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Electrek green energy brief: Sunshot+Enphase save Hawaii, Politicians on the move, $23T, and more


DOE Sunshot team + Enphase + HECO + SolarCity figured out how to deal with the highest per capita solar market in the country that was producing too much solar to be managed, leading to 2,700 homes not being able to connect to the grid. With computer modeling, new tools were developed that allowed the utility to faster evaluate individual circuits and the solar connected to them. These tools will spread and places that are partially blocked to installation volume – like Eastern Massachusetts – will get much more efficient in their deployments.

The Politicians are moving – Maryland Legislature overrules Governor to implement more aggressive RPS, Wyoming legislatures vote against wind + solar tax, Nevada asked better calculations of energy ‘attributes,’  and Maine politicians extend net metering 15 years with annual decrease in payment. Greentech gave a nice summary of the active 2016 that DSIRE has put together. Maryland, by increasing the volume of electricity needed from renewables will pump up the depressed price of its SREC market. Wyoming will get to take advantage of Trump infrastructure and massive wind. And Nevada might design its rate system – what people pay and what various electricity sources are worth – on smarter numbers, recognizing truly what solar power brings to the table.

$23 Trillion in investment potential by 2030 – And it’s broken down by country and technology type. Anyone want to front the $23T and I’ll get to work on project evaluation? With coal plants losing their golden investment status – I know there will be room for my expertise.

SCHMID offers low-cost pre-treatment for texturing diamond-wire-cut multi c-Si wafers – got it? Good. SCHMID makes a machine that fits within the already existing family of machines around the world (the things that Meyer Burger sells) making solar cells. The machine adds a texture to the cells that increases their efficiency. A quick search sees a lot of research (1 and 2) on a nuance I’d only heard of once or twice in passing – and this company expects to sell 5GW worth of them in 2017.

Moving the electrolyte gel toward a solid state – sub-component early stage research inside of a battery. A solid state would be denser and less flammable than the liquid electrolyte mixes of today. This is a good compliment to the solar cell manufacturing line component above – each sub component needing a mastery of a science all its own. If batteries get smaller and lighter, we fit more into your car and your laptop. If they get safer – then fewer titanium shields are needed.

A fellow reader and I were chatting on Twitter, and he asked – ‘100 yrs from now I wonder if we might want our landscapes back.’ I remember a speaking engagement in Mexico, a university student asked me what we would do with a structure like a hospital? Could solar power help it – I said probably, not, such heavy energy needs. Thin and flexible products like this – ‘solar glitter’ – could cover every surface…but will it? At least I can have a shirt of this material made and charge my phone.

Tweet of the Day #1 – this is how Swedish roll: Greenhouse Gas free by 2045

Cool video from NREL talking about modeling the “Eastern Interconnection Transmission Grid” and how they came to the conclusion that the grid could handle up to 30% wind/solar –

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