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EGEB: Hawaii 26% renewables in 2016, California close on battery incentive, drones!!, more

Electrek Green Energy Brief

California Senate committee clears bill for new energy storage rebate program – The bill, SB 700, would require utilities to collect funds from ratepayers to establish an Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) that would work in tandem with the state’s existing Self Generation Incentive Program and the California Solar Initiative. The ESI would be funded through 2027. A ten-year energy storage boom coming to California – solar and wind will benefit greatly from this.

HECO (Hawaii power company) grid ran on 26% renewables in 2016 – Just a progress report –On Hawaii Island, customers used 54% renewable energy in 2016—the first time clean energy’s share on the system passed the halfway mark. On Oahu, renewables composed 19% of energy use last year. Hawaiian Electric’s oil use declined 21% between 2008 and 2016, with the bulk of the reduction coming on Oahu. A pretty good progress report if you ask me.

Amtech’s new order backlog more than doubles to US$125 million on bifacial solar order – I am pretty confident in saying that bifacial solar panels are the next big thing. I think this means manufacturers believe they’ve cracked the consumer demand code – what additional premium are people will to pay for a higher efficiency product? How much more efficient does it have to be? How the heck do we do it? Really – bifacial solar panels are a rough hack to get more electrons out – they use twice as much silicon to get 10-25% more energy, but that’s ok because the silicon in the solar panel is no longer the largest driver of cost. Of course, Bifacial plus PERC technology really changes the equation and the PERC might have been what allowed to bifacial to crack the code. A little more insight into 2017 trends.

Germany Calls Rick Perry’s Push to Rework Paris Climate Agreement ‘Absurd’ – I don’t have much else other than the headline.

Trina Solar wins its first order for bifacial modules – A little more on the Trina Solar bifaicial deal mentioned here yesterday. 1. According to PV Tech’s analysis this is the second largest order for bifacial modules to date. Yingli Green previously supplied its bifacial modules for a 50MW PV power plant in China, the largest project to date for bifacial modules. and 2. Trina Solar noted that the project in Golmud was located in a sandy area with high diffuse reflection, ideal conditions for bifacial modules. The Project will also be equipped with a tracker system which will enable the DUOMAX twin module’s back side to achieve more solar energy through movement via the tracker. It makes great sense for high-efficiency panels to be put on high-efficiency tracking hardware. It’s a multiplying effect that will make the tracking hardware even more valuable than if for lower efficiency panels. We’re already seeing single tracking systems picking up in the US utility world – is it pushed by higher efficiency panels? I think this will increase.

Drones-as-a-service: These days, utilities are outsourcing everything – This article mostly focuses on what utilities are using drones for concerning transmission lines and general inspection – only passing notes on solar are in the article. But I thought it fitting to post about solar for two reasons – 1. I see drones assisting sales people to do a much high quality site analysis that outputs directly into software like Helioscope. 2. This conversation on twitter‘We already use aerial ir scans as part of our punchlist. Been pretty useful in finding damaged modules. Broken modules and down strings stick out pretty well. We send a tech to investigate.’ It used to be that we’d send out a human to spot check random solar modules and random strings of solar modules. Now a machine checks every single panel in 1/10th the time. Everything we can do to lower costs and increase uptime helps.

In case you thought the political aspect of the solar industry had slowed down since Trump took office, no…If you’re a home owner or a business owner considering solar and you’re in one of the green states – you ought to give this link a read.

Saudi Arabian solar field owned by Saudi Aramco

Considering residential solar?  will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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