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Electrek morning green energy brief: HVDC – Edison’s return, Wind farms not running, renewables need be doubled and more!


The world’s longest High Voltage DC line in India and America’s first – Energy storage and HVDC will be two key technologies that allow the power grid to significantly increase its use of intermittent energy sources. California has already gotten to almost 30% renewables without any storage. A German grid operator thinks HVDC lines can get their grid to 70% renewables before storage is needed. Being able to move the electricity from the places it can most easily be produced to the population center will be worth hundreds of thousands of lives a year around the world.

Giant wind farms in western China not running – The above links talked about building HVDC power lines. This link talks about what happens when you don’t have enough. China has been building because they have no choice – the Communist Party is facing thousands of protests a year around the country regarding pollution. Cars, power plants and manufacturing facilities are pumping huge volumes of gunk in the air – so China must build clean sources of energy, however, much like Germany – we figured out how to build huge amounts of renewables before we build the infrastructure to transport it or the hardware to store it. Now, in China, it sits idle – waiting for the expansion to occur.

IEA head says renewable sector needs to double investment annually to meet emissions goals – A very light article summarizing a speech at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that is pumping out many big announcements. The key details are 16% of $1.8 trillion spent in the energy industry went toward renewables and efficiency but that meant 50% of new global capacity was via renewables. I’ve heard $1T a year would need be spent on renewables and efficiency for us to clean the power sector enough to keep us under 2°C. We were well over $300B in 2016.

3.0% of Democrats and 2.2% of Republicans Party Donors have solar power installed – The key here is that solar power makes economic and moral sense irrelevant of your political inclination. 1.5 million individuals went into this analysis – all of them people who donated to political parties. When I’m in a sales call with commercial-industrial companies it is rare for politics or environmental reasons to come up – it all comes down to pricing.

China-based integrated monocrystalline PV producer, Solargiga Energy Holdings increases shipments 34%, but revenue only 4.2% – I don’t know anything about this company, but the one part of reading this article was that I saw volume increase 34% but revenue only 4.2%. Decreasing prices throughout the solar PV chain must be challenging for these companies. Fixed amounts of money must be spent on the machines to do this work – and those loan payments don’t, generally, go down in price as the market for solar panels shifts. One innovation I have seen in solar related contracts – when we sign a deal with a fixed volume deal with a solar panel manufacturer we request that the price per watt changes with the market. If we were to continue to pay early 2016 prices in late 2016, our ability to bid our competitors would falter.

China added 34GW of solar in 2016 – Great Scott!

Tweet of the day – “Evolution of utility-scale solar PV auction prices around the world”:

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