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Electrek morning green energy brief: solar+tools can run a true grid, green investment down while installs up, and more


New Study Shows How Solar Can Enhance Grid Reliability – Solar power is much more than extra energy during the day: “Advanced power controls can leverage PV’s value from being simply an intermittent energy resource to providing services that range from spinning reserves, load following, voltage support, ramping, frequency response, variability smoothing and frequency regulation to power quality.” Solar power, along with the proper tools, can be the entirety of your electricity grid.

Clean energy investment down 18%, Solar & Wind deployments up 19% – Seeing the total amount of money invested slow down is challenging – but knowing that the total amount of green energy built went up feels great. Solar power itself saw a price drop of around 10% in a single year. For instance, in the USA total spending fell 10% – but solar power doubled from about 7GW to about 14GW.

Terraform offered below market price for buyout – Terraform was, sorta is, owned by Sun Edison. Sun Edison went bust. Terraform is supposed to represent a new ownership style for solar development (old to the energy world) – called a YieldCo – a way for individuals to invest in solar projects and benefit from a long term, consistent cash flow. We’re seeing plenty of investment in many forms of solar (including bonds and YieldCos) – but many bumps along the way.

NY State spending $360M on 11 green energy projects – Expected cost is 2.4¢/kWh for the averages of 20 year contracts. Mostly hydro, but also wind, solar and fuel cell. 260MW worth and a lot of it upstate (not too many damed rivers near Manhattan).

Shunfeng to expand solar wafer capacity – Global PV manufacturing capability is probably in the 85-120GW range. I’ve got not concept of how quickly it could expand – I’d expect companies like Meyer Burger knows. Comtec Solar Systems Group – is writing down assets of solar wafer manufacturing hardware, specifically mono-si. How does a company like Burger keep making money on manufacturing hardware whose valuation as per their production capability keep falling (solar panels to $.28/watt in a few years)?

Interesting paragraph on solar cell pricing“Spot prices for mono-si and multi-si cells have both converged to stable level during this week, of which multi-si cells with 18.4% conversion efficiency at RMB 17.~1.73 per watt, or US$ 0.21~0.215 per watt, and standard mono-si cells at around US$0.24 per watt. However, spot price for mono-si PERC cells have generally dropped below US$0.3 per watt. Note that the PERC cells that keep getting my attention are way above average pricing. $0.10/W on a $1.00/W install is a lot – on a $3/W install it is a lot less. If PERC cells output 5% extra energy – they may not make sense on a $1/W project if they increase the cost 10%.


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