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EGEB: Solar power algorithm; Dragonfly hackers lay in wait; wind power in rural USA; more

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

Your solar panels could power the neighborhood during a blackout – The team has created a number of algorithms that allow homes to disconnect from the grid, and use and share power from their renewable energy resources during an outage, all the while improving system reliability by up to 35 percent. Right now, in the USA if the power grid goes down – we have legislated that a solar power system, without a battery backup, will shut down. Meaning you will lose power as well. This is done to protect those working on the grid later on. Maybe its time to move beyond that? Distributed energy production means distributed energy power plants are coming. These algorithms will be part of that guidance.

Speaking of the grid going down – Hackers lie in wait after penetrating US and Europe power grid networksDragonfly has been waging attacks against US and European energy companies since at least 2011. “Manual attacks are more difficult in the U.S. than in Ukraine based on sheer size. In order to cause an effect, something or someone would need to ‘flip the switch’, deploy a ‘crash’ devices, etc., but we don’t believe there are any technical hurdles in doing so. Crashoverride, which we saw used in the Ukraine, set the precedence of that.” I don’t know much about power plant level security – but I do know if you have a Tesla PowerWall + solar panels and an electric car, your home will be protected from centralized power plants going down during any grid attacks. I’d think that the US Military would push toward individual business-industry-home energy resilience. Of course, if we become dependent on distributed energy – The Need for Cybersecurity for Distributed Energy Resources becomes significant.

Wind Power Wins Converts in Rural U.S. – Wind developers have made $17 million in payments to the county and have spent $33 million on roads, a boon for an economically struggling community that about a decade earlier considered hosting a waste dump to generate jobs and government revenue. The wind farms took hundreds of construction workers to build, and created 110 permanent jobs, mostly wind technicians—in charge of servicing and maintaining wind turbines—who, according to federal data, earn about $51,500 a year in Indiana. If we distribute the energy production systems – they’ll distribute the revenue generated. They’ll distribute the jobs as well. Why does this matter? Let’s be blunt – the reason coal and oil have such power over the world’s politics is because of the money they generate. Distribute the money – distribute the power.

Puerto Rico Could Face Months-Long Blackouts Due to Irma – If your home is destroyed, then there is nothing that can be done of course. However, if the structure stands and is inhabitable – then some electricity makes a huge difference. Being from Florida, I have many friends now preparing for a very scary looking storm – I wish them the best.

Solaria introduces BIPV product PowerVision-150 – Its just a window, but wow is it a beautiful window. It looks like window blinds versus solar cells. I think I’d be ok with the aesthetics.


When a wind or a solar power system says they are 1,000 watts in size, that means at a peak moment and under ideal circumstances – the power system can produce this much power. However, we know that the wind and sun don’t blow/shine 100% of the time in the same spot – so we then have to add another variable – ‘capacity factor.’ Capacity factor represents how much energy is actually made from these systems – solar power usually makes 15-30% of its peak – and as the tweet below shows, wind power is slowing increasing toward 40% capacity factor. The more the wind runs, the less backup that is needed.

Maybe one day, not having this feature will be seen as the selling challenge –

Header image by Jamey Stillings in Japan

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