven costs down. Module prices are now around $0.50 per watt. The unsubsidized electricity cost from industrial-scale solar PV in the most favorable locations is now well below $40 per megawatt-hour and could very easily be below $20 per megawatt-hour by 2020. Compared to other new sources of supply, this would be the cheapest electricity on the planet. Let’s look at how that cost is calculated.

The current state of play is captured in three facts:

• The capital cost of industrial (>50 megawatt) solar PV installations with north-south axis trackers is now about $1,500 per kilowatt, and contracts for some industrial systems without trackers are getting down to $1,000 per kilowatt.

• Capacity factors of industrial systems with trackers are reaching just over 30 percent at the best sites in the U.S.

• Real-world efficiency for commercial PV systems now exceeds 20 percent.

Let’s now proceed on the assumption that these facts are correct. What does this mean for electricity supply cost?  ???

Assume that an average capital change factor (CCF) is 6 percent, a low but not unfeasible value, as the risk premium for these facilities has decreased dramatically. (CCF is the ratio of the total annualized cost of capital, spread across debt and equity, divided by capital cost.) At $1,500 per kilowatt, a 6 percent per year CCF, and 30 percent capacity factor, electricity cost is $34 per megawatt-hour.

1500 × 0.06/(8760 × 0.3) = 34

Note that this low cost of capital would only make sense for a project that was selling into a low-risk market.

Now suppose costs for big systems (>100 megawatts) get to $1,000 per kilowatt by 2020, and you install them in the world’s best locations using a north-south oriented single-axis tracker to a capacity factor of 34 percent. These trackers used to add a lot of capex, but disciplined manufacturing and scale has driven cost down to about $100 per kilowatt. (Here is info on the Sunpower C1 tracker.)

Under these assumptions, power cost is $20 per megawatt-hour -- or $0.02 per kilowatt-hour.

1000 × 0.06/(8760 × 0.34) = $20 per megawatt-hour (or same cost at $750 per kilowatt and 26 percent CF).

That’s $5.5 per gigajoule for electricity. ($20 per megawatt-hour and 3.6 gigajoules per megawatt-hour = $5.5 per gigajoule.)

Even $40 per megawatt-hour is very cheap power. The 2013 median price of sales to industrial customers in the U.S. was about $60.

That’s the good news. But cheap solar does not deal with the problem of solar power’s intermittency. It does not mean rooftop solar in New England makes sense. It does not magically decarbonize the world. In the long run, we need low-carbon dispatchable power in the world’s demand centers. This will require some combination of gas for peaking, storage, and long-distance transmission. Lots of the world’s demand is in places where insolation is at least 40 percent less than in the best locations, which are parts of Mexico, Southern California, the Mid-East and Australia.

But it does mean that one can now build systems in the world’s sunny locations and get very cheap power.


What does this mean? (

Implication #1: In sunny places, solar will reshape commodity power markets.


• Power prices will have a midday low. This is already happening in California, where it’s called the “duck curve.” It will soon be the norm in other high-sun demand centers, and the changing power price structure will shake utilities and industrial customers.

• Wind suddenly looks less interesting. The capacity factors, global build rate, and costs for wind power have been nearly flat for five years.

• Nuclear and CCS will have a harder time competing. For example, there are nuclear builds in the Middle East (e.g., UAE building Korean reactors), but with cheap solar it will be hard to compete against solar with gas backup.

• Gas for load following and low-capex peaking looks ever more important.

Implication #2: There will be opportunities to bring electrical demand to areas where power is cheap.

One option is look for products that have very high energy costs and are easily transportable, and build solar farms and production together in high-insolation sites.

Four options are aluminum, ammonia, desalination, and transportation fuels. The first two are each about 1 percent of global primary energy demand. Niches, yes, but not small. Desalination is growing fast and it’s much cheaper to store water than electricity.

If (a) most of the energy demand is from processes that can handle a diurnal cycle, and if (b) the amortized capex is low compared to the energy cost, then one can deal with variability by simply cycling the production facility on and off.

For transportation fuels, if cheap solar means hydrogen prices under $10 per gigajoule in sunny places, then carbon-neutral synthetic fuels look promising. It takes about 2 t-CO2 and 40 gigajoules of H2 to make 1,000 liters of gasoline using a process like Exxon Methanol-to-Gasoline. If we can get CO2 from the air at $125 t-CO2 then the idea of making fuels at prices around $1 per liter looks plausible over the next few decades.

The upshot

Cheap solar is limited by intermittency and by the fact that many of the locations with the highest energy consumption don’t have good solar resources (e.g, northeastern U.S., northern Europe, coastal China).

In the near term, a surprising amount of intermittency can be managed cost-effectively with gas turbine backup, and this works even as electricity sector carbon emission are pushed down to a third of today’s values. Looking further ahead, long-distance electric transmission can move solar power from good sites to demand centers and can reduce the impact of intermittency by averaging supply and demand across larger areas.

Looking even further ahead, if we want a stable climate, humanity must bring net carbon emissions to zero. And, if we hope for a prosperous world with ample energy that can raise standards of living for the poor, then energy demand will more than double, growing to beyond 30 terawatts.

Climate is not the only problem: energy systems have other social and environmental costs, and the land footprint of energy is a good proxy for environmental impacts on water, landscapes, and the natural world. My view is that only two forms of energy -- solar and nuclear power -- can plausibly supply tens of terawatts without a huge environmental impact. But that’s a topic for future posts. For now, let’s celebrate the last decade’s progress toward cheap solar.

David Keith is a Gordon McKay professor of applied physics and professor of public policy at Harvard. This piece was originally published at his Harvard blog and was reprinted with permission.

To learn and debate about these kinds of energy system topics, sign up for Harvard's free edX course launching on June 8th, Energy Within Environmental Constraints. You can also follow the course on Twitter and Facebook, where we'll announce more blog posts like this one in the weeks leading up to the course. (

Agelbert NOTE: Good for Mr. Keith that he admitted he was wrong abut solar. He is still wrong about wind power, given computer load balancing technology and forever energy storage systems coming online like ARES.

In April, the Bureau of Land Management approved an ARES—that’s Advanced Rail Energy Storage—project, conceived by a Santa Barbara-based energy startup called, well, ARES. By 2019, ARES operations head Francesca Cava says, the facility will occupy 106 acres in the excellently-named town of Pahrump, Nevada....The Nevada project has a power capacity of 50 megawatts and can produce 12.5 megawatt-hours of energy. That’s relatively large, especially compared to a lot of battery storage projects.

The above system can be scaled up to 65 GW! So, when the wind is blowing hard and the sun is shining, ALL that energy can be saved WITHOUT ANY battery cycle limitation. The only caveat is that, unlike battery and gas peaking power, the response time is a rather slow 5 seconds.

Within a few years and some new transmission lines strung across this country, Mr. Keith will need to revise his erroneous assumptions about wind too. (

To his credit, he has already admitted that nuclear is way too expensive. It's nothing but a job security welfare queen operation for the nuke pukes, as well as NOT being carbon neutral, when all the energy costs and pollution costs are figured. 

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 19, 2016, 04:02:42 pm
SolarCity Corp: A Solid Long-Term Bet to Squeeze the Shorts (SCTY)

The technicals agree with the strong fundamental case for SCTY

By Dan Burrows, InvestorPlace Feature Writer  |  May 19, 2016, 2:01 pm EDT
SolarCity Corp (SCTY) is getting crushed this year with an ugly earnings report and guidance cut only making matters worse recently, but at least one analyst says the beat down has set SCTY up for a short squeeze.

SolarCity Corp: A Solid Long-Term Bet to Squeeze the Shorts (SCTY) Depending on the time frame you choose, solar stocks have been a miserable place to be for the past year some time. Using the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) as a proxy, the sector is down 32% for the year-to-date and by more than half over the last 52 weeks.

SCTY stock sure isn’t helping. It’s guilty of weighing heavily on results with some very wide underperformance. SCTY stock has lost 60% this year so far and nearly 68% over the last 52 weeks. Many multi-year time frames are likewise icky.

But the bottom — on a near-term basis — might have been found. (

SCTY crumbled after it reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss a little more than a week ago. Management also took a scythe to its outlook.

Demand for Solar City’s products and services was well understood to be slowing in the U.S. Low prices for oil and natural gas are not its friends. But the damage being done by macroeconomic forces turned out to be even worse than feared.   

And then a funny thing happened. After dipping below $16 a share in intraday trading early this month, SCTY began a sneaky good run. Shares are up almost 11% since the post-earnings collapse and now a Raymond James analyst says they’re poised for even bigger gains.

A Short Squeeze  in SCTY Stock? ???

Analyst Pavel Molchanov, who maintains a “strong buy” rating on the stock, is “convinced that the stock is oversold and ripe for a bounce/short squeeze.” From his note to clients, via Barron’s, Molchanov identifies three “myths” that are pushing SCTY stock down to unreasonable levels:

•Myth No. 1 – PV Demand Is Slowing: “One version of the argument claims the market is saturated, even though the percentage of U.S. households with rooftop PV is merely 1%…we see no evidence of saturation. The second argument is that utilities are successfully blocking rooftop PV, forcing installers to spend even more on customer acquisition. There is some truth here, since utilities are routinely fighting rearguard actions on net metering – but they have lost the bulk of these fights.”

•Myth No. 2
– Financing Is a Struggle: “SolarCity has had no problem raising all the project-level capital it needs. Despite a high-yield landscape that has clearly seen better days, SolarCity successfully priced two securitizations year-to-date. Although the yields are higher than a year earlier, reflecting high-yield softness, the deals got done.”

•Myth No. 3 – Unrealistic Discount Rate: “The last securitization was done at 6.25%, and the Hancock deal at 8%. Looking at these two data points, you could conclude that 6% is too low.”

SCTY CHART (at article link)
Click to Enlarge On a technical basis, SCTY is indeed deeply oversold. Just look at the RSI and MACD in the accompanying chart.

Molchanov makes a strong bull case on a fundamental basis and has some technicals on his side. By these measures, SCTY stock looks good as a trade or a long-term investment.  (

Unfortunately, the only certainty in between the two is more excessive volatility.  :P

As of this writing, Dan Burrows did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 23, 2016, 11:39:06 pm
( ( ( ( ( ( ( 

Google’s Project Sunroof Expands to 42 States and Millions More Rooftops

“First and foremost, this is about how Google can catalyze the rooftop solar market.”

by Julia Pyper 
 May 20, 2016

With the recent expansion of Project Sunroof, tens of millions of potential solar customers from across the U.S. can now Google their own rooftops to find out if their home is suitable for solar panels.

Google launched Project Sunroof last August in three cities -- San Francisco, Fresno and Boston. In January, the program expanded to 20 U.S. metropolitan markets in the most active solar states in the U.S., including California, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, Colorado and North Carolina.

Last month, Project Sunroof hit a new milestone by expanding to 42 states, with the ability to analyze roughly 43 million rooftops. According to Google, “thousands” of customers are visiting the Project Sunroof website each month, and the company is continuously working to expand its reach.

Project Sunroof is currently not available in Texas, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Idaho, South Dakota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alaska and the District of Columbia. However, Google plans to reach all 50 states in the coming months.

“Google is in the business of providing universal access to information,” said Nicole Lombardo, head of business development and partnerships at Project Sunroof, in an interview. “So being able to take the imagery that we have and find new use cases for it that can help, in this case catalyze the renewable energy transition here in the U.S. within our core.”

As a company, Google is also a large user of renewables and wants to “help others outside of the company choose cleaner power options,” she said.

Project Sunroof works by using high-resolution aerial imagery from Google Earth to help calculate a roof’s solar energy potential. Potential customers simply need to enter their address, and in roughly one second the program analyzes factors such as shade, roof orientation and local weather patterns to calculate how many hours of sunlight hit that roof in a typical year. All of this information is combined to create an estimate for how much the household could potentially save by going solar over the term of a 20-year lease.

Users can fine-tune the estimate by entering their electricity bill information. They can also view savings estimates for different financing options, including a loan and direct purchase. Potential customers can then click to see solar providers in their area.

Project Sunroof currently hosts a mix of solar companies, including major players like SunPower, local installers like Verengo Solar and new players like Pick My Solar. Interested customers can choose to share their contact information with selected providers on the Sunroof platform or contact them directly.

For customers, this amounts to a quick and easy way to learn more about solar and get an initial quote. For companies, Project Sunroof serves as a lead generator. But rather than receive a list of names, installers receive a list of customers that are actively looking at going solar and whose rooftops have already been prescreened.

“First and foremost, this is about how Google can catalyze the rooftop solar market,” said Lombardo, speaking at GTM's Solar Summit. “That was some of the first feedback we got from developers: volume, volume, volume -- we need more qualified homeowners.”

“The second piece of feedback was [the question of whether Google can] help us expedite the process of qualifying someone,” she added. “That’s where some of the new imagery that we have and being able to calculate whether or not they have enough roof space helps simplify a couple of steps.”

This service isn't free for solar companies. Providers have to pay to join the platform, and they have to bid to receive referrals. It’s up to users to actually send their information over to a provider, and the company pays only when Google shares its information.

Max Aram, founder and CEO at Pick My Solar, which operates a marketplace of rooftop solar installers, said he finds Project Sunroof to be valuable in two ways: “One is that when Google jumps into an industry it’s a validation for that whole industry,” he said. “The other thing is that the quality is good and the model is interesting. They’re not trying to buy and aggregate leads originated by other companies; they’re originating their own deals and controlling the search. So obviously, it’s going to be much easier for Google to provide these leads.”

As awareness around solar increases, Google could eventually eliminate the myriad of lead generation companies currently out on the market, said Aram. Google provides a key top-of-the-funnel service, because Google search is virtually universal. Once the leads are generated, Aram said he sees marketplace companies like Pick My Solar taking control of the sales process for a large segment of the market, similar to Kayak or Expedia for travel. Solar companies would then manage the installation.

A central challenge for Google is to continue to expand the pool of customers. Today, customers are primarily learning about the Project Sunroof through news articles and by using Google to search for "Project Sunroof" in order to find it.

“Because we’re still in an early stage, the majority of the market does not know this this tool exists,” said Lombardo. “So one of things we’re hoping to work on is making it more widely known.”

Google is also working to make the service more widely available. Project Sunroof is now available in 42 states, but those states do not have full Google Earth coverage. At the same time, Google is continuously trying to improve its imagery. There is a team of 10 employees, mostly engineers, working to refine the technology and offer more granular information on things like the boundary of a roof and height points like a chimney.

“We’re never done,” said Lombardo. “We are constantly helping to train the neural network behind this.”

In addition, Google is working on how to make the tool more valuable to solar companies. Sunrun and SolarCity, for instance, are not Project Sunroof partners. These companies have already made major investments in their own customer acquisition and engagement programs, and already spend a lot money on online marketing with Google and other companies. Paying more to access Google’s solar leads, particularly at the pace and scale at which national installers operate, is an expensive and potentially redundant proposition.

Lombardo acknowledged that the Sunroof project is evolving. Eventually Google plans to go beyond residential solar to support community and commercial solar projects. The company could also offer new services to solar companies, like tracking utility rate changes -- it just depends on technology barriers and demand.

“We’re definitely at a point where we’re looking for partnerships and ideas,” she said. “We’re here to help.” (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 24, 2016, 03:37:10 pm
5 Floating Solar Farms From Around the World

Lorraine Chow | May 24, 2016 2:25 pm |

Floating solar projects are popping up in all corners of the world, from Japan, the UK, Brazil, the U.S. and Australia.

A rendering of the 13.7 megawatt plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Japan, which will be the largest floating solar plant in the world once construction is complete. Photo credit: Kyocera

There are a number of benefits to floating solar plants, aka “floatovoltaics.” Compared to mounted panels, floating systems are naturally cooled by the bodies of water they sit on, therefore boosting power production efficiency. Many floating PV developers point out that the floatovoltaics shade the water, which reduces water evaporation and slow algae blooms.

“The efficiencies are what motivated us to look at this,” Rajesh Nellore, the chief executive of Infratech Industries, told the New York Times.

The Sydney-based company erected a floating solar system in Jamestown, South Australia that claims to generate 57 percent more energy than rooftop panels.

The plant floats on a wastewater facility in Jamestown and is the first part of a larger system that will cover five basins, the company says on its website. The system consists of raft supporting standard photovoltaic panels, which are specially coated to prevent corrosion, due to their close proximity to water.

Another plus of floating arrays is how it makes use of unused space. In the UK, a 6.3 megawatt floating solar project consisting of 23,000 solar panels sits on Walton-on-Thames’ Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, an area that isn’t used for any other purpose, The Guardian reported. The £6 million (about $8 million) project will help power local water treatment plants that provide clean drinking water to London and south-east England’s 10 million residents.

At roughly the size of eight soccer stadiums, the Thames Water floating solar array will briefly hold the title of world’s largest floating solar facility before Japan’s mega-solar farm finishes in 2018, which will have a capacity of 13.7 megawatts. The New York Times noted that if everything goes as planned in the next two years, the 50,904 panels that will float atop the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Japan will generate an estimated 16,170 megawatt hours annually or enough electricity to power almost 5,000 homes.

The company behind Japan’s massive solar plant, Kyocera TCL Solar, started construction in January this year and explained why floatovoltaics are ideal.

“With the decrease in tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants in Japan due to the rapid implementation of solar power, Kyocera TCL Solar has been developing floating solar power plants since 2014, which utilize Japan’s abundant water surfaces of reservoirs for agricultural and flood-control purposes,” the company said in a press release.

Solar is also an increasingly attractive option for regions or countries that are going through drought. With Brazil’s historic drought drying up its hydroelectric plants, the South American country is turning to solar power to diversify its energy mix to stave off a potential power crisis.

As EcoWatch reported last year, below-average rainfall in recent years have depleted the country’s reservoirs, thus gutting the country’s formerly plentiful supply of hydropower, which supplies more than three-quarters of Brazil’s electricity, the U.S. Energy Information Administration states.

The nation announced last year it would commence pilot tests of a 350 megawatt floating solar farm located atop the Balbina hydroelectric plant in the Amazon.  (

“We are adding technological innovation, more transmission lines, diversifying our energy generation source, introducing solar energy in a more vigorous manner and combining solar energy with hydroelectric energy,” Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo Braga said last year.

According to PV Magazine, Brazil switched on the first 10 megawatt stage of its floating Ballina plant in March.

Another advantage of floating solar systems is that they can be hidden from public view, which is a factor that led the California nonprofit Sonoma Clean Power to pursue the technology, the New York Times reported.

“Sonoma County boasts some of the most beautiful rolling hills, and people don’t want to see them covered by solar panels,” Rebecca Simonson, a senior power analyst for the renewable energy developer, told the publication.

The Times reported that the company has signed purchasing agreements for floating solar arrays to be built on six treated water ponds in the county. The solar panels, Simonson said, would not be visible from the road. (

Agelbert COMMENT: They should put a giant floating solar farm in Lake Mead to drastically reduce evaporation due to the drought.
The light colored part of the terrain is where the water used to be in Lake Mead.     (

Over 10% of the water lost now is due to evaporation. The energy could be used to pump water below the dam back into the reservoir, adding to the water level and storing the captured solar energy for NON-intermittent 24/7 use.   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 24, 2016, 09:52:07 pm
PV 35% efficiency, predicted to not be developed before 2050, JUST ACHIEVED!  :o     (

New solar tech sets record for converting unfocused sunlight to electricity

Megan Treacy (@mtreacy)
Technology / Solar Technology
 May 18, 2016

Sometimes it seems like a new week, a new solar cell record achieved. It's an exciting time in solar technology, especially since there are so many different configurations and types of solar cells being developed and tested in the lab and they all have their different strengths and weaknesses.

Currently, the king is still the conventional crystalline silicon solar cells that are in the majority of solar panels you see out in the world, while organic thin-film solar cells are catching up and hold possibly greater potential thanks to their flexibility and low cost to manufacture.

Researchers are constantly looking for a more efficient solar cell -- one that can convert the most amount of sunlight into electricity so that the technology can not just compete with fossil fuels, but blow them out of the water. A team at the University of New South Wales has developed a solar cell that pushes us closer to that goal.

Often when a new solar cell efficiency record is made, it's with the use of focused or amplified sunlight, but the UNSW team has broken the record for normal, direct, unfocused sunlight by hitting a 34.5 percent conversion efficiency. Current solar panels on the market have an efficiency of, at best, around 20 percent.

The team used a 28 centimeter-square, four-junction mini-module embedded in a prism, which splits the incoming light into four bands to maximize the sunlight captured. The cell features a silicon cell on one face of the prism and a triple junction solar cell on the other. The junction has three layers that each extract energy from sunlight at its most efficient wavelength. A light passes through one layer, what wasn't used, passes to the next, and so on.

This team has previously set a record for concentrated photovoltaics using the same set up, but boosted the efficiency by concentrating the light with mirrors, hitting a 40 percent conversion rate. This time though, they boosted the efficiency of the solar cell itself and were able to set a record with just normal sunlight, no mirrors.

"What's remarkable is that this level of efficiency had not been expected for many years," said Green, explaining that a recent study of current solar photovoltaics, like those used in home solar panels, predicted that a 35 percent conversion rate wouldn't happen until 2050.

The theoretical maximum conversion rate for this type of solar cell is 53 percent, so this research is moving close to that maximum. The researchers don't see these types of cells ending up in mass-market rooftop solar because they're costly to manufacture, but rather used in a concentrated photovoltaic solar power plant where large mirrors concentrate the sunlight on a solar tower.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 04, 2016, 08:47:18 pm
Chile Producing So Much Solar Energy It’s Giving Electricity Away for Free  :o  (

Lorraine Chow | June 3, 2016 11:00 am

Thanks to Chile’s major investments in renewables, the Latin American country is seeing an incredible solar boom.

In a new Bloomberg report, Chile Has So Much Solar Energy It’s Giving It Away for Free, solar capacity from the country’s central grid has increased four fold to 770 megawatts since 2013. Another 1.4 gigawatts will be added this year with many solar power projects under development.

Thanks to an economic boost from increased mining production, Chile now has 29 solar farms and another 15 in the pipeline. Enel Green Power Chile Ltda. recently commissioned Chile’s largest solar PV project connected to the grid. The 160-megawatt facility will be located in the northern part of the country in the municipality of María Elena, about 1,300 kilometers north of Santiago.

With so much clean power available, the price of solar has cost absolutely nothing for certain regions in recent months. As Bloomberg stated:

Spot prices reached zero in parts of the country on 113 days through April, a number that’s on track to beat last year’s total of 192 days, according to Chile’s central grid operator.

However, the article points out that Chile’s rapid solar expansion isn’t all good news. Due to the nation’s bifurcated power grid, the central and northern grids are not connected.

PV Insider noted that most of the demand is in the central grid, yet the best solar resource in the country resides in the Atacama desert in the north. The northern grid represents approximately 24 percent of installed capacity whereas the central grid holds the majority of capacity at 74 percent of installed megawatts.

The northern grid is where solar prices are going to zero, Bloomberg noted. Meanwhile, the main population centers in the south are not seeing the same benefits.

Chile, therefore, must invest in its transmission infrastructure in order for the whole country to tap into the north’s glut solar power and stabilize demand.

“Chile has at least seven or eight points in the transmission lines that are collapsed and blocked, and we have an enormous challenge to bypass the choke points,” Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco told the publication. “When you embark on a path of growth and development like the one we’ve had, you obviously can see issues arising.”

The good news is that the Chilean government is addressing the problem with its planned 1,865-mile transmission line that will link the two grids by 2017.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 06, 2016, 06:46:31 pm
New Solar Loan Program Now Available in 14 States

Katie Pohlman | June 6, 2016 2:16 pm

SolarCity announced June 2 a new loan program, available in 14 states, that will save customers money on solar energy bills and help them earn tax credits.

The new loan program includes fixed payments and shorter terms. It will replace SolarCity’s popular MyPower product, which allowed SolarCity to provide more loans in 2015 than any other solar installer, according to a news release.

“We can now offer a loan that makes it possible for many customers to pay less for solar from day one, and still receive thousands back in tax credits on top of that,” SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said. “This program will allow thousands of additional customers across the U.S. to install solar this year and start saving money immediately, and we expect to work with multiple lenders that will allow us to expand to several new states by the end of the month with the same great terms for our customers.”

The new loans offer a range of features, including:

•10-year loan with annual percentage rate as low as 2.99 percent.

•20-year loan with annual percentage rate as low as 4.99 percent.

•Customers can prepay their entire balance or prepay a portion of their loan to lower their monthly payments at any time, with no fees or penalties.

•SolarCity’s loans include the industry’s best service package, including a 20-year warranty, production guarantee, and continuous monitoring.

•SolarCity provides the industry’s best mounting system and installation aesthetics, and backs up its agreements with the largest in-house service footprint in the industry, with 90 local operations centers.

•SolarCity will provide and install a Nest Thermostat at no additional cost for qualifying customers.

SolarCity is offering the new loans in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, DC. The company hopes to expand to new locations by the end of the month. (

Agelbert  COMMENT: Good! The whole problem with people adopting solar has always been the upfront costs. Solar has been cheaper, over the product life, than fossil fuels for home energy for at least a decade.

When the pollution costs of fossil fuels are figured in, solar, wind and geothermal have always been cheaper than fossil fuel energy.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 09, 2016, 09:31:52 pm

Ever heard how scientists estimate that more than enough solar energy strikes the earth every hour to power our whole society for an entire year? (

But despite the tremendous source of energy staring many of us in the face every day, some keep debating the merits of solar power and other renewable energies, asking the same questions over and over again.   ( (

How effective is solar energy? Is it more expensive? Where and how does solar fit in the larger energy grid? (

Many of the arguments against solar are based on outdated or incorrect information.

That’s why we’re setting the record straight on some of the most common solar energy myths.

1. Myth: Solar energy is too expensive and isn’t economically viable for most people.

The claim that solar energy is too expensive is out-of-date and continues to be proven wrong. The average cost of solar panels fell 75 percent between 2009-2014 alone, and some analysts predict the cost of PV modules will drop 25 percent by 2018.

The result is that in many regions around the world and parts of the US, electricity from solar is as cheap – or even cheaper – than electricity from coal, oil, or natural gas.

So it’s no surprise that clean energy is one of the world’s fastest growing industries, and already makes up more than 20 percent of the world’s electricity generation. Bonus: when you use solar energy to do things like power homes or schools, you’re helping protect humans from higher carbon emissions, unnecessary air pollution, and
the devastating impacts of climate change.

2. Myth: Carbon dioxide isn’t the main cause of global warming. What about solar variations?

There is a consensus from 99 percent of climate scientists that human activities are the cause of the global warming we’re seeing now.

Scientists know our climate is changing, primarily due to carbon pollution from the burning of dirty energy like oil, natural gas, and coal. Changes in the radiation the sun emits – known as “solar variation” – affects the climate, too.

But scientists take this into account and weigh the contributions these changes make to our climate, which today are minimal to negligible compared to those from carbon pollution. It’s clear that man-made carbon dioxide pollution is overwhelmingly responsible for the global warming we’re experiencing now.

3. Myth: Clean coal is the answer. Why invest in solar when we have clean coal?

There’s no such thing as “clean coal.” Solar power, on the other hand, is a real,clean energy technology that is viable today.

In reality, “clean coal” is a false solution. Coal is a dirty fuel no matter which way you look at it. The coal mining process blasts away mountaintops and leaves toxic slurry ponds behind. Burning coal results in pollutants that are harmful to human health, like mercury and smog. As if this weren’t enough, worldwide, more carbon pollution comes from the burning of coal than any other fuel.

4. Myth: Solar power isn’t worth it because it won’t work in locations that are cloudy or cold.

Solar power works even in cold or cloudy places. Because of the way the technology works, solar panels are just as effective—and usually more effective— in cooler temperatures as in hot ones. And while it’s true that clouds can affect the efficiency of solar panels, they can still produce enough power to be viable sources of electricity. Germany, for example, is a country that is not particularly warm or sunny,
but is nevertheless the world leader in solar energy.

5. Myth: Solar panels are unreliable.

The opposite is true. Most solar panels produce electricity for over 20 years or more as their parts do not wear out easily. In fact, many of the first solar systems installed over 40 years ago are still active today.

Additionally, using solar power diversifies our energy sources, making the entire grid more dependable. We have more tools available to make solar and other variable renewable technologies more reliable than ever, such as larger and more integrated grids, better resource forecasting, and more use of energy storage technologies.

What will need to be replaced in the next 30 years are aging fossil fuel infrastructures like outdated coal-fired power plants.

If we make the switch and rely on renewable sources of energy like the sun, we can save billions of dollars by avoiding not only the costs of replacing these plants, but also the increasingly higher costs of climate change in areas like healthcare expenses and damage from extreme weather.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 16, 2016, 03:46:37 pm
Engineers discover light can stamp out defects in semiconductors for better solar panels ( and LED bulbs

June 16, 2016
University of Utah materials science and engineering associate professor Mike Scarpulla wants to shed light on semiconductors—literally.

Scarpulla and senior scientist Kirstin Alberi of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, have developed a theory that adding light during the manufacturing of semiconductors—the materials that make up the essential parts of computer chips, solar cells and light emitting diodes (LEDs)—can reduce defects and potentially make more efficient solar cells or brighter LEDs. The role of light in semiconductor manufacturing may help explain many puzzling differences between processing methods as well as unlock the potential of materials that could not be used previously.

Scarpulla and Alberi reported their findings in a paper titled "Suppression of Compensating Native Defect Formation During Semiconductor Processing Via Excess Carriers," published June 16 in the journal, Scientific Reports. The research was funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Semiconductors are pure materials used to produce electronic components such as computer chips, solar cells, radios used in cellphones or LEDs. The theory developed by Scarpulla and Alberi applies to all semiconductors but is most exciting for compound semiconductors—such as gallium arsenide (GaAs), cadmium telluride (CdTe), or gallium nitride (GaN)—that are produced by combining two or more elements from the periodic table. GaAs is used in microwave radios in cellphones, CdTe in solar panels, and GaN in LED light bulbs.

The fact that compound semiconductors require more than one chemical element make them susceptible to defects in the material at an atomic scale, says Scarpulla, who also is a University of Utah electrical and computer engineering associate professor.

"Defects produce lots of effects like difficulty in controlling the conductivity of the material, difficulty in being able to turn sunlight into electricity efficiently in the case of solar cells or difficulty in emitting light efficiently in the case of LEDs," he says.

For nearly a century, researchers have usually assumed that the numbers of these defects in semiconductors were uniquely defined by the temperature and pressure during processing. "We worked out a complete theory that couples light into that problem," Scarpulla says.

The team discovered that if you add light while firing the material in a furnace at high temperatures, the light generates extra electrons that can change the composition of the material.

"We ran simulations of what happens," Scarpulla says. "If you put a piece of a semiconductor in a furnace in the dark, you would get one set of properties from it. But when you shine light on it in the furnace, it turns out you suppress these more problematic defects. We think it may allow us to get around some tricky problems with certain materials that have prevented their use for decades. The exciting work is in the future though—actually testing these predictions to make better devices."

The team is working to apply their theory to as many semiconductors as possible and testing the real world results. For example, the team believes this could improve the efficiency of solar panels that use thin films of cadmium telluride and even those made from silicon.

"It's really cool to be working on this fundamental problem in semiconductors," says Scarpulla. "Most of the ideas were worked out decades ago, so it is really exciting to be able to make a contribution to something fundamental. It feels like we have shined light onto a new path and we don't know how far it will take us."   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 22, 2016, 08:53:05 pm
Australians have spent almost $8bn on rooftop solar since 2007   (, says report

Exclusive: Solar Citizens says since the 2012-13 financial year, rooftop solar owners have saved about $1bn on their household bills each year

The report estimates solar owners will avoid 6.3m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2016, equivalent to taking a third of all trucks off Australian roads.       (

Michael Slezak ,@MikeySlezak
Tuesday 21 June 2016 16.03 EDT  Last modified on Tuesday 21 June 2016 16.04 EDT 

Australian households and small businesses have invested more than $1bn a year in rooftop solar over the past five years, spending a total of almost $8bn since 2007, new calculations show.

In its latest State of Solar report, Solar Citizens – which campaigns for, and represents the interests of, solar owners – has for the first time estimated Australian’s out-of-pocket investment in rooftop solar, how much money it has saved consumers, and how much carbon it has abated.

Overall, it found Australians have spent $7.8bn on rooftop systems since the 2007-08 financial year, an estimate based on the total amount of solar capacity installed and the cost of those systems.
In the past five years, that figure was more than $1.2bn each year – an investment that eclipses that spent on large-scale solar in most of those years, according to the report.

Those out-of-pocket costs didn’t include any subsidies or rebates solar owners received.

But since the 2012-13 financial year, Solar Citizens calculated solar owners saved about $1bn on their energy bills each year, with those in the Northern Territory leading the way, saving an average of $1,989 each in the 2014-15 financial year.

In total, solar owners have saved $4.4bn since the 2007-08 financial year.

Although 60% of solar owners said they primarily bought solar systems for financial reasons, 38% said they did so for environmental reasons, according to a poll of 4,300 Solar Citizens supporters from January.
And when it came to environmental outcomes, the report estimated solar owners will avoid 6.3m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2016 – which they found is equivalent to taking a third of all trucks off Australian roads.

The report tried to emphasise the political weight solar owners now have  ( , with about 5 million people living in homes with solar systems.   (

Analysing the data in relation to federal seats, Solar Citizens found 80% of federal electorates have more voters with rooftop solar than would be required to change their sitting members. And of the electorates with the highest numbers of solar owners, seven out of the top 10 were now held by Coalition MPs.

Australian households have led the world with the density of small rooftop solar PV systems, about 16.5% of households now producing some of their own electricity. From 2006 to 2010, the number of solar systems installed each year in Australia trebled year-on-year.

“The growth is astonishing and it is fascinating that we can see, for the first time, what average Australians themselves have invested to ride this boom,” said Claire O’Rourke, national director of Solar Citizens.

“Australian political leaders need to understand just how much the average Australian themselves have committed of their own money to play a part in the transition of our power system,” she said.

“The global transition to renewables is already under way. Australia needs a national plan to harness the multi-billion-dollar renewables boom and manage the orderly transition to 100% clean renewable power.”

In April, Solar Citizens and GetUp! published a report advocating a range of policies intended to transition Australia to 100% renewable energy by 2030. It proposed changes in three broad areas: regulations, funding and obstacles to the rollout of renewable energy.

That report followed modelling the groups funded, produced by the institute for sustainable futures at the University of Technology Sydney, which suggested such a transition would be technically feasible and would save the country $90bn.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on June 24, 2016, 01:49:39 pm
06/20/2016 02:42 PM   
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Make Buying Your Solar System  ( Inexpensive News

If you want to add a rooftop solar system to your home or finance energy efficiency upgrades, you can now do that through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at low interest rates. (

Because solar prices are so low, more people want to buy their arrays rather than lease them. By owning your system you get a 30% federal tax credit and don't have the problem of transferring a solar lease to the next owner if you sell. It also increases the value of your home while greatly reducing electric bills. 

Solar is the most economical choice for electricity in 42 of the 50 largest cities in the US and home buyers consistently pay about $15,000 more for homes with solar! 

Read our article, Homeowners: Don't Consider Solar a Luxury (

Under Fannie Mae's HomeStyle Energy Mortgage, you can roll the costs of buying a solar system into a new mortgage, underwritten by many lenders. And you can include energy efficiency upgrades like insulation and new windows.

You can't finance more than 15% of what your home is worth, however, so if you want to spend more, consider Freddie Mac, where there's no cap. If you're interested, find a lender that's knowledgeable about these programs.

Last year, Fannie Mae began offering discount mortgages for multifamily green buildings that are LEED or Energy Star-certified. Fannie and Freddie also provide financing to make multifamily buildings more energy and water efficient. A HUD program (Housing and Urban Development Department) has a refinancing program to encourage energy upgrades in older affordable housing.

Read our article, With Solar Prices So Low, People Are Buying Systems, Not Leasing Them. (

Agelbert NOTE: I have been advocating this for about ten years. It's nice to see some common sense from our gooberment for a change. Eat your heart out, fossil fuelers. This too will add to demand destruction of your biosphere degrading polluting product. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 12, 2016, 02:55:13 pm (
(   ( 
It gets hotter than pistol on route 66 (except in winter, of course). But all year round it is a VERY sunny road.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 16, 2016, 03:11:40 pm
Energy| Jul 15, 2016

California Breaks Solar Record, Generates Enough Electricity for 6 Million Homes

 By Lorraine Chow

California has hit a new solar generation record, thanks to this week's triple-digit heat wave. SF Gate calculated that on Tuesday, the Golden State's solar power plants briefly generated enough electricity for more than 6 million homes.

According to figures from California's Independent Solar Operators Corporation (ISO) which operates most of the state's grid, a whopping 8,030 megawatts of large-scale solar power was generated at 1:06 p.m. on July 12, nearly doubling the amount of solar energy produced in mid-2014 and nearly 2,000 megawatts higher than in May 2015.

"This solar production record demonstrates that California is making significant strides forward in connecting low carbon resources to the grid in meeting the state's goal of reaching 33 percent renewables by 2020," ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich said. "California continues to lead the nation in adding clean resources to the system and writing a playbook for operating a low carbon grid."

Agelbert NOTE: Of the above Renewable Energy resources, California only lacks Wave Energy, Offshore Wind, and Tidal Turbines. Polluting Energy resources have no future in California.  ;D

The ISO noted that at peak electricity demand on Tuesday at 5:54 p.m., almost 29 percent of electricity needs were met by the state's vast renewable energy portfolio that includes solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, small hydro-electricity and energy storage.  (

Renewables have incredible potential for the state as evidenced this past May 14 and 15, when renewables fulfilled an impressive 54 percent and 56 percent of demand, respectively.

When it comes to solar energy, the sun-spoiled state is head and shoulders above the rest. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has consistently ranked California as the nation's top solar state, and reported in April that California has more solar jobs and installed more megawatts of solar capacity last year than any other U.S. state. Its 13,241 megawatts of cumulative installed solar capacity is capable of powering an estimated 3.32 million homes.

And according to the U.S. Department of Energy, "for both utility-scale solar PV and solar thermal, California has more capacity than the rest of the country combined, with 52 percent and 73 percent of the nation's total, respectively. "

"Solar power generation is just growing astronomically, and it is less expensive,"
Anne Gonzales, an ISO  spokeswoman told the Sacramento Business Journal. Indeed, solar costs and prices are continuing to drop as solar installations soar.

However, there have been some roadblocks. The Ivanpah plant in California's Mojave Desert—a 392 megawatt concentrated solar power tower and one of the world's largest solar plants—famously caught on fire in May. ::) 
Forbes also pointed out that on especially sunny days, "the state's energy sources (nuclear, gas, renewables) produce more energy than it needs, which has resulted in the grid operator telling solar farms to shut down   >:(."
Officials are now looking into connecting with nearby states to share excess energy  (, Forbes said.

Still, this shining week proves that California is making incredible strides towards its ambitious renewable energy goals of 33 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030.

Last year, on the day Gov. Jerry Brown was sworn in for his fourth term in office, he boasted that California has "the most far-reaching environmental laws of any state and the most integrated policy to deal with climate change of any political jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere."

Brown listed a multi-pronged approach to achieving the state's renewable energy targets, including more distributed power, expanded rooftop solar, micro-grids, an energy imbalance market, battery storage, full integration of information technology and electrical distribution, and millions of electric and low-carbon vehicles. (


"Hitting peak oil will come faster than any of us think. But don't blame dwindling supply — it's all about disappearing demand" Amory Lovins



Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on July 24, 2016, 12:25:15 am
( ( (

Reuters Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:49am EDT

Related:  Environment,  China,  Global Energy News 

China installed 20 GW of solar power in first-half; triple from a year ago

China installed 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity in the first half of 2016, three times as much as during the same period a year ago, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Thursday citing the country's largest solar industry lobby.

The surge in capacity extended China's lead over Germany as the top solar generator, said Wang Bohua, General Secretary of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA), according to Xinhua.

Power developers were also pushed to complete installations ahead of a proposed reduction in the price paid for solar power by grid operators, said Wang.

China' government decreed in late 2015 that only projects that were operational by June 30, 2016, would be eligible for a 'feed-in tariff' of roughly 1.0 yuan (15 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour (kwh), while projects completed after that date would be eligible for a lower tariff rate.

Production of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules also increased to 27 GW, up by 37.8 percent in the first half of the year, the CPIA said in a report on its website, adding that the profit margins of the major manufacturers improved to an average of 5 percent from 4.85 percent last year.
China surpassed Germany as the largest solar power generator worldwide last year, with installed PV capacity totaling 43 GW as of the end of 2015.

The government has set a national target for new commercial solar power capacity of 18.1 GW for this year, which is below initial market expectations and is a sign that the government is trying to slow capacity expansion in the power generation sector.
Including experimental roof-top projects and charitable installations in impoverished areas, total new solar capacity is expected to be 30 GW by year-end, CPIA said.

The CPIA data showed that the western provinces have the greatest surplus capacity, with the provinces of Xinjiang and Gansu wasting 52 percent and 39 percent of their respective generated solar power in the first quarter.
China's solar power output increased 31.3 percent from a year ago in June to 3,300 gigawatt hours, according to the National Statistics Bureau. That equated to 0.7 percent  :(  of total power generation, and was the first time the statistics bureau carried solar output data.

(Reporting By Kathy Chen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 10, 2016, 02:58:50 pm
Beautiful solar-powered car chargers keep the Netherlands moving   (

Sami Grover (@samigrover)
Transportation / Cars
August 9, 2016

Video screen capture Fully Charged show
Agelbert NOTE: The question is, will these fast food folks sue or applaud?  (  (

Ever since I started driving an electric car, I've been surprised by just how little I need or care about having a charging network available to me. But I have a driveway. And a second car. For the one-car families and/or those who live in apartments, a reliable charging network would go a long way toward making electric cars a more attractive and practical option
In the Netherlands, just such a network is already emerging. Fastned has already built 50 beautiful solar-powered chargers and they are aiming for 200 in the very near future. Robert Llewellyn of Fully Charged paid one charging station a visit, and he chatted with company founder Bart Lubbers about their plans for the future.

A few points worthy of note:

The solar panels create enough charge for about three cars. The rest comes from a contract with wind power generators.

The charging stations are built with expansion in mind. The one in the video currently has two chargers, but there's room for six more.

Fastned offers several pricing options and plans, including monthly fees and lower Kwh rates for people charging regularly, and no monthly fee but higher Kwh rates for people needing to charge only occasionally.

Lubbers also shares that the company eventually plans to add shops/coffee shops/bathroom facilities etc. This really does look like a smart approach to electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Now I kind of wish we had something like this in my neighborhood, even though I don't really need it...
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 16, 2016, 02:48:49 pm
Denver Business Journal

Xcel reaches sweeping agreement on Colorado   renewable energy, pricing  (
Aug 15, 2016, 8:40pm MDT   
Cathy Proctor Reporter

Industries & Tags  Energy,    Technology,    Jobs,    Solar energy,    Energy Inc.


Xcel Energy Inc. says it has has reached a sweeping settlement agreement on renewable energy and pricing that could change the way electricity is produced and paid for in Colorado — if state regulators sign off on it.

The settlement covers three proposals the power utility has submitted to state regulators: One to change its customer rate structure, another to create a community solar program, and a third to add more renewable energy to its portfolio.

(Photo at article link)
Namaste Solar employees put solar panels on a house near 35th and Decatur in Denver. Kathleen Lavine | Denver Business Journal
The agreement, filed Monday with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, involves 22 of the 26 groups that are parties to one or more of those efforts, which Minneapolis-based Xcel (NYSE: XEL) is pushing in the state as part of its “Our Energy Future” plan. After months of negotiations, the 22 entities agreed either to the entire settlement or to pieces of it.

“The agreement will benefit Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers by allowing us to move forward with the ‘Our Energy Future’ initiative,” said Alice Jackson, Xcel’s regional vice president for rates and regulatory affairs.

“It will allow us to meet our customers’ expectations by giving them more control over their energy choices. It will bring more renewable and carbon-free energy to Colorado through the use of new technologies, and it will be provide affordable and reliable energy to further power the state’s economy,” Jackson said.

Solar-power interests hailed the agreement.  (
“The solar industry will create more jobs and produce more affordable clean energy because we have settled these issues,’’ said Rebecca Cantwell, executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group for the solar power industry in Colorado.

The parties to the settlement includes some of the state’s biggest cities, its biggest electricity users and major environmental advocacy groups.

They include the cities of Denver and Boulder; CF&I Steel L.P., which operates a Pueblo steel mill;limax Molybdenum Co., which operates the Henderson Mine in Clear Creek County; the state and national solar power trade groups; and Western Resource Advocates, an environmental advocacy group that focuses on policy issues.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on August 22, 2016, 09:49:40 pm
  (  Solar Power Price Hits New Low

Chile awarded a contract to sell solar power for $29.10 per megawatt hour (MWh), the lowest ever across the planet. :o   (

Chile Solar Power Plant

This surpasses the record set in May of a $29.90 per MWh bid in Dubai for an 800 megawatt (MW) solar project. “This is the lowest price ever seen, for any renewable technology,” an analyst told Bloomberg.

The low price is possible due to the rapid fall in cost of solar technology and the 12 MW solar plant’s location in the ideal conditions of Chile’s Atacama Desert.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 12, 2016, 03:29:38 pm
Sep. 12, 2016 09:50AM EST

Solar Industry Experiences Record-Breaking Growth


The industry is growing faster than ever and here is what else we saw in this SMI report:

•Solar prices fell across all market segments, with declines ranging from 2-7 percent (see Figure 2.3).

•As a whole, the price of solar is 18 percent lower than it was one year ago and 63 percent lower than it was 5 years ago.

•Solar represented 26 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the first half of 2016.

•There are now 1,162,000 individual solar systems installed in the U.S., including more than a million residential systems.

•The utility-scale sector installed more than 1 GW for the third consecutive quarter and will install nearly 10 GW by the end of this year.

•Thanks to strong growth by non-traditional markets like Texas and Utah, the residential sector experienced another record quarter, installing 650 MW.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 13, 2016, 01:43:10 pm
pv magazine

Electricity flat rate thanks to integrated solar PV and home storage units

Bavarian storage manufacturer sonnen will offer a free power flat rate to consumers that install the company’s integrated solar PV and home storage systems, sonnen announced in a press release.

The flat rates will be financed with revenues the company receives from offering its customers’ storage capacity in the balancing power market, where prices are higher than in the regular markets. Up until now, sonnen only received permission for the Swiss market, but will nonetheless offer the flat rate to German customers as well, writes pv magazine in an article.

The home systems are connected to the grid and each other in a virtual power plant, thus being able to provide the size and reliability needed for balancing power.

Customers produce about three quarters of the electricity they need themselves and receive the rest externally, writes pv magazine.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 13, 2016, 05:30:13 pm

India Wants to Build 10 Gigawatts of Pumped Hydro Storage to Support Solar

The country expands its hydro storage plans as PV capacity soars.

by Jason Deign 
 September 12, 2016

India is embarking on a plan to build out gigawatts of pumped hydro facilities  (  to help store the massive levels of renewable energy it will be producing within a decade.

S.D. Dubey, chairperson of India’s Central Electricity Authority, last month confirmed plans for 10 gigawatts of pumped hydro storage across the country. The plan will cost 80,000 crore rupees (about $17.2 billion) over the next five to six years according to The Economic Times.

Dubey said pumped hydro storage costs could be a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion batteries. He said the capital costs of the plants would be between 6 and 8 crore rupees ($1.3 million and $1.7 million) per megawatt.

This compares to a per-megawatt capital cost for solar projects between 5 and 6 crore rupees ($1.1 million and $1.3 million). India has a potential for up to 90 gigawatts of pumped hydro storage, said the report.

Although supporting solar is a goal, Indian renewable energy analyst Madhavan Nampoothiri said the pumped hydro reserves would be a boon for the grid in general.

“Considering a target of 175 gigawatts of renewables capacity by 2022, India will need to be ready with all technologies at its disposal to manage the grid, which will have to handle a progressively increasing quantum of intermittent solar and wind energy,” he said.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 21, 2016, 12:24:46 pm
Sep. 21, 2016 10:32AM EST

World's Largest Solar Plant Goes Online

By Lorraine Chow

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is now home to the world's largest solar power plant, according to local reports.

The massive, 648-megawatt array was officially linked to the grid after being hooked up to a 400-kilowatt substation, the operator Adani Green Energy Ltd announced Wednesday.

The plant is spread across 2,500 acres in the town of Kamuthi in the Ramanathapuram district and will supply enough clean, green energy for 300,000 homes. 

The Deccan Chronicle reported that the $679 million solar park consists of 380,000 foundations, 2.5 million solar modules, 576 inverters, 154 transformers and 6,000-kilometers of cables. The plant was built with parts and machinery from around the world.

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani formally dedicated the structure to the nation.

"This is a momentous occasion for the state of Tamil Nadu as well as the entire country," he said. "We are extremely happy to dedicate this plant to the nation; a plant of this magnitude reinstates the country's ambitions of becoming one of the leading green energy producers in the world."

India has an ambitious solar energy goal. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to increase solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022, five times higher than the previous target.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 27, 2016, 01:43:49 pm
New solar panel integrates battery storage, inverter, and smart software into a single unit  ( 

This startup is reinventing the solar panel, and aims to cut the cost of integrating clean power and energy storage to homes by half.


"SolPad’s flexgrid inverter can automatically detect when to charge from the sun or charge from the local utility grid, adjusting for cloudy or rainy days, as well as changing local electricity rates. During the most expensive daytime hours, SolPad Home will switch to stored battery power, then switch back to grid power when rates are low.

Flexgrid will also detect when there’s a power outage or blackout and safely disconnect itself from the grid. Once off the grid, SolPad automatically forms a personal solar micro-grid that will keep delivering power to specific lights and appliances. The SolPad Home Connect™ system is the most innovative power delivery interface to get power from your roof into your home.

Connect is a wire-free system that links two or more SolPad Home panels together on your roof, completely eliminating the need for any complicated cabling or wiring, simplifying the installation and greatly reducing cost and installation time." - SolPad

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 27, 2016, 05:36:47 pm

City of Montpelier Invests in 1 Megawatt of Solar

Sep. 26, 2016, 11:35 am

News Release — Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee  September 22, 2016

 Kate Stephenson, Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee Chair
 Phone: 802-225-8933

MONTPELIER, VT – Thanks to the efforts of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee, the City of Montpelier is getting a significant portion of its electricity from the sun. Partnering with Novus, a Montpelier-based firm specializing in the development of solar powered projects, the city government has entered into a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement for municipal electrical use.

This month the first 500KW array located in Sharon, Vermont came on line and the power produced is shared by the city and the Montpelier school district. A second 500KW array will be built off Log Road in Montpelier. Still in the permitting phase, this project will come on line in the fall of 2017. 100% of the energy produced from the second array will help to offset municipal power consumption.

Over the 20 year contracts, these two solar arrays combined will save the City and schools approximately $50,000 per year  ( , and provide about 55% of the City’s total municipal electrical usage.

The best news for taxpayers? The City of Montpelier will not pay for any of the costs to build or maintain these systems. Equally important, these solar arrays will help the city achieve our 2030 goal to become the first Net Zero state capital in the United States!

“This is a great step forward in the city’s efforts to become the first Net Zero state capital,” said Mayor Hollar today. “My thanks to the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee and city staff for negotiating these agreements. I look forward to the Montpelier-based array off of Log Road.”
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 30, 2016, 04:22:51 pm
Musk is a doer and person of great accomplishment. His place in History is assured.       ( (      (

Talk is cheap, action is the thing.  agree  (


Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk wasn’t kidding when he said that the new Tesla solar roof product was better looking than an ordinary roof: the roofing replacement with solar energy gathering powers does indeed look great. It’s a far cry from the obvious and somewhat weird aftermarket panels you see applied to roofs after the fact today.

The solar roofing comes in four distinct styles that Tesla presented at the event, including “Textured Glass Tile,” “Slate Glass Tile,” “Tuscan Glass Tile, and “Smooth Glass Tile.” Each of these achieves a different aesthetic look, but all resembled fairly closely a current roofing material style. Each is also transparent to solar, but appears opaque when viewed from an angle.

The current versions of the tiles actually have a two percent loss on efficiency, so 98 percent of what you’d normally get from a traditional solar panel, according to Elon Musk. But the company is working with 3M on improved coatings that have the potential to possibly go above normal efficiency, since it could trap the light within, leading to it bouncing around and resulting in less energy loss overall before it’s fully diffused.

Of course, there’s the matter of price: Tesla’s roof cost less than the full cost of a roof and electricity will be competitive or better than the cost of a traditional roof combined with the cost of electricity from the grid, Musk said. Tesla declined to provide specific pricing at the moment, since it will depend on a number of factor including installation specifics on a per home basis.

                        Standard roofing materials do not provide fiscal benefit back to the homeowner post-installation, besides improving the cost of the home. Tesla’s product does that, by generating enough energy to fully power a household, with the power designed to be stored in the new Powerwall 2.0 battery units so that homeowners can keep a reserve in case of excess need.

The solar roof product should start to see installations by summer next year, and Tesla plans to start with one or two of its four tile options, then gradually expand the options over time. As they’re made from quartz glass, they should last way longer than an asphalt tile — at least two or three times the longevity, though Musk later said “they should last longer than the house”.         
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 14, 2016, 08:41:35 pm
IEA: Global Solar PV Capacity Surpassed 227GW in 2015    (


Last year was a record year for global PV installations, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Trends in Photovoltaic Applications report, released last week. Worldwide installed capacity amounted to 51 gigawatts in 2015, up from around 40 gigawatts in the two preceding years.

After 20 years of PV development, the report finds there are now at least 227 gigawatts of PV installed around the world (GTM Research puts the total higher at more than 250 gigawatts), making up more than 1.2 percent of global electricity demand.

The annual PV contribution to electricity demand has now passed the 1 percent mark in at least 33 countries, with Honduras leading the pack at 12 percent, followed by Italy and Germany at 8 percent, and Greece above 7 percent.

While solar PV makes up a higher share of overall electricity demand in other countries, China led the globe in terms of new installations. As in 2013 and 2014, China ranked first place, with 15.15 gigawatts of solar capacity added in 2015, according to the National Energy Administration. China bested its own previous record of adding 10 gigawatts of solar PV in a single year.

Full article with encouraging stats:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 16, 2016, 02:28:32 pm
Florida's Amendment 1 defeat  ;D  shows why solar won't be stopped, Trump or no Trump

David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, wants utilities to 'co-thrive' with DERs
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 21, 2016, 09:55:03 pm
Solar energy deployment could double in Massachusetts

By Danielle Ola
 Nov 21, 2016 11:36 AM GMT
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 30, 2016, 02:58:20 pm

State’s largest solar array now making power for GMP
Nov. 29, 2016, 7:48 pm by Morgan True

ESSEX JUNCTION — Vermont’s largest solar project was generating power Tuesday, said officials with the state’s largest utility, although production was diminished by overcast skies.

The roughly 20,000 solar panels cover 55 acres and at peak delivery will produce 4.7 megawatts. That’s enough energy to power 1,100 homes. The next largest solar arrays in the state deliver just over 2 megawatts, according to Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Kristin Carlson.

The massive solar installation is in Williston on land owned by GlobalFoundries. The semiconductor manufacturer owns 750 acres in Williston and Essex Junction.

Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, joined state and private company officials to announce the Vermont Weather Analytics Center at a news conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury on Wednesday.

With GMP owning the arrays, the arrangement produces electricity for about half the cost of buying it from a third party, said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. The project shows that GMP is “all in for the energy revolution,” Powell said.

“We are excited to work with GlobalFoundries to bring this solar array to life to benefit our customers and show once again how energy can be a force for good and economic development,” Powell added. GMP serves roughly 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont.

In addition to lease payments, GlobalFoundries will get 500 kilowatts of the power generated — a tiny fraction of the energy it uses on a daily basis. During peak energy use at the site, GlobalFoundries uses as much power as the city of Burlington, according to Janette Bombardier, a senior GlobalFoundries executive. The rest of the power produced will go to GMP customers.

Another unusual aspect of the project is that 4 acres of solar arrays are set aside for use by Sandia National Labs, a research and development corporation operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The space will house the Vermont Photovoltaic Regional Test Center, where private companies will be able to test new solar products and gather data on their performance. The center is one of five Sandia operates nationwide.

The other centers are in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida, in sites that don’t see the harsh winters, precipitation or dramatic changes in weather that are a hallmark of Vermont’s climate.

That creates a significant opportunity for private companies to test solar products designed to operate in places where sunlight is not always plentiful, Bombardier said.

Powell and Bombardier said the town of Williston worked closely with them to obtain a certificate of public good from the Public Service Board and during the permit process.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2016, 06:23:40 pm
Energy| Dec. 02, 2016 08:30AM EST

World's Largest Solar Farm Leapfrogs India to Third in Utility-Scale Solar

Kamuthi solar plant (

Lorraine Chow
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 25, 2016, 10:18:17 pm

2 remarkable facts that illustrate solar power’s declining cost

It’s not “the cheapest electricity in the world,” but it’s getting really cheap( .

Updated by David   Dec 22, 2016, 8:40am EST

Article with eye opening charts!
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 27, 2016, 02:47:06 pm
Panasonic to invest over US$256 million in Tesla's US plant for solar cells

Posted 28 Dec 2016 03:20

TOKYO: Panasonic Corp will invest more than 30 billion yen (US$256 million) in a New York production facility of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors to make photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, deepening a partnership of the two companies.

Tesla's shares were up 3.5 percent at US$220.75 in early trading on Tuesday.

Japan's Panasonic, which has been retreating from low-margin consumer electronics to focus more on automotive components and other businesses targeting corporate clients, will make the investment in Tesla's factory in Buffalo, New York.

The U.S. electric car maker is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic as part of the deal, besides providing factory buildings and infrastructure.

In a statement on Tuesday, the two companies said they plan to start production of PV modules in the summer of 2017 and increase to one gigawatt of module production by 2019.

The plan is part of the solar partnership that the two companies first announced in October, but which did not disclose investment details.

Tesla is working exclusively with longtime partner Panasonic to supply batteries for its upcoming Model 3, the company's first mass-market car. Panasonic is also the exclusive supplier of batteries to Tesla's Model S and Model X.

(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka and Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

- Reuters
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 28, 2016, 01:07:51 pm
It's Official: Solar Energy Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels  ( 

 Lorraine Chow


Renewable energy has reached an important milestone. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has determined that in many parts of the world, solar energy is now the same price or even cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time.

In a handbook released this month, the WEF observed how the price of renewable technologies, particularly solar, has declined to unprecedented lows.

Full article with EYE OPENING chart:  :o  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 12, 2017, 08:37:27 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Newly elected Governor Scott is a one of the rare Republicans with common sense.  8)


Scott hails solar firm as part of job-creating energy effort

Jan. 9, 2017, 5:09 pm by Mike Polhamus

SunCommon touts its Solar Canopy product Monday at the Hunger Mountain cooperative store in Montpelier. Photo by Mike Polhamus/VTDigger (at article link)

Gov. Phil Scott plans to move forward with the state’s goal of getting 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050.

The push to move away from fossil fuels will create jobs and invigorate the economy, Scott said Monday to a crowd of around 50 people at the Hunger Mountain cooperative store in Montpelier.

“We want to attract young professionals, like yourselves, and working families to Vermont,” Scott said. “Companies like SunCommon that are creating jobs and innovating here in Vermont are exactly what we need.” That echoed a theme from his campaign.

Waterbury-based solar firm SunCommon hosted the event to show off what the company calls a Solar Canopy, which consists of a timber-frame structure topped with enough solar panels to power a home.

SunCommon unveiled two solar canopies in the parking lot at Hunger Mountain. The structures currently send power to the store but will soon power charging stations for electric vehicles, company representatives said Monday.

The solar canopies serve a growing demand from Vermonters who want to purchase solar panels for their homes, but whose roofs can’t bear the weight of the panels, said SunCommon co-founder James Moore.

“Vermonters ship hundreds of millions of dollars every year outside the local economy, for dirty energy they don’t want to support,” Moore said.

Vermonters and other Americans will continue to demand renewable energy even if financial support from the federal government dries up, Moore said.

“This is happening because people want it to happen,” he said. “It’s not happening because of the government. People want to really lessen (their reliance on) fossil fuels that are hurting the economy and our environment.”

SunCommon offers solar canopies to customers at no upfront cost, using financing obtained through Vermont credit unions, said company spokeswoman Emily McManamy. The structures carry a value of around $30,000 apiece, McManamy said.

She said their timber frame construction was intended to hew to Vermont’s aesthetic sensibilities. The canopy is meant to offer protection from the elements when installed over driveways, patios, firewood stacks or even chicken coops, she said.

The state has committed to reducing carbon dioxide pollution emitted within its borders in coming decades.

Vermont established a goal last year of meeting 90 percent of its power needs from renewable sources by 2050 — a significant expansion over the statutory mandate that the state obtain at least 25 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025.

Scott on Monday reiterated his commitment to that goal, established in the state’s 2016 comprehensive energy plan under his predecessor, Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 18, 2017, 02:24:00 pm
Solar Employs More Workers Than Coal, Oil and Natural Gas Combined

 Lorraine Chow  13 Jan 2017


In a sign of promise for the booming industry, solar employers reported that they expect to increase employment by 7 percent this year.

Solar is becoming the cheapest form of electricity production in the world, according to statistics from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Last year was the first time that the renewable energy technology out-performed fossil fuels on a large scale.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 20, 2017, 05:30:42 pm
Grid Optimization

First Solar Proves That PV Plants Can Rival Frequency Response Services From Natural Gas Peakers

In California, an important test for solar farms as grid-balancing agents

by Jeff St. John 
 January 19, 2017

Last summer, First Solar and California grid operator CAISO ran a set of tests to show that utility-scale solar PV, instead of being a disruptive influence on the power grid, could actually help stabilize it.

Over a series of days in August, First Solar slightly curtailed power output at a 300-megawatt solar farm in California, enabled its array of inverters, and plugged into CAISO’s system. It then orchestrated the plant’s output to follow CAISO’s automatic generation control (AGC) signals, respond to its frequency regulation commands, and use inverters for voltage regulation, power factor regulation and reactive power control.

The results, according to a report released last week, showed that First Solar was able to meet, and sometimes exceed, the frequency regulation response usually provided by natural-gas-fired peaker plants. First Solar was also able to provide inverter-based services throughout the day -- and possibly even at night.

It turned in a respectable performance matching CAISO’s wholesale market price signals -- even when clouds appeared on the afternoon of the second day of testing, reducing First Solar’s capacity to shift its load.

All told, the data from CAISO, First Solar and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) indicates that a utility-scale solar farm, equipped with standard inverters and software controls, can serve to smooth out grid fluctuations from the solar itself or from other sources.

And for California, a state with 9,000 megawatts of transmission-connected solar and plans for 20,000 megawatts more by 2030, that could be a valuable resource. “If PV-generated power can offer a supportive product that benefits the power system and is economic for PV power plant owners and customers, this functionality should be recognized and encouraged,” the report noted.

Utility-scale solar PV is already causing California some grid challenges, in the form of the duck curve -- a deep midday drop in net load driven by lots of solar flooding onto the grid, and a steep ramp-up starting in the late afternoon that extends into evening as solar fades away.

CAISO is also experiencing “periods of oversupply conditions, especially pronounced during weekends when electricity demand is low and renewable production is high.” Currently, when faced with potentially destabilizing conditions like this, CAISO has no choice but to curtail renewable power.

“Significant levels of renewables curtailment took place during certain days of the spring of 2016,” the report noted, including one day in late April when more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable generation had to be taken offline.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 30, 2017, 08:15:03 pm
I have not built my system. I have all the components other than some posts for the ground mounts and a structure to house the batteries to keep them cool.

I had my first system, a small 360W "portable" system up and running for a couple of years, but it just recently died. I need to do a post mortem.

Because I don't live on my rural property full time, I have held off because I worry about possible vandalism. I have spent the last several months working on fencing, to improve security. I have access to cheap grid power, and my well presents another set of problems for solar, as it's a conventional deep well with a submersible pump at 330 ft. Not sure the new system I designed would be adequate to run the pump, without adding a timer and a cistern, or converting to a pump jack system, which would be a better option. I have a pump jack, but it takes a well pro with the right equipment to pull the old pump, change to a windmill foot valve and install the rods, etc.

When it does get built, I expect I'll try to get one big robust inverter (of better quality), better than the AIMS, and keep them for spares. 

Security is a very costly stumbling block to PV system durability. The only thing fossil fuel powered machines ever had going for them is that, unlike Renewable Energy infrastructure such as wind or solar, they are easy to secure. But passive geothermal is just as easy to secure. Even the Bush Ranch had (has?) passive AND active geothermal. With that as a base, you could easily round out renewable energy sources for your spread with monitors and alarm systems for wind and PV for a 24/7 sustainable operation.

I hope you are someday successful in running that place exclusively on Renewable Energy. Expecting the polluting energy sources we have all grown up around to continue to be available is a pipe dream shared by too many. The REAL real world will eventually prevail, regardless of the magical and clueless thinking of so many.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 09, 2017, 02:26:14 pm
Agelbert Note: Excellent Comments from intelligent Vermonters:


Tom Hengelsberg  • 4 hours ago 

As an architect who has also done many assessments of low-slope roofs, some with solar panels already installed in exactly the manner depicted in the article's accompanying photograph, I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Snell. I have not seen any issues or reduction in the lifespan of the roofing membrane that would have been caused by the placement of the solar panels. If anything, the panels shade and protect the membrane, possibly prolonging its lifespan. Understand that the panels are installed on a rack system that sits on protective "feet" on top of the membrane, and the whole assembly is weighted down with concrete ballast blocks that also sit on protective slipsheets. The rack system does not penetrate the roof. When the lifespan of the roof is up, the racking can be removed, the roof replaced, and the panels reinstalled (or more likely replaced with a more efficient panel - they keep getting better and better.) The good news is, the lifespan of a membrane roof and a set of panels are about the same: 20-25 years. So if they are installed at the same time, they can be replaced at the same time.

I wholeheartedly support this initiative! Many in the architecture profession have been advocating for years to add solar PV to the underused resource of low-slope rooftops.
R.J. Adler  • 5 hours ago 

Requiring solar on big rooftops is a great idea. Big store owners can pay as much as $50,000 or more per year in electricity costs. If they have the space, solar developers can help retailers drive those costs into a system they own, and once the system is paid off that means erasing a $50,000/yr line item from your budget! Think of it as the difference of renting a house vs. buying a house and paying a mortgage. Lower operating costs would make business much easier in the state of Vermont.

Even if those retailers can't foot the bill- solar developers are willing to rent out that roof space (creating another revenue stream), and offer discounted power to other folks in town. That means more power created in Vermont, which is more efficient overall. That also means more job opportunities created in Vermont in a growing field that employs young people like me.

Stephen M. Frey > R.J. Adler  • 3 hours ago 

RJ I think it's a win win for building owners, operators, the public and the clean energy industry. How much Megawattage in statewide flat roof, low-slop roof generation capacity are we talking about? Any sense of this from Sun Common's perspective?


Senator raises idea of requiring rooftop solar for big buildings

Feb. 8, 2017, 8:47 pm by Mike Polhamus
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 11, 2017, 09:48:06 pm
Jimmy Carter Continues His Green Energy Legacy With 10-Acre Solar Farm

  Julia Travers


Former President Jimmy Carter leased 10 acres of his land to Atlanta-based SolAmerica to develop a 1.3-megawatt solar farm in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. An opening ceremony was held Feb. 8 to launch the project, which is projected to produce more than 55 million kilowatt-hours of energy in the next 25 years. The project will provide more than half of the power needs for the 683 residents.

Great Pictures!  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 16, 2017, 05:28:08 pm
U.S. Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy  ( 

Chris Martin

‎February‎ ‎15‎, ‎2017‎ ‎12‎:‎01‎ ‎AM 

Solar installations surpassed gas and wind for first time
Record 14.6 gigawatts of solar panels added in 2016, SEIA says


Solar developers installed a record 14.6 gigawatts in the U.S. last year, almost double the total from 2015 and enough to make photovoltaic panels the largest source of new electric capacity for the first time.

Solar panels on rooftops and fields accounted for 39 percent of new generation last year, according to a report Wednesday from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. That beat the 29 percent contribution from natural gas and 26 percent from wind.

The surge is further evidence that solar power has become an important part of the U.S. energy mix, even as President Donald Trump pushes for wider use of fossil fuels. The solar industry employs 260,000 people and accounted for 2 percent of all new U.S. jobs last year, and Republican and Democratic governors from 20 states sent the White House ( a letter Monday saying that clean energy is an important economic driver.

Full article with fact filled charts:


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 19, 2017, 09:58:00 pm
Solar Now Produces a Better Energy Return on Investment Than Oil (

The future is not good for oil, no matter which way you look at it. Motherboard


Solar — it’s not just a clean power source producing zero emissions and almost no local water impact, it’s also now one of the best choices on the basis of how much energy you get back for your investment. And with climate change impacts rising, solar’s further potential to take some of the edge off the harm that’s coming down the pipe makes speeding its adoption a clear no-brainer.

In 2016, according to a trends analysis based on this report by the Royal Society of London, the energy return on energy investment (EROEI) for oil appears to have fallen below a ratio of 15 to 1 globally. In places like the United States, where extraction efforts increasingly rely on unconventional techniques like fracking, that EROEI has fallen to 10 or 11 to 1 or lower.

Meanwhile, according to a new study by the Imperial College of London, solar energy’s return on investment ratio as of 2015 was 14 to 1 and rising.    (  What this means is that a global energy return on investment inflection point between oil and solar was likely reached at some time during the present year.

Great charts and info!  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 02, 2017, 02:38:04 pm
Startup makes solar panels that can blend with any environment. It can match a rooftop, show an ad, anything basically  :o   ;D

Tibi Puiu February 27, 2017

Credit: Sistine Solar

Less than 1 percent of American homes employ solar to power their homes. Some can’t afford the upfront costs while others don’t make this step because they aren’t convinced it’s going to work for them. But there are also a lot of people who can afford to and would like to install PV panels on their rooftops but choose not out of aesthetic considerations or out of concern their homes’ market value will suffer. A startup fresh out of MIT’s engineering and MBA classrooms hopes to render this argument moot.

The startup in question, called Sistine Solar, is offering solar panels that instead of the familiar blue luster can display virtually any image the client desires. For instance, a homeowner might want to cover all of his rooftop with PV panels and have them match the tiles. Business owners can cover kiosks or offices with panels that display ads or their logos. Strikingly, there are minimal efficiency losses involved.

Credit: Sistine Solar

This design of SolarSkin is not all that different from public transit see-through ads which cover a bus in billboards but inside passengers can see through them. These work by reflecting some of the light in a distinct pattern so people outside the bus can see the ad while allowing enough light through so passengers can see out. In the case of the Sistine panels, however, this effect is stretched to the max so only a minute quantity of light is let to reflect leaving the bulk of photons to hit the module, preserving efficiency. As for the cost, buyers can expect a 10 percent increase over panels of the same rated power capacity.

Credit: Sistine Solar

Sistine Solar is, of course, not the only company catering to solar aesthetics. Last year, Tesla announced with much fanfare a new line of ‘solar tiles’. It reportedly costs less than a new rooftop to install — we’ll just have to see about that now that Tesla announced it will start selling them by the end of the year.

Sistine’s offering, however, is different. While Tesla’s rooftop panels are actually tiles, Sistine is making panels that look like tiles. Any pattern or image can be displayed by the layer that covers the solar panel, no matter how intricate.

“We’ve come up with a process where we color-correct the minimal information we have of the image on the panels to make that image appear, to the human eye, to be similar to the surrounding backdrop of roof shingles,” says Anthony Occidentale, an MIT mechanical engineering student.

SolarSkin was first installed on a house in Norwell, Massachusetts where the 10-kilowatt system mimicked a cedar pattern. Sistine Solar now has 200 orders, mainly in California and Massachusetts. Custom designs aren’t all that popular instead most buyers opting for one of the patterns offered by the company. These include common rooftop patterns in the United States, such as asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and slate.

“We think SolarSkin is going to catch on like wildfire,”  ( said co-founder Senthil Balasubramanian for MIT News. “There is a tremendous desire by homeowners to cut utility bills, and solar is finding reception with them — and homeowners care a lot about aesthetics.”

While I personally don’t believe rooftop solar is ugly, I know some people think this way — and they’re running out of excuses fast.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 09, 2017, 02:36:42 pm
UK slaps massive 800% tax increase for rooftop solar panels

Mihai Andrei March 9, 2017

The US isn’t the only developed country backtracking on environmental development: the UK recently announced a new law that will bring a devastating tax increase on solar energy. As it has become so common in recent months, the government said it’s a good thing which will help development, but provided no explanation as to how it will help anything.

Although it is still a leader in European solar power generation, the UK   ( is making huge strides in the opposite direction. The country’s solar industry already lost 12,000 jobs last year and there has been an 85 percent reduction in the deployment of rooftop solar schemes, largely due to political intervention: the government drastically cut incentives for householders to fit solar panels and ended subsidies for large-scale “solar farms”. Now, they’re taking things even further, announcing that schools and businesses who haven’t been paying taxes for solar energy will now have to pay, and those who have been paying will pay 8 times more. To make things even peachier, the tax increase doesn’t apply to private schools, for a reason that has not been disclosed.

Needless to say, reactions have been highly critical of this move. The speech of Chancellor Philip Hammond on the 2017 budget barely even mentioned renewable energy, although he did emphasize a promise to help the oil and gas industry “maximise exploitation” of the remaining reserves in the North Sea.

“This is slightly less than helpful for the British solar industry,” the Solar Trade Association’s Leonie Greene told The Independent, in a very British fashion. “It’s absurd. Energy tax policy is going in the opposite direction to how we know energy needs to change and how it’s changing. What he is doing is advantaging old technology and disadvantaging new ones. It’s nonsensical.”

Despite pleas from the industry, schools, businesses, and the public sector, the government refused to back down on this. They specifically mentioned that this will be beneficial for schools but again, did not mention how. A petition with over 200,000 signatures from a school in London will be delivered to England’s Treasury Department today, but expectations are minimal.

ALSO READ Scotland just powered itself completely from wind power the entire day (

This is extremely ironic because according to the government’s own figures, solar is expected to become the cheapest form of electricity generation sometime in the 2020s. It’s like the UK just decided to shoot itself in the leg — and this won’t only affect the businesses (especially small businesses), schools, and farms with solar panels, it will also affect average consumers, driving the price of electricity up by a notch. Leonie Greene adds:

“That is crazy because it is the cheapest and most popular source of energy. What that means is consumers are paying more. We are taking away the competitive pressure solar has put on other technologies. We need something to change for the solar industry. We are just trying to get a level playing field with fossil fuels.”

In a normal world, where politicians are unbiased and simply want the best for their citizens, they should be offering great support for renewable energy — especially in the UK. The country is going through a severe pollution crisis. The situation is so bad that the UK has been taken to court twice and lost, being ordered by the supreme court to take action against climate change. Yet not only are they withdrawing subsidies and support for renewable energy, they’re actually making it harder for renewables to complete against fossil fuels. Just like in the US, the government hangs on to the oil and gas pipedream, ignoring both the environmental and economic reality: renewables are getting cheaper, and fast. Fossil fuels may be the past, they may be a big part of the present, but they’re certainly not the future. Installing new renewables is already cheaper than fossil fuels.

ALSO READ  Pesticides linked to massive bee die off, largest study of its kind confirms (

James Thornton, chief executive of ClientEarth, the NGO that sued the UK and won, declared:

“Despite being ordered twice by the courts to take urgent steps to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis, it seems the Treasury has still not grasped the urgency of the situation,” he said. “We fear that Government plans [on air pollution], which are due out next month, may well fall short of what is needed.”

His fears — to say the least — seem rational. With Brexit right around the corner, the government seems set to scrape several of the EU regulations and give into the fossil fuel lobby. Although not as vocal and not as absurd as the Trump government (, there are clear similarities to be drawn.  
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 09, 2017, 04:49:56 pm

New Solar Farm Powers Hawaii at Night   :o  ;D

Tesla unveiled a new 13MW solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai Wednesday, bringing the state closer to its ambitious goal of sourcing 100 percent renewables by 2045.

The farm includes nearly 300 Tesla Powerpack batteries, which provide 52 MWh of capacity and will allow the farm to sell stored power during the evening. The company estimated that the farm will offset 1.6 million gallons of fossil fuel usage per year  ( in the state, which relies heavily on oil-fired power plants and has some of the highest electric rates in the country.

According to The Verge:

It's the first major solar-plus-storage project for Tesla since its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity last year, and Tesla said in a statement that it "will work with energy providers around the world seeking to overcome barriers in the way of building a sustainable, renewable energy grid of their own."

Stationary storage is "something I think will probably be as big as the car business long term," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a tour of the Gigafactory last year. "And will actually have a growth rate probably several times that of what the car business is per year. The growth in stationary storage is really under appreciated. That's a super-exponential growth rate."  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 14, 2017, 01:09:20 pm
Amish tap into God's Grid!   (     (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 19, 2017, 07:55:19 pm
March 13, 2017 | Rona Fried | Corporate Sustainability, Renewables & Efficiency

( Apple Opens Solar Spaceship Headquarters in April, Amazon Also Expands Renewables (

After four years of construction, 12,000 employees start moving into Apple’s new spaceship campus in April. Now called Apple Park, the 175-acre campus near Cupertino, California will be a model for energy efficiency and 100% powered by renewable energy.

The building’s circumference hosts one of the largest on-site solar systems in the world – a massive 17 megawatts (MW) of solar panels!  :o (  That will supply 75% of the electricity; the rest comes from buying half the output of a nearby 280 MW solar farm and 4 MW of on-site fuel cells. As the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, it will require No heat or air conditioning for nine months of the year  ;D. Almost all of the materials from demolishing previous buildings at the site has been reused or recycled – virtually every piece of concrete, glass, and metal.

Apple spaceship

Worldwide, 93% of Apple’s power for offices and retail comes from renewable energy, and 100% of power for data centers.  The next step is manufacturing – the source of 77% of its greenhouse gases. A 170 MW solar farm in Mongolia will begin powering China’s factories and a supplier in Japan is building 20 solar plants including one of the largest floating solar systems. In tandem with suppliers, over 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewables will be added around the world by 2020, including 2 GW in China.

“We’re switching to greener materials to create safer products and manufacturing processes. We’re protecting working forests and making sure they are managed sustainably. We’re even creating a more mindful way to recycle our devices using robots,” Apple says on its Environment page.

Amazon Steps Up also made a big announcement – over the next three years, it will put solar on the roofs of 50 warehouses around the world. Solar will provide as much as 80% of power at sites in California, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, starting this year. The company is building the 253 MW Amazon Wind Farm Texas and a 180 MW wind farm in Ohio, adding to its wind farms in Indiana and North Carolina.

“We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win,” says Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Last year, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft filed an amicus brief in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, now under attack by the Trump Administration.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 23, 2017, 02:14:46 pm
Recent Advancements in the Solar and Renewable Energy Industry

By Daphne Stanford on March 22, 2017 at 15:33 pm   

It’s 2017, but solar cells went into commercial production in 1953, so you do the math: we should probably have access to affordable solar power, by now, but there are numerous dirty fuel proponents ( working to try to ensure that we continue to be dependent upon them for as long as possible.  However, despite the slow progress, exciting technological breakthroughs are being discovered that should make affordable solar power available to the average consumer sooner rather than later. (

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with how solar energy is generated: first, solar panels collect sunlight; next, power is converted into usable electricity; next, electricity flows into the net meter; and finally, the attached building is able to use the electricity produced by the sun.  In order for solar power to become more widely utilized, it has to become more affordable.  However, National Geographic reports that significant advances in nanotechnology will soon lead to lower costs and higher efficiency rates. 

What kind of advancements, specifically, you ask?  To cite one example, researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new solar cell—what they’re calling a “step cell”—that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy.

There was also a new development just this month, as reported in Science Daily:

Researchers at The City College of New York-based CUNY Energy Institute announce the development of a novel low cost, rechargeable, high energy density battery that makes the widespread use of solar and wind power possible in the future.  ( 

Think Tesla’s Powerwall, only more affordable.  Moreover, Green Tech Media recently compared the costs of wind and solar to gas, coal, and nuclear-based energy, illustrating the clear advantage that renewable energy has over fossil fuels, price-wise.  Why are our cities’ and towns’ energy grids so slow to implement clean energy sources?  Michael O’Boyle cites two widespread misconceptions: first, “Misguided alarmism about the reliability of renewables,” and second, “Misconceptions of the cost of running the grid with more renewables.”

The potential cost of implementing solar power into energy grids is even lower due to increased loans to solar energy production companies, so there’s that, too.  All in all, the costs of solar energy are going down—no matter how much the Trump administration would like us to believe in its inconvenience and unaffordability.  Moreover, there has been considerable progress in the renewable energy world in terms of new career opportunities unique to the industry, more affordable consumer options, and new technological advancements.

Over the past year, there have been a number of new technologies developed related to solar efficiency, solar energy storage, wearable solar technology, and solar design tech.   Perhaps one of the most exciting developments that has received a good deal of attention is solar roadways: they are roads with the ability to convert sunlight into energy to be delivered to local smart grids.  According to their website, “Our goal is to modernize the infrastructure with modular, intelligent panels, while producing clean renewable energy for homes and businesses.”

Beyond specific products, there are also a number of careers in sustainability-related fields like forestry and geology that should be attractive to those interested in supporting the renewable energy industry.  A common role for a forestry graduate, for example, is that of a conservation scientist or forester.  Companies typically create this position in order to help them manage their use of forests as resources related to their product supply chain.  Georgia-Pacific, for example, attempts to replenish and responsibly preserve the forest elements that they harvest for business use.

Other related fields, such as geography and geology, offer career opportunities in cartography or geoscience.  The advantage of these nature-related jobs is the sense of purpose that they offer to the potential employee in search of ethical work.  Many people these days, faced with dire news about the state of the environment and climate change around the world, are beginning to feel compelled to search for more meaningful job positions that help to improve people’s lives in some way. 

Because of this new awareness of the importance of sustainability, moreover, it’s not as necessary as it used to be to enter the not-for-profit world in order to find meaningful work.  Many small and medium-sized companies—even larger corporations—are becoming more aware of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and developing more substantial ethical compasses that offer more satisfaction to the socially-conscious job seeker.  More and more people are asking, “Is the world a better, safer, or healthier place because of my company?”  And an increasing number of companies are confidently responding with a resounding, “Yes!” 

More people, also, are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of personal responsibility, when it comes to sustainable living and eco-friendly lifestyles.  There are a number of simple, tangible actions that you, personally, can take at home in order to maximize your energy efficiency and long-term monthly expenses, as well.  For example, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money just by getting rid of wasteful, out-of-date appliances. 

Conducting a home energy audit requires little energy on your part after you make a call to a local certified energy rater or auditor.  An auditor will be able to determine the areas in your home that need additional insulation and weatherization.  You can also make sure that your appliances and lightbulbs are up to date, in terms of the most energy-efficient models and light sources—if in doubt, look for the “Energy Star” symbol on products when searching for replacements.  Lastly, be mindful of your water usage and the amount of food waste you throw out; the simple act of composting can relieve much of the burden on our local landfills.

*   *   *

Living in a sustainable manner requires all of us working together to ensure we’re picking the most socially and environmentally responsible options—whether it be an appliance, a job position, or a political vote supporting renewable, energy-efficient policies and legislation in favor of clean energy.  What are you doing to contribute to a more sustainable world?
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 25, 2017, 03:09:00 pm
First Utility-Scale Project on Tribal Lands to Power 100,000 Homes

Mar. 21, 2017 01:57PM EST

By Dan Whitten

First Solar held a commissioning event last week on a 250-megawatt solar facility on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. This is the first utility-scale solar project on tribal lands.

Morgan Stanley put together this cool video on the project as part of their series on sustainable solutions called Capital Creates Change and we wanted to share it with you. It highlights the economic opportunity, the jobs and the clean power that utility scale developers are bringing to Indian Country and to Southern Nevada.

Late last year, I was lucky enough to attend a ribbon cutting at NextEra Energy's Silver State South project, a 250-megawatt project developed and built by First Solar at the southern tip of Nevada, on the California border line. Eight years ago, when developers began surveying the Silver State South site, they couldn't have known what the world or even that little corner of the Nevada and California border would look like in terms of solar adoption. But they did know major change was afoot.

Back then, solar accounted for one hundredth of one percent of the nation's power generation and it was considered by some to be the costliest form of electricity.

In hindsight, the project goes a long way toward explaining the phenomena we are seeing in solar energy today. First off, the region now boasts 1,200 megawatts of solar electricity, which is the size of two big coal plants and no emissions, a fact that helps explain why our greenhouse gas emissions as a nation are lower than they have been in more than two decades.

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar project continues a trend in Nevada that has seen utility scale grow by leaps and bounds and with it has come thousands of jobs. Economies of scale evident from solar adoption help explain why the cost of solar has dropped by about 70 percent in the last eight years.

And while the utility scale revolution is taking hold in the West, policies governing rooftop solar in Nevada have crippled that segment of our industry and the many benefits that a healthy distributed generation market can provide for our electrical grid. The model is in place for many thousands of megawatts of clean electricity in the West and the hundreds and thousands of jobs that come with it.

The key is making sure there is a welcoming policy environment for continued growth of large scale solar, with triggers that can help distributed solar take pressure off the grid.   (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 26, 2017, 01:37:57 pm
  Record-breaking silicon solar cell efficiency of 26.6% demonstrated by Japanese researchers, very close to the theoretical limit (  :o (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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. (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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):
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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

… 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).
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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:




Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on May 15, 2017, 03:01:21 pm


( (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.  ( 
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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  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!(  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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! (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
(                (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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! (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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: ( (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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.       (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post 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
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on September 20, 2017, 04:52:45 pm

After the Hurricane, Solar Kept Florida Homes and a City's Traffic Lights Running (

By using energy storage with solar panels, some homeowners were able to go off-grid, showing how distributed power could speed future storm recovery.   (


SEP 15, 2017


Unlike large swaths of Florida that were facing days if not weeks without electricity, Pereira knew he would have power when the sun rose. He had installed rooftop solar panels two weeks before the storm, along with an inverter that allows him to use power from the solar panels without being connected to the grid. ( The next morning, he plugged an extension cord into the inverter, flipped it on, and let his 7-kilowatt rooftop solar array do the rest. He was able to use his appliances and his Wi-Fi, so he could continue his work as a home-based IT consultant while the neighborhood waited for grid power to came back on.

"We didn't have sun at all the day after the hurricane, but even with clouds, it was enough," he said.  (

Hurricane Irma cut the power to about 6.7 million customers across Florida, as well as hundreds of thousands in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Only about two-thirds of those in Florida had power back by Thursday, and Florida Power & Light said the outages could last weeks in some areas.

full article;

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 04, 2017, 03:04:27 pm
Resilience is Illegal in Florida  >:(

By Tom Lewis | September 19, 2017 | Energy

Let’s say you live in Florida. Yes, I know, that requires us to assume you are pretty oblivious to the rising seas and corrosive stupidity assailing the state from every direction, but let’s just say you live in Florida. No offense.

You’re smart enough to know that life in Hurricane Alley could get difficult, and you live after all in the Sunshine State, so you installed solar panels on your roof, enough to run your house, just in case. Now, we just assumed you ( were dense enough to choose to live in Florida , so let’s assume, on the other side of the ledger, that you are smart enough ( to have avoided some of the major pitfalls of the rooftop solar business.   

Number one, you avoided the trap of the new solar panels with the built-in inverters. Designed for and marketed to the accountants among us, who see solar panels primarily as a way to reduce power bills, these new-age solar panels save you the trouble of buying and installing a separate inverter to bump the output from 12 volts — what the panels produce — to 120 volts — what most things in your house require.

You didn’t do that because it gradually dawned on you — they never tell you this up front that the panels require power from the grid to run the inverters. Know what that means? In a power outage, your new solar panels are useless.* When the grid is down, your panels will churn out tons of 12 volt current that you can’t use because you can’t plug your panels into the grid. Now, because you’re smart about these things, you didn’t buy the new solar panels. To you, saving a few bucks by selling your excess solar-panel output to the power company is not as important as saving your butt in an emergency.

Okay, so far so good. But this is where you run into Florida Power and Light(FPL), the state’s monopolistic and avaricious electric utility company. Snag #1: If you install more than 10 kilowatts worth of solar panels, you must pay FPL up to $1,000 for the privilege. Not for the panels, not for anything but the privilege. Why? Because they can.

Snag #2:  You are not going to be allowed to go off the grid. Even if you have installed enough solar power to run your house  and you want to do it, you are required by law to connect your system to the grid. And you have to pay a monthly fee for that privilege, too.

If you are getting the impression that FPL regulates Florida state government, and not the other way around, you’re getting the right picture. FPL made more than a billion dollars in profits last year, and that’s after spending millions to induce lawmakers to hobble solar panel owners. 

(That’s not all the lobbyists do, of course. After Hurricane Wilma killed the power to 75 per cent of FPL’s customers, the state government girded it legislative loins and insisted that the utility do better next time. The lobbyists put out all the fires with assurances that FPL had “hardened” the grid against hurricane damage and would do much better next time. Next time was Wilma. This time, 90 per cent of FPL’s customers lost power. )

So let’s say you’re one of them, but this time it’s different for you. You’ve spent over $30,000 on a solar system, and your roof is generating all the power you need. You have a switch that disconnects your system from the grid and allows you to use the power you are making while the grid is down.

Snag #3, aka The Big One: You are prohibited by law from throwing that switch.  That’s right. The law, written by FPL, requires you to install the switch and forbids you to use it. The rationale is that you might accidentally back-feed the grid and shock a lineman. You live in Florida, after all, and might not be able to distinguish between the label that says “ON” and the one that says “OFF.”

This is the state that will not permit anyone in government to use the words “climate change,” and that ignores the rising seas that are intruding at high tide into the streets of Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and countless coastal developments.

And you live in this state?

* Agelbert NOTE: There is an OFF GRID work around for the solar panel with micro-inverters that require grid power.  ;D Tom Lewis correctly takes Floridians to task for their stupid fascist laws and the stupidity of a government not allowed to talk about the in-your-face climate change destroying their state, but he forgot to mention that solar panels with individual micro-inverters are far more efficient than a system with a single large inverter because large inverters reduce the output from the ENTIRE system of panels when a SINGLE panel is in partial or complete shade. Micro-inverters reduce power only from the shaded panel while the others are getting the maximum into your battery and/or appliances.

Finally, there is no way in God's good Earth that the Republican Fossil fuel and Nuclear power defending government of Florida is going to be able to enforce the "law" requiring that you not throw that switch.  ;D

VERY SOON, ANOTHER hurricane (see NHC web site) is headed to Florida, this time near the Capital of Tallahassee (God must have heard Tom Lewis.    ( ) . Let's see how many people avoid "throwing that switch" when they ain't got no juice from the grid. They HAVE to throw the switch to isolate house power from the grid or some workman on a pole restoring power after the storm will be fried to death. ( Therefore, the Florida polluter welfare queen defending "law" is unenforceable in a court of law. (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 04, 2017, 06:43:26 pm

Solar leads the charge in another record year for renewables ( 

International Energy Agency

Renewables 2017

Boosted by a strong solar PV market, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts (GW) coming online. This was another record year, largely as a result of booming solar PV deployment in China and around the world, driven by sharp cost reductions and policy support.

Last year, new solar PV capacity around the world grew by 50%  :o (, reaching over 74 GW, with China accounting for almost half of this expansion. For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal.

Full article with more great graphics:  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 04, 2017, 06:53:37 pm

* Agelbert NOTE: There is an OFF GRID work around for the solar panel with micro-inverters that require grid power.  ;D Tom Lewis correctly takes Floridians to task for their stupid fascist laws and the stupidity of a government not allowed to talk about the in-your-face climate change destroying their state, but he forgot to mention that solar panels with individual micro-inverters are far more efficient than a system with a single large inverter because large inverters reduce the output from the ENTIRE system of panels when a SINGLE panel is in partial or complete shade. Micro-inverters reduce power only from the shaded panel while the others are getting the maximum into your battery and/or appliances.

Finally, there is no way in God's good Earth that the Republican Fossil fuel and Nuclear power defending government of Florida is going to be able to enforce the "law" requiring that you not throw that switch.  ;D

VERY SOON, ANOTHER hurricane (see NHC web site) is headed to Florida, this time near the Capital of Tallahassee (God must have heard Tom Lewis.    ( ) . Let's see how many people avoid "throwing that switch" when they ain't got no juice from the grid. They HAVE to throw the switch to isolate house power from the grid or some workman on a pole restoring power after the storm will be fried to death. ( Therefore, the Florida polluter welfare queen defending "law" is unenforceable in a court of law. (

The solution is to set up a parallel off grid network in your house tasked to run things directly off the battery but maintain a nominal grid connection.  The monthly charge for a grid connection is small and it's a good work around.

 (  (

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 04, 2017, 10:41:52 pm
Hurricane Maria Windfield at 11:00 AM September 20, 2017

How solar energy (
saved a Puerto Rican farm from Hurricane Maria

Hugh Bronstein, Gabriel Stargardter

Hector Santiago, a horticulturist, waters plants at his nursery that is powered by solar energy, after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in Barranquitas, south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Gabriel Stargardters (photo a article link)

BARRANQUITAS, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - While his competitors wait for diesel to restart generators knocked out by Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre (16.2-hectare) nursery in central Puerto Rico.

The U.S. territory is in a near blackout, its electricity grid shredded by the storm that slammed into the island on Sept 20. But Santiago’s decorative plant and poinsettia nursery, set amid the jagged peaks of the Barranquitas farming area, has kept working thanks to the $300,000 he invested in 244 solar panels six years ago.

“Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don‘t,” said Santiago, whose flowers are sold in Puerto Rico, at outlets like Costco, and throughout the Caribbean.

While Santiago’s nursery was considerably damaged during the storm, many plants were destroyed and the roofs of some greenhouses blew off, he was able to regroup quickly, with electricity to keep pumping water from his two wells.

On Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump surveyed damage elsewhere on Puerto Rico, some of the nursery’s 19 employees were busy repotting damaged plants and cleaning up.


Santiago’s experience has left him hoping that Puerto Rico will begin relying more on solar power and other renewable energy as it looks to fix its damaged grid. That view has gained traction among some Puerto Rican politicians, though it is probably unlikely in the short run given the need to restore power as quickly as possible.

The experience of people like Santiago could drive more individuals and businesses to invest in solar power. Henry Pichardo, who runs a solar installation firm in the city of Bayamon, thinks the storm could drive up his business 20 percent a year. He said he has been inundated with enquiries since the hurricane hit.

“People are going to become more conscious of how they are living, and invest more in solar,” he said.

Santiago’s business requires a high amount of energy. From May through August, he lights his greenhouses with a total of 2,520 electric bulbs from 10 pm to 2 am to stimulate plant growth.

Until Maria, Santiago sold excess electricity generated by his six by three foot wide panels back to Puerto Rico’s now-defunct grid. In the storm, however, 25 percent of the panels were damaged by flying debris.

Still, he said, that was enough to keep the power on, and the nursery did not “have to worry about trees falling on the power lines.” (

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Sue Horton and Grant McCool
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 11, 2017, 02:00:12 pm
Planned Global Solar Manufacturing Capacity Expansions In First Half Of 2017 Bigger Than Expected  ;D

October 11th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill


“The first half of 2017 has produced the second (Q2) and fourth (Q1) largest amount of capacity expansion announcements in the history of the solar industry, ...   ( (

Full article with reality based graphs: (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 17, 2017, 11:15:59 pm

Lancaster (California) Is “Solar Power Capital Of The Universe”

October 16th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


Lancaster, California, produces more solar power per capita than any other city in the state. Devastated by the recession of 2009, when unemployment rose to 17%, the city has made its commitment to solar the basis of its economic rebirth. Today it is home to the BYD truck and bus factory, which just finished an expansion that tripled its original size.



“The revolution is here,” he says. “And I’m a good little Republican, a right-wing fiscal conservative, but when it comes to making decisions based on facts, that’s what we do. How is anybody going to compete with wind and solar?” he asks. (

When the city started considering its options for long-term electricity in 2015, coal was simply too expensive and natural gas providers were only willing to lock in prices for 7 years. Wind farm suppliers, though, were willing to make a 25 year commitment. Now city residents pay about 25% less for their electricity than they did before.  (

Full article:

Agelbert Note: BYD is making ELECTRIC vehicles.  ;D
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 18, 2017, 01:47:40 pm
World’s largest solar tracking system on a roof now complete at Chiquita facility

By Kelsey Misbrener | October 11, 2017

Edisun Microgrids, a solar technology company created at leading technology incubator Idealab, and West Hills Construction, a fourth-generation family owned design/build general construction firm, today announced a strategic partnership to develop up to 20 MW of commercial and industrial rooftop solar projects utilizing Edisun’s rooftop tracking technology, PV Booster. The first project developed under this partnership is a 1-MW solar array installed on 368,000 sq. ft of a 528,000-sq. ft cold storage industrial building in Oxnard, Calif. The project utilizes more than 2,900 trackers, making it the world’s largest rooftop tracker installation. This installation is financed and owned by Harry Ross Industries (HRI), the owner of the building. The solar power generated by the PV Booster installation will benefit HRI’s tenant, Chiquita Brands International.

Solar provides significant economic benefit to commercial and industrial (C&I) building owners by leveraging a property’s roof to increase net operating income, while, in many states like California, also avoiding an incremental increase in property tax.  PV Booster is the only dual-axis rooftop solar tracker specifically designed to meet the needs of C&I building owners and solar developers. By tracking the sun throughout the day, PV Booster increases energy production by 30 percent ( and enhances project economics by 20 percent when compared to conventional fixed-tilt installations. In addition, PV Booster’s safe, reliable operation over the lifetime of the system, significantly accelerates return on investment.  (

“The West Hills team is dedicated to finding and implementing technologies that meet our impeccable standards for craftsmanship while improving our customers’ bottom lines,” said Rusty Wood, vice president, West Hills Construction, Inc. “Over the last decade we have explored numerous solutions that promise to optimize rooftop solar at the commercial and industrial scale. PV Booster is the only technology actually able to accomplish this objective, and we’re excited to share it with our customers.”

“We are longtime supporters of solar energy, both for its environmental and economic benefits,” said Robert Ross, managing partner, Harry Ross Industries. “The addition of PV Booster technology to our Oxnard facility made sense for a number of reasons, in particular because it required less investment to get the same output as a stationary system. It’s also vitally important to HRI that we provide the most environmentally friendly facilities to our tenants. We are confident that we’ve accomplished this mission by deploying Edisun’s cutting edge technology.”

“From responsible water management to the adoption of renewable energy, environmental stewardship has been a key pillar of the Chiquita business for decades,” said Andrew Biles, president and chief executive officer, Chiquita Brands International. “Going solar at our Oxnard facility helps us directly achieve our corporate sustainability goals, and meaningfully strengthens our leadership position among environmentally conscious global organizations.”

PV Booster is the first and only rooftop solar tracker to meet the needs of C&I building owners and solar developers. Its breakthrough innovation is that it solves many challenges that historically prevented trackers from being deployed on C&l rooftops, including, most importantly, the wind. Through its unique, low profile, high strength design, PV Booster renders the wind a non-issue. The product features flexible layout design options, minimal weight per square foot, and fast and easy installation and Operations & Maintenance, while also meeting strict safety standards.

“Partnering with a visionary company such as West Hills, which has built more than 10 million square feet of real estate and is an expert in construction and solar installation, is the first of many exciting growth milestones for Edisun,” said Bill Gross, chief executive officer, Edisun Microgrids, Inc. and founder, Idealab. “PV Booster’s technology fundamentally improves the economics of rooftop solar for developers, installers, building owners, and tenants, which aligns with our core mission to revolutionize the economics of solar. We believe this increase in the value of solar projects, such as Chiquita’s Oxnard installation, will be the catalyst for the widespread adoption of solar in the C&I sector.”

Project commissioning is expected in Fall 2017.

Photo of this sytem on the roof at link:  (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 18, 2017, 02:08:48 pm
Q&A with early rail-less mounting manufacturer Solar Clam-P

By Kelly Pickerel | October 16, 2017

Mounting manufacturer Solar Clam-P got its start in 2011 after taking on the mission to provide solar systems that both contractors and DIYers could easily install. As one of the first rail-less manufacturers, Solar Clam-P also has a line of optimizer/microinverter panel clamp, skirts and junction box mounting plates–all available in 6,000 custom color options. We caught up with the company’s CEO and founder Sam Park to see what the company has been up to in the last six years.

Solar Power World: What is Solar Clam-P’s company history?

Sam Park: Solar Clam-P’s origins date back to pre-UL 2703 times in 2010, when the Obama Administration started a workforce development program to help train solar installers in Philadelphia. It was during that class that the idea of a universal non-frame, integrated solar panel mounting system was conceptualized. While working on various rail-based mounting systems in that class, I realized there had to be a more efficient way to install solar panels. And so… Solar Clam-P was born.

SPW: Where is your manufacturing location?

Park: Our main headquarters is located in the far northeast section of Philadelphia. Over the years, through product design and partnerships with certain companies, we have been able to streamline our manufacturing process while minimizing labor costs, and at the same time increase production to meet larger demands.

Our main objective was really simple, efficient manufacturing. Produce the best product, at the lowest cost and accomplish it all from my home garage. There are only a few companies in the world that manufacture and sell the complete non-frame, integrated rail-less mounting system, and no one has been doing it longer than Solar Clam-P.

SPW: What products do you manufacture?

Park: Solar Clam-P is the original manufacturer of non-frame, integrated rail-less mounting systems and microinverter mounts. [I believe] every rail-less system and microinverter mount that is currently on the market is based off of Solar Clam-P’s designs. Our components comprise of mounting hardware for all types of solar modules, all microinverter/optimizers models and accessories for all existing solar systems. We are currently working with another company for conduit pipe supports, and for cable management we use stainless steel cable clips.

SPW: Who are your customers?

Park: Our customer-base ranges from DIY homeowners, residential, commercial, utility installers and distributors. We sell to the United States, Canada and South America but have panels installed across the world.

SPW: In such a competitive market, how does Solar Clam-P stand out from other mounting manufacturers?

Park: Solar Clam-P is a manufacturer of high-quality, premium solar panel mounting hardware, but at a price lower than the typical rail. The O Clam-P series is the only true universal microinverter Clam-P that can mount both single and double slotted microinverters. We can mount any microinverter in the world.  (

SPW: Why do custom colors?

Park: I know the whole concept of custom colors is ahead of its time, but it’s all about customization. People want to customize or personalize everything, and solar is no exception. For installers, when you are competing against three or four other estimates, it’s a good way to separate yourself from other installers and offer something unique.

We are about to start offering a terra cotta-colored skirt, which is ideal for places like Las Vegas, where all the homes have Spanish tiles. Instead of a typical black array skirt, you can have a transition piece that matches the color of your roof, which will help blend the solar array into the house.

SPW: How is your flashing different?

Park: There are a few types of flashing—below the bracket, above the bracket or a sealant. A flashing that is “below the bracket” means the flashing goes under a shingle, but the mounting bracket sits on top of the flashing with the bolt head exposed and is dependent on rubber to seal. Some companies use a butyl sheet, or micro flashing, in which no flashing goes under a roof shingle and is basically dependent on the sealant.

Solar Clam-P’s flashing is an “above the bracket” flashing. It is a flashing that goes under a roof shingle and covers the mounting bracket, with no bolt head exposed. It is designed to protect the penetration hole through 25 years of harsh weather, without depending on any rubber or sealant.

SPW: What can we expect from Solar Clam-P in the next few years?

Park: We plan on continuing to design and manufacture new and innovative products but plan to expand into different sectors. We can’t disclose what new products we have coming up, but it is not limited to just residential solar. You can expect Solar Clam-P to keep pushing the boundaries of solar.

Article photos:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 20, 2017, 04:23:32 pm
India’s Largest Generator Achieves First-ever 100 Million kWh Solar Generation In A Month  ;D
October 20th, 2017 by Saurabh Mahapatra

India’s largest power generator NTPC Limited achieved a unique feat that signals the company’s direction in the future. The company reported over 100 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar power generation in a month for the first time ever, achieved in August 2017.

According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), solar power plants owned by NTPC across the country generated a total of 103 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in August 2017. This was a 14.4% increase from the electricity generated in July 2017. India’s total solar power generation between July and August 2017, on the other hand, increased by a measly 0.3%.


he small increase in India’s total solar power generation between July and August 2017 could be explained by the heavy rainfall in the southern region where a large majority of the country’s solar power capacity is installed. The same is reflected in NTPC’s own generation in the southern region. Solar power generation from NTPC projects in 2017 in the southern region has declined from a high of 41 million kilowatt-hours in March to 32 million kilowatt-hours in August.

NTPC’s solar power generation during the first 8 months of 2017 was 657 million kilowatt-hours, up 237% compared to the generation during the same period in 2016. In comparison, India’s total solar power generation increased 87%, from 6,977 million kilowatt-hours to 13,020 million kilowatt-hours during the first 8 months.

The southern region remains the largest contributors to NTPC’s total solar power generation. During the first 8 months, the company’s solar power projects in the southern region generated 298 million kilowatt-hours, representing a share of 45%; this was closely followed by projects in the northern region where the total generation was 230 million kilowatt-hours, or 35% of the company’s total generation.

NTPC owns some of the largest solar power parks in the country in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. At 103 million kilowatt-hours in August 2017, NTPC’s solar power generation is more than that of the entire eastern region and north-eastern region; this signifies the size of NTPC’s solar power portfolio which it plans to increase to 15 gigawatts  :o  ;D over the next few years.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 23, 2017, 02:29:13 pm
Layered with SolarWindow™ coatings, glass modules were subjected to the extremely high heat and pressure of autoclave equipment located at Triview. Despite the harsh conditions, subsequent performance testing confirmed that SolarWindow™ modules continued to produce electricity, paving the way for today’s announcement and eventual deployment of the company’s electricity-generating glass products.

SolarWindow Completes Financing to Advance Manufacturing, Marketing, and Product Fabrication

October 02, 2017 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: WNDW) is pleased to announce that the company has completed a private placement financing for approximately $2.6 million (the “Financing”) from four investors, three of whom have been long-term shareholders and supporters of SolarWindow. The company intends to use the proceeds from the Financing for general working capital purposes, including the further advancement of its previously announced manufacturing, marketing and product fabrication initiatives for its electricity-generating glass products for commercial buildings.

“With this round of financing in hand and a Process Integration and Production Agreement with Triview Glass Industries, an award-winning custom glass fabricator, we’re moving forward with turning our first-ever inventions into first-ever electricity-generating windows,” states John Conklin, President and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies.

Targeting commercial buildings, such as tall towers and skyscrapers, which consume almost 40% of all the electricity generated in the U.S., the company’s electricity-generating windows could reduce electricity costs by 30%-50% and shows a one-year financial payback for building owners, which is the industry’s fastest published financial return according to independently-validated company power and financial modeling.

The Financing consisted of the issuance by the company of 821,600 units at a purchase price of $3.11 per unit, with each unit consisting of 1 share of common stock and 1 share purchase warrant, having an initial exercise price of $3.42 and a five-year term. The securities sold in the Financing have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and may not be offered or sold in the U.S. absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements. As part of the Financing, the company has agreed to file a resale registration statement on Form S-1 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission within 30 days of the closing of the Financing for purposes of registering the resale of the shares of common stock issued or issuable in connection with the Financing. All securities issued in the Financing are subject to a statutory hold period of four months plus a day from the date of the consummation of the Financing.

This notice does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities, nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state. Any offering of the securities under the resale registration statement will only be by means of a prospectus.

About SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.

SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. creates transparent electricity-generating liquid coatings. When applied to glass or plastics, these coatings convert passive windows and other materials into electricity generators under natural, artificial, low, shaded, and even reflected light conditions. (

Our liquid coating technology has been presented to members of the U.S. Congress and has received recognition in numerous industry publications. Our SolarWindow™ technology has been independently validated to generate 50-times the power of a conventional rooftop solar system and achieves a one-year payback when modeled on a 50-story building.

For additional information, please call Briana Erickson at 800-213-0689 or visit:

To receive future press releases via email, please visit:

Follow us on Twitter @solartechwindow, or follow us on Facebook.

To view the full HTML text of this release, please visit:

For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQs page:

Power and Financial Model Disclaimer

The company’s Proprietary Power Production & Financial Model (Power & Financial Model) uses photovoltaic (PV) modeling calculations that are consistent with renewable energy practitioner standards for assessing, evaluating and estimating renewable energy for a PV project. The Power & Financial Model estimator takes into consideration building geographic location, solar radiation for flat-plate collectors (SolarWindow™ irradiance is derated to account for 360 degree building orientation and vertical installation), climate zone energy use and generalized skyscraper building characteristics when estimating PV power and energy production, and carbon dioxide equivalents. Actual power, energy production and carbon dioxide equivalents modeled may vary based upon building-to-building situational characteristics and varying installation methodologies.

Social Media Disclaimer

Investors and others should note that we announce material financial information to our investors using SEC filings and press releases. We use our website and social media to communicate with our subscribers, shareholders and the public about the company, SolarWindow™ technology development, and other corporate matters that are in the public domain. At this time, the company will not post information on social media could be deemed to be material information unless that information was distributed to public distribution channels first. We encourage investors, the media, and others interested in the company to review the information we post on the company’s website and the social media channels listed below:

• Facebook
• Twitter

* This list may be updated from time to time.

Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

No statement herein should be considered an offer or a solicitation of an offer for the purchase or sale of any securities. This release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events. Although SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. (the “company” or “SolarWindow Technologies”) believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and the assumptions upon which they are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements, which involve assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies, and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend,” or “project” or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as these statements are subject to numerous factors and uncertainties, including but not limited to adverse economic conditions, intense competition, lack of meaningful research results, entry of new competitors and products, adverse federal, state and local government regulation, inadequate capital, unexpected costs and operating deficits, increases in general and administrative costs, termination of contracts or agreements, technological obsolescence of the company's products, technical problems with the company's research and products, price increases for supplies and components, litigation and administrative proceedings involving the company, the possible acquisition of new businesses or technologies that result in operating losses or that do not perform as anticipated, unanticipated losses, the possible fluctuation and volatility of the company's operating results, financial condition and stock price, losses incurred in litigating and settling cases, dilution in the company's ownership of its business, adverse publicity and news coverage, inability to carry out research, development and commercialization plans, loss or retirement of key executives and research scientists, changes in interest rates, inflationary factors, and other specific risks. There can be no assurance that further research and development will validate and support the results of our preliminary research and studies. Further, there can be no assurance that the necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained or that SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. will be able to develop commercially viable products on the basis of its technologies. In addition, other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the company's most recent Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports and filings may be inspected and copied at the Public Reference Room maintained by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You can obtain information about operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330. The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission also maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission at The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward looking statements that may be made to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.
Ms. Briana L. Erickson, 800-213-0689
TrendLogic PR

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on October 25, 2017, 02:31:06 pm
Tesla Restores Power to Children's Hospital in Puerto Rico in 'First of Many' Solar + Storage Projects (

October 25, 2017 by Lorraine Chow


Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered to help restore Puerto Rico's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively.

Making good on the promise, Tesla has switched on a combination of its solar panels and Powerpack commercial energy storage batteries for Hospital del Niño, a children's hospital in San Juan. The Puerto Rican capital was hit especially hard by Hurricane Maria.

According to a company tweet sent yesterday, this is the "first of many solar + storage" projects.

Full article:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 06, 2017, 02:19:22 pm
Yingli Solar Panels Will Help Low Income Villages In China  (

November 6th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


People assume that the booming economy in China over the past 30 years has made all Chinese citizens wealthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Zhangbei County, just 150 miles northwest of Beijing, there are 128 low income villages where residents struggle to get by. Now all those villages are in line to benefit from a 300 kilowatt solar power plant. The project will use 140,000 solar panels supplied by Yingli. They will be installed on ground mounted systems with sun tracking capability to maximize power output.  ( 

Full article:


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 20, 2017, 10:33:03 pm
Solar: an Unstoppable Force

November 20, 2017

From the steeply gabled roofs of Tudors to the flat roofs on turn-of-the-century brownstones, to a sea of warehouses, the Chicagoland market is diverse and demanding. See how Solar Service Inc. chooses products and tools that are up to the challenge.

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 28, 2017, 04:22:33 pm

As Mexican Solar Auction Prices Scrape Bottom, Will Quality be Threatened?


November 27, 2017

By Charles Thurston Freelance Writer
The latest round of solar auctions in Mexico yielded an unheard-of average price of US $20.57 per MW, including a $17.70 per MW bid by Enel, a coup for the government. However, as developers and EPCs scramble to under-bid one another in the current market, the price eventually will erode the quality that is deliverable. Indeed, this auction round may have hit the crossing point suggests Enrique Roig, the director of the Solar Steel business of Gonvarri Steel Services, based in Madrid.

"It is difficult to understand how bid prices can go lower. It can jeopardize quality and longevity. Low prices versus quality is at crossing point," Roig said.

Gonvarri is supplying the single-axis trackers for the 350-MW Solem solar project in in the municipality of El Llano, Aguascalientes state, with a planned startup of unit one in September 2018 and unit two in June 2019. The plant is being built on two sides of a road, using over 1 million solar panels and Gonvarri’s latest TracSmarT design.

The project was awarded to London-based Cubico Sustainable Investments, in Mexico’s second long-term electricity auction in September 2016. Cubico, which is developing the project with minority partner, Alten Renewable Energy, claimed at the time that Solem would be the largest solar plant to be built in Latin America.

Gonvarri will be supplying the steel for Solem from its Tijuana factory, helping to reduce the final cost of the project, since steel represents about half of the cost of a tracker. “We are still making money with Solem, but to meet the price in round three we would need to squeeze internal costs again,” said Roig. “When you squeeze price, the impact needs to be shared among the UPCs, the local contractors and the manufacturers,” he said.

“With these prices, what you will see over the next five years among small tracker manufacturers will be a strategic sharing of risk capital and cash flow,” Roig suggested. “Otherwise only large developers can bid.”

Financiers for the Solem project were a virtual who’s who of multilateral lenders, including: the Inter-American Investment Corporation, acting on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank; the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas; the China Co-Financing Fund for Latin America & the Caribbean; the International Finance Corp., Bancomext, Banobras and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

Half of Cubico’s equity is owned by the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board fund. Cubico’s global renewables portfolio spans eight countries with an installed gross capacity of approximately 2.5 GW.

The TracSmarT design incorporates 60 panels per tracker, configured with a three module by 20 module row, which reduces the number of plies and motors per panel, compared with leading centralized tracker designs.

Gonvarri is a subsidiary of the industrial group ACEK, which has more than 140 industrial plants in 25 countries, with a presence in the European Union, Mercosur and NAFTA countries.

Lead image: Solar module close up. Credit: Depositphotos.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on November 29, 2017, 05:23:25 pm

“The massive drop in photovoltaic module prices we’ve seen over the last several years continues to reverberate through developing countries,” said Ethan Zindler, head of Americas for BNEF. (Clean Technica (



Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on December 08, 2017, 07:26:49 pm

Looking for New Solar Markets? Think Water.

December 7, 2017

By Jennifer Runyon Chief Editor


Yung Wong, engineering manager with WorldWater and Solar Technologies explained that when disaster hits, the first thing that the Red Cross and the military do is fly in water bottles. He said that the cost to transport water comes out to about $1.85 per gallon whereas his company can provide drinking water for just a few cents per gallon though a mobile self-sustaining system that purifies water from any source. The system includes 3 kW of solar PV capacity and a 31-kWh deep cycle battery bank and transports as a 7-foot cube. 

Wong said Puerto Rico has about 11 systems in place right now. Systems are also in place in Iraq, Haiti, and Darfur.

Full article:
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 03, 2018, 08:03:42 pm
A new solar highway in China perfectly captures its clean-energy ambitions

January 3, 2017


The Jinan stretch includes two lanes and an emergency lane and is designed for both electricity generation and public transport, according to Zhang Hongchao, a project designer and transportation engineering expert at China’s Tongji University interviewed by CCTV. He said the expressway could handle 10 times more pressure than the normal asphalt variety and in a year generate 1 million kWH of electricity, which will be used to power street lights and a snow-melting system on the road. It’s also designed to supply power to charging stations for electric vehicles, should those be added in the future.

But it might be a while before the project can expand, he noted, as the road cost around 3,000 yuan ($458) per sq m, significantly higher than regular streets.

Full article with pictures:

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 04, 2018, 01:29:35 pm

In Face Of Looming Threats (, US Solar Industry Rolls Out The Big Guns   (

January 4th, 2018 by Tina Casey


The US Solar Energy Industries Association is facing down a pair of near-existential threats with two mighty weapons of its own: a new model contract and white paper demonstrating the bottom line benefits of solar installations for commercial and industrial properties. The two documents alone are not likely to sway decision makers at the White House, but they could pile on the grief for the beleaguered Trump administration.  (

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Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 26, 2018, 06:08:11 pm

Trump 🦀Tax On Solar — About More Than You Think

January 26th, 2018 by Steve Hanley


Figuring out who wins and who loses as a result of the new solar panel and solar cell tariffs imposed by the alleged US government is tricky stuff. As senior editor Zachary Shahan ( has pointed out, most major news organizations don’t understand what just happened and are filling the airwaves with misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies.


Would Donald Trump 🦀really put tens of thousands of jobs at risk and delay America’s transition to renewable energy in order to satiate the salivating jackals of Wall Street and try to strong arm the Chinese into making trade concessions? You bet your sweet bippy he would.

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Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on January 27, 2018, 02:06:39 pm

Putting The Sister 🕊 In Solar: The Movement Bringing Women Out Of Energy Poverty

January 27th, 2018 by The Beam


“If energy poverty were a person, it would be a woman ( ,” says Olasimbo Sojinrin, Country Manager of Solar Sister Nigeria.

In the bustle of a busy marketplace in southwestern Nigeria, Felicia Abiola-Ige sets up a stall with a wide array of solar lamps, torches, phone chargers, home systems and energy efficient stoves. She lays solar panels facing up towards the sun and places products on their boxes on the tabletop so people can pick them up and see how they work. She’s dressed in a bright orange Solar Sister t-shirt. Soon enough, several people have gathered around, leaning in to hear what these products can do.

Mrs. Abiola-Ige, 46, a science teacher from Oyo State, heard about pico solar products when a Solar Sister business associate came to demonstrate clean energy products at her school. She was surprised to learn about solar technology with a strong light and a reasonable price that could erase the need for kerosene or batteries.

“I wondered how something this useful is sold at this price? I decided to test it out.”

She bought a small d.light solar lamp for US$8 and gave it to her grandmother. Seeing how well it worked, Mrs. Abiola-Ige bought a larger solar lamp with a phone charger. From there, she signed up to be a Solar Sister entrepreneur and hasn’t looked back.

She and her teenage daughter Opeyemi go to schools, churches, cooperatives, hospitals and homes to advertise solar products and drum up business. As a teacher, she uses her networks in the education sector to talk about solar and sell products.

“We have even gone out to other parts of Oyo State. People are very interested.”

In the past several months, she has sold over 40 clean energy products. (  🌟

Opeyemi Abiola-Ige 🕊 helps her mother 🕊 market solar products ✨.

Energy poverty

For Africans living in rural areas, electricity is scarce and unlikely to arrive any time soon. In rural Tanzania, just 7% of people have access to power and approximately 70 million people outside of Nigeria’s cities are without electricity. Regular power cuts mean even those with grid access are often left in the dark.

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Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 15, 2018, 02:20:10 pm
Dutch Consortium Planning Giant Offshore Solar Power Farm  ;D

February 14, 2018 by Reuters
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 19, 2018, 04:43:55 pm
FEB 18, 2018

Despite  Big Coal 🦕 Lobby, Australia to Double Solar Energy in 2018 (

By Juan Cole

Australia’s march to solar power is a reason for climate optimism because it is happening under adverse circumstances.


Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 21, 2018, 07:01:51 pm

Europe Goes Big on Solar; 8.6 GW Installed in 2017(

February 16, 2018

By Jennifer Delony Associate Editor
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 21, 2018, 07:09:36 pm

Southeast Asia’s Coming Solar Boom 💥

February 16, 2018

By Pablo Otin Chief Editor
2018 should be the year that Southeast Asian solar hits its stride. That was the clear headline from the 35th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Ministers on Energy Meeting: “ASEAN calls for energy investment.”

At the opening of the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) towards the end of last year, Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi called on energy investors and policy officials to find new ways to meet the region’s monstrous energy needs.

“It is now imperative on us to draw in more investments and expertise to ensure that we are prepared for this new future."

How great is the need? According to the Institute for Energy Economics and the International Energy Association, ASEAN nations are projected to see their energy needs grow 80 percent to 2040 — the third biggest jump in the world, after China and India — as the region’s economy more than triples in size, and its population rises by almost a quarter to 760 million. ASEAN nations include Indonesia — the 4th most populous country in the world — as well as the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Electricity demand in particular is set to triple by 2040. Together, total demand growth will be equivalent to 14 percent of all global energy demand to 2040.

But not just any energy source will suffice, Cusi said, stressing the importance of clean energy in new outlays.

"ASEAN is committed to a future of renewables," he said. "From reduced carbon footprints to lower emissions to cleaner air, we know how important it is that we invest in the future of renewable energy sources," Cusi said, adding that the region must aim for the goal of grid parity.

The meeting comes at an opportune time for U.S. solar stakeholders, and for companies with deep experience of delivering low levelized-cost-of-energy (LCOE) utility-scale PV projects. Companies, like 8minutenergy, have been committed to developing projects in South Asia.  They understand how to leverage technology innovations, incorporate balance-of-system (BOS) cost reductions, and improve system design in order to achieve competitive clean electricity.

In fact, the price of solar PV is already lower than it’s ever been. Prices have declined 27 percent just in the past year, and the price of the average silicon solar module is now below $0.32 per watt. However, module price is just one factor in the dropping cost of solar. Earlier this year, a new study from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), showed future cost reductions are expected to be highly dependent on BOS (e.g. inverters, racking and mounting systems, civil works, etc.), rather than relying on the expected reductions in solar module prices. That same study estimated that the global average cost of electricity from solar PV would be roughly US$0.05/kWh to US$0.06/kWh by 2025.

U.S. solar developers have successfully driven down the costs of utility-scale solar by more than 77 percent since 2010 — a capability that is now ripe to be deployed overseas.

South and Southeast Asia need it, as they seek to expand access to electricity. There is particularly increasing demand for solar-plus-storage. As battery technology improves, these systems are proving again and again to be more reliable than traditional generators, as the fuel supply is one of the first things that gets disrupted in an emergency.

With solar and utility-scale batteries, no such disruption need be planned for. This is a lesson the U.S. military has learned, as it increasingly invests in solar-plus-storage and microgrid projects.  The Pew Charitable Trusts recently called microgrids a "triple play": they reduce costs, incorporate renewable energy, and enhance energy security.

There are several Southeast and South Asian nations that are gearing up for increased solar investment — with each taking a unique path.

This summer, Vietnam created a feed-in tariff of 9.35¢/kWh for 20 years to support utility scale PV projects.  Now, the country is partnering with the World Bank to implement a pilot auction program for solar projects. Set capacities will be announced, and developers will have the opportunity to bid on them. Both moves are designed to reach the goal of 3 GW of solar PV capacity installed (from 850 MW) by the end of the decade, and 12 GW by the end of the next.

As Tim Buckley, director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said in May, “There is no financial investment to fund coal in the Indian market because they’re simply not competitive against solar energy prices right now.” It’s clear the future is bright ✨ for solar in Southeast Asia.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on February 25, 2018, 06:34:17 pm

Red Cloud's Revolution : Oglalla Sioux Freeing Themselves From Fossil Fuel (

Sunday, February 25, 2018

By Saul Elbein, Mongabay | Report
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 14, 2018, 08:17:50 pm

China’s Solar PV Module Exports Reached 37.9 GW ✨ :o   ( in 2017

March 12, 2018

By Liu Yuanyuan Director of Operations

In 2017, newly installed solar PV capacity worldwide reached 102 GW, soaring 37 percent from a year earlier, while cumulative installed PV capacity surged 33.7 percent to 405 GW, according to statistics from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association. In China itself, newly installed and cumulative installed PV capacity reached 53 GW and 130 GW respectively, accounting for 51.8 percent and 32.2 percent of the total. For the first indicator, the country has ranked first worldwide for five consecutive years while, for the second, it has held the leading position for the last three.

However, when measured in dollars, exports of PV modules only amounted to US$9.45 billion for the first 11 months of 2017, down slightly from a year earlier. Despite the decline in export value, in volume, exports reached 37.9 GW for the full year of 2017, an increase of 16.6 GW in comparison with 21.3 GW for 2016. Exports of polycrystalline modules reached 31.8 GW, accounting for 84 percent of the total, while that of monocrystalline modules added up to 5 GW for 13.2 percent.

During the year, China shipped to India 9.46 GW of modules, of which 8.94 GW or 94 percent were polycrystalline and 0.35 GW or 4 percent were monocrystalline.

Of the modules exported to the Japanese and Australian markets, the polycrystalline proportions reached 79 percent and 83 percent, respectively, while, for monocrystalline, the proportions were 19 percent and 16 percent.

In addition, monocrystalline accounted for 35 percent of the modules exported to the Middle East, slightly higher than the proportion exported to other markets. Polycrystalline modules still dominate the market with a share of 54 percent.

Of note is that in 4Q17, China’s photovoltaic exports to the U.S. surged. According to industrial analysts, in a move to avoid the adverse effects arising from U.S. President Donald Trump’s 30 percent solar import tariffs, U.S. customers rushed in a large amount of photovoltaic products from China in the fourth quarter, resulting in Chinese PV module deliveries to U.S. customers amounting to 12 times that of the first three quarters of the year.

Due to the advantages of low photo-induced attenuation, low power cost and high project yield, polycrystalline modules have a higher performance price ratio than monocrystalline. As a result, it has dominated overseas markets for many years. In 2018, the market is expected to continue the pattern. (
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 16, 2018, 02:44:25 pm

Tesla Installing World's Largest Solar Rooftop on Nevada Gigafactory  ( 

By Lorraine Chow

Mar. 15, 2018 12:31PM EST

Tesla has started building a massive rooftop solar array on top of its Gigafactory 1 (GF1) outside Sparks, Nevada.

Once finished, the 70-megawatt system will be the largest in the world by far; the current record-holder is the comparatively shrimpy 11.5-megawatt array in India that can power 8,000 homes.

Building Tesla has posted satellite images of the GF1 construction site, showing solar panels installed on the north side of the factory.

The Gigafactory is part of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's vision to fast-track a cleaner, more sustainable future. He previously announced intentions to power the Nevada building without fossil fuels, relying instead on renewable energy and batteries.

"GF1 is an all-electric factory with no fossil fuels (natural gas or petroleum) directly consumed," Tesla said then.

"We will be using 100 percent sustainable energy through a combination of a 70 megawatt solar rooftop array and solar ground installations. ( The solar rooftop array is ~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today."
The Gigafactory 1 is being built in phases so Tesla and its partners can manufacture products while the building continues to expand. It officially kicked off the mass production of lithium-ion battery cells in January 2017.

The building is expected for completion sometime this year, at which point the Gigafactory stands to claim the title of world's largest building by footprint.

Impressively, Tesla touts that its current structure already has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors.

"And we are still less than 30 percent done," the firm boasted.

Once fully built, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells annually, which is "nearly as much as the rest of the entire world's battery production combined."  ;D

Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 21, 2018, 08:03:33 pm

From Residential to Utility-Scale, Solar Wins in Recent State-Level Actions  (

March 16, 2018

By Jennifer Delony

Associate Editor

A series of recent state-level actions have been lauded by industry advocates as positive steps for driving deployments of residential, community-scale and utility-scale solar.

22 Solar Projects for New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 9 announced that New York has authorized competitive awards under the state’s Clean Energy Standard mandate for 22 utility-scale solar projects. The awards are part of $1.4 billion awarded for a total of 26 renewable energy projects in the state.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a statement commended Cuomo for what she said is a “historic commitment to solar energy.”

“These 22 solar projects will create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in investment and bring clean and affordable energy to the residents of New York state,” she said. “It is highly rewarding to see that the Empire State has made this groundbreaking investment in solar energy.”

Energy Bill Signed in Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam on March 9 signed an omnibus energy bill for Virginia that designates 5.5 GW of solar and wind energy as “in the public interest.” The bill also initiates a process to modernize the state’s power grid to help spur renewable energy development.

Ralph Northam ✔ @GovernorVA

Today I signed legislation ending the freeze on energy utility rates, returning money to customers, and investing in clean energy and a modern grid. I am proud that my team and I improved this bill significantly and thank the General Assembly for its continued work on the measure

2:13 PM - Mar 9, 2018 · Richmond, VA
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SEIA Vice President of State Affiars Sean Gallagher said in a statement that the public interest finding is a “great first step” for solar in Virginia.

“[W]e must ensure the grid modernization process that this bill initiates is data-driven, solicits the public’s input, and is not a blank check for a utility to spend consumers’ money with little accountability,” Gallagher said.

By 2022, Virginia is expected to have an installed solar capacity of about 2 GW, before taking the new law into consideration, according to SEIA.

New Jersey Considers Clean Energy Bills

New bills filed on March 14 by New Jersey legislators have been lauded by many clean energy organizations for their potential to grow the state’s renewables development and extend benefits of clean energy to more residents.

The text of the bills was not immediately available in the state’s online legislative documents center.

According to the SEIA, the two companion bills introduced in the New Jersey House and Senate would increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard target for solar and begin the process of developing next-generation solar incentives in the state.

This legislation would also help establish a community solar program in the state, giving consideration to residential customers, especially in multifamily buildings, and low-to-moderate income customers, SEIA said.

In a statement, Brandon Smithwood, policy director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access, said the bills were important for solar in New Jersey in light of the recent tariffs places on solar cells and panels.

"New Jersey has historically been one of the leading solar markets in the country; however, with over a third of households renting their homes, nearly half of homes being multifamily, and numerous small businesses, non-profits and other organizations lacking adequate roofs for solar systems, the vast majority of New Jerseyans have not yet been able to realize the benefits of solar energy," Smithwood said.
Title: Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
Post by: AGelbert on March 27, 2018, 07:08:03 pm

Solar Power Energy Payback 💵 Time Is Now Super Short (

March 25th, 2018 by Jake Richardson

This article is part of our “CleanTechnica Answer Box” collection. In this collection of articles, we respond to dozens of common anti-cleantech myths.

Some solar power critics 🐉🦕🦖😈 seem to enjoy trying to point out that the energy payback time for solar power is too long, and therefore this form of renewable energy is not valid. Those critics have not kept up with the times or are simply lying to you. (

Years ago, when solar cells were less efficient, there might have been some truth in questioning the energy payback of solar panels because they were most likely manufactured using electricity generated from coal, natural gas, or nuclear power and were less efficiently manufactured.

Today’s solar panels are more efficient, so they produce more electricity, and this fact along with more efficient manufacturing means that energy payback periods have decreased to just a few years. Research has found, “Energy payback estimates for rooftop PV systems are 4, 3, 2, and 1 years: 4 years for systems using current multicrystalline-silicon PV modules, 3 years for current thin-film modules, 2 years for anticipated multicrystalline modules, and 1 year for anticipated thin-film modules (see Figure 1). With energy paybacks of 1 to 4 years and assumed life expectancies of 30 years, 87% to 97% of the energy that PV systems generate won’t be plagued by pollution, greenhouse gases, and depletion of resources.”  (


Other estimates also show solar is viable and have tremendous energy payback periods. “In Australia, the International Energy Agency[vii] calculated the energy payback period for a solar power system to be under two years. This means a solar power system takes less than two years to generate enough energy to break even on the amount of energy taken to manufacture it.

“Based on models and data examined by both the International Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy[viii], solar panels do pay back their energy investment. With solar panels lasting as long as 25 years, they make more energy over their lifetime than it takes to manufacture the panel. Since the payback times are decreasing over time, we have now reached the point that even at this strong growth, the total installed PV capacity is a net producer of energy and a net GHG sink.

Floating solar power plant

Solar power has already been used in manufacturing, so it is at least in theory possible it will eventually be used to produce solar panels (and it must be in some places). Once solar power is being used to produce solar panels, the question is, what does energy payback even matter?  (

Solar cells might eventually made from cheaper and more efficient materials, which would decrease their production costs even more and perhaps increase their efficiency and energy payback period.

Misleading Metrics

Additionally, some of metrics, like energy payback, seem to be questionable in the way they are used by solar power critics and climate change deniers. For example, they don’t reference that the cost of continuing to use only fossil fuels are vastly greater than manufacturing and installing solar panels. “The share of national GDP at risk from climate change exceeds $1.5 trillion in the 301 major cities around the world. Including the impact of human pandemics – which are likely to become more severe as the planet warms — the figure increases to nearly $2.2 trillion in economic output at risk through 2025.”

The figures in the US are huge too. “Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found. And yet this does not include this past month’s three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes.”

It’s very obvious that the financial costs of continuing to do business as usual 💣 are tremendous, but the human costs 😨🔫 could be even greater.

Air pollution in China is so severe it may be contributing to 1.6 million human deaths per year. “Outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people