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Electrek green energy brief: Walking on solar panels, big oil loves big offshore wind, more

Big Oil throwing down for Big Offshore Wind – If there is anyone with an expertise and the cash needed to build ocean based hardware that can produce long-term consistent revenue, it would be the engineers that have deployed oil wells in the deep seas for decades. Ocean-based wind can sometimes run for 50% of the time – and with floating units coming next, big oil with its big capital might see its most powerful weapon against the coal industry be renewable. I’ll take it from where ever it comes.

Partisan reactions to Trump over environment – Large chunks of the US electorate have shifted their views on future of the environment since Trump came into office. Republicans toward believing the future environment is getting great attention and will improve, while Democrats see it getting worse. With Trump and Republicans seeing poles like this I don’t expect them to be very interested in legislative measures.

200MW solar plant coming online in Dubai – The plant came on one month early (ha!). It cost $327M, which is $1.63/W to install – nearly double the price of a 1.17GW project recently signed. The 5.6¢/kWh is more than double that projects 2.4¢/kWh. Even the big players have to deal with complex market shifts – but, if they hadn’t built those first plants the 1.17GW at record low prices wouldn’t have been possible.

Hanwah Q focusing on profitability after 2016 price war – According to an investor report from ROTH Capital analyst, Philip Shen, the company had a blended module ASP of US$0.44/W in the fourth quarter of 2016, while its manufacturing cost structure was estimated to be US$0.40/W. The 4¢/W of profit puts them around 9% – for a company that is investing in new technologies with higher efficiencies, 9% profit margins will be a challenge.

Exxon ordered to turn over hidden emails – First off – #exxonknew, secondly – how long might it take for the court to put the screws to Exxon and find them in contempt of court? And really – do we expect Exxon to turn over everything? I’d suppose that these groups have very intelligent IT teams that could, if needed, clean transfer records after deleting copies of incriminating emails. The real question is – how long until they bear consequences. A decade?

As an installer your taught to walk on the edges of panels if needed – avoid if you can. Pretty cool video.


If I were an investor I’d be thinking about $2T – though, the global energy industry is trillions annually. It’d probably be profitable for the companies right up until the end…


Header Image: Wind turbines at the London Array project, the world’s largest consented wind farm, a partnership between Dong Energy A/S, E.ON AG and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar are seen in the Thames Estuary, U.K., on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. “London Array will soon be the largest operational offshore wind farm in the world,” said Benj Sykes, head of Dong Energy’s U.K. wind business. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg. Source article.


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