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EGEB: India stops solar renegotiations; Chinese panel pricing up; Chile sets irradiance record; more

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Acciona and Spanish university claim world record solar generation measurement in Chile – “The peak power curve was obtained with an irradiance of 853 W/m2 and a cell temperature of 40.1oC.” The deserts of Chile are some of the best sunlight on the planet, and now it looks like we have evidence of them being the highest anywhere on the planet for this moment. Of course, the people that work these plants have to wear special gear to protect themselves from sunlight even in short time periods – maybe not the best place to build a home.

Header image is of the winner of the RAF photographer of the Year award – Two RAF Chinooks head out over North Sea wind farms during a low level flight to retrieve a downed pilot during a rotary training exercise. Senior Aircraftman Nicholas Egan was on hand to record the moment.

Panasonic starts making something at Tesla’s Buffalo plant – This report on Tesla stepping up their solar panel manufacturing goes into a couple of details I’d not seen elsewhere – Panasonic has started making its high-efficiency HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) solar cells at Gigafactory 2 in RiverBend, Buffalo. Heterojunction cells are a higher efficiency product…however – Panasonic ramp to 1GW had been pushed back to 2019. Which means – when could that 2GW production time frame possibly show up? 2020? And the author’s final thoought – At the moment, I can only assume that Panasonic has a small solar cell production line in place to feed the niche roof tile product assembly at Fremont. I wonder which Tesla product will get first dibs on the solar cells coming off of the line – standard solar panels, or solar roof shingles? I’m going to guess shingles.

GCL-Poly’s Diamond Wire Sawing Cost Drops 8% in Half a Year; 10.6 GW of Silicon Chip Prices are Reduced to Make the Downstream Gain 4.0 Billion – You know how I like showing little pieces of technology that slowly add up to manufacturing savings? Well – According to the company’s data, unlike traditional slurry sawing technology, diamond wire sawing technology can raise capacity of mono-si wafer by 100%, reduce waste by 25%, increase efficiency by 85%, and decrease cost by 30%. For mono-si, the diamond wire saw upgrade had already finished in recent two years. This cost decrease has nothing to do with labor costs or low environmental regulations, but instead new technology being integrated into the manufacturing cycle.

In the other direction – China-made crystalline silicon prices rise over 30% – Government agencies have stepped up inspection of China-based crystalline silicon factories and those failing to comply with the environmental regulations have been ordered to stop or reduce production until improvements have been made, the sources noted, adding this has resulted in large reduction in total crystalline silicon output. If the world is going to tax your product for being too cheap, you might as well enforce internal taxes via infrastructure upgrades and keep some of that cost at home versus going to the coffers of foreign countries.

India obstructs states to prevent 7 GW of PV projects at risk – Falling tariffs in the PV sector are resulting in power purchasers looking to renegotiate earlier agreements they had committed to at higher tariffs, putting INR 4,800 million ($7.5 billion) worth of projects at risk, according to rating agency CRISIL. “In all, about 7 GW of solar projects tendered or awarded at tariffs of INR 5-8 per unit over fiscal 2015-2017 could be at risk.” Imagine you bid a project based upon costs that are available, you win said project and you start to build – then others, who bid up to two years after you came in lower – and the government started asking you to make you compete with these newer bids. That would greatly upset the balance of business – India saw this: India has blocked state authorities’ ability to cancel or negotiate any signed power purchase agreement (PPA) tariffs. There is always a deeper argument, maybe these earlier developers refused to start building predicting these lower prices coming, but unless they’ve violated some contract rule – I think we gotta let them keep their contracts.

Evidence Mounts for Green Bonds Outperforming Conventional – When these analysts say ‘perform’ they’re not saying the underlying project that was financed is doing well, but instead they’re talking about the price of the bonds relative to the market. The U.K.’s largest bank said green bonds are trading closer to benchmarks than regular debt issued by the same entity, particularly in developed markets. This may be due to demand for the securities pushing investors to pay steeper prices for green bonds in the secondary market. This may dissipate in the future if there’s a sharp rise in supply, he said. Right now, green bonds are trading at a premium because we want to buy them at greater rates than other products. Good news.

Someone I follow on Instagram that builds wind power – the size of these things is great:

Yesterday I asked for a robot building solar power from readers, and I received –

Header image if of the winner of the RAF photographer of the Year award

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