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Electrek green energy brief: 97% efficient solar thermal, 10 years of solar growth, Bhutan carbon negative and more!


97% efficient solar thermal technology developed in Australia – The goal of the designers is to get the technology to 12¢/kWh – and with such high amount of energy efficiency when considering land space, even at that ‘higher’ price, I would expect it to get some sales. Being able to use nearly 100% of the sun’s energy to spin turbines will mean energy density 4 times greater (or 1.5x if you’re an ME), from a land use standpoint, that standard photovoltaic based solar power. Additionally, this being in the form of heat energy means there is the possibility of extending the use of energy beyond standard sunlight hours. Of course, moving parts will make it more complex to deal with and at 2100 suns compressed to boil the water at 500°C, your technician better know their stuff.

10 straight years of global growth for solar, including 32% and 34% in 2015-2016 – We’ve been seeing a doubling of cumulative installed solar power every 2-4 years since sometime around 2000. For us to have such massive global growth in year 15 and 16 is really amazing – the two year growth rate is almost 77%. Do not expect this same growth (and possibly no growth) in 2017 though – all the predictions I’ve read say we might be minus a percent, about the same or possibly up 5% growth. If the low pricing of 2016 can hold though, then this FoxBusiness report that solar is escaping the boom bust cycle of subsidized industries will be true – and the above article’s expectation of strong growth returning by later 2018 and into 2019 will hold strong.

Bhutan: First carbon negative country – I love that we can estimate an entire country’s net carbon production. If we’re going to balance economic growth with a stable atmosphere, knowing the math on a country level is going to make this attack much more strategic. Additionally, a country like Bhutan is going to gain economically from this knowledge being globally dispersed – green tourism, health, and pollution. Of course, it is based largely on massive forests relative to population/land size and that cannot be repeated everywhere – but it is a model to consider.

IBM report: 79% of US population sees solar system paying for itself in less than 9 years – I wonder what happens to purchasing probability when people with optimistic payback perceptions sees a faster payback – do they have a higher probability of purchasing? Interesting chunk of people are those that expect solar power to pay for itself within 1 year (7%) as they tend to go for leases that instantly save money. That 7% is a ripe group to call on for a number of companies whose specialty is leasing solar power to residential

GIF of the day found on imgur – wind turbine (with human for scale):

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